Cologne, Germany in May (Weather, Temperature and What do Do)

Updated on November 8, 2023  


Why You Should Visit Cologne In May

Cologne, Germany transforms into a vibrant and lively destination in May, as the city comes alive with warmer temperatures and blooming landscapes.

This picturesque setting provides the perfect backdrop for exploring Cologne's rich culture, historical landmarks, and mouthwatering food scene.

May is an excellent time to delve into Cologne's unique charm while taking advantage of its various festivals that showcase local music, art, and entertainment.

cologne-cathedral-in may

As one of the most popular cities in Germany, Cologne draws visitors from around the world to appreciate its stunning cathedral - a must-see landmark with centuries-old architectural beauty - as well as several globally renowned museums like those dedicated to chocolate or perfumes.

In addition to its magnificent sights and events, your experience in Cologne wouldn't be complete without indulging in authentic German cuisine at local breweries or Biergartens dotted throughout the city.

Allow yourself some time for leisurely strolls along the enchanting Rhine River or wandering through Old Town's alluring cobblestone streets lined with colorful buildings.

Weather And Climate In Cologne In May

Average Temperature And Precipitation

Experiencing Cologne in May offers travelers a comfortable climate, with average high temperatures reaching 65°F (18°C) and cooler evenings at around 45°F (7°C).

This makes it an optimal time to explore the city's charming streets and stunning architecture without being overwhelmed by extreme heat or chill.

However, visitors should also be prepared for some rainfall during their stay - throughout May, Cologne accumulates an average of 72mm (2.83") of precipitation.

Despite the moderate chance of rain (48%), the temperate conditions combined with seasonal variations make May one of the most desirable months for experiencing Cologne's charm.

Whether you're strolling along the picturesque Rhine River or indulging in delectable local cuisine at a Biergarten, pleasant temperatures enhance your outdoor adventures while brief showers add an atmospheric touch to your explorations.

Dressing For The Weather

As you prepare for your visit to Cologne in May, it's important to pack appropriate clothing that will keep you comfortable throughout various weather conditions.

With average high temperatures ranging from 63°F to 69°F (17°C-21°C) and evenings being mild, layers are your best friend for adapting to temperature changes during the day.

Start with lightweight base layers such as t-shirts or tank tops, followed by a long-sleeve shirt or sweater for added warmth. 

Also remember essential items like scarves, hats and gloves - these accessories are not only useful for keeping warm but can also elevate any outfit's style quotient while exploring the picturesque streets of Cologne.

Cologne May Holidays And Events

Mother’s Day

May is a special month to visit Cologne as it hosts many exciting holidays and events, including Mother’s Day. Celebrated on the second Sunday of May in Germany, this day is an opportunity to honor and show appreciation for mothers and mother figures.

The tradition dates back to the Middle Ages when people in Thuringia celebrated it by gathering wildflowers and presenting them to their mothers. Today, Germans celebrate with colorful costumes, family gatherings, gift-giving, and flowers.

It's a lovely time of year to enjoy Cologne's cultural traditions and festivities while also exploring all that the city has to offer.

Whether you're visiting Cologne with your family or friends, Mother’s Day in May adds another layer of excitement during your trip.

Take a stroll along the Rhine River or explore the Old Town's charming streets before surprising your mom with a bouquet of flowers or treating her at one of the local cafes or restaurants in town.

Labour Day

Visiting Cologne in May offers not only pleasant weather but also the opportunity to partake in Labour Day festivities, a public holiday celebrated across Germany on May 1st. [1]

Commemorating the achievements of the labour movement and workers' rights, this day is filled with various celebrations that travelers can enjoy.

Keep in mind that many businesses close their doors for Labour Day; however, tourist areas typically keep shops open to cater to visitors.

Ascension Day

One of the major holidays and events celebrated in Cologne during May is Ascension Day, known as "Christi Himmelfahrt" in Germany. [2] This public holiday falls on the 40th day of Easter, commemorating Jesus' ascension to heaven.

It is a religious observance that symbolizes the resurrection and ascension of Christ. On this day, many Germans go to church to attend special services or participate in processions.

However, it's also customary for locals to celebrate by getting together with family and friends, drinking beer, and enjoying traditional foods such as roasted chicken or pork knuckles at Biergartens throughout the city.

Top Things To Do In Cologne During May

Visit The Cologne Cathedral

A visit to the Cologne Cathedral should be at the top of any traveler's itinerary when visiting Cologne in May. This iconic landmark dominates the city skyline and is revered for its Gothic architecture.


It took more than 600 years to build this magnificent work of art, similar to other famous European churches. The cathedral is not only a masterpiece of German Catholicism but was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 due to its historical significance. [3]

Take A Stroll Along The Rhine River

One of the most popular activities to do in Cologne, Germany in May is taking a leisurely stroll along the Rhine River. It's a perfect way to enjoy the city's beautiful waterfront and take some stunning photos of its skyline.

At sunset, you can witness how the city transforms from a bustling metropolis into a romantic landscape lit up by warm oranges and deep reds.

rhine-river-cruise in may

Not only is it an excellent spot for sightseeing but also for experiencing local cuisine as there are plenty of restaurants and bars lining its banks where you can try authentic German dishes or sip on Kölsch beer while enjoying panoramic views of Cologne cityscape.

Explore The Old Town

One of the top things to do in Cologne during May is exploring the charming Old Town. This neighborhood boasts a rich cultural heritage, with stunning Gothic architecture and historical exhibits for visitors to admire.

cologne-old-town-Altstadt in may

In particular, you must visit Kölner Dom, one of Germany's most iconic landmarks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander through public squares like Alter Markt and Heumarkt, both beautifully restored and popular attractions for locals and tourists alike.

Afterward, take a stroll along the riverfront promenade Rheinpromenade - where you can watch the sunset with the spectacular view of Kölner Dom in the background.

Another highlight of this area is discovering Cologne's cultural past by visiting city museums like Fragrance Museum or Chocolate Museum which are perfect stops for sampling local sweets after an educational experience.

Enjoy Local Cuisine At A Biergarten

One of the best things to do in Cologne during May is to enjoy some local cuisine at a Biergarten.

These traditional German outdoor restaurants offer a variety of foods, including sausages, pretzels, and Halve Hahn - a unique dish made with rye bread and cheese.

beer-house-germany in may

But let's not forget about the beer! Biergartens serve an array of local brews like Kölsch, which is served in small glasses called "Stangen."

Dining outside while sipping on cold beer and munching on tasty treats is an authentic way to experience German culture.

Cologne's famous food markets are also worth exploring if you want to try different types of cuisine.

In particular, the Neumarkt food market offers freshly made street food from around the world such as tacos, falafel sandwiches and currywurst which can be enjoyed right under open skies at one of their picnic tables.

Smell The Perfumes At The Fragrance Museum

One of the top things to do in Cologne during May is visiting the Fragrance Museum, also known as Farina-House.

This unique museum takes visitors on a journey through the history of aromas and offers a chance to experience various essences and scents.

The museum is home to Eau de Cologne, which has remained unchanged since its creation in the 18th century. [4]

If you're interested in smelling some fragrances during your trip to Cologne, the Fragrance Museum is definitely worth a visit.

Visit The Cologne Chocolate Museum

No trip to Cologne in May is complete without a visit to the Chocolate Museum. This museum takes visitors on an exciting and educational journey through the cultural history of chocolate, from its origins with the Aztecs to modern-day production methods.