Germany is known for its great tourist potential, which certainly hardly anyone doubts. However, it is not exploited as a destination for tourism and is more powerful at this level than such as Spain, France or Italy.
Many people think that this sleeping giant of tourism and culture should wake up from its lethargy, which it may already be doing, and become a major competitor in tourism for travels across Europe by those who seek not only beaches but also submersion in culture, in the broadest sense of the word.
This time we visit Cologne, a city on the River Rhine possessing one of the most famous and oldest universities in Europe. However, the city where famous people would someday be mayor, such as Konrad Adenauer, the founder of the party of the current government in this Teutonic country, was completely destroyed during the Second World War.
Life in Cologne is happy; it is not a typical German city as we imagine as to the seriousness of the inhabitants and adverse weather of other northern cities.
To go from the UK, for example, we can book in advance with low-cost airlines with rates up to 20 € for Cologne Bonn Airport a real bargain.
But what will we see in Cologne so as not to miss the most essential?
It would be a public affront not to mention the Cologne Cathedral, which is in the historic heart of the city and a leading exponent of European Gothic style. Not surprisingly, beyond being one of the most visited monuments in Germany, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO ‒ although curiously late, in 1996.
This cathedral is worth a visit not only on a day when the sun is shining but also by night when it is illuminated.
The Ludwig Museum
If you want to see works of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, modern and abstract art, this is your place. Also here you’ll find the famous works of Pablo Picasso.
The shores of the Rhine
When you travel along the Rhine and experience what it offers, especially if you come from a country or a city where rivers are not so great, you are definitely impressed. Imposing buildings, bridges and boats are often part of the nightlife created through atmospheric lighting and, above all, a majestic river that many will not hesitate to bestow the title of “Sir”.
Located very close to Central Station, the main train station, this famous bridge offers great views of the cathedral. It is one of the most heavily used railway bridges in Germany. In addition, as increasingly common elsewhere in Central Europe, it is famous for the padlocks that couples in love leave to ensure their eternal love survives.
Do you like chocolate? Then, come here. Even if you do not like it, many believe this place can change your mind. Watch and see how chocolate is produced, how it requires such a long and thorough process ‒ and enjoy a tablet of chocolate before doing your shopping!.
Try black and white chocolates, sweeter or more bitter. In short, we believe that here’s a chocolate for every type of person, so no one will be failed by the Chocolate Museum.
We are in the Old Town Square, full of typical German buildings including the Old Town Hall, famous for its frontage. The area is the hub of the city and centre of all the festivities that take place in Cologne and where the famous Christmas Market is held every year; certainly a good place to socialize and meet friends.
And, then finally, depending on the weather and the time you have chosen to come to Cologne, you can stroll in the Rheinpark (Rhine park) and relax by the banks of the River Rhine. The park offers many attractions and areas even for children. It is ideal for picnics and relaxation. Cologne also has many other attractive parks at your disposal.
Ultimately, sightseeing in Cologne is more than justified. Not only do we see the Cathedral and a stately and magnificent river, but experience another facet of German life beyond the best-known cities of Berlin or Munich.
Editing by: Catherine Parker
As Seen On Travelin Europe