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Sitting on the river Rhine, the German City of Cologne is part of North Rhine Westphalia. It is home to about 1.1 million people and fourth-most populous city in Germany. It is the most populous city of both the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region (10m people) and the Rhineland (9m people).
Düsseldorf, Essen, and Duisburg are only a few kilometres away. Berlin is about 542 km and Hamburg 376 km as the crow flies.
Important economic and cultural hub
Today, the former Hanseatic city is an international commercial and cultural capital. Cologne is one of the most important locations for the chemical and the automobile industry and home to many large media companies such as RTL. The city is also famous for the Cologne carnival. Cologne looks back to a history of 2000 years – rich in culture, arts, and sights.
Steeped in history, eventful present
Cologne became a city as early as 50 A.D. Still today you find the remains of the city’s Roman past, such as parts of the Roman city wall. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Cologne quickly developed to an important commercial centre and became a bishop’s see in 313. The city still is influenced by Christianity: host of the World Youth Day in August 2005. In the High Middle Ages Cologne was home to 40,000 people and the largest city in the German speaking region.
Do you speak “Kölsch”?
Cologne is famous for its dialect spoken by 250,000 to 750,000 people.
Cologne Carnival is one of the biggest and most renowned carnival in the world. Carnival time is also considered the fifth season and always starts on November 11th at Cologne Alter Markt or at Heumarkt. Highlight is the parade on Carnival Monday. This unique tradition started in the Middle Ages.
The city bursts with sights and offers for visitors and at the same time it is a very charming and relaxed city.
Germany‘s most visited sight! This Gothic church is the city’s landmark and heart. It is the second-tallest church in Germany and the third tallest in the world. In 1996 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its history is just as impressive: construction started in 1248, construction lasted 600 years and it was the world’s highest building for four years. The west facade is the biggest church facade ever built – join a guided tour through the church!
Cologne Old Town
Old buildings, small alleys, restaurants, shops, and breweries – that’s the flair of Cologne Old Town right on the river Rhine. Join one of the guided tours through this district and learn more about the sights. Together with the Cologne Cathedral, the Romanesque Great St. Martin church and the tower of the historic Town Hall, the Old Town forms the famous Rhine panorama.
Alter Markt is the central place for Cologne locals and visitors during the Xmas and Carnival time. In the small alleys you find trendy shops as well as many museums: Roman-Germanic Museum, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Museum Ludwig etc. Must-do: stroll along Rhine-promenade.
Museum Ludwig and Roman-Germanic Museum
Best known museums in Cologne: Museum Ludwig exhibits art of the 20th and 21st century; Roman-Germanic Museum is an archaeological museum.
Boat Trip on the Rhine
The river Rhine is the longest river in Germany; the city of Cologne seen from the river is a special experience.
Great St. Martin
This distinctive church has been a landmark of the Cologne Old Town since the Middle Ages. Its foundations rest on the remnants of a Roman chapel. The church was badly damaged in World War II; restoration work was completed in 1985.
There are more sights to see such as Cologne Zoo, the Belgian Quarter, the love padlocks on Hohenzoller Bridge, Rhine Park, the German Sports and Olympic Museum, the Chocolate Museum, …. Come and see for yourself!
Things you should not miss when in Cologne:
Cologne is one of the warmest cities in Germany. It enjoys a temperate–oceanic climate with cool winters and warm summers (average temperature in July: 19°C).
Irrespective of the weather, Cologne is worth visiting all year round. If you want to know more about the weather in Cologne, check out our live web cams.