Updated: Mar 20
As an active observer on two wheels, a biking visitor to Cologne will earn a deeper appreciation of this fascinating cathedral city at street level - and travel in an environmentally friendly manner and get a good dose of fresh air. Guided tours can take you on an invigorating biking excursion through Old Town, along the river banks of the Old Town Park and more, an ideal way to sightsee for active adventurists. And there’s no need to worry about equipment, as bikes and helmets are provided.
Here’s what you may see as you spin your way through Germany’s oldest city - depending on your excursion, your particular bike tour may vary in what you will experience. No matter where you cycle, however, you can rest assured you’ll know more about this 2,000-year-old city - from the Roman ages to the Middle Ages to today - than you did when you started out.
One of the biggest draws in the city, Cologne’s Old Town delivers oodles of charm. Cycle and walk through narrow alleyways past traditional houses, breweries, pubs and restaurants - perhaps stopping in for a Kölsch beer or Halver Hahn sandwich. Pop into the Romano-Germanic Museum, the Wallraf Richartz Museum, the Museum Ludwig or the Farina Fragrance Museum. Take a picture next to the Tünnes and Schäl monuments or Heinzelmännchen (Cologne elves) fountain. Shop like a local along the Alter Markt and Heumarkt.
This delightful site at the Neusser Wall is home to impressive, ancient walls, green lawns, old trees and a gorgeous garden with 70 species of roses. Stroll through the symmetrically arranged gardens or take a break from biking on one of the prettily placed benches or in the pavilion.
Be sure to pause as you cross this bridge over the Rhine for the best views of the Cologne skyline.
This vast park stretches along the Rhine, offering gigantic lawns, a miniature railroad, the Cologne Rhine cable car and the Claudius Therme Thermal Spa, the perfect spot to treat your weary muscles to a well-deserved soak.
Famous for its photo op of the Cologne Cathedral, Crane Houses and a smattering of smaller towers, the Hohenzollern Bridge was built from 1907 to 1911. It was the only Cologne bridge not destroyed by bombs during World War II. Check out the colorful love locks hung along the bridge railings.
Take a break from pedaling for a visit to the Ludwig Museum, opened in 1976 with a gift of approximately 350 works of modern art by the Ludwig couple. You’ll also find an extensive collection of Russian Avantgarde painting and several hundreds works by Picasso. The modern art department of the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum has been integrated into the Ludwig, including Roy Lichtenstein’s “Maybe” and Andy Warhol’s “Brillo Boxes.”
Talk about burying the lead … the Cologne Cathedral, a building that defies all superlatives, will be a highlight of your bike tour. The cornerstone was laid back in August 1248, the base for this Gothic cathedral that houses the remains of the Three Wise Men. The massive towers have dominated the city skyline since they were completed in 1880. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s shrine of the Three Wise Men and notice the impressive stained-glass windows and important works of art.
Rheinauhafen Harbor District
This reinvigorated waterfront complex is the youngest district in the city, offering an engaging mix of cafes, restaurants and galleries. The centerpiece is the Kranhäuser (crane tower) trio, three buildings shaped like hoisting cranes and defining the skyline along the west bank of the Rhine. If you’re an architecture buff, check out the trapezoid-shaped Art’otel Cologne with its colorful windows and picturesque collages. There’s plenty of history here, too, despite the renovations. The area’s former granary, the Siebengebirge (seven hills) makes a nice complement to the modern angles of the Rheinauhafen.
And more! There is much to see on two wheels throughout Cologne, particularly when you’re cycling with a professional local guide. Let’s chat about your active sightseeing adventure through this glorious German destination. Reach out by booking a consultation through my Services page.