Cologne is referred to in German as Köln or
Koeln. It's also referred to as the jewel of the Rhine. The city has a population of about 1 million and was
founded in 38BC. It
is best known for the imposing Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom). It
also has Germanic and Roman ruins, plus more than 30 museums.
Cologne is a summer tourist destination. Average
temperatures peak in July and August at 80 F (26 C), while lows
are about 55 F (13 C). By December and January average
highs are 40 F (5 C) and average lows are just below
freezing. Rainfall is highest in July while August sees less
rainfall than most months. August is the best month to visit Cologne
for good weather. June is an excellent choice for avoiding the
height of the tourist season.
Cologne is a standard stop for Rhine (Rhein) River cruises.
Cruises approach from Amsterdam
and Rotterdam to the west or
from Koblenz to the east. Other nearby
cities include Bonn and Dusseldorf. Colgne is easily
accessible by train. The train station is located downtown beside
the Cathedral. Many of the things to see and do are concentrated in the downtown area
near the station.
Floral and Botanical Gardens
Attractions in Cologne:
Things to see and do:
Walk around the Old Town to see the Cologne Cathedral,
Gross Sankt Martin, City Hall (Rathaus), most of the
museums and the shopping district on Hohe Strasse and Schildergasse.
The train station is located right beside the Cathedral.
Cross the Hohenzollern Brücke
(bridge) to the side opposite downtown and stroll the Rhine
Promenade. Then return by the Deutzer Bridge.
Rent a bike and cover downtown, the Rhine Promenade,
the Rhinepark and catch the Seilbahn cable car to the Botanical
Gardens and Zoo.
Cologne Cathedral/ Kölner Dom - the highlight
of Cologne, located downtown on the Rhine at the Hohenzollern Brücke
(bridge). Construction started in 1248 and completed in
1880. There is no charge for entry. It's 500
steps to ascend the South Tower for views of the city. Many river cruise companies dock nearby.
The Cathedral escaped World War II unscathed despite the fact that the
Old Town surrounding it was leveled during fighting. The
Americans occupied the cathedral side of the Rhine and the Germans
blew up the Hohenzollern Bridge to defend the opposite bank.
Gross Sankt Martin - the bell tower on the river near the Dom.
Seilbahn (Cable Car) - a journey over the Rhine (Rhein)
Rhinepark and the Zoo / Floral & Botanical Gardens. The cable car has views of the city, the
river and the Cathedral. Thc cable car doesn't operate in winter.
Take a day cruise on the Rhine (Rhein).
Visit the City Gates and Walls of Hahnentorburg - near the Rudolfplatz
Museum Ludwig - modern art, including Picasso, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali