Photographed from above, you can see the Düsseldorf Christmas market on Rathausplatz

Six special spots around Düsseldorf’s Christmas market


Welcome to the festive season in Düsseldorf!

While we can’t guarantee that snow will be gently falling at the Düsseldorf Christmas market, we do have six great suggestions for you, including mulled gin, delicious roasted almonds and spectacular views across the city. Of course, the festive season is also about loving your neighbour, and in that spirit we are pleased to welcome radio station WDR 2 and its Christmas Miracle appeal. There is also a whole charity forest, perfect for the season of giving.

Black and white photo from 1953 showing three large domes of light on bridges along Königsallee, each formed by two crossed arches.
(Photo: Stadtarchiv Düsseldorf, 1953, photographer: Mr Harzenbusch)

Dome of Light

Since 2016, a Dome of Light has been illuminating the Königsallee bridge near Steinstrasse during the festive season. The double arch structure is 40 metres long and 15 metres high, features 3,500 lights and spreads seasonal cheer along the Königsallee shopping boulevard, also known as the Kö. But most people are not aware that this dome is a replica of historical decorations dating from 1953. Back then, a total of three domes were installed along the Kö, symbolising hope for a better future. And those Christmas illuminations were not restricted to the Kö. The people of Düsseldorf also put up oversized candles, stars and Christmas trees on Schadowstrasse and Graf-Adolf-Strasse, reportedly using more than 30,000 lights in total.

TV presenter Gülcan Kamps stands in the charity forest.
TV presenter Gülcan Kamps at the launch of the charity forest. (Photo: Press)

Charity forest

Christmas is a time for giving. But if all the charity appeals leave you unable to see the wood for the trees, we recommend a visit to the charity forest at the Galeria department store on Königsallee. The store’s in-house Christmas market has a long-established tradition of putting up a charity tree. In 2023, there are a total of three present trees, along with seven donation trees. On the present trees, the wishes of children facing difficult situations in their lives are hung from the branches. Customers can pick out one of these wishes and have the present left at the store so that the child who requested it can receive it on Christmas Eve, as is traditional in Germany. The donation trees are a more recent idea and benefit a range of organisations, such as the children’s hospice. Donations are accepted until 24 December.

The presenter team of radio WDR 2’s Christmas Miracle
For five days during the festive season, WDR 2 radio broadcasts from a glass studio at the Düsseldorf Christmas market, next to the Schauspielhaus theatre. 2023 presenters, left to right: Steffi Neu, Thomas Bug, Jan Malte Andresen and Sabine Heinrich. (Photo: WDR/Annika Fußwinkel)

WDR 2 Christmas miracle

In 2022, the WDR 2 Christmas Miracle raised 7.4 million euros, which constituted the bulk of the money collected by the cross-media charity initiative ‘The West is helping. Together against world hunger’. The overall amount raised was a record total of 10.6 million euros. In 2023, WDR is hoping for another miracle in Düsseldorf. From 16 to 20 December, presenters Sabine Heinrich, Steffi Neu, Jan Malte Andresen and Thomas Bug will be welcoming celebrity guests to the WDR 2 Glasshouse on Gustav-Gründgens-Platz, right by the Christmas market. But the main aim is to raise money. A letterbox for music requests accompanied by donations will be available in front of the Glasshouse. Alternatively, listeners can donate and request a song through various digital channels, for example via Germany’s Relief Coalition (Aktion Deutschland Hilft).

A tray filled with many roasted almonds. Some are about to be picked up in a silver scoop.
(Photo: Visit Düsseldorf)

Gagliardi almond roasters
“The best roasted almonds in the whole of North Rhine-Westphalia,” according to Gagliardi’s rave reviews on social media. In theory you could buy roasted almonds all year round at Sweet and Eat on Kapuzinergasse, but they definitely taste best when eaten at the Christmas market in the Old Town. Mario Gagliardi represents the third generation of the family business, which is completely dedicated to all things almond. Just why exactly these almonds taste so much better than any others is hard to say, because the Gagliardis keep their family recipe a closely guarded secret. In fact, it is rumoured to be kept securely locked away in a safe. One thing is certain, the almonds come from Andalusia, and the Gagliardis use little sugar, putting the main emphasis on the roasting process and the flavouring.
Old Town market, stall no. 204

A person’s hands are shown holding the handles of two tall glasses, one filled with mulled red wine and one with mulled white wine.
(Photo: Visit Düsseldorf)

Mulled beer and mulled gin

Mulled wine is so last year! Event caterer Oliver Wilmering and his suppliers have created a mulled gin, or glühgin. On top of that, Wilmering has also added mulled beer to his menu for the first time. The chairman of Düsseldorf’s fairground business association is perhaps best known for his Glühtürmchen refreshment stall, which opened in 2021 and has quickly established itself as a regular meeting place for Christmas market visitors. The first floor of the little wooden tower, which can fit about 20 people, gets particularly cosy. And don’t worry, they do sell traditional glühwein as well! If you’re looking for something with more of a club vibe, try the Kasematten on a Thursday night. This is where the vintners behind ‘Glüh dich glücklich’ mulled wine hold their modern Christmas event – techno beats included. Events run until 25 January 2024.

Ferris wheel lit in red and blue on Burgplatz square in Düsseldorf.
(Photo: Visit Düsseldorf)

Ferris wheel

The Wheel of Vision – the view from 55 metres up is nothing short of spectacular. You’ve got the city literally at your feet, the colourful lights of the Christmas markets, the vibrant bustle of the Old Town and the Rhine with its bridges and the Rhine Tower. The scene is particularly atmospheric at dusk, when the big wheel is brightly illuminated. You can take a mug of glühwein into the heated cabins with you to better enjoy Düsseldorf’s winter wonderland. If you plan far enough in advance, you can even book an exclusive cabin, have breakfast or lunch or enjoy the luxurious Wheel & Wine package.

You can find detailed information about all the events during Düsseldorf’s festive season here.

Lead photo: Visit Düsseldorf

Tip: We have created a Christmas playlist called ‘Hey Ho! Let it snow’ for you. Featuring everyone from Bing Crosby and Run-D.M.C. to the Broilers from Düsseldorf, these 24 songs are ideal for the festive season.

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