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Cologne Mini Guide
Cologne is a very welcoming city for tourists to travel to and its inhabitants pride themselves on speaking good English. The fourth largest of Germany’s cities, Cologne is recognised as a cultural capital and has many large festivals too. To get there you will fly into one of three airports. The main terminal is Cologne Bonn Airport, used by Germanwings and TUifly which both offer low cost flights from around europe like Gatwick
. Cologne Bonn has a number of international and domestic flights as does another nearby airport, Frankfurt Rhein Main International Airport
, which is the biggest in Germany. For intercontinental routes you can also go to and from Dusseldorf International Airport. Once you have picked up your Rhino rental car it is worth knowing that you need to put a low emissions sticker on the car in Cologne. Ask Rhino rental representatives more about this.
Roads you will use which go through Cologne include the Autobahns A1, A4, A3, A57, A555. However you may want to avoid driving in the city centre as a subway tunnel is being constructed and the resulting road works are very disruptive. Look out for Rhino hire cars at Cologne Airport as well, you would be surprised how affordable our cars are and we make sure that there are no airport surcharges to pay.
Times to avoid driving in Cologne city centre are during the winter festival and the Christopher Street Day gay pride festival. The former event is massive with about half a million people attending. The latter is twice the size and also has processions, though on Christopher Street Day one of the main spectacles is the candlelit vigil for HIV sufferers. If you have a family there are a couple of good places to take children in Cologne. The zoo is reasonably priced and contains an aquarium while another exciting place for youngsters is the Phantasia theme park with roller coaster rides and other attractions.
When you have worked up a hunger there is another exciting place to go for a meal. The Unsictbar is a restaurant run by blind people. The food is served in the dark so that your sensory perception and taste are heightened, while also giving you an experience of what life is like for blind people. The restaurant at Stavenhof 5-7 is great fun and you will be looked after by a personal butler. If the weather is kind to you and you want to be outside try a Rhine River Cruise where you will get a guided tour of some fantastic landmarks and learn a bit about the history of this great river.
- On July 14th this year the city will host the Cologne Lights festival which lights up the Rhine between the Hohenzollern and Zoo bridges with thousands of euros of fireworks in one of Europe's biggest fireworks festivals.
- A combination of heavy rain and unusually mild temperatures for January have cause a rapid thaw of the heavy snow and ice that accumulated during December. In addition to the ground reaching saturation point, the run-off into rivers such as the Rhine, Mosel and Elbe has caused them to break their banks and flood many cities and towns. In the town of Zell in southern Germany, the only practical means of transport today was a boat, In Western Germany cities such as Cologne, Bonn and Koblenz have been deluged with water up to three metres deep in places. Koblenz was particularly badly hit as the Rhine meets the Mosel just outside the city. Experts have calculated that the river level will reach 7.7m later today, 5 metres above normal.