Cologne
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Top attractions in Cologne

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Best things to do in Cologne

Enriched by some of Europe's most striking churches, numerous museums, and one of the oldest universities in the world, Cologne is the Rhineland's cultural heart. If you're looking for its best places to visit, look no further!

Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral

By far the city's most famous attraction, the Cologne cathedral was built to house the reliquary of the Three Kings. Construction began in 1248, however, it wasn't finished until 1880!

Cologne Zoological Garden
Photo: Alexander Kaiser @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Cologne Zoological Garden

Founded in 1860, Cologne's zoo is world renowned. With over 700 species on display, it has an aquarium and inveterbrate house, although its emphasis is on primates.

Imhoff Chocolate Museum
Photo: Daniel Farrell @Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Imhoff Chocolate Museum

Located in the Old Town, Cologne's superb chocolate museum covers the entire history of the world's favorite treat from its Central American origins to its modern day production.

Roman Tower and Walls
Photo: NH53 @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Roman Tower and Walls

Cologne's Roman fortifications take you about as far back into the city's history as is possible to go. The tower is at Ulrepforte, along with the best preserved section of wall.

Hohenzollern Bridge
Photo: Luftphilia @Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Hohenzollern Bridge

Known as the "Love Bridge" for its countless engraved padlocks honoring star-crossed couples, it's the best way across the Rhine to the cathedral, if not everlasting happiness!

Kolumba
Photo: Georgie Pauwels @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Kolumba

One of the city's oldest museums houses an eclectic mix of religious art and iconography in its exemplary exhibition rooms. To this day it's run by the Archdiocese of Cologne.

Sculpture Park

Enter from the main entrance at Riehler Strasse to discover a modest yet picturesque park peppered with quirky, modern sculptures. The best part is that it's free!

Planning Your Cologne Visit

When to go?

Summer can get quite humid in Cologne, meaning the city's peak season is actually in the fall, so don't be surprised if your hotel costs more in October! Spring is also a good time as the beer gardens start to open up and the city awakens from its winter slumber. That said, it's worth going in winter too for the famous Christmas markets, and the city's carnival begins in February!

When are the Christmas markets?

Cologne has 6 main Christmas markets, each with its own personality. (Check out the Medieval-themed one outside of the Chocolate Museum!) They run from November 23rd to December 23rd.

How many days should you spend in Cologne?

2 or 3 days should be enough to cover Cologne's top attractions but bear in mind that the city is located in a cluster of others worth visiting, such as Bonn and Düsseldorf. Also, the breathtaking Rhine Gorge is just a short journey south, so it might be worth booking more time to accommodate a day trip or two!

Good to know

  • Language
    German
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +49
  • Best time to visit
    Spring and Fall offer milder temperatures, but the Winter brings with it the famous Christmas markets.

Things to Do in Cologne

Top Attractions in Cologne

Cities in Germany

Other Sightseeing Options in Cologne

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What people are saying about Cologne

The best Evening out that I had in a long time!

That has been more then awesome. We were a group of around hundred people. Most of them had bachelor party. It has been a really nice atmosphere and people were doing party all the time. The clubs were great and our guides did a very good job. If I am coming back to cologne one day, I would definitely do it again.

Pub Crawl Cologne Including Admission Fee for Bars and Shots Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 05/27/2018

worth it if you are using public transportation

I bought this card mainly to take advantage to get into museums at a reduced price-unfortunately most museums were closed on Monday. So check before you purchase. Did get a little bit of discount for the Hop on /Hop off bus ride across town

Experience Cologne: KölnCard Reviewed by Jorge, 04/11/2018

Social and Structured good mix for a night of Fun!

I met up with a group of lads at a local bar in the best nightlife area of Cologne. I was pleased with How the host engaged me upfront and made me feel comfortable form the beginning (ofcourse the free shots helped!) . The tour was as promised nearly 7 different venues and you keep drinking the entire way through until you fallover from being drunk , its perfect! I would certainly recommend to other guests looking for a night of fun, a great nightlife experience and lots of free Drinking!

Even better than expected. Totally recommendable :-)

Cool atmosphere, people on charge really friendly and also the group was really cool.

Very useful for easy travelling around Cologne and good discounts!

We were in Cologne for a couple of days to experience the Christmas markets and bought a group KoelnCard to cover the three of us. It was very useful, removed the headache of having the cash handy for travelling on the U-bahn and trains and I think we probably covered the cost of the card in that alone. In addition, we had good discounts at those two essential Cologne visits, the Chocolate museum and the Fragrance museum! Well worth the investment!

Experience Cologne: KölnCard Reviewed by Steve, 12/14/2016