The western German city of Cologne occupies a scenic spot on the banks of the River Rhine. With two days in this dynamic city, you’ll have enough time to hit the highlights, take a scenic river cruise, and taste traditional German beers. Here’s how to get the most out of 48 hours in Cologne.
Day 1: Boat Cruises and Beer Tours
**Morning:**Get your bearings in Cologne with a ride on the double-decker hop-on hop-off bus, quickly covering top city landmarks including Gothic Cologne Cathedral and city hall. Travelers interested in a sightseeing cruise on the Rhine River may want to investigate tickets that combine the bus with a boat tour.
**Afternoon:**See Cologne from the deck of a boat with a scenic river cruise. Choose a quick sightseeing cruise within the city, or venture farther afield and admire views of the Rhine River during a journey to a nearby town, taking in castles, vineyards, and churches on the riverbank along the way.
**Night:**Spend your first evening sampling German craft beers during a night out in Cologne. Choose between history-focused walking tours that visit traditional pubs and pub crawls that include a lively evening of drinking and dancing. Follow your local guide to best experience the atmosphere of Cologne after dark.
Day 2: Cologne by Bike and Museum Time
**Morning:**Devote this morning to exploring Cologne by bike during a guided ride, getting a closer look at landmarks including the Hohenzollern Bridge and the Old Town. Themed bike tours are also available depending on the season, such as tours focused on the city’s Christmas lights.
**Afternoon:**Spend this afternoon exploring the Cologne museum that most interests you. Choose between the Chocolate Museum (bring your sweet tooth), the Farina Fragrance Museum, and, if you’re traveling with the family, the Odysseum science museum for kids. Save time and skip the line by purchasing priority access tickets in advance.
**Night:**On your final evening in town, take to the Rhine River for a different perspective on Cologne after dark. Choose between dinner cruises with an included buffet and sunset cruises with à la carte food and drink. Admire views of the illuminated landmarks, including the stunning Gothic Cologne Cathedral, and toast your time in the city.