Cologne, Germany: Germany -
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
Globetrotting Planning Articles

Globetrotting Traveling Articles

Globetrotting Lodging Articles

Globetrotting Touring Articles
A Day Trip to Kaua'i from Aulani
A Day Trip to Maui from Aulani
A Day Trip to the Big Island from Aulani
Activities at Aulani
Bergen, Norway
Berlin, Germany
Blue Horizons
Burgundy, France
Camping in Florida
Chateau de Chambord
Cologne, Germany
Cruising Alaska
Discovering Dollywood
Discovering Peru
Discovering Peru
Disneyland Paris In A Day
Enjoying Life In Lyon
Full Circle Moments at the Disney Archives Exhibit at the Museum of Science & Industry
Hong Kong
Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Part 2
Island Hopping While at Aulani
Key Largo and Islamorada
Kings Dominion
Kyoto, Japan
Legendary Tibet
Lighthouses on Lake Huron
Mercedes-Benz Museum
Miami, Florida
Mont St. Michel
More of the Mediterranean
Morikami Museum
National Baseball Hall of Fame
Newfoundland, Canada
Nickelodeon Cruise
Our Very Own Amazing Race
Pin Trading
Planning a First Trip to Disneyland Paris - Part 2
Planning a First Trip to Disneyland Paris - Part 3
Planning Your First Visit to Disneyland Paris
Portland, Oregon
Quebec City
SeaWorld Orlando
St. Helier
The Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, Florida
The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride
The Jersey War Tunnels
The Walt Disney Family Museum
Those Tokyo Disney Shows
Tokyo DisneySea
Universal Orlando
Unlocking the Magic of the Florida Keys
Unlocking The Magic of The Florida Keys
Visiting NASA
Zoos of the World

Globetrotting Dining Articles
'AMA'AMA Restaurant at Aulani
Aunty's Character Breakfast at Makahiki
Dining In New York City
Dining In New York City
The 'Bounty of the Island' Buffet Dinner at Makahiki
Walt's American Restaurant

Globetrotting Making Magic Articles

Globetrotting General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
Read Comments on This Article

Cologne, Germany: Germany

International Travel photo
by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 07-29-2010

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!

Filed in Articles > International Travel > Touring  

When the history of a city dates back to the days of the Romans, you know there’s going to be a lot in it to explore. That's exactly the case with Cologne in the western part of Germany, which is one of the country's oldest cities.

The site was first used as a border post by the Romans, against various Germanic tribes, when the River Rhine, which runs alongside the city, was the line that divided the two from each other. Some of that Roman history can be seen in Cologne even today, with the main Hohe Strasse (High Street) running directly north to south through the city in a straight line. Today it's a bustling street, packed with major name stores. As one of the biggest cities in the region, it’s no surprise to learn that the place is packed with shoppers from Monday to Saturday. As we learnt during our stay in Germany, much of the country closes down on a Sunday, which was an interesting contrast to what we’re used to at home in the United Kingdom or from when we visit the United States.

Anyone heading to Cologne will invariably head for one major attraction at some point during their stay and that’s the striking cathedral. It’s Germany’s most complex Gothic structure and, as soon as we laid eyes on it, we couldn’t help but think how much it reminded us of Gaudi’s masterpiece, Barcelona's Sagrada Familia, where construction has been ongoing for more than a hundred years. The story’s a similar one here, with the foundation stone being laid in 1248 and work then continuing for the next 300 years.

Unbelievably, even after all that time, it still wasn’t finished. Completion had to wait until 1880, when the original Gothic designs were discovered and the cathedral was finally completed. It was, at this point, that the large towers, which are such a focal point of the Cologne skyline today, were added to the building.

Koln - Cathedral photo
Koln - Cathedral

The stunning Koln (Cologne) Cathedral. - photo by chezp

You look at the cathedral today and the first thing that strikes you is the colour of the building. It's an interesting mix of both white and black stone and we couldn't fathom out, no matter how long we looked at this impressive building, whether it was two different types of stone or whether the colouring was down to pollution over the years. Whenever we thought we'd decided one way or the other, we'd look again and not be so sure.

The interior is just as beautiful, although sadly we weren’t able to see everything during our visit, as there were services taking place when we visited. Everywhere you look, you get the feeling of having just stepped back in time, with the Gothic stalls that date from the early 1300s and the stained glass windows, which were constructed in the 14th century. We stepped inside late in the day and the sun made beautiful colourful images through them.

As with most churches, it was a refreshingly peaceful place, but the nicest thing was that the peace continued outside the cathedral. All too often, major churches are surrounded by traffic, but fortunately that’s something they’ve given some thought to in Cologne and the whole area outside is pedestrianised. In fact, a huge chunk of the city is traffic free, which gives the place a lovely feel.

That feel helps when you get to the old town area. Without cars travelling around, it’s so much easier to appreciate the architecture and history here. Amongst the buildings that can be found here are the Rathaus (town hall), which was started in 1330, the Gurzenich, a beautiful Gothic building with a huge celebration hall. Nearby is the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum Foundation Corboud, named after Ferdinand Franz Wallraf, who bequeathed his entire art collection to the city in 1821.

However, during our visit, art of a very different kind was on my mind. As we drove into the city, I spotted the Lindt chocolate museum and instantly I knew that was where I wanted to go. Unsurprisingly, it’s a popular place, with lots of families there for the exhibits and tour, looking at how chocolate is made, including a greenhouse full of cacao trees, and how chocolate's popularity grew over the years. Other exhibits take you through how chocolate was marketed in years gone by, but perhaps the best section is the chocolate production line, which gives you the chance to see how it’s made. The processes that it goes through are fascinating and we lingered a long time in here, just taking it all in.

The chocolate museum is located some distance from the city, but there’s a convenient mini train that runs from there to the cathedral. Considering it’s a good mile from the city centre, the train helps to take the weight off your feet. The rail line also runs up to the Botanical Gardens and, after hearing about how beautiful they were looking, with all the spring flowers coming into bloom, we headed there to check it out for ourselves. We were a little early in the season, but it’s a great place to visit, especially for those on a budget, as there’s no entry charge. The greenhouses here house special exhibits and we were lucky enough to experience a selection of camellias, amongst the biggest collections in Germany.

Sadly, we weren’t able to allocate as much time to Cologne as it deserved, but during our whistle stop tour, we were certainly able to see enough to know that it’s a beautiful and thriving city and well worth a visit.

Koln - Lindt chocolate museum photo
Koln - Lindt chocolate museum

One of the workers in the Lindt chocolate museum in Koln (Cologne). - photo by chezp

About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

Related Links:
Enjoying the Japan Pavilion at Epcot - A World Showcase Favorite last updated 2/24/2011
The Parades of the Magic Kingdom - A Plethora of Processions last updated 01/22/2009
Epcot's World Showcase - Pavilions vs. The "Real" World last updated 01/29/2009
Recent Changes to Disneyland - Part 1 last updated 02/12/2009
The Seas With Nemo And Friends - In Love With The Living Seas last updated 4/23/2009

Reader Comments:

View all comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 07-29-2010 - Article #504 

Read additional articles from

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Globetrotting: General Travel Planning
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Planning a trip around the globe, or just away for the weekend? Ask questions and share experiences! Forum Sponsored by

Winnipeg, Canada
by Ashli
9 Dec 2014 at 2:51pm
Now that the draw for the Women's World Cup 2015 has happened, I know I'll be spending 7-10 days in Winnipeg next June. Anyone been there before and...
(click title above to view replies)

Does anyone take a vacation to somewhere just because flights are cheap?
by Huntermom
26 Nov 2014 at 8:40am
A client just told me she was able to get fares to INdia from Boston for $700./00 round trip. It makes me want to plan a ytrip even though I...
(click title above to view replies)

North West- any must see's or travel tips?
by B.M.
23 Nov 2014 at 1:40pm
This coming summer, we will be traveling to the North West. I've been planning this trip for quite some time.... and now the time has come to...
(click title above to view replies)

Should I consider it?
by Huntermom
19 Nov 2014 at 5:20pm
My brother in law will be speaking at a conference in China this year. My sister will be going along with him and they invited me to join them. I...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 5467

PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.