Cologne – the cheerful soul along the Rhine

This is the fourth part in our series on German cities by German TV personalities Annabelle and Tanja. Tanja takes us around Cologne, where she once lived and regularly still works. Explore this old city with her!

I like the 2000-year-old city on the Rhine because it has a lot to offer besides the carnival and the cathedral as a landmark. Let’s go on a 4-hour trip, which starts for me at the airport, where the driver of my Blacklane airport transfer immediately welcomes me. How practical!

Old town

A visit to the old town is a must to get a first impression of this metropolis of one million inhabitants. This is where you find the cathedral with its adjacent museums (Kunstmuseum Ludwig and the Roman-Germanic Museum with objects from Roman times). My Hotel Mondial is also here, which I always book because of its location and the great service!

One should drink at least one Kölsch in one of the many breweries or old town bars (Bierhaus am Rhein, Em Golde Kappes, Ex Vertretung, Früh am Dom). A Kölsch is the drink of the city! It’s also a great way to start a conversation with your bar neighbour – people from Cologne are very open.

New quarter: Rheinauhafen

The Rheinauhafen, a former harbour facility in the south of Cologne, provide me with fine cuisine and a sensational view. A new, hip centre with great restaurants and bars is currently being built here. Joseph’s Restaurant, an old granary, serves the best cod in town!

The Belgian Quarter

The bistro-style Pure White Food Club with open kitchen is quite hyped at the moment. It is located in the Belgian quarter, my favourite part of Cologne. The streets are named after Belgian cities and the many Art Nouveau houses are beautiful to look at. The neighbourhood around Brüsseler Platz is ultra modern with numerous galleries, bars and shops, such as Boutique Belgique. Here, you will find hip clothes by Cologne’s flagship blogger Lena Terlutter.

Proof of love

My Blacklane is heading towards Cologne’s fragrance house at my request. The traditional brand 4711 has been producing fragrance products for over 200 years, here I buy a great body lotion for my mum as a souvenir. Anyone visiting the city with their sweetheart should attach a small padlock to the Hohenzollern bridge – to swear eternal love to each other. More than 300,000 couples have already immortalized their love here.

Schäl Sick – the wrong side of Cologne

Our last stop leads us to the so-called “Schäl Sick” (wrong side), the other side of the Rhine. From the point of view of some people on the left bank of the Rhine, this is wrong, because Düsseldorf and Leverkusen are also located there and it used to be industrial – therefore unsightly. Today, though, you can already see the towers of the RTL Media Group, which has settled here.

If you want to try something atypical, try the Hotel Lux, a Russian restaurant. A little kitsch, it has lots of vodka and hearty food with imaginative names like Katharina’s Lusts! Once you’re well-fed, it is worthwhile to relax in a beach chair at the Rheinterrassen beer garden. Enjoy the best view of the cathedral, old town and Rhine with a cold Kölsch!