The 10 Best Things To Do In Cologne

Ah, Cologne! A city that effortlessly marries ancient charm with modern vibrancy. If you’re planning a trip to this German gem, you’re in for a treat. There’s a smorgasbord of activities that promise to fill your itinerary with unforgettable experiences. Let’s dive into the top 10 things to do in this historical yet hip city.

1. Marvel at the Cologne Cathedral

Standing tall with its Gothic spires piercing the sky, the Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is a sight to behold. This UNESCO World Heritage site isn’t just a feast for the eyes; it’s a journey through history. Climb the 533 steps to the top of the south tower, and you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic view of the city. Trust me, it’s worth every step!

2. Stroll Along the Hohenzollern Bridge

Love locks and stunning views? Say no more. The Hohenzollern Bridge is a pedestrian’s paradise. Couples from around the world have adorned this bridge with padlocks as a symbol of their love. Snap a photo, soak in the Rhine’s beauty, and maybe even leave a lock of your own.

3. Explore the Old Town (Altstadt)

The Old Town is the heart of Cologne, with its colorful buildings and quaint cobblestone streets. It’s a perfect spot to savor a Kölsch, the local beer, at a traditional brewery. Don’t miss the historical Town Hall (Rathaus) and the bustling squares like Alter Markt and Heumarkt.

4. Indulge in the Chocolate Museum

Chocoholics, rejoice! The Chocolate Museum (Schokoladenmuseum) is a sweet journey through the history and production of chocolate. Watch confectioners at work and sample the goods. It’s a tasty way to spend an afternoon.

5. Take a River Cruise on the Rhine

Seeing Cologne from the water offers a new perspective. A river cruise on the Rhine gives you a glimpse of the city’s skyline and landmarks. Opt for a dinner cruise to combine sightseeing with a delightful meal.

6. Visit the Cologne Zoo

Animal lovers will enjoy the Cologne Zoo, one of the oldest and most renowned zoos in Germany. It’s home to over 10,000 animals from all corners of the world. The elephant park and the rainforest hall are particularly impressive.

7. Uncover History at the Roman-Germanic Museum

History buffs will be in their element at the Roman-Germanic Museum. It houses a vast collection of artifacts from Cologne’s Roman past, including the famous Dionysus mosaic. It’s a window into the ancient world right in the city center.

8. Relax in the Flora and Botanical Garden

Need a break from the urban hustle? The Flora and Botanical Garden is an oasis of tranquility. With themed gardens and exotic plants, it’s a lovely spot for a leisurely walk or a picnic.

9. Shop on Schildergasse

Shopaholics, take note! Schildergasse is one of Europe’s busiest shopping streets. From high-end boutiques to international chains, there’s something for every taste and budget.

10. Experience the Carnival

If you’re visiting in winter, don’t miss the Cologne Carnival. It’s a festival of costumes, parades, and merriment. The city comes alive with revelers, and the atmosphere is electric.


  • What’s the best time to visit Cologne?

    Spring and fall offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds. However, if you’re after a unique experience, winter for the Carnival or Christmas markets is magical.

  • Is Cologne a walkable city?

    Absolutely! Many of its attractions are within walking distance, especially in the city center. Public transport is also efficient for longer distances.

  • Can you recommend a local dish to try?

    Definitely go for the Himmel un Ääd (Heaven and Earth). It’s a hearty dish combining mashed potatoes (earth) and apple Sauce (heaven) with black pudding.


In conclusion, Cologne is a city that captivates with its blend of historical treasures and contemporary culture. From the awe-inspiring Cologne Cathedral to the festive spirit of the Carnival, there’s an abundance of experiences waiting for you. Whether you’re sipping a Kölsch in the Old Town or locking your love on the Hohenzollern Bridge, each moment in Cologne is one to cherish. So pack your bags, and get ready for an adventure in this vibrant German city!

Remember, these are just the highlights. Cologne’s charm lies in its ability to surprise you with hidden gems around every corner. So, go ahead, explore, and let the city’s spirit infuse your travels with joy and wonder. Prost to your upcoming Cologne adventure!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.