Cologne – it’s one of the oldest and at current, also the fourth largest city in Germany. Since always, this city has been an important and vibrant crossroad, that being proved by the nowadays average of 8 trains crossing the city realm each minute of the day.
Unlike any other city in Germany, Cologne is placed between marine and continental climates which help the city thrive as one of the warmest and most humid German cities of all. It is vivid in spirits and rich in culture, bearing in mind the fact that Cologne is the second city worldwide, coming only after New York, when considering who has the biggest number of galleries open.
Laid on the Rhine, Cologne has a lot to offer its visitors, which year after year are growing in number, proportionally to their enthusiasm, to see some of the most famous features of the city: numerous museums including one dedicated to chocolate lovers, cathedrals from all the different ages, or Germany’s single Palm Tree Alley – that’s just tiny portion of what will catch the eye of the spectator.
No need to mention that Germany offers some of the best beers worldwide, and as each city holds the tradition to offer its local, so does Cologne. Here, the special treat is Kölsch! Just don’t be mistaken when they get you the beer in a small glass. It is still as strong as any other German beer and the very first taste of it will instantly refresh you and lift up your spirits.
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When it comes down to celebrations and festivities, few of the most famous ones are the Cologne Carnival, the reggae festival Sumeray and the eminent Cologne Gay Pride. Out of the three, the Cologne carnival is de facto one of the largest street festivals in Europe and intriguing enough, it opens at exactly 11 minutes past 11 on the 11th of the 11th month of November annually. It continues until Ash Wednesday. If you happen to plan a trip to Cologne, this just might be the best time to do it.
What we recommend you definitely see in Cologne, Germany
Start with the Cologne Cathedral but don’t stop there. This is a fabulous Gothic church that needed fantastic 632 years to complete it, or to be more exact, constructions effort commenced as early as 1248, only to end in 1880. Despite it took generations of different builders and architects to accomplish this architectural masterpiece, each generation remained faithful to the original plans. At this site, you can also see the Shrine of the Three Kings, that is said to contain the bones of the Biblical Magi, also known as the Three Wise Men.
Another great go is the Roman-Germanic Museum, an archaeological museum that has an exceptionally rich collection of Roman artifacts originating from the Roman settlement of Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, out of which modern Cologne actually had emerged. The museum further protects an original site of a Roman town villa.
Art lovers will definitely fall in love with Museum Ludwig that houses a remarkable collection of contemporary art including pop art and some stunning works of the surrealists. The museum is actually the home of the largest Picasso collections of all in Europe, but it also features works by other prominent names such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.
Next, don’t miss the Farina Fragrance Museum, the building just across from Cologne City Hall. It was here that the famous perfume “Eau de Cologne” was invented, though mind the fact it was initially a medicine against the pox.
Last but not least, we also recommend you see the Flora und Botanisher Garten, the story of which has started back in 1863 when a private company had created a Flora Park measuring some 5.5 hectares. The venue emerged as a replacement for the city’s older botanical garden nearby the Cologne Cathedral. The older site was unfortunately diminished in 1857 when its location got occupied by the city’s central railway station. At the Flora und Botanisher Garten at current, you can explore some 5.000 species which are presented in four exhibition greenhouses: the main greenhouse, a small tropical house, subtropical house and cactus house.
We also thought to remind you of some historic photos of the Brandenburg Gate – the signature landmark of Germany
Editors: Stefan Alijevikj / Julija Miova