Cologne is ideal for a city trip. Do you have little time and want to see as much of Cologne as possible? We will tell you how you can spend a perfect weekend in Cologne
Your weekend in Cologne – planning and preparation
Arrival: Cologne has optimal traffic connections and can be easily reached by plane (Cologne-Bonn airport), car (various motorways), and train (Cologne HBF / Cologne Deutz) from all over Germany. For your weekend in Cologne, we recommend that you travel by train. The two central railway stations Köln HBF and Köln Deutz are located almost in the middle of the city and are not only perfectly integrated into the ICE network, but also into the public transport system. So you have short ways and can fully concentrate on your stay.
Travel guides: The number of travel guides dealing with Cologne is clearly four-figure, not to mention the countless pages and articles on the net… For a weekend in Cologne, the purchase of a travel guide is actually exaggerated, on the net is really enough information. But maybe you’ll come back. We list here simply times the most popular travel guides.
Here you can find everything you need for organizing your trip*.
The top travel guides for Cologne*
Accommodation: There are more than 700 Hotels in Cologne. The choice is not easy. If you’re only in Cologne for a weekend, you should live as centrally as possible with good public transport connections. The first choice for us is the Hyatt Regency ( our detailed review ), as it is located directly on the Rhine, next to the two train stations and opposite the cathedral. Living comfort and food are also on the top level. Alternatively, we recommend the Hotel Stadtpalais* and the Savoy Hotel* in the Cologne city center on the Deutzer site.
Tip: You can save money with the Köln Card*. Whether it’s discounted admission to many museums or up to 50% discount on city tours, shopping, and many gastronomic offers from numerous partners in the fields of art, culture, and gastronomy. Free public transport for 24 or 48 hours is also included.
Your weekend in Cologne – the tour
You start your tour on the Deutzer side in front of the Hyatt with a walk over the Hohenzollern Bridge. It is a pure railway and pedestrian bridge that leads directly to the Cologne Cathedral. The
The best known of the Hohenzollern bridges are the more than 500,000 love palaces that have been attached to the railings. A beautiful custom for lovers. From the bridge, you also have a wonderful view of Cologne’s old town and the cathedral.
By the way, the Rhine divides Cologne into the left bank of the Rhine or as the people of Cologne call it, the “right” side and the right bank of the Rhine, the Schäl Sick, the “wrong” side. On the “right” side you will find the most famous Cologne sights such as the cathedral, which you can now reach.
Cologne Cathedral is the city’s landmark and the second highest church in Europe. “Mer losse d’r Dom en Kölle”, as the Cologne native says because for him the cathedral belongs to Cologne like the Kölsch.
Briefly to the facts: The cathedral was not completed until 1880, but construction began as early as 1248. After the presumed relics of the Three Kings had been brought from Milan to Cologne in the 12th century, Cologne developed into a highly frequented pilgrimage site. During the Second World War the cathedral was badly hit, but not completely destroyed.
Cologne Cathedral is Cologne’s tourist hotspot and is accordingly frequented, especially as Cologne’s main railway station is directly adjacent to the cathedral. A guided tour offers the best overview. As a rule, the tour starts on the Domplatte, in front of the main portal.
Cologne is known for its numerous breweries. For locals as well as tourists a Kölsch is a must. The choice of the brewery is up to you. We feel particularly at home in the Gaffel at the cathedral and in the morning at the cathedral.
Excursus Kölsch: Kölsch is a light, bright (filtered) top-fermented full beer and has been a cultural asset of Cologne and a worldwide export hit for about 100 years. A Kölsch is drunk from slender, cylindrical 0.2 glasses – called “Stange”. It is served by the so-called “Köbes”. It is important to know that you will receive a new Kölsch without being asked until you have put a beer mat on your glass or ordered the invoice.
In the old town there is also the church Groß St. Martin, a Romanesque church from the 12th century. Inside, the remains of the historic painting can still be seen today. The cathedral and the old town can already fill your weekend in Cologne completely. In addition, we recommend that you visit the Südstadt ( Original kölsches Leben ) and the Chocolate Museum.
Your weekend in Cologne – eating and drinking
As a megacity and tourist stronghold, Cologne boasts a multitude of restaurants, cafés, bars, bistros, pubs, markets and food trucks. The choice is difficult. Since we mostly live in Deutz and shy away from the hustle and bustle in the old town, we eat either in the breweries or in Deutz. So we like to eat in the Cantina Mexican with tradition – the Cafe Especial in Cologne Deutz ( our review ) or go to a Kölsch in Lommerzheim. On the following pages you will find very good tips from Cologne insiders, which we will try out next time.
Your weekend in Cologne – our conclusion
A weekend in Cologne is too short for this city. But it makes you want more. We always come back to Cologne for a few days and discover the city anew. We are looking forward to your feedback and recommendations in and around Cologne.
Right next to Cologne Cathedral are two of the city’s most famous museums. The Ludwig Museum, dedicated to the art of the 20th and 21st centuries, and the Roman-Germanic Museum, dedicated to the archaeological history of Cologne. On more than 4,500 square metres of exhibition space you can discover the Roman city history of Cologne. The most famous attractions are the Dionysus Mosaic and the 15-metre-high Poblicius Tomb. Especially the Roman-Germanic Museum is worth a visit, but it is currently closed due to reconstruction. However, the Dionysus Mosaic can also be viewed from the outside through a panorama window.
Cologne Old Town
We continue to the old town of Cologne. It is the second tourist hotspot in Cologne after the cathedral. Cologne’s Old Town is not only home to Cologne’s best sights, but is also a convenient place to walk. A must in Cologne’s Old Town are the Alte Markt, Hohe Straße and Schildergasse. Here alone you can spend most of your day. The Old Town is home to Cologne’s gastronomic and cultural scene, paired with great shopping.