What to Do in Cologne in One Day (Cool Köln, Germany)

Famend for its Gothic cathedral and its distinctive Kölsch beer, Cologne can also be the birthplace of the world’s first eau de cologne and residential to among the greatest buying within the nation. Deliver an enormous urge for food and good strolling footwear as a result of there’s tons to eat and discover. Situated on the Rhine River in Western Germany, Cologne is a well-liked cease on cruises with Viking Cruises and different river cruise traces. Listed here are my firsthand ideas for 7 enjoyable issues to do in Cologne, Germany in someday, whether or not you arrive by ship, practice, or automobile. Simply attain all of those predominant sights on foot within the coronary heart of town.

Cologne Cathedral
The well-known Cologne Cathedral (Picture credit score: Colleen Lanin)

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1. Climb to the highest of Cologne Cathedral.

Situated within the middle of Cologne’s historic Previous City, it’d be arduous to overlook the behemoth Cologne Cathedral with its two large towers. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage website in 1996. Pay a small payment to climb the 533 steps to the highest of the very best spire for one of the best ways to get a panoramic view of Germany’s fourth largest metropolis.

Building on the Gothic construction started within the thirteenth century. This spectacular church in metropolis middle is thought for its 20,000 sq. ft of stained glass home windows. It’s stated to deal with the stays of the biblical Three Smart Males, making it an necessary pilgrimage website for religious Christians. In truth, this iconic cathedral is among the many most visited landmarks in Germany.

Traditional Kölsch beer served in Cologne, Germany
Conventional Kölsch beer served in Cologne (Picture credit score: Tim ‘Avatar’ Bartel, wikimedia.org)

2. Style Kölsch Beer.

If you envision ingesting beer in Germany, photos of dirndl-clad, sturdy girls wielding large mugs of beer in raucous beer gardens could spring to thoughts. In Cologne, nonetheless, the attractive metropolis’s signature Kölsch beer is served in elegant skinny glasses.

The sunshine, barely fruity brew is cool-fermented after which aged and mellowed (or lagered) close to the freezing level. It’s Germany’s solely true all-barley pale ale, and this native beer is troublesome to seek out outdoors of the nation.


Each brewhouse on the town makes their very own model of Kölsch, making brewery excursions a preferred exercise for guests. My husband and I signed up for an non-obligatory Cologne Beer Tradition Tour throughout our Viking Rhine River Cruise and had a ball sipping chilly beers with our fellow cruisers.

Not cruising? You may guide a Guided Cologne Strolling Tour of Breweries with our trusted accomplice, GetYourGuide.

Farina's Eau de Cologne Store
Farina’s Eau de Cologne Retailer (Picture credit score: Colleen Lanin)

3. Cease and scent the eau de cologne.

Have you ever ever puzzled why fragrance is usually referred to as eau de cologne, or just cologne? It began with a really spendy scent created on this German metropolis by the Italian Farina household.

The fragrance was initially named Eau de Cologne, or “Water from Cologne” in French. One of many oldest fragrances on the earth that’s nonetheless produced right this moment, Farina’s fragrance was created in 1709. Again then, solely royalty and the extraordinarily rich may buy Eau de Cologne for an exorbitant price ticket.

Attend a guided tour of the Farina Perfume Museum in English (or German or different languages). Or just pop into the on-site retailer to purchase a memento bottle of the unisex citrus-scented perfume, now affordably priced so mere commoners like us could make the acquisition.

Probably the most well-known eau de cologne is 4711 Eau de Cologne, so named for the parfumerie’s unique road quantity. Right this moment you possibly can attend a perfume workshop and buy the 4711 unique scent and many more recent fragrance choices on the flagship retailer in Cologne.

Hearty German fare in Cologne, Germany
Hearty German fare at Sion Am Ring in Cologne (Picture credit score: Colleen Lanin)

4. Eat German specialties.

Often known as one of many greatest cities in Germany for foodies, someday in Cologne is sufficient time to pattern some scrumptious German delicacies.

Pork knuckles at Haxenhaus

Pork knuckles are all of the rave on this historic metropolis. THE place to do this delicacy is at Haxenhaus (or Knuckle Home). Count on river views, singing and dancing, chilly Kölsch beer, and tender pork knuckles served with dumplings and cabbage. Though I didn’t partake on this native delicacies, my Viking cruise pals adored the dish.

Sausages at Sion Am Ring

A Viking River Cruise tour information pointed us to Sion Am Ring for lunch. There, my husband and I ordered sausages served with a heaping plateful of potato salad for me and sauerkraut and French fries for my husband.

I used to be shocked by the big portion sizes so I requested the waiter if we had been imagined to order one serving to share between the 2 of us. When he stated no, I inquired if most diners truly completed their meals. He laughed and stated, “In fact, we’re German!” Even the desk of German diners sitting subsequent to us discovered our meager appetites laughable.

Though we weren’t capable of clear our plates, the meals was scrumptious. We additionally determined that Sion was residence to the tastiest Kölsch beers based mostly on our samplings on the town.

German pretzel at Merzenich Backereien in Cologne, Germany
German pretzel at Merzenich Backereien in Cologne (Picture credit score: Colleen Lanin)

Pretzels and pastries at Merzenich Backereien

Hungry for a snack? Nothing in Germany is small, so bask in a large handmade pretzel to tide your self over between sausage and pork knuckles. Established in 1896, Merzenich Backereien is the proper place to seize a twisted deal with. Strive one coated in almonds — yum!

Along with scrumptious conventional pretzels, Merzenich Bakery serves loads of different bread and pastries, together with berliners (jelly-filled doughnuts). Though thought-about a specialty of Berlin, therefore the title, these sweets are ever-present within the metropolis of Cologne.

Our Viking River Cruise tour information pointed on the tempting show of donuts under and stated, “Look! It’s the Berliner Wall!” Get it?!

Berliner jelly-filled donuts in Cologne
The Berliner Wall…get it?! (Picture credit score: Colleen Lanin)

5. Store in Cologne, Germany.

After we talked about buying to Viking employees throughout our Rhine Getaway cruise, they turned nearly giddy with the prospect of constructing purchases in Cologne. Certainly, this metropolis will delight any buying lover.

Count on every part from memento outlets and model chains to high-end clothiers and jewellery shops. Cologne is residence to the self-proclaimed greatest buying streets in all of Germany, Hohe Straße and Schildergasse.

Fountain of the Elves is a must-do with one day in Cologne, Germany
Cologne’s Fountain of the Elves (Picture credit score: Colleen Lanin)

6. Calm down at Fountain of the Elves.

If you’re prepared for a break from buying, consuming, and ingesting, head to Heinzelmännchen Fountain, or Fountain of the Elves. This well-known fountain is known as for the legendary home gnomes of Cologne.

Based on legend, miniature elves did the entire work of the residents of Cologne through the night time, permitting town’s inhabitants to calm down through the day. A curious housewife by accident scared off the industrious gnomes, forcing Cologne residents again to work. The fountain depicts the housewife trying to find the elves with a lantern.

Tunnes and Schal bronze statues in Cologne
Tunnes and Schal bronze statues (Picture credit score: Colleen Lanin)

7. Get success from Tünnes and Schäl.

Make sure you get a dose of fine luck earlier than departing Cologne, Germany. Simply outdoors town’s widespread Hänneschen puppet theater, you’ll discover bronze statues of Cologne characters, Tünnes and Schäl.

Legend dictates that rubbing the bulbous nostril of Tunnes will carry good luck. His proboscis has been shined from the various palms of these in search of success.

Couple posing in front of Cologne Cathedral
Selfie in entrance of the majestic Cologne Cathedral (Picture credit score: Colleen Lanin)

Find out about different Rhine River locations price visiting.

Uncover romantic issues to do in Basel, Switzerland.

Go to conventional Dutch windmills in Kinderdjik, a must-visit vacation spot within the Netherlands.

Discover the fascinating Marksburg Citadel in Germany in my journey information.

Discover issues to do in Strasbourg, a French metropolis with a German accent.

Tiptoe by means of the tulips at Keukenhof Gardens close to Amsterdam.

What to Do in Cologne in One Day

Save this stuff to do in Cologne in someday.

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Fun & Tasty Things To Do in Cologne, Germany from TravelMamas.com

Which of those tasty and enjoyable issues to do in Cologne, Germany appeals most to you? Tell us within the feedback under!

A Observe from The Journey Mama: Viking River Cruises hosted our cruise and non-obligatory tour in Cologne. As at all times, my opinions are mine.

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