© Inga Kamphausen

Night of the museums

The cultural highlight of the year

Night at the Museum — seafarers, wild animals, Stone Age people and all the other exhibits wake up and spring into frenetic activity, at least in the film of the same name. During Cologne’s Museum Night, there won’t be any dinosaurs or key-stealing monkeys coming back to life, but your experiences will be just as exciting, thanks to the special atmosphere of this event. That’s what always happens when museums and diverse art venues in Cologne make an exception and open their doors at night, from 7 p.m. till 1 a.m. or even 2 a.m. Many surprises lie hidden behind their doors. So be sure to note the next Museum Night in Cologne in your calendar — because the concept always attracts throngs of night owls.

© Inga Kamphausen

Sun off, moon on & lots of event

The concept behind the Night of the Museums Cologne

Museum Night in Cologne — also known as the Long Night of the Museums in Cologne — means two things. It’s the special date when the city’s museums and art venues are open until late at night and offer a multifaceted cultural programme. Here you can find just about everything imaginable: exhibitions, performances, readings, concerts, studio opening events and workshops — accompanied by refreshments at easily located spots throughout the city. Art enthusiasts and people who love discovering new things will enjoy the unique aura of the evening and night hours, when Cologne’s culture seems to be illuminated from a very different angle — perhaps even more strongly than at other times.

Admission tickets include a travel ticket

As a rule, you buy one ticket for the entire Museum Night, which entitles you to enter all of the participating museums, cultural venues, parties and more. You can choose to buy your Museum Night ticket either online or offline at one of the big evening box offices. Your admission ticket already includes your personalized ticket for local public transport, which covers your travel to, during and from the Museum Night until late at night.

Tickets usually go on sale at the end of August.

© Inga Kamphausen

Organizing your Museum Night: three tips

Museum Night in Cologne requires a bit of previous organization, because you won’t be able to “do” all of the art venues in a single night. Usually there are more than 40 different ones to choose from.

  • Our Tip 1: You’ll do well to buy your Museum Night ticket online ahead of time. That way you’ll be more flexible about where and when you start, and you’ll also be sure to get a ticket.

  • Our Tip 2: Download the programme well before the Museum Night and choose your routes, your tour, or the highlights you’d like to see (between four and eight venues). That’s the best way to navigate an exciting night.

  • Our Tip 3: Follow the Museum Night on Facebook and Instagram — that way you’ll get any updates of the programme and the highlights.

Museum Nights in Cologne, Germany and the world

Museum Night has been held in Cologne for more than 20 years — more precisely, since the millennium year 2000. It’s not the only city celebrating an event of this kind. The first Museum Night in Germany was launched in Berlin in 1997. Other cities followed suit, and today there are many cities in Europe and all over the world that organize Museum Nights. Incidentally, the “long night” format has also inspired other areas such as research, science, retailing and restaurants to organize similar events.

Cologne’s Museum Night is organized and presented by the magazine publisher Stadtrevue Verlag in cooperation with the City of Cologne, Cologne museums and other cultural venues.

Just one click to the city vacation

Accommodation options for every taste

© KölnTourismus, Foto: Christoph Seelbach


The official tourist ticket

Would you like to discover Cologne inexpensively and easily? Then we recommend the KölnCard. The tourist ticket offers you free travel on all public transport and great discounts on art, culture and gastronomy.

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