Things to do in Köln (Cologne)

Cologne is known for its joyous attitude and party spirit. The city is a matter of the heart, an emotion and an unfalteringly positive state of mind. At the root of this outlook are Cologne Carnival, kölsch beer and, of course, the cathedral. Cologne has 1.085.664 inhabitants.Things to do in Köln (Cologne)

Exploring the City’s Charm

  • Old Town (Altstadt): Stroll through charming narrow streets lined with traditional breweries and colorful houses.
  • Belgian Quarter: Browse trendy boutiques, cafes, and galleries in this hip neighborhood.
  • Rhine River Cruise: Take a leisurely boat ride for scenic city views and a different perspective on Cologne’s landmarks.

Just to pre-warn you, the period between the new year and Ash Wednesday is pretty exceptional in Cologne, as this is when the world-famous Cologne Carnival is held. The highlight of the event is the street carnival, where people celebrate, sing and dance in the pubs and bars around the Alter Markt and Heumarkt squares. Visitors will also notice the unique Cologne joie de vivre in the cosy, rustic pubs that serve kölsch, Cologne’s signature beer. The city on the Rhine also boasts a thriving music and art scene, making it a fun place to be. Highlights include Christopher Street Day, Musical Dome, the Wallraf Richartz Museum and the Ludwig Museum with its works by Picasso, Warhol and Lichtenstein.

The Best Time to Visit

  • Summer (June-August): Enjoy the warmest weather and outdoor events, but expect larger crowds.
  • Spring (April-May) and Fall (September-October): Pleasant temperatures and fewer tourists make these ideal seasons for sightseeing.
  • Winter (December): Experience the magic of Cologne’s Christmas markets, but be prepared for colder weather.
  • Carnival Time: For a truly unique and unforgettable experience, plan your trip around Carnival, but be aware of higher prices and the need to book well in advance.

Tips for Your Trip

  • Try Kölsch: This local beer is a must-try. Breweries in the Altstadt serve it in small, cylindrical glasses.
  • Explore by foot: Cologne’s city center is compact and walkable, making it easy to discover different areas.
  • Purchase a KölnCard: This tourism card offers discounts and free public transportation, ideal for frequent museum-goers and city explorers.

Cologne offers something for everyone: history buffs, culture seekers, and those who simply want to soak up the atmosphere of this lively German city. Choose your season, pack your walking shoes, and prepare for an adventure filled with charm, history, and of course, Kölsch!

KölnCard Things to do in Köln (Cologne)

Free travel on all public transportation and up to 50% off

KölnCard is an easy and inexpensive way to explore Cologne. The ticket includes free travel on public transportation within Cologne and up to 50% off at many museums, restaurants, shops and cultural attractions.

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