Paris Cologne one-day trip Travel by Thalys to 17 of the best sightseeing spots.

ケルン パリから日帰り Cologne

This time, I would like to share with you a travel series about Cologne, Germany, which is a day trip from Paris.

As in Brussels, we took the Thalys train, which took about three and a half to four hours.

However, for those who have used the Thalys at least once, the trip will be less challenging, just because the ride is longer.

It’s not too difficult to use the Thalys for the first time, so if you have enough time in your itinerary, try a trip to Cologne.

The cathedral is the main attraction in Cologne, but there are many other places to visit, including museums.

Also, the city of Cologne is compactly built, so there is little need to use local transportation.

The area is also relatively safe, so you can enjoy sightseeing without worry.

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Paris to Cologne

So without further ado, let me introduce you to my journey from Paris to Cologne.

First, the ticket.

It’s really more convenient than it used to be.

No need to print it out, just show your smartphone.

(If you don’t have a local internet connection, we recommend you print out a copy.)


It’s a long trip, about 3 hours and 40 minutes to get there and about 3 hours and 30 minutes to get back.

I had to leave North Station at 6:00 a.m. to get there, so I had to get up very early.

(Try to arrive at the North Station about 20 minutes before departure.)

gare du nord

I woke up at 4:30am and left the hotel at about 5:15am.

It’s a bit far from the hotel to the North Station, but there are no buses running, so we walked.

It was a February trip, so it was pitch black outside.

If you are traveling in the summer, the scenery will be quite different as it will be light even at this time.

If you are not familiar with Paris or are worried about security, you can ask for a cab.

(If you ask the hotel staff the night before, they will call a cab for you.)

パリ 北駅

We arrived at North Station safely.

As expected, there are not many people here at this time.

However, it is not a safe area, so you need to be very careful.

Don’t be too nervous, just walk straight into the station.

パリ 北駅

When you arrive at the station, check the electronic bulletin board first.

As I mentioned in the Brussels section, you don’t know what platform the train will depart from in Paris until just before it leaves.

パリ 北駅

If you see a number next to the second one from the top, the 6:03 to Koln, head that way.


The Thalys is already parked at the station, so you can probably guess where the platform is.


Don’t forget to check out the historic scenery of Paris Gare du Nord.

The photo shows a view looking back at the entrance.

パリ 北駅 タリス

Even in the early morning, as the departure time approaches, many people gather.

On this day, we departed from Line 10.

After this, they will all move to the platform at once.

Please note that the Thalys will check your luggage before boarding.

The ticket gate you see at the back of the platform is the security checkpoint.

(Immediately after the terrorist attack, they were very strict, but lately they have become a little loose. This day was no different.)


The train looks beautiful from a distance, but when you get closer, it is quite dirty.


Unlike the outside, the inside of the train is luxurious.

This time we are using first class carriages, so we can move around in comfort.

タリス ブリュッセル

After departing from North Station, we arrived in Brussels, Belgium in one and a half hours.

The Thalys stops at BRUXELLES MIDI (Brussels South Station).

タリス ブリュッセル南駅

The sky finally begins to lighten as we arrive in Brussels.


When you leave Brussels South Station, you will run underground for a while, but when you come up to the surface, you will see Saint-Michel Cathedral in the distance, so be sure to check it out so you don’t miss it!

You can only see it for a short while.

タリス リエージュ

After leaving Brussels South Station, the next stop is Liège.

It is said to be the home of waffles, so it is tempting to take a detour, but…

It is a city I would like to visit if I have the chance.

タリス リエージュ

The station had been renovated and was very clean.

リエージュ ルービックキューブ

At that time, there was an expo going on near the station to look back at the 80’s, and Rubik’s Cube was on display as part of the campaign.

A short time after leaving Liege, we finally arrived at the end of our long journey, Cologne Central Station.


A shot of the station from Cologne Cathedral.

No cars are allowed in front of the station, so you can walk around in peace.


The electronic board at Cologne Central Station is quite difficult to see.

The station is also very crowded.


Cologne Central Station taken from further away.

Cologne Central Station is served by a variety of trains, so you can tell it’s a big station from a short distance away.

Meister Bock

マイスター ボック

When you arrive at the Cologne train station, the first place to go is Meister Bock.

This restaurant is a Stand-Up Dining.

It’s reasonably priced and very tasty, so please give it a try.

Meister Bock Cologne Eat authentic sausages at Cologne Central Station!
Germany is known for its sausages. It was one of the dishes I really wanted to try when I came to Cologne. However, ther...
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Cologne Sightseeing

Here are the spots we visited.

The blue line is the path traveled on foot.

Although we had to go back the same way on the way, I think we could see all the sights of Cologne in this course.

Here is a brief introduction to each spot.

Cologne Cathedral


Address: Domkloster 4, 50667 Köln, Germany

Opening hours: 06:00~21:00 (May~October) 06:00~19:30 (November~April)

Closed: None

Admission: Free

Cathedral, the main sightseeing spot in Cologne

I had heard that it was right in front of the station, but it is really right in front of the station.

It is a Gothic cathedral and the beautiful stained glass windows are a beauty not to be missed.

It is recommended to visit the cathedral first thing in the morning.

Depending on the day of the week, it can get very crowded in the afternoon on weekends, so try to finish your sightseeing in the morning at the latest.

Römisch-Germanisches Museum


Address: Roncalliplatz 4, 50667 Köln, Germany

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00~17:00

Closed: Monday

It is located behind the cathedral.

The mosaic of Dionysos is famous.

Museum Ludwig


Address: Heinrich-Böll-Platz, 50667 Köln, Germany

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00~18:00

Closed: Monday

Admission: 11 Euro for adults

Many of Picasso’s works are on display.

There is also a wealth of other contemporary art on display, so if you are interested, this is the museum for you.

If you look closely, it will take a long time, so I think you need to adjust the overall time.

I would recommend stopping by at the end of your sightseeing tour to make it easier to adjust your time.

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Hohenzollern Bridge

Hohenzollern Bridge

The Hohenzollern Bridge was built in conjunction with the construction of Cologne Central Station.

It is also famous as a bridge of love, and the bridge is covered with many padlocks.

Wasserspielplatz in der Altstadt

This photo was taken from Wasserspielplatz in der Altstadt, a park along the Rhine River.

I walked to the park to directly see the Rhine River, which I have often seen in textbooks since long ago, and was impressed by the beautiful view of the Hohenzollern Bridge from the park.


Also, not only the Hohenzollern Bridge, but also Cologne Cathedral from this location was very nice with a good view of the whole area.


Further along the Rhine is a park called Rheingarten, which is a very nice place to relax on a sunny day.

If you have the time and energy, you can cross the bridge to see it.

Cologne City Hall


Returning to the downtown area from the Rhine River, you will see the Old Town Hall of Cologne on Marktplatz, the center of the Old Market.


Looking at the Gothic architecture of this building while looking at the slightly retro buildings around it, you can feel a bit of the history of the city of Cologne.

Farina Duftmuseum


Address: Obenmarspforten 21, 50667 Köln, Germany

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00~19:00, Sunday 11:00~17:00

Closed: None (rare days are closed)

After passing through the Old Market and heading further into the center, you will see the Farina Duftmuseum (Perfume Museum).

This store is said to have been the first in the world to sell perfume in 1709.

Farina Duftmuseum

There are also perfumes available that are made using the same method that has been used for 300 years.

Farina Duftmuseum

There are also guided tours of the museum, but it is better to book in advance.

You can participate even on the day of the event if you are available.

This is a great store for perfume lovers, so if you are interested, please stop by and take a look.

Galeria Kaufhof Cologne Hohe

ガレリア カウフホーフ

Address: Hohe Str. 41-53, 50667 Köln, Germany

Business hours: Monday – Saturday 09:30 – 20:00 (21:00 on Friday only)

Closed: Sunday

From the Perfume Museum, head further into the center of the city, but a little further out, towards Hohe Street, you will see the Galleria Kaufhof, one of Germany’s most famous department stores.

The photo was taken from the back entrance, on the Tsetsilian Street side.

To be honest, the interior of the store is not very good.

Although Rimowa and other German brands are sold here, I didn’t find the sales floor itself very appealing.

I was expecting a bit of a surprise, but it was not a place that tourists would dare to stop by.

Peek & Cloppenburg

Peek & Cloppenburg

Address: Schildergasse 65 -67, 50667 Köln, Germany

Business hours: Monday – Saturday 10:00 – 20:00 (21:00 on Friday only)

Closed: Sunday

After leaving the Galleria Kaufhof, walk further along Zetilien Street and you will see a distinctive glass-walled building.

This building is the Peak & Cloppenburg.

This is a major German select apparel store.

Aside from the clothes, the architecture that combines wood and glass is worth a visit.


There is a streetcar running along Zetsilien Street.

It is unlikely that you will use it for normal sightseeing in Cologne, but if you are interested, please take a ride.

Mayersche Buchhandlung

Mayersche Buchhandlung

Further along Zetsilien street and into Neumarkt, you will see a distinctive building.

A major German bookstore located in a building with ice cream sticks.

I’m not particularly interested in books, but there is a pay toilet, so if you need to do, stop by.

In addition to bookstores, there are various other stores in the building.



Address: Richmodstraße 10, 50667 Köln, Germany

Business hours: Monday – Saturday 10:00~20:00

Closed: Sunday

Cologne’s best shopping spots Globetrotter NEUE HORIZONTE.

The Globe Trotter of luxury bags is not involved.

This is a major outdoor store in Germany.

This store is an essential stop on your tour of Cologne, so be sure to stop by!

Karstadt Köln


Address: Breite Str. 103-135, 50667 Köln, Germany

Business hours: Monday – Saturday 10:00~20:00

Closed: Sunday

Like the Kaufhof, this is Carlstadt, another major department store in Germany.

The buildings have been modernized, but the department stores in Germany are still not very attractive.


I don’t think there is anything new, but if you have time, stop by and take a look.

ALDI Süd Supermarket

アルディ ケルン

Address:Richmodstraße 31, 50667 Köln, Germany

Business hours: Monday – Saturday 08:00~21:00

Closed: Sunday

ALDI is a major German supermarket.

The store is not very clean, but the products are sold at a surprisingly low price.

It might be a good idea to buy some water and a small snack.



Address:Glockengasse 68, 50667 Köln, Germany

Business hours: Monday – Saturday 10:00~20:00

Closed: Sunaday

Birkenstock is popular for its easy-to-wear sandals.

This is a regular store, so it is not a cheap place to buy.


There are also Birkenstock letters on the bicycle parking lot outside the store.

REWE Richrath

REWE Richrath

Address:Schwertnergasse 1, 50667 Köln, Germany

Business hours: Monday – Saturday 07:00~22:00

Closed: Sunday

This is REWE, another major supermarket in Germany.

The store is very clean compared to the ALDI shop I mentioned earlier.

It is a store that was somehow designed with an American organic supermarket in mind.

This may be the best place to buy souvenirs.

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Dufthaus 4711

Dufthaus 4711

Address: Schwertnergasse 1, 50667 Köln, Germany

Business hours: Monday – Saturday 07:00~22:00

Closed: Sunday

This is Dufthaus 4711, another popular store for perfumes.

It is said that the same process has been used for 200 years to make the original eau de cologne products.

Café Reichard

カフェ ライヒャルト

Address: Unter Fettenhennen 11, 50667 Köln, Germany

Business hours: Monday – Sunday 08:30~20:00

Closed: None

Café Reichard has a history of over 150 years in Cologne.

This café-restaurant is right in front of the cathedral and is a great place to take a break.

カフェ ライヒャルト

The store is quite large, so even if it is a bit crowded, you can enter quickly.

カフェ ライヒャルト

A typical German display.

It’s a little noisy, but…

Some products are available for take-out, so you can take them home and eat them in the park on a sunny day.

Cafe Reichardt is also famous for its clean toilets.

Die Maus


Although not a tourist attraction, Cologne is also famous for the Die Maus, shown in the photo.

He is a character that everyone in Germany knows, but since he is from Cologne, he can be seen all over the city.

One of the fun things to do is to walk around looking for Die Maus.

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How was it?

The city of Cologne is very compact, so it was very easy to explore.

The center of the city has many pedestrian-only streets that are not accessible to cars, making it ideal for walking around the city.

If you don’t go to the museums, you should have about 5 hours to see all the sights.

If you have a museum you want to visit, you may want to adjust your time and take a look around at the end of the day.

However, it is very crowded on Saturdays and other days, so it is best to consider your time allocation well in advance.

There are many sightseeing spots that I could not introduce here, as well as many cute and stylish shops, so I think it is a city that many people can enjoy.

If you are considering visiting Cologne, this is a great place to visit.

Thank you again for reading to the end of this article.

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CologneDay trip from Paris
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