Like any other cities in Germany, Cologne, the capital of carnivals, is also flourishing with nightlife attractions. It’s also not a secret that Cologne has the most pubs per capita in Germany, which gives locals and tourists more options on where to go and where to eat until the wee hours of the morning.
To kick off the night, best option for the clubbers would be visiting the areas of Barbarossaplatz squares, Friesenplatz, Zülpicher Straße and Luxemburger Straße. There are plenty of options that caters’ to the young or student’s budget and preference. Variety of lounge and sports bars are also sprawling in the city especially in the Belgian Quarter.
Cologne, most importantly, is a melting pot in pubs and tradition-steeped breweries where locals and tourists get along and have a taste of its famous kölsch beer.
We have created comprehensive guides to give everyone more knowledge about the latest and most popular nightlife hot spots in Cologne. Enjoy!
Best Nightlife in Cologne
Best Nightlife Spots: Bars, Hotels & More
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CULTURE AND DRINKING TRADITIONS
If Apple wine plays a significant role in the drinking culture in Frankfurt, then here in Cologne, Kölsch beer has been a trademark and a staple drink in the city. This type of beer is only brewed in Cologne featuring a light ale and is served in the traditional 0.2 litre Kölsch glasses which are tall and cylindrical.
According to the Kölsch Convention, in order for a beer to be called Kölsch, it must have the following criteria: must be brewed in the Cologne metropolitan area, pale in colour, top-fermented, hop-accented, filtered, and a ‘vollbier’ – 11 – 14% plato.
There are also 26 beer types in Cologne which can be consumed in the famous in-house breweries.
DRESS CODE FOR COLOGNE’S NIGHTLIFE
Cologne is the warmest of the German cities, yet must always take note to dress appropriately and avoid from wearing too flashy clothes for the girls. There are numerous jazz bars, nightclubs, and dive bars in Cologne especially at Zülpicher Straße and Friesenplatz area – and not to mention, that some of this establishments requires a proper dress code.
Since most club implements a US-style ambiance, think of something chic or black. For the footwear, wear something comfortable yet party appropriate.
SAFETY TIP WHEN PARTYING IN COLOGNE
Germany as a whole is safe country. Don’t forget to bring your ID, as most of the bar are restricted to men aged 25 and over and ladies aged 21 and over. Now if you’re stay in a hotel, it’s best to keep you passports and other valuables in a safe rather than losing it while wandering out at night in the city.
Our insider tips
Planning Your Cologne Visit
People of different culture and people from all walks of life meet at Cologne because of its iconic landmarks and flowing activities. Touted as the carnival capital of Germany, the Street Carnival or called as “The Crazy Days” or “The Fifth Season of the Year” is held every November.
Every summer, Summer Jam is also held in Cologne, and is touted as one of the best-known festivals in the city. It is held at Fühlinger Lake every year and draws reggae fans from around the region and entire country.
These are two of the best examples events one must experience – an event where the streets are busy and local residents dress in fancy costume and rejoice in non-stop drink and entertainment. Always bring some extra cash as this is not exactly cheap. Book a hotel as early as possible as it gets fully booked especially on holidays.
How many days to spend in Cologne?
Deciding how many days to spend in Frankfurt depends on the person’s objective on visiting the city. For a thorough visit on iconic landmarks, galleries, pubs, shopping areas, and binge-eating on restaurants, allow to give yourself at least 3 days and 2 night for a worthy Cologne visit.
Where to stay?
- Hotel Das kleine Stapelhäuschen
- MEININGER Hotel Köln City Center
- Hotel Leonet Novum
- A&O Koeln Neumarkt
- Hotel Domstern
- Renaissance Business City Cologne
- Köln Messe Apartment Herler
- Hotel Freiheit
- Excelsior Hotel Ernst
- art’otel Cologne
- Hotel im Wasserturm
- The Qvest
- Hotel Mondial am Dom Cologne
Good to know
*Note: We try to provide free information that is as up-to-date and accurate as possible. However, if you are planning to travel it’s a good idea to double check specific dates and information to avoid surprises.