A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
The Christmas season is here! Since we are about to enjoy Christmas in Europe, you cannot miss out the traditional Christmas markets, especially the ones in our neighboring country, Germany. If you are thinking of doing a day trip, Dusseldorf or Cologne would be great options as they are both quite close to Leiden. I decided to go to Dusseldorf because the train ticket to go there was much cheaper. An advice for next year is be sure to check the promotion of NS because if you plan early enough you may be able to pay as little as 19 EUR for a roundtrip ticket to Germany!
I left Leiden at 7:22 and stayed in Dusseldorf until 18:14, which I figured was more than enough to explore the city as well as visit the Christmas markets. As the markets will look more beautiful at night, you can just slowly stroll through the shopping streets in Dusseldorf to kill time. My trip turned out to be a little less about the Christmas markets 😛 I found out that there is a “Japan town” in Dusseldorf so I was even more eager to check out the Japanese delicacies that they have to offer. And I was not disappointed at all. My friend and I had a sumptuous meal in a very popular Japanese ramen restaurant called Takumi. The ramen was very delicious and authentic, not to mention the reasonable price as well! Do you know that eating out in Germany is much cheaper than in the Netherlands? So jealous huh 🙁
Then I was more than happy to come across the Muji store in Dusseldorf. It’s like the Japanese Hema 😛
Shopping made time fly very fast. As the sun was down we turned towards the Christmas markets which spread around the city center. They are all identical though. We tried to play locals by drinking mulled wine and sausages 😛
The markets look like a lot of fun and very Christmas-y, but somehow it didn’t feel festive enough for me. I probably must have gotten so used to the fancy decorations and illuminations during the commercialized Christmas in Asia 😛 But all in all, it was indeed a successful day trip. We both got back to Leiden with very happy stomaches 😛