Need hotel?
  • Room #1
    Adults
    Children
    Child's age
Place of stay
Check in
Check out
Guests and rooms
Number of rooms
  • Room #1
    Adults
    Children
    Child's age
Recommended hotels
Coellner Hof
Coellner Hof
TripAdvisor rating Based on 415 reviews
View more
Ameron Parkhotel Euskirchen
Ameron Parkhotel Euskirchen
TripAdvisor rating Based on 302 reviews
View more
Köln Marriot Hotel
Köln Marriot Hotel
TripAdvisor rating Based on 1712 reviews
View more
Hyatt Regency Cologne
Hyatt Regency Cologne
TripAdvisor rating Based on 2474 reviews
View more
Ameron Regent
Ameron Regent
TripAdvisor rating Based on 418 reviews
View more
More hotels
About city What to see Gallery Where to stay

Cologne is the fourth-largest city in Germany and the largest city of the North Rhine-Westphalia federal state. It has been one of the biggest European transport centres since time immemorial – on average, it is crossed by 8 trains every minute. Cologne is home to the headquarters of the most important national and regional television and radio stations, and one of the largest German universities. In terms of the number of art galleries, it’s second only to New York.

The River Rhine divides Cologne in two: the left bank is filled mostly with historic and living quarters, while the right bank is almost completely occupied by industrial companies.

The symbol of the city, the Cologne Cathedral, is located in the Old Town. It’s the largest Gothic building not only in Germany, but in all Northern Europe. Its construction took 632 years – from the 13th- to the 19th-century. No wonder that one of the many legends surrounding it tells the story of an architect who made a pact with the Devil that as long as the church is under construction, he will live. Eventually, the troubled architect killed himself, which led to the cathedral being finished. All legends aside, this Gothic masterpiece is now protected by UNESCO. The artwork contained within is the most important in the whole of Europe – even more important than that found in Vatican. Here you’ll find myriads of paintings, sculptures, crosses and other religious art pieces. One of the most valuable exhibits here is the Cross of Gero, made in 975 CE.

Illuminated Cologne Cathedral
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Illuminated Cologne Cathedral

The Cathedral of Cologne has two 157-metre-high towers. The southern one has a viewpoint that opens up on a beautiful panorama of the city. This building has the world’s largest functioning bell - called Peter - which weighs 24 tonnes.

The main treasure of the cathedral, however, is the silver-, gold- and gem-decorated sarcophagus that holds the remains of the Three Wise Men who came to visit Jesus after his birth. This artefact was brought to Cologne in 1164 from a certain monastery of Milan.

Cologne is considered to be a city of carnivals, and this type of entertainment here is the best in all of Germany. Carnivals have been taking place in Cologne for hundreds of years. The season traditionally begins on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 hours and 11 minutes, and reaches climax on the eve of the Great Lent that takes place at the end of February, celebrated with a big feast that lasts for several days.

The historic streets of Cologne are humming with people during Christmas fairs
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  The historic streets of Cologne are humming with people during Christmas fairs

The locals then elect three people to become the main carnival figures – the Prince, the Maiden and the Farmer. For this honour, the elects have to pay a fairly large sum to the carnival coffer. During the celebration, people wear the most incredible and silly costumes, tell rather crude jokes to each other, and make fun of pretty much everything around them. Chocolate bars and candy are thrown from the carnival wagons to the cheerful crowd, prompting some to bring umbrellas and come early in the morning to get the best spots. Turned upside down, the umbrellas catch more candy than even the most nimble of hands.

The “Cologne Lights” firework festival, held every year on the 16th of July, is known all around the world, and large crowds of people gather on the banks of Rhine on the day, hoping to witness the fabulous event. Multitudes of fireworks colour the sky with the most exquisite fire patterns. Those who want to experience something truly unforgettable can observe the nocturnal festivities from boats, many of which sail all over the river, offering their services to tourists.

A quarter of modern buildings, Cologne
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  A quarter of modern buildings, Cologne

Holidays in Cologne are celebrated with a special local beer, called Kölsch, which has one treacherous property – after having a certain number of the 0.2-litre glasses of this light drink, one suddenly begins to feel very drunk. So keep tabs on how many of those you’ve had!

Cuckoo clocks and the traditional little figurines, depicting men having a smoke, are special souvenirs, made by hand only in Cologne, and very popular with tourists. And let’s not forget Eau de Cologne, so popular in Europe both in the past and in the present, which was first made in 17th-century Cologne. As for children, they just love the Museum of Chocolate – the first of its kind in the whole world.

Where to stay

loading...