© KölnTourismus GmbH, Foto: Axel Schulten

Programme & Culture in Cologne

Deep diving Cologne culture

Cologne is a city of culture, art, and pubs, not to mention places to relax, unwind and spoil yourself. After a stressful meeting, it’s the perfect place to take some time out. Immerse yourself in Cologne's countless cultural offerings. There’s lots on offer for music and theater fans, museumgoers, urban history buffs, architecture and design lovers, shopping kings and queens, fans of the Cologne lifestyle, and many more.

Stroll through Museum Ludwig, climb Cologne Cathedral's 533 steps, visit the opera, the Philharmonie, Schauspiel Köln theatre or one of Cologne's 130 galleries ... Discover artifacts and contemporary objects in one of the city's 40 museums, stroll through the Flora botanical gardens, the Sculpture Park or the Stadtgarten park – in the season, home to one of Cologne's cutest Christmas markets ... Sail along the Rhine, play indoor golf, attend a perfume workshop at Farina or 4711, immerse yourself in a world of chocolate or enjoy the tranquility of one of the 12 great Romanesque churches. And don't forget to have a tasty Kölsch beer in one of the countless pubs, traditional or new breweries ...

We certainly won't leave you to your own devices. In fact, at Cologne Convention Bureau (CCB) we have compiled a catalogue of current offerings just for you – no matter whether you are interested in one of the many city tours, in Cologne's innovative food and drink scene, in the city’s art scene (something the city has always been crazy about), in an exciting social program for your team or event, or in exploring the city and its culture on your own.

© KölnTourismus GmbH, Foto: Axel Schulten

Cologne cultivates culture.

More than 40 museums, the annual ART COLOGNE art fair, 130 galleries, 12 Romanesque churches and, of course, the city's premier attraction, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Cologne Cathedral, make Cologne an Eldorado for art lovers. Here you can admire works, for example, by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg and many more in Museum Ludwig, building instantly recognizable through its tiered ‘shed’ roofs.

But art treasures can also be encountered away from the major art markets and established galleries. In Cologne, up-and-coming artists, independent art initiatives and off-spaces showcase art in unusual, sometimes experimental contexts – whether that is a former dairy or a subway passage.

Clubs & dance venues

Cologne's club scene hosts over 8,000 live music events each year. These range from DJ sessions in bars, clubs and off-spaces to tour stops at larger venues by top-class indie bands. Venues are found all over Cologne. Since the 1990s, an energetic club scene has developed in the Ehrenfeld and the Belgian Quarter districts. Many of the venues are within walking distance, making the areas perfect for club hopping. A mix of small and large promoters generates that very special Cologne vibe. Discover the scene anew every day with the free "KlubKöln" app for your smartphone.

© KölnTourismus GmbH

Cologne's food and beverage culture – from trad. to rad.

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, in the shadow of the crane buildings, every summer the Gourmet Festival Cologne regularly attracts thousands of foodies to the Rheinauhafen area and in Cologne’s northern suburbs, the Eat, Play, Love Festival combines sports, food culture and music.

Moreover, Cologne's pubs, clubs and breweries are legendary. Not only because you can drink freshly tapped Kölsch beer from the famous "Stangen" beer glasses here, but also because it's so wonderfully easy to strike up a conversation with someone.

If you want to get into the world of brewing beer for your team event, you're in good hands at Brauwelt Köln. Huge vaults that have been converted into event rooms, exposed brickwork, high ceilings, plenty of space and a beautiful beer garden characterize the historic premises in the middle of Cologne's Kalk district. The location, which today unites Cologne's two oldest breweries Sünner Kölsch and Mühlen Kölsch under one roof, is also home to Cologne's oldest operating distillery.

Loss mer Singe

Cologne Carnival is world-famous. Over a million visitors line the streets of Cologne every year for the Rose Monday parade. On the other carnival days (the street carnival lasts from Weiberfastnacht (Shrovetide), which is a Thursday, to Ash Wednesday), people dance and celebrate in the streets, pubs, and clubs and, of course, at numerous carnival get-togethers.

In addition, people sing the season's carnival hits as well as traditional carnival songs that are over 100 years old. If you want to sing along to more than just the refrain, visit one of the numerous "Loss mer singe" events on the 11th of the 11th, or look for the lyrics online.

No matter what your favorite song is about – the "superjeilen zick", or "unserem Veedel" for example – carnival songs provide excellent inspiration for your costume, be it a sailor, Funkemariechen dancing girl, or unicorn, everything is possible!

There are over 140 carnival societies in Cologne. One of them, the StattGarde Colonia Ahoj e.V., has its roots in the Pink Carnival, and has been a full member of the Cologne Carnival Festival Committee since 2003, is also an honorary member of the Willi Ostermann Society and boasts a proven track record of attending Rosenmontag parades. The StattGarde doesn't just present a rousing stage program, but also demonstrates how closely innovation and tradition can coexist.

© KölnTourismus GmbH, Foto: Axel Schulten

We’re here to help – professional team events!

Everything from tried and trusted to innovative ideas for team events, teambuilding activities, not to mention superlative suggestions for your company event, outing, incentive, or Christmas party can be found here!

Social programmes for Cologne events

Plan a perfect social programme for your team or your event with the Cologne Convention Bureau. Indoor and outdoor – from perfume workshops and office golf, through adventure tours by rickshaw, double-decker or on foot to gourmet, media, and sporting specials ... The social program is as colorful, as it is young and traditional as the city! Find out now about our exciting offers for city tours, team events, media specials and much more.

© Thilo Schmülgen

You plan to come to Cologne over Christmas?

More than six Cologne Christmas markets enchant visitors and locals during the winter. Cologne has a favorite Christmas market for everyone – whether it's the Alter Markt’s traditional market, NeuMarkt’s convenient and centrally located market, the Rhine embankment’s nostalgic market, or the Stadtgarten’s enchanting market. Are you planning a Christmas party for your company? 

Our special for your Christmas party!

Are you looking for Christmas party ideas in Cologne? If so, you will find exactly what you are looking for at locations.koeln, the official portal of the Cologne Convention Bureau – everything, in fact, from equipment, catering, creative decorations and event technology to your company's own mobile Christmas!

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