Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany and the largest on the Rhine River. This city is a popular tourist destination with something to do and see on every corner. Check out this blog post on top tips and tricks for your perfect day trip to Cologne!
Hello everyone & welcome back to my blog! In today’s post, I am going to be talking about our day trip to Cologne. We were wanting to go on an adventure in Germany because we missed going somewhere close to home and Cologne was an obvious choice. Luis has been here before & our plan was to just walk around and enjoy the city.
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Some fun facts about Cologne:
Cologne is about three hours away from the KMC area. Our village is located 20 minutes away from Ramstein Air Base and the drive took us three hours. It was a pretty easy drive, with no traffic. We parked at a parking garage located 5 minutes walk away from the Cathedral and paid €7 for the whole day. Cologne is a pretty big city & a popular tourist destination so expect some crowds when you’re there! The Old Town has pretty buildings that lie on the edge of the Rhine River.
Personally, I think that a one day trip to Cologne is enough. However, if you want to see more sights and go to museums etc, you might want to stay overnight. You can also plan a day trip from Cologne! Railway transport is very easy to use in Germany. People from Cologne have their own German dialect and they are very proud of their city (rightly so!)
RELATED: WHAT TO DO IN BERLIN.
Getting to Cologne:
If you live in Germany, driving or taking a train are the easiest (& pretty much the only) options. However, if you live abroad and planning a trip to Germany and would love to visit Cologne, there is an airport in Cologne and Eurowings flies there. Furthermore, there are two trail routes linking Frankfurt International Airport to Cologne. I recommend you download the official Deutsche Bahn (DB) app! It is a lifesaver!
Best time to visit Cologne:
There are a lot of events happening in Cologne all year round. The Carnival happens in February/March which is an amazing event to attend! Furthermore, if you are a fan of Christmas Markets, Cologne has it’s own Christmas Market and it is one of the biggest and most popular ones in Germany! Christmas Markets start in November and usually end a day before Christmas. Make sure you get a glass of Gluhwein to keep warm!
If you are just planning a day trip, any time of the year is good. It gets pretty hot during the Summer season so if that’s not your cup of tea, Springtime is perfect.
At the end of this post, there is a map with all the places I mentioned.
Where to eat in Cologne:
For lunch, we stopped by Kuchi Mami. It is a stone throw’s away from the Cathedral and very popular amongst tourists and locals! As for dinner, we stopped by the one & only, Vapiano’s! Did you know what Vapiano’s started in Cologne and that is there their HQ offices are located? I looked it up in the car going back home and was surprised!
If you want to have something more local, I would recommend Bei Omma Kleinmann. A friend of mine recommended it to & I am so upset I completely forgot about it!
Tip: if it is your first time visiting Germany, I suggest grabbing a beer and a pretzel (or better yet, a cheese pretzel. You will not be disappointed!)
What to do & see in Cologne:
▷ Cologne Cathedral:
You can’t go to Cologne and not visit the Cathedral. It is like going to Rome and not going to the Colosseum.
Entry into the Cathedral is allowed and it is for free. However, you are encouraged to give a small donation, even if it just a couple of small change.The Cologne Cathedral is huge. It is a Roman Catholic Cathedral and it is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne. Furthermore, it took over 600 years to build it. That explains the reason as to why it is so huge!
Fun fact: The Cathedral is a UNESCO world heritage site and you can climb up the two towers and get a view of Cologne!
INSIDE THE CATHEDRAL:
The interior of the Cathedral was absolutely amazing. I especially loved the glass stained windows! Swipe to see images.
▷ Hohenzollern Bridge:
Also known as the love bridge, this bridge is a bridge that crosses over the Rhine river. Here, couples fix padlocks to ensure everlasting love and throw the key in the river. The bridge is literally covered in locks!
Hohenzollern Bridge was definitely one of my favourite sights in Cologne. I loved the view from the bridge and you can also see the Cathedral! (The bridge and the Cathedral are a 3-minute walk away from each other)
If you get thirsty or want a bite to eat, walk down the stairs and grab a beer from one of the restaurants. We found a beer stand tucked away exactly under the bridge and that is where we sat down to cool off from the hot, German sun.
▷ Visit the Chocolate Museum:
This museum piqued my interest because I am a huge chocolate lover. I mean, I can eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. The exhibit shows the entire history of chocolate from its beginnings dating from the Aztecs to how chocolate is made today.
The museum is open every day from 10 am – 6 pm. Entry tickets cost €12.50 on the weekdays and €13.50 on the weekends. More information here!
I do recommend getting the tickets beforehand as the queues can get pretty long. Additionally, ticket purchasing close an hour before the museum closes.
▷ Get a full view of Cologne from the Koln Triangle Views:
We actually stumbled upon this by accident and thank God we did! The fee to get in costs €8. Then, you go up in a lift and you get a 360-degree view of Cologne. It was spectacular and very much worth it!
- Museum Ludwig
- Great St.Martin Church, Cologne
- Take a Rhine River Cruise
- Cologne Zoological Garden
- Bruhl Castle
- Dom Treasury
- Alter Markt Square
- House of Fragrances
- Cologne City Hall
- Visit a Beer Garden
I am super happy that I crossed off Cologne off of my list. When I moved to Germany, I compiled a list of the places I want to visit before we leave Germany and Europe and Cologne was the second place! Rothenburg is first. Can’t wait to visit that cute town one day!
And that brings an end to this post. I really hope you enjoyed it and found it useful!
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Until the next one!