BASILICA OF SAINT URSULA
The Church of St. Ursula is named for a fourth century princess who, according to legend, was martyred by the Huns in Cologne while on a religious pilgrimage. The church sits atop a Roman graveyard, and is said to have been built on the remains of St. Ursula and the 11,000 handmaidens who were killed alongside her. The basilica’s combination of Roman and Gothic architecture, its history, and its legends make St. Ursula’s a beautiful and popular attraction.
HOHENZOLLERN RAILWAY BRIDGE
First opened in 1911, the Hohenzollern is Cologne’s oldest and most famous bridge. In 1945, the German Army bombed all the bridges on the Rhine, including the Hohenzollern. Reconstruction started just three years later, and was completed in 1959. Today, six railway tracks run beneath the Hohenzollern’s iron arches, with 1200 trains passing over it every day. The bridge also has a pedestrian walkway that offers beautiful views of Cologne’s skyline and the Cathedral, especially at night, when the lights of both the bridge and the city are reflected in the river. The walkway is lined with padlocks, attached by couples who throw the keys into the Rhine as a symbol of their lasting love.
Schildergasse is Cologne’s most popular shopping area. With over 13,000 visitors per hour, it is the busiest shopping street in Europe. The pedestrian-only boulevard, which spans 500 metres, dates back to Roman times, when it was one of the city’s main military roads. In addition to its many shops, cafés, and restaurants, Schildergasse is also home to St. Antoniter Church, one of the oldest Protestant churches in Cologne.
THE BELGIAN QUARTER
The Belgian Quarter is another shopping district in the heart of Cologne, although smaller and more laid-back than Schildergasse. It is home to many young, up-and-coming designers and offers shoppers the chance to buy non-mainstream labels and fashion. Local artists display and sell unique handmade jewelry. The Belgian Quarter also houses many pubs, cafés, and restaurants that have a quieter atmosphere than those in the busier shopping districts.
THE COLOGNE TRIANGLE BUILDING
Opened in 2005, the sleek, modern architecture of the Triangle Building has already made it a must-see landmark. Although it is a working office building, the Triangle has a 103 metre public rooftop platform that gives panoramic views of the Cathedral, the old town, and the Rhine. On the ground floor, Mongos serves up fresh, grilled Asian cuisine, while l’Orange Bistro sells soups, salads, and other light, healthy fares.
FRAGANCE MUSEUM FARINA HOUSE
The Farina House was founded in 1709 by Italian perfume maker Giovanni Farina and is the oldest standing fragrance factory. After Farina made his first fragrance in the factory, he decided to name it after his new hometown. Visitors to the museum will learn about the history and production of the Eau de Cologne fragrance.
THE FRÜH AM DOM BREWHOUSE
Although the Früh am Dom is no longer a brewery, it still exists as a pub and beer hall. Centrally located near the Cathedral and the train station, the Früh am Dom is one of the most popular places to get one of thirty-five varieties of Cologne-brewed Kölsch beer. The pub serves hearty, traditional German dishes—the perfect complement to a Kölsch. On nice days, patrons can enjoy their drinks in the outdoor beer garden.
This small, river-side town on the French and German border is the perfect day or long weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of Cologne. Take some time to relax with a round of golf or go for a jog on Rheinau’s “Barefoot Run” track. On Fridays, visit the farmers’ market for fresh fruits and vegetables, flower bouquets, and handmade crafts.
COLOGNE’S CHOCOLATE MUSEUM
Located in the Rheinau Harbour, the Chocolate Museum will satisfy every sweet tooth. Museum-goers will learn about the history, farming, and production of chocolate. Visitors are invited to taste the fresh chocolate that flows through the museum’s fountain. If that’s not enough, the museum café serves a number of sweet, chocolaty treats and unique drinking chocolates. Guests can even enjoy their desserts in rooftop beach chairs overlooking the Rhine.
Claudius Therme is a luxurious relaxation centre in Cologne’s Rheinpark. The main feature of the centre is the thermal baths, a natural mineral hot springs. The Therme also has saunas, steam baths, and a floating pool enriched with healing Dead Sea salt. Spa-goers can indulge in beauty and wellness treatments and those with a doctor’s approval can even do physiotherapy sessions.