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.
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.
Cologne's Lanxess Arena (formerly the Koelnarena) claims to be Europe's largest indoor concert and sporting venue. The Arena is located on the east side of the river, a short walk from the main railway bridge, and hosts big name concerts as well as indoor sporting events.
Past performers include Paul McCartney, Kylie Minogue and Eric Clapton and coming events (September 2010) include Sting, Peter Gabriel and Supertramp.
Details of forthcoming concerts can be found on the website which also has an online booking facility.
Früh is one of the most touristy Kölsch brewpubs in Cologne because it is huge inside and because it is only a five minute walk from the Central station. But being huge means there is space for locals and tourists alike and the atmosphere is accordingly cheerful with stroppy waiters to go with it :))) A great start to any night out. Come early if you insist on seats as it fills up in no time. During carneval you can almost forget getting in...
Dress Code: Relaxed
Shamrock off Barbarossaplatz also The Corkman in the Altstadt.
Going out..... well I had to mention that bit..:) Well if you're a boozer, you wont get parched, thats for sure. Try the local brew called Kölsch. It comes in an eloganted version of a half-pint glass, but easier to hold and knock back than the Munich Maßen. Koelsch makes a lovely Radler. On it's own, it's like Carling or maybe Fosters but not as tongue-piercingly sharp. Lots of bars down by Barbarossaplatz if you fancy doing a pub crawl
Dress Code: casual
Papa Joe's is a great German bar. In here you will find an eclectic mix of germans and tourists. The music is traditional and kitch, behind the bar are anamatronic figures that get up and dance to the German Um Pa Pa Jazz music.
There is music all the time - some live and when not then on speakers.
The decor is twenties style and cramed with posters and artifacts of the age.
Beer is standard excellent German fare and they also serve food but we didn't have any. The real draw is the atmosphere, we saw a bunch of bikers walk in and sit at a table with an old couple they had never met, and within minutes everyone was dancing together. A really friendly good humoured hang out.
We sat next to the bar and the only draw back was that I dropped a playing card which went underneath the seating area, if anyone is there when they are refurbishing, and finds my 2 of diamonds let me know!
Dress Code: None required
I titled this tip "it depends on the show", as the E Werk is just the location, what you see there depends on their schedule. But I'm going to write about my impression of this venue. We had booked our tickets a long time in advance and it said on them there are chairs in the hall. No assigned seats, but chairs. Entrance was at 7pm, and when we arrived at 6:30 there was already a long line.
When the doors were opened, everybody went in, only to realize there were no chairs, but low benches without any backs. People kept coming and coming, there were announcements not to use up too much space, so that everybody could sit. It was very uncomfortable and quite a lot of people had to stand.
I don't know how the management had estimated the number of people in a row. It looked like they had thought everybody is anorexic. Many people were complaining about this. You don't buy a ticket for a show and then have to stand for the whole three hours.
The management should take into account the average age of the ticket holders, for some shows geared towards teenagers they could sell more tickets, but events which attract older people and senior citizens less tickets sold would lead to a much better impression.
The show which we saw was fantastic and I loved every minute of it, but still it must have been very hard for those who had to stand.
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!!!
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
Tickets to see the excellent Waterboys for us. Prime Club is a fairly small venue and packed to the rafters for this gig, so hot, crowded and a great atmosphere, plus a wonderful performance by Mike and the boys.
This club attracts many top names, check out their wesite for upcoming event.
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.
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.
Two organs plenty of strange looking pictures on all the walls and including the ceilings. It was full of footie fans at the time but I'm sure that the locals are a bit more delicate.
Dress Code: Informal, unless you count the group of transvestites in the corner.
There are enough bars and restaurants, but they are spread around to give a first impression of a quiet city centre, more like you would find in a sleepy French provincial town than in an industrial city of over a million inhabitants. This is a picture of a local Pub in the Old Town area.
Köln has many possibilities to party through the night. Be sure to also stand still for a moment to enjoy the mysterious green alumination of the Dom. In Köln are also cultural clubs for many minorities!
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