Tuesday, 24 September 2013

One Day in Cologne

We're leaving here in exactly a week, and after 4 months of calling it home, it's a bitter-sweet parting. Although we haven't covered most of the map, and haven't been to many pubs... we've come to know a few places and have our favourites. So, for today's Travel Tuesday (thanks Bonnie and Belinda!), I'm going to go through what I'd do if I were here for a day :) 

As an early riser, I'd try get here at about 9am - the streets will still be quiet, depending on the day, and I'd have a whole day to explore. 

9am: arrive at the Hauptbahnhof. Wander through the station, being tempted by bakeries and all sorts of delicious shops. There's a chocolate confisserie to avoid, as well as Goldbaren sweets! But, there's time later!

9:20: walk out the station and see the Cathedral looming. Snap some photos and head up the stairs past the punks and young lovers. Stand at the door and look up, feel overwhelmed. Go into the cathedral and walk around. Notice the beautiful stained glass windows and the one done by Gerhard Richter - it's an abstract design, basically just little squares and the cause of much controversy. Although he is one of the most expensive artists, he waived the fee - but the construction still cost 37 000 euros. Depending on the day, you might get to hear the bells ring - the bell of St Peter is the biggest free swinging bell in the world! 

9:50: go out the doors and to the left, take the stairs down and prepare to go up the tower. The entrance is 3euros each, and the view and sweat is worth it. The 509 stairs are narrow and spiral, so you may get dizzy, but there are door ways where one can stand to the side and catch ones breath. And there's plenty of graffiti to entertain. 

10:05: arrive at the top. (I have no idea how long it took us to get up there...) Enjoy the panoramic view of the city! 


10:45: get back down and stagger wobble walk to a nearby bakery to get something delicious (nougat and almond bretzeln are worth it!) and take a seat at the fountain. Feel free to put your feet in the water, it's not prohibited :D Relax and enjoy the sun, if there is some. 


11:20 walk past the Roman Germanisch museum and peek through the windows at the ancient artifacts. Amazing history in there! Head down the stairs and walk on some 'authentic Roman cobblestones'.
Wander along and enjoy the walk down the Rhein. Walk towards the Fish Wives fountain and the colourful houses, and up through the allys to the Aldstadt. 
Walk past the little restaurants and brauhauses, see the Tower of the town hall, across the square, to Heumarkt Ubahn. Take the Ubahn to Rudolphplatz. 

12:30: Arrive at Rudolphplatz and see the Hahnentor - a part of the old Roman wall that used to surround the city. There might also be a fleamarket here, depending on the day. 

12:45: Find a restaurant here to eat lunch. A restaurant is easy to find and I haven't been to enough to have favourites. 

14:00: Pay the waiter and head back to the Ubahn. Take the tram to Zoo/Flora. Go to the Botanical garden at the zoo, it's free entrance and looks pretty - we didn't get a chance to go there! 

14:45: Go across the road to the Seilbahn. 4euros50 gets you a one-way ride. Take the cable car over the Rhein and enjoy the view. Try not to freak out. (Yes, we did this yesterday, I'll tell you more on Friday!)

15:00: arrive in the Rhein Park. Enjoy the green grass and flowers for a while, then head towards the Rhein. Walk along the river past the Tanzbrunnen. Keep a lookout for a little cart that sells pretty good icecream for a reasonable price. 

16:00: Find the stairs up onto the Deutz Bridge. By walking up this side, there are fewer love locks, but by the first train-traffic-lights keep a lookout for our love lock. <3 (Yes, we finally did it yesterday too!)

16:30: take the stairs down on the other side, and walk back towards the Cathedral. Get a Bretzel from a bakery in the train station, then take a seat outside the cathedral on the steps. Watch people meeting friends, taking photos in front of the Cathedral, and offer to take some peoples' photos for them. 


17:00: Get a Currywurst from the station and find the platform. Munch the currywurst as the train arrives. Hop on and wave goodbye. 

24 comments:

  1. Aww, I love your lock! Precious! :) I love the idea of showing what you'd do in one day!

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    1. Thanks! Malcolm lovingly engraved it :)

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  2. Love the lock!! How special! What a beautiful city you've called home!! Enjoy your last few days!!

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    1. Thanks! We're doing our best to! :)

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  3. Such a lovely post, Cologne is such a beautiful place, I have only been there twice but would love to go back, especially for the Christmas markets and the Cathedral is such an amazing sight to see as soon as you step off the train.
    Giving away my favourite travel blog over on the blog and just popping over from Travel Tuesday

    Laura x
    www.sidestreetstyle.com

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    1. Thank you! I really hope we can come back for the Christmas markets too!

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  4. Aw this makes me happy because it's almost exactly how Dan and I spent our day trip in Cologne, so we know we did it right ;)

    How sad you are leaving in a week, I hope that everything is running smoothly in the lead up to it :)

    Kate | Diaries of an Essex Girl

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    1. Haha, well you can't really go wrong, and there is so much to see!
      Thanks!

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  5. Indeed, sounds a great tour! nice post, written well with minute details..the city views looking amazing..
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
    Regards
    my new post.
    Enjoy the visit to the Mythical Junagadh Museum.

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    1. Thank you for coming by! The view really is amazing from the Cathedral!

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  6. 509 stairs?? That's quite a little workout!! But this looks like such a cool place you've been able to enjoy exploring for a few months!

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    1. Yep, it's quite a walk! Fortunately there is a stop towards the top where one can sit before carrying on up :D It's been such a fun place to explore!

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  7. love your love lock, love that maxi dress. a new adventure is coming soon:)

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    1. Thank you! Yes! I feel like I should make a trailer! ;)

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  8. Looks like you had a good time in Cologne. I climbed up those same stairs a few years ago. It was a workout!
    http://liveitinerantly.com

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    1. Oh yes, I was definitely sweating on the way up, and I was SO dizzy coming down!

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  9. What a wonderful way to spend a day Koln. Some of my fondest memories of living in Germany was taking the train from Neuss down to Koln where my host sister and I would spend the day in that very same square, sitting on the steps of the Cathedral chatting away while we each traded pieces of our different baked goodies. Oh, how I miss those bakeries !

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    1. Aww I'm glad I could bring back some memories! The cathedral steps are a great place for sitting and chatting, and trading pieces of whatever from a bakery is my favourite! :D

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  10. what a day! such a lovely way to memorialize the city before you leave :)

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  11. Erica, you are so adorable!! Love the pic of you in the fountain. Your post makes me wish we would have spent some more time in Koln besides just seeing the great cathedral. Where are you guys off to now, back home?

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    1. Haha, thank you! That fountain is one of my favourite spots on a hot day, and they keep it really nice and clean which is great! Nope, we're moving to a town about 180km away for Malcolm to start his PhD, so we'll be based there for about the next 3 years :)

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  12. Oh my goodness, how fun!! what a beautiful place to visit! I need to look into Cologne for the future!

    Elena
    elle-alice.blogspot.com

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    1. Cologne really is a beautiful place - it has its grungy city spots,but some really pretty and interesting ones too :)

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