You know you're headed to Cologne. But what part of town will be ideal for your stay? Here's a quick overview of Cologne's most central neighborhoods.
Altstadt-SouthSouth of Cacilienstrasse and west of the Rhine River, Altstadt-South (Old Town South) is part of Cologne's first district. The neighborhood's St. Maria im Kapitol, on Kasinostrasse, is famous for its thousand-year-old door, among other treasures.
On a small island off Holzmarkt, the Schokoaden Museum tempts visitors with the craft of chocolate-making while the Deutsches Sport & Olympia Museum entertains active participants with interactive bobsled and bike race exhibits.
Center: Altstadt-NorthThe inspiring northern end of Cologne's Altstadt (Old Town), known as Altstadt-North, is located on the west side of the Rhine River. The Dom, with its soaring twin spires, is situated a block south of the train station and easy to spot from all directions. The iconic Roman Arch sits just west of the Dom on Trankgasse and next to the tourist office. Gross St. Martin, a block from the river, towers over the Fischmarkt with four turrets circling its own central spire.
MesseThis neighborhood, located across the Rhine River from Old Town, is a bit more commercial than other areas of Cologne, with trade fairs taking place throughout the year at the Kolnmesse complex.
The large Rheinpark, one of several green spaces in Cologne, is also found here. Cologne's Old Town is easily accessible from the Messe by way of the Deutzer Bridge.
Neustadt-NorthThis large area to the north of Old Town includes several tourist attractions. The internationally renowned Cologne Zoo and aquarium are located along the Rhine River. Just west of the Zoo, there's the Botanical Garden.
South of the Zoo, along the Riehler Strasse, the city's Sculpture Park includes works from such artists as Tony Cragg and Rosemarie Trockel.