Cologne is the fourth-largest city to be found in Germany. As it also boasts more than ten million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, it is also one of the most populated cities in all of Europe. It is a major cultural centre of the Rhineland district and as Cologne straddles both sides of the eponymous Rhine River, some truly splendid views can be enjoyed when visiting here.
On average, it will take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to travel between London (all airports) and Cologne. Of course, this is assuming that one has chosen a direct flight. The primary city of arrival is Cologne International Airport (CGN). Connecting flights can take two hours or longer. Some of the major airlines that serve this route include Ryanair, EasyJet, Germanwings, KLM and Lufthansa.
Things to do in Cologne
An interesting attraction here is the Cologne Trade Fair. Here, a number of artistic and gamin exhibits such as Art Cologne, Photokina and GamesCom are held. Founded in 1922, it is held at various times throughout the year. It is best to check the website for more details. A few other attractions include Imm Cologne (a fair specialising in furniture), Intermot (a motorcycle-oriented event) and Anuga (a food and drink symposium).
Perhaps the most historic monument in the entire city is the famous Cologne Cathedral. Originally built in 1248, this massive Gothic structure reaches to the dazzling height of 157 metres in the air. Visitors can enter daily between the hours of 9 o’clock in the morning and 6 o’clock in the evening. Its two large spires will provide excellent photographic opportunities and it is worth spending a few hours gazing at the exterior architecture before eventually making your way inside. Regular masses are still held within this cathedral.
A great option if you are arriving to Cologne with your family is to visit the Cologne Zoological Garden. This site is found on 20 hectares of land and it was originally opened in 1860. Currently, this zoo and botanical garden is home to more than 700 species of flora and fauna. Additionally, approximately 7,000 different animals can be seen. Many of these are rather exotic such as the Great Hornbill and even a selection of tree kangaroos. One sight not to miss is a man-made rainforest that houses a number of free-range birds; ideal if you are looking to see unique species within their natural environment.