HomeTravelA Information to Visiting Cologne, Germany

A Information to Visiting Cologne, Germany

Welcome to Cologne, the colourful and historic metropolis in Germany’s Rhineland area! Cologne is likely one of the oldest cities in Germany, with a wealthy historical past that stretches again over two thousand years. From its beautiful Gothic structure, to its vibrant nightlife, and its lovely riverfront, Cologne is an unforgettable vacation spot.

On this information, you’ll discover all the knowledge that you must profit from your time visiting Cologne. From high sights to scrumptious native delicacies, we’ll present you the perfect of what this metropolis has to supply.

So, let’s get began exploring the attractive metropolis of Cologne!

See additionally: Off The Crushed Monitor Tip: Belgian Quarter Cologne

Right here is an summary:

A snapshot of what to anticipate when visiting Cologne

The distinctive flavour to town of Cologne is usually put right down to the inhabitants, or Kölsche, who take an unlimited quantity of delight of their metropolis. Cologne, like most areas of Germany, has its very personal native dialect of German, although that is unlikely to hinder the typical sight-seeing vacationer, as most of the landmarks of town have English-speaking guides and data.

For these vacationers who communicate German, and want to apply it, the residents have a variety of endurance with these attending to grips with the grammatically tough language.

Colognians are very pleasant individuals; welcoming vacationers of all sorts and with all pursuits. Away from the landmarks, many employees of the German rail system (Deutsche Bahn) communicate English, in addition to ticket/timetable machines accessible in English modes. Native transport programs, nonetheless, hardly ever cater for the English speaker, with solely the naked necessities of knowledge accessible however this could solely concern these wishing to discover town away from the extra centralised sights.

These wishing to discover away from the central metropolis ought to plan their journey earlier than leaving, to forestall minor issues as there’s a lack of English away from the centre of Cologne. Older individuals in Cologne are inclined to have little or no data of English, while businessmen and ladies, in addition to the German youth, all are inclined to have a great data of the language. Language isn’t a powerful barrier, so this shouldn’t be an excessive amount of of a fear for the typical vacationer, simply method a pleasant native and use a smile in your face, your legs and arms. Cologne’s sturdy facet is its cultural life.

In case you go to Cologne alone, you received’t keep alone for lengthy (any time of the yr). You simply have to go to a pub and it received’t be lengthy, somebody will invite you for a beer!

Get the KölnCard

Uncover Cologne comfortably and cost-effectively with the KölnCard. With free entry to public transport you may journey for twenty-four or 48 hours and obtain reductions of as much as 50% from quite a few companions. The KölnCard is accessible for single individuals or teams.

– Free journey on buses and trains
– As much as 50% low cost at sights and museums
– As much as 50% low cost on guided excursions
– As much as 20% low cost at eating places
– As much as 15% low cost on purchasing

Get the cardboard right here.

Cologne Carnival (Fastelovend)

Karneval, the largest festivity in Cologne is the Winter carnival (or Fastelovend) in February. Based on the official Cologne tourism web site: “Its spotlight is the road carnival happening from Weiberfastnacht (the Thursday earlier than Ash Wednesday, historically the day on which ladies take management of town) to Karnevalsdienstag (Shrove Tuesday).

On Rosenmontag (Shrove Monday) a couple of and a half million individuals line Cologne’s streets to observe the parade with the mad triad – the prince, farmer, and virgin – yearly.”

Dates for Cologne Carnival: It begins on the Thursday earlier than the start of Lent annually.

I’m all the time telling associates that the Cologne Carnival is likely to be the perfect carnival on this planet. Okay, I do know it’s fairly one thing to say that, as there are lots of nice locations on the market with nice Carnival experiences. However Cologne Carnival is exclusive!

Everybody… actually…Everybody will get dressed up! Individuals run round as clowns, cowboys, Indians, self-made costumes & no matter you wish to be! The songs you’ll hear are all in “Kölsch”, the dialect and most of them are about carnival and in regards to the metropolis and its individuals.

The party continues after the parade as street carnival in Cologne, Germany.
The celebration continues after the parade as road carnival in Cologne, Germany.

Cologne is legendary for its Kölsch (beer)

Cologne is thought for its love of beer, also known as Kölsch. This top-fermented beer is normally mild in coloration and has a distinctively dry and crisp style, because of its native substances. It is usually served in a particular glass referred to as a Kölschstange, which is designed to maintain the beer chilly and carbonated.

Cologne has a wealthy brewing tradition, with dozens of native breweries producing Kölsch and different beers. A few of the hottest embrace Reissdorf Kölsch, Gaffel Kölsch, and Sion Kölsch. Many of those conventional beers are served in pubs and eating places all through town, usually accompanied by a plate of hearty native meals.

To style as many Kölsch as you may, be part of this brewery tour.

The town additionally performs host to numerous beer festivals all year long, together with the well-known Cologne Carnival that we simply talked about. Throughout this time, 1000’s of individuals come to town for its distinctive mixture of events and parades, in addition to its beer.

Along with conventional Kölsch, Cologne additionally produces numerous craft beers. These embrace IPAs, wheat beers, and even bitter beers, which have gotten more and more well-liked. There are additionally numerous specialty bars and outlets all through.

See additionally: Conventional Beer and Meals in Cologne

Früh - Famous Brewery and pub in Cologne, Germany.
Früh – Well-known Brewery and pub in Cologne. Depositphotos.com

Conventional meals in Cologne

Cologne is a superb metropolis filled with tradition and custom, and that is very true relating to its meals. Conventional meals in Cologne is a mixture of influences from everywhere in the world, giving it a singular and scrumptious taste.


Normally, it is very important comply with a nutritious diet. Nonetheless, there are occasions while you simply wish to indulge, like while you eat a cured and cooked pork knuckle. However if you wish to keep watch over your determine, you may minimize off the seen bacon and eat solely half of the shank. To make the dish extra balanced, it’s additionally a good suggestion to concentrate on the facet dishes like sauerkraut or mashed potatoes!

Cooked pork knuckle
Cooked pork knuckle

Halver Hahn

One other conventional dish is the Halver Hahn. In case you haven’t learn up on it, the title may mistakenly lead you to anticipate half a roast hen – however if you happen to’re then served solely a rye roll with medium-aged Gouda, onions, butter and mustard by the Köbes (the waiter on the brewery) you’ll be in for a shock! In Cologne, nonetheless, everybody is aware of that that is the legendary Halve Hahn.

It is a very fashionable snack in Cologne and is usually served in pubs or cafes.

Halver Hahn in Cologne, Germany.
Halver Hahn in Cologne, Germany.

Kölsche Kaviar (Cologne Caviar)

Just like “Halver Hahn”, the specialty “Kölsche Kaviar” may additionally result in confusion. However not like the extremely costly fish roe, this delicacy has completely nothing in frequent with it.

Kölsche caviar is a hearty portion of blood sausage, affectionately recognized in Cologne as “Flönz”. This delicacy is served with a crispy “Röggelchen,” onion rings, and a beneficiant sprint of mustard – generally accompanied by a crunchy pickled gherkin.

Rheinischer Sauerbraten (Soorbrode) – Rhenish Sauerbraten

German delicacies has many conventional dishes, together with Sauerbraten. In case you comply with the Rhenish recipe (recognized in Cologne as “Soorbrode”), it’s refined with sweeteners reminiscent of apple or turnip, and raisins are additionally added.

An necessary reality: The meat for sauerbraten is normally horse. Nonetheless, many Cologne breweries and eating places use beef as a substitute out of consideration for his or her visitors.

This hearty braised dish is classically served with potato dumplings and applesauce, however sometimes boiled potatoes are additionally served.

Rheinischer Sauerbraten.
Rheinischer Sauerbraten.

Himmel un Äd

For these in search of extra hearty conventional dishes, there’s the “Himmel und Erde” (Heaven and earth), which is a dish made with mashed potatoes. A scrumptious variation is served in Cologne: Crispy fried blood sausage and roasted onions add a hearty taste to the potato and apple mash. Have it with a glass of Kölsch beer.

The dish, which takes its title from the frequent time period “Erdapfel” for potatoes – apples from the bottom – and the fruit on the timber within the sky, is an actual deal with for the palate.

Miesmuscheln – Moschele

You need to know that mussels are normally served solely from September to February. The background might be historic, at a time when there have been no fridges and it was too heat to retailer them.

The mussels are cooked in a broth of white wine and contemporary root greens with bay leaf and pimento, they’re merely scrumptious!

Bowl with Miesmuscheln
Bowl with Miesmuscheln


One other well-liked dishes in Cologne is the Bratwurst. It is a sausage that’s served with both sauerkraut or mashed potatoes. It’s usually served with a facet of apple sauce and is a very fashionable dish for locals and guests alike.

Sausages, Pretzels and Sauerkraut

Cologne can be recognized for its quite a few beers and ales, which are sometimes served with conventional German meals reminiscent of sausages, pretzels, and sauerkraut.

Non-public 3-Hour Südstadt Meals Tour

Start your three-hour stroll within the coronary heart of Südstadt at Chlodwigplatz and immerse your self within the culinary secrets and techniques of the district earlier than having fun with your first tasting.

As you stroll, you’ll get a glimpse into the historical past of Südstadt. Cease for a world deal with and uncover cool thrift and curio outlets.

Then go to a conventional Cologne brewery and loosen up with a typical Cologne snack. Your information will share his insider data and inform you tales in regards to the Balchem Home, St. Severin’s and even the “fallacious” a part of the Rhine financial institution.

On the finish of this tour of Cologne’s culinary tradition, you’ll expertise much more unique delicacies from everywhere in the world, together with a candy specialty!

Sophia is a implausible information with a heat character and a wealth of anecdotes. She has an in depth data of the Severinviertel and conveys it in a sympathetic means. The tour affords a profitable mixture of culinary delights and historic background data – additionally extraordinarily thrilling for younger individuals!

Good to know: Throughout this tour you may be accompanied by an skilled information and go to a complete of 5 worldwide eating places to take pleasure in a style of every. Please observe that drinks aren’t included and have to be bought individually.

Suedstadt Food Tour in Cologne, Germany.
Suedstadt Meals Tour in Cologne, Germany.

High sights in Cologne

Cologne is a lovely metropolis in Germany, full of superb sights which are value seeing. Whether or not you’re exploring town for the primary time or revisiting your favourite spots, listed below are the highest sights in Cologne that you just received’t wish to miss.

Take a look at these Cologne actions accessible on Get Your Information:

The Cologne Cathedral, protected by the UNESCO

Protected by UNESCO, Cologne’s Dom is the primary sight you’ll discover when taking the primary exit from the central station. (In case you don’t see it, you’ve taken the again exit.)

In case you are in fine condition, take the 533 stairs to the highest of the south tower. It takes about 8-Quarter-hour to stand up and I might advocate to spend 45 – 60 minutes in whole, so put on comfy sneakers, but it surely’s definitely worth the hike. A panoramic view of town awaits you as you climb to the highest of Cologne Cathedral. After about 53 meters you’ll cross the Petersglocke – also referred to as the Cathedral Bell 1 and affectionately referred to as “Decker Pitter” by the locals. Since 1923, this bell has been the acoustic embodiment of the cathedral’s deep C-note.

Cologne Cathedral is a spot of superlatives. With a top of 157 meters and an space of 10,000 sq. meters, it’s the third largest Gothic cathedral on this planet.

Round 20,000 individuals go to it on daily basis and an unbelievable 300,000 tons of stone had been used!

Inside Cologne Cathedral there are lots of highlights to find that may encourage you. An absolute spotlight is the Shrine of the Three Kings, which is alleged to comprise the “relics of the Magi” – at the least if you wish to consider it. Additionally spectacular is the 4th-century St. Peter’s Rod, which you’ll be able to admire within the cathedral’s underground treasury, together with many different treasures reminiscent of reliquaries, liturgical utensils, and manuscripts.

One other fascinating expertise are the stained glass home windows of the cathedral: they convey an unbelievable energy of coloration to the inside of the constructing! With over 10,000 sq. meters of home windows, this sacred constructing really has extra stained glass than every other church on this planet – a really magical place!

The price of sustaining the cathedral is round 30,000 Euros per day – a big sum, however nicely justified for such a formidable sight.

The worth of the cathedral can hardly be expressed in financial phrases: it’s priceless and has subsequently been valued in accounting phrases at a symbolic worth of simply 27 Euros!

To be able to keep this distinctive place, about 100 individuals work on the constructing on daily basis – they’re a part of the so-called “cathedral development crew”.

It isn’t for nothing that the cathedral is also known as Germany’s UNESCO World Heritage Website; its significance extends far past its borders.

Touring the Cathedral is forbidden throughout Mass. Entry into the cathedral is free however you may be requested for a donation.

  • Admission to the tower prices (common/diminished): €6/€3 (Household card: €12)
  • Admission to the treasury prices (common/diminished): €6/€3,
  • A mixed ticket granting you admission to the treasury and tower might be bought for (common/diminished): €9/€4.50. (Household combi card: €18)
  • Entrance to climb the Cologne cathedral: Take a look at the majestic important portal of the Cathedral and stroll in the direction of Roncalliplatz, which is to the fitting of the Cathedral while you have a look at it from the entrance. After a couple of meters you’ll uncover a staircase that goes down subsequent to the South Tower and is marked “Dom-Turm / Parkhaus / Toiletten”. There you will see as nicely the doorway to the tower on the foot of the steps.
Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral: VR-Strolling Tour

Expertise a breathtaking journey that takes you from the medieval planning of the development to the current day. Uncover the story behind the development of the cathedral and be taught thrilling information in regards to the constructing course of on this charming tour.

Due to a digital actuality headset, you’ll be immersed within the essential moments of development! Greater than only a historical past lesson, it’s an journey by centuries of awe-inspiring insights.

The tour will cowl a distance of 1.5 km, so put on comfy sneakers. Notice, the tour doesn’t go contained in the cathedral, however solely across the exterior.

Value: €23
Max group dimension: 15
Free cancelation till 24 hours earlier than your go to.
Skip the road.

Römisch-Germanisches Museum

The Römisch-Germanisches Museum is a museum devoted to archaeology and the historical past of Cologne. It’s one of many oldest museums in Germany and was based in 1912.

Inside, you may discover collections of stone monuments, mosaics, and cash from the Roman interval. There are additionally sections devoted to medieval and fashionable artwork, together with a sculpture park.

The museum affords the chance to marvel on the archaeological heritage from the Paleolithic Age to the early Center Ages. The gathering holdings are distinctive and embrace wealthy finds from the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages, in addition to top-class goldsmith’s work from the Migration Interval.

As well as, the museum affords you insights into the artwork and tradition of Roman and early medieval cities and areas.

Significantly spectacular is the world’s largest assortment of Roman glass vessels, which is taken into account probably the most treasured treasure of the museum.

Value: €6 (€3 diminished)

Sculpture in the Römisch-Germanisches Museum in Cologne, Germany.
Sculpture within the Römisch-Germanisches Museum in Cologne, Germany.

Kölner Philharmonie

Within the instant neighborhood of Cologne Cathedral, and with that proper within the metropolis heart, you’ll discover the Live performance Corridor “Kölner Philharmonie“.

It’s one of the vital famend live performance halls in Germany and it affords a diversified program of the nice works of the symphonic and chamber music repertoire, in addition to jazz, people and pop occasions.

There’s a live performance on daily basis of the yr, and infrequently a number of on Sundays and holidays. The spectacular corridor is designed as an amphitheater, so that each seat has a wonderful view of the stage.

The corridor can be house to the Gürzenich Orchestra and the Kölner Philharmoniker and its world-class acoustics makes it an important place to expertise stay classical music.

Enjoyable reality

It’s not allowed to stroll on the plaza above the roof of the Philharmonie throughout live shows, as this may disturb the nice acoustics. Skateboarding and bicycling are additionally prohibited to keep away from disturbing footsteps.

Insider tip

In case you are in Cologne on a Thursday and if you wish to escape the hustle and bustle of town at 12 midday… Then you need to undoubtedly examine the Philharmonic Corridor to see if the “Philharmonic Lunch” is happening there. Notice: Lunch is just not a meal, it’s simply lunchtime. Throughout this time, you might have the chance to hearken to an orchestra rehearsal for half-hour freed from cost and get an genuine impression of how the members put together. An actual insider’s tip for anybody – particularly since admission is free! Right here

Inside of the Philharmonica in Cologne, Germany.
Within the Philharmonica in Cologne, Germany.

Previous City Cologne

Cologne’s historic Previous City is a well-liked vacationer vacation spot that tends to keep away from locals. Nonetheless, a go to to town is value a detour into the cobblestone streets and previous the historic homes and quite a few breweries.

Nonetheless, it’s finest to keep away from a weekend go to, because the outdated city is then usually overrun by bachelor events.

To get a great impression of Cologne’s outdated city, we advocate a relaxed stroll by the alleys between Heumarkt and Alter Markt and alongside the Rhine promenade.

Particularly attention-grabbing: Virtually 90% of Cologne’s outdated city was destroyed throughout World Battle II after which principally rebuilt within the outdated model – so many buildings aren’t as outdated as they give the impression of being!

Within the outdated city you’ll additionally discover the historic city corridor. You may be amazed by it, because it’s one of the vital magnificent Renaissance buildings in all of Germany. The city corridor tower is especially noteworthy: its loving particulars had been faithfully rebuilt after the Second World Battle and provides it a singular magnificence.

Oldtown Cologne, Germany.
Oldtown Cologne, Germany.

Cologne Zoo

The Cologne Zoo is likely one of the oldest zoos in Germany and is house to over 8,000 animals. It’s an important place to spend a day with household and associates and is full of fascinating reveals and sights.

The elephant park is undoubtedly one of many important sights at Cologne Zoo and can be the most important north of the Alps.

One other spotlight is the journey home Hippodom, which homes an in depth African river panorama – Nile crocodiles, Sitatunga antelopes and hippos, amongst others, stay right here in a formidable setting.

Additionally very fashionable with guests is the Rainforest Home, which options endangered animals and crops from a pure paradise in Southeast Asia.

The jungle home for the nice apes, then again, affords visitors the chance to look at primates up shut with out disturbing them – a showcase venture of the Cologne Zoo for the entire of Europe!

For youngsters, the Clemenshof is a lovingly designed reproduction of a typical small farm with a petting zoo for uncommon native species.

And if you happen to like fish or reptile exhibits, you may see numerous species within the aquarium on three flooring!

Value: € 23
Opening hours:
09:00 – 18:00
Deal with: Riehler Straße 173, 50735 Cologne

Crocodile in the Zoo in Cologne, Germany.
Crocodile within the Zoo in Cologne, Germany.


It’s a must to cross the river rhine to get right here. And it’s value taking this quick stroll, as you’ll get the perfect views of the outdated city, the cathedral and town from this facet of the river.

The KölnTriangle is a contemporary advanced situated near the Cologne Commerce Truthful. It homes museums, outlets, eating places, and workplaces, in addition to a big commentary deck with panoramic views of town.

The KölnTriangle is a good spot to absorb the sights of town and get a glimpse of the encircling space.

KölnTriangle and the Hyatt Hotel in Cologne, Germany.
KölnTriangle and the Hyatt Resort in Cologne, Germany.

Chocolate Museum in Cologne

The chocolate museum in Cologne is an absolute spotlight that you shouldn’t miss – regardless of if large or small!

Throughout the thrilling tour you’ll find out how uncooked cocoa is changed into a scrumptious praline. The journey begins within the tropical home and takes you from the harvest to the transport to the manufacturing unit.

Scrumptious tastings allow you to dive even deeper into the world of chocolate. Absolutely the spotlight of the museum, nonetheless, is undoubtedly the three-meter-high fountain with 200 kilograms of flowing chocolate, which you might be after all additionally allowed to style. Within the museum’s café, you may take pleasure in numerous chocolate specialties whereas having fun with a view of the Rhine.

Your newly acquired data in regards to the historical past and manufacturing of chocolate will make you respect the tip product rather more – that is what makes enjoyment actually enjoyable!

The Chocolate Museum’s sweet store affords a wide range of treats to take house. Contemporary chocolate in a wide range of flavors and do-it-yourself sweets with a wide range of scrumptious fillings can be found. In case you’re a fan of hand-poured collectible figurines constituted of the best chocolate, you’ll discover all kinds of artfully designed creations.

You probably have time, create your personal chocolate variation and choose it up later. And if you happen to’re a fan of colourful cash, you’ll discover your favourite amongst these handmade delicacies!

Prices: Admission to the museum prices solely €14.50 for adults and €7.5 for youngsters below the age of sixteen; in the meantime, little guests below the age of six may even take pleasure in themselves free of charge!

Skip the road with this ticket!

What awaits you within the museum is actually implausible. The data texts are written in each German and English and the employees welcomes you with nice courtesy and friendliness. It looks like a journey by time as you stroll among the many sweets. And if you happen to get hungry, the restaurant affords numerous scrumptious muffins to select from.

Chocolate fountain at the Chocolate Museum in Cologne, Germany.
Chocolate fountain on the Chocolate Museum in Cologne, Germany.


Simply subsequent to the Chocolate Museum you’ll have the Rheinauhafen.

Rheinauhafen, a former port facility in Cologne’s Südstadt district, has lengthy since grow to be a serious city improvement venture. The city quarter is fashionable and but characterised by historic buildings, leading to an interesting combine.

The outdated port workplace and different remnants of the economic previous have been transformed and now function workplace and repair buildings. Cafes, bars, and eating places additionally provide the chance for a calming stroll.

Along with the picturesque marina, the three placing crane homes are a particular spotlight of the Rheinauhafen. With a top of just about 60 meters, they not solely home workplaces, but in addition luxurious condominiums – a really distinctive residing idea!

Crane houses in Cologne, Germany.
Crane homes in Cologne, Germany.

Streetart Bike Tour Cologne

Embark on a road artwork bike tour that gives you a brand new perspective on Cologne!

Off the overwhelmed observe, you’ll discover the Belgian Quarter and Ehrenfeld with a most of 15 like-minded individuals and an area information. Dive into the world of road galleries and expertise town’s vibrant artistic scene up shut!

Throughout your tour, your English-speaking information will inform you all the pieces that you must learn about this fascinating artwork kind, in addition to background info on the person artists. This gives you a beneficial perception into how Cologne has advanced over time into a colourful city jungle.

Every of our excursions is individually designed – as a result of no different metropolis tradition can match the colourful aptitude of this place. So seize your bike and let’s dive into the city allure of Cologne’s numerous road artwork scene!

Value: €37
Length: 3 hours
Free cancelation as much as 24 hours earlier than

The tour contains:

  • Use of metropolis bikes on tour
  • Helmets (accessible on request)
  • English talking information
  • Disposable rain ponchos (in case of dangerous climate)
Street art in Cologne, Germany.
Avenue artwork in Cologne, Germany.

These are only a few of the highest sights in Cologne. From historic landmarks to fashionable sights, there’s something for everybody to discover.

So be certain to take the time to discover town and absorb all of its magnificence.

  • Travel Dudes

    I am certain you’ve got had comparable experiences I had while touring. You are in a sure place and a fellow traveler, or an area, tip you off on a little-known seaside, bar or lodging. Nice journey ideas from different vacationers or locals all the time add one thing particular to our travels. That was the inspiration for Journey Dudes.



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