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Escorted Rail Tours to Cologne

Famous for its perfume

Cologne was raised to a 'colony' (hence the name), with city status by the Romans in 50 AD, and was later absorbed into the Gallic Empire, becoming the capital from 260-271. The city was highly prized by both of these communities, due mainly to its location on the River Rhine, which placed it at the intersection of the major trade routes east and west, and was the basis of Cologne's growth. In addition to this, several saints were martyred in the city and the relics of the Three Magi were acquired from Milan. Cologne then also became a centre of ecclesiastical importance, as well as a pilgrimage centre, meaning the city continued to prosper in the middle ages as a result. Following a slight decline in the city's fortunes, Cologne experienced something of a renaissance in the 18th century with a recipe involving distilling flower blossoms in alcohol. This 'toilet water' achieved worldwide fame as eau de Cologne.

Although Cologne was badly damaged in the Second World War, the Cathedral survived, and extensive restoration work has since taken place throughout the city. In the modern age Cologne has reclaimed its old role as a major trade and business centre - now a radio and television metropolis, and a beer city, with over twenty breweries producing Kölsch, the distinctive local beer. Whilst in Cologne you really ought to visit the vast Cathedral. The foundation stone was laid in 1248, and it was finally completed in 1880. Called "the mother of all German churches", it is one of the largest Gothic structures ever built, and its size reflects its power - it is the seat of the Primate of Germany. The Cathedral was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1996, and today you can see the relics of the Three Magi, and climb the south tower for a spectacular view of the city and the Rhine.

Sightseeing in Cologne
Cologne's Old Town, which has been carefully restored to preserve its pre-war appearance, is also a joy to discover. It spreads from just south of the Cathedral to the bank of the Rhine. Here you can admire the tall and narrow pastel-coloured houses, set out along the Old Town's winding streets, as you wander to the Rhine Promenade for a stroll along the river. There are many traditional brewery taverns close to the Old Town, all of which serve Kölsch beer - brewed only in Cologne. You may wish to visit at least one of these to sample the beer for yourself.

If you have the time to explore further, Cologne boasts an assemblage of both Roman and medieval remains that is unsurpassed in Germany. For example Eigelsteintor, one of the three surviving magnificent city gates, is a short distance north. The other gates, Severinstor and Hahnentor, are further afield but also worth a visit.

We’ve found 24 tours for you matching: Escorted Rail Tours to Cologne

Five-Star Rhine Cruise

From Switzerland to the Netherlands, this spectacular cruise reveals the majesty of the Rhine River in all its fairytale glory. We uncover beautiful valley gorges, splendid halftimbered towns and many of the remarkable cities that line the banks of this grand old river. Sailing through four countries, we uncover unique experiences including German heritage rail journeys, French city tours and Dutch steam trains.

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2020Jul

8 days from $3,255 pp

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Glacier Express in Winter

This adventurous twin-centre rail tour provides ample opportunity to explore the majestic Swiss Alps cloaked in their winter finery, and to enjoy our trip on the famous Glacier Express, surely the slowest, and certainly one of the most scenic 'express' trains in the world.

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2020JanFebMar

8 days from $2,795 pp

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Bavarian Christmas Wonderland

Expect plenty of seasonal Bavarian traditions on our festive Alpine rail break to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, with spellbinding castles to visit, great meals to enjoy, an exciting journey on the Zugspitze Railway and a sleigh ride at Christmas.

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2019Dec

8 days from $4,045 pp

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Cologne's Wonderful Markets

Cologne has seven incredible bustling Christmas markets to choose from. Sample local bratwurst, beers and mulled wine in Europe's Christmas market capital, before we pay a visit to West Germany's former capital, the magnificent city of Bonn.

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2019Dec

4 days from $1,125 pp

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First Class Glacier Express at Christmas

Our festive rail tour is a fantastic way to experience exciting train journeys on the Glacier Express and Bernina Express. Enjoy wonderful excursions and explore the beautiful winter landscapes of Switzerland.

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2019Dec

9 days from $4,225 pp

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First Class Glacier Express at New Year

Celebrate the New Year in style on this magnificent tour. Travelling in First Class throughout, we discover some of Switzerland's most beautiful winter landscapes, such as the mountain resort of Zermatt and the lakeside city of Lucerne, and make spectacular journeys on some of Europe's most iconic trains such as the Glacier Express and Bernina Express.

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2019Dec

9 days from $4,185 pp

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Five-Star Rhine Cruise at Christmas

Explore the fascinating towns and stunning scenery along the Rhine on a festive rail-cruise tour. From the comfort and luxury of the 5-star MS Amadeus Silver II, you can experience an indulgent Christmas tour on one of Europe's most beautiful waterways.

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2019Dec

7 days from $2,795 pp

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Interlaken & the Jungfrau Express at Christmas

Celebrate an unforgettable Christmas with a breathtaking ride on the Jungfrau Railway to the highest train station in Europe, a spectacular ascent of the Schilthorn, a winter wonderland carriage ride from Grindelwald amongst the snowy Alpine peaks and a visit to charming Mürren.

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2019Dec

7 days from $3,535 pp

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Interlaken & the Jungfrau Express at New Year

Celebrate an unforgettable New Year with a breathtaking ride on the Jungfrau Railway to the highest train station in Europe, a spectacular ascent of the Schilthorn, a winter wonderland carriage ride from Grindelwald amongst the snowy Alpine peaks and a visit to charming Mürren.

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2019Dec

7 days from $3,535 pp

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Interlaken & the Jungfrau Express in Winter

The unique location of Interlaken, nestled between Lakes Thun and Brienz, and watched over by the mighty Jungfrau, make the ideal base for a tour exploring the majestic winter peaks of the Bernese Oberland by train, including spectacular trips to the summit of the Jungfrau and Schilthorn peaks.

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2020JanFeb

7 days from $2,795 pp

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The Alps of the Austrian Tyrol in Winter

The Austrian Tyrol is a real favourite of ours and is even more enthralling under a mantle of snow. From our base in Innsbruck, we explore some of the region's most beautiful attractions, such as the towns of Kufstein and Rattenberg. We also visit delightful Seefeld with a horse-drawn sleigh, and Mayrhofen - which we discover on a narrow-gauge railway.

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2020FebMar

8 days from $2,425 pp

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The Harz Mountains in Winter

Join us as we ride on vintage steam trains through wild landscapes and romantic gorges to discover charming towns with timber-framed houses and cobbled lanes. Wernigerode, a beautiful town amidst the mountains, provides an excellent base for this wonderful rail tour.

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2020JanFeb

7 days from $2,615 pp

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