Cologne Carnival is one the biggest street festivals in Europe and the climax occurs on Rose Monday, which is a stunning parade attracting more than one million visitors.

Koln loves ‘Karneval’ as much as Rio and Venice love their carnivals, and the Rhineland city will be packed with spectators this year.

Cologne Cathedral

Image by Daniel Mennerich (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Germany’s fourth largest city is best known for its UNESCO protected Kölner Dom and the Die Kölner Synagoge. Perfect for a cheap city break, you can soak up the Karnival atmosphere shopping in its traditional ‘Veedel’ districts and explore the city’s independent designer boutiques, art galleries and book shops. 

There are 24 beer breweries and old-fashioned pubs galore, making Cologne a budget friendly destination during the carnival season. 

What? Karneval

When? 23rd February to 1st March 2017

Where? Cologne, Germany

Crazy Days

Image by Christian Unbehaun (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Karneval peaks during the ‘Crazy Days’, which is the Thursday before Ash Wednesday with Weiberfastnacht (Women’s Day). Flowing with beer and flamboyant costumes, the Rose Monday procession is a spectacular day of dancing elves, sweets and singing. 

Karneval essential dates

Cologne Party

Image by Harold R Cologne (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Karneval is an open-air party accessible to everyone, with all major events free of charge.

  • Women's Carnival Day (Weiberfastnacht): 23th February, 2017

Get up first thing and witness Cologne streets full of local women in fancy dress. At 11am the Street Carnival is officially opened at the Alter Markt (Old Town) by the three principal Carnival figures: the Prince, the Peasant and the Virgin.

  • Rose Monday (Rosenmontag): 27th February, 2017

Rose Monday is the climatic peak of Karneval where you can expect a massive parade in Cologne city centre. Revellers will be throwing stuffed sweets (Kamelle), little bouquets of flowers (Strüßjer) and pecks (Bützje).

  • Ash Wednesday (Aschermittwoch): 1st March, 2017

Carnival survivors mop up their hangover with a traditional fish supper in Cologne’s traditional pubs in the Alter Markt. 

Book your Cologne break with HostelsClub

Cologne Hostel

Image by MEININGER Hotel Cologne 

If you are looking to book a carnival holiday on a budget, then choose a break with HostelsClub. We have excellent availability in Cologne, including the following hostels: 

A&O Köln Neumarkt – Stylish modern hostel located in the historic Mauritiusviertel district. Rooms are available from €24.00 per person*

*15% discount for HostelsClub.com Membership Card holders (3 nights minimum)

Station Hostel For Backpacker – Budget friendly hostel close to Cologne Cathedral with excellent dorms and free Wi-Fi. Rooms are available from €20.00

MEININGER Hotel Cologne City Center - Warm and stylish hotel only 10 minutes away from Neumarkt square and Schildergasse shopping mile. Rooms are available from €20.00.

*Header image by Radomir Cernoch (Flickr/Creative Commons)