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What to Do

Cologne Philharmonic Hall Foto: Matthias Baus

Cologne Opera

The Cologne Opera offers productions that are  outstanding for their music and staging. Famous singers and conductors are linked with the history of this opera house, whose artistic renown has been highlighted by major premieres such as “Bluthochzeit” by Wolfgang Fortner and “Die Soldaten” by Bernd Alois Zimmermann. There is seating for more than 1,300 people in the opera house on the Offenbachplatz square, which was designed by the architect Wilhelm Riphahn. Its purist elegance has provided a worthy setting for opera evenings in the cathedral city on the Rhine since 1957. The consistently excellent quality is ensured by the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne, which is currently led by General Music Director Markus Stenz.

Cologne Philharmonic Hall

Since 1986 the Kölner Philharmonie has been an integral part of Europe's music scene. One reason for such prominence is the variety of the concert programmes, which comprise the great works of the symphonic and chamber music repertoire, jazz sessions, folk and pop events, and the world and Cologne premiéres of lesser known, new and exotic works. Another reason is the unique atmosphere prevailing in the exquisitely beautiful concert hall which has been designed in the style of an amphitheatre. Concerts are held almost daily here and up to two or three on Sundays and public holidays.

LANXESS arena

The LANXESS arena is Europe's biggest and most modern multifunctional arena. Situated in the heart of Cologne, Germany's media capital in the River Rhine Valley, the LANXESS arena offers a new dimension for indoor events. The arena with its façade of 8000 square meters of glass is spanned by a steel arc 76 meters high and seats up to 18000 visitors, a capacity that is unique in Germany and the rest of Europe. But it's not only its size that makes the LANXESS arena one of the most attractive locations for international shows and concerts. State-of-the-art stage equipment, a height-adjustable video cube and a multifunctional interior level further distinguishes this exceptional arena. International top stars including Anna Netrebko, Rod Stewart, Kylie Minogue, Paul McCartney, Sting, Whitney Houston, Eric Clapton and Luciano Pavarotti have made the LANXESS arena their own. So have popular entertainment shows like Holiday on Ice, Best of Musical, Carmen, Nabucco, Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. Thanks to its all-purpose features, the LANXESS arena is also well equipped to host some of the most spectacular sports events. Highlights include the Ice Hockey World Championship 2001, the Olympia 2004 preparation games of the US basketball Team, the World Cup of Hockey, as well as regular season games held by local ice hockey-, basketball- and handball teams that long have made Cologne a centre of diverse sports entertainment.

Shopping

Whatever your Shopping-heart is coveting: You are sure to find it in Cologne! Cologne doesn’t just have the best-loved shopping streets in Germany – Hohe Straße and Schildergasse – but also in the surrounding area you can find everything your heart may desire. Exclusive brands on Mittelstraße, the latest trends around Ehrenstraße or fashion from upcoming young designers in the Belgian Quarter: if you can’t strike rich here, you won’t anywhere! Shops in Germany do not open on Sundays, however, the shopping arcade at the central station ("Kölner Hauptbahnhof") is open 7 days a week till late at night. Read more

Cinema

Cologne has various Cinemas, each one with it's own characteristics.

The cinedome is the biggest Cinema in Cologne, located at the Mediapark. Opened in 1992, the Cindedome offers 3748 seats and 14 screens, each one equipped with up to 40 speakers. Most of Holiwood's productions are on screen here, some of them in Original without being dubbed.

The metropolis theatre is more of an programm cinema, showing movies beside the block buster production. Most of them are shown in english (with/and without subtitles). The Odeon Cinema, The Rex am Ring, and the Filmpalette are also small beautiful nostalgic cinematographic theatres. At the OFF broadway, international movies in original recordings are shown.

The Astor Film lounge Residenz is a very special and beautiful nostalgic cinema. It shows only a few movies, but in a amazing atmosphere, providing drinks and food during the preprogramm for their guest, who are saeted in enormous and very comfortable lether seats, where you can even lay down!

"Kölsch" - Breweries

Kölsch is a local specialty beer brewed in Cologne, Germany. It is clear with a bright, straw-yellow hue, has a prominent but not extreme hoppiness, and is less bitter than the standard German pale lager. Kölsch waiters (Köbes) in traditional pubsdo often speak the local dialect which is also called "Kölsch". In keeping with serving tradition, the Köbes in such pubs will continue to exchange empty Kölsch glasses with new ones unprompted until customers leave their glass half full or place the beermat upon the glass to signal that they no longer wish to be served. Waiters carry filled glasses of the beer around the beer hall, in special circular trays called a "Kranz", ready to replace any empty glasses immediately. If you are interested in Cologne’s beer and Rhenish specialties then visit one of the traditional Cologne breweries:

Sport and Relaxation

Cologne and sports - two words that cannot be divided. Why not attend a football game of the 1. FC Köln - supported and beloved by the people - and experience storms of enthusiasm? The "King of sports" has had its home in the district of Müngersdorf for the last 80 years; the complex dating back to the 1920 was renovated and altered into the spacious and modern "RheinEnergie Stadion" some years ago. International tournaments such as the 2006 FIFA World Cup were held here as well. Read more

Also the University offer a wide sport programm: