The local saying says that "Siberia starts on the other side, in Deutz". Cologne's historic center developed on the left side of the Rhine and it wasn't untill 1888 that the separate municipality of Deutz was incorporated into Cologne.
Rhine's right bank is still referred as the "Schäl Sick", or the Wrong side.
Fondest memory: The wrong side has a modern skyline dominated by the Hyatt hotel and the coppery Lufthansa building built right on the Rhine. Famous Cologne Fair is also situated here, as well as the modern KölnArena, Europe's largest indoor sports venue.
The easiest way to cross into the "Siberia" is across the Hohenzollernbrucke - don't miss the walk between the Hohenzollern and the Deutzer bridge on the Wrong side, enabling magnificent views of Cologne's Right side, dominated by the Cathedral.
Rhine is an impressive river - with its 1,320 kilometres it is one of the longest European rivers. It was always a natural limit (Rhine formed most of the northern frontier of the Roman Empire) but also an important waterway for the goods and trade.
After Bonn (a bit upstream from Cologne) the Rhine leaves the Rhine Gorge, known for its many castles and vineyards and when it reaches Cologne it touches the large industrial area of Ruhr where its strong economic potentials come first.
Cologne was always an important crossing over the Rhine, and it is no suprise that it embraces its river with impressive river banks, quays and walkways ideal for walking and watching the city skyline.
Favorite thing: Don't forget to cross at least one bridge in the city centre for great views of the city centre riverbanks from the opposite side. In fact, there are also some fun places to explore here, not just the huge trade fair. The train bridge has a pedestrian section to walk across which is a very rewarding walk.
Favorite thing: The Rhine waterfront makes quite a scenic view, especially from the nearby bridge. The river front is busy, with people, grassland, river boats and of course the might of the Cathedral behind.
Favorite thing: It's amazing just how big some of the barges are that use the Rhine. It must be a great boon to be able to keep that amount of traffic off the roads!
Standing by the river Rhine on a beautiful summer day was very nourishing after a long day of train travel!
Fondest memory: In the distance you can almost make out the Cathedral!