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Cologne, Germany: City Life with Lots of Green

SmarterTravel

Cologne is a great European city to visit in the summer, with a perfect mix of urban amenities and nature. More than a quarter of this German city is made up of green space! Get your nature fix by visiting one of the city’s bathing lakes, such as the Fuhlinger. Or, head outside for a less active pursuit by having a cold mug at one of the city’s many beer gardens.

There’s plenty of sightseeing to do here as well. The focal point of the city is the Cologne Cathedral—admire it from outside, and then head inside for even better views—climb the cathedral’s South Tower and see across the city. Be warned: You’ll have to climb 533 steps to get to the top. Want more churches? There’s twelve Romanic ones to explore in Cologne.

For a real sense of history, don’t miss the Old Town, which was almost entirely destroyed during Worl War II. See how it’s been rebuilt painstakingly over time. Or, time your visit for the yearly Long Night of the Museums, in which the city’s 10 museums stay open late.

Where Is it? Western Germany. Fly to Cologne Bonn Airport (check prices).

Where to Stay? At the Excelsior Hotel Ernst, ranked number five in TripAdvisor’s list of top hotels for service in Germany.

What Else Should I Know? Visit on July 14th this year tickets for the annual Kolner Lichter fireworks display.

Who’s it for? City-slickers who like nature too.

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