The platform of Cologne Cathedral’s southern tower provides visitors with a fantastic view from a height of about 97 metres. However, you need to go up 533 steps in order to enjoy this panoramic view of downtown Cologne and the Rhine because there is no lift. A separate access building for climbing up the tower was completed in April 2009. It takes visitors into the tower through a tunnel that was broken through the Cathedral’s massive foundation. At the end of the tunnel is the ticket counter and the bottom of the stairs that take you up the tower.
After climbing about 53 metres, you pass the main bell cage. The most well-known bell is the St. Peter’s Bell (called “Decke Pitter”/“Fat Peter” in the Cologne dialect), which weighs 24,000 kilograms and is 3.22 metres in diameter, making it the largest free-swinging church bell in the world. This bell is only rung on 11 major holidays such as Easter and Christmas. Although the bell cage is closed before the bells are rung, you can register to directly experience the ringing of the bells while wearing professional hearing protection.
After you have climbed up 386 steps or almost 70 metres, a metal stairs takes you up to the observation platform, where you have a panoramic view in all directions. If the weather is fine, you can even see the range of hills called the Siebengebirge.
All information about the tower ascent: www.koelner-dom.de/informationen/oeffnungszeiten/ (Only in german.)