The night before we left for Cologne, our flights over were cancelled at the last minute. Funny thing is, before that, I’d never even considered any other way of getting to Germany, let alone Cologne.

This all changed of course and before long, we rebooked to take the train to Cologne from London with a stop in Brussels. FYI, the train is so totally worth it. The journey time is nowhere as long as I’d imagined – it’s over 2 hours to Brussels and another 2 hours plus to Cologne.

The best part in my opinion is being able to stop for Belgian waffles in Brussels (my favourite)! But I digress…

As we ended up leaving London late, we arrived in Cologne late in the evening and decided to head straight to the hotel, get some food at a restaurant nearby and relax for the rest of the evening, fully intent on waking up early to explore the city!

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (1)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (4)

The next morning after breakfast, without much of a plan, we hopped aboard the tram right outside the hotel and went off in search of the sights – ideally starting with the most famous of them all, Cologne cathedral.

We actually ended up starting off at the fairground (not even sure why now – I think we just took the tram the furthest we could). As it was still fairly early in the day, the fairground was understandably quiet… a fairground isn’t quite the same during the daytime anyway so after devouring our weight in toffee apples (Lloyd’s so obsessed with them), it was decided that we would have to return here later that evening once everything was in full swing.

We crossed the bridge and coincidentally found ourselves next to the famous Crane Houses in the shiny Rheinauhafen area of Cologne. I’d been planning on seeing them anyway but mostly because I knew there was a chocolate museum around. Lloyd’s more of the chocolate-fiend than I am but rumour had it that you got to try out quite a few of the Lindt chocolates here and that pretty much had me sold even before we left for Cologne.

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (8)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (11)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (12)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (13)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (16)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (14)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (15)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (19)

Turns out the rumours were true and there’s even a corridor upstairs where a guy hands out little chocolates to you. Of course, this is all in addition to being able to see how everything is done and get your hands on the chocolate almost as soon as they’re ready!

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (20)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (23)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (26)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (29)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (30)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (31)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (34)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (35)

All that chocolate had me hungry and so after a wander through the historic part of the old city centre – Altstadt complete with beautiful colourful houses and quaint side streets, we made our way to the city centre for lunch…

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (36)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (37)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (40)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (38)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (42)

…except Cologne is full of distractions and even that relatively straight-forward walk ended up with us in Great St. Martin Church. As it turns out, Cologne is famed for having 12 Romanesque churches which are sights to behold in and of themselves so I set myself a challenge to try to find all 12 of them!

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (43)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (44)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (46)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (48)

1 down, 11 to go. 😀

(Spoiler Alert: We never managed to make it to all 12 of them – looks like we need to return to see them all).

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (49)

Touchdown In Cologne, Germany... (52)

For now though, our search for lunch continues and we found a place that we can’t recommend enough when you visit – but more on that in the next post!



You May Also Like

  • Taste of France

    I can’t say I loved Cologne but it was interesting. I got hassled (woman alone) by skinheads. The scars of WWII were so evident, with cute buildings and then a big, ugly modern concrete block stuck in where there had been a hole. I was drawn into a shopping gallery after hours by music–an accordionist was making the most of the acoustics, playing Bach’s Toccata and Fugue and turning the place into a rival for the biggest cathedral with a huge organ. Then a gaggle of drunks came through and pushed him around, yelling at him to play oom-pah music. At least they didn’t break anything.
    A mixed bag of very good and very bad.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Oh no! So sorry to hear that… That doesn’t sound too good. 🙁

      Hopefully it was a one-off experience. Did you enjoy the Cathedral? What time of year did you visit?

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • Taste of France

        It was winter. The cathedral was marvelous.

        • HandLuggageOnly

          Ah, so glad you enjoyed the cathedral, it is so impressive isn’t it. The many steps though… we were definitely out of breath at the top! Haha!

          Lloyd & Yaya xx

          • your photographs are totally amazing! even i didnt know all these cute places existed! oh no wait scratch that… i know i have actually been there a couple times but your photos make them look so new and unseen!

            • HandLuggageOnly

              Ahhhh thanks so much for your really kind words. You know we have a proper soft spot for cologne! LOVE the city so much! 🙂

              Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Maria Salomonsen

    Wow, I didn’t know Cologne was that wonderful! I’ve been kinda wanting to go to see the Cathedral, but wasn’t sure what else there was to see.. Now I totally want to go! (Chocolate museum, oh my..)
    Cheers,
    Maria @ http://momentumtravels.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Haha! We know what you mean… literally wanted to eat all the chocolate in the city! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Awesome article, awesome photos, awesome blog!!! Nice job!!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much!

      Lloyd & Yaya 🙂

  • Pingback: Evenings In Cologne, Germany... - Hand Luggage Only - Travel, Food & Photography Blog()

  • Great post! And gorgeous photography!!

    x Annabelle
    travelsandtea.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much, Annabelle – Cologne is such a gorgeous city.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Pingback: The Complete Guide To Visiting Cologne, Germany - Hand Luggage Only - Travel, Food & Photography Blog()

  • Shreta

    What I like about your photos is the simplicity. Being a travel and fashion photographer myself, I look for simple photographs that meet the viewers eye just with one look. Yes there is more to it but it needn’t be complicated. So you got my eye here .😊
    Now is it yaya or Lloyd who is behind these shots?? 😍

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ahhhh! Thank you so much for your really kind words. You made our evening with your lovely sentiments Thank you. You are so so kind 😊

      So, we tend to both take photos (on a few different camera) so there often a mixture of both of our pics. 😊

      Lloyd & Yaya xx