There are plenty of interesting cities to see around Cologne. Augustusburg and Falkenlust palaces are close to the city, too. So choose one of these day trips from Cologne and pack your bags.
All cities below are maximum 60km from Cologne, so you won’t waste too much time travelling. The duration of any of these day trips from Cologne depends if you will catch a regional or a long distance train.
Day trips from Cologne
Bonn is about 25 km south from Cologne. The history of the city dates back to 1st century when a Roman settlement was founded on the place. Bonn is the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven. Some of the main attractions of the city are Beethoven’s house, Münster Basilica and Poppelsdorf Palace. The trip from Cologne is about 20 min.
Aachen is about 60km southwest from Cologne. Due to its hot springs, the city was a favourite winter residence of Charlemagne. Don’t miss to visit Aachen Cathedral, built in 796 AD. The city hall and Elisenbrunnen also deserve a visit. The duration of the trip is about an hour.
Essen is about 60 km north from Cologne. The history of the city started with the foundation of an abbey for women around 9th century. Later, during the Renaissance the city became an important coal mining center. Some of the most interesting sites in Essen are Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, Essen Minster, Villa Hügel and Old Synagogue. The trip from Cologne will take about an hour.
Remagen is about 45km southeast from Cologne. The city began as a Roman Fort. If you are interesting in World War II don’t skip this place, it is the site of the Battle of Remagen. Some of the main attractions are Apollinariskirche, Arp museum and Peace museum “Remagen Bridge”. The trip is about 50 min.
Dusseldorf is about 40 km north from Cologne. The city is mentioned in the history for the first time in 1135. Nowadays Dusseldorf is a big businesses and financial center. The city is known for its trade fairs, carnivals and its local beer, called Altbier. Don’t miss to visit the Old town, Rhine Tower and Benrath Palace. The trip will take 30 min.
When I travel, I always search for nearby castles or palaces. I love to visit such places. During my trip to Cologne I had two options: Drachenburg Castle (Schloss Drachenburg) or Augustusburg palace (Schloss Augustusburg). They both seemed interesting places for one day trip from Cologne. Finally I decided to go with the palace.
History of Augustusburg palace
The Augustusburg palace and its hunting lodge of Falkenlust are the perfect choice for one day trip from Cologne. The palace is located in Brühl, about a dozen kilometers south-west from Cologne. It can be reached by train and the ride is only 20min. The property is about 300m on foot from Brühl Train Station on the Köln-Bonn line.
The palace was built in the beginning of the 18th century over ruins of a medieval castle. The French destroyed that castle in 17th century during the Nine Years’ War. The new palace was meant to be a summer and hunting residence of Clemens August, the Archbishop of Cologne.
During my visit there weren’t many people around and the garden was calm and peaceful.
There were even swans in the lake.
The gardens are surrounded by a centuries-old forest. I crossed some part of it while I was walking to the Falkenlust palace. The walk was so long that at one time I started to think that I got the wrong direction. So be prepared to walk a little more (about 2 km) if you want to see the Falkenlust palace.
The Falkenlust hunting lodge was built from 1729 to 1740 by François de Cuvilliés. He was one of the architects of the main complex. Clemens August, Prince-Elector of Cologne used the lodge to practice his favourite sport, falconry.
Tips for visiting Augustusburg and Falkenlust palaces
- The palace can be visited only with a guide in certain hours, so if you plan a visit, go early not to miss the tour before noon.
- Unfortunately no photos are allowed during the tour.
- There is an admission fee for visiting the palace, but the gardens are free.
- The hunting lodge can be visited without a guide and there is an admission fee, too.
- Plan a visit on a sunny day so you can take a long walk in the beautiful gardens surrounding the palace.
Address: Parkplatz Max-Ernst-Allee, 50321 Brühl
Access: Take the train Köln/Cologne-Bonn using the Deutsche Bahn AG (RB 48, RE 5) or the MittelrheinBahn train (MRB 26) to Brühl station. From there it is a five minutes’ walk to Augustusburg Palace.
Open from February to November
From Tuesday to Friday: 09:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 01:30 PM – 04:00 PM (last admission)
Saturday, Sunday and on public holidays: 10:00 AM – 05:00 PM (last admission)
All visits are by guided tour only.
08:00 AM – 06:00 PM
The palace: 8.00 EUR (more information)
The hunting lodge: 6.00 EUR
Web site: http://www.schlossbruehl.de/en_home
Things to do in Cologne
Where to stay in Cologne