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The 20 Best Things to do in Cologne, Germany

Boat Trip on the Rhine

Cologne, Germany is a beautiful and historic city that has something for everyone. It is a city which was established more than 2000 years ago and has a wide variety of attractions to offer its visitors. It is a popular destination for shopping, with a wide variety of shops and malls. The city is home to several museums and art galleries, as well as several historic monuments and buildings. It also has a vibrant nightlife scene, with several bars and clubs to choose from. There are some things to do, no matter what your interests are. Whether you want to explore the city's history and culture, or simply enjoy its nightlife, there is something for everyone in Cologne. Here are just a few of the many things to do when you visit Cologne.

Cologne Cathedral

20. Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral is the most iconic building in Cologne and is a must-see for any visitor to the city. The cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece and is one of the largest and most popular tourist attractions in Germany. According to Planetware, it is home to the Shrine of the Three Kings, which contains the remains of the Three Wise Men. This is a must-see for anyone interested in Christian history or architecture.

Ludwig Museum

19. Ludwig Museum

The Ludwig Museum is a popular museum in Cologne and is a must-see for anyone interested in art or history. This museum is dedicated to the artworks of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and features both temporary and permanent exhibitions. It has an excellent collection of modern art, as well as a wide range of historical artifacts. The museum is also home to a library and a research center. The artists featured in the museum include Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, and Wassily Kandinsky.

Romano-Germanic Museum

18. Romano-Germanic Museum

The Romano-Germanic Museum is a popular tourist attraction in Cologne, Germany. The museum is known for its extensive collection of Roman and Germanic artifacts, as well as its unique architecture. According to Wanderinhheatleys, The museum was opened in 1974 and it has been in operation ever since. The museum has four floors and it is approximately 60,000 square feet in size. The museum's collection includes more than 100,000 Roman and Germanic artifacts, making it one of the largest collections of its kind in the world. The museum's exhibits are arranged chronologically, from the Roman period to the Germanic period. The museum also has a library and a research center.

Wallraf-Richartz Museum

17. Wallraf-Richartz Museum

It would be hard to find a more comprehensive and representative collection of European art from the late Middle Ages to the early 1900s than that on display at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum. According to Touristspy, the museum is named for its founder, a wealthy Cologne businessman and art enthusiast named Ferdinand Franz Wallraf, who bequeathed his collection of some 4,000 paintings and drawings to the city in 1824. The museum opened its doors to the public in 1861, making it one of the first public art museums in Germany. Today, the Wallraf-Richartz Museum houses an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and prints from the medieval period to the early 20th century. The museum is particularly well-known for its collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings from the 17th century, which includes works by Rembrandt, Jan van Eyck, and Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

Cologne's Old Town

16. Cologne's Old Town

Cologne's Old Town is a must-see for any visitor to the city. The Old Town is home to important historical landmarks, as well as different types of shops, restaurants, and cafes. Be sure to visit the Gothic cathedral, the Romano-Germanic Museum, and the Wallraf-Richartz Museum. It has a large pedestrian zone and is known for its nightlife. The area around the Alter Markt square is especially lively, with many bars and clubs.


15. KölnTriangle

KölnTriangle is a skyscraper in Cologne, Germany. It is the tallest building in the city, with a height of 103 meters. It is located on the banks of the Rhine River, in the city's downtown district. It holds the title of being the "greenest" skyscraper in Europe, due to its use of sustainable energy sources, such as solar panels and a green roof. The building was completed in 2006 and has since become a major landmark in Cologne's skyline. If you're looking for a unique place to visit and learn more about sustainable architecture, then KölnTriangle is a must-see.

Hohenzollern Bridge

14. Hohenzollern Bridge

The Hohenzollern Bridge is a bridge crossing the Rhine River in Cologne, Germany. The bridge is one of the most heavily used railway bridges in Germany with over 2,000 trains crossing it every day. The bridge was originally built in 1911 and was named after the German Kaiser Wilhelm II. The bridge was badly damaged during World War II but was rebuilt and reopened in 1945. The bridge is now a popular spot for tourists to take photos of the river and the skyline of Cologne.

Cologne Zoo

13. Cologne Zoo

Cologne Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in Germany, having been founded in 1860. The zoo has over 7,000 animals from all over the world, including elephants, lions, and tigers. The zoo also has a large botanical garden with over 10,000 different plants. Cologne Zoo is a great place to spend a day with the family, and it is the most popular tourist attraction in the city. This zoo has a lot of history dating back to its opening in 1860. It is one of the oldest zoos not only in Germany but in all of Europe.

Botanical Garden

12. Botanical Garden

You can't come to Cologne without spending some time in one of its most beautiful parks, the Botanical Garden. This gorgeous garden is home to more than 12,000 different kinds of plants, making it one of the largest and most diverse gardens in all of Germany. You can stroll through the different gardens, including the herb garden, the rose garden, and the Japanese garden. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, you can even take a hike up to the top of the Loreley, a nearby hill with stunning views of the Rhine River.

useum für Angewandte Kunst Köln

11. Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln

The Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln is one of the leading museums of applied arts in Germany. The museum's collection comprises more than 7,000 objects from the areas of applied arts, crafts, and design. The museum's emphasis is on the period from the late 18th century to the present day. The Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln is a great place to learn about the history and evolution of applied arts and design in Germany.

Kolumba Museum

10. Kolumba Museum

The Kolumba Museum is a museum of art and archaeology in Cologne, Germany. The museum is located at the former St. Columba's Abbey, a Gothic church that was destroyed in World War II and rebuilt in the 1950s. The museum's collections include works of art from the Middle Ages to the present day, as well as archaeological artifacts from the Roman, Byzantine, and Medieval periods. The museum also has a library and a research center. Admission to the museum is free for all visitors.

St Gereon's Basilica

9. St Gereon's Basilica

St Gereon's Basilica is a Romanesque church in Cologne, Germany. It is one of twelve Romanesque churches in Cologne and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. The church is located on the site of a Roman bath house, which was in turn built on the site of a 4th-century Christian chapel. The church was consecrated in 948 by Archbishop Bruno of Cologne. The church has a basilica plan with a nave and two side aisles and a transept. The church is known for its Romanesque architecture, as well as its numerous Gothic and Renaissance additions. The church is the home to the Shrine of the Three Kings, which contains the relics of the Magi.

NS Documentation Center

8. NS Documentation Center

The center is dedicated to the memory of the victims of National Socialism and documents the history of Cologne during the Nazi era. The center is found in the former SS and Gestapo headquarters, which was used as a prison during the Nazi regime. The center contains exhibits on the history of the Nazi regime, the persecution of minorities, and the resistance to the Nazi regime. The center also offers tours of the former prison cells and execution room.

Schnütgen Museum

7. Schnütgen Museum

This museum is dedicated to medieval art. It features a collection of religious artifacts from the 11th to the 18th centuries, including sculptures, paintings, and tapestries. There is also a collection of coins and medals. The museum is housed in a Romanesque church, and also has a garden with sculptures from the 17th and 18th centuries. The museum is the best place where you can learn about the religious art of Cologne. The collection includes a wide range of artifacts, from sculptures to paintings and tapestries. You can also find a collection of coins and medals. The museum is located in a Romanesque church, which makes it even more interesting. In addition, there is a garden with sculptures from the 17th and 18th centuries. The Schnütgen Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in medieval art or the history of Cologne.

Belgian Quarter

6. Belgian Quarter

The Belgian Quarter is a popular tourist destination in Cologne. This is because Cologne was once a part of Belgium and this is reflected in the architecture and culture of the area. Many restaurants and cafes serve Belgian food, as well as several shops selling Belgian products. The Belgian Quarter is home to several museums, including the Museum of Applied Arts and the Kolumba Museum. When you make a visit to the Belgian Quarter, you'll feel as though you've been transported to another country entirely.

Rheinauhafen District

5. Rheinauhafen District

This up-and-coming district is a great place to explore Cologne's modern side. The Rheinauhafen district is located on the waterfront of the Rhine River and is home to modern architecture, including the award-winning Kranhäuser (crane houses). The district has some bars and restaurants, making it the perfect place to relax and watch the world go by. It's also a great place to take photos, with the impressive buildings providing a great backdrop.

Fragrance Museum

4. Fragrance Museum

The Fragrance Museum is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in perfume. The museum showcases the history of perfume making, from its earliest beginnings to the modern-day. You'll learn about the different ingredients used in perfume, how they're sourced, and how they're used to create different scents. You'll also get to see some of the world's most famous perfumes being made. The Fragrance Museum is a great place to learn about the history and science of perfume, and it's also a lot of fun.

. Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum

3. Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum

You need not be a chocoholic to visit this museum as it is also great for learning about the history and production of chocolate. The Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum is located in a medieval building. According to Gettingstamped, It is found in the old town and is dedicated to the history of chocolate making. The museum has interactive exhibits that make the tour interesting and fun. You will also get to try some of the delicious chocolate made in the museum. It is worth a visit if you are in Cologne and it is a great activity for kids as well. There is also a cafe on-site where you can visit and enjoy a sweet treat.

St. Maria Im Kapitol

2. St. Maria Im Kapitol

St. Maria Im Kapitol is one of Cologne's most important churches and a must-see for any visitor to the city. The church was built in the 11th century and is a prime example of Romanesque architecture. The church's interior is just as impressive as its exterior, with beautiful stained glass windows and an intricately carved altar. If you're interested in Cologne's history and architecture, St. Maria Im Kapitol is a must-visit.

Boat Trip on the Rhine

1. Boat Trip on the Rhine

You can't come to Cologne and not take a boat trip on the Rhine. According to Thecrazytourist, It's one of the most iconic things to do in the city. Luckily, there are a bunch of tour operators offering all sorts of different tours. You can choose from a leisurely cruise with commentary about the city's sights, or a more adventurous trip with stops along the way to explore castles and other attractions. Whichever you choose, it's sure to be a memorable experience.


Cologne is a beautiful city with many tourist attractions. No matter what your interests are, you're sure to find something that appeals to you in this historic German city. From world-renowned museums and cathedrals to charming old town squares and lively nightlife, there's something for everyone in Cologne.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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