Cologne –  also known as Köln (German) or Kölle (kölsch – an accent of the locals).

With a population of nearly 1.1 million inhabitants it is the fourth-most populous city in Germany. The city is situated on the left (west) bank of the Rhine river, approximately 35 km southeast of the state’s capital Düsseldorf and 25 km northwest of Bonn. I (Timmie) am born in Cologne and I m happy to make you discover my city 🙂

But let’s get down to the important things you need to know for a short trip to this dope city.

Exploring the historical town 📜
Cologne Old Town

Hey, why not kick off your day with a scrumptious breakfast in town – see also our article on brunch spots in Cologne

Then, take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque River Rhine and soak in the breathtaking architecture of the old town. Once you’re done, head over to the Old Marketplace near Cologne City Hall. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and keep admiring the Renaissance buildings in the area, like the fancy City Hall Tower and the Jan von Werth Fountain.

Kölner Dom – Cathedral ⛪

Cologne boasts a dozen ancient churches from the Middle Ages, all of which showcase exquisite Romanesque architecture.

However, the true gem of the city is the Cologne Cathedral, also known as Kölner Dom. This magnificent structure houses the shrine of the Three Wise Men and stands as the second tallest church in Germany and the third tallest in the world. With its stunning Gothic and Neo-Gothic design, the Cologne Cathedral is undeniably one of the city’s top attractions. Stepping inside, you’ll be mesmerized by the intricate stained glass windows, breathtaking artwork, and awe-inspiring architectural details. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visiting the Cologne Cathedral is an absolute must when you’re in town.

For a panoramic view of the entire city, don’t miss the opportunity to climb to the top of the tower. Open year-round, you can even arrange a guided tour of the belfry with the cathedral staff. Just remember to contact them well in advance to ensure you catch the enchanting sound of the bells ringing.

Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne
Hohenzollern Bridge behind the Dom 🔒
Love locks on the Hohenzollern Bridge 🔒

Cologne is a compact city, yet it offers an abundance of fascinating attractions. Its vintage appeal and captivating past make it a perfect destination for a romantic escape. If you’re seeking romance in Cologne, you can enjoy a relaxed walk along the river or simply unwind on the steps of one of the most breathtaking cathedrals. And for those craving adventure, exploring Hohe Strasse will lead you to charming cafes nestled in hidden alleyways and backstreets.

But here’s the real kicker – you gotta visit the Hohenzollern Bridge. It’s got this crazy collection of love locks that weigh a whopping 2 tons! And while you’re there, you can soak in the awesome view of the river. And if you really want to up the romance factor, go to the Love Locks Bridge at night. The lighting is on point and you’ll get some killer photos of the bridge and cathedral all lit up. It’s seriously dramatic and totally worth it.

Cable car over the Rhine 🚡

The Kölner Seilbahn, or cable car, is a super cool way to cross the Rhine River and get some awesome views of the city. It’s about 930 meters long and takes around six minutes to go from one side to the other. It’s definitely worth checking out, unless you’re scared of heights. 😉 If you’re looking for something fun to do at night, you should totally visit their website. They have special night rides from June until the end of September. How cool is that!? Currently the cable car is open every day from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. The last round trip leaves at 5:45 pm, so make sure you get there in time. The ticket for adults costs €5 euros for one way or €9 for a round trip.

Ehrenfeld impresses with the greatest number of large-scale murals in Cologne.
Street Art Tour through Ehrenfeld and Belgisches Viertel 🎨

Cologne may be a small city, but it’s got a ton of cool stuff to check out. It’s got this old-timey charm and a rich history that makes it the ideal spot for a romantic getaway. If you’re in the mood for some romance in Cologne, you can take a leisurely stroll along the river or just chill on the steps of one of the most stunning cathedrals ever. And if you’re up for some adventure, you can hit up Hohe Strasse and find these hidden gems of cafes tucked away in little alleyways and backstreets. 

Kölsch & Breweries 🍺

Hey, when you’re in Cologne, you gotta try the famous Kölsch beer! They also serve it in a Kranz (like a wreath) with small glasses. It’s a light and easy-to-drink beer, but watch out, you might lose track of how many you’ve had quickly! 🙂 Oh, and here’s a local tip: put a beer mat on top of your glass to avoid refills, otherwise new ones are coming without ordering. 

If you’re looking for the best pubs in the south side of Cologne, you should totally book a guided pub crawl. It’s a safe way to enjoy delicious food, hear interesting stories, and visit the most iconic pubs in the area. Trust your guide to show you a good time!

“Drink doch ene mit” (lift a glass with us)


For authentic food off of the typical touristic places, you should consider Haus Scholzenor the Braustelle Braustelle is the smallest professional Brewery, where the owner is making his own beer.

Melaten cemetery 🪦

Maybe a bit weird, but take a stroll through the Melaten Cemetery in Cologne and check out the graves of the city’s most famous peeps on a tour that’s totally different. By yourself or with a guide you can chill out and soak up the history of the awesome park. It’s a peaceful spot (surprise 🙂 ), surrounded by beautiful flora and fauna, right in the heart of Cologne. The cemetery is huge, covering over 400000 square meters and with around 55000 graves. The guided tour is a great chance to take a break and reflect on life, love, death, and art culture. You’ll learn some cool and quirky facts about the people buried there and see some impressive graves and monuments.

Last one: KARNEVAL 🎉

Cologne is the ultimate place to be for Karneval in Germany. Every year, millions of people hit the streets to party in their best costumes to have the best time before Ash Wednesday ends the season.

If you haven’t experienced Karneval in Cologne yet, you’re missing out on something truly epic! The people of Kölle have Karneval in their blood. They start planning for this celebration as early as 11:11 on November 11 and keep the next Karneval party going in February. Bring your costume and celebrate with a unicorn, a ninja turtle, an avocado and many more in one place.

Last but not least, Cologne is known for its extroverted, welcoming and honest people. If you have a drink in a local brewery or bar make sure to get in touch with them, they’ll be more than welcome to show you more. ❤️ 

Happy travel, J&T


Karneval Köln