Every Cologne brewery has its own beer hall, but Gaffel, Paeffgen and Muehlen have the best beer and food (especially Gaffel).
They are also far enough away from the train station and cathedral to be less full of tourists.
Gaffel - Alter Markt
Paeffgen - Friesenstrasse
Muehlen - Heumarkt
Fruh is the best-known and most widely available Kolsch and the bar near the cathedral, (Fruh am Dom), is one of the oldest brauhuses, having survived bombing during WW2. It's a traditional German pub serving good beer and wholesome German food, and a great place to start the day.
Am Hof 12-16, 50667 Köln Altstadt/Dom;
If you want to visit an authentic part of Cologne and don't want to go to all the touristy places where everybody else goes, visit the Suedstadt - a laid back quarter with pretty art nouveau buildings and friendly residents, most of them students and young families. Once you've passed the nasty construction site of the new underground line they're building at the Chlodwigplatz, you will find multi-cultural cuisine, nice cafes and pubs, and cute little shops.
A very special place is the Fiffi Bar, where the 1960's furnishing is decorated with kitschy dog accessories. If you fancy a nice park and beer garden, go to the Volksgarten 9 (Volksgartenstrasse). And if you're up for some football on the big screen during the World Cup, visit the Hammond Bar, a charmingly worn-out place where you can always have a glass of Kölsch together with incredibly nice, football-crazy people.
U-Bahn: Chlodwigplatz (Lines 6, 15, 16, 17);
Fiffi Bar: Rolandstrasse 99; tel: 0221 340 6211;
Hammond Bar: Metzer Strasse 25; tel: 0221 932 9229; www.hammondbar.de
A very nice bar/pub with music (a mixture of funk and house) every night from different DJs. The cocktails are really tasty (happy hour: 19:00 - 21:00h), or you can drink the local beer "Kölsch". It´s also possible to order small snacks. Have a good time.
Brüsseler Str. 10, 50674 Köln-Belgisches Viertel;
Nearest station: Roonstraße: Bus 136 or 146; Moltkestraße: Tram 1 or 7;
www.cologne-in.de/kneipen/k_scheinbar.htm (in German)
If you like your beer with a bit of nature, head for the Stadtgarten. The venue is popular with students and has a bar, a beer garden complete with shady trees, concert hall, nightclub and a friendly clientele. It's a 15-minute walk from the city centre. It will be showing games for the 2006 World Cup.
Venloer Strasse 40, tel: 9529 9433; www.stadtgarten.de/Information.htm
A very nice beer garden, where you can drink the local 'Kölsch'. It also features a restaurant/cafe, concert hall and the very popular, slightly trendy club Studio 672.
Venloer Str. 40
On Rechtsrheinisch, which is on right side of the river, is a beach bar called Shark Island. There's also a beach by the Rheinterrasse called KM689, and a new one in Cologne's central shopping area. The Sky Beach is on the top floor of the Kaufhof carpark: sand, cocktails and a great view!
The place to be is along the river. You can't miss it. Try the beach bar on the "Rechtsrheinisch" (right side of the river).
The stadium is some way out on the left side of town.
Cologne is a cool, civilised town, enjoy it.
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