TOP 23 best attractions in Cologne


Cologne is a large Ger­man city locat­ed on the banks of the Rhine Riv­er. This is the largest cul­tur­al and eco­nom­ic cen­ter of the coun­try, famous for fun fes­ti­vals, inter­est­ing muse­ums, and archi­tec­tur­al mon­u­ments.


Who and why goes to Cologne

Cologne is a city with a tur­bu­lent cen­turies-old his­to­ry, care­ful­ly pre­serv­ing the his­tor­i­cal her­itage. Every year mil­lions of peo­ple come here to wan­der through the nar­row old streets, see the Cologne Cathe­dral, the Augus­tus­burg Palace, the City Hall and go to the choco­late muse­um.

Cologne res­i­dents love hol­i­days and know how to have fun:

  • In Novem­ber, a big car­ni­val starts in the city. For five whole days, cos­tumed parades, the­atri­cal per­for­mances, and con­certs take place on the streets. Peo­ple laugh, dance and admire the fire­works.
  • In Decem­ber, the Christ­mas mar­ket starts with the tra­di­tion­al smell of mulled wine, gin­ger­bread, roast­ed chest­nuts. The largest fair opens in front of the main gate of Cologne Cathe­dral. Bright­ly dec­o­rat­ed wood­en stalls sell Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions, hand­made sou­venirs and win­ter treats.
  • In mid-August, fans of pop music come to Cologne. Dur­ing the week, the city becomes a large con­cert venue for per­for­mances by singers from dif­fer­ent coun­tries. It is advis­able to book hotel rooms in advance, as the event is attend­ed by hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple.

At any time of the year, Cologne attracts con­nois­seurs of shop­ping. Good shops with high-qual­i­ty cos­met­ics, brand­ed cloth­ing, lux­u­ry fur­ni­ture are open on Hoi­js­trasse. Antique giz­mos and sou­venirs are best bought at flea mar­kets.

Cologne is a safe and beau­ti­ful place with a lot to offer. Tired of sight­see­ing, tourists relax in Fan­ta­sy­land Park, spend time at the local zoo, walk in pub­lic gar­dens, admire foun­tains, and ride a boat on the riv­er.

Historical landmarks and architecture

Palace Augustusburg

dvorec augustsburg

The Augus­tus­burg palace com­plex is a mag­nif­i­cent exam­ple of the Roco­co archi­tec­tur­al style. It is con­sid­ered the Ger­man Ver­sailles and is pro­tect­ed by UNESCO as a World Her­itage Site. The three-sto­ry man­sion has long been used for offi­cial events, and is now avail­able to tourists.

Vis­i­tors are shown paint­ings, gild­ed stuc­co on the walls, mar­ble stairs, antique fur­ni­ture, mas­sive chan­de­liers, paint­ings, sculp­tures. The area is sur­round­ed by a large French park with ponds and flower beds.

Hunting castle Falkenlust

Ohotnichi Samok

The Augus­tus­burg Palace, togeth­er with the Falken­lust hunt­ing cas­tle, form a sin­gle archi­tec­tur­al ensem­ble, found­ed in the 18th cen­tu­ry as the res­i­dence of the prince-arch­bish­ops. The cas­tle was intend­ed for recre­ation dur­ing fal­con­ry. On the ground floor there were rooms for rangers, rooms for birds, sta­bles.

Now a small muse­um is open here, rep­re­sent­ing hunt­ing uni­forms, weapons and doc­u­ments. On the sec­ond floor, rich­ly fur­nished front apart­ments have been pre­served. An obser­va­tion deck is equipped on the roof, from which the own­ers and guests watched the hunt.

town hall

town hall

In the his­tor­i­cal part of Cologne, it is easy to find the city gov­ern­ment build­ing built in the 14th cen­tu­ry. It com­bines the fea­tures of Romanesque archi­tec­ture, Goth­ic and Baroque. The high point­ed tow­er is dec­o­rat­ed with stat­ues of saints and famous res­i­dents of the city.

Inside there is a car­il­lon of 48 bells. Dur­ing the day, he plays dif­fer­ent tunes sev­er­al times. The facade is dec­o­rat­ed with lancet win­dows, columns, log­gias. Alas, the Cologne City Hall was bad­ly dam­aged dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, but was quick­ly restored.



In medieval times, Cologne was sur­round­ed by high defen­sive walls. Hanen­tor­burg — the west­ern gate of the for­ti­fi­ca­tions, which served as the main entrance to the city. The exact time of their con­struc­tion is unknown. Schol­ars sug­gest that it dates back to the 13th cen­tu­ry.

The gate con­sists of two pow­er­ful tow­ers inter­con­nect­ed. Inside used to be a prison, and now there is a his­tor­i­cal city muse­um.

Bottmühle Tower

bashnia botumle

In the south of Cologne, the Bottmüh­le tow­er, which is part of the ancient city gates, has been pre­served. The round four-tier struc­ture has a beau­ti­ful arched door, small win­dows, a flat roof topped with a small dome.

The tow­er has been restored and belongs to the city. It hous­es the head­quar­ters of the youth social­ist move­ment “Fal­con”.



In the south side of the his­tor­i­cal cen­ter ris­es the Ulrep­fort fortress, built in the Mid­dle Ages to pro­tect the city gates. It reg­u­lar­ly per­formed its func­tion until 1450. Lat­er, the gates were walled up, the tow­er lost its strate­gic impor­tance and was con­vert­ed into a wind­mill.

At the begin­ning of the last cen­tu­ry, the fort was rebuilt, the defen­sive tow­er and the wine cel­lar were restored. Today Ulrep­fort is a pop­u­lar tourist attrac­tion avail­able for vis­it­ing.

Hohenzollern Bridge

most gogenzolermov

The steel arch bridge across the Rhine Riv­er is the most impor­tant rail­way junc­tion in Europe. The build­ing was put into oper­a­tion at the begin­ning of the 20th cen­tu­ry. Its total length is 409 meters, width is almost 30 meters. At the end of World War II, the bridge was blown up. Traf­fic on it was restored only after 3 years.

The mod­ern struc­ture has been mod­ern­ized and con­sists of two rail­way tracks, a motor­way, pedes­tri­an and bicy­cle paths. The bridge is dec­o­rat­ed with eques­tri­an sculp­tures of Ger­man rulers, and in the evenings it is illu­mi­nat­ed.

Temples of Cologne

Cologne Cathedral

Kolnski sobor

The main Catholic cathe­dral of the city, found­ed in 1248, is con­sid­ered one of the largest in the world. A mas­ter­piece of world archi­tec­ture, made in the Goth­ic style — a vis­it­ing card of Cologne. Atten­tion is drawn to the wide facade, high point­ed tow­ers, lancet win­dows, and numer­ous sculp­tures on the walls.

Inside the cathe­dral, unique church relics are kept: Hero’s Cross, a sculp­ture of the Milan Madon­na, the Chest of the Three Wise Men and the Staff of St. Peter. The arch­bish­ops of Cologne are buried in the crypt.

Church of Saint Martin

temple st martina

In the cen­ter of Cologne, a 13th-cen­tu­ry church ris­es, erect­ed on the site of ancient Roman build­ings. The archi­tec­tur­al mon­u­ment was rebuilt more than once, so Romanesque, Baroque and Goth­ic fea­tures were mixed in its appear­ance. Dur­ing the last war, the tem­ple was destroyed by bom­bard­ment. Restora­tion work con­tin­ued for more than 30 years.

The inte­ri­or dec­o­ra­tion is made in a strict ascetic style. The main attrac­tions are a frag­ment of an ancient Roman col­umn, col­ored stained glass win­dows, relics of St. Sebas­t­ian and St. Brigid.

Church of the Holy Apostles

cerkov st apostolov

In the his­toric dis­trict of the city, it is easy to find a Romanesque three-aisled basil­i­ca built in the 11th cen­tu­ry. The beau­ti­ful build­ing has high mul­ti-lev­el tow­ers.

The facade is dec­o­rat­ed with arch­es, stained-glass win­dows and stuc­co. Like many oth­er build­ings, the Apos­tolic Church was destroyed in 1945. Restora­tion last­ed 40 years. Church ser­vices are reg­u­lar­ly held in the restored church.

Church of Saint Geryon

cerkov st geriona

The Catholic church, found­ed in the 4th cen­tu­ry, is a three-nave basil­i­ca with­out a transept in the Romanesque style. Its dis­tin­guish­ing fea­ture is a dome 35 meters high and 17 meters in diam­e­ter.

The facade is dec­o­rat­ed with two 30-meter square tow­ers. Around the decagon are four small grace­ful tur­rets. Inside, you can see ancient floor mosaics, mar­ble sculp­tures of saints and wall paint­ings.

Central Mosque


An impor­tant tourist attrac­tion in Cologne is the cen­tral mosque, built a cou­ple of years ago. An ele­gant mod­ern build­ing impress­es with its size and beau­ty. The mosque in the form of a 36-meter dome has two thin high minarets. The glass walls are dec­o­rat­ed with intri­cate orna­ments.

The archi­tec­tur­al com­plex includes a prayer hall, an Islam­ic cen­ter, a library, and a shop. The mosque con­ducts active edu­ca­tion­al and vol­un­teer work and is a real dec­o­ra­tion of the city.

Museums in Cologne

City Museum

gor musei

The Cologne Muse­um is housed in an old house with orig­i­nal white and red shut­ters. His col­lec­tion shows how the city devel­oped from antiq­ui­ty to the present day.

The halls of the muse­um dis­play sil­ver and gold items, chi­naware, medieval weapons, archae­o­log­i­cal exhibits, as well as draw­ings of Cologne, doc­u­ments and pho­tographs. On the ground floor there is an exhi­bi­tion intro­duc­ing the polit­i­cal events of the last cen­tu­ry.

Roman Germanic Museum

roman german museum

Not far from the Cologne Cathe­dral, a light gray house ris­es, which hous­es a muse­um that tells about ancient his­to­ry. After view­ing the expo­si­tions, you can learn about the province of the Roman Empire, locat­ed on these lands, and see archae­o­log­i­cal finds.

Roman sculp­tures, ceram­ics, jew­el­ry are very pop­u­lar. Many objects in the muse­um were found dur­ing exca­va­tions in the port of the Rhine.

Wallraf-Richartz Museum

musei richarda

The Wall­raf-Richartz Muse­um has an impres­sive col­lec­tion of paint­ings. The baroque depart­ment stores the works of Rem­brandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, Dür­er. A spe­cial place is occu­pied by altar paint­ings made in the Goth­ic or Renais­sance style.

A sep­a­rate expo­si­tion con­tains paint­ings by Ger­man artists of the 18th-19th cen­turies. Vis­i­tors can see sculp­tures by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Rodin, admire engrav­ings and minia­tures on parch­ment.

Perfume Museum

musei duhov

In the cen­ter of Cologne, near the city hall, there is a per­fume muse­um ded­i­cat­ed to the his­to­ry of the cre­ation of the Eau de Cologne cologne.

The expo­si­tion, opened on the ter­ri­to­ry of the per­fume fac­to­ry, presents a large col­lec­tion of glass bot­tles, dis­til­la­tion appa­ra­tus, pho­tographs of the pro­duc­tion process. The Per­fume Muse­um has a small gift shop. There you can get acquaint­ed with dif­fer­ent aro­mas, and buy a bot­tle of your favorite per­fume.

Chocolate Museum

musei shokolada

On the Rhein­auhafen embank­ment there is a brick house in the shape of a ship, in which the Cologne Choco­late Muse­um func­tions.

Here it is easy to learn the main secrets of the pro­duc­tion of sweet treats. Guests are shown a minia­ture choco­late fac­to­ry, a con­fec­tionery shop, a cov­ered green­house for grow­ing cocoa. The pride of the expo­si­tion is a choco­late foun­tain about 3 meters high, spew­ing 200 kg of liq­uid choco­late.



The muse­um hous­es a col­lec­tion of medieval reli­gious art col­lect­ed by Alexan­der Schnut­gen at the end of the 19th cen­tu­ry.

The exhi­bi­tion, housed in a large Romanesque church, con­sists of wood­en and bronze cru­ci­fix­es made a thou­sand years ago, ancient tapes­tries, stone stat­ues of saints, bas-reliefs, as well as church uten­sils made of pre­cious met­als and ivory.

Nature and entertainment



In Cologne there is a great place for out­door walks — Stadt­wald Park. Decid­u­ous and conif­er­ous trees are plant­ed on a vast ter­ri­to­ry, paths are laid, cozy bench­es are installed.

There is a pond in the mid­dle of the park where ducks, geese and swans live. Locals and tourists come to enjoy the wildlife oasis with­in the city, feed the birds and play sports.

Botanical Garden

bot sad

In 1864, the Flo­ra Botan­i­cal Gar­den was opened in Cologne. The park was designed in a mixed Ger­man­ic style by Peter Josef Lenne, a Pruss­ian gar­den artist. Dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, “Flo­ra” was sig­nif­i­cant­ly dam­aged, but by 1964 it was restored.

Today, about 10 thou­sand species of plants grow in the park. Tourists can see a palm alley, a rose gar­den, flower beds with camel­lias, green­hous­es with trop­i­cal plants. Beau­ti­ful sculp­tures, colon­nades, foun­tains are installed among the trees.

Hiroshima-Nagasaki park

hiroshima park

In the cen­tral area of ​​Cologne in 2004, a Hiroshi­ma-Nagasa­ki park was found­ed in mem­o­ry of those killed in the atom­ic bomb­ing of Japan.

The open­ing cer­e­mo­ny was attend­ed by Japan­ese con­sul and activist Kazuo Soda, a sur­vivor of the Nagasa­ki atom­ic bomb. In the cen­ter of the park there is a mon­u­ment in the form of an origa­mi crane, which rep­re­sents a sym­bol of resis­tance to nuclear war. There is a lot of green­ery, bench­es on the ter­ri­to­ry, a play­ground with carousels and slides is equipped for chil­dren.



The zoo­log­i­cal gar­den, which start­ed oper­at­ing in Cologne in 1860, is con­sid­ered one of the old­est in Ger­many. 842 species of ani­mals live on the ter­ri­to­ry of 20 hectares. Their habi­tats are as close as pos­si­ble to the nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment. This allows the ani­mals to be healthy and active.

Chil­dren and adults enjoy watch­ing ele­phants, tigers, leop­ards, bears, giraffes, deer. The gar­den has a lake with water­fowl, a ter­rar­i­um and a spa­cious mon­key aviary.



The enter­tain­ment cen­ter Fan­tasia­land has been oper­at­ing in the vicin­i­ty of Cologne for more than 40 years. A real mag­i­cal town has been built in the green zone, where you can spend the whole day. Invert­ed roller coast­ers, water bikes, the Galaxy space show with an imi­ta­tion of a flight between the stars, a Viking ship, and huge tram­po­lines are wait­ing for chil­dren here.

Vis­i­tors par­tic­i­pate in cos­tume shows, quizzes, win gifts and have fun. In win­ter, a large skat­ing rink is poured on the ter­ri­to­ry.


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