A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Last week, I went for a short getaway to Dusseldorf. It all started with a plan with some of my friends to visit Dusseldorf’s Christmas Market because one of them heard about a 20 euro round-trip ticket from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to Dusseldorf. At first there were only 5 people who were interested, but when we took off to Dusseldorf, there were 11 people of us.
It took around 2.30 hours for us to reach Dusseldorf from Amsterdam, and in Dusseldorf, the bus stopped at a bus parking lot next to the Rhine. The bus driver said that it would take around 5 minutes to reach the Christmas Market location in Altstadt from the parking lot.
Once we arrived at the Christmas Market, we decided to go with our own groups to make the time more useful. After all, we only had three to four hours of exploring before heading back to Amsterdam. I decided to venture around the city with Tobias and to explore more Christmas Markets in town (there were 7 of them, but we only managed to get to 3 markets).
In my opinion, Dusseldorf’s Christmas Market was very beautiful. It was the place where everyone gathered, had fun, ate, drank, and be merry. There were tons of food stalls scattered around the markets, most of them sold German snacks and delicacies such as currywurst (curry sausage), brotwurst (sausage with bread), Gebratene pilze (sauteed mushrooms), Reibekuche (grated potato fritter with apple sauce), as well as brezel (pretzel) with various flavours and heisse maronen (sweet roasted peanuts). Too bad most of them were sold in a relatively expensive price. However, the highlight of the day was the gluhwein! It was my first time having gluhwein ever in my life and I was so thrilled. Fortunately, I loved the taste. Apart from gluhwein, they also sold hot chocolate with amaretto or with rum.
Not only wandering around the markets, I also had the chance to explore the city centre. Apart from wandering in the super beautiful Altstadt, Tobias and I also went to Koenigsallee. It was a very broad street divided by a river, and it housed several big fashion brands. From Koenigsallee, we walked further to Martin Luther Platz where we found a very big church named Johaneskirche Stadtkirche Dusseldorf.
As what winter should be, the days got darker pretty soon. Around 5 pm it was nearly sundown, so Tobias and I went back to the Altstadt to see the Christmas lights. Indeed, it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen! I felt like in a Hollywood movie with the Christmas lights and Christmas market, even though I was not in the United States. Somehow, the impression of white Christmas and Christmas lights always become the ideal impression of Christmas for me, and it was a very wonderful feeling to experience it while studying in Europe.
Christmas is such a wonderful time in Europe. I cannot wait for the winter break to start and for me to start exploring more Christmas markets!