More about Cologne Carnival
Anyone who has visited Cologne outside of Carnival time would find the city hard to recognise with the metamorphosis at this crazy time of year.
There are parties everywhere – in the streets, pubs and public squares – with everyone dressed in bright costumes.
Your costume will probably be more fun than fancy – it’s worn to keep you warm as much as to show you are joining in the carnival spirit!
Closing times for bars and pubs don’t exist during the festival, meaning that a whole lot of fun takes place over these five days.
When raising a glass, forget Prost; the carnival greeting is Alaaf!
It all starts with a day for the ladies – Weiberfastnacht (Shrove Thursday) – where you’ll see women in fancy dress heading for the Alter Markt, where Carnival officially opened by the Dreigestirn (the Prince, the Peasant, and the Virgin)