Cologne Travel Guide

  • View of Cologne
    View of Cologne
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  • Photo from promenade near Hyatt Regency Hotel
    Photo from promenade near Hyatt Regency...
    by BillNJ
  • Cologne
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Cologne Highlights

  • Pro
    Sjalen profile photo

    Sjalen says…

     great nightlife and restaurants, lots of good museums, majestic Rhine 

  • Con
    diocletianvs profile photo

    diocletianvs says…

     If Kölsch is a beer then Zagreb tap water is Champagne 

  • In a nutshell
    sabsi profile photo

    sabsi says…

     One of my favourite cities in Germany! 

Cologne Things to Do

  • Cologne Cathedral/ Kölner Dom

    Cologne's cathedral (Kölner Dom) is one of the most impressive and also biggest churches in Germany. It may even be the biggest one if consider its size and not its height, but I'm not sure about that. Anyway, it was built in Gothic style but has basically been a construction site ever since. Even today, parts of it are constantly being refurbished...

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  • Old Town

    I just loved walking around Old Town Cologne; it's just so beautiful! There are so many colorful buildings, plazas and little streets to wander around and I would keep finding one area or building that I found to be cuter than the last! What I liked most it's not overrun with souvenir shops and/or other "touristy" attractions that would take away...

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  • Rhine/ Rhein

    Photos: 1. Boats on the Rhine River 2. Boats and the railroad bridge 3. Barge going under the Deutzer Bridge From Cologne there are plenty of opportunities to take excursion boats on the Rhine River. To avoid misunderstandings, however, I should point out that this is not the really famous part of the Rhine will all the old castles like the...

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Cologne Hotels

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Cologne Restaurants

  • better be hungry then eat here

    Columbus is another Spanish restaurant where I had lunch, it is also situated in the Altstadt. I was attracted by its look from outside and the nice terrace in the inneryard, but made mistake because it was my biggest disappointing. I can't imagine how can survive such an restaurant situated in a very attractive area but offering so low quality of...

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  • not bad but not good either

    Toro Negro is Spanish restaurant located in the Altstadt of Cologne. I was a bit disappointed with the ambient inside the restaurant but it has pretty attractive patio. I went for a lunch here with idea to take some light food. The weiter suggested grilled lamb chops telling that the lamb is originated from Basque in Spain, which was promising...

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  • Argentinian big steaks

    It seems that I was very lucky to be alone otherwise wouldn't be able to get my lunch because Poncho's was fully housed. The weiter told me its hard to get free place on weekends if not booked in advance. Ponco's is typical Argentinian steakhouse all in wood and cow hides. It is situated under the ground level in a sort of cave, which gave it extra...

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Cologne Nightlife

  • Live Jazz

    Papa Joe's is my favourite spot in whole of Cologne, it is the place where I've spend my two Colognese nights before going to sleep. The club is situated in Buttermarkt, which is a foot from my hotel. Unfortunately I couldn't take the picture inside the club, but trust the atmosphere is hot hot hot.What you'll find here is tons of beer and very...

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  • it's only a rock n' roll

    Unfortunatelly I was here during a day only when strolling around, entering to take a juice. Have noticed mixed age attendants from juniors up to seniors of my age, but all lovers of real rock n' roll. The music was good, mostly oldies since it was early afternoon time. The ambient is nice, a kind which rock fans like alot. It is situated very...

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  • Was Päffgen but now its Pfaffen

    As you walk around town this building stands out with its bright orange facade and ornate wooden entrance. Even it were not a pub it would get my attention. But it was once Altstadt Päffgen, the brewery's oldest old town pub and was still the case on my 1999 visit. In 2001 the pub owner who's name if Pfaffen had a fight with the brewery and decided...

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Cologne Transportation

  • Baggage checking machines

    The Cologne Main Station now has several automatic baggage checking machines like the one in Freiburg im Breisgau.Instead of finding an empty locker, if there is one, and hoping it is big enough for your luggage, you simply insert four Euros (double the old locker price!) into one of these machines, take out the card with the magnetic stripe and...

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  • Train Station in 1950

    The train station is right next to the cathedral. I think we got to Cologne in 1950 from Amsterdam. I know that when I went to Europe in 1964, I landed in Cologne and took the train down along the Rhine to Frankfurt. I got some kind of sausage sandwich for lunch there before I left. I was traveling on a Eurail pass.Now, the station is enormous and...

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  • Boat Trip on the Rhine

    We took a trip down the Rhine from Cologne in 1950. My father was fascinated by the ruined castles and vineyards, and he also took photos of various bridges and boats. We also saw the famous Loreley Rock where the legend says the legendary beautiful mermaid combed her long blonde hair and sang, luring fishermen to their death onto the rocks, but if...

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Cologne Shopping

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  • Hello Kitty Shop in cologne

    You want to find pretty and cute Hello Kitty items? You`re a real Hello Kitty Freak??? Then you have to visit this Hello Kitty Shop in the WDR Arcades directly in front of the WDR Visitors Centre. There you find a variety of Hello Kitty items such as dolls, bags, lunch boxes and lots of more. Open from Monday to Saturday, 11:00 - 19:00for detailed...

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  • Traditional German department store

    Well what Macy's is for New Yorkers and Marks and Spencer is for Britishs, I guess Kaufhof is that for Germans. So Cologne has its own, located close to Hohe Strasse, alogn Bayardsgasse in Altstadt Sud (SOuthern Old Town).

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  • For The Serious Shoppers

    Cologne's Schildergasse is the only place in the city where I felt a little claustrophobic but then I'm not a serious shopper and was just wandering.This seems to be the city's main shopping street with its various designer-label places and chain store branches. According to the tourist office's website this is officially Germany's busiest shopping...

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Cologne Local Customs

  • Kölsch - Beer and Language

    Cologne's two main traditions are its individual dialect and its brewhouses and strangely enough the same word applies to both - Kölsch. I don't speak standard German (well apart from "Ein Bier Bitte") and so can't appreciate the subtleties of the local lingo but I was sort of impressed by the tradition of Kölsch drinking.The word "Kölsch", as...

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  • Bier Museum

    Well, I wasn't surprise because it could be expected to see the Bier Museum in the town of bier. It is situated in the old core of the town and, of course, surrounded by the number of other breweries. I suppose it is a must see for all bier lovers but am not the one.I bet my old mate, Klausbeermanviking (member Cahaseiro) would never leave this...

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  • Cover your glass when you're done...

    There is one local custom which might make Cologne less than safe for you: When you are in a restaurant and drink a beer, it is served in small glasses.Once your glass is empty, the waiter will automatically bring you another glass unless you cover the empty one with the beer mat/coaster. This tells the waiter that you don't want any more beer. If...

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Cologne Warnings and Dangers

  • The equestrian statue of Emperor Wilhelm...

    It is usually said, when one is drunk could see doubly, - this worth only for those guys who are married, NEVER WATCH YOUR MOTHER IN LAW IF DRUNK.Those of you who took a walk across the Hohenzollern Bridge, side to side, might have think that are drunk of Koelsh or Frueh beer. You will see DOUBLY equestrian statue of Emperor Wilhelm II, or what is...

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  • Umwelt/Environmental plakette/sticker

    If you want to drive with your car into the center of Koln / Cologne, you need to have an environmental badge (sticker).This sticker you need to get in advance.This applies to more and more cities in Germany.If you do not have the sticker, you risk a penalty of 40 euros.See the link for more information.

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  • Generally Safe

    Cologne has a bit of a reputation in Germany for crime, although less than Frankfurt. It probably doesn't help that a lot of crime dramas are filmed here. In truth the city has a small problem with pickpockets and other petty crime, but for me it felt extremely safe for such a big city. But this is Germany, and nowhere here is really dangerous.

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Cologne Tourist Traps

  • Biermuseum: not the museum you want to...

    On the outside, it looks nice. "Biermuseum" hangs on the side of the pub, inviting you in with the promise of lots of great beers to sample.As soon as you spend 5 minutes there, however, you start to realise your mistake. Not only does it look bad on the inside, the bartender is as apathetic and rude as they come. The beers they offer are mediocre...

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  • Take a photo with one of the three Magi

    In a square outside of the Cathedral, there are some guys in elaborate costumes who are meant to symbolize the three Magi (Wise Men) who visited Jesus upon His birth with gifts. For a donation, you can have your picture with one of them. I think the guy in gold is pretty cool. If you decide to have your photo with one of the three Magi, it is...

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  • Mini train

    A mini yellow coloured train disappearing near the Cathedral looked like a tourist trap to me. Its too small a train to be comfortable to sit and it is supposed to take tourists across some important tourist attractions in the city. I certainly don't think its worth the hype.

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Cologne What to Pack

  • COMFY shoes.

    Hiking boots are recommended as parts of the town are cobbled and a lot of it is on the slope, up & down all day... didn't do my ill prepared feet any good. Fortunately there are plenty of places to rest, in Cologne they are called 'Bars' just like back home, conveinient eh? Recommended, but keep it to hand, Cologne is famous for pickpockets....

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  • Phantasialand

    Bring a small backpack with enough space for snacks and drinks. Comfortable tennis shoes. I wore flip flops to the park and my feet were sore at the end of the day.If you dont want to get wet on the water rides, bring a light raincoat. I saw a lot of people at the park on water rides with raincoats to protects themselves and their bags because you...

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  • Candle lighting D

    You'll need the widest of angles to get those great panoramas or get even some of the Dom interior. D as always made a great travel mate in Cologne. She cut her cathedral visit short to help me hunt the Kölsch she just knew I had to have. A wife, well one like D, comes in handy like that. ;)

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Cologne Off The Beaten Path

  • Harald Schmidt

    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...

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  • The Church of St. Severin

    Basilica of St. Severin is an early Romanesque construction located in the Sudstadt of Cologne. It was originaly built in the 4th century as memorial chapel and dedicated to St. Severin of Cologne. The original chapel was extended several times and ita present look dates from the 13th to 15th centuries. Later on it used to be the collegiate church...

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  • Severinstorburg

    Severinstorburg (The Severins Gate) is the southernmost of the medieval city fortifications, which were built between 1180 and 1220. Nowadays it is the symbol of the Southern District. Germans are practicale people indeed, this monuments is well preserved but maintaining cost money, so they decided rooms in the gatehouse can be rented for private...

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Cologne Sports & Outdoors

  • Cologne Centurions

    2005 is their second season in NFL Europe. Saw the seasons first game against the Hamburg Sea Devils, a 24-23 win for the home team, could have been very different if Hamburg remembered to call time out before attempting a field goal 10 seconds from the end - live and learn.Disappointing small crowd of around 10,000, ticket prices are very...

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  • BayArena

    The home of Bayer 04 Leverkusen.The ground is situated in a little town called Leverkusen only 25 minutes away by train from Cologne.It was originally built in 1932, now fully rebuilt with a capacity of 22,500.Even though it has a small capacity is a great looking stadium from both inside and out.

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  • Müngersdorfer Stadion

    The old home of 1. FC Köln.They were quite literally knocking down this old stadium at the time of our visit. we should have been wearing hard hats at least as we sneaked in an open door.It was built in 1923 with a recent capacity of 42,000.Now rebuilt and renamed the RheinEnergie Stadion in time for the FIFA World Cup 2006.

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Cologne Favorites

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  • Personal Memories and Impressions

    Although the football club haven't got a particular cup victory since 1983, the FC Köln supporters love their teams from the bottom of their hearts. It is a MUST to attend to any game of 1.FC Köln in their home ground, Rhine-Energie Stadion

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  • Old Town/Altstadt

    The old core of the town, called Altstadt, is undoubtelly the most charming part of the town. It is situated along the bank of the river Rhein and in the close vicinity of the Dom. The Altstadt is characteristic for its network of short and narrow streets, but most of all, for the traditional houses congested one to another and each coloured in...

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  • Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral)

    In 1964, when I left my children with my mother and went to meet my husband's ship in Europe, I sent periodic postcards to my daughter. This one had two 20 DM stamps The Cathedral is the outstanding thing to see in Cologne. I've been twice. Once in 1950 when I was 12, and in 1964. .. Dear Daughter We are going to see this church this morning....

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Top 10 European Christmas Markets: Cologne

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Cologne, like many towns in Germany, has multiple Christmas markets. The primary market is held at the Cathedral, but another market with slightly more-expensive goods, the Neumarkt, is also a great place to find presents. Cologne's food offerings are slightly more traditional: bratwurst, yeast dumplings with jam and vanilla sauce, crepes, and chocolate. A special rarity: one of the city's markets, the Floating Christmas Market, can be found aboard a boat docked at the Rhine River.

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