I hope you’re doing well? Okay so before I lie to you all, it was actually just 60 hours in Cologne but over 3 days – I’m a fraud for the search terms! Anyways, this trip was mainly about visiting Phantasialand; which was amazing, but we’ll get to that.
Air travel can be expensive but thanks to Skyscanner we were able to find when are where the cheapest flights are. This meant flying from London Stansted at 7:30 in the morning this is about 3 hours from our flat in Leeds which was a pretty rough start to the day – worth it though since flights were just £30 return. We landed in Cologne and honestly it was so easy (and cheap) to use the public transport.
From the central train station in Cologne, it was less than a 20 minute walk to our hotel, we stayed in Centro Hotel Ariane and honestly it was great; the location was amazing and they served a good breakfast. The staff weren’t amazing nor were the rooms but for the location alone, I think this was a great little spot to stay.
Even though we were exhausted we wanted to make the most of our first day so decided to explore some of the key sights in the city centre. This of course meant appreciating the amazing Cathedral. The historical architecture mixed with a Gothic style makes a really unique and interesting design – plus the scale of this is unbelievable.
If you’ve read any other Colone blogs or watched vlogs you’ll have likely seen the colourful houses that make a real statement amongst more classic brick builds.
These houses sit along the bank of the Rhine River near the Fischmarkt. The buildings are as fun and unique as they look online particular with the Church of Great St. Martin framing the background it’s a lovely place to stop and enjoy the sights. I could have photographed these over and over but my non-insta boyfriend (in the sense that he isn’t much into social media, not that he’s ugly – love to Haydn) wanted to keep exploring more areas.
To wrap up the first day (we needed a nap) we took a slow stroll back through the city centre and grabbed a few snacks from the local supermarkets.
Haydn woke up early and excited because Sunday in Cologne was Phantasialand Day! I took a slower start to the day but we were still up and ready to head to the theme park just before 9:30am. We again used public transport to get to the theme park, it was a little more difficult to buy a ticket but the station staff were more than happy to help us figure out the train and platform we needed.
The park was as amazing as we hoped, whilst walking down the theme park entrance a row of houses set the scene on either side and honestly I got main Street Disney vibes – all that was missing was a magic castle.
What I particularly loved about this park is that it uses the space really well, a lot of ride tracks overlap and multiple rides interact with each other. Plus the uniquely themed areas were well executed making it incredibly immersive. My personal favourite area was Mystery; in fact, this area is home to my new all-time favourite ride Taron!
Of course, Taron isn’t the only enjoyable ride in the park: other great rides include; Maus Au Chocolat, Black Mamba, Colorado Adventure, Winja’s Fear & Force and more. Haydn and I love a good theme park day and this definitely didn’t disappoint.
The only downside of this day was a train delay that left us waiting at Bruhl station (the closest to Phantasialand) for nearly an hour. But we made it back to the hotel.
Our final day in Cologne and we had a few tourist attractions we didn’t want to miss. We started our day and headed over the picturesque Hohenzollern Bridge which is lined with locks from couples and families who have visited previously. There are literally thousands of locks on both sides of the Bridge so we took our time and read the names and dates of a few locks that caught our eyes.
On the other side of the Bridge, we wanted to go up Köln Triangle which is a little over 100meters high. The view towers offer an amazing perspective over the rest of Cologne and from here we got the most beautiful views of Hohenzollern Bridge and Cologne Cathedral.
After enjoying these views we decided to walk back over the bridge allowing us to take in the views of Hohenzollern Bridge and Cologne Cathedral.
To continue our day of exploring we headed further north to the Botanical Gardens Flora. After loving the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens during our April trip to New York we were excited to wander around something similar. Although the entrance to Colognes garden was grand the rest was still undergoing maintenance and there were no biodomes so we had a slow stroll around the grounds before giving up and looking for something else to do.
Once again we were using public transport to get back to the city centre of Cologne.
The Cologne Chocolate Factory was our last tourist attraction before leaving the city and it was definitely worth the visit. It’s a real working factory, that makes chocolate which you can taste test – honestly what more could you want. Before heading into the factory we went for a “healthy” lunch in the cafe which consisted of a giant chocolate muffin for me and mouth water chocolate waffle for Haydn.
After we were full from lunch I thought I couldn’t eat a single bite more – but then on entering the factory exhibit we were given another three mini chocolates. The museum part isn’t the most interesting but for us, the entrance fee was worth it just for the factory section. We were able to see the process of chocolate being made and packaged ready to be sold; we were even able to taste test some of the yummy chocolates being made. For an extra price, you could even design your own chocolate bar by picking unique and fun ingredients.
We had a few hours to kill before heading to the airport so we sat by the Rhine River and just enjoyed the atmosphere and German life around us.
Our flight home was easy being just 40 minutes long and before I knew it I was falling asleep on the motorway whilst Haydn drove us home.
It isn’t long now until our next adventure – we’ll be flying to Pula, Croatia in just over a month’s time and I’m so excited for a sunny, summer holiday! Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing our German adventure, can’t wait to share with you our next.