Gaffel-Haus: a stand up pub
This is a bustling old pub which although it has tables seems a place more appropriate to standing and having a beer. There generally seems to be a lot of people doing it. My first trip to Cologne found my friend and I smack dab in what seemed a mad happy hour albeit the price reduction. D and I found it a bit more quiet this time around and was also unhappy to see their beer now served from a regular draft tap rather than the traditional wood gravity ones most pubs still employ. The beer is till a hoppy dry one but now seems quite fizzy due to the dispense method.
Dress Code: It was full of suits the first time I was there but it was probably the after work crowd. This trip it was decidedly more casual.
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
Feynsinn: Lovin' Whisky
A very laid back bar (+ restaurant) just on the outskirts of the main Hohenzoller / Zuelpicherstrasse nightlife-circuit. Nice atmosphere, mostly 20-45, educated sort of crowd, though anything goes really. Kitchen serves out a limited number of very good meals as well. Friendly Staff. Background music (mainly sixties / old soul / altenative / jazzy type) will actually allow you to indulge in conversation. What's more: they serve over different 50 single malt's. Hooray for that!
Apparently they do good breakfast too.
Dress Code: Anything goes
Millions of breweries: "Be Roman in Rome"
Brewery is of course the most popular nightlife spot in Cologne. There are great number of breweries all over the old core of the town and yet, it is almost impossible to get the free table on Fridays or Saturdays evenings. In those most popular you have to book it in advance.
Besides all kind of beers, domestic and imported, here you can have very good and inexpensive food. This are, of course, traditional beer dishes simple to make, very tasty and abundant in portions.
Cologne is one of the media capitals in Germany. For this reason, nightlife is great here, plenty of stylish (in the German sense of the word, but also in the international sense) people and trendy places.
SUMMERJAM: Dancehall Nights: SUMMERJAM: Dancehall Nights
The concerts are during the day, but Summerjam means 24h Reggae Party.
There are many Sound Systems everywhere where you can enjoy dancehall music all the night until morning.
There is a good sound system in front of the first bridge, before going inside the island, but the best one is the Sir Benini Miles & Sound Quaque Dancehall Arena, placed inside the islandm, behind the Red Stage.
DJ´s, Mc´s, good riddims, and people going crazy.
Stiefelknecht / Chains / Gloria / Pop Sofa Club: Bermuda Triangle
The old dichotomy remains, between the old city, where between Heumarkt and Mühlenbach the fetish and bear scene meet, and the colorful mixed scene folk in the Bermuda Traingle in the inner city exist. Still, both parts of the community always look out for new ideas. Whether it be the regular parties in Stiefelknecht or Chains on Heumarkt or the changing parties, there is something for everyone here. The Bodycheck in Gloria, the Blue Lounge in Stollwerck, Dreiklang in the Arttheater or the Kings & Queens in Bootshaus, offers something new to discover on each weekend of the month.
For girls who like to party with other girls, the Pop Sofa Club offers the opportunity once a month, also the Ladies Night in Gloria. The general rule is: the further from the city centre, the more alternative the party concept. The trip is worth it!
Dress Code: Casual chic.
- Food and Dining
- Gay and Lesbian
Das Ding: International Student Club
You can only get into this club if you are a student, and you will probably need to show the bouncer your student ID to get in. This is a pretty good club, it has good drink specials, and if you check the calender there are a lot of themed nights.
Dress Code: There are often themed nights so you want to check the calendar. On non-themed nights you would be alright with what you would typically wear to a student club.
- Study Abroad
Live Music Hall: Live Music or Dancing
As Cologne ALWAYS has great concerts you will go to Live Music Hall sooner or later when you live around the area. A lot of small club concerts (about 1000 people maybe) take place here. It's a great place for concerts, sound is ok and you can see the stage quite well from everywhere - even if you are small like me.
At weekends they also have disco evenings here which are supposed to be nice.
Dress Code: Alternateenie-Style
Zülpicher Straße: The nightlife street
If you look for a place to hang out where the locals hang out at night head to Zülpicher Strasse. There's lots of pubs here you can choose from. The fun street of Cologne!
Dress Code: Depends on the location really. But scruffy is ok for most of them actually....
Früh am Dom: The biggest brewery pub
Früh is a traditional brewpub near the cathedral. It's almost always packed with people - Cologne people enjoying an after work beer or tourists trying out pig's legs and the local brew.
The beer is nice - especially in summer. The atmosphere is great - especially if you are here with nice people. However, I can't really recommend the food as it is on the pricey side and not really good.
If you meet in here you have to give directions where you meet. This place is so large with many different areas so it could take a while searching for somebody if you don't know where they are.
Dress Code: None.
Night time at the Station Hostel
We enjoyed a CRAZY evening and early morning in the Station Hostel with people we had met from all across the world! Far too much Kolsch was consumed and I had a banging head the next morning! But hey ho!!!
- Beer Tasting
- School Holidays
ALTER MARKT: Beers 4, 5 & 6
Around Cologne's "Alter Markt" there are lots of breweries and bars. Take a train to Cologne's main station and go by foot 10 or 15 minutes and you will arrive at the "Alter Markt" and you can go from bar to bar and meet a lot of interesting people and enjoy fresh beer - KOELSCH - as long as you want to!
Eventually this is a place to do comedic goose stepping
The Corkonian: Beer 3
A nice Irish Pub! Try the drink "Snakebite", a mixture made of Kilkenny's beer and cider!
Hopefully the waitress will think that we have been waiting a long time and will give us a free round of some liquorish tasting schnapps
Dress Code: Casual
FRUEH: Beer 2
Cologne's most famous brewery with the typical Cologne spirit! You can eat and drink there very good - if you find a place. At the weekend it's so overcrowded, that you can only find a place for standing - if you're lucky! But it doesn't matter, because you don't have to order your drinks...the "Koebesse" are running around through the rooms all the time and they have many glasses in their hands. You can take one and pay immediately and then - enjoy it! Cheers!
You may buy more beer for me here!
Dress Code: Casual
Zum Pfaffen: Beer 1
Beer drinking in Koln is a very different kettle of fish compared to British beer drinking. In England we are used to seeing as many as a dozen hand pubs on a bar with a range of ales, lagers and stouts that come by the pint.
In Koln, most bars serve up only one kind of beer, and that comes in dinky cylinders. Having said that, the local 'kolsch' is generally excellent and you usually enjoy the benefit of table service.
And in another twist, the Pfaffen does not have a bar! We came tripping in and headed straight through, looking for a bar, and ended up having to scoot aside as a barrel came rolling through. They tapped the barrel there on the floor and began frantically syphoning off the beer. Basically, you grab a table and the waiter's attention. He trots over with a tray full of kolsch and slings a batch around. He'll keep them coming all night , if you like, whilst running a tally on your beer mat.
It's a beautiful place with stained glass windows and chunky wooden furniture. It was very busy Saturday night, but we came back for a quiet Sunday lunchtime tipple. The food looks good as well. Highly recommended!
You can buy me beer here!
Open 11am until 1am, closed Mondays.
Dress Code: One of the smarter pubs, but there is no doorman.