Cologne – Germany
Just over the border of The Netherlands and Belgium lies the cute city Cologne. While it is the fourth biggest city of Germany it is still pretty unknown and therefor pretty undiscovered, which makes it even more special to visit! Cologne itself is very old, but almost everything of the city got destroyed during World War II bombings. Now, after rebuilding the city, Cologne is marked as very modern.. but still, in the middle of the new city you’ll find one historical sight that has been unharmed: the enormous church of Cologne.
Due to the bombings the city has endured there is not much left from historical Cologne. Still.. It wouldn’t be a visit to a European town if you couldn’t enter a church. Luckily Cologne has a enormous version of a church that you can already spot from miles away – literally.. I already saw it from the highway. The Dom of Köln is definitely one of the highlights during a visit to Cologne. You can enter the church for free, and take a tour to climb it and see Cologne from the top of the church. While the Dom of Köln is the biggest and most famous church of Cologne, it isn’t the only one. Other churches you can visit are St. Ursula, Gross St. Martin and the St. Kunibert Basilica.
Other historical sights you can visit are the Historic Town Hall, which is supposedly the oldest town hall of Germany. And St. Albarta: the ruins of an old church which was bombed during World War II. Very impressive!
There was one thing that I noticed right away while walking through the city center.. even in the pouring rain, Cologne is a vivid center, and a city for youth. I’m guessing, when seeing it, it is a massive student city. When I walked along the Rijn – the river that flows through Cologne – I’d noticed so many chill-out spots for youth which were all filled up as well – again, even in the pouring rain. The many cafés, restaurants and ice bars that are spreaded out through the city, through the many squares and besides the Rijn are always busy, and everywhere you’ll look you’ll find street artists and musicians. This is what made it a very vivid city, and it was cool to see how many of the habitants of Cologne are active in their own city.
Having Fun In Cologne
I was shocked by the size of the shopping street of Cologne, they literally have every store – from very expensive to Primark-cheap. I enjoyed myself on the shopping streets of Cologne for quite some time. Next to the main shopping street (Hohe Strasse) you’ll find small boutiques, art stores and vintage stores in the surrounding areas so be sure to check them all out. You should also go to the Belgian Quartier to explore amazing shops.
Cologne has one wonderful art museum: Museum Ludwig – a museum with modern art collections. While Museum Ludwig is not quite big, it is big enough to keep you entertained for an hour or two – and with works of Picasso, Mondrian and Andy Warhole art lovers will definitely have to visit this museum!
For the sweet and romantic types among us: Lock love at the famous Hohenzollernbrücke and visit the chocolate museum of Cologne. If you want to see Cologne from a different point of view head over to the Triangeltower – a huge modern built tower that offers you a panorama view over the city.
Something completely else? The Kölner Zoo. One of the biggest and most prettiest zoo’s in the area and worth visiting if you are into attractions like these. – Definitely worth the effort.. you can’t imagine how many Dutch people drive to Cologne for the Zoo – as it tops the zoo’s of the Netherlands 100%.
Eating Your Way Around Cologne
Those who have visited Germany before know this about the food: meat, meat meat.. Those who haven’t visited Germany yet know what to eat at Cologne to experience Germany: meat, meat meat. No kidding, but Germany does have some famous snacks / meals to try including a lot of meat. How about a currywurst, bratwurst, blutwurst, bockwurst or weisswurst (wurst means sausage – btw). Or try some of the local foods from Cologne: Cologne has a huge amount of potato dishes like Himmel ind Äd (apple and potato dish) and a huge selection of baked potatoes, fried potatoes and cooked potatoes. So for your visit to Cologne, remember: sausage and potatoes.
While in Cologne you can also ‘drink’ your way around the city. As Cologne has her own beer you should try: Kolsch beer. But that is not the only beer in Cologne to drink.. every café and restaurant has a wide arrange of beers and you should definitely try a few!