I live near Cologne and never saw it as a touristical place to go. However, the matching Wikipedia article might be a good starting point for your investigations. Also you might want to see cities nearby, including Bonn, but also Frechen, Hürth, Brühl, Leverkusen, Dormagen, Pulheim – each having a German Wikipedia article (mentioning noteworthy places) too.
Somewhere, there’s the Pope’s Hill where they celebrated World Youth Day 2005; in Brühl there’s a pair of castles worth to see – while in Cologne you might stay for weeks to see every single church. You might want to see the Alter Markt of Cologne if you’re interested in a part of Cologne’s old town. Around Pulheim there are several mills, also maybe worth a look; at least sad to miss if you’d been there and learn about them only afterwards.
Alternatively, places to visit in Cologne, you might figure out by having a look into the local event calendar magazines like Kölner (koelner.de) or Stadtrevue (stadtrevue.de), both in German.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate your response. I have been to the more touristy areas in Germany, so I thought Koln might be a different experience… Also, I can remember waking up on an overnight train from Berlin to Amsterdam and seeing the cathedral, rising up out of the darkness… so that’s how I ended up choosing Koln. I love to wander around the smaller towns in Germany, so I will definitely explore your suggestions further!
Nice way to pick a city. :) And pretty nice how you describe it, too.
However, be glad you didn’t see the cathedral in daylight. – I see it every morning when commuting to work, and finally decided it’s quite nasty. … We’ve got an ongoing discussion here on whether the muslims shall be allowed to build a quite large mosque with high towers, and on the other hand there’s the cathedral and the UNESCO’s demand that there may be no other building around topping the height of the cathedral.
My conclusion was, the cathedral is a real logo for Cologne. But why shouldn’t be there any other? Like a mosque? Cologne has so very many churches, it won’t hurt, I think. And, maybe, they might manage to keep the mosque’s stone white. I think, for the cathedral, they’ve given up that one already. The stone’s getting black so quickly, you almost can see it going on. It’s because of the exhaust gas of the cars.
Another hint for diving into Cologne might be to “surf a couch” of someone living here. There’s a quite active Couchsurfing.com group around for the Cologne/Bonn area. Although that community does not belong to Robot Co-Op (43places etc), I suggest to take that chance very much. Once, I surfed a couch in Braunschweig and it was a great experience and chance to learn about that city and city life.
I suggest you the cable car tour. Start at the zoo with the cable car and then take a walk back at the right side of the Rhine back to the “Rheinterassen”. Have a coffee and a cake and walk over the railway bridge to the central station right next to the cathedral. Here you are down town and just cruise through the city. Cologne is cold but beautiful in February.
In the evening enjoy some glass of beer named “Kölsch” at the “Rheinpromenaden” in the “Kölner Altstadt” or go out for dinner at the “Hohenzollernring” here are also all of the clubs.
Visit the Website of Cologne and have a look at all the great things you can do and enjoy in our town.
There is a train from the airport to the city – you’ll see when you leave the customs.
If you have more questions or enjoy someone’s company don’t hesitate to ask.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I truly appreciate it!
You mention the cold, which I am prepared for, having spent time in Europe in the winter, but I’m wondering what sort of cold is it; the damp or the dry? Should I expect much rain? I’m just trying to get an idea of what to pack.
Oh, I am getting so excited!
One of my favorite things to do while there was to go to the Schokoladenmuseum. http://www.schokoladenmuseum.de/index_e.html
They even have a chocolate fountain. What more could you ask for?
I second the suggestion to cross the Rhine. Walking across the river (in the evening) is one of my fondest memories of Germany.
Dear Sara, thank you for this question! I’m traveling there, too! Tommorow!!!, and will stay there till Feb 25th as well. We could exchange plans and experiences, what do you say? I hope to post my impressions at Sat. And weather report for you.
Since I’m coming to Frankfurt airport and traveling to Köln by train, I can’t answer to your question regarding transportation.
I’m so excited, I can’t wait to get there!
These days it was very cold and sunny. Very sunny and nice when you are in sunny spot, and in shade it is freezing. They say it is going to be warmer but nobody mentioned rain.
Hope this helps.
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