Top things to do

Top Choice Beer Hall in Cologne


Busy, loud and boisterous, Päffgen has been pouring Kölsch since 1883 and hasn’t lost a step since. In summer you can enjoy the refreshing brew and local specialities (€1.10 to €10.70) beneath starry skies in the be…
Top Choice Club in Cologne


Surrounded by a small park, this Belgisches Viertel favourite hosts vibrant dance parties and live jazz, soul and world music concerts in its cellar hall, but is also a great spot for a drink in the summer beer gard…
Top Choice Cathedral in Cologne

Kölner Dom

Cologne’s geographical and spiritual heart – and its single-biggest tourist draw – is the magnificent Kölner Dom. With its soaring twin spires, this is the Mt Everest of cathedrals, jam-packed with art and treasures…
Top Choice Museum in Cologne

Museum Schnütgen

East of the Neumarkt, the Cultural Quarter encompasses the Museum Schnütgen, a repository of medieval religious art and sculpture. Part of the exhibit shows the beautiful setting of the Romanesque Cäcilienkirche (Ce…
Top Choice Museum in Cologne

Römisch-Germanisches Museum

Sculptures and ruins displayed outside the entrance are merely the overture to a full symphony of Roman artefacts found along the Rhine. Highlights include the giant Poblicius tomb (AD 30–40), the magnificent 3rd-ce…
Top Choice Modern European in Cologne

Salon Schmitz

Spread over three historic row houses, the Schmitz empire is your one-stop for excellent food and drink. From the casual bistro to excellent seasonal meals in the restaurant to the takeaway deli, you'll find somethi…
Top Choice German in Cologne

Bei Oma Kleinmann

Named for its long-time owner, who was still cooking almost to her last day at age 95 in 2009, this perennially booked, grafitti-covered restaurant serves oodles of schnitzel, made either with pork or veal and paire…
Top Choice Beer Garden in Cologne

Biergarten Rathenauplatz

A large, leafy park has one of Cologne's best places for a drink: a community-run beer garden. Tables sprawl under huge, old trees, while simple snacks such as salads and very good frikadelle (spiced hamburger) issu…
Top Choice European in Cologne

Bistrot B

Classic French cooking by chef Jean-Claude Bado stars at this prim little bistro that's one of Cologne's most popular restaurants. The dishes are inventive, seasonal and remarkably good value given the talents at wo…
Top Choice Parade in Cologne


Cologne's Carnival is one of Europe's most raucous. There are myriad events, parades and parties before everything comes to a halt on Ash Wednesday.