#urbanCGN is a yearlong campaign operated by the Cologne Tourism Board with the hope of showing potential visitors that there is much more to this fantastic city than its iconic Gothic cathedral and the romantic River Rhine which flows through its heart. Urban life in Cologne consists of everything from the latest gaming trend to sweep the globe, Pokémon Go, to the many beer gardens that provide the perfect place to quaff a Kölsch in the summer.
But what are some of the aspects #urbanCGN aims to promote?
German food is seldom given the attention it deserves, but there is a range of great dishes that are worth trying. You could describe the cuisine in the Rhineland as hearty, with meat (most commonly pork) being accompanied by dumplings, egg noodles and as much sauerkraut as you can manage.
It’s not just German food on offer in Cologne, though, as this cosmopolitan city can boast culinary delights from all over the world including pizza from 450°, hamburgers and steaks from the Hard Rock Café and crêpes from the many street stalls dotted around. If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to stop by one of the various bakeries and coffee shops that are a big part of Cologne culture.
Cologne is great for art in general (check out galleries such as Kolumba and Boisserée) but there are many good spots to see some interesting street art. Large murals can be found in Ehrenfeld, in the north-west of the city, or Mulheim, across the Rhine in Cologne’s north-east, whilst smaller pieces adorn more central parts, such as the area around Rudolfplatz. Works from international names like Sepe & Chazme and Tika are joined by those from local artists in a city that has become Germany’s answer to Bristol in the street art scene.
There are museums to suit everyone in Cologne, from those that celebrate the city’s Roman past to a heaven on earth for chocolate lovers. The Museum Ludwig, featuring a wide range of modern art pieces, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2016 and is hosting a number of special exhibits to celebrate. One of these is entitled ‘Home Visit’ and involves modern art being showcased in various people’s homes around the city. The Museum Ludwig and the Romano-Germanic Museum are both located near the cathedral, whilst the charming chocolate train can take you to the banks of the Rhine to discover the journey cocoa beans go on at the Lindt Chocolate Museum.
Without doubt, the most famous festival held in Cologne every year is Carnival. Just before Lent, the residents splurge themselves on alcohol, sweets and general frivolity in a week-long celebration that showcases the excellent sense of humour the city has. There are plenty more festivals happening throughout the year, though, including Gamescon, Photokina and the Christmas markets that light up the streets each December.
The intangible concept of Veedelskultur is something that you will only understand if you are a resident of Cologne. It refers to the pride and passion that each person has for their own neighbourhood (or veedel) and the way they can identify with the community they are part of. You may not be able to feel it yourself but you can experience it vicariously when you speak to any of the locals.
Contact us today to start planning your own tailor-made Cologne city break.