Cologne

Cologne Destination Guide

Koln (Cologne) is the fourth largest city in Germany, is a major metropolitan city in Europe located on the River Rhine, and its inhabitants number more than ten million. One of Germany’s oldest cities, it was founded in 38 BC by the Romans.

The city’s most famous landmark is one of the world’s greatest cathedrals, Cologne Cathedral (Kolner Dom), the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne. This is a Gothic masterpiece that took from 1248 to 1880 to complete with its intricate roofs and spires, phenomenal architecture, artistic masterpieces, and spiritual organ pipes. It has been a World Heritage Site since 1996. A climb as high as you can go gives a magnificent view of the surrounding area. Also watch the animated ornate clock across the street when it strikes the hour.

There are twelve Romanesque churches you can visit. Some of these churches date back to Roman times. All but St. Maria Lyskirchen were severely damaged during World War II, and it took into the 1990’s for reconstruction to be finished.

This major cultural center has hundreds of galleries and more than 30 museums including the Museum Ludwig, which is huge and contains collections of art including Picassos, other paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, and even a good amount of pop art.

Very interesting is the Chocolate Museum, which is only a 15-minute walk from the Cathedral. It is a fascinating experience for both children and adults. Not only can you experience hands-on exhibits and history, but you watch the working factory making Lindt chocolate balls and eat wafer sticks dipped in a warm chocolate fountain. You can also dine in their cafe and drink pure melted Lindt hot chocolate.

Augustusburg Castle and Falkenlust Castle also belong to the Unesco World Heritage and make for interesting day trips. Both are examples of baroque architecture. Augustusburg is the larger one and is surrounded by a relaxing garden. Falkenlust was built for the Archbishop of Cologne as a hunting lodge. Guided tours can show you the interior of both palaces.

Coming back to the present, when you are on the lookout for good restaurants, they are plentiful and offer many different international cuisines.

For wonderful schnitzel (deep fried meat), go to the legendary GASTSTATTE BEI OMA KLEINMANN. There are many varieties offered at a reasonable price including one with camembert and cranberry sauce! Try the fantastic Creme Brulee for dessert.

If you must have some Kolsch beer, one of the best pubs to enjoy this German beer is FRUH AM DOM, which is located next to the Cathedral (Dom). It is also within walking distance of the train station, downtown, museums, etc. The lively atmosphere in this large restaurant goes along with the beer (which is always being replenished) and good food (especially meat).

For those who are not meat-obsessed, OSHO’S PLACE is self-service vegetarian offering a different theme each day with interesting and delicious dishes.

KAMASUTRA features delicious Indian food such as dishes of chicken with cashew nuts and cream or spicy chicken with chilli and ginger and other interesting sauces and wines as well as a soothing atmosphere with each table decorated separately. It is recommended to make a reservation as this is a very popular place.