Although the pandemic has curtailed many of our travels, there are still great places to visit close to home! Each recommendation below comes from the real-life experiences of people you know and trust.

This month's destination is Cologne!

Lodging:

  • Excelsior Hotel Ernst is a gorgeous, classic old school 5-star hotel directly across from Cologne Cathedral and only a block from the train station. They are even dog-friendly!
  • Hyatt Regency Cologne: with a large family we needed adjoining rooms with some space and this was perfect. Views of the Cathedral across the water and easy access to Cologne and other destinations. Walked across the bridge from the hotel to Cologne proper.
  • This Airbnb was absolutely beautiful! I would definitely recommend it to families or two couples. (We were one couple and one sibling.) There’s also a fireplace, perfect for a winter visit.

Restaurants:

  • Brauhau Sunner - With 7 people dining we sampled a variety of dishes: delicious Wienerschnitzel, traditional pork knuckle, sauerbraten and all of it amazing. Served with the small glasses of ice cold Koelsch beer, it's a tasty traditional meal.
  • Bulgogi House - Korean food! Surprisingly there is great Korean food in Germany. Back in the 50s and 60s, West Germany recruited nurses and miners and laborers from South Korea for economic necessity but apparently also because of shared support for two countries divided by ideology. Hence, a robust Korean population in Germany with good Korean food in 2020!
  • Mevlana - Turkish food. So good, that when we drove out of town, we went back and grabbed Turkish wraps to go. The line for take-out is messy and crowded. It's like ordering a sandwich from a NY deli - just call out and get attention. Dont forget some baklava.
  • Visit any of the Kolsch breweries - there are lots in the city! Be aware the waiters will refill your beer continuously until you tell them not to.

Activities:

  • Museum Ludwig: contemporary art museum. Don't miss it. It has an amazing pop art collection and plenty of Picassos. It's a very cool museum.
  • Cologne Cathedral: yes, it's Europe and another cathedral, but you can never really get bored of them and this one is spectacular with amazing views. (multiple recommendations!)
  • Phantasialand: like German Disneyland. German amusement parks are FUN! Roller coasters labeled "family friendly" are hairy and fast and would not be called "family friendly" in the US. Got to be tough to get on the German coaster. But there's plenty for non-thrill seekers.
  • Köln Christmas Markets

Please note:

Due to the ever-changing nature of the global pandemic, be sure to check the Cologne tourism's coronavirus page for up-to-date information about rules, closures, and prevention measures.

Do you have tips you'd like to add? In our member's only Facebook group, join the lively conversation!

Next, we'll be sharing tips for Friesland! Please help fellow AWCAers by sharing your experiences in our our very short survey.