Affordable things to do in Cologne

Cologne is a vibrant city that offers plenty of activities and attractions that won’t break the bank. From visiting the cathedral to exploring the city’s neighbourhoods, here are some ideas to get you started.

1- Visit the Cologne Cathedral

There are three things you need to do as soon as you reach Cologne.

  • Look for apartments in Cologne
  • Choose an apartment and complete Anmeldung
  • Visit the Cologne Cathedral

Visiting the Cologne Cathedral (and we don’t mean seeing it from outside) is a sort of ritual of passage for new residents in Cologne. So if you’re new in Cologne, you must add this 12th century cathedral to your bucket list. 

Cologne’s imposing Gothic cathedral is one of Germany’s most beloved landmarks. Located on the banks of the Rhine River, the cathedral has been a symbol of the city for centuries. Construction on the cathedral began in 1248, and it was completed in 1880. The cathedral is home to many priceless artefacts, including the Shrine of the Three Kings, which is said to contain the remains of the biblical wise men. The cathedral also houses one of Europe’s largest organs, with more than 17,000 pipes. Visitors can climb to the top of the cathedral’s towers for breathtaking views of the city below. With its fascinating history and stunning architecture, it’s no wonder that the Cologne cathedral is one of Germany’s most popular tourist destinations.

2- Check out the famous brauhauses in Old Town

Cologne is a city famous for its Brauhauses, or breweries. These traditional German eateries are known for their hearty German food and local beer. Visitors to Cologne can find Brauhauses in nearly every neighborhood, each with its own unique atmosphere. If you’re looking for a lively experience, the Old Town district is home to several popular Brauhauses that are always filled with people enjoying the good food and drink. Those looking for a more relaxed setting can find quieter Brauhauses on the outskirts of the city. No matter what kind of experience you’re looking for, there’s sure to be a Brauhaus in Cologne that’s perfect for you.

We’d recommend Peters Brahaus in Altermarkt as it is one of the oldest breweries in the city dating back to the 16th century. Delicious food, great beer and amazing vibes! You’ll not be disappointed. Although it’s a traditional German restaurant, you’ll also find some yummy vegetarian and vegan options.

3- Do a Rhine river cruise

A Rhine cruise is a great way to see Cologne, Germany. The city is located on the Rhine River, and there are many cruises that depart from the city centre. The cruises typically last around an hour, and they provide a great way to see the sights of Cologne. Bigger cruise ships also include stops at other cities along the Rhine, such as Dusseldorf and Bonn. There are also a number of companies that offer private charters for groups. A Rhine cruise is a great way to see the city from a different perspective, and it’s a great way to relax and take in the scenery. The best thing is that it is completely affordable. An adult ticket through the famous Koln Dusseldorfer company costs only 14 Euros.

4- Picnic along the Rhine

After a morning of exploring the historic old town of Cologne, there’s nothing better than finding a spot along the Rhine for a picnic lunch. The riverside is lined with grassy parks, perfect for spreading out a blanket and enjoying some local cheese and sausage. If you don’t have time to prepare your own food, there are plenty of vendors selling pre-made sandwiches, salads, and snacks. And of course, no picnic is complete without a bottle of chilled Kolsch (Cologne’s very own beer). So grab some friends, find a sunny spot, and enjoy a leisurely afternoon along the Rhine.

5- Explore Belgische Viertel neighbourhood in Cologne

The Belgische Viertel, or Belgian Quarter, is one of the most vibrant and happening neighbourhoods in Cologne. It’s close to the Cologne university and many students choose to rent apartments here. It’s known for its lively bar and nightlife scene, as well as its abundance of shops and restaurants. The neighbourhood is also home to a number of art galleries, making it the perfect place to stroll around and soak up some culture. If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a night out or simply spend a leisurely afternoon browsing the shops, the Belgische Viertel is definitely the place to be.

PRO TIP: Btw, if you’re looking for accommodation in Cologne, we highly recommend Homelike. The apartments are fully furnished and come with WiFi and utilities already set up. If you’re new in Germany and don’t speak German, this is an excellent option for you. No landlords who decline non German speakers, no hassles, no need to interact with internet and electricity service providers who may hang up on you for not speaking German.

6- Head to Chocolat Grand Cafe

Chocolat Grand Cafe Cologne is a must-visit for anyone with a sweet tooth. The cafe is located in the historic centre of Cologne and is part of the famous Chocolate Museum complex. Itt offers a wide range of chocolate-based desserts and drinks. The menu features both classics and creative twists on traditional recipes, and there is something to suit every taste. The cafe also has a beautiful terrace overlooking the Rhine, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a sweet treat on a warm day. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a leisurely dessert, Chocolat Grand Cafe Cologne is sure to hit the spot.

7- Check out Cologne’s museums

No trip to Cologne would be complete without a visit to one of the city’s many museums. From world-renowned art collections to interactive history exhibits, there is something for everyone. Here are just a few of the must-see museums in Cologne:

The Ludwig Museum is one of the most popular museums in the city, and for good reason. The museum houses an impressive collection of modern art, including works by Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, and Jackson Pollock. In addition, the museum frequently hosts special exhibitions, so there is always something new to see.

For a look at Cologne’s rich history, be sure to visit the Romano-Germanic Museum. The museum explores the Roman roots of the city, as well as its development through the Middle Ages and into the modern era. Highlights include an extensive collection of Roman artefacts and a scale model of Cologne during the height of the Roman Empire.

The chocolate museum is another must-see for any visitor to Cologne. The museum tells the history of chocolate production in Germany, from its early beginnings to its modern incarnation. Visitors can also see how chocolate is made and sample some of the delicious products produced by local chocolatiers.