Events and Happenings in Cologne

Kölner Lichter

Each year, Germany's biggest high-altitude fireworks display will transform Cologne into a breathtaking ocean of colours. With its special ambiance, the event appeals to hundreds of thousands of visitors.

In the afternoon, river cruises at the Porz Groov Island will be setting sail for the Old Town, passing nine fireworks and colourful Bengal fires. Aboard you can indulge yourself in culinary delights. Whoever like may shake a leg and swing their hips to the music. Calmer characters can get pleasure from theatre or cabaret programmes.

You can wait, of course, on the banks of the river Rhine for the long convoy with brightly coloured lanterns and lights. Join the many enthusiastic spectators to cheer the passing boats and wave your candles and sparklers as soon as the first ship shows up. The stunning view of the romantic Old Town which is brilliant with thousands of lights - an unmissable experience.

Towards 11:30 p.m. the time has come to admire a feast for the eyes and ears: from a pontoon in the middle of the Rhine in front of the Old Town scenario, the international fireworks display with synchronised music will be launched

Christmas Market

Advent is the time for Christmas markets, and Cologne is no exception. Each year, the magic of Christmas will be felt throughout the festively decorated city. The aroma of baked apples, cinnamon biscuits and mulled wine will waft through the alleys, and many differently themed Christmas markets will invite people to stroll, shop and explore.

The larger Christmas markets are held in downtown Cologne. The booths near Cologne Cathedral are arranged around a huge Christmas tree, next to which is a stage for a diverse programme of live music performances. At the "Heimat der Heinzel" (Home of the Heinzelmännchen) on Heumarkt, visitors will be thrilled to find a spectacular skating rink. The "Markt der Engel" (Angel Market) on Neumarkt will treat you to a magnificently shining sea of stars, while the "Nikolausdorf" (St. Nick’s Village) on Rudolfplatz will create a family-friendly atmosphere.

But Cologne’s smaller Christmas markets also have plenty to offer. Between Rudolfplatz and Schaafenstraße is the gay-lesbian Christmas Avenue market, where everyone can enjoy a party atmosphere and a diverse programme of stage events. You can look forward to a maritime ambience at the Harbour Christmas Market next to the Chocolate Museum. And if you prefer a more idyllic setting, you shouldn’t miss the Christmas market in the Stadtgarten, where more unusual handicrafts will be sold.

Cologne’s Christmas markets attract millions of visitors from all over the world every year. You too can savour the unique atmosphere of this metropolis on the Rhine at this special time of year. You’re sure to be enchanted!

Cologne Pride

Cologne’s gay and lesbian community invites you to come to ColognePride, which will run each year. In addition to numerous political, cultural and party events, two elements will form the core of ColognePride: the CSD street festival in the city centre and the big CSD demonstration.

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