Cologne guide Germany map flag

Monuments and culture - In this article you will learn more about famous monuments in Cologne such as Cologne Cathedral (Kolner Dom), Hohenzollern Bridge, Old Town Hall and others.

Accommodation - In this article you will find recommendations for luxury accommodation in city centre, sustainable guesthouse in quiet outskirts, most popular hostel and so on.

Food and drink - In Cologne, you can enjoy not only river fish or potatoe meals, but also local beers.

Practical advice - Here you will get some tips for public transport, where to shop, where to find modern architecture or how to enjoy local carnival.

Famous people - Which famous people are connected with Cologne? Learn more about these writers, scientists, photographers and others.

Weather - When is the best period to visit Cologne? What about the rainfalls?

AI poem - What artificial intelligence wrote about Cologne.

Cologne (German Köln), one of the largest and most populous German cities, is located on the Rhine River in North Rhine-Westphalia. The city has a rich history, cultural heritage and is known for its impressive Gothic cathedral.

Cologne Cathedral (Church of St. Peter and Mary) - one of the most important Gothic cathedrals in the world. Its construction began in the 13th century and ended only in the nineteenth century. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral

Cologne has more than 2,000 years of history. Founded by the Romans as Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, it was one of the most important cities in the Roman province of Germania.

The city lies on the left bank of the river Rhine, which gives it a picturesque location and offers opportunities for river cruises.

You can visit many museums, galleries and theaters in Cologne. The city hosts many festivals and cultural events throughout the year.

During the winter, the city comes alive with colorful carnival festivities with colorful parades and costumes. The local carnival starts on 11.11. at 11 a.m. and continues through March.

Carvival in Cologne (AI)
Carvival in Cologne (AI)

Regional cuisine offers specialties such as Halver Hahn (beef sandwich), Kölsch (traditional beer) and Rheinischer Sauerbraten (stewed meat in sour sauce).

In addition to historical buildings, Cologne is also known for modern architecture, for example the Ludwig Museum or the postmodern buildings in Deutz.

The city is an economic center with developed industry, trade and services. There is also an important port here.

Cologne has an excellent transport infrastructure, including an international airport, rail links and important motorways.

Landmarks and monuments

The most famous sights in Cologne include:

The Church of St. Peter and Mary (Kölner Dom) - a Gothic cathedral, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Its impressive towers measure an incredible 157 meters. The Archbishop of Cologne resides here.

Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral

Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) - historic town hall in the city center, built in Gothic and Renaissance style. It is located on the Alter Markt square and its 61 meter high tower is one of the main landmarks of the city.

Museum Ludwig - a modern art museum specializing in modern and contemporary pop art. Featuring works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and more.

Romano-Germanicum Museum (Römisch-Germanisches Museum) - a museum focused on Roman and Germanic history. Here you will find many archaeological finds from 2000 years ago.

Severin's Basilica (Severinskirche) - Romanesque basilica from the 10th century, one of the oldest churches in Cologne.

Eigelsteintorburg - a medieval gate, part of the original city fortifications. Although many parts of the fortifications have not been preserved, Eigelsteintorburg adds a touch of history.

Hohenzollern Bridge (Hohenzollernbrücke) – 409 meters long and 29 meters wide bridge over the Rhine River from the beginning of the 20th century. It is famous for its arches and railway lines. You can enjoy beautiful views of the Dome from here.

Hohenzollern bridge
Hohenzollern bridge

Chocolate Museum (Schokoladenmuseum) - a museum dedicated to the history and production of chocolate, with tastings and interactive exhibits, not only children will appreciate.

Flora and Botanical Garden - a beautiful botanical garden with many types of plants and flowers. You can find this ideal place to relax and walk next to the zoo. Free entry.

Rheinauhafen - a modern port on the Rhine river, which was created by the revitalization of a former seaport. It offers interesting architecture, modern buildings and great opportunities for walking along the waterfront.



In Cologne you will find dozens of hotels, guest houses, apartments and hostels. The largest number of accommodation facilities is located in the very center of the Old and New Town (Altstadt, Neustadt). In the center near the main train station (Köln Hauptbanhof) there are both luxury hotels and more modest hostels for a less demanding clientele. Another district with a rich offer of accommodation is the Innenstadt located by the river Rhine. All offered accommodations have good access to the metro. Hotels of higher categories offer their guests comfortable rooms, a high standard of services, and some of them also have swimming pools and a wide range of wellness services. The price range for accommodation is wide, always depending on the standard, location and season.

The 5* Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom is definitely among the most luxurious accommodations in Cologne. You can find it directly opposite the Cologne Cathedral, a short distance from the main station. The local restaurant boasts a Michelin star. There is also a piano bar and a cigar lounge.

The V8 Hotel Köln at MOTORWORLD with its stylish decorations is sure to impress motor vehicle lovers. You can find this 4* hotel 6 km from the center and thanks to the 24/7 reception, you can check in at almost any time.

The pleasant 3* Hotel Stern am Rathaus is located in a side street right in the city center - an ideal location for those who want to explore the historic center but like peace and quiet.

Historical centre
Historical centre

Someone, on the other hand, prefers to stay in a guesthouse outside the center. At the sustainable guesthouse Spacious & comfortable guestrooms w private bathrooms near Koelnmesse & Lanxess Arena, about 6 km from the city center, you can stay in a room with a balcony or garden view.

Probably the most popular Cologne Hostel die Wohngemeinschaft can be found a short distance from the center. The younger generation will enjoy the hostel more, because the local cafe, where you can have refreshments during the day, turns into a bar with DJs in the evening.

For a complete offer of accommodation in Cologne, we recommend using You can also use offer for Cologne.

Practical advice for the trip

You can use efficient public transport in Cologne. You can ride by tram, bus and train. But the historical center of the city is best explored on foot. You can also go for a boat trip.

Boat trip
Boat trip

If you plan to visit museums or historical sites, consider purchasing tickets in advance online. This will save you time and avoid queues.

Be prepared to go through security when visiting Kölner Dom. Some items, such as large backpacks, may not be allowed.

If you like modern architecture, don't miss a walk around the modern part of Rheinauhafen. In addition to modern buildings, it also offers nice views of the Rhine River.

If you like parties and celebrations, visit Cologne during the carnival season. Make sure you have some kind of carnival costume!

Try local specialties including traditional Kölsch beer, bratwursts and Halver Hahn.

In addition to local specialties, many restaurants also offer a wonderful view of the Kölner Dom.

If you come to Cologne by car, find out about the parking options in advance. Parking in the city center may be limited.

For shopping, head to the area around Schildergasse, where you will find many shops and boutiques. If you want to take a break and relax, you can go for a walk along the river.

River bank
Walks along the river

Consider buying a city card, which can give you discounts on transport and entrances to some sights.

Food and drink

In Cologne you can taste a number of traditional German specialties:

Halver Hahn - sandwich with slices of Gouda cheese, dark bread and mustard or onion.

Reibekuchen - potato pancakes often served with apple compote or sugar and cinnamon.

Sweet or savory potato pancakes (AI)
Sweet or savory potato pancakes (AI)

Himmel un Ääd - a traditional dish called "Heaven and Earth" that combines potatoes (earth), apples (heaven) and is often served with sausage or meat.

Sauerbraten - stewed meat (often beef or pork) marinated in a mixture of vinegar, water and spices, served with sauce and dumplings.

Rheinischer Sauerbraten - a variant of Sauerbraten from the Rhineland region, usually made with beef and served with potato dumplings.

River fish - fish from the Rhine River, prepared in various ways, for example fried or smoked.

Kölsch - a traditional beer brewed in Cologne. It's bright and refreshing. Be careful, in some pubs the waiter can automatically refill you if you finish your beer, unless you say you don't want any more.

Local beer (AI)
Local beer (AI)

Apfelwein - cider, often served Frankfurt-style, which means it's slightly sour.

Wein (Wine) - Rhine wine that is popular in the area, mostly white and fresh.

Korn - a traditional German spirit, similar to vodka. You can taste it in different flavors.

Cola-Mix (Spezi) - a German variant of a mixed drink, often combining cola and an orange drink.

Remember that local cuisine can have different variations and specialties, so don't be afraid to experiment and taste different foods and drinks during your visit.


Cologne was the home and place of activity of many important figures from various fields, including art, science and politics. Here are some famous people associated with this German city:

Heinrich Böll (1917–1985) - German writer, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1972. Born in Cologne, Böll often criticized social and political issues in his works. He was born in Cologne and studied at the local university.

Konrad Adenauer (1876–1967) – Germany's first chancellor after World War II and a politician who played a key role in the country's reconstruction. Adenauer was also a long-term mayor in his native Cologne.

Wilhelm Röntgen (1845–1923) – German physicist who won the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901 for the discovery of X-rays. Röntgen spent some time in Cologne, where he worked at the university.

August Sander (1876–1964) - German photographer known for his documentary project "People of the 20th Century". Sander lived and worked in Cologne and his work was later recognized as important for the development of photography.

Wim Wenders (1945) - German film director, producer and photographer. Wenders was born in Düsseldorf but studied at the University of Cologne and often reflects German and European culture in his work.

Ferdinand Franz Wallraf (1748–1824) - German librarian, pedagogue and art historian, founder of the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne.

Günther Grass (1927–2015) - German writer and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999. Grass was born in Gdańsk, but spent his childhood and youth in Cologne.

Marlene Dietrich (1901–1992) - German actress and singer who was born in Berlin but had strong connections to Germany as well as Cologne throughout her career.


A visit to Cologne is generally recommended from spring to autumn. Even if it rains a lot in July, the heat will make up for it. In July and August, the temperature rises to 25 °C, exceptionally even over 30 °C. In winter, on the other hand, it drops to zero. It rains a lot in December, but neither the cold nor the rain will deter Christmas market visitors ;).

Christmas markets (AI)
Christmas markets (AI)

A poem about Cologne invented by artificial intelligence

In the heart of the Rhine, where the Rhine flows quietly,

Cologne stands like a wall of noble drawings.

Dome towers touch the sky high,

in the charm of the ancient that memory preserves.

The whisper of history in the stone streets sounds,

where the past hides its secret in every stone.

Around the square, where market-goers begin their pilgrimage,

the colors bloom, like spring summoned to a painter's canvas.

Kölsch beer in a bottle is undulating calmly,

stories are woven in cozy pubs.

Crosses on the vine laugh on the tables,

when joy and well-being reign in the heart of Cologne.

The Rhine wave waves, sings the song of distant shores,

bridges connect like bonds of strong love.

In a city where the past breathes with the present,

Cologne, in the mysterious embrace of dreams.

The cathedral invites you to tell stories with its shadow,

about the eternal dance of time and human dream journeys.

And in every stone, in every smile of the city,

Cologne carries the song that the heart sings with love.