Cologne’s magnificent sights and friendly atmosphere beckon you to visit this city on the Rhine.
Start in the Innenstadt (downtown) on the Rhine’s west bank. You’ll want to sniff out—get it? Eau de Cologne is named for this city!—two neighborhoods. Alter Markt (Old Market) and Rudolfplatz offer Cologne’s most spectacular sights, dining, and nightlife. Alter Markt’s Kneipen (pubs) draw older, calmer crowds looking to unwind with a cold glass or two of Cologne’s namesake Kölsch style beer and a hearty, meat- and potato-based Rhineland dish. People-watching on the terrace is a great way to pass the time… especially if you’re waiting for a weekend cabaret performance to start! When you want to drink and dance until dawn, head east of Alter Markt and hit up Rudolfplatz’s clubs, saunas, and all-night parties featuring a mix of local and international crowds.
Maybe you’ll meet a sightseeing buddy or several among the crowd. The more, the merrier in Cologne: the city is known for its 12 Romanesque churches in Altstadt (Old Town). Kölner Dom (Cologne cathedral) is in a class of its own. Its stained-glass windows and Gothic twin spires, which survived the destruction of World War II, make Kölner Dom a must-visit and a must-photograph. The Heumarkt square is beautiful year-round, but you’ll want to visit during the winter for its skating rink and Christmas market in November and December. Of course, no one’s quite as festive as Cologne’s LGBTQ+ community, so the HEAVENUE Christmas market at Rudolfplatz is not to be missed! You know exactly what kind of apparel we’ll don…
Cologne’s LGBTQ+ scene is lively and welcoming. It’s seamlessly integrated with the city’s broader community, as well as engaged with the international LGBTQ+ community’s histories, triumphs, and struggles. Cologne Pride, in late August, began as a Christopher Street Day (CSD) pride celebration after the Stonewall Riots. For late-night ragers, centuries-old sights, charming traditions, and community-based celebrations all year round, visit the riverside German city of Cologne!