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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Cologne/Bonn

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Cologne each year.
The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

March/April: Good Friday (national holiday)

March/April: Easter Monday (national holiday)

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

First weekend of July: Summerjam (local event)

One of Europe's oldest and largest reggae festivals, this event held on the shores of Fühlinger See, a lake near Cologne, attracts between 50,000 and 70,000 attendees each year.

Early July: Lights of Cologne (local event)

This hugely popular event offers a mesmerizing feast of fireworks set off from ships on the Rhine and synchronized with music, inspired each year by a different theme. Throughout the day, there are several free concerts and a number of fun activities. At nightfall, a beautiful parade of ships begins to make its way down the Rhine, before the main spectacle gets underway at about 11:30 p.m.

October 3: German Unity Day (national holiday) (national)

Commemorates the anniversary of Germany's reunification in 1990.

Late October: Long Night of Museums (local event)

A single ticket provides admission to more than 45 participating museums, galleries, studios, art societies and alternative spaces in the city keeping their doors open just for this one night until 3 a.m. In addition to viewing temporary exhibitions and permanent collections, visitors can take their pick from a special programme of events, including guided tours, live music, talks and entertaining activities.

Late November–late December: Christmas Markets (local event)

A single ticket provides admission to more than 45 participating museums, galleries, studios, art societies and alternative spaces in the city keeping their doors open just for this one night until 3 a.m. In addition to viewing temporary exhibitions and permanent collections, visitors can take their pick from a special programme of events, including guided tours, live music, talks and entertaining activities.

December 25 : Christmas (national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Cologne/Bonn

Cologne has a temperate climate, with moderate summer temperatures and relatively mild winters. In July and August, the average highs are just over 25°C (77°F), while in the winter months the mercury very rarely dips below freezing. Rainfall is distributed evenly over the year.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 1/34 4/39 60/2.4 Not the best period to go
February 1/34 7/45 45/4.8 Not the best period to go
March 3/37 12/54 40/4.6 Not the best period to go
April 6/43 16/61 60/2.4 Not the best period to go
May 8/46 20/68 48/1.9 Good period to go Good period to go
June 12/54 22/72 77/3.0 Good period to go Good period to go
July 14/57 25/77 69/2.7 Good period to go Good period to go
August 15/59 26/79 71/2.8 Good period to go Good period to go
September 12/54 20/68 54/2.1 Good period to go Good period to go
October 8/46 15/59 53/2.1 Not the best period to go
November 4/39 10/50 66/2.6 Not the best period to go
December 1/34 6/43 50/2.0 Good period to go Good period to go
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Cologne-Bonn Airport

Cologne-Bonn Airport is located about 15 kilometres (9 miles) south-east of Cologne and 23 kilometres (14 miles) north-east of Bonn.

  • Two terminaux
    • Terminal 1 (Air France)
    • Terminal 2

Getting from the airport to Cologne and back
  • By car
    • Accessible via the A3 and the A59.
    • Some 12,500 parking spaces are available at the airport. There are two long-term parking garages (P2 opposite Terminal 2 and P3 a bit further away). Both charge EUR 3.00 for the first hour or part thereof, P2 charges EUR 27.00 for the first day, and P3 charges EUR 18.00 for the first day. The short-term parking garage (P1, opposite Terminal 1) charges EUR 1.50 for 15 minutes, EUR 4.50 for 1 hour and EUR 30.00 per day. P-Nord, a long-term parking facility for larger cars, is situated between P2 and P3. Its rates are the same as those for P2.
    • Several car rental companies have counters on the arrivals level in Hall D of Terminal 1.
  • By rail
    • Line 13 of Cologne's S-Bahn suburban rail system, regional trains and ICE trains all connect the airport with Cologne's main train station (Köln Hauptbahnhof) about every 5–15 minutes. Travel time is about 15 minutes and the fare ranges from EUR 3 to EUR 8 each way.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks outside Terminals 1 and 2, with travel times of 15 minutes to Cologne (about EUR 25) and 20 minutes to Bonn (about EUR 30).
  • Services : shops, bars and restaurants, Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone : +49 (0)2203 404001
  • Website : http://www.koeln-bonn-airport.de

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GETTING AROUND Cologne/Bonn

Public transport is an excellent option for getting around Cologne.

By bus and tram

As is the case for most large German cities, the public transport system in Cologne is convenient, efficient and offers dense coverage of the city. Fares depend upon the departure point and the distance travelled.

KölnCard

This pass offers unlimited travel on any means of transport during its validity period and is the best way to discover Cologne with complete freedom. In addition to public transport, the KölnCard also offers many discounts at restaurants, museums, tourist attractions, etc.

Prices :

  • 24-hour pass: EUR 9 per person / EUR 19 for a group of up to five people
  • 48-hour pass: EUR 19 per person / EUR 38 for a group of up to five people

By bicycle

Cologne has an extensive network of paths for cyclists, making this an ideal way to discover the city, and in particular the banks of the Rhine. There are a number of bike rental shops dotted around the city.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Cologne, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

KölnTourismus

Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address: Kardinal-Höffner-Platz 1, 50667 Köln
  • Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Saturday
  • Telephone : +49 (0)221 346430

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Medical information

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Germany.

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Cologne.

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Administrative formalities

For stays of less than three months, travellers from the Schengen area, as well as those from the countries of the European Union not included in the area, need only be in possession of a national identity card or a passport valid for the duration of their stay.

As a general rule, travellers from all other countries are subject to visa requirements, although foreign nationals from certain countries may enter Germany for up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.

For further information, visit the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees:
http://www.bamf.de/EN/Migration/Einreisebestimmungen/einreisebestimmungen-node.html

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic German phrases that will make your stay in Cologne a little easier:

Hello / How do you do?: Guten Tag

Good morning: Guten Morgen

Good evening: Guten Abend (there is no equivalent of “Good afternoon” in German)

Good-bye: Auf Wiedersehen

Yes: Ja

No: Nein

No, thank you: Nein, Danke

Thank you very much: Vielen Dank

I don't understand: Ich verstehe nicht.

Could you repeat that: Können Sie bitte wiederholen?

Please: Bitte

What time is it: Wie spät ist es?

Excuse me: Entschuldigung

Airport: Der Flughafen

Train station: Der Bahnhof

Taxi: Das Taxi

Hotel: Das Hotel

Hôpital: Das Krankenhaus

Bank: Die Bank

Telephone: Das Telefon

I'm (…): Ich bin (…)

I'm looking for (…): Ich suche (…)

How much is this: Wie viel kostet es?

 Do you have (…): Haben Sie (…)?

Where can I find (…): Wo kann ich (…) finden?

Where can I buy (…): Wo kann ich (…) kaufen?

I'd like (…): Ich hätte gerne (…)

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Good to know

00 49
+ phone number without the 0 (calls to Cologne)
0 : 00
of time difference with
Hamburg
Heure d'été > 29 mars
Heure d'hiver > 26 octobre

Banks

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Government offices

Usually open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.(2 p.m. on Friday)
230 V / 50 Hz

And what about tipping?
In Germany, as is also the case in France and Italy, when the service is especially friendly and attentive, leaving a tip is recommended and always appreciated. An appropriate tip in this case is anywhere between 5 and 10 percent of the bill at restaurants or bars. Do not leave the tip on the table. It is better to hand it to the server when paying the bill.