Top 10 Things To Do In Cologne, Germany

things to do in cologne
| 5 min read

The breathtaking city of Cologne can’t wait to show you its vast beauty, gorgeous attractions, and recreational areas. The fourth largest city in Germany, Cologne is located on both sides of the Rhine river. From the Schokoladen museum to the Rheinpark, we’ve prepared a carefully curated list of activities that you must check out.

Come along and have a memorable experience you’ll keep with you for years! Awe inspiring architecture, lovely parks, and astonishing cathedrals are only a small part of what Cologne has prepared for all travelers! Are you excited to get your long-desired trip started?

1. Rhine river sightseeing tour: See the best of Cologne by boat!

Rhine river - Cologne, Germany - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sergey Ashmarin used under CC BY-SA 3.0

What better way to discover the charm of Cologne than by cruising around on a boat? Just lie back and enjoy the immense comfort and the genuine pleasure of cruising along the Rhine River!

Once you hope on board, you’ll be able to rejoice in exploring some of Cologne’s top attractions from the water, including the Old Town, as well as the contemporary Rheinauhafen district. Tip: If you’ve already decided to give the Rhine boat cruise experiment a go, check out some of the options for package tours that combine Cologne with other cities along the river.

Don’t miss it: Believe it or not, the Rhine river has always been the heart and soul of the city, so you should definitely put a Rhine cruise on your to-do list. Provided that you’re still a stranger to the exceptional city of Cologne, then it’s a must for you to explore its enchantment from a different angle.

Rhine River Sightseeing Tour

Address: Bingen am Rhein, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Price: from 10 - 20 USD

Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 2-3 hours required.

Contact: +49 6722 2972

Website: Rhine river sightseeing tour

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2. Schokoladen museum: Tempt yourself with the finest Lindt desserts

Schoko-Museum 476-khz
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Pedelecs used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Sitting nearby the city’s recognized chocolate factory, The Schokoladen museum welcomes newcomers with an exquisite collection of Lindt desserts alongside a superior display of chocolate artwork.

Why visit: Visitors are able to witness the process of producing refined chocolate and go through the steps of creating exquisite chocolate artwork. Inside the museum, travelers are offered tasty waffles covered in Lindt chocolate. Besides learning about chocolate production, a gorgeous garden awaits the attention of visitors at the prominent Schokoladen museum in Cologne.

Schokoladen museum

Address: Am Schokoladenmuseum 1a, 50678 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Price: from 9 USD

Opening Hours: 11am - 7pm. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Contact: +49 221 9318880

Website: Schokoladen museum

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3. Hohenzollern Bridge: Where couples “lock” their love

Cologne Cathedral and the Hohenzollern Bridge
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jiuguang Wang used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The truth has been spoken – skipping the extraordinary Hohenzollern Bridge aka Love Lock Bridge is missing out on one of the top attractions in the gorgeous city of Cologne. Along with the view of the striking cathedral, that takes your breath away with its colossal size and gothic motifs, Hohenzollern Bridge is surely the second most visited spot around here.

Why it’s worth it: Take a walk along the eminent bridge where you can see a myriad of padlocks left by thousands of couples who have “locked” their love forever, eternally.

Hohenzollern Bridge

Address: Kennedy-Ufer 2a, 50679 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Access: 5 minute walk from Cologne Rhine park

Contact: +49 4922 1346430

Website: Hohenzollern Bridge

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4. The Cologne Cathedral: The inspiring dome spreads its gothic vibes

Cologne Germany Exterior-view-of-Cologne-Cathedral-01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user CEphoto, Uwe Aranas used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Have you seen another cathedral that rivals the colossal size of Cologne’s Dom? Probably not. This world-recognized cathedral offers much more than its gothic features and eerie nature.

Apart from its alarming appearance, the Cologne Cathedral deeply impresses the eye with its phenomenal exterior architecture and marvellous interior.

Don’t miss it: Once inside, you’re likely to feel as tiny as a grain of sand against the cathedral’s sky-high walls.

Cologne Cathedral

Address: Domkloster 3, 50667 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Opening Hours: 6am - 9pm. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 1-2 hours required.

Contact: +49 221 92584720

Website: Cologne cathedral

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5. The Ludwig museum displays exquisite exhibitions

#InternPick #PraktikantInnenWahl – We are introducing our intern’s favorite art works from our museum 👩🏼‍🏫🏭 Franzi is...

Posted by Museum Ludwig Köln on Saturday, 18 March 2017

Surely, another highly-appreciated tourist stop in the unique city of Cologne is the renowned museum dedicated to the great German pianist and a composer Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Why visit it: Stroll around the separate art sections on the first and second floor and come to know an abundance of high-class pieces, by artists such as Picasso, Dali and Warhol. What’s more, you may experience music and video clips and performances such as cabaret or riveting readings in the evenings, so don’t let this great opportunity slip by.

The Ludwig museum

Address: Bischofsgartenstr. 1, 50667 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Price: from 10 USD

Opening Hours: 10am - 6pm. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 2-3 hours required.

Contact: +49 221 22126165

Website: The Ludwig museum

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6. Flora & Botanical Garden: A new favorite spot for nature lovers

Cologne Germany Flora-Köln-02
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user CEphoto, Uwe Aranas used under CC BY-SA 3.0

While strolling down the streets in a search of the next gorgeous photo opportunity, don’t forget to stop by and check out the sheer beauty of Cologne’s oldest park, named the Flora and Botanical Garden. The park is so immense and marvellous that once you visit it once, you’ll surely return, eager to feel its tranquillity once more. The exotic garden is home to a wide variety of plants and flowers and many plant houses are to be found inside the garden, as well.

Enjoy it to the fullest: The Flora and Botanical Garden is a genuinely wonderful place where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of the dynamic city of Cologne.

Flora & Botanical Garden

Address: Amsterdamer Strasse 34, 50735 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Contact: +49 4922 1560890

Website: Flora & Botanical Garden

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7. Cologne’s Old Town: Fall in love with its unique architecture

things to do in cologne | cologne’s old town: fall in love with its unique architecture
Source: instagram

The historic Old Town of Cologne falls among the most refined and famous landmarks in the region. The old town quarter was heavily destroyed and almost vanished during World War II, however, it was fully restored later on.

Come around: Let the enigmatic character of the old town of Cologne take you back in time - get to know more about the historic facts surrounding the quarter. It’s time to enjoy the city’s unrivalled charm and the refinement of its unique architecture to the fullest!

Cologne’s Old Town

Address: Altstadt-Quartier, 50667 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Contact: +49 4922 1346430

Website: Cologne’s Old Town

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8. Feel the calmness of Rheinpark, Cologne

Rheinpark Duesseldorf-Golzheim 0278
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Marek Gehrmann used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Provided that you’ve already explored Cologne’s best tourist spots, it’s high time you checked out another worthwhile place, that is actually only a few minutes away from the city center. Rheinpark is an excellent place when you want to hide away from the busy city and take a long-awaited break amid nature.

Don’t skip it: Escape from the crowd and take a break at the lovely Rheinpark, from where you can witness boat cruises talong the Rhein River. What’s more, the prominent Cologne Cathedral aka Kolner Dom is located just across from you.


Address: Breslauer Str. 2-4, 41460 Neuss, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Contact: 49 2131 386740

Website: Rheinpark

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9. Cable cars: A ride to remember

Cologne rheinseilbahn coloniahochhaus 20060521
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user elya used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Would you like to see gorgeous Cologne from above? Imagine looking over Cologne’s beauty and charismatic nature from a bird’s view! Take an unforgettable ride and enjoy the unbelievable views of the marvellous city of Cologne!

An awesome ride: Experience the opportunity to contemplate Cologne’s top and heavily crowded attractions, such as the eminent cathedral, the Rhine River, the old town, as well as the lovely Rheinpark!

Cable cars

Address: Sachsenbergstraße 3, 51063 Köln

Opening Hours: 10am - 6pm. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 10 min

Price: from 6 USD

Contact: +49 221 5474184

Website: Cable cars

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10. The Cologne Zoo houses more than 10,000 animals

Zoo Koeln Hippodom Crocodylus niloticus
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Doppelklecks used under CC BY-SA 4.0

A zoo with more than 10,000 species? Correct. The cozy German city can’t help but stun its visitors with awesome attractions and exceptional landmarks, some dating from centuries ago! Visiting Cologne Zoo is nothing but a memorable journey through a world with a wide variety of animal species!

Don’t hesitate: Come inside and lose perception of time at the immense number of animals at the great zoo!

Cologne Zoo

Address: Riehler Str. 173, 50735 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Price: from 25 USD

Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 2-3 hours required.

Contact: +49 180 5 280101

Website: Cologne Zoo

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Make the most of your German trip

The adorable city of Cologne boasts a lot of top attractions, drawing in thousands of tourists on a daily basis. If you still wonder where to begin your great sightseeing tour, we highly recommend you kick it off from the prominent and eerie Kolner Dom aka Cathedral of Cologne. While in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the charismatic nature of the top landmarks and attractions by cruising around on a boat!

Cologne Central Mosque: The biggest mosque in Germany

Contributed by Content Creator, Pamela Loh

Cologne Central Mosque
Source: Pamela Loh

The gorgeous Cologne Central Mosque is the biggest mosque in Germany. It’s an absolute must-visit because of its stunning character. This building with an Ottoman architectural style also features glass walls, a large dome and writing in gold calligraphy.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Marina Yoveva is a creative thinker, adventurer, and a poetry lover. In her spare time, she loves reading, writing on her personal blog and spending time with her family and friends. She's also a...Read more

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