Family friendly Cologne
Family friendly things to do in Cologne
I had to write this post because I love city breaks! I usually resist planning one because I assume it’ll be more hassle than it’s worth to go with kids. For me having a weekend break in a city is not about finding the nearest playground, theme park or zoo. I want my children to enjoy the sights despite them not being typically for children. There are ways and means of seeing a city on foot but also keeping the kids amused. Breaking up your day with fun things to do will keep everyone happy. There’s nothing worse than going to somewhere like Paris for 3 days and spending one of those days at the zoo.
Here I have summarised all the best family friendly things to do in Cologne. Yes Cologne is a European city in Germany but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit because of the kids. There are many family friendly things to do in Cologne. There will be a lot of walking involved but that’s with all city breaks. And the Ubahn (underground train system) is available too if you can work out how to use it…..
The landmark of the city is the mighty Kölner Dom. At 157m tall, this should interest most kids especially the older ones, as it’s just beautiful. The huge foreground in front of the cathedral is a massive area where kids can run around and let off steam. It gets very busy on the weekends so don’t let them out of your sight.
Tickets to walk up to the top can be bought for a few euros each. For older kids (10 plus), a walk to the top of the cathedral could prove to be an exciting activity. It is 530 steep spiral stairs so no buggy (obviously) and I really would not suggest this for under 8s. I did see lots of young children but it gets very hot and tiring in summer months. Do not go up carrying a baby or child either as you will suffer. Take drinks and snacks for when you get to the top. The views are pretty good and you can spend a bit of time at the top
getting your breath back from the climb contemplating life.
Whose kids don’t love ice cream? If you’re visiting in warm weather then you’ll be delighted to know that gelato places are everywhere and anyone with kids will know, ice cream is great for a
An actual old-fashioned sweet shop in the Old Town, where fresh retro candy and sweets are made in front of you. A visually beautiful shop for all. It’s tiny but children of all age will love it and of course want to buy lots of sweets.
A lovely open park with a lake (lots of geese), cafe (aka beer garden) and yes a playground. You can hire pedalo boats which is so much fun for all members of the family. Surrounding the park there are restaurants too, so a great way to spend the afternoon.
This is a viewing tower where you can get a 360 degree view of the city. We went for sunset but going any time of the day would be great with kids. It’s a large indoor area with toilets so really comfortable for all. There is a lift that takes you up and tickets cost a few euros each.
Cruise on the Rhine
Running through the city, the Rhine has some lovely views. You can go on a boat ride for 30 mins to 1 hour to half a day depending on how much time you want to spend. There are lots of cafes around the river as it goes on for miles and miles. As long as they don’t get seasick, boats are a winner with kids!
I know lots of European cities have these now, but locks on bridges are always fun to look at. The Hohenzollern Bridge behind the cathedral is where you’ll find thousands of love locks in Cologne. Kids enjoy trying to read what’s written on them or even count how many there may be.
It’s always nice to stop off in between for a coffee or milkshake. Cafe Reichard is the perfect stop after visiting the cathedral to just rest and treat the kids to a magnificent dessert or milkshake. There’s something for everyone here and the views of the cathedral are fantastic.
When the kids get hungry, there’s always a pretzel to be seen on every corner in Cologne. Hungry kids are cranky kids, keep their bellies full by giving them these. The ones with Nutella should be popular with most.
What child wouldn’t love a museum full of chocolate? Guaranteed to entertain their curious minds, the Schokoladen Museum is a small museum where you will see lots of weird and wonderful things made from chocolate as well as learning about the history of chocolate. This is just by the river so very easy to find.
If you have older kids they might like the Ludwig Museum which is the most well-known Modern Art museum in Cologne. It has lots of pop art so a younger audience will enjoy it as well as adults. The building is really modern and has a great cafe which does really good food and is apparently the place to hang out for cool young people! Many concerts take place here too.
Cologne’s contemporary art scene is buzzing and many street artists are present in Cologne. There are places to go to spot certain street art but not too easy to find. You could make this into a bit of a treasure hunt style activity and see who can see the most street art. It’s all so colourful, the kids will love it!
Frites Belgique (Chip Shop)
Another favourite for all ages, chips or frites as they’re known in Europe. Piping hot, perfectly salted chips with mayonnaise. Eat as you stroll along the old streets of Cologne. Can’t beat it.
Do you take your children on city breaks?