Are you planning a trip to Cologne and wondering what to see and do? The itinerary 2 days in Cologne (48 hours in Cologne) covers all the must see sites plus few interesting museums. If you are not a museum person, you can see Cologne in one day and on the second day you can visit the Augustusburg palace. If you are in the city during the winter don’t forget to visit the Cologne Christmas markets.
2 days in Cologne (48 hours in Cologne) itinerary map
The easiest way to explore the city is with a hop-on hop-off bus tour and Rhine River sightseeing cruise.
09:00 AM – 09:15 AM
Hohenzollern Bridge (Hohenzollernbrücke)
Start your day with an amazing view of the Cologne cathedral from the east end of the Hohenzollern Bridge. The bridge is also a spot where you can leave a love padlock.
09:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom)
Cologne Cathedral is a must see. It is a stunning example of the Gothic architecture. If you have time don’t miss to climb the steps to the top of the south tower for amazing views over Cologne or to visit the cathedral treasury. You will find the entrances to both outside the cathedral.
10:30 AM – 10:45 AM
Heinzelmännchenbrunnen is a fountain that tells an interesting story. According to the legends the house gnomes (Heinzelmännchen) were doing all the house work at night. In this way the people of Cologne were free to do anything they want during the day. Unfortunately all this ended when one day a tailor’s wife succeeded to see them with a trick. The gnomes got grumpy because they were tricked and stopped helping.
11:00 AM – 01:00 PM
Roman-Germanic Museum (Römisch-Germanisches Museum) or Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud
You probably won’t have time for the both museums. If you are interested in the Roman history of the city visit the Roman-Germanic Museum. Otherwise, if you like art – visit the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum.
01:00 PM – 03:00 PM
Lunch time – 2 hours
On the first day of the itinerary 2 days in Cologne you can try: Gilden im Zims or Peters Brauhaus.
03:00 PM – 03:15 PM
Cologne City Hall (Rathaus)
Yes, you read that correctly. The next site is a rat house. You can stop and pet them for a while. No, I am just kidding. The word Rathaus means City Hall in German and it obviously has nothing in common with rats. So stop and take a look at this beautiful 900 years old building (of course if you are not afraid of rats).
03:30 PM – 04:00 PM
Great St. Martin Church (Gross Sankt Martin)
Great St. Martin Church is the most beautiful of the twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne.
04:15 PM – 04:45 PM
St. Mary’s in the Capitol (St. Maria im Kapitol)
St. Mary’s in the Capitol is the biggest of the twelve Romanesque churches. It dates from the 11th century. Before its construction, the place where it stands today was occupied by a Roman temple.
05:00 PM – 05:15 PM
Overstolzenhaus is a magnificent Romanesque house in the city center of Cologne. It is built in the beginning of the 13th century. The house belonged to a rich family of merchants, the Overstolzen family.
On the first day of the itinerary 2 days in Cologne you can try: Brauerei zur Malzmühle or Restaurant Heumarkt.
The best way to finish your day is by relaxing on a Rhine River dinner cruise.
09:00 AM – 09:30 AM
St. Gereon’s Basilica (Basilika Sankt Gereon)
St. Gereon’s Basilica is another beautiful Romanesque church from the 4th AD century. In the crypt you can see the tomb of Saint Gereon and outside of the church you will find its head. Of course not his real head, but a statue of the head of the saint.
09:45 AM – 11:45 AM
Documentation center for the National Socialism (NS-Dokumentationszentrum)
The EL-DE Haus once served as headquarters of the Secret State Police (Gestapo) during the WWII. You can still see the cells in the basements where the prisoners were tortured. The courtyard was a witness of hundreds of executions.
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
House of Fragrances 4711
House of Fragrances 4711 is the birthplace of Eau de Cologne and the modern perfume. Eau de Cologne in French means water from Cologne. Don’t miss to dip you hands in the perfume fountain located at the entrance of the shop.
12:30 PM – 02:30 PM
Lunch time – 2 hours
On the second day of the itinerary 2 days in Cologne you can try: Cafe Riese or Manufactum brot & butter.
02:30 PM – 03:00 PM
Basilica of the Holy Apostles (Basilika St. Aposteln)
Basilica of the Holy Apostles is a Romanesque church from the 11th century.
03:15 PM – 03:30 PM
Hahnen Gate (Hahnentorburg)
Hahnen Gate is one of the few gates that are still standing from the medieval city walls.
03:45 PM – 04:00 PM
Roonstrasse Synagogue (Synagoge Roonstraße)
Roonstrasse Synagogue is a synagogue in Neo-Romanesque style and it is the largest in the city.
04:30 PM – 05:00 PM
St. Pantaleon Church (Sankt Pantaleon)
St. Pantaleon Church is one of the oldest of the twelve Romanesque churches. It is constructed over ruins of a Roman villa.
05:15 PM – 06:00 PM
People’s garden (Volksgarten)
What could be better than finishing the day with a cold beer in the Volksgarten. But if you are still craving for some more history you will find it here. The garden is built on the grounds of the former fort Paul, part of a Prussian fortress. You can see its remains in the park.
On the second day of the itinerary 2 days in Cologne you can try: Bei Oma Kleinmann or Die fette Kuh.
Save this article offline and read it during your trip by installing the GPSmyCity app.