A metropolis with a unique range of attractionsCologne belongs to Germany's oldest metropolises. On the banks on the Rhine River you find the distinctive, historic Old Town. An impressive panoramic view can best be enjoyed through a ship ride on the Rhine River.
The typical "kölsche" brewery taverns are mostly situated in the Old Town-area and always worth a visit. There you can taste "Kölsch", the typical local beer which is served by waiters called "Köbes." Over 28 different brands of Kölsch exist.
In the historic 4711 building you can taste the world-famous scent Eau de Cologne and get an impression of a perfumer's work.
The Cologne CathedralThe Cologne Cathedral "Kölner Dom" is one of the architectural masterpieces of mankind. Declared a World Cultural Heritage Site as a perfect example of Gothic construction, the Cologne Cathedral is the symbol of the metropolis on the Rhine. And with about six million visitors a year, Germany's largest Cathedral is also the country's most popular architectural monument. It is home to the renowned Shrine of the Three Magi. Besides there are more than 244 churches in town, twelve of them are big Romanesque churches due to the roman heritage of Cologne.
Top Events of the yearMore than one million spectators join the Rose Monday Parade every year. It is the highlight of the world-famous traditional Cologne Carnival Event which takes place every year.
In July, Germany's largest high-altitude musical firework - the "Kölner Lichter" - illuminates the nocturnal sky over the Rhine River. With its special ambiance, the event appeals to hundreds of thousands of visitors.
In late November Advent magic spreads throughout Cologne's Old Town when seven idyllic Christmas markets open their brightly illuminated gates.
Nightlife in CologneCologne's central clubbing scene has established around Zülpicher Straße and Luxemburger Straße streets. Here, in the so-called "Kwartier Latäng", you can live the motto "From Pub to Pub." Plenty of clubs cater to students' tastes and budgets in this area which is also a stronghold of the alternative scene. From Friesenplatz to Barbarossaplatz squares, shopping boulevards turn into a very popular going-out mile on Saturday evenings. "Die Ringe", is the local name for these vibrant ring streets, which are the place to party with hip hop, R&B and house music.
Food & DrinkCologne's scale of gastronomic delights is both diverse and exciting.
You can enjoy local specialities including "Halver Hahn" (a rye bread roll with butter, mustard and Dutch cheese) and "Himmel un Ääd" (black pudding, fried onions, mashed potatoes and applesauce) as well as enjoy going out to a large number of international speciality and gourmet restaurants. You can also enjoy a stay in one of Cologne's wine and cocktail bars.
Germany's No. 1 Shopping MileCologne is one of the most popular cities for shopping. The most-visited shopping street in Germany is the Schildergasse. Those who like trendy boutiques should make a detour to the nearby Ehrenstraße. The glamour of many luxury brands adds its lustre to Mittelstraße. There's also a wealth of shopping opportunities in the arcades in the city centre and along the Ring. Here you can shop till you drop in an ultramodern atmosphere — and fortify yourself afterward with exquisite local delicacies in one of the many lively coffee bars.