Cologne
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Top Tours & Activities in Cologne

See all tours & things to do in Cologne

Best things to do in Cologne

Enriched by some of Europe's most striking churches, numerous museums, and one of the oldest universities in the world, Cologne is the Rhineland's cultural heart. If you're looking for its best places to visit, look no further!

Cologne Cathedral

By far the city's most famous attraction, the Cologne cathedral was built to house the reliquary of the Three Kings. Construction began in 1248, however, it wasn't finished until 1880!

Photo: Alexander Kaiser @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Cologne Zoological Garden

Founded in 1860, Cologne's zoo is world renowned. With over 700 species on display, it has an aquarium and inveterbrate house, although its emphasis is on primates.

Photo: Daniel Farrell @Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Imhoff Chocolate Museum

Located in the Old Town, Cologne's superb chocolate museum covers the entire history of the world's favorite treat from its Central American origins to its modern day production.

Photo: NH53 @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Roman Tower and Walls

Cologne's Roman fortifications take you about as far back into the city's history as is possible to go. The tower is at Ulrepforte, along with the best preserved section of wall.

Photo: Luftphilia @Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Hohenzollern Bridge

Known as the "Love Bridge" for its countless engraved padlocks honoring star-crossed couples, it's the best way across the Rhine to the cathedral, if not everlasting happiness!

Photo: Georgie Pauwels @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Kolumba

One of the city's oldest museums houses an eclectic mix of religious art and iconography in its exemplary exhibition rooms. To this day it's run by the Archdiocese of Cologne.

Sculpture Park

Enter from the main entrance at Riehler Strasse to discover a modest yet picturesque park peppered with quirky, modern sculptures. The best part is that it's free!

Planning Your Cologne Visit

When to go?

Summer can get quite humid in Cologne, meaning the city's peak season is actually in the fall, so don't be surprised if your hotel costs more in October! Spring is also a good time as the beer gardens start to open up and the city awakens from its winter slumber. That said, it's worth going in winter too for the famous Christmas markets, and the city's carnival begins in February!

When are the Christmas markets?

Cologne has 6 main Christmas markets, each with its own personality. (Check out the Medieval-themed one outside of the Chocolate Museum!) They run from November 23rd to December 23rd.

How many days should you spend in Cologne?

2 or 3 days should be enough to cover Cologne's top attractions but bear in mind that the city is located in a cluster of others worth visiting, such as Bonn and Düsseldorf. Also, the breathtaking Rhine Gorge is just a short journey south, so it might be worth booking more time to accommodate a day trip or two!

Good to Know

  • Language
    German
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +49
  • Best time to visit
    Spring and Fall offer milder temperatures, but the Winter brings with it the famous Christmas markets.

Things to Do in Cologne

Top Attractions in Cologne

Other Sightseeing Options in Cologne

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What People Are Saying About Cologne

I enjoy the bus and the boat, but I will like to have more hours.

I like it very much what I donot like is that it started late. on the brochure it says that will began at 10:30 and it began around 11:30

Cologne Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour and Boat Cruise Reviewed by Nohemi Graciela, 10/26/2016

Lots of fun and entry into awesome places

I had a lot of fun, way more than I was expecting. The guides were really giving their best to entertain us. What was super cool was the free shots and entry into really crazy nightclubs and pubs.

It was a wonderful experience and the audio tour was great!

WE had a fun day, and the service and cleanliness and helpfulness of the crew was great!

Panorama Boat Cruise through Cologne Reviewed by Scott, 09/28/2016

Loved it, loved it, very convenient and saved us money!

Buying and printing the tickets before we left home saved us time and the hassle of standing in line. We also saved money on the tickets. The Rhein river cruise was so relaxing and we loved seeing all the castles . The food was good on the boat and the staff very friendly. Highly reccomend this activity and using GetYourGuide.a must for a trip to Germany!

KD RhinePass - Rhine River Cruise Full-Day Pass Reviewed by David, 09/25/2016

Would have had a senior discount if bought on site. Great cruise!

We really enjoyed the cruise to Boppard & back to Mainz. Bought tickets on line, but they only offer senior discounts if the tickets are bought at their ticket booth before boarding the boat. Would have liked to have gotten off and visited St. Goar or Rudesheim, but there was only one boat scheduled to return to Mainz in the same day. Maybe I will take the train back next time. Only negative comment was that the lady at the ticket booth in Mainz was not interested in answering an of our questions; was abrupt and unfriendly. Not a good representative of the company, since the boat staff were wonderful! Thank you for a memorable trip!

KD RhinePass - Rhine River Cruise Full-Day Pass Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 09/23/2016

Cologne
4.4
Based on 714 reviews by GetYourGuide customers