Rain or shine, you'll find plenty of things to do in Cologne. From museums and cathedrals to travel ideas for children, here´s where to stay dry and enjoy your day.
Every Cologne visitor should see the signature landmark of the city: the Cathedral of Cologne, one of Germany's most important architectural monuments. This Gothic masterpiece, situated in the heart of the city, is the third tallest cathedral in the world and boasts the highest church spires ever built. It took 600 years to build the cathedral and it is home to a golden sarcophagus studded with jewels, which holds the crowned skulls and clothes of the Three Wise Men. Don´t miss the modern stained glass window created by German artist Gerhard Richter. Composed of more than 11,000 identically sized glass pieces, it offers the modern interpretation of a stained glass window.
Warm your soul and satisfy your sweet tooth in Cologne’s Chocolate Museum; learn about the 3000-year long history of the cocoa bean around the world, from the Mayan’s chocolate “drink of the gods” to today's commercials. The museum is home to a small glass chocolate factory, where you can see how the cocoa bean turns into a chocolate bar. The machines all have viewing windows, so you can get a detailed look at the individual production steps. If all this talk about chocolate makes your mouth water, head to the 10-feet high chocolate fountain; the museum staff will be happy to dip waffles into the warm chocolate to give you a try.
Follow your nose to the birthplace of the famous perfume Eau De Cologne 4711 on Glockengasse. When Cologne was occupied by the French, Napoleon ordered his soldiers to count all the houses; the Eau de Cologne building was number 4711, and the perfume got its name from this historic building. Your kids will love the Glockenspiel, which plays the French anthem every hour; inside the building, you will find a shop, a small historic exhibition, and a fountain, where you can dip your hands in pure Eau de Cologne. Don´t forget to pick up a bottle of Eau De Cologne 4711 as a souvenir.
A rainy day is the best excuse for going shopping. Head to the shopping street called "Schildergasse", the busiest shopping street in Europe; with nearly 13,000 people passing through every hour, it even makes London's Oxford Street take second place. The Schildergasse offers international department stores and modern architecture, but the street has a long history; it dates back to ancient Roman times and was open for business in the Middle Ages. Try a pastry at Café Riese, family-run for over 100 years, and stop into one of the many perfumeries to buy a fine bottle of "Eau de Cologne". Make sure to stroll down the adjacent pedestrian street Hohe Straße, which leads you to the landmark of the city, the impressive Cathedral of Cologne.
Cologne, one of Germany’s oldest cities, is well known for its art scene. The city is home to more than 30 museums and 100 galleries with world-class collections, and in 1967, Cologne hosted the world’s first art trade show. Here is an overview of some of the best museums in Cologne, from modern art, and historical collections, to a culinary museum that is a treat for visitors of all ages. All museums are within walking distance from Cologne's Old Town and the Cologne Cathedral.