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  • Writer's pictureTheresa Brandt

Unveiling the Beauty: A Visitor's Guide to Exploring the Magnificent Cologne Cathedral

Updated: Apr 5

The Cologne Cathedral in Germany on a sunny day
The Cologne Cathedral during my visit in July 2021

Embarking on a river cruise through Europe offers the perfect opportunity to explore many beautiful and historical destinations, and a stop in Cologne, Germany, wouldn't be complete without a visit to its crowning jewel, the Cologne Cathedral.

As one of the most iconic stops during your cruise, a visit to Cologne and its magnificent cathedral promises to be a highlight of your journey. Your cruise along the Rhine will most likely include a visit to Cologne, but depending on the itinerary chosen, it may be an optional visit to the city, or your ship may dock there. This fact will make a difference regarding the time you have to explore. As your travel advisor, I'm here to determine your preferences and suggest the perfect itinerary to ensure you have the perfect trip.

For clients that have visiting the Cologne Cathedral as a priority, the following are some of my suggestions:

1. Optimize Your Time: If you have a tight schedule, optimizing your time inside the cathedral is essential. Focus on must-see highlights such as the breathtaking stained-glass windows and the stunning golden shrine of the Three Wise Men.

2. Ascend the South Tower: While climbing the 533 steps to the top of the South Tower offers unparalleled views of Cologne, it may not be feasible for everyone. Consider prioritizing this experience based on your interests and physical capabilities. Wearing comfortable shoes is recommended for the climb, and consider taking a break at the belfry about halfway up to catch your breath and admire the views. There is no charge to explore the cathedral, but there is a small fee to climb the tower.

3. Explore Within Your Limits: Again, depending upon your amount of time, it's important to explore within your comfort and energy levels. Don't feel pressured to see everything—instead, focus on immersing yourself in the cathedral's atmosphere and soaking in its rich history.

4. Respect the Sacred Space: As a place of worship, the Cologne Cathedral assumes respect and reverence from visitors. Maintain a quiet demeanor and refrain from touching or leaning on delicate surfaces. To ensure a respectful visit, it's recommended to dress modestly with knees and shoulders covered. One thing that stood out to me during my visit was the quietness of the inferior. The only sound was quiet whispering.

5. Capture Memories Thoughtfully: While photography is permitted inside the cathedral, be mindful of your surroundings and fellow visitors. As a general rule, avoid using flash photography.

6. Embrace the Experience: Above all, embrace the opportunity to visit the Cologne Cathedral during your port of call stop. Savor every moment and treasure the memories made while visiting the tallest twin-spired church in the world and the second-tallest church in Europe.

The breathtaking interior of the cathedral

With these practical tips in mind, you're ready to embark on a memorable exploration guided by this article of the Cologne Cathedral during your river cruise port stop. I'm excited for you to experience the cathedral's awe-inspiring beauty firsthand. Visiting was undoubtedly an experience I'll never forget, and I know it's sure to be a highlight of your river cruise adventure!

Are you ready to start planning? Click the button below to schedule a consultation with me!


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