4 days in Cologne for the Carnival

4 days in Cologne for the Carnival

A visit to Cologne Carnival February 2017

My train arrived Cologne in the afternoon and I went straight to my hotel to check in.

Booked to stay at the Hotel Lyskirchen, a few hundred meters from the Old City and center.

Everything went smoothly at the hotel and after a coffee, I ventured out in search of the carnival atmosphere.

Parties in the streets of Cologne

street party cologne

It’s wasn’t long before I stumbled upon people partying in the streets.

At the Heumarkt and Neumarkt, there was lots of action with music, entertainment and street parties.

Such a great atmosphere with smiling, friendly people everywhere.

cologne carnival street party

Same scenes in the Cologne Old Town (Altstadt)

The bars and restaurants were full with people dressed in costume for carnival.



Main parades and spontaneous entertainments

Saturday midday was set off to stroll around and have a look at the enormous array of shopping opportunities Cologne has to offer.

But all the people and fun outside made me feel that shopping is better to do at an other time and visit to Cologne.

colgne carnival party

During the carnival you can expect to see a lot of fun going on, especially around Neumarkt, which you will invariably be swept up in.

Suddenly a mini-parade appears and you are caught up in the middle of the carnival celebrations, surrounded by happy people dancing along to great music.

Saturday and the Ghost parade

You don’t want to miss the Ghost Parade that takes place in the evening at 19:00 (7 pm).

It’s a spectacular parade that is reminiscent of a Halloween party.

Sadly, I missed it this time as I thought it was happening at midnight.

Here is their website, which I found little too late: geisterzug.de

This video from the ghost parade in 2016 gives you an idea of what it is all about.

Family Parade on Sunday

This one was the best and most entertaining. It kicks off at 10:30 in the morning and goes until around 14:30.

After that, there were even more parties…

Needing sustenance, I went in search of food: I found a great restaurant at the Löwenbrau Hotel with delicious food and fine service.

With a full belly, I moved on to see what the parties in the bars were like.

Every bar has a party atmosphere and to get fully into the party spirit it really helps if you dress in carnival costume.

Fun and crazy costumes are the order of the day.

I ended up at Clamotte Bar, a bar with a fantastic atmosphere catering to a mixture of ages.

It was an unforgettable night where I met some really great, fun-loving people.

Rose Monday Parade

Didn’t get much sleep this morning after a joyful evening and night out in Cologne, but I did wake up early enough for the main Rose Monday parade.

Like the parade on Sunday, this one also starts at 10:30 and finishes around 14:30.

Very similar to Sunday’s parade, but with fewer children, I found it less entertaining.

It’s really busy along the parade route so it is a good idea to find a place away from the largest crowds around the Dome and center.

The route is six kilometers so there are plenty of spots to chose from to catch a good view of the Rose Monday parade.

After four lovely, entertaining days in Cologne, it was time to board the train again back to Hamburg and on further to Scandinavia.

For more facts and basic information, next dates and more, see the main post about Cologne Carnival here >>



Sightseeings and things to do in Cologne


Some pictures from the Carnival


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