Fun things to do in Cologne

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Cologne

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    The Meistersinger of Cologne

    by Nemorino Updated Dec 7, 2014

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    On one of my recent visits to the Cologne I saw the opera The Meistersinger of Nürnberg by Richard Wagner, as staged by Uwe Eric Laufenberg, who at the time was also General Manager of the Cologne Opera.

    This is a tricky opera to stage because it gets very nationalistic towards the end (no wonder it was one of Hitler's favorite operas). Laufenberg gets around this very elegantly by placing the last scene in 21st century Cologne, not 16th century Nürnberg, and having it take place right in front of the opera house with all sorts of typically Cologne things going on, both live and on a video screen, to distract attention from the nationalistic pathos.

    Update 2012: After a long public altercation with city officials, Uwe Eric Laufenberg was dismissed without notice as General Manager of the Cologne Opera in June 2012. A few months later the Cologne Opera was chosen both as Opera House of the Year and as Outrage of the Year by the critics of Opernwelt magazine. Laufenberg has since been hired as General Manager of the Hessen State Opera in Wiesbaden, starting in 2014.

    Audience at Wagner's Meistersinger in Cologne
    Related to:
    • Music
    • Theater Travel

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    Eigelstein

    by kentishgirl Written Nov 10, 2004

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    This area is so not like you imagine Germany to be! As I walked down the street I felt as though I was back in Turkey! Lol
    The area is the Turkish and Kurdish centre of Cologne, blended in with the German supermarkets and pharmacies are Kebab shops and shops selling Turkish foods.

    Its a really interesting area of Cologne, and I was lucky enough to stay a short walk from here. People say that the best Doner Kebab in Cologne is from Eigelstein! Unfortunatly I did not get the chance to see for myself!

    Eigelstein in the rain!!
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    The Mouse!

    by kentishgirl Written Nov 10, 2004

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    My good VT friend Holger (Horscheck) sent me a piccie of the mouse the night before we travelled to Cologne, so I made it my mission to find it! I must admit that he did give me great directions!

    I am told that the mouse belongs to a local broadcasting company in Cologne.

    The Mouse!
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    Koln Triangle: The best view of Cologne?

    by SWFC_Fan Written Aug 14, 2006

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    Koln Triangle is a recently built, glass fronted office block that stands on the northern bank of the Rhine at Cologne.

    Standing 103 metres tall, the view from the building's rooftop is arguably the best available view of Cologne's skyline.

    The rooftop viewing platform offers unbeatable views of the Dom, the Rhine, Gross St Martin and the continuous trains passing over Hoherzollern Brucke at the foot of the tower.

    For a cost of just 3 Euros, you can take the lift up 28 floors to the rooftop.

    Be careful to get out at the right floor. I wasn't told that the top floor was number 28. The lift stopped at floor 13 and I assumed that was the correct floor so I got out of the lift. Once you get out of the lift, you are destined to become lost in the interior! I tried to take another lift upwards, but it turned out to be a lift for the use of the offices only and didn't go to the viewing platform. After yo-yoing between floor -2 and floor 20 for a few minutes, somebody was kind enough to tell me that I needed to go back to the ground floor, exit the building and re-enter on the other side to catch one of the correct lifts. I eventually got to where I needed to be!

    The best views of Cologne skyline? Probably!!

    Koln Triangle Koln Triangle viewed from Hohenzollern Brucke On the rooftop at Koln Triangle The view from Koln Triangle's rooftop Koln Triangle

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    Hotel Wasserturm

    by kentishgirl Written Nov 9, 2004

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    As we were quite close to this building in the area which we were visiting, we decided that we would take a look!

    This is now a hotel, but originally it supplied the city of Cologne with water! Its a beautiful hotel....and looks very luxurious....all the same its an amazing building to look at.

    Hotel Wasserturm
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    Eberplatz

    by kentishgirl Written Nov 10, 2004

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    Eberplatz is a main crossing for roads and the U Bahn, but we visited here to see the famous fountain which was designed when the artist had the idea of holding a teaspoon against a jet of water! Now thats what I call creative!!

    Unfortunatley the Eberplatz was a bit of an anti climax...when we arrived as you will see in the photograph a lot of it is covered with Graffitti - but this seems quite common in Germany for some reason?!?!

    Fountain in Eberplatz
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    Overstolzen House

    by kentishgirl Written Nov 9, 2004

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    You just have to laugh!! I read in my guide that this is Colognes only preserved Patricier house, and so as this appealed we meandered our way through the streets to find it!

    Upon arrival, we were greeted not with a beautiful building, but with green mesh and builders!! Hahaha! At least they are making the effort to look after these wonderful buildings...and if we looked close enough through the mesh you could see that it truly was a fabulous building!

    I read that this house was owned by the Oversloz family, who gained their wealth through dealing in wine...it was highly unusual during late roman times that the Catholic church would not own such an ornamented building as this.

    Overstolzen House
    Related to:
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    Heinzelmaennchenbrunnen

    by croisbeauty Updated Nov 22, 2011

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    Heinzel manchen are the little house gnomes said to have done all the workd of the citizends during the night, so that Colognese people could be very lazy during a day. The local legend says this went on until a tailor's wife got so curious to see the gnomes, that she scattered peas onto the floor of the workshop to make the gnomes slip and fall. The gnomes, being infuriated, disappeared and never returned.
    From that time on, the citizens of Cologne had to do all their work by themselves.%s

    Heinzelmannchenbrunnen

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    Mikwe

    by croisbeauty Updated Oct 29, 2011

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    It seems Jews weren't popular in Cologne not even in the Middle Ages. In 1424 the city of Cologne turned the synagogue into a chapel for the City Hall, while the ceremonial baths were filled in. Nothing remains of the synagogue which was most likely the oldest in Europe!
    The ceremonial baths or Mikwe were built in 1170 but then, as already said, filled in while at the same time the Jewish inhabitants of Cologne drove out. There is a small glass pyramid in the Rathausplatz which leads into the antechamber of Mikwe. The spiral stairway leading down into the shaft in which ritual cleansing with ground water was once carried out.

    Mikwe

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    Guerzenich

    by croisbeauty Updated Oct 29, 2011

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    Guerzenich is historical festival hall, which the locals usually call "gute Stube" (something like place for good times). It was designed in 1444 to be a city dance and festival hall and place for ceremonial dinners for the city authorities. Guerzenich is named sfter local aristocratic family who built and owned this property. It was used to recieve the most important guests and visitors of Cologne, likewise kings and their queens. Nowadays it hosts the most important events in the city like the famous Colognese carnival.

    Guerzenich

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    Climb the Cathedral

    by mirchica Written Apr 24, 2012

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    To be full your experience you have to climb one of the towers. There are 533 steps in a narrow cylindrical tower! You can feel the adrenaline while climbing and it deserves the view - the whole city from 360 degrees landing. There are 2-3 places where you can stop and have a little rest and on the last one you can see one of the biggest bells I have ever seen.

    The view from the top The view from the top
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Religious Travel
    • Photography

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    Roman Gates and other remains

    by croisbeauty Updated Oct 29, 2011

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    Cologne was important Roman province established in 50 AC, following a victory of the Ubier. After signing a peace agreement the Ubier moved to the left bank of the Rhine and together with Romans founded the common settlement Oppidum Ubiorum (city of the Ubiers).
    Per wish of Agrippina, who was born in Cologne and later married to Emperor Claudius, Cologne was given the city status and was named Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (CCAA). Agrippina poisoned her husband in order to bring her son Nero to the throne. He had his mother assasinated in 59 AC.
    The remains of the Roman presence could be seen in the several locations and suburbs of Cologne, which was well fortified and representating one of the strongholds of the Empire.

    Roman Northern Gate Roman Northern Gate Roman municipal sewage system

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    Cologne Commercial Art Galleries

    by johngayton Written Sep 20, 2010

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    Whilst the city has several municipal art galleries, the best known being the Museum Ludwig, I didn't have time to visit any - too busy sausage munching and beer tasting!

    I did though notice this pair of private galleries, Galeries Boisserie and Karsten Greve, whose doors I poked my head through. Both of these are seriously upmarket and have some interesting works by mostly local (ish) artists. Everything is of course for sale and it's free to browse but you wont see any price tags attached!

    Websites have pics of their current and previous exhibitions to give you an idea what they're all about.

    Boisseree Location Boisseree Exhibition Karsten Greve Frontage
    Related to:
    • Luxury Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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    People Watching While Waiting For Your Train

    by johngayton Written Sep 20, 2010

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    Pretty much opposite the main entrance to the Hauptbahnhof is this little cafe with its terrace on the square. This is a little piece of Italy transported to central Cologne with Italian staff and good, not too expensive, coffee.

    Ideal spot for watching the world go by.

    Galestro Terrace Catching The Afternoon Sun
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    Chocolate Museum

    by carrie.kindred Written Apr 15, 2012

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    For 8.50euro you can tour this fun museum filled with exhibits that explain every imaginable facet of chocolate making. About half way through is a large chocolate fountain where you get a free sample of warm melted chocolate on a wafer cookie. My husband and I agreed this would have been a blast for kids, but it was a little dull for adults.

    Hours:

    Tues. to Fri. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Sat., Sun., holidays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    closed on Mondays
    Last admittance one hour before closing

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits

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