10 Instagram photos that will make you want to go and explore the capital of the North Rhine-Westphalia region
Cologne is not the kind of travel destination that immediately jumps to mind when you feel like going away, but we can assure that a location that deserves your consideration. It boasts a 2000 year history, and its great for culture and walks down the River Rhine, that characterizes the landscape of the city. It is also a strategic destination, seeing as in 20 minutes by train you can reach the nearby Bonn and Dusseldorf, other beautiful cities to be visited.
But to convince you to pack your bags and head towards North Reno-Westfalia we have decided to pick 10 Instagram photos taken in Cologne that will make you fall in love with the city. Have fun... or better "sich amüsieren"!
1. BE AMAZED BY THE DOM
- foto by @j.harim89 -
The Cathedral of San Pietro and Maria, o simply Dom, as it is called by the locals, is the largest gothic church in Europe and even this is enough to make sure you don't miss it. In 1996 it was declared a UNESCO world heritage site and so it's a stop not to be missed, not just because of its majestic dimensions, but also because of the beautiful stained glass windows and the sarcophagus that contains the relics of the Magi. We really recommend climbing to the top of one of the bell towers (which are 157 meters high!) and enjoy the view. But beware, the journey will cost you 4€ and there are 500 exhausting steps to climb around a winding stairway on foot... but hey, the view is guaranteed, you just have to earn it!
2. ENJOY THE COLOGNE SKYLINE AT KÖLN TRIANGLE
- foto by @piajasminlove -
Staying on the theme of 'breathtaking views' we go to the other side of the Rhine where, since 2005, the Köln Triangle stands, a 100-meter skyscraper that owes its name to its vague triangular shape. Here you can count on an escalator that for 3€ will take you to the top of the skyscraper where you can enjoy an unparalleled view of the most iconic places in Cologne. Go at sunset and you'll Instagram will be full of likes!
3. DISCOVER THE STREET ART OF THE ENRENFEL DISTRICT
- foto by @dionkalos -
The Ehrenfel district can be found in the outskirts in the North-East of Cologne and is an area to be experienced: multicultural and with a bohemian atmosphere, it is a district that is appreciated for its shops, cafés and restaurants (also very frequented by the locals). It's a genuine area with a special vibe that you can feel by admiring the beautiful murals that decorate the area around the station.
4. DRINK A TYPICAL KÖLSCH LIKE THE LOCALS DO
- foto by @seenaedelchen_karry -
Kölsch is a local beer and is the pride of many of Cologne's residents (as well as being an object of contestation with the inhabitants of Dusseldorf!). It is really good and is served in the city's brauhaus: it is served in tall and narrow glasses (0,20L), little to be compared with the mega mugs that can be seen at Oktoberfest, but there is a reason... it is drunk fresh and being served in small glasses means it does not have time to warm up... and, of course, you don't have to drink just one glass of Kölsch ;) The last detail: this great beer basically costs less that water, so, if you love beer, make the most of it and have some during every break!
5. BE AMAZED BY THE ART AT THE LUDWIG MUSEUM
- foto by @h_wan_m -
Just a few steps from the Dom you will see a strange building that houses the Ludwig Museum, the rich modern and contemporary art museum in Cologne. Inside there are always interesting temporary exhibitions, in addition to the permanent collection that boasts numerous works by Picasso, Warhol, Lichtenstein and other artists of international fame. It's not by change that Cologne is the cultural heart of the North-Rhine region!
6. EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC OF THE OLD CITY
- foto by @mischaheuer -
The historic centre of the city (Innenstadt) is a magical place: a tangle of cobbled alleys with typical houses leaning against each other. There are many churches and an infinite number of bars and shops. You can easily walk around on food and it really is a pleasure to visit here.
7. HAVE FUN IN PHANTASIALAND
- foto by @phantasialand -
This amazing theme park is in Brühl, less an hour's train away from the centre of Cologne. It is visited by around 2,000,000 people each year (one of the most visited theme parks in Europe!) and it's divided into 6 thematic areas: One recalls the atmosphere of early 20th century Berlin, another is inspired by Africa, one by the typical Mayan and Aztec civilisations of Mexico, one of China, one in a medieval style, and the last has a fantasy theme. There are rides, shows and attractions for everyone, the ideal location for an adrenaline-fueled day.
8. ALLOW YOURSELF TO STOP AT THE CHOCOLATE MUSEUM
- foto by @schokoladenmuseumofficial -
Chocolate is a serious business in Cologne, so much so that they have made a museum out of it! The project was designed to be a temporary exhibition, but it was such a great success that in 1993 it became a permanent museum (and now receives around 5,000,000 a year!). The museum allows you to experience all the phases of making chocolate, from the gathering of the cacao to the bars that are ready to try. Don't miss the enormous chocolate fountain and the shop where you can buy loads of tasty treats at the end of the visit!
9. ENJOY THE PARKS OF COLOGNE
- foto di @ogierwin -
In Cologne and its surroundings there are many parks where you can take a break, do some sport, or leave the kids to play., Don't miss the wonderful Botanical gardens, or if you want to see some animals check out the Stadtwald Park Köln, the Lindenthaler Tierpark or the Wildpark. Don't forget to also stop by at the park that is in memory of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
10. CROSS THE BRIDGE OF HOHENZOLLERN
- foto by @germany_live_cologne -
The Hohenzollern bridge is one of the symbols of the city and turns up in nearly all the tourist photos in the city with its splendid arches suspended across the Rhine. During the WW2 it was destroyed (in 1945), but in 1948 it was rebuilt and now connects the banks of the Rhine, crossed by over 1000 trains a day. Like other bridges in the world, it's railings have been burdened in recent years by thousands of padlocks as a sign of love... so if you want to be romantic come here at sunset, but a selfie with your partner will be enough! ;)
If you have read this article down to here then you probably more than convinced that a trip to Cologne is really worth it... and now we can add the cherry on top of the cake! Indeed, Cologne is really a low-cost destination, with many airports near Cologne and Dusseldorf. And that's not all, we have got you covered for accommodation and make sure that you are spoilt for choice between budget hotels and cheap hostels in Cologne! Some examples? If you want to stay in a private room then Smarty Cologne is simply perfect, if instead, you feel more at home in a party atmosphere then Pathpoint Cologne Hostel is the choice for you. And if you are travelling as a family and then you can consider the two A&Os of Cologne, the Neumarkt and the Neumarkt and the Hauptbahnhof, two excellent properties that are half hostel half hotel with spacious family rooms for a cheap, comfortable and fun holiday.
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