There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Cologne each year.
The main ones are listed below.
One of Europe's oldest and largest reggae festivals, this event held on the shores of Fühlinger See, a lake near Cologne, attracts between 50,000 and 70,000 attendees each year.Early July: Lights of Cologne (local event)
This hugely popular event offers a mesmerizing feast of fireworks set off from ships on the Rhine and synchronized with music, inspired each year by a different theme. Throughout the day, there are several free concerts and a number of fun activities. At nightfall, a beautiful parade of ships begins to make its way down the Rhine, before the main spectacle gets underway at about 11:30 p.m.October 3: German Unity Day (national holiday) (national)
Commemorates the anniversary of Germany's reunification in 1990.Late October: Long Night of Museums (local event)
A single ticket provides admission to more than 45 participating museums, galleries, studios, art societies and alternative spaces in the city keeping their doors open just for this one night until 3 a.m. In addition to viewing temporary exhibitions and permanent collections, visitors can take their pick from a special programme of events, including guided tours, live music, talks and entertaining activities.Late November–late December: Christmas Markets (local event)
A single ticket provides admission to more than 45 participating museums, galleries, studios, art societies and alternative spaces in the city keeping their doors open just for this one night until 3 a.m. In addition to viewing temporary exhibitions and permanent collections, visitors can take their pick from a special programme of events, including guided tours, live music, talks and entertaining activities.December 25 : Christmas (national holiday)
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||1/34||4/39||60/2.4||Not the best period to go|
|February||1/34||7/45||45/4.8||Not the best period to go|
|March||3/37||12/54||40/4.6||Not the best period to go|
|April||6/43||16/61||60/2.4||Not the best period to go|
|May||8/46||20/68||48/1.9||Good period to go|
|June||12/54||22/72||77/3.0||Good period to go|
|July||14/57||25/77||69/2.7||Good period to go|
|August||15/59||26/79||71/2.8||Good period to go|
|September||12/54||20/68||54/2.1||Good period to go|
|October||8/46||15/59||53/2.1||Not the best period to go|
|November||4/39||10/50||66/2.6||Not the best period to go|
|December||1/34||6/43||50/2.0||Good period to go|
Cologne-Bonn Airport is located about 15 kilometres (9 miles) south-east of Cologne and 23 kilometres (14 miles) north-east of Bonn.
Public transport is an excellent option for getting around Cologne.
As is the case for most large German cities, the public transport system in Cologne is convenient, efficient and offers dense coverage of the city. Fares depend upon the departure point and the distance travelled.
This pass offers unlimited travel on any means of transport during its validity period and is the best way to discover Cologne with complete freedom. In addition to public transport, the KölnCard also offers many discounts at restaurants, museums, tourist attractions, etc.
Cologne has an extensive network of paths for cyclists, making this an ideal way to discover the city, and in particular the banks of the Rhine. There are a number of bike rental shops dotted around the city.
Upon your arrival in Cologne, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.KölnTourismus
Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).
There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Germany.
For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:
Tap water is safe to drink in Cologne.
As a French citizen, you do not need to obtain a visa if you will be staying in Germany for less than three months. For stays longer than three months, you will need to apply for a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) from the Immigration Office (Ausländeramt). You will need to provide proof of sufficient financial resources to fund your proposed stay and proof of accommodation in Germany (Wohnungsbescheinigung). You will also need to be in possesssion of a valid national identity card or passport.
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Cologne and Germany, be sure to check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country for the latest travel information and recommendations. Comprehensive information that may be helpful for international visitors is also provided on the Germany page of the U.S. State Department’s travel Website: view information for travellers to Germany
Here are a few basic German phrases that will make your stay in Cologne a little easier:
Hello / How do you do?: Guten Tag
Good morning: Guten Morgen
Good evening: Guten Abend (there is no equivalent of “Good afternoon” in German)
Good-bye: Auf Wiedersehen
No, thank you: Nein, Danke
Thank you very much: Vielen Dank
I don't understand: Ich verstehe nicht.
Could you repeat that: Können Sie bitte wiederholen?
What time is it: Wie spät ist es?
Excuse me: Entschuldigung
Airport: Der Flughafen
Train station: Der Bahnhof
Taxi: Das Taxi
Hotel: Das Hotel
Hôpital: Das Krankenhaus
Bank: Die Bank
Telephone: Das Telefon
I'm (…): Ich bin (…)
I'm looking for (…): Ich suche (…)
How much is this: Wie viel kostet es?
Do you have (…): Haben Sie (…)?
Where can I find (…): Wo kann ich (…) finden?
Where can I buy (…): Wo kann ich (…) kaufen?
I'd like (…): Ich hätte gerne (…)
And what about tipping?
In Germany, as is also the case in France and Italy, when the service is especially friendly and attentive, leaving a tip is recommended and always appreciated. An appropriate tip in this case is anywhere between 5 and 10 percent of the bill at restaurants or bars. Do not leave the tip on the table. It is better to hand it to the server when paying the bill.