The best things to do in Cologne
Cologne, located in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany, is a city known for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and lively culture. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something new to discover in this charming German city. From exploring the impressive Cathedral to strolling along the picturesque Rhine River, here are some of the top things to do in Cologne.

Explore the Cologne Cathedral

The Cologne Cathedral is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city and is a must-see for any visitor. The cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe. Visitors can climb the 509 steps to the top of the south tower for a panoramic view of the city, or take a guided tour to learn about the history and art of the cathedral.

Visit the Roman-Germanic Museum

The Roman-Germanic Museum is a fascinating museum that explores the rich history of Cologne. The museum features a collection of Roman artifacts and art, including mosaics, frescoes, and sculptures that were discovered in the city. Visitors can also see a reconstructed Roman house and learn about the daily life of the people who lived in the Roman colony of Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium.

Stroll along the Rhine River

The Rhine River is a defining feature of Cologne and offers a beautiful setting for a leisurely stroll. Visitors can walk along the river and take in the sights and sounds of the city. There are also several boat tour companies that offer cruises along the Rhine, which provide a different perspective of the city and its landmarks.

Visit the Museum Ludwig

The Museum Ludwig is a modern art museum that features a collection of 20th-century art, including works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Max Ernst. The museum also has a collection of contemporary art and regularly hosts special exhibitions.

Shop at the Christmas Markets

Cologne is famous for its Christmas markets, which take place in the city center from late November to December. The markets feature a wide variety of handmade crafts, gifts, and traditional German food and drinks. Visitors can enjoy the festive atmosphere and the charming stalls that line the streets.

Take a day trip to Bonn

Bonn, the former capital of West Germany, is located just a short train ride from Cologne and is a great destination for a day trip. Visitors can explore the city’s rich history and culture, including the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven and the magnificent Beethoven Hall. There are also several museums and art galleries in Bonn, as well as lovely parks and gardens.

Try the local cuisine

Cologne is known for its hearty and delicious cuisine. Visitors can try traditional dishes such as Himmel und Äd (heaven and earth), a dish made from black pudding and mashed potatoes, or Rheinischer Sauerbraten, a marinated beef dish. There are also many excellent restaurants and cafes in the city that serve a variety of local and international cuisine.

In conclusion, Cologne has a lot to offer visitors, from its rich history and culture to its beautiful architecture and lively atmosphere. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s landmarks, experiencing its vibrant culture, or simply taking in the sights and sounds of the city, there’s something for everyone in Cologne.

Visit the Chocolate Museum

For chocolate lovers, a visit to the Chocolate Museum is a must. The museum tells the story of chocolate, from its origins in ancient Mesoamerica to its production and consumption today. Visitors can learn about the history of chocolate and its cultural significance, as well as see live demonstrations of chocolate-making and sample some delicious chocolate treats.

See the city from above at the Rheinpark

The Rheinpark is a beautiful park located on the banks of the Rhine River. The park offers stunning views of the city and the river, and is a great place to relax and take in the sights. Visitors can take a cable car to the top of the park for a panoramic view of the city or take a leisurely stroll along the river.

Visit the Wallraf-Richartz Museum

The Wallraf-Richartz Museum is a fine art museum that features a collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative art from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. The museum has works by famous artists such as Rubens, Rembrandt, and Monet. The museum is also home to the Museum Ludwig and the Museum Schnütgen, which are also worth visiting.

Experience the nightlife

Cologne is known for its vibrant nightlife and has a wide variety of bars, clubs, and pubs to choose from. Visitors can experience the city’s nightlife in the trendy Belgian Quarter, or in the historic Altstadt (Old Town). The city also has a thriving music scene, with live music venues and festivals throughout the year.

Take a walk in the Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden of the University of Cologne is a beautiful garden located in the city center. The garden is home to a wide variety of plants and flowers, as well as a Japanese garden, a cactus house, and a tropical greenhouse. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the garden, or attend one of the many events and exhibitions that take place throughout the year.

In summary, Cologne is a city that offers a wide variety of things to do and see. From exploring its historical landmarks and museums to experiencing its vibrant culture and nightlife, there is something for everyone in this charming German city. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, you’ll be sure to find something that interests you in Cologne.