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Cologne is one of Germany's oldest cities, having been founded in the year 38 BC. It is situated along the Rhine river and is often invaded by flood waters from the Rhine. It is a bustling city and home to numerous television and radio production stations. It also boasts to be the host of Europe's largest comedy festival. Cologne is also home to the largest gay community of Germany. A definite must see is the Cologneer Dom. You can tour this magnificent cathedral, except during mass times, and if you are feeling energetic you can even take the 509 steps to the top of the south tower. Take a trip and fly with Austrian Airlines to Cologne and enjoy its diverse culture and traditions.

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The 10 Strangest Hotels in Europe – Part 2
V8Hotel - das Themenzimmer Route66 - in der MOTORWORLD Region Stuttgart auf dem Flugfeld Boeblingen.Travel with a difference: today we tell you where you can spend the night in a cave, a sewage pipe – and even in prison, as we show you the second part of our latest redblog series, and drop by The 10 Strangest Hotels in Europe! To find the first part, just click here.

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EAT in Cologne

Eat in Cologne

A mango lassi in the fresh summer air. Feynsinn is a particularly popular meeting point for late risers, especially in the summer months. You can enjoy breakfast here until 4 p.m., and the selection is both broad and international: French croissants, muesli and scrambled eggs with tomatoes and basil are all on the menu.   The finest produce organic farming has to offer can be found on the lunch menu, including organic curd cheese and chicken strips. To follow up the happy chickens we recommend schnapps from Jean-Paul Metté and then a pub tour through the student quarter.


A packed lunch has never tasted so good. Never before have school friends been so green with envy. The sandwiches by restaurant specialist Christian Bauer offer lightly salted butter spread on sourdough bread, covered with gouda, Milano salami, fig mustard or something equally as good. The crust is crispy, the middle succulent. What more could you want from a sandwich? Perhaps a soup or a cake or some rustic flair? They have it all!   As everything is freshly made, short waiting times are to be expected. It may well be quicker to pick up a meal at McDonald's, but if you want to find crispy lettuce in your sandwich, then skip the golden arches and head to Bauers.


Dine in a glass palace. Skulpturenpark is not only a must because of its artwork, but also its trendy lounge. The view is amazing. The food is a delight. Hase Catering is behind the delicacies in the stylish setting. With a panorama view of the park events come accompanied by finger food, Asian treats or healthy dishes low in carbohydrates.   Even if you're not on the guest list you should still take in the Parklounge. Claus Föttinger decked out the event location in a cool retro look with his photo collages. And while you're there don't forget to check out the Skulpturenpark, which has some art of its own.

SHOPPING in Cologne

Shopping in Cologne
Zeitgeist Cologne

If you enter Zeitgeist than you can let loose of any ideas that you will leave with an untouched wallet. Many of the design products will spontaneously vault your heart to a higher frequency and let the sweat glands of your palms work hard. The cerebrum shouts: want! For example the iPod docking station in the shape of a bear by Be@rbrick, which women find cute and men cool. Or, who would not want one of the stylish Dom Pérignon Vintage 2000 bottles in Andy Warhol edition stand in his or her shelve? Or travel around with the Pentax Optio NB 1000 and then shine out of the tourist masses with the camera in self-made Lego design? If you live this kind of zeitgeist, you will leave this store as a happy person.

Chang 13

Chang 13 regards itself as addicted to fine arts. That's not only noticeable in terms of their fashion but also becomes quite clear when looking at their imaginative store concept: in the centre of the fashionable goings-on in the Cologne store stands a tree. From season to season, Chang hangs new and interesting objects on the tree. Sometimes paper lace doilies adorn the tree, sometimes it's garments and accessories in full bloom.   The man behind this concept is native Korean and a graduate from the fashion school in Trier. In Paris he learned the art of layered felting and he worked as a stylist all over Europe. Now he's selling his own fashion in the Belgian district. The characteristics of his style are wide and round slits in the sleeves and modified kimono cuts. Chang's aesthetic is mix of classic elements and avant-garde ideas. He loves extraordinary fabrics and values the exploration of materials and their innovative implementation. For all those among you with a green fashion thumb: off to Chang's fashion botany!


If you go shopping in Cologne, you simply cannot pass 4711 without venturing in. It's said that even Napoleon swore by the Eau de Cologne. But back in his day it was sold as a cure-all for listlessness and tiredness. There are other products for that nowadays, but the Eau de Cologne still does a fine job against strong smells. The 4711 main office in the centre of Cologne is a paradise for souvenir hunters. Here you'll find Kölnisch Wasser for the whole family, as well as authentic Kölnisch Wasser shower gel, soap and nostalgia packages. Even the shop itself gets in on the act, sporting a 4711 fountain at the entrance. Discover the exhibition dedicated to the history of the product on the gallery and the tapestry that depicts Napoleon as a graffiti artist. Curious? Then head to the fragrant delights!

STAY in Cologne

Stay in Cologne

You need not dismount at Excelsior to see the cathedral up close. The Domappartements represent a cheaper alternative, situated just a stone's throw from the Lanxess Arena and the Philharmonie concert hall. Light, roomy and modern the apartments offer additional touches such as Nespresso coffee machines and cosy Hästens beds.   If you get tired of waiting for George Clooney to show up then step outside and within just a couple of minutes you'll be at Domplatte, ready to soak up the pulsating nightlife of Cologne. Apartment from EUR 50 per night.

Antik Hotel

Not suitable for basketball players, who will have to fold themselves up at night to fit into one of the 19th century baronial beds. But Antik Hotel Bristol still receives our Golden Nostalgia Ribbon for its furnishings: double rooms featuring Wilhelminian style furniture with walnut root veneer are worth a look. Or perhaps a double room decked out like a Bavarian palace.   The theme continues as you exit the hotel: Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ring was built to resemble the Wiener Ringstraßen and it is still Cologne's most beautiful grand boulevard. When you're out strolling around be sure not to forget to smile and wave! Or you could just go all the way and rent a horse-drawn carriage. Double room from EUR 92 per night.

art?otel cologne

The Sunday Times Travel Magazine has chosen the art'otel group as one of the 100 best hotels in the world - the branch in Cologne presents itself as an art temple. Its location at the newly developed Rheinauhafen demonstrates that the hotel addresses the many creative visitors from this region.   Part of the permanent collection of the hotel are the astonishing works of the Korean artist SEO, master student of Georg Baselitz. They played a crucial role in the design of the 218 rooms. The interior is kept in bright nuances, simple forms and with only few colour accents in order to put SEO's colourful motives into the foreground. Depending on the hotel category (Art'Room, Art'Room XL, Art'Corner Room and Art'Panorama Room) you'll find more or less works hanging on the wall. During a museum-like tour through the hotel you can also be shown the rest of the artists' works.

SIGHTS in Cologne

Sights in Cologne

Come in and chill out! For 15 years now Pollerwiesen has been a stop for international DJ lines in dub, club, house, techno and pretty much everything else that goes with electronic party music. There's no shortage of space: the 20,000m² is ample space for up to 10,000 revellers. If you can't tear yourself away then opt for a season ticket. For an investment of 48 euros you can be involved every Sunday. And as the party gets going in the afternoon, you'll still have plenty of time to enjoy the Cologne nightlife and party around the clock.

Cologne Cathedral

The cathedral: it is easy to locate as it acts as a navigation point for locating everything else. Standing at 157 metres tall it was for many years the city's tallest building. Today only the telecommunications tower reaches higher into the sky. Nevertheless life in Cologne mostly revolves around the monumental construction - that is of course until the jesters take over. Those who pass through the great entrance as non-believers may well find themselves reconsidering once inside. The giant halls leave visitors feeling so small and insignificant that humbleness will take care of itself. But the cathedral also moves with the times. When Gerhard Richter created the south transept window in 2007, he chose instead of the proposed Bible scene to design a colourful mosaic, which resembles the pixels of a computer screen. Although the original reaction was one of anger, the uproar has since settled down leaving Richter's work to enlighten church goers and art critics alike.

Cologne Pride

To clear up any misconceptions: no, the athletes neither run in tutus nor do they dress all in pink. The Gay Games are held under the rainbow flag, but absolutely anyone may take part in the marathon, hurdles and freestyle swimming, irrespective of their sexual preference.   Since 1991 Christopher Street Day has developed into Cologne's mega event, with hundreds of thousands expected year for year. Aside from the sporting events there are proud podium discussions and speeches on equality. DJs are on hand to get the crowd swinging at the CSD street festival, and there's a special honour for the best float in the CSD parade. Colour your life!