9 Reasons Cologne Is The Perfect German City For A Weekend Break

October 11, 2018

Back in August, Jordan and I took a trip to Cologne to celebrate his birthday. It was my third visit to Germany, and every time I go, I vow to explore more of such a beautiful and diverse country. I only knew of a couple of people who had visited before, so I was intrigued by what to expect as the cities I have been to already (Hamburg and Berlin) have been so varied.

The thing that struck me about Cologne was how vast it was: from the gorgeous pastel buildings in the old town to the glass structures on the banks of the river Rhine, it really is a thriving, German city.

Today I wanted to share my thoughts on why Cologne is so perfect for a weekend city break.

Flight Time

From Manchester, our flight time to Cologne was just over an hour, which, considering it can take that long to drive to the other side of the city, is pretty good going. The flight times as well were early in the morning which meant by the time we landed we had the whole day to explore. Our flight home also got us in at a reasonable hour which meant that we only needed the morning off work which is perfect if you need to watch your annual leave.


There is something to be said for a city that you can walk around, get lost down the side streets, but not get blisters in, and Cologne is just that. From our hotel (which was just on the outskirts of the centre) it took us around 15 minutes to walk to all the bars and restaurants, and the river was about a 10-minute stroll. However, the German public system network is incredible also, if you do find a need for it.

Loads To Do

Not only is Cologne quite compact when it comes to distance, but there is so much to do from a boat trip down the river Rhine to visiting the Lindt chocolate factory or a wander around the old town. There is also the gorgeous gothic-style cathedral which stands tall in the centre, and the Hohenzollern bridge (the one with all the padlocks on) which leads you to the other side of the city and the Rheinpark, where you can get a cable car to take in the views. Also, if you visit during summer, there are a few fountains and streams that you can cool down in, which was very welcome in the August heat.


When people think of food in Germany, it sometimes centres around meat, but there were so many different types of restaurants from Greek to Mexican and everything in between, and loads of Vegetarian and Vegan cafes too: We had a delicious Thai meal and a traditional German lunch whilst we were there. And if you’re after something sweet, there are loads of ‘Eiscafes’ about, with loads of delicious ice cream flavours.


Good Value For Money

We booked our flights quite far in advance with it being for a birthday, and as an avid Ryanair customer, we managed to get them found around £25 return each. Not only were the flights incredibly good value, but the cost when you’re over there is also relatively low as well, meaning that the whole weekend will be cheap and cheerful (and gives you more beer money).


If you go to Germany for one thing, it has to be the beer. Now, I’m not the biggest beer drinker in the world, but when in Rome hey? There are some amazing beer halls in Cologne too where they serve you a fifth of a pint, and when it’s done, you don’t even need to go to the bar as they come round and replace it for you until you put a coaster over your glass – it took us a while to figure that one out!


We booked a hotel called Mauritius Therme and Hotel, as it had spa facilities too, and for two nights, it really didn’t break the bank. It had 11 saunas, which were all different temperatures, an indoor and outdoor pool and a roof terrace with a bar. When I was searching for hotels, they were definitely cheaper than other European cities, which meant that we could stay in a fancier one without paying over the odds.


Although Germany can be known for having a similar climate to the UK, when we visited in August, they were going through a heatwave and the temperatures rose to over 30 degrees, which meant that our pool definitely came in handy. If you’re looking for a slightly cooler city break, I would go in May or September to avoid the intense summer heat.


When we were researching things to do in the city, we discovered that there are different quarters making up the outskirts, just by where we were staying. There’s the Latin quarter, which is full of quirky cocktail bars and amazing food joints, and the Belgium quarter, which homes loads of cute cafes and waffle houses.

And there you have my 9 reasons why Cologne should be top of your list for a weekend city break – it’s so simple and easy to get to and is a really interesting and diverse city to spend a couple of days in.

Have you been to Cologne? What did you think?


2 responses to “9 Reasons Cologne Is The Perfect German City For A Weekend Break”

  1. Lacey says:

    I miss Cologne! If you ever go back, take the walking tour. They tell this heartwarming story about a swan that fell in love with a boat, it’s the sweetest thing!

  2. Ellie Dixon-Smith says:

    Aww I can’t bekieve I missed that! Definitely need to go back 😀

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