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How to Spend 1 Day in Cologne

How to Spend 1 Day in Cologne

Located on the banks of the Rhine River, Cologne is a dynamic German city with a striking Gothic cathedral. With just one day to explore, you can hit the highlights and take a bike tour, river cruise, or pub crawl. Here are a few ways to spend 24 hours in Cologne. 

Morning: Cologne Overview

Begin the day with an introductory tour. Take the double-decker hop-on hop-off bus and see top city landmarks including city hall, the cathedral, and Roncalliplatz, the square where the cathedral stands. A combination ticket also includes a Rhine River sightseeing cruise. To explore the city at a slower pace, opt for a bike tour and follow your guide to the Hohenzollern Bridge, philharmonic hall, and the waterfront district set in the city’s former industrial port. Walking tours include options focused on history and private tours that can be customized according to your individual interests. 

Afternoon: Photography and Chocolate

Discover a new perspective on the landmarks of Cologne with a sightseeing cruise. Choose from several departure times and climb aboard a boat for a scenic trip along the Rhine River. Learn about local history while admiring views of Cologne Cathedral and the colorful Old Town. If you took a cruise in the morning, consider joining a photo-themed tour instead. Explore Cologne on foot and get advice from a photographer on composition and perspective while snapping shots of city landmarks. Then, skip the line with premium access tickets to the Chocolate Museum and taste a variety of hand-crafted chocolate. 

Night: German Beer and Scenic River Cruises

Explore Cologne after dark with an Old Town brewery tour. Taste a variety of German beers, and learn about local history during stops at several different traditional pubs. Travelers looking to experience Cologne’s nightlife may want to join other revelers and a local guide on a pub crawl that includes access to several trendy bars. Visitors looking for a more relaxed evening can check out a scenic dinner cruise on the Rhine River. Some cruises include a buffet dinner, complimentary drinks, and music from an onboard DJ. 

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4 Tours and Activities

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Cologne Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

Cologne Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

star-4.5
15
Trade a traditional guided tour of Cologne for a personalized walking tour based on a new travel concept. Meeting up with a Lokafyer guide is like having a friend to show you around Cologne, from the coolest neighborhoods to the places locals actually eat. Since you’ll connect with the guide to talk or chat before the tour, you can customize the experience to your preferences and interests.
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  • 2 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$35.48
Price varies by group size
From
$35.48
Price varies by group size

Small-Group Bike Tour of Cologne with Guide

Small-Group Bike Tour of Cologne with Guide

star-5
148
With its scenic waterfront, grand bridges, and UNESCO-listed Cathedral, Cologne offers an atmospheric backdrop for a cycling tour. This bike tour ensures that you maximize your time, exploring much further than a walking tour. The circuit takes in landmarks such as Cologne Cathedral, Hohenzollern Bridge, and the Rhine River, including plenty of photo stops along the way.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$40.09
From
$40.09

Skip the Line: The Chocolate Museum Cologne Entrance Ticket

Skip the Line: The Chocolate Museum Cologne Entrance Ticket

star-4
176
Guarantee your entry to Schokoladenmuseum (Chocolate Museum), one of Cologne’s top attractions, by booking your admission ticket in advance. A must-visit for all lovers of sweet treats, the Schokoladenmuseum takes you on a journey through the history of chocolate and promises to indulge your sweet tooth with hand-crafted chocolate. Purchasing your ticket before arrival means you’ll skip lines that are often in excess of one hour.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$14.41
From
$14.41

Private Tour: Cologne City Highlights

Private Tour: Cologne City Highlights

Visit beautiful Cologne on this private, guided sightseeing tour, great for those with limited time in the city. Enjoy personalized attention while learning about the history of the city, a landmark of High Gothic architecture set amidst the reconstructed Old Town. See the Cologne Cathedral and the Romanesque Catholic Great St. Martin Church, plus visit bustling Roncalliplatz, the historic Alter Markt square and much more. Cologne hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$288.25
Price varies by group size
From
$288.25
Price varies by group size