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Day trips from Cologne

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Aug 2nd, 2015, 10:30 AM
  #1
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Day trips from Cologne

Hi all,

I will be spending 5 nights in Cologne beginning of December, and was thinking of doing 2 days + arrival day to go around Cologne and 2 other days to do some day trips. I was thinking of either Aachen, Bonn, Dusseldorf or somewhere else. What 2 day trips do you recommend? We love architecture, some interesting museums, Christmas Markets and some medieval touch. What 2 cities near Cologne do you recommend that meets our likes and doable in December? We will travel by train.

Thanks.
theabez is offline  
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Aug 2nd, 2015, 10:47 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Definitely Aachen, it's worth a look.

For a small medieval town -- and one that wasn't bombed during WWII, check out Hattingen. 90 minutes from Cologne (change in Essen).
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...estphalia.html

Walk around the pretty old town with its charming Christmas market that doesn't sell made in China tat. Have a cafe and pastry at Cafe Adele. For a small town, it has several nice restaurants if you want to have a meal.

http://www.ruhr-tourismus.de/en/citi...hattingen.html
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Aug 2nd, 2015, 01:12 PM
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Aachen has a wonderful Christmas market and a gorgeous cathedral dating from 800 A.D. where Charlemagne was crowned. More medieval is not possible. For a romantic small town, I recommend Monschau (which is close to Aachen) rather than Hattingen.

Another interesting option for a daytrip would be Münster. There is the city hall where the Westphalian Treaty was negotiated which ended the War of 30 Years. Also, the cathedral is great, and there are several museums in town.

Düsseldorf is a very short train ride from Cologne. There is a baroque old town with gaslamps, two beautiful baroque churches (in the Maxkirche, Felix Mendelsohn-Bartholdy - the "Wedding March" - played the organ), excellent modern art museums, the beautiful riverwalk and much modern architecture, including several Frank O. Gehry buildings in the renovated harbour.

Do not miss the Neanderthal Museum - a state-of-the-art museum of the history of mankind, not just with the bones of the Neanderthal Man but also with excellent reproductions of primitive scenes. The Neanderthal Valley is also worth a short hike, even in winter.
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Aug 2nd, 2015, 03:09 PM
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We were taken to Monschau a few times when we lived in Belgium. We didn't like it that much. And while it's closer to Aachen than Hattingen, my understanding is that the OP will be based in Cologne. Hattingen is much closer to Cologne than Monschau. Getting from Cologne to Monschau takes at least 2 hours 30 minutes with two changes as opposed to less than 90 minutes and one change (ICE/S-bahn).

I agree with Münster and we liked their Christmas market a lot more than Aachen's.
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Aug 2nd, 2015, 03:15 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
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On top of what's been said :
Brussels ?
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Aug 2nd, 2015, 11:00 PM
  #6
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Thanks for your suggestions. Munster looks nice, the only problem is that it takes roughly 2 hours to get there. I have to keep in mind that I will be 'wasting' 4 hours traveling, and in December when it gets dark early I will have to cut my trip short. Anywhere nearer to Cologne that is nice?
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Aug 3rd, 2015, 05:04 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
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Linz am Rhein is a lovely town south of Cologne on the Rhine (natch.) Less than 1 hour each way by direct train.

http://www.staedte-fotos.de/1024/lin...ttor-35747.jpg

http://www.brodyaga.com/pages/photos...aga.com%29.jpg

http://www.ich-geh-wandern.de/files/..._rhein-038.jpg

http://www.linz.de/pdf/Linz_Prospekt_2007.pdf

Across the river by ferry from Linz is Remagen and the WW II "Peace Museum" that tells the story of the battle for the "Bridge at Remagen" -

http://www.bruecke-remagen.de/index_en.htm

Here's what the museum looked like in 1945:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4xADFx_BgJ...at+Remagen.jpg

So it's train to Linz, ferry to Remagen, train back to Cologne from there using the west bank train lines.
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Aug 3rd, 2015, 05:05 AM
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Oops... I think that museum is closed when you'll be there... perhaps a stop in Bonn instead on the way to Linz.
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Aug 3rd, 2015, 07:32 AM
  #9
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Linz am Rhein looks quite nice from the pictures I'm seeing. Do you think it will be nice during December? And is it good for a day trip?
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Aug 3rd, 2015, 08:17 AM
  #10
 
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Linz will be freezing cold like anywhere else. But it's a small old-world town that's enjoyable for a walk around as long as you're properly attired, good for a Kaffee und Kuchen stop and maybe some photos, and the train ride is a pleasant one with good river scenery. You may wish to continue your train ride south of there into the Middle Rhine Valley for more great scenery - and possibly a visit to Marksburg Castle in Braubach, open 11-4, another adorable old-world town.

http://www.fotos.sc/img2/u/rheinland...ebirge__Al.jpg

http://www.romantischer-rhein.de/upl...ltstadt_02.jpg
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Aug 4th, 2015, 09:35 PM
  #11
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Do you know of any company in Cologne that organize day tours?
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