Cologne
Culture & History

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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: Melaten - The Cemetery Tour

2. Cologne: Melaten - The Cemetery 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: 3-Hour Harbor Tour Cruise

3. 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: Melaten Cemetery Guided Tour - Famous Personalities

4. 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: 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: Old Town Highlights Walking Tour

6. 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: 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: The Night Watchman Old Town Walking Tour

8. Cologne: The Night Watchman Old Town Walking Tour

Explore Cologne's old town on a guided walking tour and see the historic buildings lit up at night. Stroll through the alleys at the side of the night watchman and discover beautiful but also eerie things. Learn why pigs were beaten in front of Cologne's churches and why stray dogs were so well fed in centuries past. Discover how the citizens of Cologne defended themselves against the authorities and listen to many legends and anecdotes about Cologne's history. Follow the night watchman in historical costume to another time when every full hour was still proclaimed. Learn all about the tasks of the historical night watchmen during this eerie tour through the narrow alleys of the city. 

Executioner's Tour of Cologne in German

9. 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. 

Cologne: 3-Hour Südstadt Food Tour

10. Cologne: 3-Hour Südstadt Food Tour

Start your 3-hour walking tour at Chlodwigplatz, in the heart of the Südstadt. Learn some culinary facts about the district before enjoying your first taster. Hear about the history of the Südstadt as the walk continues. Stop for your second international gastronomical visit. Continue past cool second-hand shops, comic book stores, and the Mangal Döner, Lukas Podolski's latest project. Visit a Cologne brewery before stopping for a typical Cologne snack. Get more insider knowledge from your guide and hear the story of the House Balchem, St. Severin, and the wrong side of the Rhine. Savor another international delicacy and then end the tour with a sweet specialty.

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What people are saying about Cologne

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 1,006 reviews

Great tour to see the highlights of the City in a relatively short time period. Be prepared to “workout” a bit as you ride through the City. We were a small group of 3 (another couple and me) with the tour guide, which made it much more personable and provided more time for us to ask plenty of Qs about what was being shared. Well worth it.

Sasha was extremely personable and knowledgeable. his English is very good and he often has jokes to accompany the information at each site. Meeting him was a joyful highlight of our trip!

Eine sehr kurzweilige, informative Tour, die ich nur empfehlen kann. Auch für Menschen aus der Region gibt es Neues zu erfahren.

Great tour, well done, entertaining, very informative, interesting and funny.

The tour was very nice and interesting, it was fun