What are the best Museums in Cologne?

Big fan of museums…but somehow you’ve wound up in Cologne and not Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, etc.?  Not to worry! Cologne doesn’t have the most well known museums in the world.  That doesn’t mean we don’t have places definitely worth a visit.  We pass many of these museums on our tours where our guides can tell you more.  However, before joining, here is our list of the best museums in Cologne. 

Museum Ludwig is the building on the left and right, not the tall one in case you were curious.

Museum Ludwig
: Of our art museums, this is the most famous.  This one houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art, including works by Picasso, Warhol, and Lichtenstein.  Art buffs favour this as one of the two best art museum in our town.


EL-DE Haus: Located in the former headquarters of the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police the EL-DE Haus shows the brutal history of Nazi persecution in Cologne.  Visit the basement of this historic building where you are still able to tour the prison, preserved since the war.  While many view that as the highlight of the museum, prepare yourself for an indepth look at the impact of World War II on Cologne with the several floors above.  This is an essential stop to understand the oppression of the Nazi Regime and the history of Cologne.

The Farina Fragrance Museum: This is home to the famous Eau de Cologne, a museum generally dedicated to the perfume that gave its name to men’s fragrances.   It was first produced in our city in the 18th Century.  Furthermore, See how Napoleon got involved and learn all about this interesting and iconic Cologne scent.

Smelly, but in a good way!

Chocolate Museum (Schokoladenmuseum): Like Chocolate? Good news, we’ve got a museum about it; its history, how its made and plenty of samples to go around!

Wallraf-Richartz Museum: The other big, famous art museum in our town, this one is known for its extensive collection of European artwork. The paintings span from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century.  It includes the works of masters, spanning from Rembrandt to Monet to Picasso.

Römisch-Germanisches Museum (Roman-Germanic Museum): This museum offers an impressive look at artifacts from our Roman settlement, known as Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium. The highlight of this museum is the Roman Mosaic the is held inside.  (As a warning, this one is currently undergoing renovations).

TimeRide Cologne Köln: While maybe more of an experience than a museum, we’ll through TimeRide in.  Jump onto an old trolly car, throw on some VR Goggles and explore Cologne prior to the Second World War.

Honourable Mentions:

Kölner Senfmuseum: Across from the Chocolate Museum, this little spot sells some very tasty mustard and a wonderful local sausage as well.  Relatively small and inexpensive, learn about the German Mustard making process and take home a yummy souvenir.

This last one is inside this in case you get lost.

Cologne Cathedral Treasury (Kölner Domschatzkammer): Located in the Cologne Cathedral, this museum houses a collection of religious artifacts, including precious jewels, sculptures, manuscripts, and relics.  This one is important for any church lovers.

Check the best museums in Cologne here!

Wanna know more about what to see, do, eat and experience in Cologne?  Visit our free Classic tour to get an idea of what makes this city so special in the eyes of the people that live here and so unique among German cities, check out our Recommendations page, and explore our travel blogs.

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