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Ways to Celebrate the Cologne Carnival

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Ways to Celebrate the Cologne Carnival
Cologne’s Carnival is Germany’s second-most famous celebration after Oktoberfest. Nearly a million people attend the annual festivities, which kick off in November and ramp up around Lent in February. Here are a few ways to enjoy the celebration.

  • Pedal through the city center on a small-group bike tour to see where the Carnival celebrations take place, including Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral).
  • Attend one of the city’s costume balls, Fools’ Gatherings, or a parade rehearsal to get in the Carnival spirit.
  • Participate in a pub crawl to see the best of Cologne’s nightlife.
  • At 11:11am on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, kick off Carnival Week with costume parades and street parties.
  • Wrap up Carnival season at the official Carnival parade called the Rose Monday Parade (Rosenmontag), featuring marching bands, dancers, elaborately constructed floats, and thousands of costumed revelers shouting “Kölle Alaaf!”
  • Check out the year-round Cologne Carnival Museum for elaborate Carnival costumes and floats, and to learn more about the origins the Carnival (Fastnacht) origins around Easter and Lent.
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Cologne Tours & Activities (9)
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Cologne Super Saver: Sightseeing Cruise and Meal at Hard Rock Cafe CologneDay Cruises

Cologne Super Saver: Sightseeing Cruise and Meal at Hard Rock Cafe Cologne

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Experience the sights and sounds of Cologne from the Rhine river on this 1-hour sightseeing cruise, then dine with no line at the Hard Rock Café Cologne. Enjoy live commentary and take in the scenic panorama of the majestic castles, churches and vineyards along the shores of the Rhine. Also see local attractions like the Hohenzollern Bridge, which crosses the river and gothic Cologne Cathedral. Then skip the waiting line and grab a 2-course meal plus coffee, tea or a soft drink of choice at the Hard Rock Café Cologne.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$34.63 
From  
$34.63 
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation

Cologne Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour and Rhine River Sightseeing CruiseDay Cruises

Cologne Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour and Rhine River Sightseeing Cruise

star-3.5
Explore the best of Cologne on this narrated, hop-on hop-off, double-decker bus tour. Visit many of Cologne’s top attractions—like Cologne Cathedral and Cologne City Hall, plus visit the Old Town district, bustling Roncalliplatz, the historic Alter Markt square and much more. Select the 1-day pass, then board at any of the 16 stops and get to know this landmark of High Gothic architecture in customized fashion, with live onboard commentary in English and German. Audio guides in nine languages also available. A Rhine River sightseeing cruise is also included.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$28.04 
From  
$28.04 
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation

Rhine River Hop On Hop Off Cruise on Castle RouteDay Cruises

Rhine River Hop On Hop Off Cruise on Castle Route

star-3.5
Revel in the beauty and history of one of Europe's great waterways with this hop-on/hop-off cruise pass on the romantic Rhine River. Admire passing scenery like legendary Loreley Rock and imposing castles while sipping a coffee or beer on deck, and customize your itinerary with 19 different stops at tiny medieval towns and bigger cities along the way. The pass is valid all day on the UNESCO-listed Middle Rhine from Cologne to Linz and Koblenz to Mainz.
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  • 1 to 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$38.34 
From  
$38.34 
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  • 1 to 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cologne Sightseeing round-trip CruiseDay Cruises

Cologne Sightseeing round-trip Cruise

star-4
Admire beautiful Cologne from the water on a sightseeing cruise along the Rhine River. Choose from a range of departure times and watch top Cologne attractions including twin-spired Cologne Cathedral, the Old Town and the Hohenzollern Bridge unfold as you cruise along the world-famous river. Buy drinks such as the much-loved local Koelsch beer from the bar, and hear about Cologne’s long and illustrious history while you sail. If you wish, choose to enjoy a longer, 2-hour evening cruise to see Cologne’s sights sparkling with lights along the riversides.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$13.73 
From  
$13.73 
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation

Rhine River Cruise: Cologne to Königswinter with SeaLife or DrachenfelsDay Cruises

Rhine River Cruise: Cologne to Königswinter with SeaLife or Drachenfels

star-3.5
Experience the sights and sounds of the Rhine river, from Cologne to Königswinter, on this full-day sightseeing cruise. Enjoy onboard commentary and take in the scenic panorama of the majestic castles, churches, and vineyards along the shores of the Rhine, then explore one of two popular Königswinter attractions. Choose between the Sea Life Königswinter Aquarium or ride the cog railway up to the Drachenfels, featuring the ancient ruins of Drachenfels Castle overlooking the Rhine Valley.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$52.64 
From  
$52.64 
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Cologne All-inclusive Evening CruiseHalf-day Tours

Cologne All-inclusive Evening Cruise

star-4.5
Looking for a unique way spend an evening in Cologne? Take a leisurely dinner cruise along the city’s dazzling waterfront! Spend three hours floating along the Rhine River, savoring delicious regional cuisine and listening to music spun by a live DJ. Stroll the deck at sunset, indulge in a freshly prepared buffet and complimentary drinks, and take in beautifully illuminated sights such as Hohenzollern Bridge and Cologne Cathedral after dusk.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$80.10 
From  
$80.10 
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Small-Group Bike Tour of Cologne with GuideMountain Bike Tours

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Small-Group Bike Tour of Cologne with Guide

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With its scenic waterfront, grand bridges, and UNESCO-listed Cathedral, Cologne offers an atmospheric backdrop for a cycling tour. This bike tour ensures that you maximize your time, exploring much further than a walking tour. The circuit takes in landmarks such as Cologne Cathedral, Hohenzollern Bridge, and the Rhine River, including plenty of photo stops along the way.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$32.75 
$36.39
$3.64 savings
From  
$32.75 
$36.39
$3.64 savings
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Pub Crawl Cologne: Experience Unique Pub Crawl Moments in ColognePub Tours

Pub Crawl Cologne: Experience Unique Pub Crawl Moments in Cologne

star-3.5
When exploring a new city’s nightlife, it can be hard to know where you’d want to go if you don’t know the area well. This pub crawl in Cologne tailors your groups interests into a fun-filled night out. Your guide takes you to local hot spots, off-the-beaten-path bars, and other trendy hangouts. Get one shot at each stop, as well as entry into a club at the end of the tour.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$22.89 
From  
$22.89 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Tour: Cologne City HighlightsPrivate Sightseeing Tours

Private Tour: Cologne City Highlights

Visit beautiful Cologne on this private, guided sightseeing tour, great for those with limited time in the city. Enjoy personalized attention while learning about the history of the city, a landmark of High Gothic architecture set amidst the reconstructed Old Town. See the Cologne Cathedral and the Romanesque Catholic Great St. Martin Church, plus visit bustling Roncalliplatz, the historic Alter Markt square and much more. Cologne hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$286.08 
Price varies by group size
From  
$286.08 
Price varies by group size
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation


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