Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Vienna the Giant Ferris Wheel and Berlin the Brandburger Tor. And what does Cologne have? Cologne has its cathedral, the Gross Sankt Martin church and the historic town hall. In addition, the city has a cable car across the Rhine, a distinctive beer culture and a fifth season
of the year, the carnival season.
From Klagenfurt to Cologne in just 80 minutes, culture lovers in the metropolis of the Rhine will find plenty of opportunities: in addition to the world-famous architectural masterpieces already mentioned, numerous museums, such as the “Roman-Germanic Museum”, can be found in the streets of the old town. The “Museum Ludwig” and the “Farina-Duftmuseum” as well as many monuments and fountains like the “Tünnes und Schäl” or the “Heinzelmännchenbrunnen”.
And then there is the beer. No matter which district you are in, the nearest pub, where one of the local bar staff serves a tray of Kölsch beer, is never far away.
When it comes to the Cologne Cathedral, then the saying “Good things take a while” counts in a double sense. On the one hand, because the construction of the imposing gothic building took over 600 years, on the other hand, because one should also take a lot of time to visit it. From the cathedral treasury in the old vaults to the viewing platform in the south tower, there is a lot to admire. Among other things, the largest free-swinging church bell in the world.
Real Kölsch Beer
In Cologne there’s beer in the local culture. In numerous breweries throughout the city, but especially between the cathedral, town hall and the Rhine promenade, the traditional, top-fermented beer is brewed that has gained worldwide fame as “Kölsch”. It is drunk in the typical Kölsch bar, and often in large quantities. Our tip: In between, drink some water and make sure you have some food in your stomach, for example a local Halver Hahn (Local bread and cheese).
In the Belgian quarter around the Brussels Square, Cologne shows its creative side and gives itself as young, urban and multicultural. Here are small boutiques and concept stores lined with hip scene restaurants and numerous galleries – and to relax there is a cozy café on every corner. Perfect for strolling, especially if you have some money left for fashion and design.
Anyone who finds the Villach Carnival in Carinthia, Austria funny will surely love the carnival, or “Fastelovend” as the people of Cologne call it. The season starts traditionally on 11. 11. at 11:11am, and after the start with the presentation of the new carnival prince it will remain quiet. The calm before the storm that takes over the whole city is from the Women’s Carnival (the Thursday before lent) to the violet Tuesday (our Carnival Tuesday also known as Shrove Tuesday or the last day before lent starts).
Cologne is bursting at the seams at this time, book early enough is probably the most important tip you can give for the carnival. Otherwise, it is quite sufficient to dress in fancy-dress and mix with the people, drink a few Kölsch beers and never, but never call out “Helau” instead of “Alaaf”, so as to attract no evil looks of the local population. And please pay attention to chocolates on the floor. They taste good, but they can also hit you in the eye.