Recent Searches
Clear
Things to do in Cologne

Things to do in  Cologne

Welcome to Cologne

Located in the heart of Rhineland in western Germany, the city of Cologne (Köln in German) is a testament to the rebuilding of a nation after World War II. Today, this busy urban center bustles with museums and art galleries. It’s also home to Germany’s most visited attraction, the Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom), an imposing Gothic structure with twin spires that dates from the mid-13th century. Cologne was among Germany’s most heavily bombed cities during the war and several bombs struck the cathedral; fortunately, it remained standing. Cologne straddles the mighty Rhine River, and cruising down this famed waterway is a great way to take in the modern and historic buildings that dot the city skyline. Sip a local Kölsch beer as you float by the cathedral, Old Town, and the Hohenzollern Bridge on a sightseeing cruise. Or book a dinner cruise to savor local fare with a backdrop of twinkling city lights. Longer cruising options take you beyond Cologne for views of castles, churches, and vineyards. Back on dry land, guided tours—such as a bike tour of the local landmarks—help you delve deeper into Cologne. Or make friends from around the world on a pub crawl—you’ll hit up haunts that only locals know about, and skip long lines at popular spots.

Top 10 attractions in Cologne

Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom)

star-4.5755
With its imposing Gothic façade and dramatic twin towers, the Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is the city’s most recognized landmark. Protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the magnificent cathedral is one of the most important in Germany and dominates the city skyline.More

Cologne Chocolate Museum (Schokoladenmuseum)

star-4.5344
Opened by local chocolatier Hans Imhoff in 1993, theCologne Chocolate Museum (Schokoladenmuseum) is devoted to Cologne’s chocolate-making history. This fun family attractions lets visitors peek behind the scenes of a working chocolate factory, learn about the farming of cacao beans, and sample delicious Lindt chocolate.More

Cologne Old Town (Altstadt)

star-4.5349
Stretching along the west bank of the Rhine River and presided over by the UNESCO-listed Cologne Cathedral, the Old Town (Altstadt) is both the navigational and historical heart of Cologne. With its colorful old buildings, beautiful Romanesque churches, and scenic riverside promenades, it’s an obvious starting point for any exploration of the city.More

Hohenzollern Bridge (Hohenzollernbrücke)

star-4.5232
The best-known of Cologne’s seven bridges, the Hohenzollern Bridge (Hohenzollernbrücke crosses the famed Rhine River. First debuted in 1911 and later reconstructed following the devastation of World War II, the Hohenzollern Bridge is located near the Cologne Cathedral, and is today celebrated as a romantic destination.More

EL-DE Haus

star-11
Cologne’s EL-DE Haus—home to the NS-Documentation Center (NS-Dokumentationszentrum—was a jewelry business until it was taken over by the Nazis in 1934. Transformed into a headquarters for the Gestapo secret police, it was used for interrogation and torture during World War II. Today, it stands as a monument to the victims of fascism.More

Roman-Germanic Museum (Römisch-Germanische Museum)

star-5334
Part antiquities collection, part archeological dig, the Roman-Germanic Museum (or Römisch-Germanische Museum) sits atop the last vestiges of the Roman town villa. In the museum's basement is a well-known Dionysus mosaic, undisturbed from its original installation.Remnants of Roman architecture, inscriptions, portraits of Caesar Augustus and his ceramics and more piece together the story of Cologne's development from a Germanic tribal settlement (the Ubii), to the Roman Cologne, to the capital of the Lower Germania.Other highlights of the museum are the 15 meters (50 foot) high sarcophagus of Poblicius, a legionnaire from the first century AD. Like the mosaic and the Roman road outside, this funereal monument was uncovered during excavations in the city. The collection also contains the largest collection of Roman glass, more mosaics and ceramics, as well as the stone, clay and bronze idols specific to various Roman cults.Tours are available, but the museum is fairly easy to negotiate by oneself. Given the wealth of archeological finds in the surrounding area, the Roman-Germanic Museum is one of the most important museums in the world, and is one of the most popular museums in all of Germany.More

Museum Ludwig

star-3.5314
Cologne’s major modern and contemporary art museum, the Museum Ludwig has been a top cultural stop since its opening in 1976. Housed in a strikingly modern, wave-like building near the Cologne Cathedral, the museum is known for its expansive range of modernist, pop-art, and surrealist pieces, including an enormous Picasso collection.More

Farina Fragrance Museum

star-472
Step into the sensory world of Giovanni Maria Farina, the legendary Italian perfumer who created the original eau de cologne in 1709. The Farina Fragrance Museum chronicles the rise of the family’s perfume dynasty in Cologne and offers a fascinating insight into perfume-making throughout the centuries.More
#9
Hard Rock Cafe Cologne

Hard Rock Cafe Cologne

star-00
Since the 1980s young travelers have been collecting iconic Hard Rock Café t-shirts from far reaches of the globe. In April of 2003, another opportunity to secure serious Hard Rock swag opened in historic Cologne. Tucked into the landscape of one of the oldest cities in Germany—near the Gothic spires of St Peter and Mary’s cathedral—this American staple serves up traditional comfort food and some pretty incredible live music, too.Travelers can pop in for one of the Hard Rock Café’s famous live performances, or tuck into a juicy burger with an ice cold beer while taking in a truly spectacular collection of music memorabilia. From Eric Clapton’s hallow body electric guitar to Sting’s autographed Fender and Bob Dylan’s black leather Harley vest, Hard Rock Café Cologne showcases some of the best of American food and international music, too.More
#10
Odysseum

Odysseum

star-00
Part science museum, part adventure park, Cologne’s Odysseum is the perfect place to get kids excited about science. The hands-on exhibits, interactive displays, and puzzle-solving activities are designed to engage all ages, while adventure playgrounds and a high ropes course inject a hefty dose of fun.More

Trip ideas

Ways to Celebrate the Cologne Carnival

Ways to Celebrate the Cologne Carnival

Top activities in Cologne

Guided Brewery Walking Tour in Cologne
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Old Town Private Brewhouse Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Old Town Private Brewhouse Tour

star-4.5
11
From
US$192.93
per group
120min - Cologne City Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

120min - Cologne City Tour

star-5
31
From
US$106.11
English guided tour (other languages offered)
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
City Tour Aachen in a double-decker bus
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Private-Group Bike Tour of Cologne with Guide

Private-Group Bike Tour of Cologne with Guide

star-5
10
From
US$513.40
per group
Südstadt Cologne - Food Tour

Südstadt Cologne - Food Tour

star-5
2
From
US$45.23
Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Cologne

star-5
Not your average tour
Lizabeth_M, Oct 2022
120min - Cologne City Tour
This was a thrilling way to see Cologne.
star-5
Highly recommend
Lindsey_H, Aug 2022
Cologne City Tour Experience cathedral city on the Rhine
He also gave great recommendations of other things to do in the city.
star-5
Quite enjoyable
Funmilayo_O, Jul 2022
City Tour Cologne in a double-decker bus
It was a great way to see Cologne.
star-5
Great Experience and fun tour guide!
Philip_V, Jun 2022
Cologne City Tour Experience cathedral city on the Rhine
He made good recommendations for food and places to see while we were in Cologne.
star-5
Cologne tour with Aylin
Wendy W, Dec 2019
Best of Cologne with a private guide
We were able to see all the sights we wanted and even got to climb the south tower of the Cathedral.
star-5
A great start in Cologne
Juan V, Oct 2019
Cologne Like a Local: Customized Private Tour
Dirk, our tour guide in Cologne, was a great way to see parts of the city that otherwise we would not have seen.
star-5
Day in Cologne
CATHY_C, Jul 2019
Cologne Like a Local: Customized Private Tour
Dirk made many suggestions for activities and meals after our tour.
star-5
Perfect way to see the city on your...
Paula B, Aug 2017
Small-Group Bike Tour of Cologne with Guide
Perfect way to see the city on your first day or two in Cologne!
star-5
An easy way to see the most cologne...
Kieren S, Sep 2017
Small-Group Bike Tour of Cologne with Guide
An easy way to see the most cologne.
star-5
Cologne with limited time? Start here.
John_F, Feb 2020
Cologne City Tour Experience cathedral city on the Rhine
The only thing that we did not see that I wanted to see on my own was the Gestapo museum.
star-5
Cologne Bike Tour with Rosa
Andrew_M, May 2019
Small-Group Bike Tour of Cologne with Guide
Best way to see Cologne - you cover a lot of ground efficiently and you really get to see the city.
star-5
Great way to see Cologne by bike...
Shannon D, Jun 2017
Small-Group Bike Tour of Cologne with Guide
Great way to see Cologne by bike.
star-5
What a fantastic way to see the...
Anthony L, Nov 2017
Small-Group Bike Tour of Cologne with Guide
What a fantastic way to see the beautiful City of Cologne.
We perform checks on reviews
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in Cologne?
Q:
What are the top activities in Cologne?
Q:
What are the top things to do near Cologne?
A:
Check out things to do near Cologne:
Q:
What do I need to know before visiting Cologne?