What are the top tourist attractions in Cologne?

Cologne has plenty of highlights and we go into detail on a lot of those in our travel blogs and even more so on our Neighbourhood tours (Veedel means Neighbourhood here!).  That’s not to mention the unique atmosphere, the great lifestyle, the wonderful people, the hidden spots and wonderful backalleys, etc., etc., etc.  (See all of that on our tours by the way!)  But SAY you just want to hit the main highlights in Cologne.  Well here are the top five tourist attractions in Cologne!


Cologne Cathedral: Number One with a bullet is of course the Kölner Dom.  This is THE must-see in Cologne.  A journey to the city without seeing the Dom is almost impossible (you can’t not see it, it’s very big) and not a true trip to Cologne.  It’s a UNESCO site, it’s the most visited tourist attraction in Germany.  This is an easy one so no need to over-explain the heart and soul of our city.

Look up, you can’t miss it.

The Old Town: This is more of a place to explore than a single spot to visit but the Cologne Old Town is full of charming streets lined with colourful houses, local shops, cozy cafes and good restaurants (choose the best from our list of recommendations here rather then getting sucked into a tourist trap).  Visit the Fish Market for great views of Groß St. Martin, Alter Markt for a lively modern square, and Heumarkt for one of many events that take place there throughout the year.


The Farina Fragrance Museum: Home to the famous Eau de Cologne, this museum is dedicated to the perfume that gave its name to men’s fragrances which was first produced in our city in the 18th Century.  (You COULD substitute the Chocolate Museum here if you’d like, but we’ve included this as it’s more original to Cologne!). They have an awesome tour, a cool gift shop and are in a very beautiful building so worth a stop.

Something smells good, right?


The Botanical Garden Flora: This beautiful botanical garden, found in a beautiful section of the city, is home to thousands of plant species from around the world, as well as several themed gardens and a tropical greenhouse with a few new houses opening in the next few years that will really improve the garden overall!  This is best on a sunny day and can be combined with Cologne’s Zoo which is also worth a visit.

Oooooo, pretty.


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 the best art museum in our town.  It’s architectural design is also pretty unique with a spacious interior and a beautiful platform to get some great views of the Dom.


Honourable Mentions on the What Are the Top Tourist Attractions in Cologne list:

  • The KölnTriangle is probably the best place to get panoramic views of the city (The Dom is also great to climb but we guess you’d rather see the most famous building in our city).
  • The EL DE Haus is a favourite of our guides.  This museum houses a very impressive history of Cologne’s war history based around what was once an SS prison

There are of course so many more things to see in Cologne.  Check out our Recommendations page for more and 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!

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