The main tourist area of Cologne is the Altstadt, with its colourful medieval buildings, mammoth Brauhauses and bars serving Kölsch by the vat. For a better idea of what life is really like for the city’s residents, venture a few hundred metres further west of the Rhine. Cosy cocktail bars, legendary outdoor venues and even an old church are just some of what awaits.
1460 is a gallery with a secret. Up a rough staircase, you’ll find a bar and cocktail lounge nestled under the 500-year-old arches of the Klein St. Martin chapel. Designer leather furniture, relaxing music and an expertly made cocktail make it one of Cologne’s best grown-up hideaways.
A relatively new bar with an unusual concept. The bar’s name means ‘shared apartment’ and it lives up to that by being divided into four rooms with different decors and atmospheres. You can check out the ornate pink girl’s room, the Chinese exchange student’s room with a ping-pong table, or an old VW camper van that can be reserved as a private lounge for €100.
Smart, sophisticated and with snow white decor (its name is, after all, Angels & White), this pub, lounge and nightclub is one for the grown-ups. The big beds in the basement make the evening full of even more possibility. Reserve one and relax with whom you wish.
Furry red walls, subtle lighting and a bunch of perennially unimpressed hipsters are par for the course at Scheinbar. Since the name of the bar means ‘apparently’, one begins to suspect the whole endeavour is a little tongue-in-cheek. Nevertheless, the cocktails are good, the beard game is strong and if a night out with the Belgishes Viertel’s great and good doesn’t warm your heart, then you’re just what the bar is looking for.
Between the railway tracks and Pasha, the biggest brothel in the city, lies Odonien – a junkyard joy with numerous events no matter the time of day or the weather. Movie screenings, food truck festivals, unusual parties, concerts and even festivals – it’s not simply a bar, more of an experience you won’t forget anytime soon.
With design that harks back to the 1950s and 1960s, an in-house DJ, live concerts and great cocktails, Elektra Musikbar has everything you need for a chill night out around Christophstr. Away from the craziness of the Ring and the hordes of brauhausing tourists, it’s absolutely perfect.
If you ever wanted to try those red vinyl booths from the 1970s strip clubs you see in the movies, King Georg is the place. A bar/concert venue/club just off Eberplatz in north Cologne, it first opened in 1968 as a place where ladies removed their clothes for money. These days the vibe in this tiny little hole-in-the-wall is super chill.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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