From Eco Friendly Travels

Eco-friendly travel guide to Cologne advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Cologne, Germany.

City Centre of Cologne

  • Air quality: 4.0/ 5
  • Exploring by foot: 3.5/ 5
  • Exploring by bicycle: 4.0 / 5
  • Public transportation: 4.5 / 5
  • Parks: 3.5/ 5
  • Outdoor activities: 4.0 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 3.0/ 5
  • Safety: 4.0 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$70 - $100
  • Budget per day: US$150 - $200

Responsible Travel

When traveling around the world and experiencing the beauty of different countries up close, you truly understand that living on Earth is a gift. We must appreciate our planet more and give back to it. Traveling, while entertaining, can be quite taxing on the environment. The carbon emissions from the flights, trains r cars are enough to make you want to reconsider any trip. However, we must explore the different countries and the cultures of the world. Earning more about the different cities of the world helps you appreciate life on Earth much more. Hence, when traveling, we must do so responsibly. We should try to reduce the negative impact that our traveling may have on our planet.

Traveling responsibly involves making eco-conscious decisions. To ensure that you reduce the negative impact of traveling, you can choose to live in eco-friendly hotels, visit eco-friendly tourist attractions, and opt to eat in eco-friendly restaurants and cafes. When traveling in a foreign city, try to opt for traveling options such as electric cars, bicycles, or vehicles with low carbon emissions. Traveling responsibly also includes respecting the city, the locate culture and traditions, and giving back to the community of the city you are visiting.

When traveling too responsibly, it is important to start at home. If you plan on a long trip, ensure that you unplug any device to prevent them from using up power. Unsubscribe or suspend your newspaper delivery for the time that you will not be home. Turn off your main water supply to ensure that there are no leaks in the house and ensure that you switch to online billing.

When traveling to an international location, it can be hard to eliminate any carbon emission. However, you can reduce your carbon footprint by opting for direct flights or reducing the number of transfers.

When traveling to an international location, it is important to appreciate the place's culture and respect the city. You should ensure that you do not litter the place and try to give back to the community. When traveling abroad, try to buy local and eat local. While it is tempting to visit international chains to feel closer to home, it is not fruitful for the economy of the place you are visiting. Try not to haggle and try to eat qat local restaurants to truly appreciate the place's culture. To give back to the community as much as you can, ensure that you look into volunteering options and incorporate it into your travel plans.

Think twice before you opt for plastic bags or plastic cutlery. Generally, in foreign countries, the waste management system may not be as great, and hence, the plastic waste may end up rotting in a landfill or end up in the ocean. While traveling, make sure that you opt for public transport rather than hiring a car or taxi.

These are a few ways to travel responsibly while enjoying the culture and beauty of the place you are visiting. When tourists travel responsibly and take their time to see who they can give back to the community, it helps the country's economy. It opens up more opportunities for tourists to visit in the future. While we may be living in different countries, the Earth is everyone's habitat, and it is time that we start taking care of it more.

Air Quality and Pollution

The Air Quality Index value for Cologne is 83. Hence, this signifies a moderate level of air pollution. Thus, the air quality is acceptable, and people are free to roam the city without any additional precautions. However, some additional protective gear may be necessary for those who may be unusually susceptible to air pollution.

In general, pollution in Cologne varies from low to moderate. The city has proper garbage and wastes disposing of systems. Citizens have easy access to drinking water and a sufficient number of green parks, which help keep the pollution levels minimum. Citizens generally do not have any complaints regarding the city's pollution levels, although it could be improving. The city has taken sufficient steps to ensure that they further reduce pollution levels to ensure a comfortable life for citizens and tourists alike.

Respect the Culture

Normal social rules and norms apply when visiting Germany. You should be polite and courteous when speaking to others, and it is always pleasant to greet someone with a smile. Germany has a rich history, and hence its culture has been influenced by it. Although its capital is Berlin, Munich, Cologne, and Hamburg are a part of Germany's main cities. It is well-known for being one of the most stable economies in the world.

Germans are known to be punctual and hardworking. Hence, it is always expected that when you fix an appointment with someone, you should get there in time. Generally, when introducing yourself to another person, you should use your title and your last name. First names are usually reserved for friendly and informal settings, where you have known the other person for quite some time.

While German people do not dress differently than the rest of the western world, each region of the country has different traditional attire.

Most people in Germany identify as Christian, and a small percentage of them identify themselves as Catholic Christian. Germany also has a minor Muslim population.

Germany is one of the leading nations in reading, with a popular publishing house publishing 94,000 books in a year. Hence, the people of Germany appreciate literature and are the home of some well-renowned writers and poets.

Several famous philosophers of the world were also born in Germany, such as Kant, and philosophers such as Nietzsche lived their whole lives in Germany.

The stereotype that Germans drink a lot of beer has some truth to it. While they are not the largest consumers of beer globally, they place second only to the Czech. Germans indulge in beer, sausages and also love making different kinds of bread. If you live beer and sausage, you are about to have a wonderful time when you visit Germany.

One notable thing about Germans is that they love to care for each other. This occurs in various ways, as you will find when you visit Cologne. If you are acting improperly, or maybe behaving in a socially unacceptable way, Germans will be quick to point it out to you. This is not meant to be remaining or to put you down, but people do so because they see this as their social duty to help others out. Germans also love to care for others by returning lost things. If someone finds a lost item, they place it on the lowest branch of the tree. Hence, if the owner were to trace back their steps, they would quickly find their lost item.

Hence, people in Germany like to care for one another and want to ensure that they help their community in any way that they can.

When visiting Cologne, do not forget to conduct your research to find out more about how you should conduct yourself. If you hire a tour guide, ensure that you are on good terms with them, as they will guide you better on how you should conduct yourself in a social context. However, when I doubt you will surely find other helpful citizens who will show you the right way.

Top 10 Places to Visit

  • Cologne Cathedral: Even if you are not a religious person, you will live to visit this century-old cathedral. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a stunning landmark in the city.
  • Rhine River Cruises: Want to see the city up close? You need to opt for Rhine River Cruises. The stunning view of the water, paired with the detailed city tour, cannot be missed. If you want to explore the city in style, this is the way to do it.
  • Cologne's Old Town: Every city has its history, and when you visit Cologne's Old Town, you will be able to see it for yourself. From cafes to restaurants and galleries, there is a lot to explore in Old Town. It is best to explore by foot to not miss out on any attractions, and perhaps find a few hidden treasures yourself.
  • The Wallraf-Richartz and Ludwig Museums: If you love art, you cannot miss visiting this museum. The building is one of the modern designs of Cologne and is a sight to see. The museum hosts many paintings from different eras, and you can explore them all at your leisure.
  • Cologne Zoological Gardens: Ever visited a zoological garden which is centuries old? Now it is your chance. This place has old-style buildings, which adds to its charm. You can spend your time here looking at the different animals and feeling one with nature.
  • Chocolate Museum: Started in 1972, the chocolate museum is a tourist attraction that you cannot miss. Take a close look at how chocolates were designed, molded, and manufactured. Here, you will find live demonstrations, and you also have the option to design a chocolate bar for yourself!
  • St. Gereon's Church: The building was started in the 12th century, not something you should miss. The church features some intricate craftsmanship, such as medieval murals, ancient relics, and mosaics. The church looks as though it came straight out of a history book!
  • Cologne Cable Car & Bird’s-Eye Views of Cologne: Established in the 1950s, this cable car was the first in Europe to cross a river. You can get a wonderful bird's eye view of the old town. The Cologne Cathedral and more when you get on this cable car ride. It is a fun activity that all tourists should try out. Don't be concerned about safety; this cable car has hosted millions of passengers!
  • Botanical Garden: Are you a fan of nature? Then you need to visit the stunning Botanical Garden of Cologne. With over 10,000 species of plants, there is a lot to explore in this place. The Flora building also hosts flower shows throughout the year, and if you are lucky enough to catch one of them, you will not forget the experience any time soon!
  • Belgian Quarter: End the exploration with a bit of fun and visit the Belgium Quarter. If you are looking for trendy cafés and restaurants, this is the place for you to explore.
Cathedral in Cologne


When you visit Cologne, you will not run out of things to see and places to explore. Cologne has a lot of museums, churches, parks, cafes, and eateries. Ensure that you take your time to visit Cologne and try to get to know the city yourself.

City Parks

What could be better than taking a long stroll through nature? There is no better way to clear your head than breathing in the fresh air. To ensure that citizens can exercise comfortably, kids can play and have fun, and several parks are dotted throughout the city.

Some popular parks that you can visit are:

  • Volksgarten Garden
  • Stadwald Forest
  • Finken's Garten
  • Kölner Grüngürtel
Volksgarten Garden

National Parks

There are 16 National Parks in Germany in total. Hence, when visiting Cologne, there won't be many national parks that you can explore. However, just about every state has one national park. In the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the national park is named Eiffel National Park. Although it may take you up to an hour to visit this national park, it is worth the journey.


What could be a better way to spend your holidays than basking in the sun while you are on the beach? Cologne's beach scene is something that you may not have come across before. From eateries to bars, you will find a host of different outlets scattered around the beach. Once you are done soaking up the sun, you can get up and explore the different options for eating and drinking.

There are also several beach clubs that you may want to check out! Every club offers different services, so it is best to do y our research before deciding which one you should visit.


As mentioned earlier, you will not run out of places to explore when you are visiting Cologne. Some hubs and buildings have become a landmark for the local people. While you may not be able to cover most of them, ensure that you take your time to explore the city and find out more about the place's history. You will be thrilled to discover every new fact. A couple of days n Cologne just won't cut it. This is a place where you will want to visit over and over again!

  • Mustard Museum: One thing that can be said about German people is that they love mustard! You will find mustard bottles in every place that you visit. But, be careful, though, because the sharp taste is something that you may not be used to. It is best to use a little at first and experience the spiciness.
  • 4711: Another famous perfume house in Cologne is 4711. While the Fragrance Museum also allows you to purchase a perfume bottle if you want to have a special memory, head to 4711. Here you can craft your perfume and create a signature smell, which is one of a kind.
  • Love Locks: Whether or not you are visiting with your loved one, this site is a must-visit for everyone. For years lovers have been going to the Hohenzollern Bridge to lock a padlock as a sign of love. The bridge is one of the busiest, as well as the sturdiest. It is estimated that the bridge can withstand the 2 tonnes of the weight of several padlocks. Make sure to add to the traditional, and throw the key in the river afterward!
National Mustard Museum


When visiting Cologne, you will not run out of Museums that you want to visit. From art museums to those that hold ancient relics, there is something that suits everyone's taste.

  • Romano-Germanic Museum: This museum documents the 100,000 years of settlement in the Rhineland area. It is built on a Roman villa and has some interesting artifacts. The centerpiece is a Dionysus Mosaic, but that is not all. You will find the world's largest collection of Roman Glass vessels, stone weapons and tools from the Neolithic age, and many more.
  • Farina Fragrance Museum: When you have the opportunity to visit the world's oldest factory, you take it! This place explores the story of Johann Maria Farina, who created the original Eau de Cologne. Among his customers was King Frederick the Great and King Louis XV.
  • Museum Ludwig: This is a modern art museum that you must visit. If you are someone who doe into visit museums too often or classify them as boring, this is the place that will change your mind.
Farina Fragrance Museum


Whether you are a picky eater or love to consume everything on your plate, you will find several options when visiting Cologne. Germans love to eat sausages, or as they call it, wurst. Wurst can be of various flavors such as beef, pork, and even veal. While they are known for drinking beer, they should also be known for the various types of bread they bake. Germans take a lot of pride in baking bread, and if you love bread, you will find a lot of options to choose from! Sweet, savory, plain, flavored, and ones with all kinds of seeds that you can think of, Germans have many different types of bread which they make.

If you are vegetarian or vegan, there is no need to shy away from eating out. You will find several options for vegetarian as well as vegan food.

Traditional Local Restaurants

When exploring any new country and city, you must try out the local food; the local food is how you understand its culture, traditions and get to know the people better. Additionally, when trying out different cuisines, you may discover the new favorite flavor that you may not have discovered otherwise! Want to know the best of the traditional restaurants in Cologne?

Here are a few of them:

  • Bei Oma Kleinmann: Not only will the menu make you feel as though you have come to visit your grandma; the proportions will, too; the atmosphere of this place is not something that you should miss out on. It is an excellent place to try out the local cuisine, and the place also keeps up with all of the local events taking place. Hence, if you want to feel like you aren't a tourist, but rather a part of the place, this is the best option!
  • Ox und Klee: How about traditional mixed with some modern culinary techniques? If you want to explore the local cuisine in style, then this is the place for you to be. Everything is carefully arranged and presented to make you feel like watching an art show rather than eating out. The food is a gourmet level and not something that that you should miss out on.
  • Kunstbruder: How about eating while you are actually inside of an art gallery? You can do that at this restaurant, which is located inside an art gallery. What better way to explore the local cuisine?
  • Brauhaus Scholzen: This place has existed for over a century; hence, you can say that they truly understand local and authentic food. If you want to try Colognian food, then there is no better place. When you walk into this place, you are stepping into a landmark and a deeply rooted place in the city's culture.

Vegetarian and Vegan

Whether you are craving a veggie breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even late-night snacks, you will not have a problem finding vegetarian or vegan options to serve your needs! Some popular options that you can look at when looking for vegan or vegetarian food are:

  • Sattgrün – Mitte: This is a vegan buffet restaurant that serves various cold and hot food items. You can enjoy coffee or tea with plant-based milk or indulge in vegan cakes, pasta, and more.
  • Nobuko: You can try out vegan Japanese food without missing out on authenticity; there are many options to choose from! You have delicious miso soup and flavored broths as well as fired veggies on rice. The options are endless, and if you are a fan of Japanese cuisine, you will be a fan of this eatery.
  • Makiki Sushi Green: This Vegan Sushi place has a few outlets already and is hugely popular. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is strongly suggested that you make reservations before you decide to eat out.
  • Cafe Hibiscus: How about a place where you never know what you will find? This café changes its menu every day, and you will find everything here from entrees to desserts.

Street Food

When eating any meal, a Kolsch seems to be a necessity. Kolsch is Cologne's official beer. In Germany, beer is serious business, and hence, every region has its beer and argues about which one the best is. However, when in Cologne, you will not be able to get enough of Kolsch. It is available everywhere, but it is also the perfect drink to pair with Cologne's street foods.

Wondering which street foods to try out? Here are a few:

  • Halve Hahn: Although the name translates to half a rooster, you will not find any meat in this dish. The dish consists of rye bread with butter and topped with Gouda cheese and onions. Traditionally, the ingredients are served separately, and you will need to piece them together yourself.
  • Mettbrütche: The meatier cousin of Halve Hahn, this is essentially the same dish but with minced pork instead of Gouda. The dish consists of a bread or bread roll spread with butter and topped with raw minced pork, raw onion, salt, and pepper. Yes, you read that right, the dish consists of raw minced pork. It is a popular dish among Cologne people, and they can eat it for every meal!
  • Suurbrode: This dish consists of marinated and braised meat. Although traditionally, it was cooked with horse meat, Cologne's people do not tend to consume this meat anymore. Now, you will find this dish cooked with beef and served with red cabbage and potato dumplings.
  • Rievkooche: This specialty is often found in German Christmas markets. It is potato pancakes, which are either served plain or with apple sauce. In German eateries, you will find this dish paired with dark rye bread and salmon. When you want to go out and try this dish, ensure that you check the eatery's menu beforehand as this dish is usually only served once a week.


While you can never go wrong with a beer in Germany, it is not the only drink that you should be trying out when you are visiting Cologne, on a night out with your friends; there are several options that you can choose from:

  • Flimm: If you want something truly out of the box to drink, this would be a popular choice. While the emerald green color may make you wary of the drink, it is a kind of sweet shot that goes down smoothly. First introduced in 2008, this has been a popular drink in bars and pubs ever since.
  • Kettenfett: Liquorice Liquor, this tongue twister of a drink, is referred to as Kettenfett or Chain Grease. Those who like the flavor of licorice will like the salty and sweet taste of this drink. However, it is thick and has a distinctive flavor that not everyone may enjoy.
  • Schwesterherz: The name translates to 'sis,' who is short for sister; it is often considered a girly drink because of its mild flavor. However, this drink is quite popular in bars and pubs all over the city.


The tap water in Cologne is strictly regulated according to health and safety standards. Hence, when you visit Cologne, you can drink tap water without any worries. Bottled water is not necessarily safer than drinking water. However, what you ultimately opt for depends on your preference.

Organic Cafés

From the stereotype of eating sausages and drinking beers all day, you would almost think Germans do not eat healthy at all. However, that is not the case. When trying to eat healthily, you will find several popular options in Cologne. These organic cafes serve delicious dishes that you will not get enough of! Some popular places that you can try out:

  • Hommage
  • Restaurant LADE
  • Bulgogi-Haus
  • The Great Berry


You will not find it hard to locate Cologne breweries, although nit every brewery offers the same atmosphere and drinks. There are several breweries in the city, and they have amazing food and drinks to ensure that you have an excellent time. Some of the breweries that are famous in Cologne are:

  • Gaffel
  • Baustelle
  • Gilden im Zims
  • FRÜH am Dom


From Carnivals to Christmas Markets, Cologne's people know how to bring the community together and celebrate. You will not run out of activities to take part in when you are visiting Cologne. If you are someone who loves to make new friends in every city that they visit, then Cologne will be your favorite spot!

Yoga and Retreats

Whether you are searching for inner peace or love to spend some time stretching and meditating, you will have no difficulty finding Yoga Retreats in Cologne. It is best to do your research to find out the places which will suit your needs. A quiet atmosphere is what everyone craves, but each retreat offers different services.


Your trip is only as good as the accommodations that you get. Traveling all day is fun, but when you do not get to stay in the right place, you may be missing out on the fun. While staying in a central location, it is important to cut down on the travel time, sometimes stay a little further away from the city, and allow you to explore lesser-known tourist attractions and get to know the city a bit more.

Green Hotels

While you will not find a ton of options when looking for Green Hotels in Cologne, there are quite a few options to choose from. When you opt for a green hotel, ensure that you conduct proper research to ensure that the hotel is green in terms of its facilities and practices. Often, there are false advertising cases as hotels try to get more people to come and stay with them.

Hostels and Guest Houses

Luxury hotels, mid-range hotels, and even budget-friendly hotels, you will find it all in Cologne. You do not need to look far to find a place to stay when you are visiting Cologne. Most hotels are kid-friendly and will have a lot of options for tourists to be able to comfortably stay and explore the city.

Guesthouses are also common in Cologne and a great choice for those who want to save some money on their accommodations. Guesthouses are often a great way to connect with other locals and find out the city's secret spots. You can interact with the local people much closely when you are staying in a guest house.


Planning a long stay in Cologne? You may want to opt for an apartment. When staying in Cologne for work or study, you can opt to stay in an apartment! Ensure that you have the right paperwork to apply for apartments when you are in Cologne.

There are several Airbnb options in Cologne where you can have apartments or even houses to yourself while visiting the city. If you want a comfortable stay, then Airbnb may be a good option for you. Walk right into an apartment without needing to worry about talking to hotel staff or interacting with too many people during lunch and breakfast!


Know some friends or family who stay in Cologne? You may be able to snag yourself a couch to sleep on when you are visiting the city. This is not only an eco-friendly way of traveling but also saves you some money. Hence, this is the reason why most people want to make connections wherever they visit. Making friends can lead to some interesting living situations when you are traveling. Ensure that you thank the hosts by keeping the space clean and treating them to a meal or an excursion!


Love camping? Well, who doesn't? It is fun to sit under the stars with a beer or a warm drink. If you are looking for camping options, you will find a lot of them in Cologne. Go out with friends and explore nature at its best.

How to Get There

When we travel, the form of transport that we opt for is quite important. When deciding on any form of transport, it is essential to look at the vehicle's carbon emission and how long the journey will take. There may not be many options for many people they can choose from depending on where they are starting their journey and any travel restrictions they may have.


You will find several flights to Cologne. When looking at flight options, try to select direct flights to Cologne, to ensure that you help reduce carbon emission.


Cologne is well-connected to other major cities in Germany and other European cities as well. You can certainly find bus routes that will lead you to Cologne; if you are a fan of long road trips, this may be the perfect option.


There are several train options to Cologne, and depending on which region you are in, you may also be able to opt for high-speed train options. Trains are convenient and travel-friendly, so you should not have too much trouble opting for them.


Hitchhiking is not for the faint of heart. Those who want to ensure that their travel plans do not add to the carbon emissions or those who love to go where the road leads them may be fans of hitchhiking to places. While it is impossible, hitchhiking may not be the easiest option for anyone. However, if you are dedicated, you will surely find a way to hitchhike to Cologne. It may take a few days, and you may need to make a few stops along the way, though. However, this is an excellent way to explore the hidden spots of the world.


Flying, taking a train, or a bus is the more popular way to reach Cologne; you can also drive to Cologne if you happen to live in a nearby city.

Moving Around

Cologne is very well connected. The public transport system is highly developed, making it easy for citizens and tourists to get around the city. When traveling abroad, it is best to opt for public transport to ensure your safety and aa to ensure that you do not add to the carbon emissions. You will find it easy to hop on a bus or a tram in Cologne and get to the destination you want.


Walking around the town's quieter parts is recommended as you get to explore the city up close. You will have no difficulty walking around the city as the roads are well maintained, and pedestrians' safety is ensured.


Cycling around the city is the best and most preferred method of getting around. Citizens and tourists alike like to explore the city on a bicycle. Not only does this allow you to get your daily dose of exercise, but it helps you save time as well!

Electronic Vehicles

The number of electric vehicles has increased over the last few years in Cologne, and you will find charging stations and electric cars all over the city. You can opt for these options to get around the city as well.

Public Bus

The buses is a great way to get around the city and get to know the roads better; if you plan on a longer stay in Cologne, buses will become your best friend. They help you learn the roads faster than any other vehicle; you can do a bit of sightseeing in them too!

Tram, Train and Subway

Trams, Trains, and Subways are the best way to get around the city. The public transport system mainly relies on trams and subways to help the citizens go about their days.

Sustainable Shopping

Sustainable shopping is not a new concept in Germany. There are several; German brands that pride themselves on their sustainable and ethical ways. It is easy to find an eco-friendly German brand that strives to make a difference in the fashion industry through its eco-conscious decision. With many vintage shops located in the city, sustainable shopping is quite easy when you are visiting.

Food Markets

Street food markets are not new to the food scene, but they seem to be gaining popularity in recent years. Street food markets are the best way for any tourist to try out authentic regional dishes. With these food markets, you not only get to try out authentic food but fusion as well. You also get to take a look at Cologne's local spin on western food items. Locals of Cologne frequent Food Markets quite often; although they are partial to their traditional cuisine and tend to prefer local food items, you will find a wide variety of options to choose from.

Flea Markets

It is exciting to visit the flea markets that are scattered all over Cologne. Flea markets are an excellent way to shop guilt-free, and you will be able to indulge in it when you visit Cologne. While some flea markets are open every day, some may open weekly, and others may open only a few times in a year. Flea markets are not only for buying clothes, but you can also find many items in these flea markets. Not every flea market is the same, and some of them are exclusive to specific items; hence, if you want to look at antique pieces, you will have specific locations that you can check out.

Second Hand Stores

Thrifting, flea markets, and sustainable shopping is not a foreign concept in Cologne. When you explore the city, you will find several second-hand stores. If you want to opt for sustainable fashion and sustainable buying choices, you will not have a hard time with it when you are visiting Cologne.


You will find several eco-friendly fashion stores to help you with your sustainable shopping needs. There is a huge variety of stores to choose from.


Recycling is slowly becoming a common practice in all regions of Germany. Cologne is not far behind in initiating recycling efforts to promote a healthier planet. Recycling waste is one way the city is attempting to ensure that it reduces its impact on the planet and contributes to a better Earth.


Cologne has an efficient waste disposal system, where waste is sorted, and items are sent for recycling. There are several waste stations throughout the city where citizens can dispose of their waste responsibly. A proper waste management system ensures that items do not end up in landfills where they may rot for several years, do not get incinerated, and produce toxic fumes. When visiting Cologne, you will have no issues in responsibly disposing of your waste.

Waste is sorted with colored bins' help, which helps ensure that items are disposed of correctly. There are separate e bins for class items, paper items, bio waste, plastic items, and more. Hence, the waste system is quite efficient as they ensure every type of item has its color-coded bin.

Work and Study Abroad

Working and studying abroad allows individuals to be able to experience a different country and city up close. It is an excellent way to truly explore the city and discover how the city works. When visiting a country as a tourist, it is easy to miss out on life's daily intricacies in a different country. However, suppose you truly want to experience and learn more about a different country and appreciate its culture. In that case, you can only do so by living there for a substantial amount f time. Cologne welcomes international students, workers as well as volunteers. From Student Exchange programs to volunteer work, there are several ways for people from international cities to come and stay in Cologne and learn more about the city.

Exchange Student

Different Universities in Cologne have paired up with Universities abroad to allow students to participate in Student Exchange programs. As a part, the student exchange program, students from different countries can experience life in Cologne, mingle with students, and get an in-depth look into Germany's curriculum. When taking part in a student exchange program, the student must be officially nominated by the partner university to be eligible for the program. Once they have been selected, they need to apply for a student visa to stay and study in Cologne. Ensure that you apply for a student visa and not a tourist visa as a tourist visa cannot be converted to a resident visa later on.

Exchange students report a positive experience of living in Germany. The cost of living in Cologne is cheap, and it is easy to get by even if you do not know German. If you do not know German, you can opt for English courses and receive help from friends and professors. There are enough breaks during the year to make travel plans and explore other cities in Germany. Food, traveling, and living in Germany are relatively cheaper and easy. Students report that they did not have a hard time adjusting to Cologne's culture and life and received a lot of help from their peers.

Au Pair

There are several Au Pair options available for citizens and tourists alike. You may have to conduct your research before you can find a service that meets your needs. Additionally, you can apply to work as an Au Pair in Germany. You will need to look for companies that offer Au Pair services or apply directly for an Au Pair job. Once you have been selected, you will need to file for the appropriate visa so that you can stay and work in Cologne.


Several organizations have provisions for international volunteers to participate in volunteer work in Cologne. These voluntary services can last for up to a year. Volunteer services are available for youth and senior participants alike. The Cologne Volunteer Centre can be a go-to place for people below the age of 30 who want to participate in a volunteer program which lasts for 12 months. People can sign up easily and volunteer their services to help the city of Cologne!

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