The best museums in Cologne you should visit

best museums in Cologne

Even if you are in the city for a short time, spare a few hours and visit a museum. There are plenty of interesting museums in Cologne that are definitely worth a visit.

If you plan to visit a lot of museums you will need a Museum card. It gives you free admission to all municipal museums. The Museum card is for two consecutive opening days. On the first day you can even travel for free within the city (more information).

Continue reading to find out which are the best museums in Cologne that you shouldn’t miss.

The best museums in Cologne

NS Documentation Centre (NS Dokumentationszentrum, EL-DE Haus)

If you are interested in the World War II this museum is a must. The EL-DE Haus is named after its owner – the wholesaler Leopold Dahmen.

The building served as headquarters of the Secret State Police(Gestapo) from December 1935 till March 1945. Gestapo kept and tortured the so-called enemies of the Nazi regime in the basement cells. From there the screams of the victims couldn’t be heard easily.

Today you can still see the inscriptions of prisoners on the cells’ walls. These inscriptions touched my heart. About one third of them are written in the Cyrillic alphabet from Russians and Ukrainians. There are also inscriptions in French, Polish and Dutch.

You can feel the horror and the pain of the prisoners while walking through the basement. The atmosphere was suffocating, dark and creepy. In the courtyard hundreds of executions took place at the end of October 1944.

Today the building is both a museum and a memorial of the victims of the Nazi regime. If you want to learn more about the World War II, get the audio guide. Keep in mind that it runs more than 3 hours.

Useful information
Address: Appellhofplatz 23-25 (EL-DE building), 50667 Köln
Access: Metro station Appellhofplatz – line 3,4,5,16,18
Opening hours:
From Tuesday to Friday: 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday: 11:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Every first Thursday of each month: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Closed on Mondays
Admission: 4,50 €
Web site: info

Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud

One of my favourite museums from the list of the best museums in Cologne is Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. This museum is a dream for the impressionist art lovers. It holds masterpieces from the medieval period to the early twentieth century. The art museum features some of my favourite artists like Van Gogh, Cézanne, Renoir, Monet, Manet and Caspar David Friedrich.

The Wallraf-Richartz-Museum is opened in 1861. It is named after two noble citizens of Cologne – Franz Ferdinand Wallraf and Johann Heinrich Richartz. When Wallraf died he left by will all his absolute collection of paintings and coins to the city. The merchant Richartz was the man who donated money for building the museum.

Useful information
Address: Obenmarspforten 40, 50667 Köln
Access: Metro station Heumarkt – line 1 or 9
Opening hours:
From Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Closed on Mondays
Admission: 8 EUR
Web site: http://www.wallraf.museum/en/

Museum Ludwig

This museum is also for art lovers, especially for those of Picasso. Museum Ludwig holds one of the largest Picasso collections in Europe.

In 1976 Peter and Irene Ludwig donated 350 works of modern art to the city of Cologne and this is how it all started. The museum Ludwig is named in their honour.

The museum contains great collections of Expressionism, Surrealism, Abstract and Pop Art.

Useful information
Address: Hein­rich-Böll-Platz, 50667 Köln
Access: Metro station Dom/Hbf – lines 5, 16, 18
Opening hours:
From Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Closed on Mondays
Admission: 11 EUR
Web site: http://www.museum-ludwig.de/en/

Imhoff chocolate museum (Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum)

If you don’t travel with kids you can skip this museum, but don’t skip its shop.

Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum is a chocolate museum, which takes you through the history of chocolate. You can see the process of making chocolate in details. In the museum there are a small tropicarium with cacao trees and a chocolate fountain, whose height is 3m.

The museum shop is located at the entrance of the museum. This place is a heaven for chocolate lovers. It offers a great variety of high quality chocolates.

Useful information
Address: Am Schokoladenmuseum 1A, 50678 Köln
Opening hours:
From Tuesday to Friday: 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday: 11:00 AM – 07:00 PM
Closed on Mondays
Admission: 9 EUR
Web site: http://www.schokoladenmuseum.de/

Roman-Germanic Museum (Römisch-Germanisches Museum)

If you are looking to go deeper in the history of Cologne, visit Römisch-Germanisches Museum. It is an archaeological museum just next to the Cologne cathedral.

The museum reveals the Roman history of the city. It is built in 1974 on the site of an urban Roman villa, whose remains you can still see in the basement. The Römisch-Germanisches Museum contains objects from the Paleolithic period to the early Middle Ages.

Useful information
Address: Roncalli Platz 4, 50667 Köln
Access: Metro station Dom/Hbf – lines 5, 16, 18
Opening hours:
From Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Closed on Mondays
Admission: 9 EUR
Web site: http://www.roemisch-germanisches-museum.de/

Schnütgen Museum

The last, but not the least on the list of the best museums in Cologne, is the Schnütgen Museum. It is a medieval religious art museum. It is housed in Church St. Cecilia, one of the twelve Romanesque churches.

The museum collection contains wooden and stone sculptures, masterpieces of textiles, gold, ivory and stained glass. Among the treasures is the expressive Crucifix from St. George.

   

Useful information
Address: Cäcilienstraße 29-33, 50667 Köln
Access: Metro station Heumarkt – line 1 or 9
Opening hours:
From Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Thursdays: 10:00 AM – 08:00 PM
Closed on Mondays
Admission: 6 EUR
Web site: info

Have you visited any of the best museums in Cologne? Which one did you like most?

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2 Comment

  1. Unfortunately we only had an afternoon in Cologne but it would be great to go back and check out these museums!

  2. I loved walking around in the Treasure Chamber of Cologne Cathedral… it was so amazing.

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