A guide to visiting Cologne, Germany

Welcome to Cologne, the vibrant, historic city in Germany’s Rhineland region! Cologne is one of the oldest cities in the world Germany, with a rich history dating back more than two thousand years. From its stunning Gothic architecture, to its vibrant nightlife, and beautiful riverfront, Cologne is an unforgettable destination.

In this guide you will find all the information you need to make the most of your time in Cologne. From top attractions to delicious local cuisine, we’ll show you the best this city has to offer. So, let’s start exploring the beautiful city of Cologne!

See also: Off The Beaten Track tip: Belgian Quarter Cologne

A snapshot of what to expect when visiting Cologne

The distinct flavor of Cologne is often given to the residents, or Kölsche, who take a great deal of pride in their city. Cologne, like most regions of Germany, has its own local dialect of the German language, although this is unlikely to hinder the average sight-seeing tourist, as many of the city’s attractions have English-speaking guides and information.

For those tourists who speak German and want to practice it, the natives have a lot of patience with those dealing with the grammatically difficult language.

Colonists are very friendly people. Welcoming all kinds of tourists with all interests. Away from the sights, many of the German railway system (Deutsche Bahn) workers speak English, plus the ticket/timetable machines are available in English modes. However, local transport systems rarely cater to English speakers, with only the basics available, but this should only concern those who want to explore the city away from the more central sights.

Those who want to explore away from the city center should plan their trip before leaving, to prevent minor complications as there is a shortage of English far from Cologne city centre. Older people in Cologne tend to have little or no knowledge of English, while business men and women, as well as young Germans, tend to have a good knowledge of English. Language is rarely a strong barrier, so this shouldn’t be much of a concern for the average tourist, just approach a friendly native and use a smile on your face, arms and legs. Cologne’s strong side is its cultural life.

If you visit Cologne on your own, you won’t be alone for long (at any time of the year). You just have to visit the pub and it won’t be long, someone will invite you for a beer!

Get a KölnCard

Discover Cologne comfortably and cost-effectively with the KölnCard. With free access to public transport, you can travel for 24 or 48 hours and get discounts of up to 50% from many partners. The KölnCard is available for individuals or groups.

Free travel on buses and trains
– Up to 50% discount in tourist attractions and museums
– Up to 50% discount on guided tours
– Up to 20% discount in restaurants
– Up to 15% off shopping

Get the card here.

Cologne Carnival (Vastelofend)

CarnivalThe biggest celebration in Cologne is the Winter Carnival (or Fastelovend) in February. According to the official Cologne Tourism website: “The highlight is the street carnival that takes place from Weiberfastnacht (the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, traditionally the day women rule the city) to Karnevalsdienstag (Shrove Tuesday).

On Rosenmontag (Shrove Monday) more than one and a half million people line the streets of Cologne to see the parade with the mad trinity – the Prince, the Farmer and the Maiden – every year.

Dates for the Cologne CarnivalIt begins on the Thursday before the start of Lent each year.

I always tell my friends that Cologne Carnival might be the best carnival in the world. Well, I know it’s OK to say that, as there are so many great places that offer amazing Carnival experiences. But the Cologne Carnival is unique!

Everyone… really… everyone is dressed up! People are running clowns, cowboys, Indians, self-made costumes, whatever you want them to be! The songs you will hear are all in kölsch, dialect and mostly about carnival, the city and its inhabitants.

Visit Cologne during the Cologne Carnival
Visit Cologne during the Cologne Carnival

Cologne is famous for its Kölsch (beer).

Known for its love of beer, Cologne is often referred to as Kölsch. This fermented beer is usually light in color and has a distinctively dry and crunchy taste, thanks to its local ingredients. It is also served in a special mug called a Kölschstange, which is designed to keep the beer cold and carbonated.

Cologne has a rich brewing culture, with dozens of local breweries producing Kölsch and other beers. Some of the most famous are Reissdorf Kölsch, Gaffel Kölsch, and Sion Kölsch. Many of these traditional ales are served in pubs and restaurants throughout the city, often accompanied by a plate of local delicacies.

To taste as many Kölsch as possible, join this one Brewery tour.

The city also hosts a number of beer festivals throughout the year, including the famous Cologne Carnival we just mentioned. During this time, thousands of people come to the city for its unique mix of parties and parades, as well as beer.

In addition to traditional Kölsch, Cologne also produces a number of craft beers. These include vegan beers, wheat beers, and even sour beers, which are becoming increasingly popular. There are also a number of pubs and specialty shops throughout.

See also: Traditional beer and food in Cologne

Früh - Famous brewery and pub in Cologne, Germany.
Frouh – Cologne’s famous brewery and pub. Depositphotos.com

Traditional meals in Cologne

Cologne is a wonderful city full of culture and tradition, and this is especially true when it comes to its food. Cologne’s traditional food is a mixture of influences from all over the world, giving it a unique and delicious flavour.

Kölschbraten is one of the most popular traditional dishes in Cologne. This is a sausage that is served with sauerkraut or mashed potatoes. It is often served with a side of apple sauce and is a very popular dish for locals and visitors alike.

Another traditional dish Halver HahnIt is a rye bread roll stuffed with butter, cheese and onions. This is a very popular snack in Cologne and is often served in bars or cafés.

Cologne is also known for its many beers and beers, which are often served with traditional German foods such as Sausages, pretzels and sauerkraut.

For those looking for a more traditional delicacy, there is “Himmel und Erde”, a dish made with mashed potatoes..

The most important sights in Cologne

Cologne is a beautiful city in Germany, full of amazing sights to see. Whether you’re exploring the city for the first time or revisiting your favourites, here are the top sights in Cologne that you won’t want to miss.

Check out these Cologne activities are available on Get Your Guide:

Cologne Cathedral protected by UNESCO

Dom Cologne, protected by UNESCO, is the first glimpse you’ll notice at the main exit from Central Station. (If you didn’t see it, you took the back exit.) If you’re in good shape, walk up the 509 stairs to the top of the south tower. It takes about an hour, so wear comfortable shoes, but it’s worth the hike.

It is forbidden to walk around the cathedral during Mass. Entrance to the cathedral is free but you will be asked for a donation.

  • Entrance costs to the tower (normal / reduced): 6 € / 3 €
  • Admission to the treasury costs (normal / reduced): €6 / €3, however, a combined ticket that gives you entry to the treasury and tower can be purchased for (normal / reduced): €9 / €4.50.
Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral

Römisch-Germanisches Museum

The Römisch-Germanisches Museum is a museum dedicated to the archeology and history of Cologne. It is one of the oldest museums in Germany and was founded in 1912. Inside, you can explore collections of stone monuments, mosaics, and coins from the Roman era. There are also sections dedicated to medieval and modern art, including a sculpture garden.

Kohlner Philharmonic

The Kölner Philharmonie is a concert hall located in the city centre. It is one of the most famous concert halls in Germany and hosts performances by some of the world’s best orchestras, choirs and soloists. The hall is home to the Gürzenich Orchestra and Kölner Philharmoniker and has world-class acoustics that make it a great place to experience live classical music.

Cologne Zoo

Cologne Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in Germany and is home to more than 8,000 animals. It’s a great place to spend a day with family and friends and it’s full of great exhibits and attractions. Highlights include the popular elephant and giraffe enclosure, aquarium, and tropical house.


KölnTriangle is a modern complex located in the Cologne Trade Fair. It houses museums, shops, restaurants, and offices, as well as a large observation deck with panoramic views of the city. The KölnTriangle is a great place to take in the sights of the city and look out over the surrounding area.

These are just a few of the best sights in Cologne. From historical monuments to modern attractions, there is something for everyone to explore. So be sure to take the time to explore the city and enjoy all its beauty.

Source link

Related Posts