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Cologne Photo Shoot
On the lookout for great photo motifs
Let’s go! Photogenic spots in Cologne are waiting to be discovered and captured by camera buffs. This tour combines beautiful locations and the Cologne stories they tell with great viewpoints of the city.
You can see the cycling route directly at komoot: Cologne Photo Shoot.
Description of the route
The tour begins at the Decksteiner Weiher pond on Cologne’s outer green belt. The wide meadows of this park are crisscrossed by a network of paths that invite visitors to cycle, stroll and relax. The ruins of Fort VI, which used to be part of Prussian Cologne’s outer ring of fortifications, are well preserved and can be visited today. Visitors who’d like to enjoy the view of the Deckstein pond before beginning the tour can take a break at the Haus am See.
From there, cycle along the green belt in a northwesterly direction until you’ve crossed the Dürener Straße and the Militärring. Through the Stadtwald Forest and after cycling along the Lindenthal Canals, you’ll reach the Aachener Weiher pond on the inner green belt. After climbing up the slope a few metres, you’ll have a great view of the Colonius telecommunication tower and the MediaPark. The neighbouring Belgian Quarter is known for its charming cafés and restaurants. For example, you can enjoy homemade marmalade at the Café im Bauturm and fresh drinks at the Little Link. Also the bicycle-friendly hostel "die wohngemeinschaft" is located there and lives up to its name in the unique bar next door.
Next, this route takes you northward along the inner green belt to the Herkulesberg. From the top of this hill, you can see the Cologne panorama from a different perspective. If you’re reluctant to make the climb, you can take the Herkulesberg pedestrian bridge over the railway tracks by the MediaPark.
Then proceed along the Innere Kanalstraße to the next photo stop: the Odonien complex, which combines open-air studios, art workshops and cultural venues. Wherever you look there’s something to discover and photograph. There’s also a beer garden, where you can process your first impressions and your photos.
The route now takes you eastward along the Innere Kanalstraße to the rose garden on top of the former military complex Fort X. Today this symmetrically designed garden consists of about 2,000 roses representing more than 40 different rose varieties.
After crossing the Zoobrücke bridge, you’ll arrive at the Rhine Park, a green oasis with a wonderful view of the Cathedral. The Rhine Park offers a whole spectrum of activities: skipping stones along the banks of the Rhine, minigolf under the Zoobrücke bridge or a pleasant pause on one of the wide meadows.
After leaving the Rhine Park and the Hohenzollern Bridge behind you, you’ll reach the Rheinboulevard with its 500-meter-long outdoor stairway. There are a number of restaurants along this boulevard, and all of them offer a wonderful view of Cologne’s Old Town and the Cathedral. On the next stretch of the tour, if you don’t feel like carrying your bicycle up and down the steps of the Südbrücke bridge, you can instead take the Severinsbrücke bridge in order to cycle to the Rheinauhafen on the other side.
If you go further to the south, you’ll reach the Südbrücke bridge. A short detour to the Poller Wiesen and the Deutz Harbour can be combined with a picnic featuring a panoramic view of the architecture on the left bank of the Rhine.
After crossing the Südbrücke bridge you’ll be on the left bank again, where you can take a close look at the Rheinauhafen. The crane towers called “Kranhäuser” are an eye-catcher for every camera. Here you can choose from many perspectives on the old as well as the modern architecture of the Rheinauhafen.
The next lap of the route takes you right through the Südstadt district, parallel to the ring road and heading toward the city centre. This is where you’ll find the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum with its impressive entrance hall (don’t forget to check its opening hours) very near to the Neumarkt. The museum’s café offers delicious cakes, coffee and snacks.
Take the Cäcilienstraße toward the Rhine and stop at Parking Garage 1 of the Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof department store. From the top floor you’ll have a panoramic view of the cathedral in one direction and the Kranhäuser in the other. This view is an insiders’ tip from the #visitkoeln blog.
Next, cross the Heumarkt and navigate the narrow lanes of the Old Town to the Fischmarkt, which is lined by a row of colourful narrow houses. Together with Cologne Cathedral and the Romanesque church Groß St. Martin, they create a picturesque ensemble. At this point it’s worthwhile to push your bicycle along for a few meters. The Old Town is the home of Cologne’s brewhouse culture, and you can sample typical “Kölsch” specialities in any of its many brewhouses.
A few meters further, you’ll be able to see the Hohenzollernbrücke bridge and its garlands of “love locks”, which form a colourful contrast to Cologne Cathedral in the background. The tour ends on the Cathedral Square, which directly faces the cathedral. In the course of this tour, you’ve had many opportunities to see the city’s hallmark from a multitude of angles — but now you can finally take a close-up!
For this tour, we’ve selected a number of special stops and recommended individual culinary highlights along the routes. You can find tips and information about Cologne’s gastronomic businesses as well as additional photo spots in our #visitkoeln blog.
You can download the GPX file here: Cologne Photo Shoot.