It’s known for its Christmas markets but there is so much more to see than that. I’ll list some practical tips and activities to do. In my opinion this is one of the easiest cities to visit if you’re from Belgium or the Netherlands.
How to get there? Car/Train from Belgium
How Long? A weekend is more than enough
Hotel? Ibis Budget Messe (€52/night, €6 for the parking and €7, 5 for breakfast)
Must do: The Dom, Kölntriangle and the botanic garden
Let’s start with how you can get from this hotel (Ibis Budget) to the city center. I’ve picked this hotel for its location. It’s out of the busy center but it’s so easy with public transport. You can take the metro 3 or 4 (direction Neumarkt) directly to the city. For a one way ticket you’ll pay around two euros.
If you’re looking for a relaxed place for lunch or dinner you can check the restaurants of vapiano (vapiano.com). Here you can have all sorts of pizza and pasta’s for 7 – 10 euros. The atmosphere is amazing and it’s self-service.
You didn’t visit Cologne if you haven’t seen the Dom. Also try to enter and get a feel of this massive church. I really enjoyed a stroll through the botanic garden (free). For some amazing views you can go to the kölntraingle. The entrance fee is three euros and you can enjoy a view over the city. Go and enjoy a drink at Heumarkt or cross the river with the Rheinseilbahn.
I want to go back around Christmas for the famous market but we’ll see what life brings!