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About Cologne

Visitors to Cologne will find a modern media city with historic roots. Cologne is the oldest of Germany’s large cities and the impressive outline of its cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece and the most visited building in Germany, towers over all the city’s other buildings. The cathedral, which was started to build in 1248, was one of the most ambitious building projects of the Middle Ages and is still one of the largest cathedrals in Europe.

The city began life as a Roman colony, hence the name Colonia, which later became Cologne, or Köln in German. Today Cologne is a metropolis in all senses of the word, both in terms of its size and the attractions it has to offer. It is a centre for the arts with many galleries and innumerable large international trade fairs.

The city’s skyline is dominated by the cathedral and twelve Romanic churches, as well as by five large radio and television buildings. Many printing firms and newspaper companies are based in Cologne, which is one of Europe’s most important media cities. Visitors will find that the majority of the sights, restaurants and nightclubs in Cologne are located in the city centre, in the Old Town or Altstadt, alongside the ring road around the city and in the Severin district to the south.

Groß St. Martin - blick vom Fischmarkt
Leandro Neumann Ciuffo

Cologne’s location at the Rhine makes it the perfect starting place for romantic trips down the river. Amongst the more modern architectural sights, the Neo-Gothic building on Glockenstrasse is one of the most popular ones for visitors. This is where the city’s most famous product, Eau de Cologne 4711, was originally manufactured.


Good to know

Public Transport

Cologne has a good transport system with an integrated network covering the area from Bonn to the Ruhr district. ( U- and S Bahn). If you plan to see all the sights, it may be worth buying a Köln WelcomeCard for one day which covers the entire train and bus network (Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg - VRS). It also offers discounts on entry to 70 different sights and reduced prices at some restaurants.


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