Running along the banks of river Rhine, Cologne is a very old city in western Germany. More than 2000 years old, this city does not fall on the regular 2 nights in each country kind of itinerary. Which is just one of the reasons you must add it to yours when you are planning a customised vacation for yourself.
First things first. Cologne is pronounced as Köln. It is important to know how to call a city correctly before visiting it. Also important is to know a bit about the place, which this post intends to help you a bit with. If you are following this series I am writing about cities from all over the world in my #AtoZChallenge, you must have seen that I am not following any pattern with the information I am giving in my posts. I hope to acquaint you a bit with the places but I want the posts to be free flowing and not conforming to any template. So here goes, a little about Cologne (Köln).
A little trivia from Wikipedia – The Original Eau de Cologne 4711, is named after its location at Glockengasse No. 4711. It was also developed in the 18th century by Wilhelm Mülhens and produced in Cologne since at least 1799 and is therefore probably one of the oldest still produced fragrances in the world.
Cologne is not only the cultural capital of Germany but it is also known for its medical Romanesque architecture. The Cologne Cathedral is a UNESCO site and the country’s most visited landmark. If you have a love for art and museum, Ludwig Museum is where you must head over to. The places art from after 1900 and houses some of the most sought after pieces in the world. Famous for its museums, the city also has Wallraf-Richartz museum, Kolumba museum and Romano-Germanic museum.
Cologne is a deconstructed town, most of it was damaged during the war. While most of the town has new constructions, wandering through the old town can cause chance happenings of something old.
The botanical garden and the zoo are two places you can spend a lazy morning at. Hohenzollern bridge is a tiered and arched bridge which you must not miss. It too was rebuilt after the war and now only allows pedestrians and rail.
If you too must eat local delicacies of the place you are travelling to like me, you must experience Halve Hahn. The name which means half a rooster is unfortunately misleading and the bridge is made of a rye bread, butter, gouda and raw onion, and is served at pubs and breweries. If pork is your thing, dig into Mettbrütche which is pretty much a local staple and is eaten for any and all meals. But beware, the minced pork here is raw! Suurrbrode is a marinated and braised meat dish, and the potato pancakes which are called Rievkooche, are a special delight here.
Nightlife is amazing at Cologne and you will be spoilt for choices here. The night remains young till late here and pub hopping is a great idea if you are up to it. If you are adventurous, there is the Cologne Carnival you might be interested in!