[[Image:DomHohenzollernbridge Cologne.jpg|thumb|600px|Cologne Cathedral and Hohenzollern bridge]]
[[Image:DomHohenzollernbridge Cologne.jpg|thumb|600px|Cologne Cathedral and Hohenzollern bridge]]
[[Image:cathedral_in_cologne.jpg|thumb|300px|Cologne Cathedral, also known as ''Dom'']]
[[Image:cathedral_in_cologne.jpg|thumb|300px|Cologne Cathedral, also known as ''Dom'']]
'''Cologne''' [http://www.koeln.de] (German: ''Köln'', Cologne dialect: ''Kölle'') is situated on the river Rhein in North Rhine-Westphalia and is the fourth largest city in [[Germany]] with around 1,000,000 inhabitants. It is one of the nation's media, tourism and business hotspots
and is renowned as the country's gay capital. |+|
'''Cologne''' [http://www.koeln.de] (German: ''Köln'', Cologne dialect: ''Kölle'') is situated on the river Rhein in North Rhine-Westphalia and is the fourth largest city in [[Germany]] with around 1,000,000 inhabitants. It is one of the nation's media, tourism and business hotspots.
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Revision as of 09:40, 7 July 2007
Cologne Cathedral and Hohenzollern bridge
Cologne Cathedral, also known as Dom
Cologne  (German: Köln, Cologne dialect: Kölle) is situated on the river Rhein in North Rhine-Westphalia and is the fourth largest city in Germany with around 1,000,000 inhabitants. It is one of the nation's media, tourism and business hotspots.
The distinctive flavour to the city of Cologne is often put down to the inhabitants, or Kölsche, who take an enormous amount of pride in their city. Cologne, like most areas of Germany, has its very own local dialect of German, though this is unlikely to hinder the average sight-seeing tourist, as many of the landmarks of the city have English-speaking guides and information. For those tourists who speak German, and wish to practice it, the citizens have a lot of patience with those getting to grips with the grammatically difficult language. Colognians are a very friendly people; welcoming tourists of all types and with all interests.
Away from the landmarks, many workers of the German rail system (Deutsche Bahn) speak English, as well as ticket/timetable machines available in English modes. Local transport systems, however, rarely cater for the English speaker, with only the bare essentials of information available but this should only concern those wishing to explore the city away from the more centralised sights. Those wishing to explore away from the central city should plan their journey before leaving, to prevent minor complications as there is a lack of English away from the centre of Cologne.
Older people in Cologne tend to have little or no knowledge of English, whilst businessmen and women, as well as the German youth, all tend to have a good knowledge of the language. Language is rarely a strong barrier, so this shouldn't be too much of a worry for the average tourist, just approach a friendly native and use a smile on your face, your arms and legs.
The climate of north-western Germany is changeable, with seasonal changes and day-to-day weather often comparable to that of the United Kingdom or northern France. Travellers to Cologne can expect the hottest time of the year to be July, the coldest is Feburary (you will seldom see snow though) and the month with the most precipitation is June.
- Cologne Bonn Airport (IATA: CGN), , handles international and domestic flights and is a hub for the lowcost airlines GermanWings and hlx. It also has a daily flight to New York/Newark with Continental Airlines. The airport is approximately 15 minutes by S-Bahn (local train) to the center of Cologne.
- Düsseldorf International Airport (IATA: DUS),  The Düsseldorf airport also many offers intercontinental connections. Train ride from the airport train station to Cologne central station takes approximately 40 minutes.
Cologne is served by two major train stations - Köln Hauptbahnhof  and Köln-Deutz.
Cologne is linked with Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Paris by Thalys, ICE and Eurostar High Speed trains. Additionally, the Frankfurt airport (IATA:FRA) has direct service to Cologne and is within one hour by ICE trains.
Plenty of motorways (Autobahns A1, A4, A3, A57, A555) lead to Cologne. During rush hour the streets are heavily congested, also due to massive construction of a new subway tunnel Nord-Süd Stadtbahn, crossing half the city centre. Find a street map, also showing where you can switch into a KVB subway, S-Bahn or Bus here .
Cologne has a very good subway/tram and bus network "KVB" (Kölner Verkehrsbetriebe); one- and three-day-passes are available. The tickets are valid for subway, tram and regional train within the VRS-network. A map of the network should be found at any station, and official Kölner Verkehrsbetriebe cologne station maps are available online here .
Cologne's subway and tram-system, or U-Bahn, is a mixture between both systems: A subway line can go on street-level and end up as a tram or vice versa. There are vending machines or ticket-offices at larger stations The trains and busses also have vending-machines. See KVB  for printable maps of the subway/tram system.
Regional Trains are known as "S-Bahn", "Regional-Bahn" and "Regional Express". Not all the trains have ticket vending-machines so remember to buy a ticket at the station.
Cologne has, like Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt, a Call A Bike - System. After you signed up to the system, using your credit-card to pay per minute, you can pick up or drop off one of the silver-red bikes anywhere in the city. See here  for details.
But, on the whole, the center of Cologne is not that big for a city of one million. It is entirely feasible to walk from one end of the center, say, the Rudolfplatz, to the other end, say, the Dom, on foot in half an hour. On the other hand, a trip by subway/tram line 13, which encircles the larger part of the town, takes close to 3/4 of an hour (Most sites attractive to tourists are located inside the #13 line's track or immediate outside it, and most sights are located within walking distance in the inner city).
Student Travel Tip: Student travel can be very cheap to and from Cologne, as well as the surrounding area. The German rail company (DB: Deutsche Bahn) offer a 'Schoene Ferien Ticket' during student holiday times and allows free travel throughout Northrhein Westphalia on local buses, trams, U-Bahn and some trains. Prices range from around €41 for summer holidays to €16 for Easter holidays, but prices can change year-on-year.
The ticket is available to anyone with valid student identification (student union card, enrolement card etc.) and personal identification (passport, driving licence etc.). Note: the ticket is only valid for student holiday dates of Northrhein Westphalia and the ticket is not valid for high speed express trains. Visit/contact Deutsche Bahn for more information before travelling to Germany.
- Kölner Dom, (U-Bahn: Dom / Hbf), . Monday - Sunday: 6.00 - 19.30. Protected by UNESCO, Cologne's Dom is the first sight you will notice when taking the main exit from the central station. (If you don't see it, you've taken the back exit.) An attraction to the Dom is taking all 509 the stairs to the top of the Cathedral. It takes about an hour, so wear comfortable shoes, but it's worth the hike. Touring the Cathedral is forbidden during Mass. Entry into the cathedral is free but you will be asked for a donation. Admission to the tower costs (regular/reduced): €2/€1. Admission to the treasury costs (regular/reduced): €4/€2, however, a combined ticket granting you admission to the treasury and tower can be purchased for (regular/reduced): €5/€2.50.
- Die Kölner Synagoge, Roonstraße 50 (U-Bahn: Zülpicher Platz), ☎ +49/(0)221/921560-0 (fax: +49/(0)221/921560-9), . The synagogue is notable for its architecture that looks, well, right out of Gotham City. In August of 2005 Pope Benedict XVI visited the synagogue, becoming the second pope to ever visit a synagogue.
- 12 Romanesque Churches: St. Kunibert (with wonderful stained glass windows), St. Severin, St. Maria Lyskirchen, St. Andreas, St. Aposteln, St. Gereon, St. Ursula, St. Pantaleon, St. Maria im Capitol, Groß-St. Martin, St. Georg and St. Cäcilien
- Parks: Cologne has 2 park areas (Grüngürtel) encircling the city (immediately outside the medieval city limits) and nearly the entire town, respectively, which were set aside as public recreation areas after World War I. The inner Grüngürtel is probably more easy to reach for tourists who only stay a few days. Most notably are Volksgarten, Hiroshima-Nagasaki- (colloquially known as Aachener-Weiher-) and Stadtgarten parks where thousands of people come together to enjoy the sun, play and barbecue when the weather is fine. All these parks have an associated beer garden. Be aware to dispose any packaging, charcoal etc into the wastebins (which are unfortunately few and far between), as the city has begun to employ anti-littering patrols that will levy a stiff fine on anyone seen littering. Metro: Eifelplatz for Volksgarten, Universitätsstraße for Hiroshima-Nagasaki-Park, Hans-Böckler-Platz/Bahnhof West for Stadtgarten.
Museums and Galleries
- Museum Ludwig, Bischofsgartenstraße 1 (U-Bahn: Dom/Hbf), ☎ +49/(0)221/221-26165 ([email protected], fax: +49/(0)221/221-24114), . A museum of modern art, near central station and the Dom hosts a worthy regular exhibition, as well as temporary exhibitions.
- Museum für Angewandte Kunst, An der Rechtschule (U-Bahn: Dom/Hauptbahnhof), ☎ +49/(0)221/221-23860 ([email protected], fax: +49/(0)221/221-23885), . Tuesday - Sunday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.. Museum für Angewandte Kunst has a collection of popular design items, as well as temporary exhibitions. Admission: Regular: € 4.20, Reduced: € 2.60.
- Römisch-Germanisches Museum, Roncalliplatz 4 (Adjacent to the Cathedral's right side from its main facade.), ☎ +49/(0)221/221-22304 ([email protected], fax: +49/(0)221/221-24030), . Tuesday - Sunday 10 AM - 5 PM. Römisch-Germanisches Museum explores the history of Roman history in Cologne and the surrounding area. The museum's tour guides are rather dull and can make any visit seem like it lasted just as long as the Roman empire. Admission: €6.45 or €7.45 including admission to the praetorium (an excavation of various buildings).
- Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum für Völkerkunde, Ubierring 45 (U-Bahn: Ubierring), ☎ +49/(0)221/336940 ([email protected], fax: +49/(0)221/3369410), . Tuesday to Friday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.. North Rhine-Westphalia's only ethnological museum, it has a fine collection of Amerindian and Australian-Polynesian artifacts. Admission (including temporary exhibits): Regular: €4, Reduced: €3.
Cologne's strong side is its cultural life. For latest information on what is happening around in town, get the "StadtRevue" (2 Euro), "Kölner" (1 Euro) or "Live" (Free). See also the official website .
- Karneval The biggest festivity in Cologne is the Winter carnival (or Fastelovend) in February. According to the official Cologne tourism website (see Futher Information section): "Its highlight is the street carnival taking place from Weiberfastnacht (the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, traditionally the day on which women take control of the city) to Karnevalsdienstag (Shrove Tuesday). On Rosenmontag (Shrove Monday) more than one and a half million people line Cologne's streets to watch the parade with the mad triad – the prince, farmer, and virgin – every year."
- Christopher Street Day ; CSD is a large gay pride festival held in Cologne annually on the Heumarkt square. The event showcases music, a candle light vigil remembering those with HIV/AIDS, and on the final day of the festival a large parade is held. Recently, upto a million people have attended the events.
- Kölner Seilbahn; Riehler Straße 180; Phone: +49 221-547-4183 (Line open until 6 PM); ; Hours: April - October 10 AM - 6 PM; Take a ride with the Aerial traway across Rhine river, Germany's only chairlift crossing a river! Price: Adults: One way - €3.80, Return trip - €5.50, Children (Aged 4 - 12): One way - €2.20, Return trip - €3.00
- The Zoo; Riehler Straße 173; Phone: +49 221-7785 - 0; Email: [email protected]; ; Hours: Summer: 9 AM - 6 PM, Winter: 9 AM - 5 PM, Aquarium: 9 AM - 6 PM; Admission: Adults: €12, Teenagers (Aged 14 - 17): €8.50 Children (Aged upto 14): €6
- Phantasialand -Berggeiststr. 31-41 (In the town of Brühl); Telephone +49 ; Hours: 9 Am - 8 PM, Rides open at 10 AM, Ticket office closes at 4 PM; - Phantasialand is a fun place for children and has some fun rides for adults too. Even the Colorado Adventure roller coaster is sponsored by Michael Jackson. Admission: Children: (Up to one meter in height) - Free, Children: (Between one meter and 1.45 meters) € 24.50, Adults: €28.00, Senior citizens: € 17, Two day passes available.
- Cologne Tourist Office; Unter Fettenhennen 19 (Directly opposite the front entrance of the cathedral); Phone: +49 221-304 00; ; Hours: Monday - Friday 9 AM - 10 PM, Saturday & Sunday 10 AM - 6 PM. Take the U-Bahn to 'Dom/Hbf'.
The Cologne Tourist Office offers a wealth of information for the traveller who wishes to fill their itinerary with activities around the city. Ask about guide books that are available, most of which provide invaluable information for free.
- KD Rhine River Cruise; Frankenwerft 35; Phone: +49 221-208 83 18; ; Departure times: Daily: 10:30 AM, 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 6:00 PM; Köln-Düsseldorf offers cruises of the Rhine river around the Cologne area with an explanation of landmarks. €6.80
- Stattreisen e.V.; Phone +49 221-7325113; ; this non-profit organization offers excellent tours of Cologne, led by volunteers. The prices are moderate and there is a huge list of tours, including (besides the more regular tours) Koelsch tours (for testing the breweries) or language lessons in the local dialect (again, in a brewery). Ask for English tours, some guides are willing to conduct a normally German tour in English.
Spa and Massage
Beauty and spa treatments are popular in Cologne:
Sauna and Massage
- Claudius Therme , very big place with pool and lots of different saunas next to the river
- Mediterana , 11 saunas and a huge pool, outside Cologne
- Neptunbad , located in the popular area of Ehrenfeld in an old renovated bath
- Savoy , 2 wellness floors in the basement of this 5 star hotel
- Ananda , Tantra massage, an open minded and liberal attitude essential because the massages includes sexually sensitive body parts, however, no sexual services are given by the employees. For service, see discussion on Talk:Cologne#Massage.26Spa_section
- Samudra , floating tanks and wellness massages
There is an abundance of record stores in Cologne, but most are hidden in non-tourist quarters.
- For a mainstream record store, go to Saturn, which hosts the "world's largest CD collection", as they quote on their store windows. It's huge, and to pre-listen a record, you just have to hold it under one of the many scanners spread throughout the shop. Always worth a visit. Subway and Regional Train from central station: Hansaring
- Independent record stores are spread around Saturn: Cross the street for 2nd hand and punk, follow the "Ring" (boulevard) north, and you will find Jazz, Electro and HipHop at Schallschock record store. Famous alternative music-store Normal is south of Saturn, as well as Underdog Record Store (specialized in Alternative Rock, Emo, Garage and related matters) Subway and Regional Train from central station: Hansaring
- For electronic music, get off at Friesenplatz, and go to groove attack in Maastrichter street. Also famous is Kompakt record store. Both are connected to a label sharing the name, and putting out fine German electronic music. Subway: Friesenplatz
- For mainstream shops, go to metro station Neumarkt or Heumarkt, and search for "Schildergasse". More expensive shops are found on "Hohe Straße".
- A mix of freaky 2nd hand stores and places selling hip label clothes head from Neumarkt to "Friesenplatz" and go to Ehrenstraße, Apostelnstraße, Breite Straße.
- "Mayersche" and "Thalia" at Neumarkt are the biggest bookstores, you will find anything you want.
- On "Ehrenstraße", you will find cheap and arty books, take a look at "Buchhandlung König" at the eastern end, buy art books at weel known "Taschen" at the corner of Ehrenstraße and the Ring.
- Travel books are bought best at "Gleumes", between Zülpicher Platz and Rudolfplatz. They have only maps and travel books, but these from around the world.
Cologne has a wide variety of restaurants, both German and otherwise, as a glance in the colored pages of the local telephone book will illustrate.
One can eat pretty well in most traditional-style Kölsch restaurants: the Brewer-pubs are particularly worth taking note of. If you are looking for a snack, you can either head for one of the Turkish, Arabic or Asian places, or you can make use of the traditional fast food places like Mc Donalds, Burger King etc. Italian restaurants in Cologne seem to attempt to aim for a higher quality than in the UK, though it is debatable whether they achieve it, and whether their prices (often 150-200% of UK prices) are justified. There are several Indian restaurants across the city, which serve a fair fare, though the visiting Brit may be slightly disappointed to find that German 'curry culture' is rather akin to that of the UK in the 1960s: menus are neither large and varied, nor regionalised and specialist, and although ingredients are fresh, the food without exception appears to be tamed-down for the conservative German palate and the cooks are rather hesistant to spice it up even if you ask for it. "Clay Oven" (Luxemburger Straße near Südbahnhof) and "Bombay" (near Eifelstraße tram station) do make a vindaloo that will satisfy the most hardy customer, though. More recently, Japanese and Thai restaurants have become more common; both are quite expensive.
- Hauptbahnhof - The ground floor of the central train station has a good number of cheap eateries, which include Pizza Hut to kiosks selling sausages.
- Falafel Habibi located on Zülpicher Straße. They have two stores, which serve the same food (though sweetmeats may vary).
- There is an abundance of Döner Kebap and similar takeaways around the town. Generally a lot of Turkish snack bar-style places around Zülpicher Platz and in the Belgisches Viertel, with some excellent Lebanese and Persian takeaways further down Zülpicher Straße towards Südbahnhof. Probably best now (though expensive) is Oruc Döner on Kyffhäuserstraße (near Barbarossaplatz); while the kebap is quite good though not outstanding, their freshly baked pide bread is famous all over town. There are lots of Turkish restaurants and takeaways within Kalk, Mülheim and (mainly restaurants) in the Belgisches Viertel.
- Borsalino, an Italian-style restaurant located on Zülpicher Straße close to Zülpicher Platz. Very affordable prices.
- Don Camillo, Hildeboldplatz 1a; phone 0221-138551; a small italian tabula calde style restaurant. Coming from Hohenzollenring, head into Breite Straße/Ehrenstraße and take the first road to the left.
- Buffet Chang  - Large, clean and tasty Chinese style buffet (all you can eat for 6.50 Euro) on the top floor of DuMont Carré shopping mall, in the middle of the shopping district on Breite Straße. Open from 11.00 - 21.00 (Sundays and holidays 12.00 - 19.00). Also a good underground car park with reasonable hourly rates and discounts for microcars such as Smart and Mini.
- El Inca, Görresstrasse 2, near Rathenauplatz. Latin-american restaurant, open 1800-2400.
- Johnny Turista, Rathenauplatz. Easy-going pub/restaurant offering snacks, hot dishes and a daily changing selection of tapas; prices are lower than in most tapas bars.
- Selam, Ehrenfeldgürtel 91 (tram station Venloer Straße/Gürtel)  Ethiopian restaurant, opens 5 PM Tu-Fr and from 4 PM on weekends, closed on Mondays. Good selection of mild and spicy Ethiopian dishes served on the traditional plate of injera bread.
- Farmer's Steakhouses with several branches on the Ring (near Friesenplatz), Wallrafplatz (near the Dom, off Hohe Straße), Kreuzgasse (off Schildergasse shopping street). At Lunchtime they usually have a special, that will give you a square meal for 6-7 Euro.
- pepe, Spanish style food, tapas and cocktails  Antwerpener Straße 63, near Stadtgarten and west of Friesenplatz, open 1800-0200. Big plates for hungry eaters, cool crowd. Usually booked out after 1900, make a reservation by phone or e-mail the day before.
- Landhaus Kuckuck, Olympiaweg 2, near Müngersdorfer Stadion (Aachener Straße). Exquisite German, but also international meals, open Tuesday - Saturday 1200-2300 - Sunday 1200-1800.
Typical Cologne beer is called "Kölsch" and served in bars around town in small glasses of 0.2l (so that the beer can be drunk while it is still very cool), so-called "Stangen" - but waiters will be fast to bring you a new one, once your old one is finished. In some bars, the waiter (called "Köbes" in local language) will put a new glass in front of you without being asked when he sees an empty glass, so it is easy to lose track of how much you drank. Each beer will be a pencil line on your coaster. To stop the beer from coming, put the coaster on top of your empty glass. If you buy it bottled, take either "Reissdorf", "Früh" or "Mühlen", which are rated highest by Cologne citizens.
There are so many bars and pubs to choose from that you could spend most of the night looking going from one bar to the next. A really great bar is the Irish Pub, Flanagan's, in Altstadt located down below a building. Almost everybody speaks English in there if that's what you are looking for, and they have a really great Karaoke night on Sundays. The clientele is very friendly.
For a comprehensive list, see , bars listed on the right.
- For traditional breweries, head to the Altstadt around the Dom, where the "Früh Kölsch" brewery is the most authentic place, famous both with visitors and locals. You will find a younger crowd at "Hellers Brauhaus" on Roonstraße, near metro station Zülpicher Platz. Furthermore the "Päffgen", on the all-bar street Friesenstraße close to the Friesenplatz, and the "Mühlen" near Heumarkt are traditional brewery pubs but less touristy than the "Früh". Also recommended is Sion , which is a lesser known brand, but hailed to be very good. Most Altstadt pubs are somewhat scorned as "tourist traps" by locals, however; prices here are usually higher than e.g. on Zülpicher Straße.
- There are a lot of modern bars and lounges all around town. More mainstream ones are on Zülpicher Straße. For something more independent and funky on this street, try Umbruch (funky) or Stiefel (punky). The Low Budget on Aachener Straße next to Moltkestraße metro is a nice, unassuming, punky bar which features a fine selection of drinks and often hosts concerts, poetry or cabaret sessions.
- A lot of stylish places are in the so-called Belgian quarter between Aachener Straße and the Ring, e.g. famous M20 or the Hallmackenreuther.
- Früh am Dom; Am Hof 12 – 14 (On the opposite the right side of the cathedral, across on the plaza with the cathedral and Roman-German Museum); Phone: +49 221-2613 - 211; . Früh am Dom is a great place to try the local Kölsch brew.
- Bräuhaus Gaffel; Alter Markt 20-22; Phone: +49 221-257 7692; ; Hours: Daily: 11 AM - 1 AM;
- Brauhaus Sion, Unter Taschenmacher 5 (Altstadt), ☎ +49 (0221) - 257 85 40, .
- Blue Lounge Party , every third Saturday, at the Bürgerhaus Stollwerck in Dreikönigenstrasse 23. Starts at 2200, tickets 5 €. Percussion-, brazil-, balearic- and deep house, techno, trance. A must for people who like this kind of music.
- #TAUSEND Bar , Aachener Strasse 57 (Moltkestraße metro): various events & music, nice bar styled by a group of designers
- Bodycheck Party , every second Saturday at the Filmhaus Köln on Maybachstrasse 111, metro station Hansaring. House, techno, always very good video projections.
- 3Klang , on Ehrenfeldgürtel 127, metro station Venloer Str./Gürtel. Every third Friday, 2200-0500.
- Blue Lounge Bar , on Mathiasstrasse, lesbian bar. Off-shoot of the very successful party mentioned above.
- Basswerk Session , bi-monthly, the second Saturday at GEBÄUDE 9 , Deutz-Mülheimer Strasse 127-129 (tram 3 or 4, stop at KölnMesse/Osthallen), 2300--0500. Long-running and popular drum 'n' bass party in a defunct funky factory hall. Resident DJs often invite renowned guest DJs from the international d'n'b fringe. Alternates bi-monthly with the similar "Phonogenic" party in the same venue.
- Station Hostel , Marzellenstrasse 40-48 (Across from the main station). Basic rooms and facilities and the breakfast is extra but good value none the less. They also have storage lockers (deposit) if you want to keep your valuables somewhere safe.
- Jugendherberge Köln-Deutz, Siegesstrasse 5; Phone: +49 221-814711; Email: [email protected]; .
- Holiday Inn Cologne-Bonn Airport, Waldstrasse 255, Phone: +49-2203-5610, . Within walking distance of the airport (unless you have a lot of luggage), but they run a shuttle. Sometimes you can find a decently-priced room here when prices in town go through the roof. Nothing (but the airport) in walking distance. €99- €250
- Four Points by Sheraton Central Köln; Breslauer Platz 2; Phone: +49 221-16510; Fax: +49 221-1651333; ; Price: €70 - €200+
- Drei Könige am Dom; Marzellenstrasse 58 - 60, 50668 Köln ; ; Price: €85,-
- Cologne Marriott; Johannisstrasse 76-80; Phone: +49 221-942220; ; €81 - €385
- Le Meridien Dom Hotel, Domkloster 2a, ☎ +49 (221) 20240 (fax: +49 (221) 2024444), . €130 - €480 per night..
- Hilton Cologne, Marzellenstrasse 13-17 (200 m from central station), Phone: +49-221-130710; . Modern Hilton hotel in the center of the city, convenient for sightseeing. Prices go through the roof during trade fairs in Deutz. €115 - €400.
- Hotel Im Wasserturm; Kaygasse 2; Phone: +49 221-200 80; . A luxury hotel built inside of a 130 year old water tower. It has a designer interiour and a rooftop restaurant with panoramic views. Price: €180 - €840 per night
- Savoy, . A family run 5 star hotel with a huge spa area and a very nice rooftop bar. It's direct at the main station and has very good weekend offers.
Watch out for pickpockets around the Dom and inside the train station, often they are children. Aside from petty theft, crime is relatively low and there is no need to exercise special precautions. Stay away from youths looking for fights, especially on the Ring where a lot of clubs are.
Holy mass in catholic churches near to the central station:
- Dom, Domkloster 3 (next to the central station). Sun: 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 12:00, 17:00, 18:30; Mon-Sat: 6:30, 7:15, 8:00, 9:00, 18:30
- St. Andreas, Komödienstr. 8. Sun: 9:00, 11:00, 18:00; Mon-Fri: 12:05; Sat: 9:00, 17:00
- St. Mariä Himmelfahrt, Marzellenstr. 26. Sun: 11:00; Wed, Thu: 10:30; Sat: 17:00, 18:30
- Minoritenkirche, Kolpingplatz 5. Sun: 9:00, 11:00, 16:00; Tue-Fri: 9:00
- Bonn, the former capital of Germany is located due south and easy to reach by train or S-Bahn.
- Königswinter A small town reachable by train.
Augustusburg Palace and Gardens
- Brühl almost a suburb of Cologne contains the Augustusburg Palace which has been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The palace is one of the key works of Balthasar Neuman, and contains one of the finest Rococco interiors in the world, the highlight being the main staircase. Also in the grounds is the magnificent hunting Lodge of Falkenslust. Brühl can be easily reached by train in around 20 minutes from Cologne. The theme park of Phantasialand is also in Brühl.
Due to Cologne's close proximity to the German/Belgian/Dutch border weekend trips to foreign destinations are easy to arrange. Thalys operates high speed trains to Paris, Amsterdam, and Brussels, making each city only a few hours away instead of a several hours.
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