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About Cologne

Cologne is the beautifully diverse city of Cologne. With over 1 million people, it is the largest city in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Cologne is the ultimate experience of incredible history and breath-taking architecture. Touristic attractions of this vivacious city, includes the Cologne Cathedral, The University of Cologne, Museum Schnütgen, and Kolumba.

Cheap flights to Cologne are now available for a limited period of time, so get ready to be enthralled by this captivating city! Cologne is the home of Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN), which is located only 15-minutes away from the city centre. Cologne Bonn Airport serves a multitude of airlines – including Lufthansa, Eurowings, Turkish Airlines and Air Berlin. Popular international flights depart from Cape Town and Johannesburg. The flight duration from Johannesburg to Cologne is approximately 12 hours and 45 minutes.

Why visit Cologne

cathedral with spiers

Cologne Cathedral

The Cologne Cathedral boasts two massive towers which dominates the city’s skyline. This spell-bounding Gothic building can hold more than 20,000 people. It is worth a visit!

green man statue

Museums

Cologne is a cultural hub, with a vast array of magnificent museums. Visit the likes of Museum Ludwig, Roman-Germanic Museum and the House of Fragrances 4711.

water fountain plants

Cologne - Parks and Garden

Beautiful greenery can be seen throughout the city. Be sure to unwind at the mesmerising parks and gardens, including Rheinpark Park, Volksgarten Garden and Stadtwald Forest.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Germany
Currency Euro
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 0.07 EUR
Language German
Hub Airport Cologne Bonn Airport
Airline Lufthansa
Time Zone GMT +1
Travel Adaptor Type F

Best time to visit Cologne

Visitors will be pleased to know that Cologne is one of the warmest cities in Germany. A temperate-oceanic climate, with cool winters and warm summers can be enjoyed in this wonderful metropolis. Summer (July to August) is the busy tourist season; the weather is warm but can become quite humid. Autumn (September to November) is the best time to visit Cologne; tourists will be exposed to sensational weather and cheap hotel prices during these months. For an authentic experience of the beer culture, plan to go in May, as the beer gardens begin to open, and the atmosphere is buzzing with the enthusiasm for the spring season.

Weather & Climate in Cologne

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall level (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C -1°C -1°C 2°C 4°C 8°C 11°C 13°C 13°C 10°C 7°C 3°C 0.4°C
High °C 5°C 7°C 11°C 15°C 19°C 22°C 24°C 24°C 20°C 15°C 10°C 6°C
Rainfall (mm) 62 54 65 54 72 91 86 76 75 67 67 71

Overview

Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany and an extremely popular tourist destination. Nestled within the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, this vibrant metropolis has something to offer to all who visit it. Make your way on foot or use the easily accessible public transportation, explore trendy bars and cool cafes in areas such as Rudolfplatz. Discover picturesque urban scenery in Altstadt (Old City), with narrow alleyways and eye-catching colourful buildings, it is definitely worth taking a casual stroll through for amazing photos.

The city’s global claim to fame is the monumental Cathedral in the centre of the city. Known as the Kölner Dom, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions. A visit to this incredible piece of Gothic architecture should be first on your Cologne itinerary!

Compare several airlines, and book your cheap flights to Cologne online at Travelstart!

Visa & Customs

South African passport holders require a Schengen Visa to enter Cologne and Germany.

Important documents required for a Schengen Visa:

• The visa application form must be fully completed and signed. • One photo must be attached. • Your passport, valid for at least 3 months prior to your departure and must have at least two blank pages. • Round trip reservation or itinerary with dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from the Schengen area. • Proof of sufficient means of subsistence during your visit.

The South African Embassy is situated in Berlin.

Embassy of the Republic of South Africa Tiergartenstr. 18 10785 Berlin Tel.: +4930220730

Health & Safety

There are no specific vaccinations required to enter Cologne and Germany. However, all travellers are required to be up-to-date on routine vaccinations. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and yearly flu shot.

Cologne is a safe city to visit; tourists should feel assured when walking through the streets. However, with all major cities, travellers should always maintain cautionary sense to avoid falling victim to petty crimes.

Tips for staying safe in Cologne:

• Always keep a watchful eye on your bag – pick-pocketing can occur at places such as The Cologne Cathedral and the transport hub. • Do not leave your wallet or purse unattended in a public place. • Lock away your passport in the hotel room safe. • Do not go for a walk around Altstadt after dark as it is considered to be dangerous at night. Rather plan to visit and explore the architecture during the day when it is safe.

Cost of Living

Item Cape Town Johannesburg Cologne
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant R100 R100 R148
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught) R25 R25 R52
Cappucino (regular) R23 R22 R39
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) R10 R22 R27
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) R40 R40 R89
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