Great parks to visit in Cologne
Despite the hustle and bustle typical of a big city, there are green havens in almost every district of Cologne, never more than a stone’s throw away. With an abundance of lovely parks, many close to the city centre, there’s no need to leave the city if you’re looking for a leafy setting to unwind for a few hours. If you want to know which ones are the nicest, my five favourites are listed here. So grab a blanket, a cool drink and your besties and head outside. After all, we’ve definitely spent long enough indoors in the past few months!
Stadtgarten – In the middle of it all
My favourite park in Cologne is Stadtgarten – and not just because I live nearby. Stadtgarten boasts a very central location, on the edge of the city’s trendiest neighbourhood, the Belgian Quarter. It’s the perfect place to get back to nature when you’ve finished looking around the hip local stores, for example. There’s always enough space to spread out your blanket on one of the lawns or take a seat on one of the many benches. Some of them even offer a view of one of Cologne’s landmarks, the television tower. There’s also a really popular spot for photos right next to the park – Herkulesberg Bridge.
Address: Venloer Straße 40, 50672 Cologne
Volksgarten – A true classic
Everyone in Cologne knows the Volksgarten park and it’s a long-time favourite with tourists too. Situated in the southern part of the Neustadt district (which also goes by the name of Südstadt), this park is guaranteed to keep boredom at bay. As well as being a great place to relax, there are plenty of things to do. Bright red pedal boats are available to rent for a jaunt on the lake, a beer garden in the middle of the park serves chilled drinks and there’s table tennis, a playground and the Orangerie-Theater. Volksgarten truly has something for everyone.
Address: Eifelstraße, 50677 Cologne
Hiroshima-Nagasaki-Park at Aachener Weiher lake
As soon as the first rays of sun appear, people of all ages flock to the Aachener Weiher lake and the park that surrounds it, Hiroshima-Nagasaki-Park. With its location on Universitätsstraße, joining up the city’s “inner green belt”, it’s very central. But how, you may well ask, did it get its unusual name? It’s meant as a tribute to the victims of the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and as a nod to the Japanese Culture Institute and Museum of East Asian Art right next to the park. With its hilly terrain, the park has lots of spots where you can enjoy an elevated view of the lake below.
Address: Universitätsstraße, 50923 Cologne
Blücherpark – The lungs of the city’s north
Rectangular-shaped Blücherpark sits between the northern districts of Neuehrenfeld and Nippes and is considered the local people’s park. There’s plenty of space for a walk around the lake, where pedal boats take to the water between spring and autumn. The northern end of the park has a playground and two football pitches. For art lovers there are large lion sculptures to admire and concrete sphere sculptures dotted around the park.
Address: Parkgürtel, 50823 Cologne
Friedenspark – Adventure and time travel
Friedenspark takes in the area around the old fort in the Südstadt district, which was made part of a park after the First World War instead of being demolished. It’s a great recreational space for all ages but particularly for children and youngsters, being home to a youth centre and an adventure playground. The overgrown ruins and narrow, winding paths lend the place a special atmosphere. And the idea that the famous author Heinrich Böll played here in his childhood almost makes you feel you’ve travelled back in time.
Address: Hans-Abraham-Ochs-Weg 1, 50678 Cologne