16 Things to Do in Cologne Alone (Guide for Solo Travelers)

Updated on November 10, 2023  


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Cologne offers a plethora of attractions and activities perfect for solo travelers seeking adventure and cultural immersion.

With its stunning Cologne Cathedral, world-class museums, picturesque parks, and lively neighborhoods waiting to be explored, there's no shortage of things to do in Cologne alone.

In this blog post, we've curated the ultimate Cologne solo travel guide packed with must-visit destinations and hidden gems that will make your trip an unforgettable experience.

Cultural And Historical Attractions To Explore Alone In Cologne

Discover The Iconic Cologne Cathedral

A trip to Cologne would not be complete without visiting the awe-inspiring Cologne Cathedral, known for its striking Gothic architecture and towering twin spires.

This religious landmark is a testament to historical preservation and cultural heritage, making it one of Germany's most popular attractions.


While exploring this architectural marvel, make sure to take your time appreciating the intricate details that span centuries of work – after all, it took over 600 years to build! [1]

Marvel at the cathedral's world-famous facade which is considered as the largest in comparison with any other church on Earth.

As you immerse yourself into medieval history within this sacred space, don't forget to gaze upon stunning relics such as The Shrine of Three Kings - an intricately crafted gilded sarcophagus believed to contain their bones.

Appreciate The Art Collections At Museum Ludwig

For the art enthusiast traversing Cologne solo, a visit to Museum Ludwig is an absolute must.

This renowned museum showcases some of the finest international modern and contemporary art, taking you on a journey through the works of global artists like Dali, Warhol, and boasting one of the largest Picasso collections in existence. [2]

solo travel museum-ludwig cologne things to do

The wide range of mesmerizing artistic expressions housed within will captivate your imagination as you stroll through exhibition halls brimming with cultural heritage and historical significance.

Be amazed by the diverse array of themes that span from abstract expressionism to pop culture icons.

Immerse Yourself In Roman History At Roman-Germanic Museum

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich Roman history of Cologne by visiting the Roman-Germanic Museum.


The highlight of your visit to the Romano-Germanic Museum will undoubtedly be admiring its mosaic dining area, which features stunning works of art from around Germany's archaeological sites.

Admire The Artworks At Wallraf-Richartz Museum

If you're a lover of fine art or European culture, the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne is definitely worth adding to your itinerary. This museum houses one of the finest collections of medieval paintings in the world and showcases masterpieces of European art up close.

Designed by Cologne's star architect Oswald Mathias Ungers, this building opened its doors in 2001 and has since become one of the city's cultural attractions that should not be missed. [3]

In addition to its collection of medieval paintings, visitors can also explore graphic arts and sculpture exhibits.

Outdoor Activities And Adventures For Solo Travelers In Cologne

Take A Scenic Rhine River Cruise

For those seeking a relaxing and scenic activity in Cologne, a Rhine River cruise is the perfect option. Solo travelers can enjoy the breathtaking views of Cologne's skyline and surrounding landscapes while gliding along the river.


The Loreley region offers some picturesque sights; with its steep vineyards, medieval castles, and quaint villages dotted along both sides of the Rhine Valley, you'll never want to leave.

Additionally, many cruises offer guided tours to learn about local history and legends from knowledgeable guides.

Cycle Through Beautiful Parks And Nature Reserves

Cologne is a bike-friendly city, and one of the best ways to explore nature reserves, parks and forests is by cycling along its network of cycling routes. Stadtwald Park Köln, Forstbotanischer Garten, Schlosspark Stammheim and Lindenthaler Tierpark are popular among solo travelers who seek outdoor activities while in Cologne.

The city's most extensive park Stadtwald Park Köln features wide open fields perfect for picnics or leisurely strolls, dense woodlands with well-maintained trails suitable for hiking or mountain biking.

Meanwhile, the nearby suburb of Lindenthal boasts several attractive destinations such as the greenbelt area running through Grüngürtel park that encompasses 31 km path ideal for jogging or simply enjoying a relaxing ride on two wheels.

Enjoy Peaceful Walks And Picnics In The City's Green Spaces

Cologne is a city with several green spaces perfect for taking a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Whether you're looking to enjoy some quiet time alone or have an adventure in nature, Cologne's parks and gardens offer something for everyone.

walk alone Stadtgarten-Park-cologne

Stadtgarten, Volksgarten, and Flora and Botanical Garden are just three examples of the numerous parks available in this beautiful city where solo travelers can explore alone while enjoying the serene atmosphere.

These green environments also provide perfect picnic areas where you can relax, bask in the sun, read your favorite book while savoring some delicious German delicacies It's not unusual to run into locals playing sports like soccer or Frisbee on weekends as well if you're looking to network with them.

Visit The Cologne Zoo

If you're a solo traveler looking for outdoor activities and adventures in Cologne, don't miss out on the chance to visit the Cologne Zoo. With over 4,000 species of animals, this is one of the oldest and most popular zoos in Germany.

The zoo boasts an aquarium and some exciting exhibits such as the world's largest elephant park in northern Europe. The elephant park is among the main attractions of the zoo with its massive spaces that provide an excellent experience for animal lovers.

As well as experiencing wildlife conservation firsthand, visitors can also learn about animal habitats at educational tours here.

Solo Dining And Nightlife Options In Cologne

Taste Traditional German Cuisine At Local Eateries

Cologne offers plenty of opportunities to indulge in hearty and delicious traditional German cuisine. From Brauhaus-style dining to street food, visitors can explore the city's diverse culinary scene on their solo trip.

The local specialty is Kölsch beer, which pairs perfectly with classic dishes like Himmel un Ääd (heaven and earth), a combination of mashed potatoes, applesauce, sausage, and onions.

For a cozy atmosphere and authentic taste, head over to Haus Scholzen or Päffgen brewery for some traditional Brauhaus cuisine. Alternatively, check out the trendy Fisch Frisch restaurant for fresh seafood or try the famous Currywurst at one of the many snack bars around town.

Sip On Local Kölsch Beer In The City's Beer Gardens And Pubs

One of the best ways to explore Cologne's beer culture and sample traditional Kölsch is by visiting one of its many beer gardens and pubs. Whether you're looking for a quiet spot to enjoy your brew or an energetic atmosphere with live music, there's something for everyone in this vibrant city.


Get lost in the bustling atmosphere at Früh am Dom, known for its lively ambiance and tasty food options. Or take in some fresh air on the outdoor terrace at Biergarten am Schokoladenmuseum while enjoying stunning views of the Rhine river.

Enjoy Live Music Performances At The City's Concert Venues

Cologne is a hub of live music performances, with plenty of concert venues scattered throughout the city. Solo travelers looking for some entertainment can easily explore this scene and enjoy great music while dining alone or sipping on local beer.


From soothing jazz to bass-heavy dance music, there's something for every taste in Cologne's legendary nightclubs. For example, the renowned “Bootshaus” club (Voted #5 Club in the world by DJMag Voting 2022) that was once a church has transformed into one of the hottest nightspots in town hosting various electronic dance concerts attracting thousands of visitors each year. [4]

Additionally, many restaurants host live music nights where solo diners can enjoy performances as they indulge in traditional German cuisine.

Explore The City's Neighborhoods

Discover The Trendy Belgian Quarter

The trendy Belgian Quarter in Cologne is a must-visit neighborhood for solo travelers looking to explore the city's vibrant culture. This hip district boasts an array of independent shops, art galleries, and restaurants that cater to every taste.


Coffee lovers will appreciate the cute cafes on every corner, while art enthusiasts can spend hours exploring local street art. Don't forget to indulge in some delicious petits fours at one of the many bakeries in the area.

Whether you're strolling through Ehrenfeld or visiting other cultural attractions like Museum Ludwig and Wallraf-Richartz Museum, each neighborhood offers its unique charm and appeal.

With 86 different quarters spread throughout the city, there's no end to new discoveries waiting for intrepid explorers who enjoy discovering hidden gems off-the-beaten-path.

Visit The Hip Ehrenfeld District

If you're looking for a trendy and vibrant neighborhood to explore in Cologne, make sure to visit the hip Ehrenfeld district. This lively artists' quarter is filled with warehouse clubs, fashionable boutiques, creative studios, cozy cafes, and local markets that attract a diverse crowd of locals and travelers alike.

As you wander through Ehrenfeld's streets, you'll be surrounded by colorful street art murals adorning the walls and buildings. The district is also home to some of Cologne's hottest nightlife hotspots where you can dance the night away to live music performances or sip on craft cocktails at trendy speakeasies.

Attend A Game At The RheinEnergieStadion

Attending a football game at the RheinEnergieStadion is an adrenaline-fueled experience that you shouldn't miss. This stadium, originally built in 1923 and renovated in 2004, has a capacity of over 50,000 spectators, with more than 8,000 standing places alone. [5]

The atmosphere inside the stadium is electric as fans gather from all around Cologne and beyond to watch their team play. You'll see passionate supporters wearing red and white scarves shouting loudly and singing songs while waving flags during matches.

To make sure you get good seats for your favorite games, plan ahead by checking out online ticket vendors; however whichever seats you sit in or tickets purchased definitely guarantee your spot early so that no matter what seat you get - every part of this stadium has something unique to offer.

Join A Guided Walking Tour

Joining a guided walking tour is one of the best ways to explore Cologne as a solo traveler. With numerous options available, you can pick the tour that matches your interests and schedule.

For example, there is a popular walking tour that combines visits to Cologne Cathedral and Hohenzollern Bridge with fun curiosities along the way to keep you engaged throughout the tour.


If you prefer self-guided tours, there are interactive scavenger hunts played on your phone that allow visitors to explore the city at their own pace.

Walking tours in Cologne offer various benefits such as allowing you to see hidden gems and local spots not accessible by public transport while also getting some exercise in.

It's also an excellent opportunity for solo travelers to meet other people and socialize during their trip while staying safe with a trusted guide leading them through unfamiliar areas.

Discover Local Markets And Fairs

Exploring local markets and fairs is a great way to experience Cologne's vibrant culture and connect with locals. Traditional markets like Alter Markt offer handmade crafts, souvenirs, and local produce while the Stadtgarten market held in a public park offers unique food stalls and live music performances.

In addition to these regular events, the city hosts several seasonal festivities like the famous Christmas markets that attract visitors from around the world.

For those interested in contemporary art and design finds, head over to Belgian Quarter neighborhood where you'll find trendy boutiques selling anything from clothing to furniture pieces.

Here you can discover independent artists displaying their work in various galleries which frequently host exhibitions throughout the year.

Tips And Tricks For Safe And Enjoyable Solo Travel In Cologne

Stay Vigilant And Aware Of Your Surroundings

As a solo traveler in Cologne, it is important to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings to ensure your safety. While Cologne is generally considered safe, it's always better to be cautious when traveling alone.

One way to stay safe while exploring the city is by joining guided tours or traveling with reputable tour operators. Avoid accepting help or engaging with strangers who may appear overly friendly or insistent.

Avoid Walking Alone At Night

To ensure a safe and enjoyable solo trip in Cologne, it is important to take some key precautions when walking alone at night. While the city is generally safe, there are some areas that could pose a risk after dark.

It's advisable to stick to well-lit and busy streets, especially in unfamiliar neighborhoods or those known for criminal activity.

things-to-do-in-cologne- alone at-night

To further avoid any potential dangers when traveling solo at night, consider using public transportation such as buses or trains instead of walking long distances.

Many parts of Cologne have excellent transportation systems that run until late hours, making getting around easy and convenient.

Above all else, trust your instincts – if something feels off or uncomfortable while walking alone at night, don't hesitate to seek help from locals or officials nearby.

Keep Your Valuables Secure

It is important to take necessary precautions and keep your valuables secure while exploring Cologne alone. Ensure that your bags and belongings are always within reach, especially in crowded areas such as the train stations, markets, and tourist attractions.

Moreover, it is recommended to use a money belt or pouch that can be worn under clothing to keep passports and other important documents safe. When choosing accommodation options for solo travel in Cologne, it's best to select places with good security measures such as 24-hour reception desks or lockers in dorms.

Meet Other Travelers And Locals

One of the best ways to enhance your solo travel experience in Cologne is by meeting other travelers and locals. This can give you unique insight into the local culture and help you discover off-the-beaten-path experiences that only insiders know about.

To meet others, consider joining a guided walking tour or attending a local market or fair.

Another great way to connect with others is through social media groups and websites like Couchsurfing and Meetup, which have active communities in Cologne. By meeting other solo travelers, you may even find people to join you on some of your adventures or explore new parts of the city together.

Conclusion: Things to do in Cologne Alone

Cologne is undoubtedly a city that begs to be explored alone, filled with numerous activities and attractions for solo travelers.

From marveling at the iconic Cologne Cathedral and immersing oneself in history at the Romano-Germanic Museum to enjoying peaceful walks in the city's green spaces or sipping on traditional Kölsch beer in local eateries - there is never a dull moment.

Here's a summary of the best things to do in Cologne for solo travelers:

Explore the iconic Cologne Cathedral, appreciate art collections at Museum Ludwig, immerse yourself in Roman history at Romano-Germanic Museum, and admire artworks at Wallraf-Richartz Museum - all worth visiting alone.

Experience the beauty of Cologne's nature reserves by cycling through them or taking a scenic Rhine River cruise. For those who prefer to stay in the city, peaceful walks and picnics in green spaces are also options, along with a visit to the Cologne Zoo.

Savor traditional German cuisine at local eateries and indulge in the city's famous Kölsch beer, while enjoying live music performances at its concert venues for a vibrant solo dining and nightlife experience.

Discover the trendy Belgian Quarter and its vibrant nightlife scene, or visit the hip Ehrenfeld district for unique shops and cafes to explore solo in Cologne.

Stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings, avoid walking alone at night, keep your valuables secure, and meet other travelers and locals to make the most out of your solo travel in Cologne.


1: Cologne Cathedral - UNESCO World Heritage Centre, retrieved from https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/292/
2: History of the Museum Ludwig from 1976 to the Present, retrieved from https://www.museum-ludwig.de/en/museum/the-museum/history.html
3: The Highlight: Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, retrieved from https://www.wallraf.museum/en/collections/middle-ages/masterpieces/stefan-lochner-madonna-of-the-rose-bower/the-highlight/
4: Startseite | Bootshaus Club, retrived from https://bootshaus.tv/
5: RheinEnergieStadion: Cologne’s cathedral to football | Bundesliga, retrieved from https://www.bundesliga.com/en/bundesliga/news/rheinenergiestadion-cologne-stadium-cathedral-football-7115

About the Author

Stephan Drescher, founder of germanytravel.blog, is a German travel expert and insider, providing trusted tips and advice for a perfect trip to Germany. Born & bred German.