Top 10 things to do in Cologne

If you’re planning a trip to Germany, then Cologne is a must-visit destination. This vibrant city is home to a wide range of attractions and activities that are sure to captivate visitors of all ages. From iconic landmarks to cultural experiences, Cologne offers something for everyone.

So, what are the top 10 things to do in Cologne? In this section, we’ll explore the best Cologne attractions and must-visit places in Cologne that you won’t want to miss.

Whether you’re interested in history, art, or simply taking in the sights and sounds of a new city, Cologne has something to offer. So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the top 10 things to do in Cologne, Germany.

Visit Cologne Cathedral

One of the most popular activities in Cologne is visiting the stunning Cologne Cathedral. This iconic Gothic-style cathedral is a must-visit and one of the best Cologne attractions. With its magnificent towers and stunning architecture, it’s no wonder that the Cologne Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A visit inside the cathedral is just as impressive as the exterior. The intricate details of the stained glass windows and the soaring arches of the nave are simply breathtaking. If you’re feeling adventurous, climb the 509 steps to the top of the south tower for panoramic views of the city.

Cologne Cathedral

Don’t forget to check the opening hours of the cathedral as it varies throughout the year. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

Explore the Museum Ludwig

The Museum Ludwig is one of the top-rated attractions in Cologne, and a must-visit for art enthusiasts. This museum, located in the heart of the city, houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art, featuring works by some of the most prominent artists of the 20th century.

As you explore the Museum Ludwig, you’ll come across works by Picasso, Warhol, Lichtenstein, and many others, displayed across its bright and spacious galleries. The museum’s collection includes paintings, photography, sculpture, and multimedia installations, allowing visitors to appreciate the diversity and creativity of modern art.

One of the highlights of the Museum Ludwig is its Pop Art collection, which features works by some of the most famous Pop Artists, such as Roy Lichtenstein’s “Whaam!” and Andy Warhol’s “Marilyn Monroe.”

In addition to its impressive permanent collection, the Museum Ludwig also hosts temporary exhibitions, symposiums, and events throughout the year. Check their website to see what exhibitions are currently on display during your visit.

The Museum Ludwig is easily accessible by public transportation, and is located in the same building as the Cologne Philharmonic concert hall.

Museum Ludwig in Cologne

“The Museum Ludwig is a treasure trove of modern and contemporary art. It’s definitely one of the must-see Cologne tourist spots.”

Wander through the Old Town (Altstadt)

As you explore Cologne, don’t miss the chance to step back in time and wander through the picturesque streets of the Old Town, also known as Altstadt. This charming neighborhood is one of the must-visit places in Cologne and is a popular spot for Cologne sightseeing.

As you make your way through Altstadt, you’ll be greeted by vibrant buildings, lively cafes, and quaint shops. Take in the beauty of the architecture and admire the historical significance of the buildings.

One of the most famous landmarks in Altstadt is the Hohenzollern Bridge, which spans across the Rhine River. Thousands of love locks adorn the railings of the bridge, making for a romantic and unforgettable sight.

Old town Cologne

“Altstadt is a charming neighborhood that is perfect for a leisurely afternoon stroll. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells of this vibrant neighborhood, and soak up the history and culture of Cologne.”

Enjoy a River Rhine Cruise

Take a break from exploring Cologne’s iconic landmarks and cultural attractions and discover the beauty of the city from the serene waters of the River Rhine. A river Rhine cruise is a perfect way to relax while enjoying stunning views of Cologne’s skyline.

You can choose from a variety of river cruises that range from one-hour sightseeing tours to romantic dinner cruises. Some popular options include:

Types of River Rhine Cruises Duration Highlights
Sightseeing Cruise 1 hour Admire the panoramic views of Cologne’s skyline from the river
Evening Cruise 2.5 hours Enjoy a romantic dinner while taking in the illuminated sights of the city
Beer Tasting Cruise 2 hours Taste the local Kölsch beer and enjoy snacks while cruising on the river

Most river Rhine cruises depart from Cologne’s Old Town (Altstadt) area and offer stunning views of the Cologne Cathedral, Hohenzollern Bridge, and the Rheinauhafen district. Make sure to bring your camera to capture the beautiful sights!


If you’re not sure which river cruise to choose, consult a Cologne travel guide or ask the staff at your hotel for recommendations. They can help you select a cruise that fits your interests and budget.

Embark on a River Rhine cruise during your visit to Cologne and experience the city’s highlights from a new perspective.

River Rhine Cruise

Visit the Chocolate Museum

If you’re looking for popular activities in Cologne, don’t miss the chance to visit the Chocolate Museum. This immersive museum is a great way to learn about the history of chocolate and see how it’s made. The museum is located in a stunning glass building on the banks of the Rhine River, offering beautiful views of the surrounding area.

As you enter the museum, the aroma of chocolate will immediately captivate your senses. Take your time to explore the different exhibits and displays, which showcase the different stages of chocolate production. From the bean to the bar, you’ll learn about the entire chocolate-making process. The museum also offers various workshops and tastings, where you can sample different types of chocolate and even create your own chocolate bar.

One of the highlights of the Chocolate Museum is the massive chocolate fountain, which stands at an impressive 10 meters tall. You can watch as the chocolate cascades down the tiers and even dip some fruit or marshmallows in the fountain for a sweet treat.

Whether you’re a chocolate lover or simply looking for things to see and do in Cologne, the Chocolate Museum is a must-visit attraction.

Discover the Cologne Zoo, one of the best Cologne attractions and city highlights

If you’re an animal lover, a visit to the Cologne Zoo is a must-do activity during your stay in the city. With over 10,000 animals from more than 700 species, the zoo offers an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

The Cologne Zoo is home to a wide range of animals, from majestic elephants to adorable penguins. You can observe the animals up close and learn about their habitats and behaviors through informative and interactive exhibits. One of the highlights of the zoo is the elephant park, where you can see the elephants roaming and playing in a spacious outdoor area.

Opening Hours: 9:00am – 6:00pm (April – September) 9:00am – 5:00pm (October – March)
Ticket Prices: Adults: €20 Children (4-12 years old): €9.50
Address: Riehler Straße 173, 50735 Cologne, Germany

The Cologne Zoo is not only a great place to admire animals but also a hub for conservation and research. The zoo is involved in several programs that focus on protecting endangered species and their habitats, such as the African Elephant Conservation Fund and the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Program.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see the daily animal shows and feedings. Check the schedule upon arrival and plan your visit accordingly. With so much to see and do, the Cologne Zoo is a top-rated attraction and a must-visit place in Cologne.

Take a Stroll along the Rheinuferpromenade

As you continue to explore the must-visit places in Cologne, don’t miss the opportunity to take a relaxing stroll along the Rheinuferpromenade. This scenic waterfront promenade is the perfect spot to enjoy some Cologne sightseeing, taking in the stunning views of the Rhine River and the city skyline.

Whether you’re traveling solo, with a partner, or with family and friends, the Rheinuferpromenade has something for everyone. You can rent a bike and cycle along the promenade, take a picnic and enjoy a leisurely lunch, or simply sit back and relax as you watch the boats sail by.

Things to Do Details
Stroll along the Promenade Take a leisurely walk along the waterfront, admiring the views of the Rhine River and the city skyline.
Rent a Bike Get some exercise and enjoy the scenery by renting a bike and cycling along the promenade.
Enjoy a Picnic Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic with your loved ones, surrounded by beautiful views.

Make sure to bring your camera and capture some unforgettable memories along the Rheinuferpromenade. This is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience it for yourself.

As you conclude your Cologne sightseeing, take some time to reflect on the beauty of the Rheinuferpromenade and the memories you’ve made during your trip to Cologne.


In conclusion, Cologne, Germany is a must-visit destination that offers an abundance of attractions and activities for you to enjoy. From exploring the iconic Cologne Cathedral to indulging in delicious chocolate at the Chocolate Museum, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Plan Your Visit

If you’re planning a trip to Germany, make sure to add Cologne to your itinerary. Whether you’re traveling solo, with family, or with friends, you can find top-rated attractions to see, including the Museum Ludwig, the Cologne Zoo, and the Old Town, among others.

Make your stay comfortable by selecting from the city’s best accommodations with a range of options, from budget-friendly to luxurious. Book your stay in advance to secure your preferred location and to take advantage of all the best deals.

Experience the Best of Cologne

Experience the best of Cologne by including the top 10 things to do in your itinerary. Create memories that you’ll cherish forever as you explore this charming city. So, don’t wait any longer – plan your trip to Cologne today and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!