YOUR LOCAL GUIDE:
I'm Romina from North Rhine-Westphalia, 29 years young and a travel enthusiast. I use almost all my free time to plan and book trips and excursions. On my trips - and now also at home - I love taking photos or standing in front of the camera myself. And I've been sharing this passion on my Instagram profile (travelmina_) for over a year now. In the meantime, I have specialised in cool spots in Germany and am surprised every time how beautiful Germany is. In Cologne, too, I have discovered some places that not everyone necessarily knows or associates with Cologne - Cologne from a completely different perspective!
Motel One in Cologne
The Agnesviertel is my new favourite place in Cologne because the atmosphere there is terrific: small cafés, restaurants, bars and great old buildings characterise the neighbourhood. And of course the St. Agnes church, which gives the district its name. After Cologne Cathedral, it is the largest church in the city and at least as beautiful! In the 19th century, the district was considered the most noble in Cologne. Here you will discover the magnificent Higher Regional Court, the old fortress "Fort X", behind which a rose garden is hidden - and the home of German writer Heinrich Böll. And at "Keiserlich" you will find what I think is the best ice cream in town - the chocolate sundae in particular is a dream come true.
The Weisshaus cinema is a must-see - whether you're a film fan or just want to pick up some popcorn. On the one hand, it is quite photogenic :-) On the other hand, of course, it is also functional, because films are still shown here - and in the stylish ambience of the 50s and 60s at that. In 1953, the Theater am Weisshaus was opened here in the Sülz district, but it had to close in the 1970s. What remained was the small studio, today's Weisshaus Kino with two auditoriums with 266 and 72 seats.
Perfect for a change of scenery is a trip to the Aachen pond. This is where life "blossoms"! The pond was artificially created around 1920 and is part of the city's Inner Green Belt, which was commissioned by the then mayor Konrad Adenauer. Adjacent to the pond is the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Park. In good weather, people meet on the lawn, unpack their blankets and food and enjoy the sun or visit the beer garden. Those with a thirst for culture will also find what they are looking for in the adjacent Japanese Cultural Institute and the Museum of East Asian Art.
A sweet highlight of the city: Kuletsch liquorice specialities at Thürmchenswall. By the way, "Kuletsch" is the Cologne expression for liquorice and here fans of the black gold really find their needs met! 400 varieties from all over the world are waiting to be tasted in the shop with its nostalgic décor including tin motifs from the past, old scales & co.: from hard to soft, liquid or powdery liquorice, chocolatey or spicy. Sounds crazy? It is!
A railway station as a landmark? This one is, because it is adorned with countless street art works by various graffiti artists from all over the world. My highlight, directly at Ehrenfeld station: the "Girl with the cap", painted by El Bocho. Fun fact: The latter first pre-paints his artwork on wrapping paper. Other works are scattered around the neighbourhood, e.g. "NSA scandal goes street art" and "A giant pigeon - lost in the city" at Ehrenfeldgürtel 95, "Guapo Sapo: A collective, three works" at Heliosstrasse 2 and "Homage to the woman from AEC" at Vogelsanger Str. 197.
BRIDGE TO HERKULESBERG
I only got this tip through friends: The best way to reach this bridge is to walk through the park behind the Mediapark. From the park, it looks rather unspectacular, but from the footbridge itself, the blue posts open up a wonderful view of Cologne Cathedral. And I love to look at things from unknown, unusual angles! By the way, the Hercules Hill on the other side of the bridge was not formed naturally, but is one of the rubble mountains left over from the Second World War in Cologne, which is why some people call the 25-metre-high hill "Mont Klamotte"("Klamotte" is German for a clutter of various things - which in this case are buried here). And while you're here: The Mediapark itself is also worth a detour, as it is decked out with various pond sections, bridges and restaurants - including a view of the TV tower.
The quarter around Schanzenstrasse in the Mülheim district offers a unique scenery in Cologne. The red, mostly listed brick buildings - formerly factories and factory halls - now house television studios, publishing houses and event halls such as the "Palladium". But even those who are not attending a concert or show recording should plan a short stroll through the quarter. Especially when the evening sun shines on the red bricks and gives them a true "glow up".
Here you can unwind in the middle of the big city. All you need is a well-filled picnic basket, a blanket and you can relax in front of a postcard-panormama with crane houses and Cologne Cathedral. Active people take the bike or explore the kilometre-long Poller Wiesen, bollard meadows, on foot. Others practise "people watching" and simply observe all kinds of people flying kites, listening to music, dancing.... Or you might be lucky and spot the flock of sheep that grazes along the Rhine from time to time. Totally idyllic!