Cologne is Germany’s oldest and fourth largest city. Its most famous landmark is the Cologne Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Germany’s most visited tourist attraction.
On my way to Cologne, I met Niklas on the train, a young blue-eyed local student. We exchanged stories during the whole course of the trip, all thanks to him for not making the 5-hour journey a boring one. It’s always nice to meet new people!
My stop was at Köln Hauptbahnhof, while his was at the next station, Düsseldorf. I headed to my hotel, which I will write about on my next post, to drop my luggage first before doing some exploration.
From my hotel, Rudolfplatz station is walking distance. Single Ticket (EinzelTicket) costs €1,90. I would go down at Neumarkt station, then from there I just walked going to the cathedral.
It was a Sunday when I was there so basically almost every establishment was closed. Apparently that’s how it is in Germany. Schildergasse and Hohe Straße, the best-known shopping streets in Cologne, felt like a ghost town! I was kinda bummed, but to look at the brighter side, it helped me save some money for a bigger purchase.
At the end of Hohe Straße is the way going to Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom). Basically the main thing I need to see in this place. From afar you will see the top of this huge cathedral peeking so it’s not really that hard to locate. And when you see it in its full glory, you can’t help but to be astonished with this very beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The construction of this Roman Catholic cathedral commenced in 1248, and parts of it are constantly being repaired and maintained as you can see from the photo above. It was hit with several bombs during World War II but wasn’t completely destroyed fortunately.
The Cologne Cathedral is open daily but the closing time depends on the period of the year. From November – April, it’s open from 06:00 AM to 07:30 PM, while from May – October, it’s open from 06:00 AM to 09:00 PM. And if you’re up for some challenge, you can climb over 500 steps up the bell tower. Admission fee is €4,00 and the entrance is outside the cathedral, next to the main one, on the right side.
The next day, I had to do my other mission here in Cologne – buy a Rimowa luggage!
Rimowa is founded by Paul Morszeck in Cologne, Germany, in 1898. It is known for its lightweight, durability, maximum stability and iconic groove design.
Their flagship store is located near the cathedral. I waited at the front door before it even opened! Haha I was a bit shy to take photos when I got inside so I only have that one above. I looked for the model I wanted, and too bad it was sold out. They only had it in another color. As per the lady that assisted me, they also sell Rimowa in a department store nearby called Galeria Kaufhof. So I went there and found the perfect one!
The reason I wanted to buy here is because it’s cheaper in Cologne than in Singapore. Also add the fact that I get a tax refund because I’m a tourist! Winning! And ultimately, I thought getting this luggage would be a perfect investment for traveling around the world! As I prepared for my next destination, I moved all my stuff into this much larger luggage, and left my old one in my hotel room. Traveling with a Rimowa luggage was definitely much easier!
And while waiting for this the Rimowa store to open, I visited the Cologne Cathedral again and explored the vicinity. Some more photos below.
I had a difficulty booking my ticket to Amsterdam online as the card transaction needed a code that’s being texted to my SG number. And I didn’t turn my data roaming on. So here’s a tip! Just go to the train station directly and you will be able to buy the same ticket at the same price. Just make sure you’re there a bit earlier to make sure it’s not sold out!
Thank you so much Germany, my first European country! I really enjoyed you! 🙂 Definitely going back to see Berlin and Hamburg next time!