How to Spend 24 Hours in Cologne


Germany Featured Europe Tips & Tricks

This week's edition of The Discoverer took you to Cologne, Germany to experience the highlights of this German gem. Cologne is overflowing with sights to see, so how do you narrow it down if you're just passing through? If you only have 24 hours in Cologne, we've got you covered.


pssst - shout out to our friend Kristina at Smartup Visuals for sending us this awesome graphic of Cologne!

8:00 am - Wake up in the Qvest Hotel
Set in the former city archive of Cologne, this design hotel is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the history of the city while enjoying a luxurious experience. The suites are to-die-for, and its location in a quiet but central neighborhood puts you right in the middle of the action in minutes.

8:30 am - Breakfast at Funk Haus
Grab a quick bite at this delicious and breakfast spot just around the corner from the city center. With a lively atmosphere, modern decor, and delicious breakfast dishes, it's the perfect place to start your day.

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9:00 am - Climb the Cologne Cathedral
Just around the corncer from breakfast is the star of the show - the Cologne Cathedral. Getting here early will help you beat the crowds, so you can climb to the top of the church without cramming with other tourists. Before you consider skipping this stop, know that the view from the top is one of the best in the entire city and definitely shouldn't be missed!

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10:00 am - Explore the city center and walk across Hohenzollern Bridge
After exiting the cathedral, spend some time snapping pics of the adorable pastel-colored homes of the city center. Then make your way to the famous Hohenzollern Bridge. Bring your own padlock or purchase one nearby and write your initials on it before securing it to the bridge railing and throwing your key into the River Rhine below. Though the tradition might seem a little cheesy, it's still fun to cross the bridge and admire the lovers and friends partaking in the ritual.

11 am - Fragrance Museum
The famous "eau de cologne" scent was invented in the city back in the 1700s. Taking a tour of the Fragrance Museum is one of the most olfactory experiences in Europe! Learn about the various production methods of perfume and receive your own sample at the end of the tour.

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12:30 pm - Lunch at Salon Schmitz
This trendy and cozy cafe is the perfect place to indulge in a little lunch. Housed in three historic homes joined together, it's the perfect pitstop for creative conversations and delicious dishes.

2:00 pm - Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum (aka the Chocolate Museum)
Following lunch, it's time to satiate your sweet tooth. The Lindt Chocolate Museum is the natural next stop. Take the tour and learn about the history of chocolate making before ending in the tasting room where you can sample from the chocolate fountain. Sign up for a chocolate making course or a tasting if you can't get enough. Who needs Willy Wonka?

3:30 pm - Wander the Belgian Quarter and shop
Slip over to the trendy Belgian Quarter for an afternoon of shopping. Slide into cute boutiques and record shops, shopping for anything your heart desires. If you need an afternoon pick me up there are also plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby.

5:00 pm - Sunset boat cruise down the Rhine
The iconic Rhine River runs through the heart of the city, and after a long day of walking it's time to rest with a boat cruise. Watch the sunset behind the cathedral and get the inside scoop on the city's history. Travel as far or as near as you like with a hop-on, hop-off pass.

7:00 pm - Dinner at Acht
Wrap up your day with a delicious meal at this stylish restaurant. From their fresh ingredients to their cool and modern presentation, it's the perfect last meal in Cologne. Make sure to order yourself some wine from their extensive list - you've earned it!

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9:00 pm - Drink at Kolsch at Brüsseler Platz
Order yourself the standard fare of Cologne - a Kolsch beer - and mingle with locals in Brüsseler Platz on the stairs of Church St. Michael. Enjoy the atmosphere and reminisce on your perfect day in Cologne.

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