Itinerary about the best things to do in Cologne and Dusseldorf: two cities with a lot of history to visit in Germany. You can travel from Cologne to Dusseldorf and vice versa.
Kölner Dom: a must to see in Cologne
Let’s start our route at the Kölner Dom or Cologne Cathedral. This is a Gothic-style religious building which began construction in 1248 and finished 632 years later (in 1880). At the time it was one of the tallest buildings with a height of 157 meters. It is a truly impressive monument both on the outside and inside and is therefore part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site (1996).
- Opening hours: From November to April from 6 am to 7pm and from May to October from 6am to 9pm.
- Prices: 4€ to visit the Tower. Free entrance to the cathedral.
- Location: Domkloster Street 4, 50667, Köln. (central Cologne)
- Fun fact: Cologne Cathedral was bombed 14 times during World War II; despite that, it’s quite well preserved.
Hohenzollern Bridge: to do in Cologne
Another important stop on your visit to Cologne is walking along the Hohenzollern Bridge. This bridge crosses the river Rhine. Above it you can see almost the entire city of Cologne with its most important buildings, such as the cathedral or the Köln Triangle building.
- Fun fact: on this bridge there are more than 40,000 padlocks hung by couples symbolizing love and romanticism.
Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Not far from the Cathedral, there is one of the most important museums of the city, the Museum Ludwig that contains works of the 20th and 21st centuries (abstract art, surrealism, Pop Art among others). It has a large collection of works made by Pablo Picasso.
Köln Triangle: to do in Cologne
Another important thing to do in Cologne is to go up to the rooftop of the Köln Triangle building (103 meters high). There is a viewpoint that offers the best views of the whole city of Cologne: the cathedral, the river, the bridge, etc. It is definitely a must for viewpoint lovers like us.
Other interesting places in Cologne
- The Chocolate Museum in Cologne: ideal for chocolate lovers.
- The Fish Market: perfect area to take a walk and to take photos of its picturesque buildings.
- Port of Cologne or Rheinauhafen.
- Altenberg Cathedral of Cologne with its gorgeous stained-glass windows.
Note: The center of Cologne is quite small, you can walk or take a tram, but if you want to know more about the history, being guided by a professional, book in advance your FREE TOUR.
Useful info: If, during your travels, you would like to try the local drink, then you have to try the Kölsch beer. It is very common when you order a beer in a bar in Cologne that they directly offer you the local size (it is 200ml); they laughed a little at us when we asked about what sizes of beer glasses they had. It is easier to drink several 200ml than to order a pint. Price 2-3€.
Cologne to Düsseldorf: two cities in one trip
If you have more than a day, you can take advantage of your visit to Cologne and extend your stay to visit Düsseldorf. This city is about 40 kilometers away, which is half an hour by train.
How to get from Cologne to Dusseldorf?
The simplest and cheapest way to get from Cologne to Dusseldorf is by train. The trains are frequent and prices vary depending on the class and the day, but they can cost you between 12€ and 18€.
What to do in Düsseldorf in a day
Düsseldorf is a city located in western Germany that shares the river Rhine’s crossing with other cities such as Cologne. Here are our must-see recommendations in this city:
- Rhine Tower or TV Tower: it’s a radio and television communications tower about 240 meters high. There is a viewpoint restaurant inside with views over the city. Price is about 9€.
- Neuer Zollhof or Frank Gehry Buildings: these buildings, designed by architect Frank Gehry, stand out for their structure, shapes and colors. They are located in the Port of Düsseldorf area.
- St. Lambertus Church: it has a lot of charm and is located near the river Rhine.
- Schlossturm Castle Tower
More interesting places to visit in Düsseldorf:
- Burgplatz Square
- Carlsplatz Market
- the shopping streets of Schadowstraße y Königsallee
- Hofgarten park
- Düsseldorf city council
- Goethe museum
To finish the day and before the end of your trip, we recommend this excellent GASTRONONIC TOUR in Düsseldorf. Visiting Germany and not trying sausages is a sin and if you are also a fan of local beers, you can’t leave Düsseldorf without trying the Altbier.
Travel recommendations for Cologne and Dusseldorf
You can also make the trip flying to Düsseldorf and from there take advantage of visiting Cologne, it all depends on the prices of the flights and your place of departure. We made Madrid-Cologne for 20€ round trip.
As for accommodation, we preferred to rent a room in a private house (because the hotels were really expensive). Take advantage of this discount (up to 40 euros) on your first booking.
Cologne is a fascinating city (that’s why it’s one of the most visited cities in Germany) with an impressive monument (Cologne Cathedral) that deserves to be visited at least once in a lifetime and if, in addition to that, you want to get the best from your trip, Düsseldorf is just around the corner (30 minutes by train). This way, you can cross off the list these two unique cities in Germany.