© KölnTourismus GmbH, Foto: Axel Schulten

The Cologne way of life

Glocals: Cologne’s Citizenry.

The inhabitants of Cologne are world citizens. They're glocal in outlook but, at the same time, prone to homesickness when away from home. They're grumpy yet warm, down-to-earth, upbeat, open-minded, tolerant, and rarely arrogant – all at the same time. They also have a reputation for accepting and accommodating newcomers. The Rhineland mentality is welcoming, liberal, and relaxed. It is not by chance that Cologne was the European Capital of Diversity and Integration in 2022.

The people of Cologne love their city. They also cherish their customs and traditions, and local Kölsch dialect, and, in many cases, can't imagine ever leaving Cologne of their own free will. Even if they sometimes overdo the local pride, they treat other cultures, other people, and other lifestyles with an extraordinary amount of respect. The Cologne saying "Levve un levve loße" (live and let live) gives voice to the Cologne people’s upbeat, optimistic, and relaxed way of life just as much as "Et hätt noch emmer joot jejange" (it always worked out before) and "Et kütt wie et kütt " (it is what it is) do.







brands of Kölsch

© FRÜH Gastronomie

People in Cologne.

The people of Cologne celebrate their tolerance as well as their 86 neighborhoods, their carnival, their Rhine, their Christopher Street Day, their more than 700 taverns, or Kneipen as they're known here, over 100 bars and 1,000 plus restaurants... They love their cathedral, or Dom as they call it, which is not only world-famous, but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Real Cologners revere Cologne as the "most beautiful city in the world" – while newcomers and visitors appreciate Cologne for the vibrant, emotional, and open city it is.

Every lovely city needs a river – Cologne has the Rhine.

The people of Cologne, the tourists and the newcomers mix on the banks of the Rhine. On the "right" bank of the Rhine, i.e., the left, the Rheinauhafen with its futuristic-looking crane houses, a promenade, and two thousand years of history beckon. The promenade leads past the quaint Kunibertsviertel neighborhood, the Museum Ludwig, home to Europe's largest pop art collection, and the main train station with its 255-meter-long historic platform. Within sight of Cologne Cathedral, the route continues past the picturesque old town with its narrow, colorfully decorated houses and countless cafés with spacious outdoor terraces.

See and be seen. Continue strolling ¬- past the historic Malakoff Tower, the Chocolate and Sports Museum, the skate park, the RheinauArtOffice, crane houses and Bauhaus-style apartment buildings to the Südbrücke bridge with its view of the Rhine meadows – where locals barbecue in summer, chill out, walk their dogs, ride their bikes, or show off their favorite outfits.

On the other bank of the Rhine, visitors are attracted by eateries and event venues such as the Rheinterrassen, the Tanzbrunnen, the Design-Post, the Cologne Beach Club with its view of the Cologne skyline, the LANXESS Arena, the KölnTriangle with its amazing view of the Cologne Cathedral or the wide steps of the Rhine Boulevard, not to mention an abundance of greenery. The Cologne Trade Fair – one the tenth largest exhibition centers in the world – is also located on the righthand side of the Rhine.

The 40-hectare Rhine Park and the Hyatt Hotel with their beautiful outdoor restaurants are also part of the so-called "Schäl Sick" – Cologne slang that translates to "wrong side of the Rhine." As is so often the case in Cologne, the exact origin of the term is the subject of passionate and controversial debate. One of the better-known derivations goes back to the time when ships were still towed upstream along the Rhine by horses. To prevent them from being blinded by the sun's rays on the water, the horses were fitted with blinkers on one side. This made them "schäl", which means "bad eyesight" in the local dialect. The "Schäl Sick" was born. In the meantime, more than 400,000 Cologne residents live on what was once the "wrong" side – many of them use the originally pejorative term "Schäl Sick" – again typically Cologne – with pride and humor. The term is even used in advertising, for example, in the slogan Schäl Sick is Chic!

© KölnTourismus GmbH, Foto: Dieter Jacobi

Green and vibrant.

No matter which side of the Rhine they live on – the people of Cologne love their city's greenery, picnicking and celebrating on the banks of the Rhine, on the Cologne Riviera or in one of the city's many parks. Almost 60% of Cologne's urban area consists of green spaces. The people of Cologne are party-loving and sociable. The city's club scene and culinary variety are famous. As is the diversity of Cologne's inhabitants. Whether they are old hands, young guns, local nobility, newcomers, night owls or after-work beer fans, they all meet at the bar.

More than 180 different ethnic groups live in Cologne. The Cologne maxim levve un levve losse (live and let live) is a lived tradition. The LBGTQI+ community has long been an integral part of the city. A regular part of ColognePride since the 1990s, the parade for diversity, tolerance and against hate and exclusion is the largest in Germany and the third largest in Europe. More than 1.2 million visitors attended Christopher Street Day in 2022 – only the Cologne Carnival with its parades attracts more attendees. At the carnival some two million plus people sway, dance and sing along.


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