You love souvenirs but you are tired of buying another fridge magnet? We can feel you! Therefore, we asked our free walking tour guides which local souvenirs from Cologne they recommend. Here we go!
1. Coffee from a local roastery
A simple but very nice gift: Coffee! If you have someone at home who is in love with coffee or you yourself are a big coffee gourmet, check out Cologne’s oldest roastery: Schamong. First opened in September 1949, it has a long tradition of high-quality coffee. Visit the roastery in Ehrenfeld, one of Cologne’s most artistic districts. 250 grams of the classic “Kölner Melange” cost 5.80 Euro.
2. A bottle of “Kölsch”
Whereas the local beer “Kölsch” is present in every bar in Cologne, it is difficult to find it outside of the city. It is the Champagne of beers: Only when it is brewed inside the municipal boundary it can be called Kölsch. Today, you can find about 30 brands of Kölsch. The majority of the market is held by Reissdorf, Gaffel and Früh. Since we drink it from small, thin glasses, you could get one of them too and bring the “Cologne feeling” to your home.
3. More Local Alcohol
We love Kölsch but when the night gets longer, we don’t say no to some stronger alcohol. Here are some examples of liquor (or Schnaps) from Cologne companies:
Kabänes is bitter herbal alcohol, similar to Jägermeister, that people from Cologne have been drinking for more than 60 years. When you try it, you will soon sing “Kabänes un ne Wodka, Polka, Polka, Polka” as in one of our popular Carnival songs. 😉
Tomato Juice, Chili and Pepper: “Mexikaner” (=Mexican) is a popular shot in Germany. The young owners of “Kölschbar” created their own version of the drink: Mexikölner (Kölner = person from Cologne). Take some spicy memories home!
- Ketten Fett
Kettenfett (= chain oil) doesn’t look and doesn’t sound very tasty. However, you should give it a try and find out if you belong to the people who love it or to those who hate the liquorice shot. “There is nothing in between”, as the founders say. The three friends launched the drink in 2014.
- Sünner Gin
Sünner is not only a beer brewery but also known for its spirits. Our tour guides especially recommend the Gin.
Do you have a sister? Bring her some Schwesterherz, a currant liquor from the brewery Gaffel. Schwesterherz (sister heart) is a German expression to address your sister in a lovely way.
That’s enough alcohol for now. Let’s talk about food souvenirs from Cologne!
4. Cathedral-shaped waffles from Café Riese
These waffles are popular among locals: Enjoy the cathedral-shape waffles (Domwaffel) fresh or take them home to your friends. The confectionery Café Riese offers also other delicacies, like cake and ice cream (which is hard to take home though).
5. Mustard from Senfmühle Köln
One of the oldest mustard mills is located in the middle of Cologne. You can watch the miller making mustard on the over 200-year-old mill, and you can purchase it! Prices start from 7.55 Euro, the guided tour costs 2.50 Euro.
6. Jam from Marmeladen Haus
Do you have cravings for some apricot with pistachio? Or blackberry with Prosecco? The Marmeladen Haus (jam house) offers a variety of crazy and delicious jams, all of them are handmade! Definitely belongs to your list of souvenirs from Cologne.
7. Recipe book of Cologne dishes
There are a lot of typical Cologne dishes, e.g., “Himmel un ääd” (sky and earth) or “Grünkohl mit Mettwurst” (green cabbage with pork sausage). If you want to make them back home and you know German, get a recipe book from a local book store. If you don’t speak German, ask a local to write the recipes down for you. Very authentic and cheap souvenir!
8. Christmas market specialities
It’s December and you are in Cologne, lucky you! The Christmas markets make the city even more beautiful. The small shacks sell a variety of small cute things, like handmade socks, christmas sweets and beautiful star lamps. Time for Christmas and souvenir shopping!
…and we are not talking about those postcards from the souvenir shops that also sell the fridge magnets! A lot of stores sell much more creative cards, e.g., with Cologne expressions, street art or modern photographs the city. You can find them in small stores, like papelito or der Taschenbuchladen.
10. The Cologne Constitution
If you have joined our free walking tour, you know about Cologne’s Constitution. Follow our own law of 11 rules and it will make your life much better. So don’t forget about it: when you leave Cologne, you gotta get something with the rules on it (a postcard, a Kölsch glass or a mug).
11. Cologne Movies
Have you heard about the times when Cologne was the most criminal city in Germany? If not, better join our walking tour. There are several movies about this time when Cologne was called “Chicago at the Rhein”: a documentary with the same name and a movie shot in the 60s, “Heißes Pflaster Köln”.
If you still don’t know which souvenirs from Cologne you should bring home, try the shop “Siebter Himmel”.