Flights to Cologne
Germany’s fourth largest and one of its oldest cities is Cologne. Cologne’s collection of architecture, museums, and proud citizens make this one of Germany’s popular tourist destinations.
Flights to Cologne will arrive at the Cologne/Bonn Airport (airport code: CGN), one of the few airports in Germany to offer 24-hour service. You can get a 1-stop flight to Cologne from South Africa with either South African Airways or Lufthansa, transferring in Munich. BMI, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic also offer flights to Cologne, and they have a connection in London. Total flight time will be between 12 and 16 hours, depending on which airline you choose.
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The Tourist Attractions of Cologne:
Cologne is one of Germany’s oldest cities as it was first established by the Romans in the year 38BC. The city has therefore witnessed over two thousand years of history; its worst time coming during World War 2 in which the city centre was completely destroyed. This means there are not quite as many historical buildings as in many cities of this age, though the buildings that survived, and those that have been built since, are impressive all the same.
Cologne Cathedral is by far the most striking and famous of Cologne’s landmarks. This amazing structure withstood 70 hits from aerial bombs over the course of the Second World War, yet it still remained standing! The cathedral was begun in 1248 and eventually completed in 1880, ending as one of the largest churches in the world, and the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe. In 1996 Cologne Cathedral was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. The cathedral is open for visits and is free to enter. You can also climb the 509 steps to a viewing platform but you’ll need a lot of energy and a small fee has to be paid for the privilege.
The Fragrance Museum
Cologne has many museums of art and culture, as well as a variety of other themes, including this, the Fragrance Museum. This was the birthplace of Eau de Cologne and is the oldest fragrance factory still standing as it was established in 1709.
Art Museums in Cologne
Cologne is well known for its art museums, representing quite a spread in the world of art. The Schnutgen Museum is one of them and it focuses on Christian religious art, mainly from medieval times. The Wallraf-Richartz Museum is another, and is one of the main museums in Cologne. You’ll find fine art on display here, while for modern art head to Museum Ludwig. This museum has an outstanding collection of modern art including PopArt, Surrealism, Abstract and more, and houses one of the largest collection of works by Picasso in Europe.
Park and Botanical Garden
Flora und Botanischer Garten is Cologne’s main formal park and botanical gardens. Open daily and without an entrance charge the gardens make a nice place to spend an hour or two enjoying the landscaping and greenhouses that include a cactus house and a subtropical house. Right next door is the city zoo.
When Should You Visit?:
Cologne has a temperate climate with changeable weather that’s never too hot or too cold. The summer is the best time to visit if you prefer warm weather, though on average it’s slightly wetter during the summer months of May to September. July and August are the hottest – the average high temperature being 23.7C. Winters are cool, dropping to an average high of 5.2C in January, though snowfall is fairly rare.