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Paris. Rome. Venice. These may be the first cities that come to mind when thinking of love, but the city of Cologne has a surprising amount to offer those struck by cupid’s arrow. Whether dating, newlyweds or even long term partners, couples can enjoy elegant dining, relaxing river cruises or even experience a chic romance in the Belgian Quarter.
Take a walk along the Hohenzollern Bridge to gaze upon the wall of padlocks, engraved with the name of the lovers who made their pledge to love. There are hundreds of locks in different shapes and sizes demonstrating the commitment and pure devotion two people share. There is plenty of space still left, so purchase a lock, engrave initials and throw the key into the Rhine. There the token of love will remain, perhaps, forever.
There is nothing more alluring to lovers than the freedom and beauty of a sailing down a river. Cologne offers numerous boat cruises along the Rhein. It’s a great way of seeing the city and, with food and drink available, a relaxing, stress-free experience. Taking a trip at night, when the old town is illuminated makes it all the more romantic. Tickets can be purchased at shops by the river or online at the Cologne Tourist website.
The Dom Cathedral is an impressive feat of Gothic architecture, but avoid the crowds and visit Dom Museum in the basement. The catacomb-like walls and gentle ambience gives couples some reflective, quiet time. The soft lighting and displays of intricately woven garments and tapestry are a delight. The twinkling jewels and treasures are stunning and can be viewed from all angles. Just remember, if your partner falls in love with jewellery, it’s not for sale!
Tucked away in the Belgian Quarter, Belgisher Hof is a rustic yet romantic restaurant. The off-street entrance is a beautifully lit small alley that is adorned with flowers and plants, leading into the main restaurant. The atmosphere is warm and inviting while the candle-lit tables create that all-important intimacy. Try the flammkuchen: a deliciously light bread rolled thinly with a crème Fraiche base.
Nothing could be more wonderful than a romantic walk through the Rheinpark. With 40 hectares and set along the banks of the Rhein, it provides a tranquil space in which to walk arm-in-arm and enjoy nature. The urban park has plenty of pathways and wonderful views of the Dom Cathedral, which sits opposite the river. Beside exquisitely landscaped gardens and flower beds are coffee shops to rest at and take in the views.
Chocolate must be the ultimate aphrodisiac so a museum dedicated to it is well worth a visit. The Chocolate Museum takes guests through the process of harvesting cocoa to the exquisite artistry of chocolatiers. Demonstrations of the process are given in the museum, as well as guided tours. And, yes, there is plenty of chocolate to buy and eat!
Hohe Street is the main shopping street in Cologne, but in the side-streets, there are numerous coffee shops serving delicious cakes and beverages. Winter is the time when these places become their most romantic. Despite the cold weather, coffee shops still have alfresco dining thanks to overhead heating. Nearly all establishments provide thick blankets for patrons. It makes for a very cosy evening, snuggling up to a loved one and enjoying their company and a sweet coffee too.
A short walk from Rudolf Platz train station, are two secret speakeasies: Rosebud and Seibert’s. Rosebud (Heinsbergstr, 20) is a stylish cocktail bar adorned with gold and red furnishings, low tables and stools for intimate conversations. The drinks are creative and well-priced. Seiberts, (Friesenwall 33) is tucked away behind a white door. Ring the door bell and discover a 1920s cocktail lounge with a courtyard. The drinks are works of art and the interior is filled with ornate objects and leather seats. Both establishments are ideal places for a date.
Be swept away by the romantic sounds of the Kölner Philharmonic orchestra. Located at Bischofsgartenstraße 1, just by the Dom Cathedral, there are concerts ranging from soloists, choirs, and full orchestral pieces. The repertoire is varied so there is music for all tastes. The auditorium is grand and allows for spacious seating without restricted viewing. It’s the perfect place for a gentle, relaxing evening. Book seats in advance at the Kolner Philharmonie website.
At the end of a long day, nothing could be more wonderful than to unwind with a loved one and be pampered at a spa. Cologne has many spa facilities around the city. A popular one is the Claudius Therme. This roman spa offers sauna, outdoor jacuzzis, and massage. On top of this, champagne can be purchased for that ultimate romantic experience. The baths themselves wind beneath cavernous roofs of stone and even has a floating pool! After a swim, settle on a deck chair in the outdoor area and watch the sunset. It’s all proof that Cologne is overflowing with romance.