Things  to do in Cologne

Despite being one of the most underrated destinations in Germany, there are plenty of things to do in Cologne, a 2,000-year-old marvel which boasts a UNESCO World Heritage cathedral, and a position right along the banks of the beautiful Rhine river.

The fourth-largest city in the country, this fascinating metropolis is renowned for its local beer, charming Old Town and world-famous springtime carnival, which sees the streets full of colour, dancers and an unmissable parade. 

As well as its great heritage, there are loads of fun things to do in Cologne to suit every taste and interest, from visiting street art to chocolate tasting. 

Located just 80 km east of the border of Belgium, you can start your German adventure by travelling to Cologne with P&O Ferries today.




















Cologne Cathedral in Germany

Things to do in Cologne

Cultural Activities in Cologne

This attractive city is full of great things to do, from relaxing in peaceful gardens to viewing some breath-taking modern art in the many galleries. 

Start your journey at Glockengasse 4711, the birthplace of Eau de Cologne. This 220-year-old fragrance workshop is the world's oldest perfume factory, with guided tours explaining the building's rich history and workshops allowing you to create your own signature scent. 

For art enthusiasts, the Museum Ludwig contains an impressive array of Picasso paintings as well as numerous works from the many great German Expressionists.

If you happen to be visiting in spring, Cologne Carnival is one of the highlights of the city's calendar. This brilliantly fun festival is all about colourful parades, masked balls and parties throughout the city.

However, if you simply want to get away from it all, there are plenty of places to wind down. Take a river tour on the Rhine, visit the lush Flora Botanical Gardens, or simply have a picnic in the royal garden of Volksgarten.

Cologne Skyline in Germany

Cologne Cathedral in Germany

Discover Cologne Old Town

The historic district known as the Altstadt rests on the Rhine, and is the picturesque heart of the city. The area is full of narrow pastel shaded houses, cobblestone alleys and incredible architecture that all combine to give it a traditional German feel. 

The Old Town's most popular attraction is the twin spired Gothic cathedral, which is also Germany's most visited landmark. Climb the south tower's 533 steps to be rewarded with incredible panoramic views of the city and the Rhine River below. 

After that exercise, take a well-earned rest in one of the many excellent restaurants and bars around the Old Town, or continue your journey past the remarkable City Hall and across the love lock covered Hohenzollern Bridge to get the perfect picture of the area and its striking cathedral.

Explore on Two Wheels

One of the best ways to explore Cologne is by bike, as you can cover plenty of the city in just a few hours. A bike tour will enable you to see all of the top sights while listening to stories and commentary from your guide.

Its 2000 year history makes Cologne a very interesting place to cycle through, and on a tour you will see the cathedral, Philharmonic Hall, and Museum Ludwig, among other exciting landmarks. Admire the Cologne skyline from the Zoobrücke, see the love locks on Hohenzollern Bridge, and cycle along the Rhine before discovering the Old Town.

Cycling in Cologne

Chocolate in Cologne

Cologne Delicacies

As well as heritage sites, Cologne has a great range of restaurants serving moreish meals, and lively drinking spots throughout the city. 

For those with a sweet tooth, head to the popular Chocolate Museum and discover the way Lindt chocolate is created. When it's time for a sit down meal, many of the best eateries are clustered around the Old Town area or the nearby Belgian Quarter. Make sure to enjoy Cologne's specialties too: the Halver Hahn cheese sandwich and the locally brewed favourite Kölsch beer.

Explore all this wonderful city has to offer by booking your escape to Germany today with P&O Ferries via our Hull to Rotterdam ferry crossing.

This fascinating metropolis is renowned for its local beer, charming Old Town and world-famous springtime carnival

Things to do in Cologne for couples Read more

Home to a number of stunning churches, a gorgeous old town, cosy coffee shops, and fabulous restaurants, there are plenty of things to do in Cologne for couples visiting this impressive German city.

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