Top 10 Things to do in Cologne, Germany

October 1, 2017 Leida Jutras

There are 2,000 years of history in Cologne, and visitors here will find everything from Roman towers to Gothic churches to fine examples of modern architecture. Cologne has a variety of museums, too—check out the Museum of Applied Art, the Museum Ludwig and, if you have a sweet tooth, the Chocolate Museum. Be forewarned, though—the gift shop at the latter will utterly ruin your diet.
Restaurants in Cologne

Domkloster 4, 50667 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany +49 221 1794055
Excellent
73%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 17 reviews

Cologne Cathedral

This giant Gothic Cathedral, which until its completion in 1880 had been under construction for over 500 years, is perhaps Germany's most famous religious structure and includes two huge towers that serve as the defining symbol of Cologne's skyline.

Reviewed By James L - Mirfield, United Kingdom

To be honest I am not religious in any way, but even so I can't help but admire the planning and work that went into this superb building over hundreds of years. Externally it is one of the most impressive buildings in the world, but internally it is even more impressive. Well worth a visit.

2. The Cologne Christmas Market

Domkloster 4 | Cologne Cathedral, 50667 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany +49 221 7099970
Excellent
72%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 362 reviews

The Cologne Christmas Market

Wafting through Cologne, the scents of gingerbread, roasted chestnuts, and mulled wine hail the arrival of Kölner Weihnachtsmarkt, the city's festive annual Christmas market. Actually a collection of various markets around Cologne, the event begins the last Monday before Advent and runs for one month leading up to Christmas. The biggest and most festive market resides at the ornate Cologne Cathedral, where about 150 merrily decorated wooden booths serve up wintry treats and display artisanal crafts, such as colorful blown glass and intricate wood carvings. In the cathedral's square, children ride the carousel and visitors of all ages marvel at North-Rhine Westphalia's largest natural Christmas tree, lit by 50,000 LED lights.

Reviewed By Aswathy J

Went to a couple of the markets....Liked the Angel Market the best...The decoration and lighting was soo beautiful...The market near the Cologne Cathedral was good too...The one near the chocolate museum was okay...less food and more things to see and buy.
Overall the markets were such a joy to the eyes and tummy :D

Aachenerstrasse 204, 50931 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany +49 221 22124442
Excellent
63%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 282 reviews

Melaten-Friedhof

This urban cemetery offers an oasis of green and a glimpse into the city's storied history, art and personalities. Open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in the winter, with extended hours in summer and fall. For a detailed tour, you may hire a guide at your own expense.

Reviewed By DollyBirdScotland - Scotland

This huge and beautifully maintained cemetary is still in use and so please be respectful. Aesthetically stunning in terms of design and architecture which range from the 19th century onwards. There is also a large memorial to the Franco-Prussian War.

4. Wallraf-Richartz Museum

Obenmarspforten, 50667 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany +49 221 22121119
Excellent
64%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 556 reviews

Wallraf-Richartz Museum

This impressive museum houses artwork covering every genre from the 13th century through the 19th century.

Reviewed By Katrien S - Ghent, Belgium

The museum is located on 3 floors, each having a different era, starting with the Middle Ages and ending with 20th century art. The focus of the collection, certainly the medieval part is on German, and mostly even more local, paintings. Few paintings are world class toppers, however, the explanation given is very informative and makes the Exhibitions much more interesting.

Ottoplatz 1, 50679 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany +49 221 82732989
Excellent
57%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

KolnTriangle

This skyscraper offers commanding views of the Cologne Cathedral and invites visitors to look at Exhibitions, eat at its Mongolian barbecue restaurant and take in views of the surrounding area from its Panorama Observatory. Entrance to the building is free, access to the viewing platform costs 3 euros. Open Oct. 1 to April 30, Monday-Friday from noon-6 p.m., from 10 a.m. on weekends. May through September open until 10 p.m.

Reviewed By Aditya J

Amazing Panorama of Cologne from the top. The only place in Cologne to see such a site. The entrance is really cheap at 3 Euros.

6. RheinEnergieStadion

Aachener Str. 999, 50933 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany +49 221 71616150
Excellent
61%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 345 reviews

RheinEnergieStadion

Reviewed By Michael H - London, United Kingdom

A typically German, compact, efficient footballing edifice, in a minimalist and sometimes brutalist style, although that can be said of so many, modern football stadia, given all that steel and concrete.
Food offerings were actually pretty good and reasonably priced. An enormous packet of crisps (chips) at €2.50 and a splendid hot dog that looked good and came with onions and sauce/mustard choices for a mere €3.00.
Sight lines and the view for away fans is good although you have to put up with the cursed large black net behind the goal that stretches almost across to each corner flag in order to prevent missiles being thrown.
Getting to and from is a bit of a scrum as although tram 1 runs there and is supplemented by additional 'E' trams on match days, demand is naturally heavy and you may be waiting half an hour to get away after matches. There are loads of food options in the access road that leads into the stadium and that's after another mass of food outlets in the main road (Aachener Str.) that take you to the stadium so you could always hang about three after to eat and drink, whilst the tram demand subsides.
Staff at the stadium were friendly and helpful and I noted that many were volunteers with their designated vests.
Shame the Italians seem oblivious to all this and persist in treating all away fans dreadfully, including keeping you locked inside for an hour or more after the final whistle.
I was out of the ground in five minutes and there was absolutely no trouble. The way football should be managed.

7. Saint Gereon's Basilica

Gereonskloster 2, 50670 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany +49 221 4745070
Excellent
57%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 171 reviews

Saint Gereon's Basilica

One of Cologne's 12 churches built in Romenesque style, Saint Gereon's Basilica dates to the 11th century and has unique architectural features including a dome, an intricate floor mosaic of David and Goliath and the remains of Roman walls. Open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. It is not possible to visit the church during Sunday Mass at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Reviewed By Neil K - Liverpool, United Kingdom

Saint Gereon's Basilica is yet another beautiful church to be found in Cologne.
The church is yet another really old church with the foundations going back to the 11th Century,it's a wonderful evocative church and looks awesome when viewed for the first time.
The Romanesque architecture is superb and although the magnificent stained glass windows are reproductions as the original windows were irretrievably damaged during WW2 they still look superb.
The interior is very nice and is most definitely well worth checking out as well .
Opening hours are;
Monday to Friday,10am till 6pm.
Saturday,10am till 5.30pm.
Sunday,10am till 11.30am.
A really beautiful church and well worth checking out.

8. Botanical Gardens Flora

Amsterdamer Strasse 34, 50735 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany +49 4922 1560890
Excellent
58%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 655 reviews

Botanical Gardens Flora

Cacti and plant houses make up this garden, which dates from the 1800s, along the Rhine River. Gardens are open 8 a.m. until dusk daily. Plant houses are open October to March 10 a.m.-4 p.m., April to September 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Reviewed By Steit S - The Netherlands

It feels like a nice place to visit in spring or summer. I can totally imagine spending a couple of hours sitting, enjoying the green environment on a nice warm evening. In October with clouds and some mild rain it;s not the best place to be.
The catering at the central old greenhouse is rude and expensive. Expect to pay more than you are used to but consider it part of the maintenance cost as there is no entrance fee for the park.

9. Museum Ludwig

Bischofsgartenstr. 1, 50667 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany +49 221 22126165
Excellent
58%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Museum Ludwig

This art museum houses a diverse collection that includes everything from Dali to Warhol to one of the world's largest Picasso collections. Open Tuesday to Sunday (including public holidays) from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., every first Thursday of the month until 10 p.m.

Reviewed By Steit S - The Netherlands

I like this museum, it's building, the location, the collection are all good. Even going outside on the roof Terrace is a nice city-view bonus. They have some of my favourite artists and works I like a lot. But with all of this I never got the 'WOW' that some other museums gave me. I feel like it's missing some statement or some form of surprise.
Not wanting to keep you reader from visiting. You should absolutely check out the pop-art collection and some of the Picasso's. They are great works of art that will brighten your day.

10. Shrine of the Three Kings

Domplatte, 50667 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Excellent
61%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 292 reviews

Shrine of the Three Kings

Reviewed By CJTravelerTexas - Bryan, Texas

Found in the beautiful Cologne Cathedral, which dates back to the mid-1200s, is a reliquary allegedly containing the remains of the Biblical magi, commonly referred to as the "three kings" or "three wise men." It is worth seeing.

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