This walk can be an interesting complement to exploring Cologne's charming Old Town and its waterfront. It'll take you about an hour if you just follow the Rhine, but if you stop and admire each landmark and perhaps have a coffee or lunch in between, it can easily extend to two hours or more. If you wish to visit any of the museums or galleries along the way, add extra time for that.
The walk, as presented here, is arranged from South to North, ending by the Chocolate Museum, where the original waterfront starts. This orientation is because the southern end of the Rheinauhafen is in an area slightly remote from the city centre, where it is not that easy to get to and not much happens in the evenings. The idea is to get to the starting point and do the walk by day and end it towards afternoon or evening, with perhaps a lunch in between and visit for a "dessert" to the Chocolate Museum, and then further continue to the explore the Old Town in the evening.
You may, however, decide to start from the Old Town by the Chocolate Museum and continue down south. In that case, just follow the points here in reverse numerical order, but bear in mind that you will end up in a remote part of town and will need to take the U-Bahn to get back into the city centre.
Perhaps the most convenient way to get to the southern end of the Rheinauhafen is to take the Stadtbahn to Ubierring station. It is served by two Stadtbahn lines, 15 and 16. 15, for which Ubierring is the southern terminus, goes all around the Ring and then further north up to the suburb of Merkenich. The 16 goes the Altstadt, stopping in. al. at the Hauptbahnhof/Dom and goes south along the Rhine reaching Bonn. Wherever you are staying in the Cologne area, you'll surely find either a stop for the 15 or 16 close to where you stay, or a convenient transfer to either 15 or 16 from your location.
- 1 Ubierring station.
- 1 Römerpark.
- 2 Alte Universität (Fachhochschule Köln - Campus Südstadt).
- 3 KAP 686 Skateplaza.
- 4 KAP am Suedkai.
- 5 ECR Offices.
- 6 Silo23.
- 7 Siebengebirge.
- 8 Rheinkontor.
- 9 Elisabeth-Treskow-Platz.
- 10 Rheinbastion.
- 11 baufeld 21.
- 12 rhein3.
- 13 home4.
- 14 Bayenturm.
- 15 Kontor 19.
- 16 Wohnwerft 18.20. Two long apartment buildings along the Rhine
- 17 Altes Krafthaus. Preserved historic warehouse behind the Altes Hafenamt
- 18 Altes Hafenamt.
- 19 Harry-Blum-Platz.
- 20 KRANHAUSPlus.
- 21 The Bench. Built in 2007 to designs by Bahl + Partner, this office building houses the European headquarters of computer game company Electronic Arts
- 22 Kranhaus 1.
- 23 Pier 15. Immediately behind the Kranhaus 1 across the marine are the twin office buildings
- 24 Halle 12.
- 25 Kunsthaus Rhenania.
- 26 Pandion Vista.
- 27 RheinauArtOffice. The two-part building across the marina houses Microsoft offices.
- 28 Halle 11.
- 29 Deutsches Sport & Olympia Museum.
- 30 VD-Office Rheinauhafen.
- 31 Chocolate Museum.
- 32 Kölner Drehbrücke.
- 33 Malakoffturm.
- 34 Der Tauzieher. A sculpture by Nikolaus Friedrich (1908) right by the Drehbrücke
You can get to the Rheinauhafen easily from any part of Cologne (or even from Bonn), so there is no particular need to sleep close to here if you want to walk it. But, if you feel a particular affinity to the modern ambiance of the Hafen, you may want to choose any of the hotels directly next to it. Bear in mind, however, that none of the hotels is actually on the Hafen peninsula or right on the waterfront, so the best you can get may be a view of the rear of the Rheinauhafen buildings.
- 1 art'otel, Holzmarkt 4, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The trendy, modern art'otel fits the theme of the area really well, and is close to the Chocolate Museum, and the Altstadt as well. Some rooms facing the Rheinauhafen have glazed balconies "floating" over the water. Rooms are appointed in a comforting white-ish theme, there are stained glass windows between bedrooms and bathrooms, and the washbasins are to be found on a long table in your room, where you will also find a Nespresso machine.
- 2 NH Köln City, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Immediately behind the art'otel is the much more standard NH hotel. There is not much in terms of possible views, and do mind that rooms with windows in the direction of Rheinauhafen actually face the busy Holzmarkt thoroughfare (and beyond it, the art'otel). Do not mistake this hotel with another NH hotel in Cologne, the NH Köln Mediapark, which is in a totally different location!
- 3 Novotel Köln City, Bayenstrasse 51, ☏ , ✉ H3127@accor.com. The Novotel is further south and faces the Pier 15 building across the busy Bayenstrasse. The rooms are very standard Novotel fare.