Insel Hotel

Constantinstrasse 96, Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, 50679, Germany
Insel Hotel
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More about Cologne


Bayenturm, Köln / Cologne, Germany 2010Bayenturm, Köln / Cologne, Germany 2010

3. Deutzer Bridge from the café3. Deutzer Bridge from the café

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Forum Posts

Book in advance?

by Octave

On 16 August im travelling from Cologne to Hagen, near Dortmund. Do you think that i need to book the train in advance?


Re: Book in advance?

by christine.j

There are several trains per hour, both fast ones and local ones. There is no need at all to book now.

Re: Book in advance?

by MrMiyagi

no there's no need to book in advance. i would take the RE train (should be number 7)....leaves every hour on minute '21 until 10 or 11 at night. ticket should be ca. 10 euros...maybe 12 but not more.

if you need to know something about hagen just let me know. it's my hometown.

Travel Tips for Cologne

Visit the 'Dom', Cologne's...

by colonius1

Visit the 'Dom', Cologne's famous cathedral, go through the Roman - Germanic Museum near the cathedral, visit the 'Zeughaus' City Museum a short walk away, stroll through 'Hohe Strasse' with its many shops, then take 'Schildergasse' to the 'Neumarkt' where you can catch a streetcar and connection to any part of the city. The Cologne Carnival ('Mardi gras'), three crazy days of dancing, drinking, joking and revelry in public, similar to but much better than the 'Mardi gras' in New Orleans or the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro! Watch the 'Rose Monday Parade' and the many 'Neighborhood Parades'!

Talking about beer and pubs in Cologne:

Ask a German which city holds the largest number of breweries and you're not likely to get a correct answer. The German city with the most breweries is not Munich or Dortmund , but Cologne. Not only does it have its own style of beer, but it is also the only city to have a sort of 'apellation controlée'.

The style is called 'Kölsch' after the local dialect word for 'of Cologne'. According to the 'Kòlsch Convention', an agreement between the German government and the brewers, a beer may only be called 'Kòlsch' if it meets the following criteria:

It is brewed in the Cologne metropolitan area.

Is pale in colour

Is top-fermented

Is hop-accented

Is filtered

A relative of the 'Altbier' brewed in other parts of the Rhineland, it is a leftover from the pre-lager brewing tradition of North Germany. This century, under pressure from newer, bottom-fermenting beers, it has undergone a good deal of change. Most notable of these is the lightening of the color to pale yellow, giving it the appearance of a Pils. You could call it 'the ale that wants to be a lager' and I'm sure that many would classify it as the latter. There is little ale character to be found. It has a very soft, rounded character and can be quite mild in taste. It is always served in a very thin, cylindrical glass (called a 'Stange'), containing 0.2, 0.25 or 0.3 liters.

Here's a list of pubs and taverns in Cologne:


Am Hof
50667 Köln
Tel. 0221-258 0389

Opening hours:
Mon - Sun: 08:00-24:00
Number of draught beers: 1
Number of bottled beers: 1

Regular draught beers:
Früh Kòlsch (gravity)
Food: Snacks, meals.

In 1898 P.J. Früh moved his brewery into this building, which had previously housed the Central-Theater. It survived three fires during the war but careful reconstruction has left it a rare reminder of the pre-war city. It's other main claim to fame, is its very convenient location no more than a 5-minute walk from the main railway station. If you're changing trains in Cologne, it's quite possible to nip in there, have a couple of beers and be back on the platform in a half hour.

The brewery itself is no longer housed here. Given that Früh produces over 400,000 hektoliters of beer annually, it would be a bit difficult on a site of this size. The main room has a medieaval atmosphere and conjures up the image of a baronial dining hall. A little grand, but comfortable and unintimidating. Adjacent to the beer serving area is a distinctly more mundane taproom, but there is the entertainment of watching the stream of waiters loading their trays. The pub has recently been extended into the building next door and this new section seems more directed at diners.



Unter Taschenmacher 5
50668 Köln
Tel. 0221-257 8540

Opening hours:
Mon - Sun:10:00-00:30
Number of draught beers: 1
Number of bottled beers: 0

Regular draught beers:
Sion Kòlsch (gravity)
Food: Meals, snacks.

Sion was not as fortunate as Früh and ended the war as a pile of rubble. A new, larger brewpub was constructed on the same site, though brewing moved to another site several years ago. A brand new building may have made for a roomier interior, but the result is disappointingly unatmospheric. True, there are some nice pieces of leaded glasswork, but the simple, functional design of most of the fittings leave it bland. It's not the sort of place you nip into for a quiet half pint and only manage to drag yourself out of a week later. It has the usual design of such places, with a small taproom around the counter holding the barrels. The rest of the pub rambles back through the building in a very restauranty way.




Alter Markt 20-22
50667 Köln
Tel. 0221-257 7692

Opening hours:
Mon - Sun:11:00-01:00
Number of draught beers: 3
Number of bottled beers: 0

Regular draught beers:
Gaffel Kòlsch
Gaffel Kòlsch Light
Gaffel Kòlsch Frei
Food: Meals, snacks.

Another rare survivor of the war, it's just a shame that the 'Zur Bretzel' brewery which it used to house is no longer with us. The 16th century building is now the city-centre tap of the Gaffel brewery. The interior is richly decorated in old tiles, but the bar area is a bit too much like a standard modern German pub. Having a duff pop station on the radio behind the bar does little for the old world atmosphere. Further into the pub the parts for dining have been more sympathetically treated. Sadly, the beer is served on top pressure.


Heumarkt 62
50667 Köln

Opening hours:
Tue - Sun:11:00-01:00
Number of draught beers: 1
Number of bottled beers: 0

Regular draught beers:
Päffgen Kòlsch
Food: Meals, snacks.

Päffgen is one of the two remaining genuine pub breweries in Cologne, but not at this site. The brewing operation is on the Friesenstrasse, though that doesn't detract from this charming old pub, which is one of the cosiest in the city centre. Lots of wood, tiles and leaded glass - I don't think that I need to give an exact inventory of every piece of furniture here for you to get an idea of how it looks. The only reservation is that it is on the restaurant side of pub-restaurant, but that seems to be the case in most of the Cologne beer halls. On the other hand, the local dishes it sells are very good and reasonably priced.


Heumarkt 6
50667 Köln
Tel. 0221-210117

Opening hours:
Mon - Sat:10:00-24:00
Number of draught beers: 1
Number of bottled beers: 0

Regular draught beers:
Mühlen Kòlsch (gravity)
Food: Meals, snacks.

You may well curse the town planners as you make your way here, but your perseverance will be rewarded with probably the best pub in the Altstadt. The second of Cologne's real brewpubs, it has been lovingly rebuilt from its wartime ruins. It has a room either side of the entrance and has a very pubby feel because of the wood-panelled walls and pine-topped tables. There's a decent selection of local food, but the emphasis is more on drinking. There are monumental views of the city in various periods of its history hung on the walls. Friendly service and the waiter, having noticed that I spoke English with a friend of mine, quipped 'two beer or not two beer' when he brought our beers.

Harald Schmidt

by King_Golo

Harald Schmidt is a well-known German entertainer broadcasting a late night show twice a week. The show is produced in Studio 449 in Cologne. If you are in Germany for a longer time and have watched (and liked) his show on TV, why not get tickets and see it live?

Getting tickets is a little complicated:
- You have to be over 18 years of age.
- You have to order tickets via phone +49 1805 600 660 and then try to get a convenient date (the show is produced Wednesday and Thursday).
- You have to pay in advance (8 Euro per ticket plus 6,50 Euro fee once) and bring every piece of paper you received plus an ID to the show.
- You get the actual ticket.
- You can enjoy the show.
Note that tickets cannot be changed after having been purchased!

Despite the efforts to get the tickets, it is well worth it. The show me and my brother went to was really funny, especially as Harald Schmidt made a lot of jokes before the actual show which he referred to during the show (and which nobody watching him on TV understood...). Furthermore, it's also interesting to see how a TV show is produced and what the actual final product looks like.

Cologne/Bonn Airport

by kentishgirl

Cologne/Bonn airport is located approx 20 minutes south of the city, it is a small airport that carriers such as easyjet and German wings use to fly to the UK, along with various other airlines to various other destinations.

It is clean and very modern. We used Terminal 2 for our flights, there is a small tourist information desk here that where very helpful - providing maps and information about the city.

One thing that I did notice was that there was not the usual foreign exchange facilities offered here, on something like the third floor there was a bank and this is where we changed our money, there was also an ATM...this is where the tourist information desk directed us when I asked about foreign exchange....but beware that it is not open all of the it will help if you bring some Euro with you until you get into the city.

Brewery Päffgen is my favourite!!!

by prunila about Gebr. Päffgen, Obergärige Hausbrauerei, since 1883

Exellent brewery with the hoppiest koelsch (Cologne-style beer).
You can also eat some cologne specialities, ummm, very good, The local is still like originally and it has always a lot of ambience.
You will need a vocabulary to choose your dish because it is in German: Kalte Speisen,
About Price= 24 Euros per two person Full menú.
I like choucroutte

Museum of the City of Cologne

by SeafordM7

Koelniches Stadtmuseum was included in our two-hour double-decker tour of Cologne. We caught the 10 a.m. departure from next to the information office at Domplatz. The 20-minute stop at the nearby City Museum has made me want to go there again. Another VT writer recommends this museum, and I agree. I was interested in the "artifacts" of the 1930's and 1940's: 1933 ballots (larger paper than I imagined), various insigna, the card of a killed soldier and the letter his mother received, several make-shift food utensils of the post-bombing era.
If you notice the red and white colors on the other poster's photo, you should be able to easily spot this museum from downtown. It's not far.


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 Insel Hotel

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Insel Hotel Cologne

Address: Constantinstrasse 96, Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, 50679, Germany