Weekend in Cologne

Nov 29th, 2004, 10:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Weekend in Cologne

My husband and I are traveling to Cologne, Germany for the weekend, and would like recommendations on sights, restaurants and off-the-beaten path activities.... We already know about the cathedral, and are looking forward to the x-mas markets. Also - any suggestions on where to go for a short day trip out side of Cologne? Thanks.
mlriggio is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 10:58 AM
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Another poster here, yk, suggested that I visit Beethoven Haus in Bonn when I was on my way to Cologne. It's an interesting place if you're interested in music.

The Rhine region is less than two hours away by train, but I don't know what it's like in December.
111op is offline  
Nov 30th, 2004, 09:09 AM
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Don't know if you have any interest in Nazi stuff, but there is a museum at the site of a former Gestapo holding cellar in Cologne called EL-DE-Haus, address An der Rechtschule, all in german, but still very moving. In the basement are the original holding cells of prisoners with graffiti intact. Upper floors with many revolving exhibits. Open Sat and Sun 11 am to 6 pm. Also worth a visit in Cologne in the Kaethe Kollwitz Museum of Pacifism, with her heart-wrenching anti-war sculptures. Additionally, the chocolate museum along the Rhein River is a 'treat' as well.
As 111op also stated, about an hour away (by train, less by car), the Mosel River splits westward. Winningen is a nice little town with wine-tasting cafes. Cochem is about an hour further.
Between the two is the town of Moselkern and an absolutely terrific castle for touring...unfortunately, I am absolutely blanking on the name of this castle, but I'm sure other readers can name it for you...its absolutely worth a visit and very local for you.
rach is offline  
Nov 30th, 2004, 09:29 AM
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Can I say absolutely an more frequently?
Burg Eltz is the castle above Moselkern, but unfortunately, it closes November 1st.
Also closeby(I would say, less than 90 minutes or so), but on the Lahn River, which branches EASTWARD from the Rhein is another great castle, Marksburg, in the town of Braubach. THIS castle IS open daily from November through Easter from 11 am till 4pm. You can do a net search for pics. Enjoy.
rach is offline  
Nov 30th, 2004, 09:42 AM
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We were in Cologne in October and were very disappointed to see one big construction site instead of an historical city. I really hope all the construction works will be finished by the time you get there.
MyriamC is online now  
Dec 6th, 2004, 03:08 PM
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Also recommend the Elde Haus for "off-the-beaten-path" activities - centrally located near Apellhofplatz, close to the city museum. The chocolate museum, right on the river, is also interesting & tells you about the history of cocoa & chocolate and features a functioning chocolate line (and they let you sample!).

Day trips: Bonn is OK, with the Beethoven Haus, and a great modern art museum (if you're into that). Also a cool museum on German history after 1945.

What I really recommend, though, is Ausgustusburg castle, right on the regional train line between Cologne & Bonn. Great old palace in true Versailles-style, UNESCO world heritage, great gardens (in the summer at least), and easy to get to (200 yards from the train station at Bruehl. Most, if not all, regional trains will stop there - 20 mins outside of Cologne.
chtiet is offline  
Dec 15th, 2004, 01:47 PM
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We did Cologne three weeks ago, and stayed three nights. It is a fantastic City. On the back of a recommendation on the Fodor Board, we made the mistake of side tripping to Dusseldorf (half an hour away by train). This left us with less time for Cologne, which is a wonderful City (with or without the markets). We had a lovely short ferry trip down the Rhine and dined in some fabulous places (let me know if you want some recommendations).
I think you will really enjoy the trip; it was my first time in Germany and not that excited to go, but now I can't wait to return.
stevelyon is offline  
Aug 17th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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I am planning a quick trip to Cologne in Nov. I know this may sound strange, but does anyone know of any local supermarkets or food shoppes within the city? My husband has come to love the Sonnen Basserman Sauerbraten meal that I usually buy in Berlin & bring back to the states. I was hoping to find them on this trip to Cologne and be able to pick up 5 or 6. Thank you
mauld is offline  
Aug 17th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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Mauld - Where in Cologne will you be staying?
ngodeia is offline  
Aug 18th, 2006, 07:05 AM
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I'm currently booked at the Hyatt (across the river), but am thinkng of changing to the 4Points. I'm really just looking for a decent sized grocery store, and I don't mind walking or taking public transportation. Any suggestions would be welcome
mauld is offline  
Aug 21st, 2006, 02:06 AM
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mauld -

The one I go to most regularly is called Standa (it's an Italian chain bought by a German group, so German products are well represented). It is in the basement of the DuMont Carre center. I don't know if it has what you're looking for, but I find the selection there quite big compared to other in-town supermarkets.

Assuming you are like most tourists, you will no doubt end up in Neumarkt, the shopping area. Look up and try to locate a building with an upside-down ice-cream cone decorating its roof(it's big and it looks like ice-cream is melting down the building). I believe this is called the Neumarkt Gallerie.

1. Go in and down to the basement, head toward where the restaurants/fast food places are (meaning away from the Neumarkt train/tram station).

2. You will come to a sitting area for the restaurants, walk through it and there is a PLUS supermarket. This is a small place with not-so-good a selection, but you can give it a try.

3. If PLUS doesn't work out, take a left when you come out of PLUS (it is really the only way you can go) and keep walking. You'll pass by little dry-cleaners, shops, etc. The corridor ends at the basement entrance of the Karstadt department store. This is where the Karstadt grocery store is. You can take a look here.

4. If Karstadt doesn't have it, then go up to the ground floor of the department store and look for the luggage department. Go out through the entrance closest to the luggage department. The building directly across from you is the DuMont Carre. Standa supermarket is in the basement.

Remember shops and supermarkets are closed on Sundays.

Hope this helps and the directions are not too confusing.
ngodeia is offline  
Aug 21st, 2006, 07:29 AM
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If you want sights close to Cologne both Schloss Burg and the Altenberger Dom are easy to reach (east of Koeln). You can check the websites for opening dates/times:


RufusTFirefly is offline  
Aug 21st, 2006, 10:26 AM
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ngodeia-- wow! Thanks for all the suggestions. Aside from looking for that particular item for my husband, I really do enjoy walking around local food stores (I always try to bring back 'foreign' foods like Whiskas for my cats. I've got to keep trying to expand their food horizons!!) I also find them to be a great spot for buying wine, coke, snacks etc to bring back to my hotel--much better than the hotels minibar, or gift shoppes.
mauld is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 01:01 AM
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Speaking of cat treats ... based on an unscientific survey, American cats love German cat treats (assuming your cats are American). My cats can't get enough of them. They're long and thin (kind of like beef jerky but soft) and are individually packaged. The brand doesn't really matter. I usually bring some for my friends' cats back in the U.S. when I go visit. They all love it! You'll be able to find them in any supermarket.
ngodeia is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 01:27 AM
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When we were in Cologne a couple of weeks ago, we came across a store in the walking zone called Globetrotter. If you are interested in outdoor gear then this is the place. It has a pool on the ground floor for trying out canoes and kayaks, a rain room for testing rain gear, a cold room with ice beds and FLIR thermal radar for checking out thermal properties of clothing and sleeping bags, ponds with frogs and fish projected on the floor and probably the best selection of outdoor gear and clothing I've ever seen. A very fun store to walk through!
sardog10 is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 01:54 AM
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There are people living in Köln (Cologne) for all their lifetime. So, there is enough to be seen or done for a weekend´s time: http://www.koeln.de/tourismus/

My favourite sigt is the ensemble of Hauptbahnhof, Domplatte and Dom (Central Station, Cathedral yard and Cathedral). Here, you have it in a nutshell, tranquility and move. Don´t miss the cathedral, but have also a look to the station´s hall, an early iron construction.

There is the city to walk around - there even is a tour referring to Cologne breweries and inns - if you can read German, here you are: http://www.koelner-brauhaus-wanderweg.de/

There is much more, check out the guides as Fodor´s and Frommers´. Also shopping galore, no need to got to Düsseldorf (there is a sort of rivalry between these towns) and also some big and great bookstores.

And if you are, nevertheless, tired of all this, you can go by streetcar to Bonn, the former capital, now a calm university town where you can have a nice walk in the town and at the bank of river Rhein (or Rhine).

hhildebrandt is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 09:29 AM
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Buchhandlungen in Köln - bookstores in Cologne

At the Hauptbahnhof you find three stores of the Ludwig chain, an International Press Center, a bookstore and a press shop with postal service - open seven days a week.

On Schildergasse, a pedestrian street, there is a Mayer´sche Buchhandlung.

At Neumarkt-Galerie, another Mayer´sche Buchhandlung

At Neumarkt, a Thalia bookstore. There even is a small café to regain strength in front of all these books.

At Ehrenstraße 4, you find Buchhandlung Walther König - or here: http://www.buchhandlung-walther-koenig.de

At Hahnenstraße near Neumarkt, you find Winges Antiqariat (old books)

At Alter Markt, you find the Altstadt Antiquariat.

At Ritterstrasse, you find pin-up comics, a store selling comics- or see here: http://www.pinupcomic.de/index.htm
hhildebrandt is offline  

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