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COLOGNE CITY GUIDE
One of the most underrated destinations in Germany, Cologne is a 2,000-year-old marvel, boasting a UNESCO World Heritage cathedral and a position right along the banks of the beautiful Rhine river.
The fourth-largest city in the country, this fascinating metropolis is renowned for its local beer, charming Old Town and world-famous springtime carnival, which sees the streets full of colour, dancers and an unmissable parade.
As well as its great heritage, there are an abundance of fun things to do in Cologne to suit every taste and interest, from visiting street art to chocolate tasting.
Located just 80 km east of the border of Belgium, you can start your German adventure by travelling to Cologne with P&O Ferries today.
EXPLORING OLD COLOGNE TOWN
Exploring old Cologne town
The historic district known as the Altstadt rests on the Rhine, and is the picturesque heart of the city. The area is full of narrow pastel shaded houses, cobblestone alleys and incredible architecture that all combine to give it a traditional German feel.
The Old Town's most popular attraction is the twin spired Gothic cathedral, which is also Germany's most visited landmark. Climb the south tower's 533 steps to be rewarded with incredible panoramic views of the city and the Rhine river below.
After that exercise, take a well-earned rest in one of the many excellent restaurants and bars around the Old Town, or continue your journey past the remarkable City Hall and across the love lock covered Hohenzollern Bridge to get the perfect picture of the area and its striking cathedral.
CULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN COLOGNE
This attractive city is full of great things to do, from relaxing in peaceful gardens to viewing some breath-taking modern art in the many galleries.
Start your journey at Glockengasse 4711, the birthplace of Eau de Cologne. This 220-year-old fragrance workshop is the world's oldest perfume factory, with guided tours explaining the building's rich history and workshops allowing you to create your own signature scent.
For art enthusiasts, the Museum Ludwig contains an impressive array of Picasso paintings as well as numerous works from the many great German Expressionists.
If you happen to be visiting in Spring, Cologne Carnival is one of the highlights of the city's calendar. This brilliantly fun festival is all about colourful parades, masked balls and parties throughout the city. However, if you simply want to get away from it all, there are plenty of places to wind down. Take a river tour on the Rhine, visit the lush Flora Botanical Gardens or simply have a picnic in the royal garden of Volksgarten.
As well as heritage sites, Cologne has a great range of restaurants serving moreish meals and lively drinking spots throughout the city.
For those with a sweet tooth, head to the popular Chocolate Museum and discover the way Lindt chocolate is created. When it's time for a sit down meal, many of the best eateries are clustered around the Old Town area or the nearby Belgian Quarter. Make sure to enjoy Cologne's specialties too: the Halver Hahn cheese sandwich and the locally brewed favourite Kölsch beer.
Explore all this wonderful city has to offer by booking your escape to Germany with P&O Ferries via our Hull to Rotterdam ferry crossing.