CONTRIBUTED BY ALEXIS TUCKER
When Taylor Swift came on her 1989 tour in Cologne my husband and I stayed at Hotel Kronprinz. We were really impressed with our hotel for how cheap it was (150 euro for two nights), and it came with a delicious buffet for breakfast.
The breakfast included a variety of drinks from water, coffee, hot cocoa, orange juice, apple juice, and about four more to choose from. There were scrambled chive eggs, fresh bacon bits, rolls, croissants, about five fresh jellies, Nutella, assorted meats, cheeses, and fruit salads.
I highly recommend Hotel Kronprinz because it was clean, had a fan, free parking, and Wi-Fi. The parking can be tight but not many places have free parking in that area. It was only about 15 minutes outside of Cologne, and we didn’t even book it until only a week prior to the date when we arrived. The hotel is next to a bus station that you could take into Cologne. There are a few places you can walk to, and eat at, or shop near the hotel as well.
We got in late, but after checking in we roamed the area behind the hotel and stopped at this charming, little Italian restaurant, Ristorante Il Giardino. It’s the first place I’ve enjoyed Italian food at while living here in Germany. It has been months since we visited, and my husband still continues to talk about his meal!
The view from the outside of the restaurant caught our eye. Looking in from the cobblestone street, there was a chair with a pot of fresh herbs, and a chalkboard sign sat next to the door describing the specials for the nights. Two windows on each side showed a pair of friends eating their meal by candle light on one side, and on the other side sat another couple. I cannot recommend our hotel and this darling off the beaten path restaurant enough.
We also stopped by the Cologne Cathedral before going to the concert. It is a World Heritage Site, and is Germany’s most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day. The cathedral is the largest gothic church in northern Europe and has the second-tallest spire. It seemed to tower over the city! I struggled to get a full picture of it, even while practically lying on the ground.
They do tours, but we just went for free and did not take part in the tours due to time. If you can do the tour they take you into the catacombs and you hike up the inside of the towers. They have tours in English and German and a few other languages.
If you are staying in Cologne I suggest a stop by this cathedral while walking downtown. It will not disappoint! Take the road less taken and stay at the Kronprinz. It’s far enough away that you don’t have to deal with the expensive hotel prices and the loud noises of the city but it is close enough that you can enjoy Cologne and be back to your hotel within 15 minutes.
Phone: +49(0)22 41-98 49-0
Address for the hotel:
(on the corner of Kronprinzenstraße)
Ristorante Il Giardino
Phone: 02241 73997
Monday – Saturday: 1200 – 1445 / 1730 – 2345
Cologne Cathedral (Köln Dom)
November – April: 0600 – 1930
May – October: 0600 – 2100
Closed during high mass and special events; usually taking place on Sundays and holidays from 1300 – 1630
50667 Köln, Germany