Monday, August 14, 2017

Top 6 Things to Do in Cologne, Germany

I recently got a new hard drive to store and organize my pictures. It took me some time to reorganize them into individual folders because I have a lot of photos from the past few years. While I was looking back at pictures of myself, I really started to appreciate all the adventures, challenges, and changes that I've experienced so far.
Looking back at my travels, I can truly say that all my trips have been fun and memorable. I've been to many places since I started my first job. Though I've visited many amazing destinations in the USA, Asia, and Europe, Cologne, Germany, is the place where I've always wanted to return.





Picture taken 2013

Cologne is Germany's fourth largest city and one of the nation's oldest cities. It's situated on both sides of the River Rhine in western Germany. The city is full of Roman history and stunning architecture. I've visited Cologne three times, and I know that this is a place I would never tired of, no matter how many times I visit. Although Cologne isn't the capital of Germany, it has amazing museums, art galleries, and delicious food to discover.


#1: Visit the Cologne Cathedral



Picture taken 2009





Picture taken in 2013



Picture taken in 2011





Pictures taken in 2009



Picture taken in 2009



Picture taken in 2013

Every time I travel to Cologne, I make sure to see the Cologne Cathedral, also known as the Dom, which located next to the train station. The Dom is the largest church in Germany and the tallest Roman Catholic cathedral in the world, at a height of 516 feet. It looks brilliant every time I see it, no matter what time of day or night I view it. The architecture looks truly amazing from outside, as the cathedral is tall, grand, and spectacular.
You can walk around the inside for free, and you can go down into the basement for a small fee. Inside, the Dom has very high ceilings and pillars, along with beautiful stained glass windows. It's definitely a must-see masterpiece in Cologne.


#2: Eat Pork Knuckles






Pictures taken in 2013

Pork knuckle, or Schweinshaxe, is the one of the most famous delights in Germany. It's the ham hock at the end of the pig's leg, just above the ankle and below the meaty ham portion. The skin is really crunchy and crispy on the outside, and the meat is juicy and tender on the inside. It comes in a big portion with lots of mashed potatoes, but I can finish it by myself because I really love it! You'll find very good pork knuckle in downtown Cologne, so leave the city without trying this dish.



#3: Drink Kölsch







Pictures taken in 2013


One of my favourite bars in Cologne is Früh Am Dom, which is located in the historic downtown area near the Brown Fountain. When you eat and drink here, you'll definitely get to experience true Cologne hospitality. Früh Am Dom has great Kölsch, a local beer that's typically served in "stange" beer glasses. These small glasses have a tall, narrow design, and they can hold 200 ml. The best thing about drinking Kölsch is you don't need to call the bartender for another round, because the beer will continually arrive at your table until you leave.


#4: Stroll Along the Hohenzollern Bridge







Pictures taken in 2009

When in Cologne, don't forget to visit the Hohenzollern Bridge, a 409-meter bridge that crosses the Rhine River. Not only you will get a wonderful view of Cologne from here, but you can also walk to the many cafés and restaurants along the riverside. This is a great place to get some fresh air after a long day of sightseeing.
During my visit, I missed out on the thousands of love locks attached to the bridge. Couples visiting Cologne should check this out and find a good spot to take a photo.



#5: Shop in Cologne







Pictures taken in 2011

Though Cologne is mostly famous for its historic attractions, it's also a great place to shop. You'll find all of your favorite brands in Cologne, including Zara, Adidas, H&M, Primak, and some department stores. I enjoyed my shopping at Primak because most of the clothes are reasonable priced and the store carries the latest trends and designs. If you love to shop, you should head over to the famous shopping streets, Schildergasse and Hohe Straße, to shop till you drop!


#6: Enjoy the Nightlife






Pictures taken in 2009

Cologne nightlife is very happening, as there are countless pubs, restaurants, and brewpubs in the downtown area. Each one plays a different kind of music to suit everybody's preferences, including jazz, R&B, and techno.
During my first visit to Cologne in 2009, I stumbled upon Papa Joe's Jazz Lokal. Everyone in the bar was so friendly and welcoming, and the club had great music. Though it was small and crowded, the atmosphere was vibrant. If you love jazz or live music and you're looking for a unique atmosphere in Cologne, Papa Joe's Jazz is a great pick!







Pictures taken in 2009

If you're travelling to Germany from Malaysia, you can take a flight from Kuala Lumpur. You'll have a stopover in Abu Dhabi, and then you can take the next flight to Frankfurt, the fifth largest city in Germany. I suggest planning a day in Frankfurt after the long flight from Malaysia and before your next stop in Cologne. Follow this guide to 12 hours in Frankfurt to help you spend your day there. After that, take the train from Frankfurt to Cologne in just 90 minutes.





Pictures taken in 2011

I hope these top things to do in Cologne help you think of this city as an attractive place to visit. I really miss my time in Cologne, and hopefully I can vacation in such a beautiful place again someday!

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