Open your mind. Incentives & culture.

  • Stand-Up Paddeln © FS-Cologne-Beach GmbH
    © FS-Cologne-Beach GmbH

Cologne boasts an exceptional musical tradition and is, without doubt, the underdog amongst Germany's music cities. Influential musicians like Karlheinz Stockhausen and the band CAN have lived and worked here. And contemporary avant-garde and jazz musicians are at home here. Spearheaded by record labels such as a-musik and kompakt, the “Sound of Cologne” has turned the city into a world-renowned Mecca for electronic music. Pop art meets roman city. The Museum Ludwig houses the most extensive Pop Art collection in Europe. In the building on ...

[read more]

Cologne boasts an exceptional musical tradition and is, without doubt, the underdog amongst Germany's music cities. Influential musicians like Karlheinz Stockhausen and the band CAN have lived and worked here. And contemporary avant-garde and jazz musicians are at home here. Spearheaded by record labels such as a-musik and kompakt, the “Sound of Cologne” has turned the city into a world-renowned Mecca for electronic music.

Pop art meets roman city.

The Museum Ludwig houses the most extensive Pop Art collection in Europe. In the building on the banks of the Rhine, you can admire works by Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg and many more. Plus, throughout 2020 and 2021 it is home to an iconic Andy Warhol retrospective! Boasting more than 40 museums, 130 galleries, 12 large Romanesque churches and, of course, Cologne Cathedral Cologne is an El Dorado for art lovers. With over 70 theatres, the lit.COLOGNE, the Philharmonie, the Opera and the Schauspielhaus, Cologne also offers a world-class programme of cultural activities. Festival fans love the c/o pop Festival in the city centre, the Summerjam Festival on the lake “Fühlinger See” and the lit.COLOGNE literature festival. Cologne is also a design metropolis. Twice a year the “PASSAGEN” and “Le Tour Belgique” events turn Cologne into catwalk for fashion, art, music and inspiration.

Be part of the game.

Plan a truly perfect programme of social activities for your team or your event: from a perfume or office-golf workshop to adventurous city tours by rickshaw, double-decker bus or on foot, through to special events for connoisseurs, media and sporting people and all topped off with social activity programmes that are as colourful, young and as timeless as you and the city! We can provide you with offers for city tours, team events, media specials and much more! Inform now: social programmes for events in Cologne.

Lighthouse of peace.

Cologne Cathedral is the third-highest church in the world, an architectural wonder, and, frequented by some 20,000 visitors a day, Germany’s most visited tourist attraction. Precious relics, sculptures, altars, floor mosaics, 100 square meter windows and a forest of columns provide a sense of deep spirituality. A total of more than 100 employees, including stonemasons, sculptors, roofers
and glass painters, maintain and preserve the 772-year-old Cathedral and world cultural heritage site. A new favourite of Cologne’s inhabitants is the 19-metrehigh window in the southern transept, designed by Gerhard Richter.

Spreading the light.

Cologne never stops inspiring. In summer, it is the Kölner Lichter firework display that bathes hundreds of thousands of visitors as well as Cologne Cathedral and Rhine riverscape in an extravaganza of light and colour. In winter, the Christmas markets enchant visitors and locals alike. Whether it's traditional at the Alter Markt square, downtown at Neumarkt square, nostalgic on the banks of the Rhine or hip in the Stadtgarten park, Cologne has a Christmas market to suit every taste.

New festivals.

Several culinary events are on the menu every year in Cologne!

Fine Food Days Cologne transform the city into a food and star cuisine hotspot. At the two-week food event, top chefs and wineries from the Rhineland set new trends. Breaking with traditional gourmet festival formats, culinary experiments and crossover events take place at unusual venues. The cooking is regional, sustainable, and creative, and always aimed at bringing the cultural and culinary diversity of the Cathedral City to life.

In the shadow of the crane buildings, every summer the Gourmet Festival Cologne regularly attracts thousands of foodies to the Rheinauhafen area. For three days - usually at the end of July – the Rheinauhafen is transformed into a culinary mile. Delicatessen, first-class wines, fine spirits, exceptional producers, beautiful tableware, cigars, tobacco, non-alcoholic beverages, cooking accessories and kitchen utensils are all on display. There are also shows featuring cooking demonstrations, entertainment, and information on all aspects of cooking and culinary indulgence. Around 30 street food trucks line up along "food truck alley" between the Olympic Museum and Harry-Blum-Platz square. Here you will find the best of street food, including meat-based favorites, vegan burgers, and culinary specialties from all over the world.

Summer, sun, sea, and sound. In Cologne’s northern suburbs, the Eat, Play, Love Festival combines sports, food culture and music. A culinary tour of the world comprising the finest street food, top sporting events, numerous concerts and an eclectic list of attractions ranging from art exhibitions to comedy and water-skiing shows, the festival usually takes place in July at the Fühlinger See lake.

We interviewed the Cologne top chef Daniel Gottschlich, owner and chef of the restaurant Ox & Klee. On visit.koeln you can discover the culinary diversity of the city.

Clubbing.

The Cologne club scene hosts over 8,000 live music events every year - from the smallest DJ sets in bars, clubs and off-spaces to tour dates featuring top class indie bands in larger venues. There are venues throughout Cologne. Starting in the 1990s, a vibrant club scene has developed in the Ehrenfeld and the Belgian Quarter neighbourhoods. Lots of venues are within walking distance, perfect for club hopping. This mix of small and large venues gives Cologne a special vibe. The free “KlubKöln” app provides club information to your smartphone and helps to discover the scene for yourself.

You can find more about sights, culture and events at Cologne Tourism.

[show less]

Meeting Point Cologne

Cologne and its surrounding areas boast a long trading and industrial tradition. All in all, it’s home to a future-proof mix of industries. Find out more in our section ‚Meeting Point Cologne’. The "Meeting Point Cologne" is comfortably readable as an e-paper. We would also be pleased to send you the magazine as a print brochure. Also don't miss to read through our interviews with inspiring characters from the science and business sectors in Cologne.

FAQs Culture and programme - Frequently asked questions

Which cultural offerings are to be found in Cologne?

This lively city on the Rhine offers a wealth of cultural activities and numerous major events. Attractions such as Cologne Cathedral, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city's 12 Romanesque churches create an unforgettable impression on visitors. What’s more, the large number of museums and galleries, presenting top-class art of all styles and from all époques, contribute to Cologne’s unique cultural offerings.

Which sights does Cologne have?

Cologne has innumerable attractions for every taste. Most notably there is Cologne Cathedral, of course, which is the most-visited tourist attraction in Germany. Apart from that, art lovers will be spoiled by Cologne’s many galleries and museums. In addition, many of Cologne’s “veedel” offer a unique charm of their own for visitors.

How tall is Cologne Cathedral?

Cologne Cathedral’s more than 157-metre tall towers make it the tallest cathedral in Germany and the third-tallest in the world. Moreover, the structure, which is on UNESCO’s Welt Heritage list, is over 765 years old and is regarded as the most-visited tourist attraction in Germany.

What is an example of typical Cologne cuisine?

One of the typical foods in Cologne is certainly “Blootwoosch" (black pudding), which is served as part of the "Himmel un Äd" (heaven and earth) dish, along with onions, mashed potatoes, and apple sauce, or as "kölsche Kaviar" (Cologne caviar), along with a rye roll. Another unique dish is "Halve Hahn" (half a chicken) If you order it, you won’t get half of a fried chicken, as you might expect, but instead a thick slab of gouda cheese, half of a rye roll, as well as butter and strong mustard.