Updated for 2019!
That most wonderful time of year is nearly upon us. Every 12 months Cologne hosts thousands upon thousands of visitors for a very special event. An event like no other.
No, I don’t mean the fairy-tale like Christmas markets. No, not the colourful sugar rush of Karnival...
When hundreds of thousands of people are all brought together by a love of video games - whether that be making them, playing them or dressing up as characters from them! Spread across the seemingly limitless Koelnmesse, every corner of it is still filled with an infectious atmosphere. Gamescom is called 'the Heart of Gaming' for a reason!
All of this goes on in a major German city that is sometimes overlooked for all it offers. For this reason, we got the low down from a born and bred Kölner on the incredible 2000-year-old city and provide you with some activities for when you're ready to venture out into that 24 degree heat!
“Kölner Dom” to the locals, is the skyline-dominating Gothic Cathedral dating back to the 13th Century. This amazing 150-meter piece of Architecture is the very symbol of the city and has been through the wars (literally!). If you’re feeling especially brave, why not attempt its 533 steps to the top? The view is 100% worth it!
Situated on the banks of the river Rhine, this amazing journey through the history of chocolate promises to be a great day out! You can spend hours reading about the origin of chocolate, making your own tailor-made chocolate bar or enjoying the giant Lindt chocolate fountain. It’s huge. It’s chocolate. It’s free to try!
While this empty square may not look like much during the day, the former market square of the 2000-year-old Roman city comes alive in the evenings. Surrounded by everything from clubs to old traditional-1-metre-beer-serving pubs, Heumarkt offers a great atmosphere and an even better selection of German Beers! Prost!
If you have had the pleasure of visiting Cologne during August before, you will know how hot the city gets. Don’t fret though, the famous Rheinpark offers the ideal antidote. As the name would suggest, these 40 hectares of parkland stretch along the river Rhine between the boroughs of Mülheim and Deutz. Everything from swimming, sports, playgrounds and minigolf promises a great day in the sun!
Cologne is a 2000+ year old city founded by the Romans during their invasion of Germania. While digging bomb shelters in 1941, Germany unearthed one of the largest, best-preserved Roman mosaics in Europe – The Dionysus Mosaic. In fact, the floor mosaic was so outstanding that archaeologists left it right where it was, and the Roman-Germanic Museum (Römisch-Germanisches Museum) was built around it.
Still to this day, whenever a new car park is commissioned, or an old building is torn down, construction workers are forced to halt projects due to ancient artifacts being unearthed.
Currently under renovation, you can still book a guided tour of these artifacts through their website.
No city guide is complete without mentioning the bustling shopping area.
Cologne offers a mile-long shopping street, with countless side thoroughfares running off it. 14,500 visitors an hour lose themselves among everything from Artisan/independent coffee shops to designer brands. What's more, the Schildergasse is the second-oldest street in Cologne and once formed the beginning of a trade route leading to the centre of Gaul!
There are countless more spots and attractions to tell you about, but where is the fun in that?! Go find them yourself! This beautiful city promises intrigue and history wherever you go. Grab yourself a Kölsch beer and explore!
Who knows, you might find the next Dionysus Mosaic!?
I hope you manage to enjoy some of these sights but Gamescom is the reason we're all going to be there so please come to see us at the Ukie stand - Hall 3.2 Stand C020-E039. We will be there Tuesday – Thursday and would love to say hi!