And it’s so cheap to fly there!
A rich 2000 year history stretching back to Roman times. A pristine location on the banks of the Rhine, and one of the most vibrant and exciting nightlife scene’s in Europe.
If you’ve never been to Cologne, you need to get yourself there ASAP.
The city is a mecca for stags and hens, couples, groups of friends, solo backpackers and history hunters alike.
But one of it’s best and least talked about features… is Summer.
Nestled in the west of the country, Cologne experiences warm summer averages of 22C in June, and 24C in both July and August, which definitely falls in that golden warm but not TOO warm category.
And definitely a welcome change from what summer has served up for us so far.
Another plus, you can now get there on a very cheap two hour direct flight Ryanair flight from Ireland West Airport in Co. Mayo!
We did a little experiment and decided to see just how cheap it’d be to get from Ireland West to Cologne… Flying out on a Tuesday and returning on a Saturday we found the cost for return flights to be under €45. The cost of a nice dinner for two…just get us on that plane.
So before you go packing your bags, we’ve gone ahead and done some ground work and found some cool stuff to do when you land.
1. Climb to the top of the cathedral.
This huge cathedral is remarkably the most visited landmark in the entire country.
Its twin spires dominate the Cologne skyline and you´re going to want to take a trip to the top for the breathtaking panoramic views of the city below.
While the 509 steps do make it quite hard work, the view makes it all worthwhile.
2. Check out the old town.
The heartbeat of any historical city, Colonge’s old town is a history lovers dream.
Three quarters of Cologne was obliterated during WW2, as you wander around it’s humbling to think that all you see would have been rubble just 70 years ago.
And yet the old world atmosphere still shines through on streets and plazas like Heumarkt and Altermarkt, even among the newer post war buildings.
3. Take a boat trip on the Rhine.
Cruising down the Rhine River on a sunny day is the dream.
The route most people take is south to the old fishing community of Rodenkirchen on an hour-long cruise that floats past the cathedral, the spires of the old town, the new Rheinauhaufen district and under a total of four bridges, each with interesting trivia attached.
A perfect way to spend an afternoon.
4. Try some Kölsch and Halve Hahn.
It would be criminal to leave Cologne without sampling their local delicacy.
Sitting down at one of the many lovely restaurants with a Kölsch (beer) and a Halve Hahn (rye bread and gouda cheese) is a must.
Kölsch is the local brew in Cologne, a top-fermented beer, made from Pilsener malt and with a straw colour.
While your soft rye roll will come with butter, tomatoes, sliced onions and generous slabs of gouda for you to assemble as you like.
Is your mouth watering too?
5. Declare your love at the padlock bridge.
This is one for the couples. Just around the corner from the Cologne Cathedral is the famous Hohenzollern Bridge.
Just find an empty place, write your initials on a padlock and secure you’re love to the bridge for all eternity!
Or at least until all the locks are revealed due to the fact they weigh a collective two tonnes…
6. Hit the town.
As we mentioned earlier, Cologne is littered with amazing night spots.
The city has approximately 70 clubs, countless bars, restaurants, and pubs.
No shortage of craic to be had!
7. Check out some of the many, many museums.
Cologne is internationally renowned for having amazing museums.
And they’re as diverse as they come, the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud houses fascinating medieval paintings and an important collection of Impressionist paintings.
While the Museum Ludwig is home to the largest Pop Art collection outside of the USA.
There’s even a chocolate museum! We’re sold.
Take us to Cologne!