When is the best time to visit Cologne

When should I visit Cologne?

Written by Mike Clarke, Cologne Resident and Calendar Enthusiast

You’ve done the research.  You know what to see, where to see it, what food to eat, and what tours to do.  You just don’t know when to do it.  When is the best time to visit Cologne? Here’s when you should plan a visit to Cologne depending on what you want to see!

Summer is the best time to visit Cologne because…

  1. Because summer in Cologne is special.  The city is green and full of life.  There are load, inviting bars on every corner.  Kiosk hopping (moving from Kiosk to Kiosk on the hunt for beers with friends) is in full effect.  The parks are full of barbecue enthuasiasts and sports.  And the vibe is infectious!
  2. Warm Weather! The summer months of June, July, and August bring warm temperatures to Cologne, with average highs in the mid to upper 20s Celsius (70s to 80s Fahrenheit). Explore our outdoors with picnics in the park, cycling along the Rhine River or checking out a brewery with some outdoor seating.  (Also a great time to do a tour!)
  3. Check out an Outdoor Festival or Event: Cologne comes alive in the summer with a wide range of art, music and culture festivals. Among the most popular are the Cologne Pride Parade, the Kölner Lichter (Cologne Lights) fireworks display, as well as consitent markets and music festivals around the city.
  4. Our Green Spaces: Cologne is loaded with many beautiful parks and gardens, which are particularly lovely in the summertime. Rheinpark, Stadtgarten, Stadtwald and Botanical Gardens are all great places to relax in the sun, grab a kiosk beer, or just take a stroll.  Not to mention the many lakes to swim in that surround the city to get out of the heat.
  5. Rhine River: The Rhine River is the lifeblood of Cologne, and in the summer it’s a popular spot for boating and sunbathing. There are also many riverfront restaurants and bars where you can enjoy a drink or meal with a view of the water.

The downside is the city is crowded and can get warm, not to mention availability is a bit trickier at restaurants and in certain hotels.

Yes, this is technically Bonn but you can get there from here very easy and you should stay here…

Spring and Fall are the best time to visit Cologne because…

  1. While the weather is a bit trickier (rain isn’t uncommon here, neither are random cold days), you’re probably still in for some mild/managable temperatures.
  2. Everything is a bit less crowded.  Reservations aren’t necessary at some of the best restaurants and you’ll have your pick of hotels and hostels and when you’re here, you won’t be run over by overanxious tourists with their noses buried in maps.
  3. We still have festivals during these months including the start of Karneval on 11.11, the late summer/early fall Jeck im Sunnesching, as well as the occasional wine fest and the cherry blossom festivals.
  4. The changing of season is great!  The colors along the Rhein Valley in fall are remarkable as are the bursting flower trees in Spring all around Cologne and the Rheinland in general.

You’re coming for the markets, not the weather.


Winter is the best time to visit Cologne because…

  1. We’ll keep this short.  If you’re coming to Cologne in Winter, you’re coming for one of two things: Karneval or the Christmas Markets.  That is reason enough to come so don’t search much further, you may not like what you find!


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