Alter Markt

Holiday Travel Guide
Alter Markt

The city’s former marketplace is now a lively spot known for its café culture and carnivals.

Alter Markt, which means “old market” in English, is a focal point of Cologne. The square is located just steps from the Rhine River and Cologne’s main shopping precinct, and is overlooked by the City Hall. Pull up a chair at one of the many cafés lining the square and enjoy a locally brewed beer.

The area was once a large medieval market and the site of jousting tournaments. Today, visitors will find traditional German architecture and old monuments dedicated to the city’s founders. Outdoor café terraces and open-air concerts fill the square in the warmer months. Thousands of tourists come for the annual Christmas market, held here in December, when there’s a skating rink, fairy lights and food stalls. Kids will particularly love the attractions at these daily markets, including a carousel and puppet theater.

In the very center of the square you’ll see a fountain constructed in 1884 to commemorate Jan von Werth, a successful army general who served in the Thirty Years’ War. Reliefs tell the story of von Werth and Griet, a woman who he had fallen in love with as a young man and who rejected him as he wasn’t from a wealthy family. Von Werth left Cologne and joined the army. When he returned years later, after marrying a noblewoman, he saw Griet, now an old woman, alone and full of regret about what could have been.

Look up at the top of the façade of house No. 24 and you’ll find a more lighthearted sculpture, the Kallendresser, a bronze depiction of a man with his trousers down. It was created in 1956 by sculptor Ewald Mataré, though its meaning is unknown. Some believe it to be a political statement directed at the adjacent City Hall.

Alter Markt is a short walk south of Cologne Cathedral. The closest U-Bahn stations are Heumarkt and Dom/Hauptbahnhof.

Top things to do in Alter Markt

Top Trending Hotels Near Alter Markt

URBAN LOFT Cologne
URBAN LOFT Cologne
4 out of 5
Eigelstein 41, Cologne
The price is £74 per night from 20 Dec to 20 Dec
This family-friendly Cologne hotel is located in the entertainment district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Musical Dome and Neumarkt. Cologne Zoo and Chocolate Museum ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (36 reviews)
"Excellent hotel especially considering the price. Walking distance from central station. Had small issue over bill which staff resolved without any hassle."

Reviewed on 1 Dec 2021

URBAN LOFT Cologne
Dorint Hotel am Heumarkt Köln
Dorint Hotel am Heumarkt Köln
5 out of 5
Pipinstrasse 1, Cologne, NW
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £93 per night from 19 Dec to 19 Dec
Located in Innenstadt, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Alter Markt and City Hall. Cologne Cathedral and Romano-Germanic ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (982 reviews)
"Excellent sound isolation - can't hear any outside noise, even though I'm pretty sensitive. Nice sheets cleaned with fragrance free detergent. Empty fridge for our use was also a plus. Bath products had unwanted chemicals, so we used our own. Hotel sent us two emails, but none mentioned that a COVID ..."

Reviewed on 30 Jul 2021

Dorint Hotel am Heumarkt Köln
Maritim Hotel Köln
Maritim Hotel Köln
4 out of 5
Heumarkt 20, Cologne, NW
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £88 per night from 19 Dec to 19 Dec
Located in Innenstadt, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St Maria im Kapitol, Chocolate Museum and Alter Markt. Cologne Cathedral and Neumarkt are also ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (953 reviews)
"Parking is too expensive."

Reviewed on 3 Oct 2021

Maritim Hotel Köln
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Alter Markt

Alter Markt

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Top Hotel Deals

Wyndham Köln
Wyndham Köln
4 out of 5
Breslauer Platz 2, Cologne, NW
The price is £60 per night from 19 Dec to 19 Dec
Wyndham Köln
Dorint Hotel am Heumarkt Köln
Dorint Hotel am Heumarkt Köln
5 out of 5
Pipinstrasse 1, Cologne, NW
The price is £93 per night from 19 Dec to 19 Dec
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Maritim Hotel Köln
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4 out of 5
Heumarkt 20, Cologne, NW
The price is £88 per night from 19 Dec to 19 Dec
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URBAN LOFT Cologne
URBAN LOFT Cologne
4 out of 5
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The price is £74 per night from 20 Dec to 20 Dec
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Hyatt Regency Cologne
Hyatt Regency Cologne
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The price is £128 per night from 12 Dec to 12 Dec
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Steigenberger Hotel Köln
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The price is £83 per night from 19 Dec to 19 Dec
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Cologne Marriott Hotel
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5 out of 5
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The price is £85 per night from 3 Jan to 3 Jan
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Savoy Hotel
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4 out of 5
Turiner Str. 9, Cologne
The price is £124 per night from 21 Dec to 21 Dec
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CityClass Hotel Residence am Dom
CityClass Hotel Residence am Dom
4 out of 5
Alter Markt 55, Cologne, NW
The price is £66 per night from 2 Jan to 2 Jan
CityClass Hotel Residence am Dom
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.