Cologne is a city that offers endless attractions related to history and architecture. Drifting about the town you’ll stumble upon an ancient Roman wall, medieval churches galore, nondescript postwar building, avant-garde structures and even a new postmodern quarter right on the Rhine. Here you have a complete City Guide in case you want to experience the city to its fullest.
Cologne attractions that you can’t miss
A true masterpiece of high Gothic architecture and one of the largest cathedrals in Europe. It was started in 1248 and was considered the most ambitious architecture project of the middle ages. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1996.
You must visit this synagogue, that has the most incredible architecture that looks right out of Gotham City, The Torah within the synagogue was rescued by a Catholic priest from another synagogue as it was being burned during Nazi rule.
This completely rebuilt area combines modern extravagant architecture with historical harbor buildings. It is located on a peninsula on the Rhine and it is perfect for a walk along the river.
Also called the Locking Bridge. If you walk to the back of the Kölner Dom along a straight path, there is a bridge on the Rhine to your right that is covered in padlocks.
Cologne’s Old Town
As you explore Cologne‘s historic churches and museums, you’ll come across the city’s lovely Old Town quarters and its many unique charms, one of them the Great St. Martin church. Cologne’s Old down has countless monuments and fountains that adorn the area, along with its Archaeological Zone and the many ancient ruins and artifacts. A stunning place.
St Gereon’s Church
You need to visit Cologne‘s must unusual church! The Romanesque St. Gereon’s Church has a visually appealing architecture that includes highlights such as its unique long choir and its several medieval murals, mosaics and ancient relics.
Now we are cheating a little bit but the amazing Augustburg Palace needed to be in this city guide. This incredible building is located 15km south of Cologne, in a small town called Brühl. Besides its unique architecture style, the Augustburg Palace is surrounded by one of the most dazzling and colorful gardens in the city.
Museums and Galleries
Cologne has one of the world’s best collections of museums and galleries for a city of its size. As well as world-class museums of art and archaeology, Cologne boasts two museums of ecclesiastical art, both housed in architecturally stunning buildings. There is also an ethnographic museum, a chocolate museum, the German Sport Museum and an abundance of Roman remains.
Well, the most famous museum in Cologne is the LUDWIG MUSEUM. It has a collection of modern art, that includes works from Pop Art, Abstract and Surrealism, and has one of the largest Picasso collections in Europe. This is a museum that you must visit.
If you are interested in decorative arts, then the MUSEUM OF APPLIED ARTS is the right one for you. They have collections that include jewelry, porcelain, furniture, weaponry and architectural exhibits.
We also advise you to go to KOLUMBA, a Christian art museum. An architectural wonder and a feast for the senses; this museum, built in concordance with the ancient foundations of the shrine of mary in the rubble, contains a selection of historical and contemporary religious art.
Although January is the first month of the year, there are some interesting design events going on around Germany. Such a nice country is, for itself, worth visiting, and if you can go to any of the events going on, it gets even better. Here is a small list of some of the design events you can go to.
The most important design event in Germany and with a huge visibility around the world is IMM, in Cologne, the International Interiors Show. It happens between the 16th and the 22nd January, and it will have many TOP international companies exhibiting there. DelightFULL, the Portuguese lighting company, will be one of the exhibitors with two stands, one in Hall 3 and the other in Hall 11.
At the same time, and as a part of the IMM, will be running the INTERNATIONAL FURNISHING SHOW, showing the great novelties in the world of interior design and furnishing. If you are looking for new ideas to upgrade your business, you can’t miss these two events.
Still in Cologne you will find the 28th PASSAGEN INTERIOR DESIGN WEEK. This event happens at the same time as IMM through the city center. It will involve a complete programme of events and exhibitions focusing on the latest design trends. Internationally recognized brands like Giorgetti, Fermob or Occhio will be presenting their products along Cologne’s Ring Boulevard while some famous showrooms, like VitrA Bad or Durable, will be welcoming the many visitors at the Rheinauhafen quarter.
Best Breweries in Town
If you go to Cologne you have to drink the “Kölsch” in an origin “Brauhaus” (the traditional German pub where the beer is brewed). There are 26 different beer types in Cologne, most of them can be drink in breweries. The brewery taps Sion, Pfaffen and Malzmühle, in the old town south of the Dom, are worth taking note of in that respect, although they tend to be expensive for what you get.
PETERS BRAUHAUS is located in the middle of the old city. The atmosphere is really friendly and the ceiling is incredibly beautiful and very traditional.
The most famous brewery in the city is FRÜH AM DOM. The brewery near the Cathedral is more than a hundred years old. Once the beer was brewed here but now it is only a pub.
Like in other cities in Germany you can pedal around the city while you drink a beer with BeerBike. It is a fun experience you can’t miss.
Green Spaces and Parks
Cologne is a real green oasis because of its many parks and gardens. It’s a great option for relaxing among nature, especially after a long day of sightseeing.
The BOTANICAL GARDEN is the oldest and most traditional public park. The FLORA is the historic building at the heart of this symmetrically designed garden complex. The events staged in this elegant setting range from conferences, concerts and social gatherings to weddings and gala celebrations.
RHINE PARK is a beautiful green oasis located on the right bank of Rhine river, perfect to enjoy unforgettable panoramic views over the river.
The HIROSHIMA-NAGASAKI PARK is also a great option. This park is a memorial to the victims of the nuclear bombs in 1945. A memorial to the victims of the nazi regime can be found in one of the hills.
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