Cologne's huge Gothic cathedral rises above the banks of the River Rhine, where locals stroll, picnic and watch boats drift by. Nearby is the wave-shaped Museum Ludwig, showcasing modern art. South of here, gabled houses, lively beer halls and pedestrianised shopping streets dot the Old Town.
You’re beginning to get a picture of this welcoming city. It’s got remarkable monuments and world-class museums, and its ancient Roman sites give it a feel of an open-air museum. And within this backdrop of culture and history you’ll find party upon party as you investigate the lively beer halls, brew houses and bars. There’s much to see and do for visitors with young families, too, with the city zoo and the chocolate museum putting big smiles on little faces.
Must-sees in Cologne include the mightily impressive Dom (cathedral), the German Sport Museum and the art-filled trio of the Ludwig Museum, the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum and the Romisch-Germanisches Museum. Between the three there’s an incredible collection of works spanning a range of genres, from medieval paintings to iconic Pop Art pieces.
It’s best to be located as centrally as possible during your Cologne city break. Hotels in the Old City, on the banks of the River Rhine, provide an excellent base for your trip as they offer easy walking access to the majority of the attractions. Lively Neustadt (new city) is also a good choice for a weekend break.
Flights arrive into Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN), which is a 20-minute drive from the city centre. To get into the city you can take a taxi, hire a car at the airport or make use of one of the public transport options.