The Top List of Things to Do in Germany’s Picturesque City of Cologne

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Cologne is located within the Rhine-Ruhr region to the northwest of Germany and is one of the most beautiful cities in the country. The city offers a wide range of entertaining activities for all the family along with its impressive architecture Cologne is well known for.

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The Top List of Things to Do in Germany’s Picturesque City of Cologne:table of contents

1. Cologne Cathedral

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Cologne Cathedral is a spectacular, huge Gothic church that looms over the old city of Cologne serving as the seat of the Archbishop for the city. It also serves as the seat of the administration of the Archdiocese too. It's free to enter the cathedral and costs four euros to climb the tower where you'll get some beautiful views over the city and old town.

2. Heinzelmaennchenbrunnen

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A fountain and statues detailing the 'magic gnomes' that have long been associated with Cologne, the complex sits around the center of the city. According to the myth, the magical creatures would come out during the night and complete the work the citizens of the city would need to do the next day, allowing them to relax and be lazy instead. This continued until a tailor's wife got too curious about the gnomes and laid out peas on the floor for them to trip on, allowing her to see them. The gnomes were angered and disappeared from the city, never to return again leaving the people to do the work by themselves. It's an interesting spot to check out while walking around the center of the city.

3. Cologne Sightseeing Cruise

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The iconic River Rhine which passes through the center of the city offers tourists the perfect chance to view Cologne from the waterside while drifting down slowly on a cruise. The cruise usually lasts for about an hour and as expected from German culture, you can enjoy the views while sipping on a glass of local beer.

4. Koelner Zoo

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Koelner Zoo is located at the heart of Cologne, as one of the oldest and most famous zoos in the country, it's well worth checking out especially for those with children. The zoo is quite large, so expect to spend about four hours or so to get around the whole park, it's particularly famous for the elephant park, one of the largest in Europe, home to 16 Asian elephants.

5. Museum Ludwig

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Museum Ludwig houses one of Germany's largest collections of postmodern art including one of the largest Picasso collections in Europe. Exhibits in the museum vary from abstract to surrealism to pop art. The eye-catching pop art exhibition is one of the highlights of the museum. Expect to find works from the greats such as Rothko, Dali, Picasso and Hockney. It's a must see for any art lover.

6. The Cologne Christmas Market

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The Cologne Christmas Market is a street market that runs for most of December, selling all kinds of Christmas-related goods. Perfect for people of all ages (who doesn't love Christmas?) the market is usually a big hit with children for families looking for something to do during the Winter season. From all kinds of handmade goods to traditional Christmas foods like Lebkuchen and Magenbrot along with enough mulled wine to sink a ship, there's something for everyone here. The best thing about the markets however is the incredible Christmas atmosphere you'll find there.

7. Koln Triangle

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The Koln Triangle is one of the most prominent landmarks of the city, which offers gorgeous views over the cathedral, River Rhine and the sprawling city of Cologne. It costs three euros to go up to the viewing platform, but it's well worth it for the stunning scenery. You'll also find a number of restaurants in the building, some of which also include beautiful river views.

8. Chocolate Museum

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No trip to Cologne is complete without a visit to the Chocolate Museum, especially for those with a sweet tooth. Located right across the harbor, near the city's old town, this museum provides a fascinating insight into the production and history of chocolate making. Of course after looking at chocolate for several hours, you'll get the opportunity to taste and buy from a large variety of chocolates made there. You'll even find popular board games such as monopoly that are made entirely out of chocolate.

9. The Great Escape

The great escape game is a fun and exciting game for both children and adults and something unique you can take part in while on a trip to the city. Participants get 60 minutes to figure out the clues in order to get out of the room. The whole experience is planned out brilliantly with a captivating story line and tons of details to keep you occupied.


One of the most beautiful cities Europe has to offer, Cologne has a unique charm that makes it one of the most interesting places for a short break in the country. Even just to try the delicious food and locally brewed Kölsch beer is reason enough to come to visit Cologne.