SHOPPING in Cologne:
If you enter Zeitgeist than you can let loose of any ideas that you will leave with an untouched wallet. Many of the design products will spontaneously vault your heart to a higher frequency and let the sweat glands of your palms work hard. The cerebrum shouts: want! For example the iPod docking station in the shape of a bear by Be@rbrick, which women find cute and men cool. Or, who would not want one of the stylish Dom Pérignon Vintage 2000 bottles in Andy Warhol edition stand in his or her shelve? Or travel around with the Pentax Optio NB 1000 and then shine out of the tourist masses with the camera in self-made Lego design? If you live this kind of zeitgeist, you will leave this store as a happy person.
Only what's underneath is even more organic: Claudia Ladius caresses the body with purely organic materials. Organic hemp, linen and cotton are first certified by the IMO (Institute for Marketecology) before fairly treated workers get underway with production. This is carried out in harmony with nature, and results in the Organic De Luxe Kollektion. Needless to say fair trade practices are respected all the way. Clothes for the compost heap? No way. This brand deserves a Nobel Prize! Moreover the collection is chic and suitable for everyday wear. Shopping with a good conscience - something that you can experience every time you get dressed!
If you go shopping in Cologne, you simply cannot pass 4711 without venturing in. It's said that even Napoleon swore by the Eau de Cologne. But back in his day it was sold as a cure-all for listlessness and tiredness. There are other products for that nowadays, but the Eau de Cologne still does a fine job against strong smells. The 4711 main office in the centre of Cologne is a paradise for souvenir hunters. Here you'll find Kölnisch Wasser for the whole family, as well as authentic Kölnisch Wasser shower gel, soap and nostalgia packages. Even the shop itself gets in on the act, sporting a 4711 fountain at the entrance. Discover the exhibition dedicated to the history of the product on the gallery and the tapestry that depicts Napoleon as a graffiti artist. Curious? Then head to the fragrant delights!
STAY in Cologne:
At Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg the husband and wife General Directors stroll around with their noses pointing toward the ceiling. But it has nothing to do with arrogance, but instead the breathtaking view of Cologne. To enjoy it you have to go slightly out of your way with the hotel located twelve kilometres from the city. But it's worth every metre: the three-hundred-year-old baroque palace not only offers historic masonry, but also a spa in a class of its own and a jeweller for a touch of extra class. If that's not to your liking then sit back in the Jacuzzi in your own room, turn down the lights and enjoy the home cinema facility. Schloss Bensberg serves French cuisine in Vendome (of course decorated with Michelin stars) and Mediterranean fare in Enoteca. Wines from an exceptionally long wine card are available in the hotel's two bars. Bensberg is classic, conservative and simply kingly. Double room from EUR 190 per night.
The New Yorker
Deutz once built the four-stroke engine here. Today only the design is tuned up. Architect Johannes J. Adams is the man to thank for the stylish masterpiece, as it was Adams who retained the brick walls and designed the purist rooms to complement them. The events at the hotel, in contrast, are far from minimalistic: concerts, exhibitions and readings fill the event calendar. An idyllic garden and regular live cooking shows complete the motto of the charming boutique hotel: ?eccentric, emotional, enjoyable, especial'. We can add one more to that list: exceptionally cheap! Double room from EUR 90.
Superlatives should be retained. That's exactly what interior architect Andreé Putman had in mind when converting Europe's tallest water tower into a fascinating luxury hotel. Punching a few holes in the walls was not going to suffice. High-quality materials and the somewhat angular floor plan due to the rounded outer wall lend the hotel a comfortable and stylish atmosphere. Add to that W-LAN, a sauna, a limousine transfer service and a touch of art deco and the luxurious final package is complete. A roof-top, Michelin star restaurant crowns the hotel. If you have any further questions the excellent service team will no doubt provide you with the answers. Double room from EUR 175 per night.
EAT in Cologne:
Dine in a glass palace. Skulpturenpark is not only a must because of its artwork, but also its trendy lounge. The view is amazing. The food is a delight. Hase Catering is behind the delicacies in the stylish setting. With a panorama view of the park events come accompanied by finger food, Asian treats or healthy dishes low in carbohydrates. Even if you're not on the guest list you should still take in the Parklounge. Claus Föttinger decked out the event location in a cool retro look with his photo collages. And while you're there don't forget to check out the Skulpturenpark, which has some art of its own.
Feldküche's motto rings true: ?We're not Prada - we get by without big gestures'. Feldküche is surprisingly sincere and honest, and lovingly furnished. The difference is made by the wild mix of brick walls and baroque paintings. Duck served on pickled cabbage meets fish and chips, grappa mascarpone meets Tarte Tatin. The kitchen is as open as the heart of chef Edwin Paas, who serves variety on a daily basis and never loses his love of all things culinary. To round off a wonderful meal there's always a glass of ouzo. Certainly worth returning to!
A mango lassi in the fresh summer air. Feynsinn is a particularly popular meeting point for late risers, especially in the summer months. You can enjoy breakfast here until 4 p.m., and the selection is both broad and international: French croissants, muesli and scrambled eggs with tomatoes and basil are all on the menu. The finest produce organic farming has to offer can be found on the lunch menu, including organic curd cheese and chicken strips. To follow up the happy chickens we recommend schnapps from Jean-Paul Metté and then a pub tour through the student quarter.
SIGHTS in Cologne:
The cathedral: it is easy to locate as it acts as a navigation point for locating everything else. Standing at 157 metres tall it was for many years the city's tallest building. Today only the telecommunications tower reaches higher into the sky. Nevertheless life in Cologne mostly revolves around the monumental construction - that is of course until the jesters take over. Those who pass through the great entrance as non-believers may well find themselves reconsidering once inside. The giant halls leave visitors feeling so small and insignificant that humbleness will take care of itself. But the cathedral also moves with the times. When Gerhard Richter created the south transept window in 2007, he chose instead of the proposed Bible scene to design a colourful mosaic, which resembles the pixels of a computer screen. Although the original reaction was one of anger, the uproar has since settled down leaving Richter's work to enlighten church goers and art critics alike.
Come in and chill out! For 15 years now Pollerwiesen has been a stop for international DJ lines in dub, club, house, techno and pretty much everything else that goes with electronic party music. There's no shortage of space: the 20,000m² is ample space for up to 10,000 revellers. If you can't tear yourself away then opt for a season ticket. For an investment of 48 euros you can be involved every Sunday. And as the party gets going in the afternoon, you'll still have plenty of time to enjoy the Cologne nightlife and party around the clock.
Get your comedy nose on and get ready for some fun! The largest carnival museum in any German speaking country impresses guests both young and old with carnival floats, puppets and many other carnival facets, from the comical antiques to the less comical National Socialism to the delights of present day. In February the Cologne jesters know no bounds, as that's when carnival is celebrated in earnest. Sounds, images and various objects combine to present visitors with the true feeling and atmosphere of the carnival. The clowning around in Cologne is taken very seriously: 1.5 million viewers follow the Rosenmontagszug on television while 10,500 jesters take part in the procession. So why not get some practice in early: Kölle Alaaf!