German cities are never less than twinkling havens of Christmas-market fun at the end of the year, and Cologne is one of the best. It hosts several (see colognetourism.com/christmas) – the biggest (Nov 26-Dec
23) filling Roncalliplatz (1) with stalls and trinkets. Flights are plentiful – Eurowings (eurowings.com; Edinburgh, Heathrow, Stansted), British Airways (ba.com; Gatwick), Ryanair (ryanair.com; Bristol, Stansted and Manchester), Jet2 ( jet2.com; Manchester), and Flybe (flybe.com; Southend).
cathedral was once the world’s tallest building (koelner-dom.de). Admire its size from inside or out, then stroll east, across Roncalliplatz (1) and Heinrich-Böll-Platz (5), to the city’s other defining sight. You can enjoy broad views of the Rhine from the Hohenzollernbrücke (6)
– as far as the Kranhäus towers (7), the glass clusters of offices and flats, a mile (1.6km) to the south, whose shape mimics the cranes that once worked the docks.
mosaic. Museum Ludwig (12) (museum-ludwig.de; €13) has art by Dalí and Warhol.