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Cologne Travel Information

This bustling German city which on the banks of the River Rhine is renowned for its Gothic Cathedral, it dominates the skyline.

Very much a modern city, Cologne boasts remnants of its historic Roman origins and a quaint 14th century Old Town with cobbled streets, shops and cafes.


Cologne has a rich and colourful history, good variety of museums, art galleries and fantastic shops, the city is a rewarding choice.

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Cologne Travel and Flight Information

As one of the most important and historic cities in Germany. A totally modern city, it nevertheless has a relaxing atmosphere and at its heart is the “Altstadt” or Old Town and the magnificent Dom cathedral, which remarkably survived World War II unscathed.

The central area, bounded by the inner ring road, lies on the west bank of the River Rhine and is just 2km (1.25mls) from east to west and 3km (2 mls) from north to south. The metropolitan area sprawls to accommodate a population of over 1 million.
Aside from the business people attending the world-famous trade fairs, visitors go to Cologne to sample the medieval and Roman sights, the "Karneval" (its version of Mardi Gras) in February, Christmas markets and of course, Kölsch, the local beer.

Straddling the River Rhine, and surrounded by undulating countryside and farmland.

West-central Germany. 24km (15 mls) north of Bonn. 72km (45 mls) east of the border with Belgium and Holland. 19km (12 mls) north west of Cologne Bonn international airport.

Where to Stay
Mainly for the business visitors, with a proliferation of properties in the middle to upper range. The majority provide facilities for this clientele, ranging from basic fax to fully blown mini offices.

What to do
Daytime: the famous twin-spired cathedral, including the climb up 536 steps of the southern spire for a cityscape panorama; museums include the Roman-Germanic Museum (home of the finest mosaic in Europe), the Museum Ludwig (fine collection of paintings from medieval to modern) and a chocolate museum; the old town (Altstadt); 12 Romanesque churches; Telecom tower viewing platform; Media Park; river trips; cable-car ride over the river; zoo and aquarium; ice rink.

Nightlife: plentiful bars and beer halls on the central area known as the Ring and streets between Friesenplatz and Rudolfplatz; classical concerts at Philharmonia Hall; opera at the Opera House; theatre; many cinemas.

Four main areas: the old town, with its own distinctive bars and restaurants (and a few tourist traps); Quartier Lateng near the university, where you can mingle with genuine Cologners; the Sudstadt with its many trendy bars and cafes, all packed to capacity; and the Belgisches Viertel, along the inner ring road.

Must See
Visit the Gothic Cathedral and the host of Romanesque churches. There are many museums, including Roman-Germanic treasures, old and modern art and chocolate!

The Gothic Cathedral, Cologne

Must Do
Take a river cruise or cross the Rhine by cable car for views of the Old Town. Shop in the Hohe Strasse and Schildergasse 1000-2000 or browse for gifts at the 4 Christmas markets.

Given the number of international visitors goinh to the trade fairs, it is not surprising that there is a large variety of menus to choose from, with dishes from all over the globe; the old town and inner ring-road areas offer abundant variety in both cuisine and budget. Local specialities include smoked black sausage, frankfurter-type sausage with rye bun and ham knuckle with pickled onion. Cologne is famous for its Kolsch beer, which can be produced only in local breweries.

The main area for shopping are Schildergasse and Hohe Strasse; a large pedestrian precinct in the centre has a wide range of everyday shops, from boutiques to large department stores, offering good quality merchandise. The home of 4711 Eau de Cologne on Glockengasse still sells the brand among other perfumes. Open-air markets in the Altstadt (based in the old town area) include a weekly Friday flea market (plus one every third Saturday) and special flower markets. Numerous Christmas markets in December.

Half day tour: river trips to Dusseldorf or the Rhine gorge; nature reserves at Dunnwald, Bruck and Porz.

Full day tour: castles and villages of the Rhine gorge, including Koblenz, Assmannshausen and Rudesheim.

Getting Around
Cologne has an efficient underground system and network of trams covering the city centre.

Comprehensive network of urban buses, trams and underground train system; a Welcome Card pass is good value, covering all public transport 24 hours a day and discounts of up to 50% on over 100 services and facilities. Lots of taxis and an extensive tram network. Both domestic and international services use the nearby airport. Ferry services are available on the Rhine.

Who is it for?
Main trade is middle to upmarket business people attending numerous trade fairs during the autumn and winter. In summer it is often taken over by tour groups and independent travellers, many on multicentre package coach tours or making use of rail cards.

Getting There
Various flights from the UK to Cologne airport are available at discount rates. You can also book hotels and city breaks to Cologne at Hessle Travel.

To Relax
Watch the world go by in the Rhine Gardens. A range of nightlife is on offer from lively cafe bars to the renowned Philharmonic. Cologne boasts over 3000 pubs and restaurants; don't forget to try a glass of the local Kolsh beer!

Try the local Beer

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Cologne by Hessle Travel

Cologne Highlights

> Often unfairly regarded as just the strategic capital of Germany's industrial Ruhr, Cologne boasts a history which goes back to the time of its foundation by the Romans

> The huge Gothic cathedral dominates the city skyline and the lively, medieval 'Altstadt' borders the Rhine

> Cologne's museums offer displays of Old Masters through to Expressionist and Avant-Garde and for some 'sweet' relief why not try the chocolate museum

Visit the chocolate museum

> JTry tasty stews, pan fried meats and vegetables and schnitzels, washed down with crisp, clean tasting Koelsch beer or fruity Rhine wines

Book yourself a flight or city break to Cologne with Hessle Travel.

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