Formed as a separate institution from the Wallraf-Richartz Museum after chocolate magnate Peter Ludwig endowed the museum with his private (and enormously valuable) modern art collection, the Museum Ludwig showcases art made after 1900. Home to one of the world’s largest collections of Picasso paintings, the museum also displays masterpieces by Monet, Lichtenstein, Dali, Rauschenberg, and other 20th-century luminaries.
The Museum Ludwig’s striking facade can be seen on various sightseeing and day trip itineraries in Cologne, and it’s also simple to plan an independent visit.
Things to know before you go
- Tickets can be booked online in advance of your travels; groups enjoy discounted rates, and children under 18 can visit for free.
- Public tours of the museum are offered in German, though individual tours in other languages can also be booked.
- Audio guides are available at the front desk, and provide an immersive introduction to the artworks.
- The Museum Ludwig is fully accessible to wheelchair users and those with limited mobility.
- The museum is host to the Ludwig im Museum restaurant, which operates individual opening hours.
How to get there
The Museum Ludwig is located in the city’s Altstadt (the old town). If traveling by public transportation, take mainline trains, S-Bahn, and U-Bahn trains to the Cologne Central Station (Köln Hauptbahnhof), the city’s major transit hub. Alternatively, the museum is easy to reach on foot, by bike, or by car; parking garages are located in the vicinity.
When to get there
The Museum Ludwig is open from 10am–6pm Tuesday–Sunday, and stays open until 10pm on the first Thursday of every month. Key closure dates include Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day, plus there are select closures on days in February and March; it’s worth checking the website before you go.
The Cologne Philharmonie
Cologne’s excellent Philharmonie is located in the same complex as the Museum Ludwig; it hosts a series of concerts and symphonic performances throughout the year, and is also worth exploring.