Welcome in Cologne
Historical Cologne and its Roman heritage
The city of Cologne has a history that dates back almost two thousand years. A history that all began with a woman: it was thanks to Empress Agrippina that in 50 A.D. city rights were awarded to Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (CCAA). That's because Emperor Claudius's influential wife was born in Cologne. She helped the citizens of CCAA to the privileges afforded under Roman civil law and the ancient city of Cologne flourished and became one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire.
Today, Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany. More than one million people call it home, and still the city has a rather cosy and compact feel to it. Thanks to its protected location in the Rhine Embayment between Bergisches Land and the Eifel district, Cologne has a moderate climate with mild winters and moderately hot summers. Thanks to its central location and goods links via the Köln/Bonn inner-city airport, other major European cities are easy to reach, for instance, for short trips or on business. The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France are just a short car journey away.
Cologne – Luxembourg:140 km
Cologne – Brussels:180 km
Cologne – Amsterdam: 315 km
Cologne – Paris: 403 km
Cologne – Berlin: 480 km
All information: Linear distance
Sights in Cologne
Cologne's rich cultural and architectural heritage, with the famous Cathedral in the heart of the city, continues to shape the city's landscape. Cologne is a vibrant city that attracts visitors from all over the world each year.
- The city is an art metropolis with an international flair and is considered to be the leading center for the international art trade.
- Cologne is a media city: Seven major television broadcasters and four radio stations broadcast from here.
- Cologne is a city on the Rhine. The river's banks and wetlands are oases with a view.
- Cologne is the city with five seasons – the fifth one being Carnival.
- Cologne is a university city with a total of 14 state and private universities; around 45,000 students attend the University of Cologne alone.
The combination of medical excellence at an outstanding university hospital, both with and in a city that is a perfect blend of tradition and modernity, is what is drawing more and more health tourists to Cologne. More and more people from abroad are coming to Cologne for treatment or surgery. The city has everything the heart desires – for patients, convalescents and for family members accompanying them. Wallraf-Richartz Museum and Museum Ludwig, the Cathedral Treasury and the Chocolate Museum, the Opera House and the Philharmonic Hall, the Theatre and Lanxess Arena, the Rheinauhafen district and Kölner Lichter firework festival, Original Eau de Cologne and the Carnival season and the famous Kölsch beer – these are just some of the attractions that await visitors to Cologne.
Shopping in Cologne and outside the city
Cologne is a shopping metropolis: It is said that there are people who come to the city simply to have fun shopping. Schildergasse and Hohe Straße leave nothing to be desired, be it trendy or luxurious. And outside Cologne, shoppers will be delighted to discover exclusive shopping as offered by the Designer Outlet in Roermond.
Cologne has a relatively mild climate. In summer, temperatures rarely rise to more than around 24°C. In winter, temperatures seldom fall below -1°C. High humidity can, however, lead to muggy weather with heavy rain in the summer months. Before departing for Germany, please check the latest weather forecast and make sure to pack suitable clothing.