Cologne is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, with amazing architecture, superb cuisine and one of the world’s most famous waterways right on the doorstep. Here are my top three reasons to visit this year.
1. Amazing Ariel Views
The obvious place to start is the south tower of the cathedral- the city’s most iconic building- if you can handle the 533 steps that is. Or try the cable car which will give you aerial views of the cathedral as well as the old town and the Rhine- it’s carried 15 million passengers without incident though the more acrophobic of you might want to consider the 100m high KölnTriangle, which is closer to the Dom and has a 360 degree outdoor viewing platform.
2. The Romantic Rhine
The Rhine is one of the world’s most famous river valleys, with perched castles, myths and legends aplenty. Specialist river cruises can run into the thousands of pounds but KD Lines run a daily ferry to Konigswinter, around thirty miles downriver. Here you can climb to the top of a hill-cum-mountain known ominously as Dragons Rock. This is the place where Siegfried- Germany’s version of King Arthur, with a dash of Jon Snow- supposedly defeated a dragon. The ruins of a castle sit at the summit which has spectacular views all the way back to Cologne.
With more pubs per capita than any other city in Germany, more than seventy clubs, a thriving student population and Germany’s largest LGBT community you’re never going to be lost for somewhere to enjoy yourself on an evening in Cologne.
Hedonists should head for Zülpicher Straße where the sheer volume of cocktail bars and pubs are perfect for getting the night off to a good start. But you’ll be equally well catered for in the main tourist areas of the old town too.
How about a twin city break? By using DFDS Seaways cruise ferries from Newcastle-Amsterdam you can combine Cologne with another world famous city. Foot passenger prices are extremely competitive, even in the height of summer as are rail fares to Cologne.