Planning a weekend trip to Cologne, Germany? Great idea! This list of fun things to do in Cologne offers some inspiration to plan your getaway.
10 things to do in Cologne, Germany
1. Construction of ‘Der Kölner Dom’ or the Cathedral of Cologne started in the 13th century, but the history of this cathedral goes back much further, as it is located on a site where since Roman times the first christians of Cologne came together.
2. Admire the ‘Kölnr Rathaus’. Cologne’s historical City Hall consists of two big parts.
The Ratsturm (the tower) was built in the early 15th century but destroyed in the Second World War. It was rebuilt again between 1970 and 1975.
The Rathauslaube or loggia dates back to the 16th century and is famous for its Renaissance façade.
3. Visit the Synagoge Roonstraße. The Roonstrasse synagogue dates back to the pre-nazi period. It was destroyed in the Second World Ward but rebuilt in the fifties. Although the building itself is worth a visit, the Roostrasse synagogue is especially interesting for its exhibition on the history of the Jewish community in Cologne.
4. The Christmas market in Cologne is visited by millions of people from across the globe. Actually there are 5 important Christmas markets in Cologne
- at the cathedral
- on the Neumarkt (this is the oldest one)
- by the harbour and the chocolate museum
- at the Alter Market (Old Market), in front of the Rathaus
- the fairy tale market at Rudolfplatz
Visiting a Christmas market is high on the list of fun things to do in Cologne in winter!
5. Digg into Cologne's history at the National Socialism Documentation Center.
The NS-Dokumentationszentrum is located in a former Gestapo building. The center holds a permanent exhibition, called, “Köln im Nationalsozialismus”, that describes the political and social atmosphere in Cologne during the Nazi reign. You can also visit what used to be the prison part of the building, which was made a memorial site in 1981.
6. Take the lift up unto the panoramic rooftop of the KölnTriangle to get great views of the city.
7. Another way to get a great view of Cologne is to take a ride on the Rheinseilbahn / Kölner Seilbahn. This cable car crosses the Rhine river from one bank to the other.
8. Get your sniff on at the Fragrance Museum.
The museum is also known as the Farina-House, names after the Italian perfumer Giovanni Mario Farina who came to Cologne in 1709 and named a new fragrance after the city: Eau de Cologne. If you're into perfume, visiting the Fragnance Museum is one of the best things to do in Cologne.
9. If you’re into pop-art you should definitely check out the Ludwig Museum, which has the largest pop-art collection in Europe. It's one of the things to see in Cologne.
10. And how could I not mention that Cologne has a Chocolate Museum? The Schokoladenmuseum Köln is more than just a museum, though. You can go there to take chocolate-making courses, to buy a souvenir in the chocolate shop or – for those who can’t wait – to get some deliciousness at the café.
Where to stay in Cologne
Check Booking.com for an extensive list of options for all budgets and needs.
Now you know what to do in Cologne, which activity would you put on the top of your list?
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