Welcome to Cologne, the colourful and historic metropolis in Germany’s Rhineland area! Cologne is without doubt one of 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 might want to take advantage of your time visiting Cologne. From high sights to scrumptious native delicacies, we’ll present you the perfect of what this metropolis has to supply. So, let’s get began exploring the gorgeous 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 town of Cologne is usually put right down to the inhabitants, or Kölsche, who take an unlimited 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 common sight-seeing vacationer, as most of the landmarks of town have English-speaking guides and data.
For these vacationers who converse German, and want to observe it, the residents have a number of endurance with these attending to grips with the grammatically tough language.
Colognians are very pleasant individuals; welcoming vacationers of every type and with all pursuits. Away from the landmarks, many staff of the German rail system (Deutsche Bahn) converse English, in addition to ticket/timetable machines obtainable in English modes. Native transport methods, nonetheless, hardly ever cater for the English speaker, with solely the naked necessities of data obtainable however this could solely concern these wishing to discover 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 individuals in Cologne are inclined to have little or no data of English, while businessmen and ladies, in addition to the German youth, all are inclined to have a great data of the language. Language isn’t a robust barrier, so this shouldn’t be an excessive amount of of a fear for the common vacationer, simply method a pleasant native and use a smile in your face, your legs and arms. Cologne’s sturdy facet is its cultural life.
Should you go to Cologne alone, you gained’t keep alone for lengthy (any time of the 12 months). 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 may journey for twenty-four or 48 hours and obtain reductions of as much as 50% from quite a few companions. The KölnCard is offered 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 procuring
Get the cardboard here.
Cologne Carnival (Fastelovend)
Karneval, the most important festivity in Cologne is the Winter carnival (or Fastelovend) in February. In line with the official Cologne tourism web site: “Its spotlight is the road carnival happening from Weiberfastnacht (the Thursday earlier than Ash Wednesday, historically the day on which girls take management of town) to Karnevalsdienstag (Shrove Tuesday).
On Rosenmontag (Shrove Monday) a couple of and a half million individuals 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 at all times telling associates that the Cologne Carnival is perhaps the perfect carnival on this planet. Okay, I do know it’s fairly one thing to say that, as there are a lot of nice locations on the market with nice Carnival experiences. However Cologne Carnival is exclusive!
Everybody… actually…Everybody will get dressed up! Folks 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 individuals.
Cologne is known for its Kölsch (beer)
Cologne is understood for its love of beer, also known as Kölsch. This top-fermented beer is normally gentle in colour and has a distinctively dry and crisp style, due to its native elements. Additionally it is 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 town, usually accompanied by a plate of hearty native meals.
To style as many Kölsch as you may, be a part of this brewery tour.
Town additionally performs host to various 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 town for its distinctive mixture of events and parades, in addition to its beer.
Along with conventional Kölsch, Cologne additionally produces various craft beers. These embody IPAs, wheat beers, and even bitter beers, which have gotten more and more widespread. There are additionally various specialty bars and outlets all through.
See additionally: Traditional Beer and Food in Cologne
Conventional meals in Cologne
Cologne is an excellent metropolis stuffed with tradition and custom, and that is very true with regards to its meals. Conventional meals in Cologne is a mixture of influences from everywhere in the world, giving it a singular and scrumptious taste.
Some of the widespread conventional dishes in Cologne is the Kölschbraten. This can be a sausage that’s served with both sauerkraut or mashed potatoes. It’s usually served with a facet 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 full of butter, cheese, and onions. This can be a highly regarded snack in Cologne and is usually served in pubs or cafes.
Cologne can be identified for its quite a few beers and ales, which are sometimes served with conventional German meals akin 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 an exquisite metropolis in Germany, full of wonderful sights which can be price seeing. Whether or not you’re exploring town for the primary time or revisiting your favourite spots, listed below are the highest sights in Cologne that you simply gained’t wish to miss.
Take a look at 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 primary exit from the central station. (Should you don’t see it, you’ve taken the again exit.) If you’re in fine condition, take the 509 stairs to the highest of the south tower. It takes about an hour, so put on snug sneakers, but it surely’s definitely worth the hike.
Touring the Cathedral is forbidden throughout Mass. Entry into the cathedral is free however you’ll be requested for a donation.
- Admission to the tower prices (common/diminished): €6/€3
- Admission to the treasury prices (common/diminished): €6/€3, nonetheless, a mixed ticket granting you admission to the treasury and tower may be bought for (common/diminished): €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 may 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 situated within the metropolis heart. It’s some of the famend live performance halls in Germany and hosts performances by a number of the world’s greatest orchestras, choirs, and soloists. The corridor is dwelling to the Gürzenich Orchestra and the Kölner Philharmoniker and has world-class acoustics that make it an excellent place to expertise dwell classical music.
The Cologne Zoo is without doubt one of the oldest zoos in Germany and is dwelling to over 8,000 animals. It’s an excellent place to spend a day with household and associates and is full of fascinating displays and sights. Highlights embody the favored elephant and giraffe enclosure, the aquarium, and the tropical home.
The KölnTriangle is a contemporary complicated situated within the Cologne Commerce Truthful. It homes museums, outlets, eating places, and workplaces, in addition to a big remark deck with panoramic views of town. The KölnTriangle is a good spot to soak up the sights of town and get a glimpse of the encircling 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 ensure to take the time to discover town and absorb all of its magnificence.