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.
No city tour of Cologne is complete without a visit to the Cologne Cathedral, and most sightseeing tours include at least a photo stop at the famous landmark. Visible from all over the city, it’s possible to see the cathedral on a walking or biking tour, admire the views on a Rhine River cruise, or visit on a day trip from nearby cities, such as Frankfurt.
Visitors to the cathedral can also explore the interiors, visit the Treasure Chamber, and climb the bell tower for a spectacular view of the city.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There is an entrance fee to climb the tower and visit the Treasure Chamber.
- In addition to being a tourist attraction, the cathedral also hosts regular masses, choir performances, and organ recitals.
- While there is no official dress code to enter the cathedral, it’s recommended to dress modestly.
- Most areas of the church are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Cologne Cathedral is located at the western end of Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne Old Town. The cathedral stands right next to Cologne Central Station and can be easily reached on foot from many of the central attractions.
When to Get There
The cathedral is open year-round, but with some 20,000 daily visitors, it can get extremely busy, especially in the peak months of July and August. To avoid the crowds, opt for an early morning or evening visit.
Inside the Kölner Dom
The real highlights of Kölner Dom are inside. Most notable is the Shrine of the Magi, or shrine of the Three Wise Men, containing relics of Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. Visitors can also admire stunning stained-glass windows, the bronze altar by Elmar Hillebrand, and the Gero Crucifix. Visitors can climb the South Tower to take a peek at St. Peter's Bell and view the treasury’s holy relics, sacred artworks, and gold, bronze, and ivory sculptures.