Things to do in Cologne

From the iconic cathedral to Gothic architecture and a charming old town, this German riverside city awaits.

Our most recommended things to do in Cologne

Cologne: Top Sights Rhine River Cruise

1. Cologne: Top Sights Rhine River Cruise

See Cologne's top sights from the water on a city cruise. Spot the world-famous Cologne Cathedral, cruise under 5 bridges, and take in the running commentary from the ship's speakers. Start your Rhine cruise with the ship MS Rheinperle, MS Rheinland, or MS Rheintreue. After taking in a view of the iconic Cologne Cathedral and Old Town, cruise to the Rheinauhafen, where you can spot its distinctive crane houses. Pass under 5 bridges to reach Rodenkirchen in the south. The cruise will then take you to the main sights of the city north of the Dome, such as the Zoobrücke bridge. During the cruise, discover more about the sights of Cologne with on-board commentary and English and German. If you want, relax with a local Kölsch beer or a strong coffee and a piece of cake.

Cologne: Chocolate Museum Entrance Ticket

2. 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: Winter Cruise with Live Music and Mulled Wine

3. Cologne: Winter Cruise with Live Music and Mulled Wine

Enjoy a festive and romantic winter cruise along the Rhine River with live music and a hot beverage of your choice. Get great views from the panorama boat of Cologne’s skyline, which is beautifully decorated during the holiday season. See some of Cologne's most iconic sites like the famous church "Groß St. Martin", the former Rheinau Harbour with the three crane houses and, of course, Cologne Cathedral. Listen to musicians play festive music and sip on a cup of "Glühwein" (hot wine punch), coffee, or hot chocolate.

Cologne: Rhine River Sightseeing Cruise with Beverage

4. Cologne: Rhine River Sightseeing Cruise with Beverage

Enjoy the charming sights of Cologne from a heated boat on the Rhine River. Sip on a glass of Kölsch or a hot beverage as you take in the atmosphere.  View some of Cologne's most spectacular architecture, like the Groß St. Martin Church, the former Rheinau harbour with the three crane houses and, of course, Cologne Cathedral.  Listen to a musician play both traditional and modern tunes live. Drink some cold local beer, tea, or coffee.

Cologne: The Melaten Cemetery, Life, Love and Death Tour

5. Cologne: The Melaten Cemetery, Life, Love and Death Tour

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: Brewery Tour with Three "Kölsch" Tastings

6. Cologne: Brewery Tour with Three "Kölsch" Tastings

Explore the beautiful city and history of Cologne in a fun and interactive way. Visit the famous breweries and taste 3 Kölsch beers during the tour. You can choose from a private or group tour and soak in the brewing culture of the city. Take part in a tour where the guides have the freedom to choose which breweries to take you to. Allow these Kölsch connoisseurs to make decisions based on the group dynamic, ensuring that everyone is entertained and satisfied Begin your experience near the cathedral's grand entrance by the Kreuzblumen monument. Start the thirst-quenching journey to 3 different breweries, where you will taste 3 delicious local beers to find the one that best suits you. Learn about the breweries and the local brewing culture as well as taste hundreds of years worth of brewing experience. Visit traditional breweries such as the 700-year-old Brauhaus Sion, as well as younger upstarts like Früh am Dom, Cologne's largest.

Brühl: Phantasialand Entrance Ticket

7. Brühl: Phantasialand Entrance Ticket

Experience Phantasialand and its fantastic rides, worldwide unique attractions, and fun shows with the whole family. Visit Phantasialand for an unforgettable family day out or for an enchanting stay in one of three themed hotels. In six beautifully decorated themed areas, Fantasy, Berlin, Deep in Africa, China Town, Mexico, and Mystery, you'll enjoy more than 40 spectacular attractions and dazzling shows. There are plenty of attractions for the whole family.  There is a lot to discover for the little ones and the daredevils among you can experience the most exciting thrill rides in Phantasialand. In short: young and old experience an unforgettable day immersed in another world. NEW: Discover the new world Rookburgh: A world-renowned adventure – steam hangs in the streets, the thumping of machines sounds in the distance, and suddenly a revolutionary flying machine skims by – F.L.Y., the world's first and longest Flying Launch Coaster.  Explore the mysterious theme world of Klugheim and race through an imposing volcanic landscape with Taron, the fastest and longest multi-launch roller coaster in the world! This exciting roller coaster surprises even the bravest roller coaster fan with two mega-fast launches and lightning-fast cornering.  Or step into Raik, the fastest family boomerang roller coaster of its kind, and skim between Taron and the mighty rocks of Klugheim: first forward and then backward! A spectacle for young and old. Not far from Klugheim, you are suddenly in Mexico, where you go on an expedition in Chiapas, the steepest whitewater ride in the world. The favorite of many here is the runaway mine train roller coaster Colorado Adventure.  Then skim through Africa in the multi-award-winning inverted coaster Black Mamba before returning to the 20s in Berlin. Here you can stroll in the streets of old Berlin and fully enjoy charming terraces and the many eateries.  Afterward, you can go mouse hunting with the whole family in the 3D attraction Maus au Chocolat, unique in Europe, or you can see the world upside down in the crazy Hotel Tartuff. In the Fantasy theme area, the little ones can indulge themselves in the many children's attractions and enjoy themselves in the indoor children's village Wuze Town. BREATHTAKING SHOWS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILYLet yourself be enchanted by stunning acrobatics, beautiful song and dance, and a good mood. Experience moments to dream, laugh, and wonder with the whole family. AN EXTRAORDINARY CUISINEEnjoy the wide choice of high-quality dishes that the restaurants and eateries have to offer with sun-drenched tapas, huge cakes, and richly filled sandwiches. Discover delicious and healthy food inspired by the 6 different theme worlds. THEMED HOTELS RIGHT IN THE PARKWhy not make your visit to Phantasialand an unforgettable short holiday and stay in the middle of an adventure in one of the three themed hotels? The themed hotels offer every comfort in a special and unique atmosphere. Each hotel is located directly in the park and offers its guests an exclusive private entrance. Discover the African family hotel Matamba and let yourself be enchanted by this fascinating continent's brilliant colors and authentic craftsmanship. This hotel is perfect for young adventurers. Escape the daily grind at the ****Ling Bao theme hotel built according to Feng Shui guidelines. With an authentic Asian atmosphere, a heated indoor and outdoor pool, a beautiful Oriental garden, and the Mandala Spa, it is the ideal place to relax. At the hotel Charles Lindbergh, you will be immersed in a breathtaking adventure of an industrial world of aviation and explorers. You will sleep in your own aeronaut cabin and feel the winning heartbeat of Rookburgh down to the smallest detail. The experience and adventure of a lifetime. Here you can only book an exclusive experience package all in. Don't forget while staying in the hotel to taste one of the 15 types of craft beer or an exciting cocktail bowl for an experience that surpasses all examples.

Cologne: Melaten Cemetery Celebrities and Curiosities

8. Cologne: Melaten Cemetery Celebrities and Curiosities

Melaten Cemetery, which is over two centuries old, is an oasis of peace and quiet in the midst of this vibrant metropolis. Start the tour at its old main entrance. Your local guide will give you a short history of the area, how it was a village for the leppers, a place of execution, and finally how it became a central cemetery. Then, get ready to explore the area. Marvel at its parklike design and find numerous impressive monuments and objects of traditional and contemporary art. Admire Classicist to Neo-Gothic and Neo-Baroque grave monuments, symbols and sculptures. Melaten Cemetery has about 55,000 graves. Walk along the main paths reserved for the wealthy known as the "Millionaires Alley". Discover curious stories about the prominent Cologne citizens buried here. The tour will end at the tomb of the architect of the graveyard.

Cologne: Guided Tour of Melatenfriedhof

9. Cologne: Guided Tour of Melatenfriedhof

Take a trip through the history of Cologne on a guided tour of Melatenfriedhof, the central cemetery of the city. Before it became a cemetery, it was already an execution site and leprosy ward far outside the city walls. Follow your guide around the 5500 graves. Listen to stories about the history of the city, and the celebrities who have been laid to rest in this historical graveyard.

Cologne: 'Himmel and Kölle' Musical Tickets

10. Cologne: 'Himmel and Kölle' Musical Tickets

Experience an unforgettable evening with a ticket to the award-winning "Himmel and Kölle" show at the Volksbühne, Cologne's oldest surviving theater. The top-class cast with German musical stars is looking forward to your visit.  Heavenly, sexy, and truly Cologne: The young priest Elmar is transferred from the Swabian province to Cologne. On one wild night, the Catholic model pupil forgets all the commandments.  After a sinful trip through shisha bars and breweries, Elmar has to realize: Against a Saturday night in Brussels Square, Sodom and Gomorrah was an oasis of calm. "A rousing, funny good-mood piece," wrote the World on Sunday about Himmel und Kölle, "A mega show", says Eko Fresh. 2022 Cologne voted Himmel und Kölle "Cultural Event of the Year" at the 2021 German Musical and Theatre Awards.  The musical was awarded in 4 categories: Best Ensemble Performance, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Producer.

Frequently asked questions about Cologne

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What people are saying about Cologne

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 7,534 reviews

Sascha was incredible. From the first moment he made everything so easy! His communication on meeting point made it quick and easy for us to find him. He was very funny and did a great job between flipping from English and German to accompany the other guests. Sascha was very funny and kept us laughing while sharing his incredible knowledge of the history of the city. He went above and beyond and sent us links for restaurants and food to try. We had a great tour of the city. Highly recommend!

Stefan was a really good and informative guide. He took us on a nice 2 hour tour through Köln. Would recommend this tour to others. We were three friends on a holiday and ended the tour with nice Kölsch beer at the brauhaus.

Good experience to learn about chocolate making. Not a bad choice to spend an hour here. Taste the chocolate straight out of production lane was yummm!

Sarah was just the perfect amount of historian and gracious hostess. She clearly loves her city.

Learned a lot about kolsch beer and Carolin was a great guide!