Hey guys!

I thought I'd share what I got up to during my 72 hour stay in Cologne, Germany. Once again, the other half won at Christmas with my 3 day break to Cologne, Germany. Including flights and a nice Air Bnb apartment for the weekend with I'll also share below.

Cologne (or Köln in German) is a very bustling city, it's the 4th biggest in Germany and you really need to add it to your 'to do' list of citys in visit in Europe.

We landed our Easyjet flight straight into the Cologne Bon airport - the tiny airport was a bit of a nightmare to get through security due to the small venue and a lot of planes landing, but it's worth the queue I promise. We were able to get the train straight from the airport, through central Cologne to Ehrenfeld - which was within a 15 minute walking distance from our Air BnB.

Where we stayed

Air BnB is a great alternative to hotels, We first used Air BnB on our trip to Portugal and we've never looked back. Michael picked an Entire Flat in Ehrenfeld. Named the coolest quarter in Cologne. It's a bright and vibrant area that is well worth discovering. Full of interesting boutiques, mouth watering restaurants and an easily accessible tram service that can take you anywhere around the city.

I loved having the comforts of home but in another city. Simple to follow instructions of how to get to the property and where we would find our keys. The apartment is located on a beautiful little side street with a little bar, launderettes and plenty of cafe's just around the corner.

The flat was based in a small apartment block on the ground floor, which over looked a beautiful backgarden (which we couldn't quite figure out how to get out to)  The room was small but it had everything we needed, and more! Even the bed was mechanically adjustable!

(Photos are from the Air BnB page)
Check out the listing here - Oasis of peace in the middle of life.


What to do

You can pick up plenty of To-Do guides for Cologne all over the city and find the standard tourist things to do around the city. These include the Cologne Cathedral - Which is amazing and you should definitely go visit!
But when you get deep into the city and explore you'll find a number of things that you won't find in tourist guides.

Here's a list of everything we managed to squeeze into a few days in this wonderful city!

The Dom Cathedral

I thought I'd start with the main attraction. The Dom Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral.  Building started in 1248-1473, it was then complete destroyed during World War II, rebuilt in the 1950s up until present day. They were still doing renovation work to the spires while we visited. It's also currently the tallest twin-spired Church coming in at 157m (515ft) tall.

The stunning architecture taking influence from the German Catholicism and Gothic tradition. The view inside includes beautiful mosaic flooring which pictures the history of archdiocese showing the different names and coasts of arms of a number of Cologne's bishops and archbishops, The Christian world order and humankind, as well as the cosmos.
Along with stain glass windows that bounce their stunning colours across the cathedral walls, it's a must see.

In addition to this, the Cathedral also offers a unique panoramic for those brave (and fit) enough to walk the 533 steep stone steps of the spiral staircase to reach the viewing platform around 100m above the ground.  If you're not the fittest, don't worry; There are plenty of places you can stop, There's a floor half way up that houses eleven bells,  with Fat Peter (the worlds biggest bell!) in the middle. Pretty cool to see but also an excuse for a rest.
The stair case is also very narrow so you'll have plenty of resting time while waiting for those coming down too.

Visiting the inside of the cathedral is completely free, to climb the steps is 4 euro, half price if you have a student card though.

Papa Joe's Jazzlokal

By far our favorite place during the trip. Located in the town center, from the moment we walked through the door we were hocked! Papa Joe's has live jazz every night of the week from the traditional to the slightly more modern jazz there is something for everyone. It's packed regulary with a mix of ages. Beers are quite expensive and still in the tiny glasses we see around Cologne but still good fun. It's free to get in and also free peanuts all around the joint. There's nothing quite like it! 5/5 from me.

Click here for the Papa Joe's Website.

Schokoladen Museum Koln

Are you a chocolate lover? (silly question) Then you're in luck! Cologne is home to the Lindt Chocolate museum, it's like something out of willy wonder. The modern architecture is built to resemble a ship. You can't miss it, just follow the River Rhine on the right hand side. An adult ticker is 9 euros.  It even comes equipped with a working 3 meter tall chocolate fountain and plenty of free samples while you discover the story behind how chocolate has been created since the very beginnings and also how it's made today in the Lindt factories. You can even pay to have a bespoke chocolate made for yourself on the top level with all the things that you like.

Love Lock Bridge

love padlocks 044

Also know as the Hohenzollern bridge that goes over the Rhine river,  you'll find a 400 meters long wall of locks filled with names and pictures of couples who have declared their love in the city. There's no a centimeter free on the cathedral side of the bridge, some smaller gaps as you approach the end of the bridge. If there isn't any space - don't worry, the govenerment take the locks down every once in a while because it becomes too heavy and dangerous. Which means we can all start again!

Koln Triangle

For those of you that still want to see Cologne from above, but don't fancy the 533 step work out. You'd want to go to the Koln Triangle. Just walk over the Love Lock Bridge and it's to the right, you can't really miss it. It's 3 Euros per person. Not a single step in sight just take the elevator and you're done. Another stunning panoramic perspective of this beautiful city!

Cycle around the city

If you're looking for an inexpensive way to get around the city (Not that the tram line isn't cheap or effective) there are plenty of places to go and rent a bike for the day. We travelling to the main attractions via bike as Cologne has great cycle routes throughout the city. The day the River Rhine flooded we were able to cycle through the over flow along the path without a care in the world. Plenty of places to safely secure the bike while we had a drink or two and I promise you will love it!

Are you going to add Cologne to your list of places to see in Europe?