7 Reasons to visit Cologne

Top 7 reasons to visit Cologne


The gorgeous cathedral city of Cologne, Germany is filled with all things quintessentially German. Beer gardens, ornate fountains and remarkable architecture, there is much to explore in this beautiful city. If you’re wondering why visit Cologne, these top Cologne things to do are sure to convince you. 

The Cologne Cathedral

No surprises here. The imposing filigree towers of the gothic cathedral is one of the most common images to pop into mind when you think of Cologne. However, Cologne Cathedral or Kölner Dom is more than just a stunning structure. Since 1164, the cathedral has been the Shrine of the Three Kings. The reliquary is said to contain the bones of the biblical Three Wise Men, and as such, the cathedral is something of a Catholic pilgrimage site today. The beautiful stained-glass windows, the ornate sarcophagi, and the intricate gothic flying buttresses will certainly answer the question ‘why visit Cologne’. Fun fact: While Berlin and Munich are probably the first places that come to mind at the mention of Germany, the most visited site in Germany is the Cologne Cathedral. 

Museum Ludwig

Explore a treasure trove of modern art pieces at Museum Ludwig. It has one of the largest collections of Picasso’s paintings in the world, and that should be enough reason to put it on top of your Cologne things to do list. Explore the various fascinating pop, abstract, and surrealism works of art and see if you can spot the works of famous artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein amongst them. The museum, named after German chocolatier and art collector Peter Ludwig, is a must on your what to do in Cologne list. 

Great St. Martin Church

The foundation of the Romanesque Great St. Martin Church rests upon the remnants of a Roman chapel. Much of the church was destroyed in a fire in 1150. It was later rebuilt and was subsequently transformed into a Benedictine Monastery. Walk around the church to admire its soaring crossing tower, and its signature trefoil chancel architecture. During World War II, the church suffered heavy damages. Restoration work was undertaken and completed in 1985, restoring its distinctive medieval charm. Don’t forget to add the Great St. Martin Church to your what to do in Cologne list.

Cologne's Old Town

Whether it’s a stein of draft Kölsch beer from a Bauhaus or authentic German sausage, whatever you’re after, you’ll find it in Cologne’s Old Town. Take a stroll to admire the beautiful Renaissance era buildings. Take a good look at the City Hall and notice the distinctive loggia arches and its soaring gothic tower. It is the country’s oldest city hall with a history that dates back 900 years and is a fine amalgamation of various architectural styles. A stroll through the charming Old Town should certainly be on your list of Cologne things to do. 

Flora Botanical Garden

Spread across 11.5 hectares, Flora Botanical Garden is pure bliss for a nature lover. Originally constructed in 1863, the sprawling garden boasts a main greenhouse consisting of tropical rainforest plants; a small tropical house containing crops such as bamboo, pineapple, sugarcane as well as plants like lotus and water lilies; a subtropical house and a cactus house. Located on the left bank of the Rhine River, it is one of the oldest public parks in Cologne. With over 10,000 species of plants to admire, the botanical garden is certainly something to consider including in your list of Cologne things to do. 

Rhine River Cruise

A boat tour of the Rhine River is one of the top activities on most what to do in Cologne lists. Take in the beautiful views of the city and enjoy the enlightening commentary of all the key sites. Pick a night cruise to see the city come alive in all its glory. Watch the lights on Cologne Cathedral’s spires come on, and gaze at the illuminated skyline of the Old City.

Cologne Christmas Market

During Christmas the imposing structure of Cologne Cathedral is surrounded by a million twinkling fairy lights, with a gigantic Christmas tree in the centre, the largest in Rhineland. The market hosts 150 stands and sees over 4 million visitors each year. To drink traditional glühwein out of beautifully decorated mug in the shadow of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cologne Cathedral is an absolute must. While the Cologne Christmas Market is one of the most popular Christmas markets in Germany, and even in Europe, Cologne hosts a total of seven idyllic Christmas markets that effortlessly transform the postcard-worthy city into a winter wonderland. 
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