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Cologne’s surroundings – interesting, relaxing and fun to explore

 

Augustusburg Palace and Garden in Bruehl
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Located east of Cologne, the natural beauty of Naturarena Bergisches Land surrounding the towns of Bergisch Gladbach and Gummersbach is well worth a visit. The Bonn area and the fascinating Siebengebirge range of mountains are a famous destination as well. The Rhein-Erft area is located southwest of the city, offering appealing castles and plenty of attractive leisure facilities.

(Approx. distance Cologne-Bergisch Gladbach: 18 km, 25 minutes by car)
(Approx. distance Cologne-Gummersbach: 50 km, 1 hour by car)

 

 

Bergisches Land

 

The typical Bergisches Land countryside, situated directly east of Cologne, is known for its emerald fields, leafy forests, romantic valleys with bubbling streams and reservoirs set in a patchwork of villages of historic half-timbered and slate-hung houses.The region can be discovered by foot or by bicycle, as there are 4600 km of footpaths and many cycling routes for every fitness level. Six of the twelve reservoirs in the area offer camping facilities, water-sports, games and fun activities. The six other artificial lakes, built to provide drinking water, offer peaceful walks and relaxation.

 

Important historic buildings of the area are the Altenberger Dom in Odenthal and the Homburg Castle near Nümbrecht.

 

(Approx. distance Cologne-Altenberger Dom: 25 km, 35 minutes by car)
(Approx. distance Cologne-Homburg Castle: 55 km, 45 minutes by car)

 

 

Brühl Augustusburg Palace and Falkenlust Hunting Lodge

 

Visit the Augustusburg Castle and Park in Brühl, a World Heritage Attraction, located only 15 km outside of Cologne.

 

When the Archbishop, ruler of Cologne, was banished from the city at the end of the 13th century, Brühl became one of his most important residences. The Brühl palaces, Augustusburg as the main building and Falkenlust as a hunting lodge and refuge, impressively demonstrate the extravagant life at the court of the Electors and Cologne archbishops. The nature lovers amongst you will love to take a look at the extensive baroque gardens and park of the property.

 

(Approx. distance Cologne-BruehlAugustusburg Palace: 20 km, 25 minutes by car)

 

 

Bonn and the Rhineland

 

Bonn, said to be the “Gate to the Romantic Rhine”, is situated on the foot of the legendary Siebengebirge. You can enjoy spectacular views of the Rhine Valley from the Steigenberger Grandhotel Petersberg, the former guesthouse of the federal government, or from the Drachenfels Castle.

 

Bonn is definitely worth a visit due to its former governmental quarter, Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth house and the many first-class exhibitions and attractive programs of the Federal Art and Exhibition Hall, the Art Museum Bonn, the House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Museum Koenig, the German Museum Bonn, the Rhenish State Museum and the Arithmeum.

 

The Beethoven Festival, which takes place in the fall every year, attracts musicians from all over the world to perform in Bonn.  

 

(Approx. distance Cologne-Bonn: 35 km, 30 minutes by car)
(Approx. distance Cologne-Drachenfels Castle: 45 km, 40 minutes by car)

 

 

Stolzenfels Castle

 

Stolzenfels Castle is located high above the Rhine in Koblenz. With its fabulous architecture and beautifully decorated halls and rooms it is the triumph of the Rhine Romanticism period.

 

Originally a toll castle from around 1250, Stolzenfels was destroyed during the Palatinate war of succession. It was rebuilt between 1836 and 1842 under King Friedrich. In 2002 the castle became part of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO Heritage Site.

 

(Approx. distance Cologne-Stolzenfels Castle: 120 km, 1.25 hours by car)