According to ALLCITYCODES, Cologne is located in the west of Germany, in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, off the banks of the Rhine. During the Second World War, the ancient city was destroyed almost to the ground: of the most important sights, only the Cologne Cathedral survived. But the Germans managed the impossible: an uninitiated tourist will not even guess that the magnificent historical center has been painstakingly restored.
Cologne opens up to travelers with a kaleidoscope of different guises and moods. Bright, well-groomed streets beckon with the comfort of cafes and pubs. Masterpieces of Gothic and Romanesque architecture amaze the imagination with their beauty and grandeur. The Cathedral is a whole city within a city: impressive size, luxury of interior and exterior decoration, incredible energy – all this is simply breathtaking. Cologne will surprise art connoisseurs with treasures of unique museums, for businessmen it will open the doors of exhibitions and conferences, party-goers will be swirled in a whirlwind of parties and carnivals. Just have time to collect impressions!
The district is Cologne
Cologne is divided into 9 districts, consisting of 86 districts. The inner city, or Innerstadt, is a historical center formed on the site of ancient Roman settlements. This is where most of the hotels and tourist attractions are concentrated, including the magnificent Cologne Cathedral and a number of beautiful Romanesque churches.
Another interesting district for travelers is Lindenthal with picturesque parks and squares, busy shopping streets and numerous monuments of antiquity and the Middle Ages: the ruins of a Roman aqueduct, an ancient cemetery, and the church of St. Severin built in the 10th century.
The district of Rodenkirchen is famous, first of all, for the suspension bridge of the same name connecting the banks of the Rhine. The botanical garden “Flora” is also located here, one of the oldest in all of Europe.
In the Ehrenfeld district there is a factory for the production of the legendary cologne, in the Nippes district there is the Cologne Zoo, in Horweiler there is an old church and a castle. The most unfavorable place in the city is the industrial district of Kalk, which has become home to thousands of emigrants.
It will take more than one hour to get around the lined up shops, souvenir shops and antique shops in the center of Cologne. It is better to start the shopping route on the pedestrian Hoestrasse, which goes south of the Cologne Cathedral. There are boutiques of luxury brands (Louis Vuitton, Chopard, etc.) and small souvenir shops interspersed with cozy cafes and restaurants. Turning on Schildergasse or Breitestrasse, you can find shops with high-quality cosmetics and perfumes, shoe and furniture stores. Nearby are the largest malls of the city: Neumarkt Galerie and Galerie Karstadt, connected by a covered passage.
Most outlets are open from 10:00 to 20:00, on Thursdays the opening hours are extended until 21:00, on Saturdays they are reduced to 18:00, on Sundays everything is closed.
The most popular souvenirs are all kinds of trinkets with the image of the Cathedral. But you can abandon boring postcards, key chains and magnets in favor of more original purchases. One of these is the famous cologne: a perfume formula with a slight smell was invented in Cologne at one time.
Many unique gizmos are hidden in the flea markets of Cologne, the most famous of which is the University Market. Both tourists and locals praise German ecological cosmetics. You can bring a whole box of sweet souvenirs from the Chocolate Museum, especially since the prices here are even lower than in supermarkets. An excellent addition would be a bottle of the famous Kölsch beer or tart Rhine wine.
Cuisine and restaurants in Cologne
Traditional German cuisine is the highlight of cities like Munich, Düsseldorf and, of course, Cologne. Do not deny yourself the pleasure and go to banal European restaurants or fast food establishments, forget about them. If you are in Germany, welcome to authentic pubs, traditional restaurants and fragrant bakeries. Even if you do not drink beer, are on a diet and do not like meat, it is impossible to resist.
The main place of concentration of the most delicious and, alas, crowded restaurants is the old town of Altstadt. What is worth a try? First of all, the pork knee (“schweinhakse” – grilled or “hamkhen” – baked) is fragrant, sizzling, served with tender stewed cabbage, spicy mustard and crispy onions. Be careful, portions of such a knee can weigh more than a kilogram, so you can safely order them for two.
Traditionally popular snacks are halver hahn made from Dutch gouda cheese, earth and sky (flenz blood sausage with mashed potatoes, applesauce and fried onions) and Dicke Bunne mit Speck – boiled white beans with a good chunk of fried bacon on top.
In general, German cuisine is meat, stewed cabbage, legumes. The food is quite fatty and heavy, desserts are also not far behind. Soups are not very popular here, but they are on the menu.
The average check for lunch in an inexpensive cafe is 11-20 EUR per person. You can have a bite to eat in a fast food eatery for 8 EUR. Dinner for two in a good restaurant – from 60 EUR.
Beer, pubs and breweries in Cologne
The traditional Cologne beer is called Kolsch and is bottled in all bars and pubs in small Stangen glass cups with a volume of 0.2 liters. Fans of an amber drink should not despair, the advantage of such glasses is that the beer always remains fresh and cold. And the speed of delivery by the waiters of the next misted glass will amaze you in the very stomach.
In most traditional pubs, waiters don’t ask you if you’d like a glass or two. They see that the cup is about to be empty, and they bring a new one. This bacchanalia can only be stopped by shouting “Nin-Nin!” (in barbarian style), or by placing a coaster on top of a glass – a thick paper stand, which is given to each visitor at the very beginning of the feast with the first glass.
Finally, if you decide to buy a couple of bottles to take away, pay attention to bottled Kolsch, as well as other popular local varieties – Reissdorf, Fruh, Gaffel and Muhlen.
The number of breweries-restaurants and just pubs in Cologne is so great that you can walk from one to another all night long and not even see a tenth of it. The greatest concentration is in the old town of Altstadt, near the cathedral. The most popular pub is Fruh Kolsch, which is also revered by the locals with its presence. Looking inside, you can see a suite of halls that go deeper one by one, and a lot of wooden tables, at which satisfied guests of the restaurant are sitting. If you don’t find a free table, don’t be upset: here it is considered quite appropriate to sit down with some company that does not occupy the whole table.
You can also look into the youth Hellers Brauhaus on Roonstrabe near the Zulpicher Platz metro station or the Brauhaus Putz on Engelbertstrabe near Rudolfplatz. Friesenstrabe is generally considered a kind of “bar counter” of Cologne, there are so many pubs and cafes here. A worthy place is Paffgen, Muhlen near Heumarkt is also noteworthy.
Those who are fed up with the taste and interior of medieval Germany should visit Zulpicher Strabe – there are many modern pubs and cafes, for example, Umbruch (funky) or Stiefel (punky). Finally, there are many stylish gourmet establishments in the so-called “Belgian Quarter” between Aachener Strabe and Ring, such as the famous M20 or Hallmackenreuther.
The climate of the northwestern part of Germany, where Cologne is located, is very changeable, with pronounced seasonality. The temperature from day to day can vary from comfortable for the latitudes of England to familiar to Northern France. Winter here is never too frosty, and summer is exhaustingly hot. The hottest month is usually July, the coldest month is traditionally January (the mark on the thermometer is circling around zero). Snow rarely falls, it mostly rains in autumn and winter, but it also happens in June. Therefore, the best time to visit the city will be July and August – on fine days, Cologne appears before travelers in all its splendor. And you can walk along the streets, free from tourist crowds, in early May and late September.