As my friend, a local, said to me: "you definitely know you are home when you gaze upon the Cologne cathedral". Being the fourth largest church in the world, its majestic Gothic architecture can be seen from various points throughout the city and is the first thing you see when entering Cologne by train....All 157 m (516 ft) of it!
Truly, an awe-inspiring sight! Not only does the cathedral offer a sweeping view of the city from its top, but it gives you the possibility to "feel the burn" while climbing 533 steps to get that rewarding view. (Not for the faint of heart).
How to visit the city:
Visiting the city can easily be done on foot as well as by public transit. Trams and buses are very convenient ways to get to and from the most-visited places as well as to give those tired feet a break once in a while. Grab a map and start exploring!
Best places to visit in Koln:
As I visited the city with my local friend, I did not end up searching for any attractions and relied on her to give me a tour of her beloved city. Here are some of the things I recommend for you guys to do while on your visit.
Cologne Cathedral: If there is one thing you must not miss on your stay, it's the city's cathedral. You can grab a tour of the cathedral by simply entering inside, where you can have a look at its numerous statues and stained glass windows. Or, for those who feel a bit more adventurous, I recommend walking up the towers to get a breathtaking view of the entire city from the top, at a height of 100 m. However, I must worn you the steps have been worn out by the numerous visitors, and the spiraling staircase does not offer much room for you to rest as it has both ascending and descending pathways.
Grab your camera and get this beauty in one shot!
Snap an artistic shot with the Hohenzollern Bridge:
Sit alongside the Rhine: and enjoy a breathtaking sunset view of the cathedral. Grab a loved one, a bottle of wine and some cheese, and have a moment to relax. At night, you can see many people gathering on the steps facing the cathedral, playing music, talking among friends and sharing this magical moment.
Check out the Hahnen Gate: an old piece of history in a modern city