Discover the AmaWaterways experience on our included excursions in Cologne, Germany

Cologne, Germany – known for its magnificent cathedral, Kölsch beer and legendary Christmas Markets – is an ideal port for those who are interested in delving into history, arts and culture. With AmaWaterways’ variety of excursions to enhance your experience, this dynamic city is sure to steal a piece of your heart.

Cologne: A Brief History

The city of Cologne was founded in the 1st century and quickly became one of the most important trade and production centers in the Roman Empire north of the Alps. About 90% of the city was destroyed during World War II, but a rebuild of the Old Town started in 1947. Today, Cologne is one of the largest German cities and one of the most highly-favored travel destinations in Europe, which is why it is included in most of our Rhine River and Rhine & Moselle itineraries, and Christmas Markets on the Rhine.

“Holy City” Walking Tour and Cathedral Visit

Join our guided “Holy City” Walking Tour for a look at Cologne’s charming Old Town, including the Overstolzenhaus – home of the Academy of Media Arts – and Cologne Rathaus, the historic town hall. You’ll conclude your visit in the stunning 13th-century Cologne Cathedral – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second tallest structure in the city. The immense building can hold more than 20,000 people. Its impressive Gothic architecture and golden shrine of the Three Wise Men, along with its colorful kaleidoscope of stained-glass windows and artwork, make the cathedral an important centerpiece of the city. Your knowledgeable guide will provide further insight on the history of the structure and everything inside.

See Cologne by Bike

Those looking to see Cologne from a different vantage point will enjoy pedaling through the city on an invigorating biking excursion. The Cologne Bike Tour is a guided look at the historic Old Town on two wheels, with a scenic ride along the river banks of the Old Town Park. This is an ideal choice for active adventurists, and bikes and helmets are provided for everyone who wishes to participate.

Kölsch Beer Tasting

Food and wine enthusiasts, or those who have visited the city before, may prefer the Kölsch Beer Tasting, where guests are treated to a glass of Kölsch beer at a historic brewhouse-pub located near Cologne Cathedral. The name Kölsch is exclusive to the city of Cologne, and the beer was the result of a meeting between 24 breweries in the city who congregated to discuss the standards for what a Kölsch beer should be – filtered, pale in color, top fermented, hop accentuated and served in a tall and narrow stange glass so it can be consumed before it gets warm. The standards created – which were aptly named the Kölsch Konvention – also determined that it should be brewed between 11-14 degrees Plato (determines the density of beer wort). This beer tasting is an incredible opportunity to experience culture like a local and clink glasses with fellow beer enthusiasts.

Magical Christmas Markets

Those who decide to visit Cologne during the holiday season will have the opportunity to experience the city’s vibrant and varied Christmas Markets, which are always a favorite during Christmas Markets on the Rhine sailings. Cologne has an impressive seven markets, with the four largest markets attracting almost two million visitors per year. Shoppers love watching artisans at work as they sample traditional German Glühwein (hot mulled wine) out of festively decorated Christmas mugs and browse the stalls for keepsakes and local delicacies like reibekuchen (potato pancakes).

Places to Visit During Your Free Time

One of the advantages of our guided excursions through Cologne is that there is ample free time to explore the city before returning to the ship. Art enthusiasts have a variety of museums to choose from, ranging from traditional visual art exhibits at the highly-regarded Wallraf-Richartz and Ludwig museums to museums that are more outside the box, like the Fragrance Museum, Chocolate Museum and Cologne Carnival Museum.

To experience all that Cologne has to offer, join us on one of our upcoming Enchanting Rhine, Captivating Rhine, Rhine Castles & Swiss Alps, Treasures of the Main & Rhine, Vineyards of the Rhine & Moselle, Rhine & Moselle Delights, Rhine & Moselle Fairytales, or Christmas Markets on the Rhine river cruises.

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