Exit from Cologne HBF and its a welcoming sight to have the majestic Cologne Cathedral towering over one.
WHAT TO DO/SEE
Aside from the Cologne Cathedral, there are other sight-seeing places around the city centre too. For a chocolate-lover, one the Lindt Chocolate Museum. Previously, I have introduced Aachen Chocolate Factory in my travel post on Aachen. This time, the Lindt Chocolate Museum offers a more comprehensive explanation and well-planned exhibition on the process of chocolate-making.
One also get to create a personalised chocolate souvenir at the museum. Wait, did i forget to mention free chocolate tasting too…? The museum also holds exhibits all made out of chocolate, like the one shown below. Wouldn’t it be nice if the world is made of chocolate?
Along the riverbank, one can enjoy a spectacular view of the Rhine River on the Hohenzollern Bridge, also known as Cologne’s Love Locks Bridge. Lovers can secure their love with a padlock on the bridge and throw the keys off the bridge into the Rhine River. Along the stroll on the bridge, one can also spot some interesting graffiti art, a culture and form of art common across European cities.
Cologne also offers a great shopping experience as shops are congregated along the streets leading off from the Cologne Cathedral.
German cuisine is a must to try. Cologne offers a few brewery/restaurants where one can enjoy German beer off the tap. At the same time, good food is served to complement the drink. For people who may not be traveling to Munich or Bavarian states in Germany, I would recommend ordering a Bavarian dish with German beer.
I also spent some time in Cafe Reichard, a well-furnished cafe just opposite of the cathedral. I ordered Baumkuchen, a popular German variety of spit cake. This used to be a best-seller in Singapore but after the craze died, it was a little difficult to source for it.
During the Christmas festive seasons, christmas markets would be set up in front of the Cologne cathedral. There, mulled wine, German sausages and others can be easily purchased from the food stalls.
Check out my post on Bonn where I described the benefits of getting a 30euros NRW travel pass to travel between cities in the region. To get around places within Cologne city centre, walking is still recommended.
DAY TRIPS OUT OF COLOGNE
Düsseldorf is north to Cologne and takes about 30mins train ride to reach.
When I had the chance to spend a day in Düsseldorf, my friend recommended me to enjoy Asian cuisine instead. Curious why? Düsseldorf has quite a huge Korean and Japanese community living within. As such, it seemed to be the place where my friend recommends to have Japanese and Korean cuisine. For one who has been traveling long in Europe, here is a heads up!
If there are more itineraries one would wish to know about, leave a message for me!