In July, my mum decided we should go on another mini break. It first started off by looking at the cheapest flights, which at the time were Dublin, Cologne and Eindhoven. Cologne came out top for me, because of the chocolate museum, and there seemed to be a mix of things to do.
I booked the flight and hotel through lastminute.com, about a month before we planned to go.
Flights were booked with flybe, from Manchester to Dusseldorf, which is about 30-60 mins away from Cologne. We were on a small plane that had propellers both ways. We had an early morning flight there and a afternoon flight on the way back. Originally, I had booked an evening flight, but this had been cancelled and we were put on an earlier one.
On the way back though, we got delayed by over 3 hours. By the time we found out though we were already through security, so my mum was allowed to go back out to the check-in desk to get food vouchers. She got back quite quickly as the security staff had already helped her go back through.
It took a month and a half to finally get compensation back for the delay.
I booked the dorint hotel am heumarkt which is a 5 star hotel and includes breakfast, there is free swimming pool though, like some websites advertise. The room was nice though and the view from the lift of the cathedral is amazing.
compared to Berlin is small, but it’s a nice walk-able size, with enough things to see for a couple of days and lots of shops, if that’s what you like. On the way to the hotel from the station, we walked through the main shopping area, and there’s lots of shops you will recognise.
There is lots of nice restaurants around, plus German McDonald’s are pretty great too. Too many nice places to think of right now, but let me know if you want recommendations and ill let you know.
if you want to see a lovely view of cologne, with the cathedral, old town and the railway bridge, head to the triangle (which isn’t a triangle, it’s a tall tube like building) on the opposite side of the river. This is 3 euros to get in.
so apparently there is a bit of a war on who is the first perfume/cologne company. Farina (red branding) apparently is the oldest, and they make sure you know about it. We had a little tour around the museum, and a talk.
art gallery - Museum Ludwig
the collection of art in this gallery is pretty amazing, especially if you like pop art, but there is a little bit for everyone. Lots of seating around if your feet are dead, and its not all paintings.
This is one of my favourite museums to date, free chocolate, lots of lindt bunnies to pose with and another viewing platform. I don't think we saw everything, my feet were dead, and there inst much seating around. We had a small tour round so saw the main things.
You get to see a history of chocolate, where it comes from, how its made, plus a history of different companies. The museum is a working museum, so there you can see all the machines making tiny bars of chocolate, and you can line up to try a sample straight from the machine
Also, the is a shop too, which sells loads of chocolate and chocolate themed merchandise. You can also buy custom chocolate bars and watch them being created.
First we decided to tackle all the stair to view from the top of the Cathedral. As you are paying there is a small sign that says something along the line of '500 steps no joke'. I think this is 3 euros. I thought I'm quite fit currently, it might be a struggle but should be do-able. The steps are very small, stone and in a spiral. There's a few windows along the way.
Let me tell you, someone told me on the way up that I was nearly there, and they were fucking joking. I might have been a quarter of the full way. You get to the top of the stone steps, enter a large circular room and guess what, you're are not at the top and there is a large set of steel steps in front of you. Walk up these and you're not quite there, there's a tiny set of wooden steps at the top. You can see the whole of cologne at the top though.
Inside, make sure you walk all the way round, i love the pixel window they have.
i have to say cologne is in my top 5 favourite cities, it’s easy enough to walk around, a few museums, shops and lots of nice food and drink. Also all the attractions are really affordable, and easy to walk to.