Travel: Düsseldorf's Christmas Market promise

Dsseldorf's Star Market

The Germany city of Düsseldorf promises to host more Christmas Markets on 2017 than ever before while giving visitors the chance to have fun on it's large ice rink next to the Königsallee shopping avenue.

Düsseldorf will open its festive season on 23 November and the Christmas Market will be inviting visitors to the city centre with a large variety of Christmas worlds in different looks.

For the very first time the market has been extended beyond Christmas all the way up to 30 December and apart from this extension, the launch of the big ice rink on Corneliusplatz and the new Fairy Tale Market on Schadowplatz are two of the most important new features.

The children’s programme has been expanded overall so that this year, for example, there will be a children’s activities tent on Jan-Wellem-Platz with shows every day. The Christmas Market will remain closed on the Sunday of the Dead (26 November), Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (24 and 25 December).

During the festive season, Düsseldorf will have lots of atmospheric new features. The ice rink has been relocated this year and will offer new activities.

At the northern end of Königsallee, directly adjacent to the Hofgarten and the Kö-Bogen, this year visitors will be able to enjoy a 1,700-square-meter ice rink on Corneliusplatz.

The skating fun will be enhanced by an extensive range of catering, with stalls set up around the rink. Right next door, the Christmas Market on Schadowplatz has been given a makeover.

The new motto this Christmas is “fairy tale market”. Scenes from fairy stories adorn the roofs of the cabins which will also be decorated with illuminated Herrnhut stars. This market is very much focused on items for children.

Each of the motifs on display at the Märchenmarkt (Fairy Tale Market) – borrowed from famous German fairy stories by the Brothers Grimm – consists of three staggered elements that have been affixed to the roofs. This creates an impression of spatial depth and three-dimensionality for the viewer. Some parts of the silhouette cut-outs are movable and electrically-powered.

For the “Sterntaler” motif, the spherical starry sky rotates and fills the little girl’s dress – which she is holding up like an apron – with stars falling from the sky. The moment at which Sleeping Beauty awakens after being kissed by the prince is also animated, as is Rumpelstiltskin, dancing around a glowing fire.

Visitors can of course also look forward to the classics of the Düsseldorf Christmas Market. Set against the backdrop of Düsseldorf’s City Hall and with a historical feel, is the Artisans’ Market. It’s the perfect place to discover and admire hand-made items while enjoying a glass of mulled wine.

The “Engelchenmarkt” (Little Angels’ Market) on Heinrich-Heine- Platz is adorned with small figures of angels and has a “heavenly atmosphere”.

Other beautifully designed markets such as the “Sternchenmarkt” (Little Star Market) – idyllically located in the inner courtyard of Wilhelm Marx House at the Stadtbrückchen – or the cabins on Flinger Straße in the centre of the Altstadt (Old Town), reminiscent of Düsseldorf’s old burgher houses, also offer a deliciously cosy mix of food, drink and shopping.

Directly beside the Rhine on Burgplatz, Düsseldorf visitors will be able to get a bird’s eye view of the Christmas bustle: the lofty Wheel of Vision will be set up there again between October and January as a winter landmark, flanked by a number of food stalls.

Düsseldorf city centre will be offering the appealing mix of a stroll through the Christmas Market and shopping. Attractive shops combined with the festive mood will turn Düsseldorf into a truly great experience. It is now more than ever the case that shopping in Düsseldorf will fulfil every wish.

The Kö-Bogen has made Düsseldorf an even more interesting place to shop, while Königsallee stands for a very special kind of shopping. Big international brands such as Armani, Hermès, Bulgari, Gucci, Versace and Dior, as well as local retailers, will be presenting gift ideas in a festively atmospheric ambience.

On Schadowstraße visitors can enjoy a mix of major department stores and smaller retail outlets, where they will find the right gift for every taste. On the way to the Rhine, the Altstadt and Carlstadt are home to plenty of boutiques, some of which also sell fashion by local designers. Many fashion and jewellery designers have settled in the districts of Flingern and Bilk that directly adjoin the city centre.

Their shops, along with the little cafés and restaurants, make these the perfect places to browse, sample, relax and, of course, do lots of shopping. On Sunday, 10 December shops in the city centre will be open for gift shopping from 1pm to 6pm.

And what if your guests want to see even more of Düsseldorf and hear stories about Christmas and the city? Düsseldorf’s Altstadt will be beautifully illuminated with thousands of lights, producing a highly atmospheric setting for a guided tour of the city. 3

The two-hour Christmas Guided Tour will offer many insights into Düsseldorf’s Altstadt, as well as Christmas anecdotes. While the Düsseldorf Christmas Market is on, the tours start on Fridays at 4pm and Saturdays at 2pm, and end with Christmas cookies and a mulled wine or hot chocolate. Tours can be booked at www.duesseldorf-tourismus.de/weihnachtsmarkt

Düsseldorf Tourismus GmbH’s Christmas Market hotel package will allow visitors to take it easy after their Advent stroll, giving them even more time for extensive sightseeing.

The package offers an overnight stay in a double room with breakfast from 65 euros per person. The hotel package is rounded off with a DüsseldorfCard, entitling the holder to free use of bus and rail during their stay, as well as many other discounts, and a Düsseldorf info pack with a travel guide.

Because it has numerous free parking spaces, Düsseldorf is perfectly prepared for coach tour operators. There are Christmas Market parking spaces in the Altstadt, guaranteeing that visitors don’t have to go far to reach the markets.

There will be additional parking spaces at the exhibition centre grounds on each Saturday. From here, guests can pick up a free day ticket with which they can get to the city centre in just a few minutes on the U78 subway line.

You can book your parking space online in advance by going to www.duesseldorf-tourismus.de/park This handy and convenient tool which also allows you to download and print your parking ticket, will help you to plan your trip to Düsseldorf perfectly. More information at www.duesseldorf-tourismus.de/en/our-top-events/duesseldorf-christmas-market/

** Across the border in Belgium, there will be something special in Bruges during the festive period. However I'm not sure whether it's the piping hot waffles, magical Christmas markets lit up by twinkling fairy lights or real log fires in centuries old taverns…

Whatever it is, you can experience it with DFDS's festive break to Bruges. You can choose between the Dover-Dunkirk and Calais routes and sail in comfort. Both ports are close to Bruges with Dunkirk only a one hour drive away and Calais around two.

There is a choice of a three- or four-star hotel, both centrally located in the city and you can extend your trip for up to three nights in Bruges.

Prices start from only £96pp including return ferry crossing with a car and one night hotel stay with breakfast.

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