Cologne is a bustling German city that offers a unique vibe and friendly locals. The city is perhaps not as architecturally stunning as some other German cities as it was 90% destroyed during WWII and then hastily rebuilt, but it retains a certain charm that is difficult to forget. Its colored buildings and location on the Rhine certainly ensure that the city is still aesthetically pleasing, and there is a whole range of impressive attractions. From cultural events to a long and interesting history, Cologne is a city that appeals to all types of travelers.
A weekend in Cologne
Cologne is a relatively compact city that boasts an excellent public transport system, making it very easy to get around. This makes it the perfect location for a weekend getaway! While you could spend much longer in this fascinating city, a couple of days will be enough to tick off the major attractions. If you have limited time and would rather spend it experiencing the city than going back and forth to your hotel room, make sure to use luggage storage lockers in Cologne. They cater specifically to tourists so you can drop your belongings and pick them up whenever it suits you.
We’ve put some ideas together for people only in town for a short vacation or business trip so you can prioritize these items on your itinerary.
- Cologne Cathedral - This cathedral is perhaps Cologne’s most popular landmark. Visitors stand in awe at the gothic architecture and beautiful twin spires, so definitely pay this one a visit.
- Cologne Chocolate Museum - Calling all chocolate lovers! This waterside museum is focused on all things chocolate and even offers samples for you to try.
- Museum Ludwig - This art museum holds one of the biggest Picasso collections in the whole of Europe. Head here to spend a few hours admiring some epic masterpieces.
Stuck with your bags due to a late check-in or early check-out? We have the answers to your problem. Luggage storage in Cologne will take care of your bags so you can maximize every minute of your trip. Simply drop them off, go and enjoy Cologne, then retrieve your things when it fits in with your itinerary.
Four Best Ways to Experience Cologne in 2023
No two German cities are the same. That definitely includes Cologne. Whatever you like to do on vacation, chances are good you’ll find plenty to keep you busy here. But once you’ve seen the city’s main sites, it’s fun to explore a little deeper. The following companies can help you see other sides to Cologne and really get to grips with what it has to offer. Drop off your unneeded bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Cologne and enjoy yourself on one of these adventures.
Best boat tour — Koln-Dusseldorfer Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt AG
This company’s name might be a mouthful, but there’s nothing difficult about the experiences they offer. Drifting along the city’s waterways on a boat is one of the most relaxing ways to experience Cologne. The company offers a range of aquatic experiences, including a hop-on-hop-off boat tour that will take you to many of Cologne’s major sights. For a more relaxing experience, you could take a day cruise through the city. Or, if you want to experience a more natural side of Germany, cruise from Cologne to the Siebengebirge Mountains to get out in nature and enjoy the scenery. You can contact the company at email@example.com or 492212088318.
Best driving tour — Hot Rod Brothers Köln
Gearheads won’t want to miss this one. These unique tours allow you to get behind the wheel of a hot rod and drive through the city in style. The company offers both a city tour and a countryside tour so you can see different aspects of the region. But the biggest attraction has to be the fun and quirky cars they offer. Driving through the city in these miniature hot rods is an experience all by itself, and one you definitely won’t forget in a hurry. Contact Hot Rod Brothers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 4922164796410.
Best beer tour — The Kölsch Crew
It seems every town in Germany has its own style of beer, and Cologne is no exception. The city is known for Kölsch, a pale, lightly hopped beer that makes an ideal summer drink. To sample some of the best beer in the city, take a tour with The Kölsch Crew. You’ll learn all about how this style of beer was developed and its importance to the city. Best of all, you’ll get to try lots of it for yourself. The company offers both public and private tours and is well-known for its bachelor/bachelorette parties, including ten liters of kölsch. And if you want a more premium experience, they also offer a three-course dinner with beer pairing which will really allow you to get to grips with the culinary culture of Cologne. Just don’t try saying that quickly three times after ten liters of kölsch. You can contact the company at email@example.com or 4922166994069.
Best bike tour — Colonia Aktiv Tours
Exploring Cologne by bike lets you see more of the city while traveling at your own pace. Colonia Aktiv rents out both bikes and e-bikes for those who wish to explore on their own. Their guided tours are well worth considering for a deeper glimpse into different facets of the city.
The Fascination Cologne tour is one of the most popular, combining sightseeing with relaxing rides through the city’s many parks and green areas. Over the course of three hours, you will cover a lot of ground and see both the well-known attractions and the lesser-known side of the city. Or, if you’re more interested in exploring Cologne’s modern-day counterculture, the company also offers a street art tour which will take you to see some of the most striking and impressive graffiti by Cologne’s many street artists. To see more natural surroundings, you could also take a bike tour of the Cologne Riviera. Whichever tour you choose, this is a great way to get some exercise and see lesser-known parts of the city. Contact Colonia Aktiv at firstname.lastname@example.org or 4922134669557.
Off the beaten path in Cologne
Cologne has a fascinating history with plenty to discover underneath the surface. Away from the main tourist areas, you’ll find charming hidden gems just waiting to be explored. If you are looking to get off the beaten path, consider adding these attractions to your itinerary.
- Neptunbad - This adult-only spa is perfect for anybody looking for true indulgence. With a strong Japanese influence, you can choose between different options for the sauna. Just remember that, as is common in Germany, no bathing suits are allowed.
- Fortsbotanischer - Get some fresh air in this green park. Located in the Rodenkirchen neighborhood, it’s the perfect spot for a walk or bike ride.
- Saint Kolumba Museum - This unique museum is built over the ruins of a Gothic church destroyed during the second world war. Entering the museum through the bombed-out church is an unforgettable experience all by itself.
What to do alone in Cologne
If you find yourself in Cologne alone due to business or as part of a solo trip, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The city is easy to navigate and offers many facilities, like bag storage in Cologne, that make it an easy destination for solo travelers.
Here’s some ideas for things you won’t want to miss during your time in the city:
- Cologne Triangle - There’s nothing better than a good view and Cologne Triangle offers an unrivaled one of the city. Also a good spot if you are looking for a tasty meal.
- Cologne Zoological Garden - If you are looking for an animal fix, head to this zoo. It is home to over 10,000 animals, with the elephants being especially popular.
- Romano Germanic Museum - Cologne was first settled by Romans, and a Roman villa was uncovered during construction of a World War II bomb shelter. Now a museum has been built over the Villa to house the artifacts recovered from the excavation.
The best souvenirs in Cologne
Wondering where to get the best souvenirs in Cologne? We have you covered. For all the common tourist fare, head to the souvenir shop across from Cologne Cathedral. You’ll find everything from tea towels and caps to books and board games. Shamong, the oldest coffee roastery in Cologne, is a good option for the coffee lover, while a bottle of Kolsh is the perfect gift for the beer lover in your life. Local produce like jam can be purchased from Marmaladen Haus and makes a good souvenir.