Cologne destination guide

Cologne is one of Germany’s biggest cities and, as a centre of trading, is used to seeing visitors come and go. It is also one of the country’s most interesting areas in terms of architecture, with buildings from different eras and in disparate styles lying side-by-side. It's also home to the world famous Cologne Christmas market​


Why visit Cologne?

Cologne is like a living architecture exhibition, with buildings from as far back as the ancient Roman times lying next to modern, avant-garde museums and concert halls. The city is centred on the cathedral, which is regularly voted Germany’s most popular tourist attraction.        
Getting there with DFDS Seaways

Getting there

Cologne is approximately a 3 hour drive south-east from our IJmuiden port, so it’s easy to get to via our Newcastle-Amsterdam route. Alternatively, you could sail from Dover to Dunkirk or Calais and drive to Cologne in just over 4 hours. 


What to see in Cologne

Cologne’s cathedral is the biggest single tourist attraction in Germany. With its twin 157-metre high towers, Cologne Cathedral towers over the Old Town. As well as the building itself, the Cathedral Treasury displays a stunning collection of religious artefacts, sculptures and other items dating from the 4th to the 20th century.

The Old Town itself is an attraction worth visiting during your city break. A network of narrow streets and alleyways, with a large variety of cafes, restaurants and shops in between the charming and brightly-coloured houses. Within the medieval city walls, twelve beautiful churches stand in the heart of the city. A stunning display of medieval architecture.

Cologne is a city with a serious interest in the arts, the highlight of this is the Ludwig Museum which houses an internationally-renowned collection of modern art, with works by Picasso, Dali, Miro, Magritte and more on show.

History buffs will love the Römisch-Germanisches Museum, with a series of real Roman mosaics, artefacts and other exhibitions on display. Whether you’re educating yourself or interested in giving your kids a hands-on experience, the museum will have something for you.

Those with a sweet tooth will love the Chocolate Museum, which hosts a variety of hands-on exhibitions about the history of chocolate both in the city and abroad.

Where to stay in Cologne

With a range of hotels and other places to stay in the city, finding accommodation in Cologne won’t be a problem, take a look at our accommodation partner for a full list. 

Shopping in Cologne

​Cologne attracts shoppers from far and wide, and offers a wide range of shops from high street fashion to exclusive designer outlets: 

Schildergasse connects Hohe Strasse and Neumarkt. It offers fashion and shoe shops, cosmetics, perfume, and a good variety of restaurants​.
Neumarkt Passage arcade
A shopping arcade with a range of high-quality specialist stores located both inside and outside the arcade. This is the ideal place to stop off for a bite to eat.
Apostelnstrasse is a shopping street in the heart of Cologne. You'll find a whole variety of shops here, including high quality jewellers and goldsmiths.​

Eating out in Cologne

Cologne offers numerous bars, cafes and restaurants serving a wide range of dishes. Here are some of the highlights: 

Em Krützche
This charming building in the old town alongside the Rhine houses a traditional restaurant serving classical and Rhenish cuisine. 

"Zur Tant" and "Hütter's Piccolo" restaurants
A listed half-timbered building on the banks of the Rhine with beautiful views and a terrace. The bistro offers homemade cooking, while the restaurant menu features gourmet cuisine. 

Park Plaza
A well-appointed, modern establishment offering outstanding service and serving both regional and international dishes. There is also a spa area on the roof terrace.​


​​​​​​Prices are subject to availability. Telephone booking fees apply. ​Terms & Conditions apply.


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