Remember my Cologne series? Time to get back to it. As you might know I am currently living in China.
But next year I am going back to Germany for a short time and I also will visit some friends in Cologne and live there again for a couple of months.
And let me tell you, there is one thing I am missing dearly, besides the Carnival.
I am missing all the Parks and Water in the city. Cologne is the greenest city I have yet seen.
Around every corner is some small park or playground. I lived in front of the Grüngürtel, which translates to Green Belt, which went halfway through the city. From my home to the university I could simply jog the 5km through the park.
Also these parks are where you will want to spent some time during summer or spring. People have Barbeques and picnics. They tan and they meet with their friends.
It is THE social hotspot.
Just careful at night most parks have no lights and a fair warning, they are definitely not the safest. Cologne can be a rough city at times, so keep away at night from dark places and empty corners. In short, don’t go through the parks alone at night.
But which Cologne Parks are now worth visiting, where are the best hotspots to relax after a day of sightseeing?
Well that depends on what you are looking for 😉
You have kids?- Rheinpark
Great then head over to the “wrong” Rhine side. In Deutz opposite of the Cathedral is a lovely park. Besides lots of green, there is also a huge and pretty awesome playground, a small train driving through and several flowery places, which are great to stroll through in spring and summer.
I just loved going there in the evening with some friends, drinking a nice glass of wine and relaxing, while enjoying the view across the Rhine.
But be careful, in this park is no barbecue allowed.
You like it remote and not so crowded? – Poller Wiesen
These lovely stretch of land is just on the other side of the Rhine Park, still in Deutz. Instead of turning right from the train station, you turn left.
You will have to cross over a bridge. When I first went there I simply followed the joggers, but ask around it isn’t so easy to find.
The place is usually relatively uncrowded and allows you to have Barbeques. Just be careful, the one-way ones are not allowed and there will be hefty fees if you destroy any grass. Take care of the nature!
You want to hang out with the cool crowd – Achner Weiher and the Park around the University
As a part of the “Grün-Gürtel” it is the most popular park to hang out in…especially the part that lies directly in front of the University. The university of Cologne as over 40 000 students. Take a bet how many of them love to hang out in the park on a hot summer day 😉
The park can be ridiculously crowded. But you are allowed to barbeque and you will most likely meet amazing people and the vibe is awesome.
You like sophisticated gardens with great flowers? – Flora & Bothanical Garden
This lovely piece of green lies in Riehl, right next to the Zoo. Entry is free.
It is Cologne’s oldest public park and has about 10 000 different plant species assembled. There even is a Palm Garden and Tropical Greenhouse for you to discover.
In spring and summer the place is absolutely stunning to look at with flower seas and huge trees spending shadow.
There are benches to relax on, but I am sure you can guess, definitely no Barbeques allowed 😉
You like it a tad creepy and misterious?- Melaten Cemetry
The biggest cemetery in Cologne is a true gem that should be mentioned. It is a quite oasis in the middle of a loud city.
Many famous people have been buried there and many old families have their own monuments and sculptures. Which tend to be rather impressive.
Giant Angels, fancy crypts, huge gravestones, very old and creepy looking graves…there is much to be seen. All of these shadowed by huge trees…a truly magic place.
Just be careful not to scare the bats living there 😉
Like I said there is a park for every taste…I loved hanging out in the Green Belt, which was just a 5 minute walk away from my home or to have a barbeque looking over the Rhine.
Even better was hanging out in front of the university in the evenings and letting a long day of studying finish with a relaxed drink with friends.
Cologne is a green city and has enough places for you to relax after your sightseeing tours. Take a pick 😉
Ps. If you think I left a park out which should be mentioned here or you have any questions about Cologne in general, why not leave me a comment =)