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If you want to know about the most significant and popular sights of Cologne, carefully study our review. We will tell you about what every tourist must see in Cologne.
What to see in Cologne in the first place
When compiling our rating “interesting places in Cologne”, we took into account the reviews and recommendations of experienced travelers and residents of the city. In our general opinion, your trip should include sightseeing of such objects as:
1. Cologne Cathedral
The High Cathedral of Saints Peter and Mary in Cologne
Inside the majestic temple is the cross of Gero (the largest crucifix in Europe), a sculpture of the Madonna of Milan and a golden casket with the relics of the three wise men. The city's cathedral is one of the tallest churches in the world. We recommend that you make a trip to it also for the reason that the entrance to this attraction is completely free.
2. Cologne City Hall
The Cologne Town Hall is mentioned in documents of the 12th century as the “House of the Citizens” Arminia
Building from 1330 (beginning of construction), owned by the city authorities. Over the centuries-old history of existence, the architectural masterpiece was destroyed and restored several times, changed its appearance. At the end of the 20th century, the town hall received 124 new sculptures depicting kings, popes, emperors, famous citizens and other great personalities of Cologne.
3. Chocolate Museum
View from the river Rhine to the ship-shaped Chocolate Museum in Cologne Pedelecs
Confectionery assortment at the Daniel Farrell chocolate shop in Cologne
A vivid example of what to visit in Cologne will be interesting to a person of any age. The building of the museum complex, over 2 thousand square meters in size, is made in the shape of a ship. Here are the best samples of chocolate of various types – from ancient times to the present day. Guests are invited to watch how the popular sweet is made on modern automated machines. Of great interest is a 200-kilogram fountain with liquid chocolate, several meters high. Among the exhibits are photos that tell the story of the delicacy.
Official website: https://www.schokoladenmuseum
4. House of cologne “4711”
The legendary perfume shop and museum of cologne “4711” Raimond Spekking
For several centuries, this legendary factory has been producing perfume, which is exported to 60 countries around the world. Products are made according to a secret recipe. There is a boutique attached to the factory where you can find all modern 4711 fragrances, as well as shower soaps, cosmetics, etc. In addition, the building has a museum with thematic samples that tell how the brand appeared and went to success.
Official website: http://www.4711.com/en/
5. Perfume Museum (Farin House)
Perfume Museum at the Farina House in Cologne Raimond Spekking
Showcases and table from 1723 in the basement of the Perfume Museum in Cologne Johann Maria Farina
In 1708, perfumer I. Farin opened his own cologne factory in this house. Among his admirers were such celebrities as Mozart, Polish and Prussian kings. Museum exhibits – photos, documentation and images of technological processes for the production of perfumes. Also in the collections there are distillation apparatuses, once improved by Farin. It is worth seeing such sights in Germany with an experienced guide – you will learn a lot of new and interesting things about their history.
Official website: https://farina.org
Look at the beautiful places of Cologne in this wonderful video!
6. Flora Botanical Garden
Territories of the botanical garden “Flora” with a greenhouse, a fountain and flower beds
One of the first botanical gardens in Europe, founded in 1864. Equipped in the northern zone of the park of the same name. If you do not know what to see in Cologne, but want to take a walk in the fresh air surrounded by picturesque nature, come here. The entire territory has been ennobled: cafes are open, there are artificial reservoirs and indoor greenhouses, fountains and recreation areas, sculptures and statues. All this is adjacent to the Mediterranean trees and mountain herbs, unusual plants and shrubs.
7. Fantasy Land Amusement Park
Fantasia Land attractions Sergey Galyonkin
The opening of the amusement park took place over 50 years ago. The complex is analogous to Disneyland in Paris. The huge area is divided into zones with different themes – China, Ancient Greece, Prairies of Mexico, etc.
Official website: https://www.phantasialand.
8. Cologne Zoo
Crocodile terrarium at Cologne Zoo Doppelklecks
What to see in Cologne in 1 day with the whole family? Huge park with animals and birds. The “locals” are numerous and quite varied in appearance: baboons, camels, dolphins, etc. For monkeys, a special zone of “jungle” is allocated. In the landscaped area, you can see many rare plants and trees, as well as a collection of stuffed ancient animals.
Official website: https://www.koelnerzoo
9 Sea life Königswinter
Sea life Königswinter building in Cologne Tohma
The number of inhabitants of the luxurious oceanarium is currently about 2,000 species. Few excursions in Cologne make such an indelible impression on guests as a visit to this huge underwater world, made in the form of a tunnel with panoramic windows. During certain hours of the day, visitors can feed marine animals and fish. A pool with tactile walls deserves special attention.
Official website: https://www.visitsealife
10. Cologne cable car
View of the bridge and the river Rei from the cabin of the Cologne cable car
If you want to see the best sights of Cologne in one go, buy a cable car ticket. Your eyes will open views of the city Cathedral and the Rhine, amazing panoramas of the whole city. The date of construction of the cable car is 1957. According to local residents, this type of “transport” is the safest and most environmentally friendly.
Official website: https://www.koelner
11. Archaeological Museum
Exhibits of the Archaeological Museum in Cologne
Where should history buffs visit in Cologne? To the museum complex, whose samples are the remains of ancient mosaics, sculptural groups and ancient villas, products of ancient inhabitants dating back to the 1st-4th centuries AD.
Official website: http://www.museenkoeln.
12. Schnutgen Museum
The Schnütgen Museum in the Basilica of St. Cecilia in Cologne Raimond Spekking
At the beginning of the 20th century, A. Schnütgen donated numerous masterpieces of art created by medieval masters to the city. These masterpieces formed the basis of the current museum exhibition. The presented exhibits are jewelry and utensils, sculptural groups, clothes of clergymen, tapestries. The main theme of the collection is religion.
Official site: http://www.museum
13. Wallraf-Richartz Museum
Banner of the exhibition “Cathedral” on the facade of the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne Laurens Lamberty
Date of opening – the beginning of the 19th century. Guests of the complex can look at miniatures, canvases and sketches, sculptures, paintings and graphics by Rubens, Rembrandt, and other famous creators of France and Holland. In total, there are approximately 75 thousand samples in the museum's collections.
Official website: https://www.wallraf.museum
14. Ludwig Museum
Museum Ludwig on Heinrich Böll Square in Cologne
At the end of the 20th century, the family of Peter Ludwig presented the city with a luxurious collection of works of art. In the future, the collection was constantly replenished, and an entire building was allocated for its placement. If art is your thing, these sights in Cologne should be high on your list of things to do. You can see the works of D. Jones, S. Dali, E. Warhol, P. Picasso, etc. In addition, the exhibition center, covering an area of 8,000 squares, houses a large-scale exhibition of historical cameras and photographs, a Philharmonic and a library.
15. Augustusburg Palace
French garden in front of Augustusburg Palace Thomas Robbin
An architectural masterpiece in the Rococo style. The castle began to be built in the 18th century at the direction of Archbishop K. Augustine. Currently, the Augustusburg complex is represented both by the building itself and by a unique landscape area with sculptural groups and magnificent examples of painting. The facade of the building is decorated with bas-reliefs. The interiors are represented by frescoes, a chic front staircase, and an original flat domed ceiling. Visitors can view the private episcopal chambers, bathroom, dining room and balconies, front rooms. And also stroll through the park-garden, enjoying the views of groves and lakes, fountains and exotic vegetation. The baroque ensemble (as well as the palace itself) is listed by UNESCO.
Official website: http://www.schlossbruehl
16. Castle Weisshaus
View from a balloon on the medieval water castle “White House” Raimond Spekking
Medieval palace built on the water. Currently, its owner is a private person, so it is not possible to view the interiors of the White House. In previous centuries, the castle was used as a residence for the Benedictines and a defensive building. Its brick tower has been preserved intact since the 17th century. All other buildings of the complex date back to the 19th century.
17. Gürzenich Concert Hall
Facade of the Gürzenich Concert Hall with a glass and metal annex PinkPantherXXL
The facade of the Gurzenich building is made in the Gothic style. The date of construction is 1441-52. During the period of fascism, Hitler organized his propaganda meetings in the hall. The Second World War practically destroyed the complex with its chic interiors (only solid walls remained). In the future, the attraction was reconstructed, again turning it into a concert and exhibition center. Now exhibitions of works of art, symphony concerts and performances by famous artists of the world are held here.
Official website: https://www.koelnkongress
18. Bolshoi Church Saint Martin
Great Saint Martin Catholic Church in Cologne Hpschaefer
Listing the main attractions of Cologne briefly, it would be wrong not to mention this temple of the 10th century. The first owners of the church were the Benedictines. Now the majestic building belongs to the city's Catholic community, and attracts attention with its extraordinary stained-glass windows and vaults. The main value of the temple is a fragment of an ancient column. Locals and guides in Cologne claim that it is able to prevent people with impious thoughts from entering the church and even destroy them.
19. Church of St. Panteleimon
North side of St. Panteleimon's Church in Cologne Elke Wetzig (elya)
Romanesque building built in 866. The 3-nave basilica with high-rise towers houses the relics of great saints, including St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. On the territory of the church, the veneration of the great martyrs is organized, spiritual classes and conversations with the clergy, all kinds of fairs are organized.
20. Apostolic Church
Apostolic church in the old Neumarkt district of Cologne Raimond Spekking
A Romanesque temple built on the grounds of a 10th century church. The basilica is truly ancient, because back in the 11th century it was used by the Christian spiritual community for their own needs. Over the millennia of history, it has been destroyed and restored more than once. Now the object is the property of the Catholics of the city.
Cologne attractions: what else to visit in Cologne?
We told you about the main attractions of Cologne (you can keep the photo with names and descriptions). In addition to them, your attention should be attracted by such objects as:
21. Hanentorburg Gate
Modern view of the Hanentorburg gate from the western (outer) side in Cologne
Majestic and massive gate in the west of Cologne. They were erected for the solemn meeting of the most honored guests of the city and for defensive purposes.
22. Gate of St. Severin
View from Chlodwigplatz towards St. Severin's Gate Pedelecs
Part of a wall created in the Middle Ages (in the 13th century). The goals of creation are similar to the above reasons: the defense of the city and the solemn meeting of guests. At the end of the 19th century, a museum complex was arranged in the gate, later – a center for various private events.
Ulrepfort – part of the city fortifications of Cologne Rolf Heinrich, Köln
An ancient defensive structure protecting the approaches to the city. Since the 14th century, the fort was owned by the Carthusian temple, it was walled up and closed. Some time later, the imposing tower of Ulrepfort was converted into a windmill.
24. Eigelstein Gate
North gate of Cologne medieval city wall Hans Peter Schaefer
Part of the fortification system of Cologne. According to scientists, the date of creation of the object is the 13th century. At the beginning of the 19th century, Napoleon entered through the Eigelstein Gate. A little later, the object was given over to the location of the Museum of History, after which its purpose changed many more times.
25. Bayenturm Tower
Bayenturm tower on the banks of the Rhine near the Rheinauhafen embankment
The building is two levels high in the shape of an octagon. The date of construction is 1220. The object is a valuable historical monument. In the 19th century, it was completely reconstructed using the design documentation of previous years.
26. Hohenzollern Bridge
Night panorama of the Hohenzollern Bridge overlooking Cologne Cathedral
Legendary construction connecting the coasts of the Rhine. Start date of construction, which lasted for four years, 1907. During the day, about 1.2 trains pass through the steel railway bridge. The structure has several walking and cycling paths, allowing you to conduct its personal inspection.
Official website: http://www.lovelockbridge
If you are already booked hotels in Cologne, and now you are compiling an excursion itinerary, be sure to include the sights we recommend in it. Read also about the sights of Munich and be inspired to travel further in Germany.