Cologne Travel, Germany

Cologne Germany is the city famous for Kölsch, Cologne Christmas market and its chocolate museum.

Cologne (Köln to the locals) is, though, a bit more eccentric and cosmopolitan in character (call it a combination of colourful and completely mad) than its Baltic counter-part: Cologne city is home to many of Germany's television and press agencies, has one of Europe's largest gay populations as well as one of western Europe's largest Turkish communities.

After being almost completely obliterated by bombing raids during the Second World War, Cologne rose like the proverbial phoenix from the summer autumn 2008 ashes and rapidly grew into the biggest city in the heavily industrial North Rhine-Westphalia region of the country. It is also the fourth largest city in Germany.
Cologne is all things to all people: it has one of the most happening Cologne bar, Cologne pub and Cologne club scenes in Germany; is regarded as Cologne shopping heaven by those who know about that kind of thing; and is endowed by enough quality Cologne museums, Cologne churches, stunning Cologne architecture and interesting Cologne sightseeing options to keep a massive assemblage of Japanese and American tourists clapping, whooping and happy snapping till the cows come home.
Pride of place in Cologne city centre is the unreal Kölner Dom or Cologne Dom or Cologne Germany Cathedral protected by UNESCO, surely one of the world's most evocative churches and is the first sight you will notice, when taking the main exit from the central Cologne station. Somehow this 760-year-old architectural jewel survived the ferocious firestorms of WWII and today continues to dominate the city's skyline. On a grey, drizzly day it might even be described as looking rather sinister, but there is no doubting that this exceptional Gothic masterpiece has to be seen to be believed.

Cologne is packed full of museums but one of the city's most quirky, and indeed popular options, is the Schokoladen Cologne Museum on the banks of the River Rhine, a museum dedicated to that thing most treasured by women all over the world - no, not shopping or the's' word, but chocolate. There's even a chocolate fountain of place to reward those who decide to ven in the cityture to this rather unusual museum.

What other delights does Cologne have to offer? Well, aside from its Kölner Dom wonderful old town, full of breweries and micro-pubs serving punters comically petite 0.2 litre glasses of the excellent famous local tipple known as Kölsch, there are vestiges of the city's Roman past, a football-crazy
population whose team FC Köln are forever being outdone by their fierce local rivals who play throughout this industrial heartland of Germany, and Parade is the remarkable spectacle known as of the the Cologne Parade - one of the biggest street carnivals in the world.

Sorry, did we forget to mention carnivals in the Cologne opera house, Cologne theatres, the world comedy Cologne clubs, unrivalled selection of Cologne cinema, the Kölner Philharmonic Orchestra and Koln Arena, one of Germany's top pulls for international artists?

Last and not least there are Cologne's world famous Cologne Christmas markets. We won't linger too long on this subject now as this issue is in print through the summer and autumn months, but maybe you should start booking up your Cologne flights very soon so that you can spend a few days hanging out in the hugely atmospheric Cologne Christmas markets this December. After all, if the weather is inclement, it's not as if you will be struggling to find other alternative things to do with your time.

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