3 Days in Cologne: Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, January 2015

4.5 101 Reviews | Add your review

Roman walls, medieval churches and the curving arcs of the railway bridge – more than two millennia of history and architecture come together in Cologne. The twin spires of the cathedral dominate the charming Altstadt, the best place to take a follow-your-nose wander to beer halls and taverns.

Day 1: Medieval Churches

Where else to begin your journey through Cologne than the glorious Kölner Dom, the city’s twin-spired cathedral that miraculously escaped unscathed from the bombing raids of World War II. Packed with art treasures, work first began on the building in 1248 and wasn’t complete until 1880. Inside, the building is a symphony of light and space thanks to the flying buttresses, stained-glass windows and richly carved choir stalls. Many other medieval churches fill the old city, including turreted Gross St. Martin above Fischmarkt and the lovely church of St. Ursula. For a view of Cologne’s towers from the Rhine, take an atmospheric afternoon or evening dinner cruise.

Day 2: Cologne Museums

Cologne is a cultural gem, and not only because of its churches. See sculptures, tombs, mosaics, ruins and entire bits of wall from Roman times at the Roman-German Museum. Trace the history of art by admiring the Wallraf-Richartz Museum’s collection of Dutch masters, medieval treasures at the Museum Schnütgen, and 20th century and postmodern art at the Museum Ludwig. Cologne’s history is unraveled at the Kölnisches Stadtmuseum, the city’s Third Reich experience at EL-DE Haus, and gorgeous textiles and designs are displayed at the Museum of Applied Arts.

Day 3: Cologne Cuisine

There’s much more to Cologne’s dining and wining scene than raucous beer halls with oompah-pah bands and sauerkraut – though there’s a lot to be said for spending a night drinking arm-in-arm with your neighbors at a tavern. The local beer is called Kölsch, and the food you’ll encounter in beer halls and regional restaurants includes hearty blood sausage, potato pancakes with apple sauce, and open sandwiches on pumpernickel bread. Step outside the beer taverns and the world is your oyster, from Japanese sushi and Middle Eastern falafel to crepes, pizza and pasta.

Tours & Tickets

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Cologne Sightseeing Cruise, Cologne, null

Cologne Sightseeing Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended 60 Reviews

Enjoy a one-hour panoramic Rhine River sightseeing cruise and soak in the spirit of Cologne. The Rhine River provides access to many of the city’s major ...  Read more

Location: Cologne, Germany
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $12.44
Private Tour: Cologne City Highlights, Cologne, Day Cruises

Private Tour: Cologne City Highlights

Get to know Cologne on a 2-hour comprehensive sightseeing tour, led by a private guide. Rest your feet and travel around the city by private minivan, hopping ...  Read more

Location: Cologne, Germany
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $83.12
Skip the Line: Hard Rock Cafe Cologne Including Meal, Cologne, Private Sightseeing Tours

Skip the Line: Hard Rock Cafe Cologne Including Meal

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

Skip the line at the Hard Rock Cafe in Cologne and head straight inside to dine on its much-loved American-style food! Choose from two different menus (either ...  Read more

Location: Cologne, Germany
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $23.22
Cologne Day Trip from Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Dining Experiences

Cologne Day Trip from Frankfurt

4 star rating: Recommended 22 Reviews

Explore the historic city of Cologne on this full-day trip from Frankfurt to enjoy a guided tour of the city. Visit the world-famous Cologne Cathedral ...  Read more

Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $221.20
Cologne Christmas Sunday Brunch Cruise, Cologne, Day Trips

Cologne Christmas Sunday Brunch Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 13 Reviews

Capture the Christmas spirit as you cruise along the majestic Rhine River through the grand old city of Cologne and indulge in a decadent brunch buffet. Admire ...  Read more

Location: Cologne, Germany
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $52.49

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