Cologne is one of those places that ticks all the boxes. Absolutely stunning no matter which direction you turn and offering a plethora of things to do, this German city is popular for a reason and well worth exploring. Cologne Cathedral – or Kölner Dom – is one of the architectural highlights. It’s a stunning spectacle and is the largest Gothic cathedral in all of Germany. The Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was even the tallest structure in the world at one point.
But Cologne has lots of other architectural delights to enjoy as well…
There are lots of Romanesque churches in Cologne and St. Maria, which was built in the 11th century, sits on the location of the ancient Roman Capitoline temple. It still features original furnishings to this day including wooden door leaves, a forked cross and stained glass windows.
You’ll feel transported back in time in Cologne’s Old Town. Discover traditional houses down intricate alleyways, the aforementioned Cologne Cathedral, the Romanesque church Great St. Martin, the tower of the historic City Hall, and a huge amount of museums, statues and fountains. This is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the historical charm of the city.
This newly designed area on the Rhine mixes modern architecture with historic landmark buildings. Not far from the city centre, this area is extremely popular. If you have a real passion for architecture, it’s the place for you – look out for the trio of buildings called the ‘Kranhäuser’, meaning crane towers. These rise to 60 metres and are shaped liked hoisting cranes, creating a very interesting skyline.
If you hadn’t worked it out from the name, the very first cologne was made in, well, Cologne. In this majestic building – old on the outside, modern and revitalised on the inside – the water that gave birth to cologne is pumped through a fountain to be sampled. You’ll be amazed at how water can smell that good. Visit the 4711 website to learn more about the history before you go.
This is Cologne’s oldest and most traditional park, and its expansive greenhouses are worth seeing. Based in a northern district, it covers 11.5 hectares and was established in the 19th century. The Flora and Botanical Garden were separated by a wall but it’s been a unity since 1920.
With so many spectacular architectural sights to visit, it’s best to get around by car in Cologne. It’s a fantastic way to discover the city and its surrounding areas. Pick your vehicle up from the Cologne-Bonn Airport and let your adventure begin.