Nestled on the banks of the Rhine River, Cologne represents the best of Germany's past, present and future. Blending medieval architecture with contemporary design, the city takes notes from its illustrious past to offer some of Europe's best museums, music venues and entertainment hubs.
From a flourishing Roman settlement to the ruins of World War II, the 'Cathedral City' has constantly rebuilt itself and forged new identities. This continuous evolution dominates the city's skyline, where you can see the modern and gothic contrasts of Cologne Tower and Cologne Cathedral.
As one of Germany's prominent cultural centres, Cologne offers a wealth of diverse activities. While Cologne Chocolate Museum and Cologne Philharmonic are portals to worlds of cocoa and music, it's Museum Ludwig that offers the best value with the world's third-largest Pablo Picasso collection. If you're travelling with kids, the grassy open spaces and ziplines of the Rheinpark are always worth a visit.
Explore the Old Town to see Cologne's photogenic cathedrals and medieval streets. Make a stop at Haxenhaus to grab a bite of schnitzel, sauerkraut and other German staples. If it's shopping you're after, head over to the Innenstadt area known for its high-street stores and boutiques on Schildergasse, Hohe Strasse and Lindenthal.
Located 15 kilometres outside the city, Cologne Bonn Airport can be reached via the S-Bahn within a quarter of an hour. The city is also served by high-speed ICE and Eurostar trains – connecting to Brussels, London and nearby German cities like Dusseldorf and Munich.