[Chloe Burrowes | Contributing Writer]
Move aside Berlin and Frankfurt, there is a new destination for tourists to visit; the culture and beauty of Cologne.
Located on the Rhine, Cologne provides the perfect mix of just enough English speakers for any tourist to get by easily yet not overrun with tourism so you can enjoy a relaxed break. The biggest pull to most students is that Cologne is extremely cheap! Look up flight and hotel deals and you can easily find a weekend away for two for less than £100 each.
WHAT TO DO
Visit the Lindt Chocolate museum on the Rhine and delve into the very sweet world of chocolate making. With a complimentary Lindt Chocolate on the way and a chance to taste some of their chocolate fountain, this is reason alone to visit! Inside you can see a history of chocolate, step into a rainforest and see chocolate being made in front of your eyes.
Entry: 9 euros for adult entry.
TOP TIP: If you fancy a bite to lunch, the café in the museum is very pricey and all in German (the only word I understood was Chilli!). However, there is a stand just outside with benches where you can pick up Bratwursts, drinks and other snacks for a fraction of the price.
Love Lock Bridge
The Love Lock Bridge is a sight that has to be seen to be believed. A bridge which goes over the Rhine filled with thousands of padlocks with two lover’s names on them. Take a walk along the bridge and admire the sight or put your own padlock on the bridge to make your mark on the city.
TOP TIP: Bring your own padlock! There was only one shop we found selling padlocks, the cheapest being 20 euros, so make sure you pack your own.
Step into the history and culture of Cologne, the building was at one point the tallest in the world. The cathedral can be seen from the majority of Cologne and the inside is just as beautiful as its place on the skyline. Light a candle for a loved one or simply take in the sight.
TOP TIP: Near the Cathedral, there is tourist information and a tourist train which takes you all around the city.
Eat on the Rhine
At night, the city comes alive; as the restaurants along the Rhine fill up as candles are lit and blankets put out to counteract the evening chill. Take a stroll, and sit and eat your dinner whilst looking out over the river and enjoying a drink or two.
TOP TIP: When ordering a beer, most restaurants will ask you if you want a litre – do not think this is like a pint! It’s massive and they’ll charge you nearly 12 euros for it, the half litre is usually the best option.
Overall, Cologne is definitely a place to visit for a relaxed weekend break with a loved one, a great place for making memories and having fun! Cologne also has an electric atmosphere whether a busy Saturday night or a lazy Sunday afternoon sitting on the Rhine with the sun shining, buskers playing and an ice cream in hand… Perfect!
All images by Chloe Burrowes