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Cologne

Culture & History

Our most recommended Cologne Culture & History

Cologne: Chocolate Museum Entrance Ticket

1. Cologne: Chocolate Museum Entrance Ticket

Awaiting the visitors is a walk-in tropical house, natural history information on cocoa, exhibits from the pre-Columbian cultures of Central America, an important porcelain and silver collection from the Baroque period, as well as numerous old machines from the time of industrialisation. In a glass chocolate factory and in the chocolate atelier, visitors can experience how chocolate products are made industrially, but also individually by hand. And: there is a 3-meter-high chocolate fountain in which 200 kg of delicious chocolate constantly bubble up for tasting. Tasting is expressly encouraged!

Cologne: Guided Tour of the Melaten Cemetery

2. Cologne: Guided Tour of the Melaten Cemetery

Wander through Melaten Cemetery in Cologne and see the tombs of the city's most prominent personalities on a walking tour. Immerse yourself in the tranquility and rich history of the large park with a guide. Discover a place of silence embedded in a beautiful park with incomparable flora and fauna in the middle of Cologne. Visit the Melaten cemetery and stroll through the complex, which has an area of over four hundred thousand square meters and around 55,000 gravesites. Enjoy moments of peace and quiet during the guided tour and experience how close love, death, and suffering as well as art culture are to each other. Learn interesting facts and curiosities about historical personalities and impressive tombs and monuments and visit the former "Leprosenanstalt".

Cologne: 2-Hour Evening Cruise on the Rhine River

3. Cologne: 2-Hour Evening Cruise on the Rhine River

Hoist anchor in the evening to glide past the exquisite backdrop of Cologne, the cathedral city. Get the best seats in town for touring the romanesque churches of St. Kunibert, Groß St. Martin, St. Maria Lyskirchen, and the massive Cologne Cathedral as the sun sets and the city lights up. Witness the charming atmosphere when twilight envelops the city and the sights of the Rhine metropolis shimmer like jewels in the light. See how the cathedral crowns the city skyline with unearthly beauty, glowing in green light. In good weather, take a seat in a beach chair or deckchair on the spacious open deck and enjoy the panoramic view of Cologne. Head below deck for comfortable seats away from the wind and see the city from the large windows. Enjoy live lounge music throughout your 2-hour journey for an extra dose of bliss. Check out the bar and barbecue for a selection of cocktails, beers, or tasty snacks.

Cologne: 3-Hour Harbor Tour Cruise

4. Cologne: 3-Hour Harbor Tour Cruise

Discover some of Cologne’s harbors and their facilities on a harbor cruise. Listen to interesting facts about how the harbor functions from your local guide en route. Sit back and relax as you take in the sights from the water, as you make your way in and out of harbors like the Niehl container harbor—one of Germany's largest inland ones. Become a pro at the history of the Rheinau Harbor, hear fascinating insights about the Deutz and Mülheim harbors, and head into the Niehl container harbor, one of Germany’s largest inland harbors on this cruise. During your cruise, listen as your guide offers information and exciting anecdotes about Cologne's harbors, their history, dates, and figures.

Cologne: Kölsch Beer and Brew House 2-Hour Tour

5. Cologne: Kölsch Beer and Brew House 2-Hour Tour

Learn more about the beer culture of Cologne on a 2-hour guided tour of the historic city center. See famous monuments along the way, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cologne Cathedral. Venture into the Alter Markt to locate some of the finest brew houses in the city, and learn more about the open-minded and passionate attitude of the city's residents. Hear about their drinking rituals and why beer has become such a special culture in the city. Get insider tips to make more of your time in Cologne and visit popular venues such as the Hennes am Dom and Heinzelmännchenbrunnen brew houses. Hear about the small kiosk stores known as büdchen, often converted from colorful former shipping containers.

Cologne: Melaten Cemetery Guided Tour - Famous Personalities

6. Cologne: Melaten Cemetery Guided Tour - Famous Personalities

Visit Cologne's time-honored celebrity cemetery and learn more about the former entrepreneurs, bankers, actors or politicians, who found their last resting place at Melaten Cemetery. Learn interesting details from the lives of many personalities, who were considered famous during their lifetime and many of whom are still well-known today. The central axis of the cemetery isn't called Million Avenue for nothing. Admire the different tombs, stroll through the park-like complex and enjoy this special place of quietness and remembering.

Cologne: Guided Highlights Tour with a Local

7. Cologne: Guided Highlights Tour with a Local

Embark on a walking tour in the historic city center of Cologne with a local guide who will show you the city highlights and provide you with ideas and tips for your stay. Experience the special flair of a city that is 2,000 years old. Step into local life as you explore the streets of Cologne with a local by your side. See the Gothic Cathedral, discover the impressive Dionysos mosaic next door, and pass the Museum Ludwig of Modern Art on your way to the river. Stroll along the banks of the Rhine, then walk through the narrow cobbled lanes of the former merchants’ quarter around St. Martin’s church to the spacious Alter Markt (Old Market Square) and the City Hall. 

Cologne: Old Town Highlights Walking Tour

8. Cologne: Old Town Highlights Walking Tour

Meet your guide in the historic old town of Cologne and start your walking tour of some of the city's most famous highlights. Marvel at the towering Cologne Cathedral. Discover the ancient myths, legends, and biblical figures incorporated into its Gothic facade. Journey further back in time and visit a Roman villa with a preserved mosaic floor, Roman tomb, and parts of Roman palace buildings. Walking around the Roman-Germanic Museum, you'll see detailed relics from Cologne's Roman period. Walk across the top of the subterranean Cologne Philharmonic Hall, where you'll visit a Holocaust memorial. Then, make your way to Hohenzollern Bridge to take in panoramas of the old town and the futuristic new harbor district. A stroll along the Rhine then leads you to the largest Romanesque church in Cologne. Wander through ancient alleyways to the city's oldest marketplaces and to the Historic Town Hall. End your tour back at Cologne Cathedral and its fairy tale fountain.

Cologne: 3-Hour Guided Bike Tour

9. Cologne: 3-Hour Guided Bike Tour

Visit the fascinating cathedral city of Cologne and learn all about its 2000 years of history on a guided bike tour. Explore the city in an environmentally friendly way and ride through the Roman times to the Middle Ages up to the latest architectural developments.  Along the way, hear exciting anecdotes and fascinating historical facts on your journey of discovery though Germany’s oldest city. Explore Cologne on a route of approximately 15 kilometers and discover the most interesting places in the city along the way.  Start at the Eigelsteintor, the medieval symbol of the northern old town, and ride past the Prussian Fort X and across the Zoobrücke. From here you can enjoy the fantastic views of Cologne’s skyline. Ride to the green area of the city, the right bank of Rheinpark, which was voted Germany’s most beautiful park in 2007. From the bridgehead of the Hohenzollern Bridge you will see the famous photo scene with the cathedral, the Crane Houses, and the many small towers. Stop on the historical steel bridge to see the love locks before heading to the Cologne Philharmonic Hall, Museum Ludwig, and the world-famous cathedral. Relax at one of the breweries before exploring the winding streets of Martinsviertel. From here, cycle along the Rhine to Cologne’s newest and most exclusive area – the brand new Rheinauhafen. Its architectural highlights include the 3 Crane Houses, the Chocolate Museum, the Siebengebirgshaus, and the Wurstbude.  Ride at a leisurely pace northward along the Rhine and admire the picturesque old town before returning to the starting point.

Executioner's Tour of Cologne in German

10. Executioner's Tour of Cologne in German

Who could practice the profession of an executioner? When did an executioner receive his master craftsman’s diploma, which enabled him to let heads roll on behalf of the state? Who exiled lepers and plague-infested harlots? Who walked through medieval dark alleys and killed wild dogs and stray hogs? Who burnt spell books and could build gallows? The executioner – somebody had to do it!  Join a medieval headsman on a bloodcurdling guided tour of 1.5 hours, leading you through Cologne’s historic centre. Find out what could go wrong during an execution and how a headsman supplemented his own low income as a knacker, dog-catcher or gold-seeker.  Learn all the gory and grisly details... if you dare to join. 

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What people are saying about Cologne

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 1,006 reviews

Very informative exhibit, in English and German. You get to taste a little bit of chocolate in the museum,but you get some milk chocolate as you exit. I highly recommend the chocolate fondue, super affordable and downright delicious!

A must-see, chocolate will no longer hold any secrets for you. Very interesting the different manufacturing processes. The little extra: we make the chocolate with the ingredients you have chosen.

A lot of knowledge imparted. The staff were very helpful and friendly. Was a fun afternoon.

Well organised. Definitely recommended. Big thanks to our tour guide Peter.

The guide was great. The tour was very informative and interesting