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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.

10 results matching: Escorted Rail Tours to Cologne

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Glacier Express in Winter (Chur-Kandersteg) 2016
(8 reviews)
2020JanFebMar
8 days from
$2,795 pp
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8 days from
$2,795
per person
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tour map
  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Cologne's Wonderful Markets
(6 reviews)
2019Dec
4 days from
$1,375 pp
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4 days from
$1,375
per person
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tour map
  • DestinationGermany
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Interlaken & the Jungfrau Express in Winter 2016
(13 reviews)
2020Jan
7 days from
$2,795 pp
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7 days from
$2,795
per person
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tour map
  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
The Harz Mountains
(10 reviews)
2020JanFeb
7 days from
$2,615 pp
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7 days from
$2,615
per person
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tour map
  • DestinationGermany
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Premium Rhine Cruise
2020Jul
8 days from
$3,255 pp
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8 days from
$3,255
per person
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  • DestinationFrance, Germany, The Netherlands
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationCruise
  • TransportRail, Cruise
Map and accommodation
Bavarian Christmas Wonderland
2019Dec
8 days from
$4,045 pp
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8 days from
$4,045
per person
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  • DestinationGermany
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
9 days from
$4,495
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
7 days from
$3,535
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
8 days from
$2,425
per person
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  • DestinationAustria
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
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tour map
  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Our customers love our Cologne tours
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Cologne's Wonderful Markets
Mr C Woodhead
“i was impressed with the way Janet Thomas dealt with our 41/2hr delay on German Railways.
Glacier Express in Winter
Ms C Hill
“A wonderful full itinerary, well organized and planned. The hotels were a great contrast...one in a town and one in a small village of typically Swiss wooden houses surrounded by mountains, and only accessible by train. The country was expensive, but the provided meals were good and local. Our group was friendly and a good mix of pleasant people, who all got on well. The weather couldn’t have been better....five days of sunshine for all the trips on the glacier and Bernina Express, so amazing views, then snow on the last day for a wonderful woodland walk from the chairlift above our last hotel. One of the best tours we have had with Great Rail.
Interlaken & the Jungfrau Express in Winter
Mr C Davies
“Amazing tour already rebooked
The Harz Mountains in Winter
Anonymous
“Every thing was fine well organised hotels were good.
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