Sunday, July 7, 2013

A day in Cologne


Cologne is a big city with a population over one million. This fact was in my head but I had somehow overlooked it and only realised how big Cologne really is when I saw hundreds, thousands of tourists around her cathedral. Therewere probably more tourists there than the total number of people I see on any average day in Maastricht. I realized how big it was when I lost count of the many H&M and Esprit shops I passed by and I think I saw at least four or five Starbucks. At some point I really thought that I was walking around in circles, but no, I had simply underestimated Cologne's size and by the end of the day my feet were hurting badly after so much walking. And still, I have the feeling that I only scratched the surface of everything that Cologne has to offer.

I had already been once to Cologne but only for a couple of hours. I had only taken a quick tour around the cathedral, the main shopping street and cought a glompse of the Rhine. Last Saturday I decided to go there again and to spend a whole day in Cologne. I had done a bit of research and I knew that there were a couple of interesting museums  - Chocolate Museum and Early Roman History among others - but at 8€ the cheapest ticket I found them all a bit pricey so I decided to skip that cultural part of the city all together and enjoy the open-air charms of Cologne. Anyways, a day is not too much time to explore around, especially in such a big city as I soon found out.


It was cloudy and quite cold when I took the train, but luckily the weather improved notably and after midday I was really regretting wearing black skinny jeans. The first sight to admire is Cologne's impressive cathedral. It stands proudly besides the main train station and it's always surrounded my hordes of tourists and many locals who sit on the steps of the square making the most of the nice summer weather, especially in the evening. The most important museums are on an adjacent square on the backside of the cathedral and the main shopping street also radiates from the cathedral and goes on and on and then links to another shopping street which links to another shopping street and so on.


If Cologne's cathedral is the city's most visible face, the Rhine river is surely is beating heart. Both sides of the river appear to be full of live. Both banks are lined with long promenades and the west side has many cafés and bars nearby the city centre, while the east side has a big park, the Rheinpark, which can be reached crossing the Hohenzollern Bridge - or any other bridge - or by cable car. Rheinpark is a relaxing, green spot with a concert hall and some bars where you can lounge on a sunbed over white sand. Actually, the city centre is totally surrounded by several parks.

This is all I had time to discover about Cologne. A day is really not that much time but it was a enough to get to know Cologne a bit better and it left me wanting more. I seriouly wish I could do a longer tour around Germany. In the meantime, I'll keep on enjoying short daytrips and the photos afterwards.







13 comments:

  1. Es cierto que lo que más había oído hablar de Colonia es su catedral pero seguro que tú nos muestras muchos más encantos en próximas entradas, Irene. El paseo junto al río Rhin me gusta mucho. Bsinss,wpa:)

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    1. A mí tb me gustó el pase al lado del Rin, la verdad es que es algo que he descubierto desde que dejé Tenerife, que me encantan los ríos en las ciudades. Claro, antes no lo podía saber porque en Canarias no tenemos ríos jejeje

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  2. Currently torn between spending a day either here or in Munich on a future trip! Nice post though. Sometimes it's nice not to spend all your money/time visiting museums and just enjoying the city like you would your own! x

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  3. I always wanted to visit Cologne but never had the chance and time to organize... really particular and great place!!! we're coming to visit germany, this august.. my family livng there ;)

    take care and hope you had wonderful weekend.
    xoxo,Meg of Sweet Gala's

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    1. Oh, how nice! Enjoy your family trip to Germany, that's must be great! I would love to do an extended trip around Germany but so far I've only managed to do short daytrips.

      Looking forward to reading about your trip :)

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  4. Irene, I'm amazed at what you saw in one day! Cologne is absolutely gorgeous! I've read about it, but I've never seen it through anyone's pictures (esp. bloggers). So glad you showcased here. A Chocolate Museum!?! I would die! LOL It sounds so delightful. Fabulous pictures! They're absolutely breathtaking. Have a great week my friend. ((hug))
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. I was also really tempted by the chocolate museum but at 10€ a ticket I decided to pass (I had already spent 32€ on bus+train tickets) And I didn't have that much time so I decided to walk around and discover as much as I could of Cologne in just one day!

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  5. Estuve en Colonia hace muchísimos años y la verdad que como tu la recordaba pequeña, solonrecordaba la catedral, me han sorprendido las dimensiones, tendré que volver pronto.
    Besote Irene,Feliz semana

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    1. jejejej Yo estaba igual que tú, sólo recordaba la catedral y haber pasado fugazmente junto al Rin, claro que dos horas dan poco de sí!

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  6. Cologne looks like a beautiful place. We'll be visiting family in Munich next summer so we'll have to make a stop here too!

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  7. Lovely day trip. Impressive architecture!

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    1. It was a really nice day, but I love daytripping, so any daytrip will usually do :)

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  8. So we are also planning one day in Cologne (seriously... you must read my mind with these posts!) haha. We really want to visit a city on the Rhine, since the areas in Germany differ so greatly.

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