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

On this information, you’ll discover all the knowledge it’s essential profit from your time visiting Cologne. From high points of interest to scrumptious native delicacies, we’ll present you the most effective of what this metropolis has to supply. So, let’s get began exploring the gorgeous metropolis of Cologne!

See additionally: Off The Beaten Track Tip: Belgian Quarter Cologne

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 satisfaction of their metropolis. Cologne, like most areas of Germany, has its very personal native dialect of German, although that is unlikely to hinder the common sight-seeing vacationer, as most of the landmarks of town have English-speaking guides and knowledge.

For these vacationers who communicate German, and want to follow 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 out there in English modes. Native transport methods, nevertheless, hardly ever cater for the English speaker, with solely the naked necessities of knowledge out there 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 stop minor problems as there’s a lack of English away from the centre of Cologne. Older individuals in Cologne are likely to have little or no data of English, while businessmen and girls, in addition to the German youth, all are likely to have a superb data of the language. Language isn’t a robust barrier, so this shouldn’t be an excessive amount of of a fear for the common 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.

If you happen to go to Cologne alone, you received’t keep alone for lengthy (any time of the 12 months). 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’ll be able to journey for twenty-four or 48 hours and obtain reductions of as much as 50% from quite a few companions. The KölnCard is obtainable for single individuals or teams.

– Free journey on buses and trains
– As much as 50% low cost at points of interest 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 procuring

Get the cardboard here.

Cologne Carnival (Fastelovend)

Karneval, the most important festivity in Cologne is the Winter carnival (or Fastelovend) in February. In line with 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 every year.

I’m all the time telling mates that the Cologne Carnival could be the most effective carnival on the earth. 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! Folks 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.

Visiting Cologne during Cologne Carnival
Visiting Cologne throughout Cologne Carnival

Cologne is legendary for its Kölsch (beer)

Cologne is thought for its love of beer, sometimes called Kölsch. This top-fermented beer is normally mild in shade and has a distinctively dry and crisp style, because of its native elements. Additionally it is served in a particular glass known 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 number 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’ll be able to, be part of this brewery tour.

The town additionally performs host to various 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 various craft beers. These embrace IPAs, wheat beers, and even bitter beers, which have gotten more and more well-liked. There are additionally various specialty bars and retailers all through.

See additionally: Traditional Beer and Food 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 an excellent metropolis stuffed with tradition and custom, and that is very true in terms of its meals. Conventional meals in Cologne is a mixture of influences from all around the world, giving it a singular and scrumptious taste.

Probably the most well-liked conventional dishes in Cologne is the Kölschbraten. 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 extremely popular dish for locals and guests alike.

One other conventional dish is the Halver Hahn, which is a rye bread roll stuffed with butter, cheese, and onions. It is a extremely popular snack in Cologne and is usually served in pubs or cafes.

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

For these on the lookout for extra hearty conventional dishes, there may be the “Himmel und Erde”, which is a dish made with mashed potatoes.

High sights in Cologne

Cologne is a phenomenal metropolis in Germany, stuffed with wonderful sights which are price seeing. Whether or not you’re exploring town for the primary time or revisiting your favourite spots, listed here are the highest sights in Cologne that you just received’t need to miss.

Take a look at these Cologne activities available on Get Your Guide:

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. (If you happen to don’t see it, you’ve taken the again exit.) If you’re in fine condition, take the 509 stairs to the highest of the south tower. It takes about an hour, so put on comfy footwear, nevertheless it’s well worth the hike.

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

  • Admission to the tower prices (common/lowered): €6/€3
  • Admission to the treasury prices (common/lowered): €6/€3, nevertheless, a mixed ticket granting you admission to the treasury and tower could be bought for (common/lowered): €9/€4.50.
Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral

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’ll be able to 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.

Kölner Philharmonie

The Kölner Philharmonie is a live performance corridor situated within the metropolis middle. It’s some of the famend live performance halls in Germany and hosts performances by a few of the world’s greatest orchestras, choirs, and soloists. The corridor is dwelling to the Gürzenich Orchestra and the Kölner Philharmoniker and has world-class acoustics that make it an ideal place to expertise dwell classical music.

Cologne Zoo

The Cologne Zoo is among the oldest zoos in Germany and is dwelling to over 8,000 animals. It’s an ideal place to spend a day with household and mates and is stuffed with fascinating reveals and points of interest. Highlights embrace the favored elephant and giraffe enclosure, the aquarium, and the tropical home.


The KölnTriangle is a contemporary complicated situated within the Cologne Commerce Honest. It homes museums, retailers, eating places, and places of work, in addition to a big remark deck with panoramic views of town. The KölnTriangle is a good spot to soak up the sights of town and get a glimpse of the encompassing space.

These are only a few of the highest sights in Cologne. From historic landmarks to fashionable points of interest, there’s something for everybody to discover. So be certain to take the time to discover town and absorb all of its magnificence.

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