Cologne – Germany

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Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium

Again, another of these destinations I have been so many times like neighbouring Dusseldorf but never created the guide for it. Although honestly, since the first couple of times or so I came to the city, took all the pictures around and did almost every tourist sight, all the later occasions I returned is mainly to go to some favourite restaurants, meeting friends there and going out. The choice here for going out, say discos, pubs and general entertainment, is definitely greater than in Dusseldorf.

Cologne is without any hesitation one of the most historical and oldest cities in Germany. Back in the Roman days, it was the largest city in what was known the province of Germania. Currently ranks the 4th largest in the country in terms of population and of course importance, and because it did not suffer as badly as Dusseldorf the raids during WWII, it managed to retain a cute historic medieval old town. Not everything is “real” let’s be honest here, but the reconstruction and restoration thereafter was quite a success. It is therefore here you will find many more places of interest and sights than bigger brother Dusseldorf.

Still, the scars from the war are visible even right in the middle of a major landmark, the Cathedral Square. Notice the horrible brutalist and socialist hideous buildings scattered around. However with the latest projects trying to restore absolutely everything, gentrification to the maximum through the old town and construction of great cultural centres, museums and entire new districts with spectacular striking architecture have translated in even more tourism coming year after year.


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Dusseldorf - Germany

Dusseldorf – Germany

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Japan on the Rhine

Although I have been so many times in this city, and also living for almost 9 months there, it’s time to finally create the well deserved guide for what is considered one of the most important cities in Germany. Surprisingly-wise talking, it is generally more important than Berlin in the sense of events, fairs, design, technology and entertainment. It is the city with the most Japanese population outside of Japan, hence its nickname Japan on the Rhine.

A weekend to enjoy the city is well enough, and even for the first time visitor, is perfect, not only you will see majority of the sights at a slow pace without any rush, in a day you will be done meaning the other half of your weekend trip can be spent at the “twin” city of Cologne. Yet it’s not only Cologne what’s really next to Dusseldorf, it is also a vast choice of places you can go within one/one and a half hour train or bus drive such as Wuppertal, Bonn, Dortmund, Essen, Oberhausen, the Ruhr Industrial Area… or into the Netherlands border at just 60km away to the west.

Discovering the city is quite straightforward and easy. Avenues follow a grid pattern even in the old town, so you can easily move up and down making zigzags, being able to see all the sights in the city centre without the need of any public transportation. Everything surrounding the old town core is the very elegant late 19th early 20th century extension with countless of beautiful grand buildings in all styles, among them a style ranks number one for the numerous amount and its importance, that’s the Jugendstil, or art-nouveau for German. The most notorious district to see the finest, and grandest, is the shopping area of Königsallee.

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