COLOGNE - GETTING AROUND
Cologne is an ideal place to explore on foot, because
the majority of the city`s attractions are clustered around the cobbled streets
of the Old Town, which dates back to Roman times. This area is dominated by its
Medieval Cathedral; a useful reference point visible throughout, the city extends
along the banks of the Rhine, where a modern promenade area adds a contemporary
area to the historic base.
On the whole, the center of Cologne is not that big. It is entirely feasible to walk from one end of the center to the other on foot in about a half an hour.
Note: Cologne requires all cars to have a `Low Emissions` sticker in order to drive around in the city center (Low Emission Zone, `Umweltzone`). Rental cars automatically have the sticker, but if you`re driving your own vehicle, you`ll need to obtain one.
We do not recommend driving in the city because the streets are heavily congested and the public transportation is very user-friendly and efficient.
For cheap parking, with quick connections to central Cologne, use `park and ride`. These park and rides are located at some stations; parking is free when you present a validated transit ticket on exit. This is most likely your best option as parking spaces/facilities in the city are hard to come by.
Bicycling maybe one of the best ways to get around the city and
the city is very bicycle friendly. Cologne has a Call A Bike system. After you
register for an account on-line, it will charge your credit card a per minute
fee. You can pick up or drop off one of the silver-red bikes anywhere in the
city. It is also possible to rent a bike at many different places throughout
the city. There are also some bike tours offered in the city as well.
Note: The bicycle lanes are usually painted a different color than the rest of the pavement, or they`re marked with lines and pictures of bicycles.
Cologne`s taxis are available 24 hours a day and can be found driving throughout the city, they are light yellow in color. Taxi meters start at a basic fee of about €3, plus €1 if you hail a taxi from the street; the fare rises about €1.50 to €1.70 per km thereafter, depending on the time of day. To order a taxi, call 0221-2882 or 0221-194 10.By Public Transportation
Cologne`s comprehensive mix of buses, trams, and U-Bahn (subway) and S-Bahn (light rail) trains is operated by VRS (www.kvb-koeln.de) in cooperation with Bonn`s system. The cost depends on the distance from the city or the place where you start your journey. Short trips (up to four stops) cost about €1.90 (around €0.95 for children), longer ones run about €2.40. Day passes are €6.80 for one person. Purchase tickets from the automated machines (labeled Fahrscheine), from bus drivers, or at the stations. Be sure to validate your ticket before entering; validation machines are in stations and on buses.
The money-saving KölnCard costs about €9 for 24 hours (about €18 for 48 hr.) and enables you to travel throughout the city`s transportation network and get reduced-price entry to museums and other attractions. You can buy it at the tourist information center.
Note: This information and prices are accurate when this was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
Boat trips along the Rhine take in the view of Cologne`s Old Town and travel south to Rodenkirchen or Porz or north to Mülheim. The companies offering boat trips are Köln Düsseldorfer, Köln Tourist and Colonia. Tickets for the panorama boat trips offered by all three companies can be purchased for the around the same price from the Cologne Tourist Board, and visitors can choose between any of the operators and routes. The landing stages are on the left bank of the Rhine, on or close to the Hohenzollern bridge.
Harbor tour allows a guided panoramic tour in English. The trip starts at the Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer on the bank of the Rhine and goes past the Cathedral, the old town, the Chocolate Museum, the German Sports and Olympics Museum, along the length of the meadows in Poll, under four more Rhine bridges and finally to the former fishing village of Rodenkirchen with its vast choice of culinary delights. Tickets can be purchased before the start of the trip at the ticket office at Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer.