The 24 best sights of Cologne – descriptions and photos

Cologne’s main attractions: top 10 with photos, description and map

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In principle, all the main attractions of Cologne can be seen in 1 day. They are compactly situated in the city center and you can leisurely walk around them while drinking Kölsch and looking at our article. Here you will find photos with names and descriptions of the most interesting places in Cologne and a map of Cologne with sights in Russian. Just in case, the names of attractions, we also duplicated in German, to make it easier to find on the online maps.

Cologne sights, description and photo + map

Cologne sights: article content

  • Map of Cologne with sights
  • Top 10 most interesting places: brief description
  • Cologne sightseeing tours and attractions

Cologne sights on the map in Russian

Just in case on the map I indicate not only the main sights of Cologne, but also the route, by which it is most convenient to get around all the most interesting in 1 day. But I want to warn you that in my opinion, one day in Cologne is not enough – after all, this is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Germany.

Wander the streets and see the sights of Cologne – it is, of course, beautiful, but try to find time for other interesting things to do. For example, drink the famous Kölsch beer in a local bar, book a city tour, relax in one of the many local parks, or take a romantic boat ride on the Rhine.

Cologne’s top 10 sights: names, photos and descriptions

1. Cologne Cathedral (German: Kölner Dom)

This is definitely the main attraction of Cologne and the most famous cathedral in Germany. Both towers are 157 meters high and it is the third highest church in the world (after the cathedrals in Ulm, Germany and Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire). And it is also one of the longest in Europe: the cathedral was built from 1248 to 1880. It was built to store the relics of the biblical Magi, which the Germans took from the monastery in their conquest of Milan in the XII century.

Cologne Cathedral - the main attraction of Cologne.

Cologne Cathedral is the main attraction of the city, if not all of Germany.

2. Gestapo Museum EL-DE Haus

The scariest museum of all, where we were. Everything here has remained virtually unchanged. The steel of the bars and the cold of the basement walls, remembering torture and executions. Chronicle of pain and despair on the walls, told in different languages (mostly Russian, a lot of Ukrainian and German). And a square courtyard, where people who just happened to be “wrong” nationality or “wrong” beliefs breathed their last breath of air.

Admission is 4.5 euros. And in general, for the citizens of the former Soviet Union to visit this site of Cologne could be made free. And a shot of schnapps on the way out would be very helpful.

Cologne sights. Gestapo Museum EL-DE Haus.

At the entrance to the Gestapo Museum EL-DE Haus, tourists can take audio guides in various languages (Russian is also available).

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Cologne sights. Photo: Gestapo Museum EL-DE Haus.

Askold Kurov survived. He was the only person who managed to escape from the Gestapo EL-DE Haus in Cologne.

3. the Apostolic Church (Kirche St. Aposteln)

One of the oldest (founded at the beginning of the XI century) and the highest (67 meters) churches in the city. In its lifetime, the Apostolic Church was rebuilt many times and, like many places of interest in Cologne, was badly damaged by bombing during the war. That’s why there’s almost nothing left of the original church. But according to archival photos, it looked exactly the same in the Middle Ages.

Cologne sights, pictures and descriptions. Apostolic Church.

The northern facade of the Apostolic Church is the most beautiful.

4. Rheinauhafen and the Kranhäuser complex

The Rheinauhafen is a beautiful neighborhood and promenade with Cologne attractions such as the Chocolate Museum and the ultra-modern Kranhäuser architectural complex (three shiny modern buildings that look like cranes). Formerly there was a port, and at the end of the XX and beginning of the XXI century there were many beautiful new buildings – both “under the old times” and in the ultramodern style. It’s a nice place to take a walk.

Cologne sights, pictures with names. Rheinauhafen and Kranhäuser.

The Rheinauhafen promenade is a perfect combination of old-style buildings and ultra-modern Kranhäuser crane houses.

5. Köln Triangle

A round tower, for some reason bearing the name Triangle. On the roof of the office building is an observation deck from which the whole city – as if on the palm. The entrance fee is 3 euros. The observation deck is surrounded by a glass fence, which indicates all the sights of Cologne, which you see from a height of 103 meters.

Cologne's unusual sights. Köln Triangle observation deck.

In front of you is the famous round tower, hiding under the pseudonym “Triangle”. The sights of Cologne – they are so unusual…

6. Hohenzollern Bridge (Hohenzollernbrücke)

Steel railway bridge over the Rhine, with pedestrian and bicycle paths on each side. The bridge is 409 m long and 29.5 m wide. At the entrances to the bridge are equestrian statues of Prussian kings and German emperors from the Hohenzollern dynasty: Wilhelm I, Wilhelm II, Friedrich III and Friedrich Wilhelm IV (if you know them). More than a thousand trains pass over the bridge per day.

For inhabitants of Cologne it is the bridge of love, it is all covered with locks with inscriptions like “Hans + Walter = heart”. The bridge looks especially spectacular with Cologne Cathedral. Similar canonical photos of Cologne sights can be taken from the observation tower of the Köln Triangle.

Cologne, Germany, sights. Hohenzollern Bridge and Cologne Cathedral.

These are the kind of photos I have in mind. And that’s for only 3 euros!

7. Fish market and colorful houses (Fischmarkt)

In the Middle Ages there was a market on this square selling fresh catch from the Rhine and fish that foreigners (mostly from Holland) took through Cologne to the markets of Europe. The colorful old houses around the square have miraculously survived since the war. The promenade in front of the fish market square is one of the most picturesque places for walks in Cologne.

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Cologne, Germany, sights. Fish market and colored houses.

Three sights in one picture: the fish market square, colorful houses, and the “Fishermen’s Wives” fountain.

8. Church of the Great St. Martin (Groß St. Martin)

Beautiful Romanesque church built in the XII-XIII centuries. The architectural ensemble of the Church of St. Martin with its colorful houses at the Fish Market is the second landmark of the city after Cologne Cathedral. Bombing of Cologne during the war almost completely destroyed the church, and it was not until 1985 that it was reopened after being rebuilt.

Top Cologne sights. Church of the Great St. Martin.

Church of the Great St. Martin. Photo from the Hohenzollern Bridge (described above about this Cologne landmark).

9. Cologne Town Hall (Rathaus Köln)

The complex of buildings that eventually merged to form the city hall of Cologne was built from 1330 to 1573. The most famous of them is the Gothic tower, 61 meters high, built in the 15th century. At the end of the twentieth century on it installed 124 sculptures – emperors, saints, popes and famous citizens.

Cologne, Germany sights. Cologne city hall.

What sights in Cologne worth seeing: the Gothic tower of city hall.

10. Market Square (Alter Markt)

The largest, most important and most beautiful square of the city. During the Middle Ages the square in front of the Town Hall was used as a market place, and Cologne was no exception: already in X century it was the market place. During its history, the square witnessed different kinds of things: knights’ tournaments, executions and carnivals were held there.

Nowadays the Market Square is a hangout place, with many pubs and restaurants, and at night it is nicely illuminated. In the center of the square there is a monument to the King of Prussia Friedrich Wilhelm III (he is also the father of Russian Empress Alexandra Fedorovna and Emperor Alexander II).

Cologne sights. Photo: Market Square.

Here we are going to leave you for tonight. The main attractions of Cologne are finished, it’s time to reward yourself with the famous Kölsch beer on the Alter Markt!

Cologne sightseeing tours

You can see the sights of Cologne on your own with our article, or you can book a guided tour. Fortunately, in Cologne there are a lot of excellent guides – people from Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union. They offer their tours on the Russian-language website, where you can find out about the programs, prices, and reviews.

To my great surprise, the program Cologne and its women is the most in demand (and gets the best reviews of tourists).

There are other great inexpensive tours – like Cologne – First Date and Medieval Cologne . If you are interested in the sights of Cologne, not just its women, check out these programs:

As you can see, the main sights of Cologne are quite possible to get around on your own, and in one day. Have a great trip to West Germany!

The best sights of Cologne with pictures and descriptions

Cologne with all its attractions.

Welcome to the ancient and beautiful city of Cologne, one of the most important cultural centers in Germany and full of sights and historical treasures.

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We’ll show you the best sights in Cologne with pictures, names and descriptions. Once you do, you’ll see for yourself that traveling to Cologne is worth the time and resources it takes.

Cologne’s architecture

Cologne is a city with a truly rich history and architecture. A tourist looking at the city’s many grand old buildings is unlikely to think that most of them are, in fact, masterful renovations. In fact, many of the richest structures were badly destroyed during World War II. But they have been so detailed and realistically reconstructed that it’s even hard to believe. One of the most famous buildings in Cologne is the Cathedral of St. Peter and Mary which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The facade of the cathedral is stunning in its grandeur and beauty – it is the largest church facade in the world!

One of the most famous sights in Cologne is the Cathedral of St. Peter and Mary.

The cathedral can seat more than 20,000 people at a time, and the twin towers crowning the structure are 157 meters high! These towers are visible from anywhere in the city. The construction of the temple began in the XIII century, but due to various events, it was finished only in the XIX century. Inside the cathedral is no less striking than outside. Its picturesque and elegant stained-glass windows, Medieval ecclesiastical objects and the cancer containing the relics of the three kings who came to the newborn Jesus are undoubtedly additional decorations of the temple.

The Cathedral of St. Peter and Mary in Cologne is as impressive inside as it is outside.

The old City Hall, located on the Rathausplatz, is also worth seeing. It’s the oldest town hall in Germany, and its history goes back to the 12th century. Town Hall is very beautiful and decorated with 130 stone statues, arches and Renaissance pavilion.

The old town hall, a landmark in Cologne, is the oldest in Germany.

Younger”, but no less significant is the Augustusburg Palace, built in the early 18th century. Executed in rococo style, the castle combines architectural and scenic masterpieces with no less beautiful sculptures and landscape design. The interior delights with its luxury. The castle is richly decorated with frescoes and stucco. Here you see the most beautiful grand staircase, halls, dining room and elegant balconies, ancient bathroom and the bishop’s chambers.

Augustusburg Palace, a landmark in Cologne, where the interior delights with its luxury.

You can also enjoy a stroll through the cozy Baroque garden with beautiful walkways, flowerbeds, fountains, ponds and unusual trees.

This magnificent ensemble, which belongs to UNESCO World Heritage Site, can be found at Schlossstr., 50321 Brühl.

St. Martin's Abbey is another Cologne landmark.

And not forgetting the many bridges in Cologne. You can see ancient and modern engineering finds, large and small buildings, stately and graceful bridges:

The Hohenzollern Bridge is a landmark in Cologne that is beautiful and amazing, especially at night.

Hohenzollern Bridge

The St. Severin Bridge is a landmark in Cologne.

St. Severin Bridge

The Rodenkirchen Bridge is a landmark in Cologne.

Rodenkirchen Bridge

Deutz Bridge - a landmark that is located in Cologne.

Deutz Bridge

You can also take a walk along the famous streets of the city:

Monuments of Cologne

One of the oldest and most beautiful monuments in the city is the Friedrich Wilhelm III Monument on the Heukmart in the old city center. The majestic sculpture was built in the late XIX century and is a stone pedestal, on which stands a proud horse, and on it sits the King of Prussia Wilhelm III. On the sides of the main figure you can see bronze sculptures of prominent politicians of that era.

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One of the oldest and most beautiful monuments in the city is the monument to Friedrich Wilhelm III in Cologne.

Cologne has both traditional and unusual monuments:

  • Jan von Werth Memorial Fountain ;
  • The “Curious Woman” fountain ;
  • Monument to Thunnes and Schöll .

Monument of Prankster

Two of the Box Monument.

“Beer” fountain.

The Curious Woman” fountain

City Museums

The Romano-Germanic Museum – both in Cologne and in Germany – is one of the particularly valuable attractions, because its collection on Roman civilization is recognized as the best in the world. Here you’ll see many valuable everyday objects and antique decorations, as well as a collection of ancient fascinating mosaics. One of the oldest mosaics dates back to 220 AD!

The Romano-Germanic Museum - both in Cologne and in Germany - is one of the especially valuable attractions.

We also recommend you to see:

  • Rautenstrauch-Jost Ethnological Museum (Cäcilienstraße 29-33);
  • Cologne City Museum (Arsenal, Old City);
  • Cologne Diocesan Museum (St. Columba Church, Columbastrasse 4);
  • Chocolate Museum (Reinauhafen Peninsula, Schokoladenmuseum 1A);
  • Museum of the Victims of Nazism (Appellhofplatz 23-25);
  • Walraf-Richartz Museum (Obenmarsforten);
  • Spirit Museum (Farina House, Obenmarspforten 21);
  • Ludwig Museum (Bischofsgartenstraße 1);
  • Schnütgen Museum (Cäcilienstraße 29-33).

Natural and recreational attractions in and around Cologne

One of the most beautiful places in this region is the Aggerrandweg, located in Bergneustadt. It starts in the valley of the Rengse, runs along the reservoir and reaches the Aggertalsperre dam. This is the most picturesque part of the trail, as it overlooks the confluence of three rivers, and from here the trail continues to meander along the Aggertalsperre. As you can see, the path is long enough not only for hiking, but also for cycling enthusiasts.

One of the most picturesque places in Cologne is considered to be the Aggerrandweg Trail.

In the city itself there are also places to relax. So, in the City Sculpture Park you can not only enjoy the coziness and coolness under the old branching trees, but also admire the beautiful and extraordinary sculptures of German and foreign masters.

In the City Sculpture Park, you can admire the beautiful and extraordinary sculptures of German and foreign masters.

You can take a walk and rest on one of the benches on the quay that encircles the river. You can take a walk on one of the benches on the city embankment that frames the river Rhine. From here you have a wonderful view of the city and of the famous Hohenzollern Railway Bridge.

You can stroll and relax on one of the benches on the Cologne waterfront.

You can visit the Botanical Garden Flora, one of the oldest in Europe, to learn more about local nature.

The Flora Botanical Garden is one of the oldest attractions in Europe.

A stroll through Mediapark will introduce you to the most modern part of the city. It’s a lively neighborhood of office buildings, movie theaters, music studios, and many other organizations. The famous Cologne-Turm skyscraper is also located here, from where you can look around Cologne and all that can be seen for many, many meters.

The famous Cologne Turm skyscraper, from which you can look around Cologne and all that can be seen for many, many meters.

And after a busy day of sightseeing we suggest you to relax in the spa complex “Claudius Therme”. There you can enjoy baths of different peoples of the world and have a wide range of health treatments tailored to your age and health condition.

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We suggest relaxing in the spa complex Claudius Thermae in Cologne.

What can I see in and around Cologne in 3 days?

Cologne – what to see in the 1st day of your stay in the city?

You can see quite a lot of sights in Cologne in just one day.

  1. If you arrive by train, we suggest you start at the train station .
  2. Next to it is the famous Cologne Cathedral .
  3. On the opposite side of the station are the Museum of Modern Art and the Romano-Germanic Museum.
  4. Then walk through the old streets of Cologne to the Church of St. Martin.
  5. From there you can walk along the banks of the Rhine.
  6. After relaxing and enjoying the views we will head for the Old Market and Town Hall Square.
  7. Before it gets dark you can take a walk down Hohe Strasse, famous for its stores.

The best part of Cologne is that you can see all there is to see in a day.

What can I see in Cologne on the second day?

  1. We suggest you start the morning with a visit to the Melathen Cemetery. Although it sounds a little gloomy, but this walk will appeal to lovers of antiquity, because the cemetery began its existence in 1180.
  2. Those who decide to skip this point can go straight to the city center. If you walk from the cemetery, the road can see Achener Strasse and Hiroshima-Nagasaki Park . If you want you can visit the Museum of East Asian Art.
  3. Then go to the New Market Square and visit the Church of the Apostles.
  4. If you walk from here towards the river, you will come to the ruins of St. Alban’s Cathedral.
  5. Nearby is the church of St. Mary of Capitol.
  6. After crossing the bridge, we arrive at the port of Reinauhafen, which now houses the Chocolate Museum.
  7. From here we move to the modern part of the city and see the magnificent Cranhaus.
  8. Then we return again to the Old Town, where for the rest of the day you will see:
  • Cologne House No. 4711 ;
  • Gestapo Museum ;
  • Walraf-Richartz Museum .

Chocolate Museum

What to see in Cologne on day 3 of your stay?

At this point you’ve seen most of the city’s main attractions and for your last day of your stay, we offer you a list of what you can see near Cologne:

Eltz Castle - an attraction that is close to Cologne.

Eltz Castle.

Where to go in Cologne with children?

Children and their parents are suggested to visit:

Cologne Waterpark is an attraction in Cologne where you can go with children.

Cologne Waterpark

Cologne – tips for tourists (video)

This video has everything you need to know about Cologne, if you are going to go there and even if you are not going to. An overview of the main sights. Enjoy the video!

Now you have learned a lot about Cologne and its sights, and if you can supplement our story with your impressions, photos and descriptions – please leave comments. We wish you an amazing trip!

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