Prost zu Köln.
Cologne is split into nine districts and has easily accessible transport links spread throughout the city. It is a vibrant mix of hipster, mainstream and bohemian bars that make up a truly buzzing nightlife. The Belgishces Viertel, an inner city area in Cologne, is recognised as one of the most fashionable places to have an ice cold stein. The Zülpicher Straße, on the other hand, is home to a large student scene, with local beer for €1 and bars open until breakfast. This is our kind of city.
Cologne is a stunning example of rich, architectural history. The city was heavily damaged during World War II, but has since been restored to its former glory and is a now a city bursting with life. At the root of this city are the famous carnivals, the spectacular cathedral and Cologne’s very own beer – Kölsch.
Kölsch is Germany’s answer to Britain’s pale ale and is a local speciality exclusively brewed in Cologne. It is stocked in abundance at the traditional beer halls, home to Bavarian 'oompah' bands and buxom beer maids. During the summer, these vast beer halls spread outside and Cologne becomes a one huge beer garden with live bands, performers and beers for €1.
We went to Cologne for my mate's stag. We dressed him in lederhosen and hit the beer halls. It was such a good weekend.
Not only is Cologne a land of beer but it is also dedicated to the beautiful game of football. Germans are fanatical about the game and the imposing 50,000 seat RheinEnergieStadion, a host stadium of the 2006 World Cup, can be found in the city. It is home to the successful 1. FC Köln, a team that have global renown for their passionate fans and electric atmosphere.
The city is a major cultural centre in Europe, with dozens of art galleries, museums and the charming Old Town. The Cologne Cathedral, regularly voted as Germany’s top tourist attraction, dominates the skyline with two giant spires and is the tallest Catholic church in the world. The shrine of the three kings can also be found in the cathedral and legend says it contains the bones of the Three Wise Men.
In February, the city is taken over by the Cologne Carnival. Dancers, bands, animals and acrobats parade down the streets, with beer stalls on every corner, along with street vendors serving traditional German cuisine.
Cologne will leave you in a whirlwind of merry mayhem, with a smile on your face and memories of a truly unforgettable stag weekend.