One of Germany’s oldest cities and home of Kölsch beer
From Düsseldorf, it’s just a 25-minute train ride to Cologne, NRW’s largest city and one of Germany’s oldest, located right on the Rhine. The city’s most prominent feature is the gothic spirals of Cologne Cathedral, one of the world’s tallest twin-spired churches. Exiting Cologne Hauptbahnhof’s railway station, try not to pull your neck as you peer up at the spires that rise more than 500 feet into the air.
Like Düsseldorf, Cologne is also proud of its beer traditions; and what altbier is to Düsseldorf, Kölsch is to Cologne. While Kölsch -- a refreshing and light style of beer -- has gained popularity outside of Germany, it has largely been associated with Cologne, since the European Union made Kölsch a product with a protected geographical indication (PGI) in 1997. Notable Kölsch breweries to visit while in town include Früh, located near the cathedral, Gaffel am Dom, and Peters Brauhaus.
Make time to swing through one of Cologne’s many museums, such as the Museum Ludwig, a modern art museum that’s kept works by Picasso, Warhol, and Lichtenstein. Unsurprisingly, Cologne's most frequented museum is the Cologne Chocolate Museum, which chronicles the history of chocolate worldwide.