A weekend in Cologne is the ideal length of time for visiting this city. You could definitely spend longer but a weekend in Cologne will give you enough time to see what this German city is all about.
It’s just an hour’s flight away from London, pretty cheap to get there if you book early enough and the city has such a great laid back vibe to it that you’ll return home feeling chilled.
It’s also just the right size for exploring.
It’s one of those cities which you can walk through, from one side to the other, without really noticing. If you were to attempt that in London you’d definitely notice!
But you know me, I like to suggest things that are a little bit different, like this alternative weekend guide to Marrakech. So whilst Cologne’s cathedral is definitely worth a look (especially inside, it’s gorgeous!) I haven’t included it below as that’s something you’ll see recommended everywhere!
So just what should you do with a weekend in Cologne?
Visit a spa
Cologne’s Claudius Therme is the perfect place to while away a Sunday afternoon.
It’s worth noting that on Sundays cologne’s shops areshut all day so what do you do?
Brunch and spa.
Claudius Therme is situated along the Rhine and for 25 euros you can enjoy 4 hours of relaxation.
There’s a large indoor/outdoor pool, a few Jacuzzi, plenty of deckchairs to chill out on and, if you Fe like embracing your European side and leaving the English side behind, there’s some (naked) saunas.
There’s also plenty of saunas and steam rooms outside which I can imagine are great In the summer when it’s warm enough to stroll from one to the other.
To visit the spa you need two towels (you can rent towels there) ideally. One for carrying with you in the spa and for siting on in the sauna and one for drying with; a dressing gown should you wish to use the spas’s restaurant and to fit in more you’ll want some flip flops to walk around in.
See a gig
Whilst in Cologne we went to see the Foals on their current tour.
The gig was in the Palladium. It was a little out the way,kind of in an industrial estate, but that added to the “cool” vibe of seeing a gig abroad.
There’s plenty of live music at the Palladium and its a fun way to spend a night out other than just drinking beer in a pub!
Wander the parks
The Innerer Grüngürtel park is a great place to take a Sunday stroll before or after Sunday brunch. It’s huge and when the sun’s shining there’s not much better than donnkng som sunnies, coffee in hand and doing a spot of people watching.
Discover the Ehrenfeld neighbourhood
The Ehrenfeld area of Cologne has a bit of a hipster vibe. It’s got several cafés with all white interiors, artistically stacked bread and pretty coloured tulips, cool young Germans strolling the streets and just seems like the place to be. If I was to ever live in Cologne I think I’d want it to be there.
Our airbnb was in this area and I loved waking up here before strolling through the park to the city centre.
If you visit the area ddefikotely pop.in to cafe cafe (so good they named it twice!) for breakfast but get there early as it’s small and gets packed early on!
Climb the KölnTriangle
If you’re looking for another great view of Cologne but want to capture the Dom in your pictures, then you should climb the KölnTriangle.
This tower on the opposite side of the Rhine than Cologne’s cathedral gives you stunning views over the whole city and is the perfect place to capture that photo.
Watch the sunset from Hohenzollernbrücke
Cologne is a bit famed for its gorgeous sunsets and we were treated to one on our last night there. The sky lit up to a beautiful pink-y orange colour and put on a show for our walk across the Rhine to the train station.