We flew from Manchester Airport on Friday morning, returning back Sunday night so... More of an extended weekend really. We were primarily there to see Arcade Fire on their Everything Now tour at Tanzbrunnen, but you can read more about that in a separate post. For now here's everything we got up to in the beautiful German city of Cologne.
We stayed in a lovely hotel called the Hopper St Josef. It was about a half hour walk from the main train station, but we relished how peaceful and quiet it was where we were. It was 5 minutes from the harbour and we were never more than a 40 minute walk from anything we wanted to see either.
The hotel is beautiful, an old church dating back to 1891 that has been converted into a 4* modern design hotel whilst still acknowledging the stunning old features.
Friday was mostly taken up with travelling and heading over to Rheinpark for the gig. But Saturday we did a lot of exploring, wandering along the Rhine and my highlight of the trip - the Museum Ludwig.
The museum is right in the city centre by the train station and hosts Europe's largest collection of Picasso's work. Initially, that's what attracted me, but I stayed for so much more. There is an extensive exhibition on Pop Art including Warhol, Lichtenstein and Johns (pictured below).
The museum also hosts a huge collection of french humanist Henri Cartier-Bresson photographs with great detail into his photographic practice and ideas. It was great to see some of my favourite artists work side by side, and for photography to take it's place beside paintings in one gallery all in the name of surrealism.
We spent more time there than we intended and came out in search of food. Eating vegan in Cologne is easy, with the ever trusty help of Happy Cow we found lots of places open to a plant based lifestyle. Brunch on the Saturday was from Ecco, a timed all-you-can-eat that serves clearly labelled fresh food for a fixed price. I had cake, stewed cherries, pasta, hash browns, beets, salad and even rice pudding! It doesn't have great reviews for service, but they were patient with our lack of german language and seemed friendly enough.
Saturday night we happened upon a place called Boss Burger who did a great vegan burger with smashed avo and onion. Sunday brunch we found a spot called Bad Ape who do more salad-type food, then had to have a slice of chunky berry banana bread and fresh OJ from my top pick of the weekend Hommage.
We chilled in the Nagasaki Park Sunday morning as the heatwave increased, napping in the shade and soaking up the last of the holiday before our journey home later that day. All in all Cologne is worth a visit. The architecture is particularly impressive, if buildings are your thing. There is a great mix of old and new, and being along the river never hurts a city either.
Cologne is perhaps not as vibrant as my top city and it's German neighbour Berlin, but it had a great summer atmosphere and it's own culture, style and personality. I could get lost in the museums and wander dreamily down the river for days.