walking along the rhein, catching a few sunrays in the park, cheesecake at schmitz, the starry ceilings in the dom, hiding from the rain, eating the biggest schnitzel, the feeling of vacation…
And all of this just 3 hours away from home!
My mom & I took a trip to Köln (Cologne) in Germany! It may sound really random, which it kind of was, but I really wanted to go to the OneRepublic concert & we decided to add a few extra days to explore the city. This felt like the best mini-vacation to just get out of my normal routine.
If you ever decide to visit Cologne, maybe this post will give you some ideas on what to see and what to do whilst you’re there!
⭐︎ tag eins ☆
After a morning in the ‘college benches’ I went back to the train station to meet up with my mom! At 3 our train to Cologne would depart and we had some time to kill. So at Utrecht Centraal we decided to get a cup of coffee (I had a caramel macchiato, which is one of the first coffees I actually really enjoyed!). After that we bought umbrellas, a key item when visiting any place in Germany during winter/spring, but I had totally forgotten to bring one. We also bought lunch to eat on the train and then went to the platform! In almost three hours we arrived, which flew by, and the train ride was very comfortable.
When we stepped out of the station we could already see the beautiful dom towers that characterize the city. I was in awe. The building so tall and so extravagant. Cologne was bombed during the second World War, but most of the dom remained standing. After that it was renovated. I couldn’t wait to see it up close, but we decided to drop off our suitcases at our hotel first.
We stayed at the Classic Hotel Harmonie, which is pretty much in the centre. The room was very lovely and we were especially excited about the Rituals shower gels they had 🙂
Then we went to explore the city! All the highlights are in close proximity to each other, so we were able to see them on foot. We went to the dom and looked around inside the building (which was free). then we walked richting the river Rhine, where a bridge with hundreds of locks stretched across the river. The sun slowly went down and from the bridge we had a lovely view of the old centre of the city. We walked by several restaurants when it started to rain. In a cute cobbled street we decided to step inside a restaurant. It was called Brauhaus Sünner im Walfisch if you are interested! They served the best schnitzel and I was completely content with the warm meal.
⭐︎ tag zwei ⭐︎
The next day we woke up to another beautiful sunny morning. I was chuffed with the breakfast options they had and especially loved the kaiserbrötchen. Then we started another touristy day, this time deciding to visit the Belgian Quarter. We went there by metro and had a lot of difficulty finding the right tickets to do so. In the end we discovered that you can buy tickets on the platform and that they didn’t accept our cards. So, before you visit Cologne, I would highly recommend looking a bit more into the public transport options and tariffs. But we made it!
The Belgian Quarter (Belgischen Viertel in German) is a neighborhood with lots of cool concept stores and places to eat. We strolled around and were a little early (all the shops opened at 11 or 12 o’clock on Wednesday) but that gave us the chance to get familiar. At one point we stumbled across a little park in the middle of the city and enjoyed the sun on a bench.
After the pauze in the park we walked back, in the direction of the metro, and got seated at a little café called Schmitz we came across on our way there. We ordered cake and tea/coffee. They have the most delicious cheesecake!
That night we went to the Palladium by bus to see the concert. When we arrived at the venue the queue in front of the Palladium was incredibly long, so we had to walk all the way to the end of the street. Not long after that we could take a spot and it surprised me how close to the stage we still could stand. The evening was incredibly tiring, but so worth it. OneRepublic was amazing and also did a few of my favourite songs of theirs.
⭐︎ tag drei ⭐︎
“du bist so schön!!”
The last day was the most relaxed. We had almost seen everything from our list, so we could act like locals and revisited the Belgische Viertel. We sat down for lunch at Herr Pimock on Aachener Strasse, which I highly recommend. They had a really delicious falafel burger!! Actually still craving another bite of that burger right now… Anyways, after that we walked to the 4711 building where ‘Eau de Cologne’ was founded and I bought a little bottle as souvenir. We explored a few more shops and when our feet were tired we decided to drink a cup of tea. We had our ereaders with us so we spent some time reading. I actually finished reading Little Women that day! After that we picked up our suitcases and went to the train station, where our little trip officially ended. On the way home we ate pretzels for dinner and I watched Locke & Key, a series on Netflix I really enjoyed.
I feel very lucky I was able to make this trip with my mom and of course especially when keeping recent events in mind. I hope you are not feeling too anxious about the virus that is spreading and that you all stay safe and healthy. Optimism is key! We will get through this ❤ I must say I’m not too worried, but only for the people whom the virus is a danger to. I think it’s good to keep in mind that most of us are strong enough to battle this virus.