Self-guided walking itinerary foe a day in Cologne

The city of Cologne is one of the most interesting cities in Europe, as its history dates back to the 1st Century. When the Romans founded this land, they named it Colonia. It is a great place for exploring on foot, as many of the city’s must-see highlights are near the central station. I recently visited Cologne and found a few of my favorite things that I would like to share with you. Here’s my ideal itinerary!

#1Start with a good breakfast 

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DIY walking itinerary for a day in Cologne-Germany

Kamps bakery is actually a chain of restaurants throughout the city of Cologne. They open every morning at 7:00 am, and they have an amazing selection of sandwiches, pastries, fresh bread, and other breakfast items. And of course, no bakery would be complete without its fresh coffee! The prices are very affordable, the location is amazing, and it is within walking distance to the Cathedral, which is the next item on our list! (Marzellenstr. 1, Cologne, Website.)

#2-Visit the Cathedral

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DIY walking itinerary for a day in Cologne-Germany

Cologne is the only city in all of Europe that has a Cathedral next to its train station. The Cathedral is the most visited place in all of Germany, boasting over 20,000 visitors per day. It is always under new renovations, which is why scaffoldings are a familiar sight around there. It must be constantly preserved in order to prevent it from getting damaged due to time, pollution, and erosion. Officials spend about 20,000 euros per day just for Cathedral upkeep.

Entering the Cathedral is free of charge, but there might be some limitations if you are traveling in a large group. They only allow 10 groups per hour to enter the Cathedral, in order to preserve its inner peace. They hold about 6 Masses per day.

One of the most interesting parts of the Cathedral is “The Reliquary”, which was built to house the bones of the three kings. It was brought all the way from Milan to satisfy the Archbishop, and has since been something worthy of pilgrimage for most Christians.

Cathedral construction stopped for over 300 years starting in the year 1516 for many reasons. The biggest reason was that Germany was in economic decline after Martin Luther’s reformation. The Prussians continued the Cathedral’s construction 300 years later.

During the rule of Napoleon, Cologne was actually under the rule of France. The Cathedral was turned into a camp for soldiers and a stable for their horses.

Cologne was almost destroyed in 1945, with only the Cathedral remaining after the destruction of World War II. Over 14 aerial bombs hit this Cathedral, destroying its north tower. Even the church organ was destroyed. (Website)

#3– Climb the cathedral tower

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The tower is a popular tourist destination for a lot of reasons. It will give you a great view of the Rhine that you can’t get anywhere else. The steps are wide and not too difficult to climb, allowing you to get a closer look at the giant church bells!

You can climb all 533 steps of the tower for a small fee of 4 euros. Try going early in the morning so that you can avoid the crowds. It opens at 9:00 am, so be sure to be the first in line!

#4– Visit Eau de Cologne 4711 shop

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Eau de Cologne 4711 DIY walking itinerary for a day in Cologne-Germany

Eau de Cologne 4711 is one of the most famous perfume shops in the world. It has been in business since 1709, producing several different types of perfumes. In the year 1794, Napoleon sent his troops to occupy Cologne houses with no numbers. He instructed them to mark all homes with numbers, and this shop received 4711. At the time, it belonged to an Italian family known as Farina that emigrated to Germany and started making eau de cologne. (Glockengasse 4 Cologne, Website.)

#5-Drink a coffee at Espresso Perfetto

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Espresso Perfetto Cologne DIY walking itinerary for a day in Cologne-Germany

Nothing’s better than Italian espresso! But you don’t have to go all the way to Italy to get one – you can find a great cozy cafe right in the heart of Cologne. They sell not only home-brewed coffee, but a variety of espresso machines as well. Their coffee is high quality, and their service is also good. You can opt for a terrace seat on the street or a cozy living room area where you can enjoy a warm drink in peace. (Kolumbastraße 8 Cologne, Website.)

#6-Visit KölnTriangle

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KölnTriangle DIY walking itinerary for a day in Cologne-Germany

You can take an elevator all the way to the top of the city. It only costs 3 euros to get in, and it’s a great photo opportunity for those who want a breathtaking panoramic view of all of Cologne!  (Ottoplatz 1, Cologne, Website.)

#7-Visit Hohenzollern Bridge

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Hohenzollern Bridge DIY walking itinerary for a day in Cologne-Germany

The bridge that crosses the Rhine is known as Hohenzollern, and it has a railway and pedestrian road. People love walking across this bridge as it can be very romantic. Lovers have the tradition of hanging padlocks from the bridge to immortalize their love. You can read a lot of different messages inscribed on these padlocks.

Near the end of WWII, the dawn of 1945 saw Germany blow up all of the bridges that crossed the Rhine. This includes the Hohenzollern. However, there is a happy ending – this bridge was finally repaired in 1959 and has been completely rebuilt!

#8-Have lunch at Peters Brauhaus

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Peters Brauhaus DIY walking itinerary for a day in Cologne-Germany

Peters Brauhaus is located in the heart of old town on historical ground! It opened in 1994, but before that it was a brewery known as Zum Kranz that opened all the way back in 1544.

They offer a variety of traditional German dishes as well! . (Mühlengasse 1, Cologne, Website.)

#9-Do some shopping at Hohe Straße

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This is a pedestrian street that also acts as the center point of shopping in all of old town Cologne. It dates back to the times of the ancient Romans, with the streets lined with shops and vendors for you to enjoy. Take a break at one of the many cafes as well!

#10-Visit the Ludwig Museum

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Ludwig Museum DIY walking itinerary for a day in Cologne-Germany

The Ludwig Museum is a beautiful museum with one of the largest modern and pop art collections in the entire world. You can see the likes of Picasso, Warhol, Dali, Max Ernst, Liechtenstein, and much more here at this great museum!

(Hein­rich-Böll-Platz , Cologne, Website.)

#11-Grab a beer and a snack at the Heumarkt

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Heumarkt DIY walking itinerary for a day in Cologne-Germany

In ancient times, the Heumarkt was once a swamp. During the Middle Ages, it was drained so that the people could use it as a city center for trading. They sold clothes, leather, cheese, salt, meat, and much more. In today’s world, you can find some great food vendors that provide traditional German snacks and street foods to enjoy.

Plus, you can enjoy a Cologne beer while you walk around. When I visited, there was a festival taking place, making it a very nice atmosphere for residents and tourists alike.

Cologne can be reached by train very easily. If you are driving, try parking at the Heumarkt parking lot in the city center. It only costs about 16 euros per day.

I hope you find yourself planning a visit to this wonderful city soon!

 

Have you been in Cologne before? I would love to hear your comments.

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angela

4 Comments

    • Thank you Aixa, I enjoyed climbing the tower so much! The whole experience and the views are amazing.

  1. What a wonderful read Angela. This will be very useful for me when I decide to travel to Cologne. I would love to visit that lovely perfume shop and most definitely the cathedral.

    • Thank you so much Sarah, I think that Cologne is a city that is very walking friendly, I am happy that it can be useful.

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