Germany

A Whirlwind Weekend in Cologne

When I first saw the Burg Eltz castle on Instagram, I knew I had to make it there.

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Looking up the castle, I realised I could visit it in a weekend if I flew into Frankfurt or Cologne. Having heard good things about the city of Cologne and finding a great flight deal, I booked a Saturday am flight and a late Sunday return. The plan was to visit Burg Eltz and the Mosel Valley on Sunday, and spend Saturday exploring the city. 

As I’d hoped, visiting Burg Eltz was a day full of magic.

And the weekend as a whole, fast paced? Yes, but absoluetly worth it.

Even though I only had a few hours in Cologne, I loved my time there and am eager to return one day.

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Whether you’re short on time like I was or can take a bit more leisurely pace to exploring the city, don’t forget to: 

  • Wander through the historic part of the old city centre, Altstadt has beautiful colourful houses and quaint side streets. The Market Row (row of brightly coloured houses) has been there for decades, even being rebuilt over time
  • Gaze up at the towers of the Cologne Cathedral (also known as Koln Do- it’s the most iconic feature of the city. The towers dominate the skyline, it’s a cathedral whose gothic architecture makes it a must visit
  • Stroll the Hohenzollern Bride, stretching across the Rhine. For most people arriving by train, it’s their first glimpse of the city. Walking across, you’ll see thousands of love locks secured to the bridge’s iron railings. If you walk the whole way across, you’ll have a great view of the cathedral and city from across the river
  • Two things I would have loved to do but didn’t have time for- cruising down the Rhine River, and visiting the Lindt chocolate museum
  • If you’re hungry in Cologne and on a budget as I was, Cafe Rico does great coffee, and the Bay Area Burrito Company is like Chipotle/Chilango, but so much better
  • Because I saved money on lunch and dinner, I decided to treat myself to a nice cocktail at Seiberts, a famed speakeasy for having the best garden terrace and drinks in Cologne

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Have you ever been to Germany to visit one of the country’s many stunning castles? 

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