Cologne Things to Do Tips by SWFC_Fan
Cologne Things to Do: 662 reviews and 1,113 photos
Sport and Olympic Museum, Cologne
I visited the Deutsches Sport & Olympiamuseum during my visit to Cologne in July 2006.
This large sports museum is located on the banks of the Rhine, next to the Chocolate Museum.
At the time of my visit (during Germany's hosting of World Cup 2006), the museum contained a special exhibition devoted to photography carried out by a Brazilian football magazine. This mainly included action from Brazilian international and club games, but also a selection of photos from other countries. This was the highlight of the museum for me, but it was only a temporary exhibition. Exhibitions in this ground floor room change periodically.
The main part of the museum was a bit of a disappointment considering Germany's proud sporting history.
The exhibitions start with a handful of artefacts from the early Olympic Games, but nothing too impressive.
A mock running track runs along the main corridor of the upstairs, alongside which is a sporting timeline, detailing the key German sporting achievements from each year up to the present day. (As an Englishman, I headed straight for 1966 ;-))
A number of rooms with individual exhibitions lead off this main walkway. For example, there are rooms devoted to:
* Berlin 1936 Olympics: photos and memorabilia from athletes competing in these games;
* Bundesliga football: team shirts, logos, video footage and even pieces of turf from various football pitches in Germany's top football league;
* Winter sports: toboggans and winter clothing in a specially cooled room with an icy feel to it;
* Formula 1: a selection of motor racing memorabilia, much of which relates to Germany's famous driver, Michael Schumacher.
At the far end of the exhibition room, there is a large bank of TV screens showing historic sporting clips, a series of lockers with the kits of German sporting heroes hanging in them and a large trophy cabinet.
All bags must be checked into a locker room and there is no photography allowed in the museum.
The ground floor contains a souvenir shop and cafe.
Address: Rheinauhafen 1, 50678 Köln
Directions: Located on the banks of the Rhine, next to the Chocolate Museum.
Adults: 5 Euros
Concessions: 2.50 Euros
Phone: 0221 - 336 090
Chocolate fountain at the Chocolate Museum
I visited Cologne's Chocolate Museum during my visit to the city in July 2006.
Having read that it was similar to "Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory", I expected to be lavished with free chocolate samples. Alas, the only samples were a small chocolate and a wafer dipped in the "chocolate fountain".
The first part of the exhibit provides various information about cocoa (where it is grown, how it is cultivated, what different types are used for making different chocolates...) and there is a temperature controlled tropical greenhouse containing cocoa plants.
Next was a special exhibit, coinciding with Germany hosting the World Cup, showing chocolate bar wrappers, tins and advertisements from around the world which incorporate football team logos and players into their designs.
The museum then opens up into a large production area where you can see the chocolates being produced. These range from small individual chocolates on a conveyor belt to chocolates shaped as bunnies or Father Christmases or footballs using special moulds. Children can design their own pralines to take home with them.
One of the highlights in this part of the museum is the "chocolate fountain" - runny chocolate being produced in a small fountain - but it isn't nearly as impressive as it sounds!
Upstairs, the museum provides a detailed history of chocolate from its beginnings as a luxury drink for society's elite through to its commercialisation as a popular product for the masses. This part of the museum isn't as much fun as watching (and smelling) the chocolates being produced, but it does provide an extensive selection of exhibits. For example, there are displays of crockery from the early days of chocolate production in Central America, there are walls full of chocolate advertisement posters from years gone by and there are biographies of key figures in chocolate's history.
There is a chocolate shop and a cafe on site.
Photography is permitted throughout the museum.
Address: Rheinauhafen 1a, Cologne
Directions: Located in a glass fronted building on the banks of the Rhine.
Adults: 6 Euros / Groups of 15+ = 5.50 Euros
Concessions: 3.50 Euros / Groups of 15+ = 3 Euros
Other Contact: email@example.com
Phone: +49 (0)221 9318880
Koln Triangle is a recently built, glass fronted office block that stands on the northern bank of the Rhine at Cologne.
Standing 103 metres tall, the view from the building's rooftop is arguably the best available view of Cologne's skyline.
The rooftop viewing platform offers unbeatable views of the Dom, the Rhine, Gross St Martin and the continuous trains passing over Hoherzollern Brucke at the foot of the tower.
For a cost of just 3 Euros, you can take the lift up 28 floors to the rooftop.
Be careful to get out at the right floor. I wasn't told that the top floor was number 28. The lift stopped at floor 13 and I assumed that was the correct floor so I got out of the lift. Once you get out of the lift, you are destined to become lost in the interior! I tried to take another lift upwards, but it turned out to be a lift for the use of the offices only and didn't go to the viewing platform. After yo-yoing between floor -2 and floor 20 for a few minutes, somebody was kind enough to tell me that I needed to go back to the ground floor, exit the building and re-enter on the other side to catch one of the correct lifts. I eventually got to where I needed to be!
The best views of Cologne skyline? Probably!!
Directions: On the northern bank of the Rhine at Koln-Deutz.
There are a number of boat trips along the Rhine available at Cologne. Some of these are just an hour or so in duration, while others go further afield to other towns and cities located further along the river.
One of the main boat trip operators is Koln Dusseldorfer, which operates boat trips that leave from Frankenwerft, near to Deutzer Brucke.
The boat trip that I undertook during my visit to Cologne in July 2006 was a one hour round trip and cost 6.80 Euros.
The one hour round trip runs daily in the summer at 10:30, 12:00, 14:00 and 18:00. In the afternoon, the company offers 2 hour round trips at 15:30 and 17:30 on another of its boats. If you fancy a longer cruise, you can sail north to Dusseldorf or south to Bonn, Konigswinter, Remagen and several other small towns en route to Koblenz.
The boat that I went on had a large open air top deck and a lower deck indoors that was set with dining tables. Most people, myself included, chose to sit outside in the fresh air, enjoying the views. The upper deck offers excellent views of the Dom and Gross St Martin when the cruise first starts....but the views soon deteriorate when you leave the city skyline behind. The cruise continues under a variety of bridges, passing the chocolate museum and the sports museum. Beyond that, the scenery consists of grassy riverbanks with people fishing and, on this sunny day, nudists working on their all-over suntans!
There is a brief commentary in German and English, but this is as limited as the views are.
The cruise heads southbound for 20 minutes or so, then turns and heads back north for 30 minutes, passing the Rheinpark parkland and cable cars and the hotels and office blocks of northern Cologne, before returning to the departure point.
A relaxing cruise...but the views beyond the city are somewhat limited!
Directions: Tickets can be purchased from the Koln-Dusseldorfer kiosk at Frankenwerft, between Hohenzollern Brucke and Deutzer Brucke.
Other Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: +49 (0)221 2088 318
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