Whether you’re looking for a chic bar, a jam-packed club or something a little more cultural, Cologne provides a huge selection of nightlife options to suit your needs.
Head towards Zülpicher Straße and you’ll find a great choice of bars, with other popular venues found along Aachener Straße, Engelbertstraße and Luxemburger Straße. It doesn’t stop there, though, with many other places for you to check out spread around the city.
Some of the most popular nightspots in Cologne include Cubana on Barbarossaplatz, a top stop to sample some cocktails; the Blue Shell on Luxemburger Straße, with its live music acts, free movie night and monthly poetry slam; and Gilbert’s Pinte on Engelbertstraße, where you’ll find a wide variety of beers on offer, including local favourite Kölsch.
Those in search of something different might want to check out the Kölner Philharmonie. This orchestra makes its home in a beautifully constructed concert hall beside the Kölner Dom. Concerts take place almost every day, so why not check one out while you’re in town.
Bischofsgartenstraße 1, Cologne, Germany
In operation since 1986, the Kölner Philharmonie makes its home in the beautiful concert hall beside the Cathedral. All types of music, from classical to jazz, are performed here, with concerts taking place almost every day. For something a little more cultural, it’s well worth checking out a show while you’re in town.
Check website for event schedule.
Luxemburger Straße 32, Cologne, Germany
The place to go in Cologne if you’re of the indie-rock or punk persuasion, it’s no wonder that the Blue Shell has been in operation for over 25 years. With its dark interior punctuated by neon blue shells, this club is very popular with queues often forming on gig nights. Along with a monthly poetry slam, it hosts both local and international live music acts, a free movie night and a different DJ each night. Small and loud, the crowd here is welcoming and packs the dance floor. On top of that, during the daily happy hour most drinks are half price.
Open Sun-Thurs 8pm-2am, Fri-Sat 8pm-4.30am; entry fees for gig nights vary.
Barbarossaplatz 5, Cologne, Germany
With a happy hour stretching from 8pm to 1am, Cubana is the top choice for cheap, lip-smacking cocktails. There’s a huge range of drinks to choose from, all provided by the friendly wait staff. Here you can sit out under the large umbrellas to enjoy the warm summer nights and buzz of conversation or you can relax inside in the flickering candlelight around the spacious, l-shaped bar.
Open Sun-Thurs 10am-1am, Fri-Sat 10am-3am.
Aachener Straße 47, Cologne, Germany
Holding much more than you would expect given its size, this animated nightspot allows smoking and offers a great selection of drinks from 30 different types of whiskey to the famous local Kölsch beer. Famed for its open mic nights, you can prop yourself up on a stool underneath the low-hanging lights and disco ball and listen to the varied mix of music played, including 60s tracks, punks, reggae, soul and more.
Open Mon-Thurs 8pm-2am, Fri-Sat 8pm-4am, closed Sun.
Engelbertstraße 31a, Cologne, Germany
Filled with cute little touches like the musical instruments hanging from the ceiling and the light strung trees surrounding it, this bar is a great choice if you’re looking for somewhere chilled to relax with a drink. From Kölsch to Kilkenny, it offers a wide selection of beers, along with red and white wines, cocktails and more. Prices are really reasonable and service is nicely prompt.
Open Sun-Thurs 6pm-2am, Fri 6pm-3am, Sat 3pm-3am.