What to do in Cologne - Cologne sightseeing | NS International
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The 10 best tips for a city trip to Cologne

Tips for your visit to Cologne

Cologne is hip & happening! This multifaceted city on the Rhine resembles Berlin, but is more compact. Starting in Amsterdam you'll be there in 2.38 hrs with ICE International. The old city centre has a rich cultural history and enthousiasts of modern art and culture will enjoy the trendy districts. You should certainly not miss these sights while in Cologne.
Read more about travelling by train to Cologne
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The Dom: imposing cathedral in the heart of the city

In the 12th century, relics of the Holy Three Kings were donated to Cologne. These attracted so many pilgrims that it was decided to build a new church for them. The cathedral is breathtaking on the outside as well as the inside. Climb the 509 steps of the south tower for a magnificent view of the city.

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Museum Ludwig: the largest pop art collection outside the USA

Thanks to a donation, Museum Ludwig now has the largest pop art collection outside the USA. Icons such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Claes Oldenburg adorn the walls of this modernist building located next to the cathedral. The permanent collection includes German Expressionism, the Russian Avant-Garde and Pablo Picasso. The food truck on the terrace offers hot and cold drinks on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, as well as all kinds of delicacies such as freshly baked waffles or the legendary currywurst.

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Belgian Quarter: trendy urban district

The streets around Brüsseler Platz are lined with fashion boutiques, cafés, trendy bars and affordable restaurants. The square is popular with locals in the summer for a refreshing Kölsch beer. Looking for interior inspiration? Then look around the Brüsseler, Maastrichter and Aachener Straße.

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Café Soleil: multicultural gastronomy

Café Soleil is a hidden gem where you can enjoy multicultural delights. Owner Tina draws inspiration from all cultures to create a mix of vintage and Mediterranean, with regional delicacies. Enjoy the homemade organic muesli, Mediterranean scrambled eggs or a delicious piece of lemon cake.

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Ehrenfeld: up-and-coming hip district

Once a working-class area with metal factories, Ehrenfeld is now a trendy neighbourhood. The old factory buildings have been transformed by artists and creative entrepreneurs into studios, restaurants, hip coffee shops, pop-up shops and quirky fashion boutiques. Be sure to look beyond the shop windows, as the walls of the former factories are richly decorated with street art.

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Odonien: creatieve culturele hotspot

Witt Odonien the artist Odo Rumpf has created a unique combination of open-air studio, workshop, event venue and cultural centre. There are event halls, artist's studios (including Odo Rumpf's), a large discovery shop, an open-air stage and a lushly planted beer garden with bizarre metal sculptures.

©Erik Rosenberg

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Die Fette Kuh: Burger with cult status

Die Fette Kuh started with the aim of making the very best Cologne burger: with honest beef and without preservatives. In the meantime, this Südstadt burger joint has reached cult status far beyond the city limits. A burger can be ordered in a 'naked version', without bread, for example, if you want to eat gluten-free.

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The Rijn: a romantic stroll

The pastel-coloured houses on the Fischmarkt lead you along the Rhine, where you can cross the water at Hohenzollern Railway Bridge. A colossal structure with an unreal number of love-locks attached to the railings. On sunny days, enjoy the terraces and city beaches along the banks of the river.

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Groove Attack: Walhalla for music lovers

Groove Attack started as a spin-off of music club Beatbox, an acid jazz jungle drum and bass club in Wuppertal, and developed into a global music distributor. This shop in the Belgian quarter is a Walhalla for music and record enthousiasts. Filled with bins and cabinets, Groove Attack offers a rich selection, specialising in hip-hop, beats and samples.

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URBAN LOFT: stylish accommodation

URBAN LOFT is a meeting place of cultures, where modern art covers every inch of the place. Tourists and locals meet in the Urban Bar and restaurant for a local/cosmopolitan meal. From the coffee to the toiletries and bed linen, URBAN LOFT uses products that are fair and sustainably made. Also convenient: this hotel is within walking distance of the train station.

©Steve Herud

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Travelling to Cologne

Because of the coronavirus, European countries implement various measures that may have an impact on your stay. Before departure, carefully check the current local rules and guidelines, so you can enjoy your city trip to the full.
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