In Cologne there are not four, but five seasons. Carnival celebrations form one of them. And that already says something about this city on the Rhine. Our city tour offers you many more insights.
Let's keep it simple: people love to celebrate and laugh in this North Rhine-Westphalian city. The Rhenish folk festival, the carnival, is one of the most famous of all and anyone who is a true Cologne resident joins in the celebrations. Indeed, the Cathedral is also inseparably linked with the city. And that's where you'll visit on your first day in Cologne. It is centrally located in Cologne's Old Town and is one of the world's largest cathedrals in the Gothic architectural style. The cathedral shapes the Cologne skyline like no other building. The stairway leading from the cathedral down to the station and the Domplatte is a popular meeting place. Those who climb the 533 steps to the viewing platform from a height of 97 metres are rewarded with a unique view over the whole of Cologne. So: Up we go.
The Wonder of Cologne: Pop Art
Once back on the ground floor, you can make your way to the Museum Ludwig, which is also located in the Old Town district. It is one of the few museums in Germany that features Pop Art with works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, for example. The extensive collection also includes works by Pablo Picasso and the Russian avant-garde artists. If you're hungry, pop into the museum café for lunch.
Shopping in Cologne
And in the afternoon? Shopping is on the agenda: Cologne's number one shopping street is Schildergasse, but Hohe Strasse near the cathedral is also a great place to shop. The Mittelstrasse is regarded as an upmarket district, where numerous luxury brands can be found. On the other hand, Ehrenstrasse is a trendy area. The Belgian Quarter is also worth a detour, as here you can discover many pretty boutiques, cafés and interior decoration and book shops. Those who choose to visit here, usually also stick around for dinner.
Experience Cologne: right along the Rhine
Day 2 starts sweetly: with a visit to the Chocolate Museum. Then it's off to discover the Rhine. We recommend booking a harbour tour - it's both informative and enjoyable. Those who prefer to go for a walk, in summer it is very pretty in Cologne-Rodenkirchen and on the shores of the Heinrich-Lübke-Ufer. Here you get that beach feeling. Also lovely: the Rheinboulevard in Deutz. The Agnesviertel (Agnes quarter), which is well worth seeing, is also located directly on the Rhine. This is where you can spend an enjoyable afternoon. The German writer Heinrich Böll also once lived here. Today, however, the residential district is captivating with its exciting mix of unpretentious working-class neighbourhoods and historical monuments. Here you will find galleries, cafés, designer and book shops as well as the eponymous Agnes Church. The Rhine cable car is also close to this area: not only do the cable gondolas cross the river, they also cross the busy Rhine bridge. All aboard!
And if you still have some stamina, which you certainly will, Cologne's breweries and Kölsch beer will be waiting for you in the evening. You can book a brewery tour. Or simply relax in the restaurant of your choice in the Old Town. You can also sample typical Cologne specialities: Rhineland sauerbraten, knuckle of pork, "Himmel un Äd" or "Halver Hahn". Either way, here's where we bid you goodbye and wish you well.