Welcome to Cologne, the colourful and historic metropolis in Germany’s Rhineland area! Cologne is among the oldest cities in Germany, with a wealthy historical past that stretches again over two thousand years. From its beautiful Gothic structure, to its vibrant nightlife, and its lovely riverfront, Cologne is an unforgettable vacation spot.
On this information, you’ll discover all the knowledge you have to profit from your time visiting Cologne. From high sights to scrumptious native delicacies, we’ll present you the most effective of what this metropolis has to supply. So, let’s get began exploring the attractive metropolis of Cologne!
See additionally: Off The Beaten Track Tip: Belgian Quarter Cologne
A snapshot of what to anticipate when visiting Cologne
The distinctive flavour to the town of Cologne is commonly put right down to the inhabitants, or Kölsche, who take an infinite quantity of pleasure of their metropolis. Cologne, like most areas of Germany, has its very personal native dialect of German, although that is unlikely to hinder the typical sight-seeing vacationer, as most of the landmarks of the town have English-speaking guides and data.
For these vacationers who converse German, and want to follow it, the residents have a number of endurance with these attending to grips with the grammatically troublesome language.
Colognians are very pleasant folks; welcoming vacationers of every kind and with all pursuits. Away from the landmarks, many employees of the German rail system (Deutsche Bahn) converse English, in addition to ticket/timetable machines obtainable in English modes. Native transport programs, nonetheless, hardly ever cater for the English speaker, with solely the naked necessities of knowledge obtainable however this could solely concern these wishing to discover the town away from the extra centralised sights.
These wishing to discover away from the central metropolis ought to plan their journey earlier than leaving, to stop minor problems as there’s a lack of English away from the centre of Cologne. Older folks in Cologne are inclined to have little or no information of English, while businessmen and ladies, in addition to the German youth, all are inclined to have a great information of the language. Language is never a powerful barrier, so this shouldn’t be an excessive amount of of a fear for the typical vacationer, simply method a pleasant native and use a smile in your face, your legs and arms. Cologne’s sturdy aspect is its cultural life.
For those who go to Cologne alone, you gained’t keep alone for lengthy (any time of the yr). You simply have to go to a pub and it gained’t be lengthy, somebody will invite you for a beer!
Get the KölnCard
Uncover Cologne comfortably and cost-effectively with the KölnCard. With free entry to public transport you possibly can journey for twenty-four or 48 hours and obtain reductions of as much as 50% from quite a few companions. The KölnCard is on the market for single individuals or teams.
– Free journey on buses and trains
– As much as 50% low cost at sights and museums
– As much as 50% low cost on guided excursions
– As much as 20% low cost at eating places
– As much as 15% low cost on buying
Get the cardboard here.
Cologne Carnival (Fastelovend)
Karneval, the most important festivity in Cologne is the Winter carnival (or Fastelovend) in February. In response to the official Cologne tourism web site: “Its spotlight is the road carnival going down from Weiberfastnacht (the Thursday earlier than Ash Wednesday, historically the day on which ladies take management of the town) to Karnevalsdienstag (Shrove Tuesday).
On Rosenmontag (Shrove Monday) multiple and a half million folks line Cologne’s streets to observe the parade with the mad triad – the prince, farmer, and virgin – yearly.”
Dates for Cologne Carnival: It begins on the Thursday earlier than the start of Lent every year.
I’m all the time telling pals that the Cologne Carnival may be the most effective carnival on the earth. Okay, I do know it’s fairly one thing to say that, as there are various nice locations on the market with nice Carnival experiences. However Cologne Carnival is exclusive!
Everybody… actually…Everybody will get dressed up! Individuals run round as clowns, cowboys, Indians, self-made costumes & no matter you prefer to be! The songs you’ll hear are all in “Kölsch”, the dialect and most of them are about carnival and in regards to the metropolis and its folks.
Cologne is legendary for its Kölsch (beer)
Cologne is understood for its love of beer, also known as Kölsch. This top-fermented beer is often gentle in coloration and has a distinctively dry and crisp style, because of its native components. It’s also served in a particular glass known as a Kölschstange, which is designed to maintain the beer chilly and carbonated.
Cologne has a wealthy brewing tradition, with dozens of native breweries producing Kölsch and different beers. A number of the hottest embody Reissdorf Kölsch, Gaffel Kölsch, and Sion Kölsch. Many of those conventional beers are served in pubs and eating places all through the town, usually accompanied by a plate of hearty native meals.
To style as many Kölsch as you possibly can, be a part of this brewery tour.
Town additionally performs host to plenty of beer festivals all year long, together with the well-known Cologne Carnival that we simply talked about. Throughout this time, hundreds of individuals come to the town for its distinctive mixture of events and parades, in addition to its beer.
Along with conventional Kölsch, Cologne additionally produces plenty of craft beers. These embody IPAs, wheat beers, and even bitter beers, which have gotten more and more widespread. There are additionally plenty of specialty bars and retailers all through.
See additionally: Traditional Beer and Food in Cologne
Conventional meals in Cologne
Cologne is a superb metropolis filled with tradition and custom, and that is very true in the case of its meals. Conventional meals in Cologne is a mixture of influences from everywhere in the world, giving it a novel and scrumptious taste.
One of the crucial widespread conventional dishes in Cologne is the Kölschbraten. It is a sausage that’s served with both sauerkraut or mashed potatoes. It’s usually served with a aspect of apple sauce and is a highly regarded dish for locals and guests alike.
One other conventional dish is the Halver Hahn, which is a rye bread roll crammed with butter, cheese, and onions. It is a highly regarded snack in Cologne and is commonly served in pubs or cafes.
Cologne can also be recognized for its quite a few beers and ales, which are sometimes served with conventional German meals similar to sausages, pretzels, and sauerkraut.
For these in search of extra hearty conventional dishes, there’s the “Himmel und Erde”, which is a dish made with mashed potatoes.
High sights in Cologne
Cologne is a good looking metropolis in Germany, crammed with wonderful sights which might be value seeing. Whether or not you’re exploring the town for the primary time or revisiting your favourite spots, listed below are the highest sights in Cologne that you just gained’t wish to miss.
Try these Cologne activities available on Get Your Guide:
The Cologne Cathedral, protected by the UNESCO
Protected by UNESCO, Cologne’s Dom is the primary sight you’ll discover when taking the principle exit from the central station. (For those who don’t see it, you’ve taken the again exit.) In case you are in fine condition, take the 509 stairs to the highest of the south tower. It takes about an hour, so put on snug footwear, nevertheless it’s definitely worth the hike.
Touring the Cathedral is forbidden throughout Mass. Entry into the cathedral is free however you may be requested for a donation.
- Admission to the tower prices (common/lowered): €6/€3
- Admission to the treasury prices (common/lowered): €6/€3, nonetheless, a mixed ticket granting you admission to the treasury and tower could be bought for (common/lowered): €9/€4.50.
The Römisch-Germanisches Museum is a museum devoted to archaeology and the historical past of Cologne. It’s one of many oldest museums in Germany and was based in 1912. Inside, you possibly can discover collections of stone monuments, mosaics, and cash from the Roman interval. There are additionally sections devoted to medieval and trendy artwork, together with a sculpture park.
The Kölner Philharmonie is a live performance corridor positioned within the metropolis middle. It’s probably the most famend live performance halls in Germany and hosts performances by a number of the world’s greatest orchestras, choirs, and soloists. The corridor is house to the Gürzenich Orchestra and the Kölner Philharmoniker and has world-class acoustics that make it an excellent place to expertise reside classical music.
The Cologne Zoo is among the oldest zoos in Germany and is house to over 8,000 animals. It’s an excellent place to spend a day with household and pals and is crammed with fascinating reveals and sights. Highlights embody the favored elephant and giraffe enclosure, the aquarium, and the tropical home.
The KölnTriangle is a contemporary advanced positioned within the Cologne Commerce Honest. It homes museums, retailers, eating places, and places of work, in addition to a big remark deck with panoramic views of the town. The KölnTriangle is a good spot to soak up the sights of the town and get a glimpse of the encompassing space.
These are just some of the highest sights in Cologne. From historic landmarks to trendy sights, there’s something for everybody to discover. So be sure that to take the time to discover the town and absorb all of its magnificence.