This is a wonderful city to visit for a few days or as an overnight stop-off on the way further into Europe. Your first sight as you exit the station is of the magnificent gothic cathedral that dominates the Cologne skyline. It certainly made an impression on me the first time I visited in August 2014.
As well as the cathedral the Rhine river is a Cologne landmark, the wide expanse of water dividing the city, with the bridges that link the two halves affording wonderful views. The rail and footbridge that links the main station and Messe on the other side of the Rhine is festooned with padlocks attached there by young lovers declaring undying love.
There are plenty of bars and restaurants lining the river with outdoor seating, and between the river and the historic centre (Altstadt – old town- which is dominated by vast squares surrounded by bars) there are narrow alleyways which are great for getting lost in.You won’t be short of places to eat or drink in Cologne – indeed on my first visit there were continual torrential downpours so I had to take refuge in a few different pubs – oh well what can you do?
The local cuisine is very German and not what you would call healthy or refined. But my god it’s tasty, especially this currywurst (spiced German sausage) which I had outside one of the cafes by the river. It was delicious, despite looking…..well, wrong.
There’s a lot to recommend Cologne – accommodation is plentiful and suits any budget and it’s easily reachable by train from London with its location at the heart of Central Europe. Spending time there you’ll be charmed by the architecture, the nightlife and the people, who all seemed to enjoy life. And with all that beer and currywurst, why wouldn’t you?!