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Cologne Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Cologne vacation


andromeda
A most pleasant Bier festival 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Cologne is a pretty town – that’s what I gathered from exploring a 2 km-radius from the main station (Hauptbahnhof). My timing was just right. I was there on a day trip and just happened to stumble upon a beer festival in full swing at one of the cobbled squares. Further inspection revealed tons of different beers from different parts of the world at various stalls. To mention a few, there was dark beer, ale, beer in a huge glass from a stall shaped like a Viking ship, sweet beer (ugh), delicious beer from Bavaria and a surprising cherry beer. Norse musicians were playing strange instruments and enacting battles. And of course, a good dose of bratwursts and other Euro beer food made this beer eden complete. I suspect this happens pretty often out there.


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LittleFairy
Cologne - the city of ancient beauty 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I guess none of you doesn’t know about the most famous Cathedral in Cologne. When we were there, there was unfortunately a renovation going on inside and outside the Cathedral. The photos with all those things were definitely not good enough at all. One good thing about all the cathedrals in Germany is that they don’t ask for entrance fee when you want to visit them. It sounds really ridiculous but if you want to get inside any cathedral in, for example, Barcelona, you would have to pay an entrance fee. Of course, it is not too much but it is still something I didn’t like when I was there. Cologne has the look of an ancient city but it also has a modern side at the same time. Getting out of the train station, the first thing we saw was the old and famous cathedral, what also makes the face of this city. However, within a walk distance you can already see the pedestrian zone filled with all the modern shops and fast-food restaurants.

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weltbummler
Faastelavend 4 stars
Cologne is a beautiful city. It has old and new mingled together like to sides of a coin. The people are great, very nice and easily to befriend. Every year in Feburary/ March there is one special weekend which is called "Fasstelaavend" or more common "Karneval". It is a famous and very big feast which is celebrated very thoroghly. All over the city there are people dressed up like their favourite wish-to-be. On the following Monday there is always the socalled "Rosenmontagsumzug" . This special day it is impossible to get around by car. This day is work-free.

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NOFXmike
Kölsch (Cologne's beer) 4 stars
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
As I always tell people, drink the beer that the locals drink. Another way to think of it is the further you have to ship the beer, the more you have shaken it in the process, and the more temperature variations the beer has dealt with, and so try to drink the beer as close to the brewery as possible. Kölsch is the primary beer of Cologne and in fact is the only place that can call beer by that name (similar to Champaign or Tequila). This is probably not the beer you picture when you think of Germany, but technically is the closest to the “old style” of beer that exists in Germany today. The down side is that they serve them in what I would describe as shot glasses. So order at least 10 at a time.

It’s an ale, tastes rather light and fruity…and more similar to what you’d find in Belgium than in the rest of Germany.


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milandutch
Cologne 1 stars
I find Cologne uniform and drab, even the reconstructed old town seems like Disneyland and not charming in its newness. Outside of the Cologne Dom, which is a magnificent cathedral reminiscent of the Duoma in Milan, there are only two other sights that are not museums worth seeing. The other two things consist of the meadowlands along the Rhine River once you walk or bike further from the Dom and a hard to find Romanesque St. Gereon church. Although relatively small, you’ll still need the tram to take you three or four stops in either direction to reach some bar and restaurant areas popular with students or professionals away from the old town.

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NOFXmike
Christopher street day, Cologne 4 stars
Christopher street day in Cologne is a very interesting experience no matter what your sexual preference. Although Christopher street day does not originate from Cologne, it’s hard to tell from looking around Cologne that day. We happen to be in Cologne this last year on Christopher street day and the town was packed full of people partying with all kinds of hilarious outfits proclaiming gay pride. For the odd tourist, this could be a bit disturbing to just randomly come across, but if you want to party, Cologne certainly parties hard on Christopher street day and I think it is fun for everyone (I’m a bit liberal). Christopher street day is celebrated on different days in different cities, but if you happen to be anywhere near Cologne on Christopher street day, make sure to head downtown for the parade and party, it’s a cultural experience you won’t forget.

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misadventure
Cologne Festival 2 stars
Cologne festival attracts thousands of people every year and this was my first time, i must say that although i didn't have the best day ever i can see the attraction!! The day is an excuse for people to dress up, drink a lot and parade the streets singing - which is great if you can sing in German! The day brought out the most imaginative costumes and people are generally really happy (and drunk) even though it was pouring with rain for some of the day! I think it is one of those things that everyone has to experience once and i think would probably love but for me it was a bit to crowded and i was very disappointed when i couldn't sing a long!!

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stef4219
Churches 5 stars
I'm not very religious, but I find churches really amazing and Cologne is full of them. I’m sure there is a guided tour taking you to all the Romanesque churches in the centre. But if you do not fancy this just look them up on a city map or just take a walk in the centre and you will pass them automatically. Most of them are very close to each other. My favourites are “St.Aposteln” and “Groß St. Martin”. Both of them you cannot miss when you spent some days in Cologne. Not as beautiful a these two from the outside is “St. Maria Lyskirchen”, inside however the paintings on the ceiling are just incredible.

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Elizaoprisor
Religious City 4 stars
If you have already visited Cologne, you must have noticed for sure the multitude of churches it hosts. Except from the huge famous gothic cathedral, there are very many roman churches. I visited some of them. St. Andreas Church is very interesting. It dates from 1200, so it’s probably one of the oldest. The Gross St. Martin is also worth visiting. You can find it in the famous Fischmarkt. I also visited the St Pantaleon and St Kunibert, which are very similar and very imposing with their typical romanic architecture. No matter if for praying or only tourism purposes, the churches of Cologne are worth visiting and truly impressive.

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Elizaoprisor
Cologne 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I visited Cologne two years ago, in winter. I must say that this city definitely deserves its reputation of one of the nicest cities in Germany. The centre is simply amazing. There are so many shops and cafes and so many tourists. I was surprised that even in winter, it was full of people outside. Cologne hosts many concerts and people from all over Germany and Europe go there, so it gets full of foreigners and germans having a great time. Cologne is famous for its unique carnival and its wonderful Dome. There is a great atmosphere in Cologne, and I would definitely consider moving there in the future.

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WorldTourist
Brauweiler Abbey 2 stars
A great side trip while visiting Cologne is the Brauweiler Abbey. For a long time, this place was used or displaced people. Recently for refugees, and previously for beggars and also such people not deemed to be desirable. However, today the structure still stands as a great architectural achievement.

Now the church still stands in great condition and is well kept. There is now a nice museum and an archive in the building. Overall the building looks nice, but there isn’t too much to do around this area. The building has been remolded like most buildings in Germany, but the distance of this building from other main attractions, makes it not worth the time to make the side trip out to the Brauweiler Abbey.


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WorldTourist
Chocolate Museum 3 stars
This is a museum that covers the history of chocolate. Here I got to see where chocolate origininated and the opinions on this tasty creation throughout the ages. The museum is also a small factory. Here you can see the whole production process of how chocolate becomes made. One problem that I had one my tour is that there I didn’t go early enough and it was really crowded. However, I did get a lot of free samples on the tour. The amount of people sometimes made it hard, but even still I was able to see everything as long as I didn’t try to push my way through. If you are a patient person, the crowds will not be too bad.

Thankfully, the museum was not only in German, but there was almost everything explained fully in English. Unfortunately, there were a few parts that weren’t explained in German so those who didn’t know German really couldn’t enjoy some sections. At the end of the tour everyone recieves a very small sample. By small, I mean very small. It was like receiving a bite size piece of chocolate. I had expected more after all the brewery tours I have been in that offer loads of free beer.

In any case, the cost of entrance was rather low, only 5 euros, so for a better insight into the production chocolate, I would recommend this museum. However, overall the museum was not so special, so if you have better things to do, skip past this museum.


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WorldTourist
Cologne Carnival, the crazy days of Cologne 5 stars
One of the best festivals in Cologne is the Carnival that happens in February. Here you can get a sample of how the city of Cologne can really be a great place to be. There are a number of things to be seen during this event. One entertaining feature is the musical clowns that come to perform. They produce a sort of samba music that is supposed to be entirely different than usual carnivals.
This is basically a time for the city of cologne to go wild. They hold a parade where there are floats and banners. Special societies hold hundreds of carnival sessions and balls. Be ready to party at this event because during these crazy days, the pubs stay open until very early in the morning. People won’t want to work during these days, rather they will let go of themselves and party all night. The streets will be noisy even very early in the morning.
Every year the city seems to try to outdo itself. People will start to wear gayer and gayer costumes. If you want to participate get yourself a costume and be prepared to drink until the time that you are supposed to wake up.


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