Insider tips for Cologne from Hotel Begardenhof
By foot and by boat: The perfect Cologne tour
Did you know that there are wild parrots in Cologne?
After enjoying a hearty breakfast at our hotel head straight for the Rodenkirchen jetty. This is the starting point for a small boat tour of the Rhine heading north. The boat docks at the gates of Cologne’s old town – the perfect starting point for a stroll through the shopping streets and narrow alleys with a number of shops and attractions. After visiting Cologne Cathedral, which no visit to the city should be without, continue onwards to the famous Melaten Cemetery (Melatenfriedhof). I recommend taking a guided tour to learn lots of interesting facts and enjoy a rather quirky experience. And: With a little luck you might also see colourful parrots in the treetop that have chosen to make this place their new home.
My midday tip: Have a Kölsch!
What would a visit to Cologne be without trying our local beer? Enjoy a tasty Kölsch with lunch at one of the small, cosy guesthouses in Cologne city centre. In addition to serving good, down-to-earth cuisine and Cologne’s popular beer, many of them offer magnificent views of the Rhine. A legendary atmosphere with plenty of nice people goes without saying.
Chocolate Museum and shopping trips
After lunch continue to the Rheinau harbour, which is a real eye-catcher with its impressive crane-shaped buildings. From here it is just a short walk to two of Cologne’s famous museums, both of which I highly recommend: The Chocolate Museum appeals to young and old alike, and you can of course sample tasty treats whilst there! Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the German Sport and Olympic Museum (Deutsches Sport & Olympia Museum). Here the history of sport from ancient times to the present day is portrayed in an exciting and illustrative fashion. A long, pleasant walk along the Rhine will take you back to the city centre where Europe’s most popular shopping street – Hohe Straße – invites you to browse its shops.
A visit to the brewery: My evening recommendation
An evening visit to an original Cologne brewery is also a must. Hearty food tastes particularly good when combined with a cold beer. There are a wide variety of breweries in the Old Town alone, from the Cölner Hofbräu Früh to the Gaffel am Dom, all of which are worth a visit. The real local stars are the so-called ‘Köbes’, traditional Cologne waiters who wear blue aprons and have a unique way about them. Prepare to be surprised! A tip: If you don’t want any more to drink place the beermat over the glass – otherwise you might find another Kölsch landing on your table.
Tours along the night watchman trails
After dinner, experience a completely different kind of city tour: The nightwatchman tour! Follow the watchman on a nighttime tour around the streets and squares, accompanied by spooky stories and sinister tales. After a spooky yet fun city walk, bring the day to a close in comfort in one of the boathouses along the “Cologne Riviera” in Rodenkirchen.
- Cologne Cathedral Dom zu Köln, Domkloster, Köln, Deutschland
- Rheinau - Harbour Rheinauhafen, Köln, Deutschland www.rheinauhafen-koeln.de/
- Chocolate Museum Schokoladenmuseum Köln, Köln, Deutschland www.schokoladenmuseum.de/start.html +49 211 931 888-0
- German Sports and Olympic Museum Deutsches Sport & Olympia Museum, Im Zollhafen, Köln, Deutschland www.sportmuseum.de/ +49 211 33 609 - 0
- "Cölner Hofbräu Früh" Früh am Dom, Am Hof, Köln, Deutschland www.frueh-gastronomie.de/ +49 211 26 13 215
- "Gaffel am Dom" Gaffel am Dom, Bahnhofsvorplatz, Köln, Deutschland www.gaffelamdom.de/ +49 211 9 13 92 60
- "Kölsche Riviera" in Rodenkirchen Rodenkirchen, Köln, Deutschland