We set ourselves the challenge of visiting 3 places in 3 days so using Cologne as our base, we were able to take trips to Dusseldorf and Eltz Castle.
Day 1 – Cologne
We spent the first day in Cologne, the 2000-year-old German city, which sprawls itself along part of the Rhine River. Situated in between Dusseldorf and 1.5 hours away from Eltz Castle by train, it’s perfect for exploring in a short amount of time.
We stayed in the reasonable Mercure Hotel Severinshof Köln City for around €40 a night which allowed us to walk to most tourist hot-spots.
So now you’ve arrived… Start at the gothic Cologne Cathedral, from there walk across Hohenzollernbrücke (the bridge full of love padlocks), and finally go up the Køln Triangle Panoramic for a full view of Cologne. Entry costs €3.
Eating and drinking
Being in Germany, beer drinking is a must and if you want to sample a proper German brewery, visit Brauerei Päffgen. The beer is good with some light nibbles, including cheese and meat.
NOTE: the waiter will continuously give you another little glass of beer unless you put your coaster of your glass. I don’t want to be responsible for getting you all hammered.
For Fruhstuck (breakfast): Across from Brauerei Paffgen, is a little cafe called Hommage which offers light breakfast options including avocado on toast and cakes.
If you’re looking for a more hearty breakfast, we tried All Bar One, where I would never usually eat, but all the Cologne’ians were going so we thought we’d try it out too. Monday-Saturday they offer a full buffet for €9.90 and on a Sunday it’s €14.90. Check the link above for more details. Obviously, we eat enough for 18 people – great value.
For Dinner: I’d recommend another traditional German restaurant with delicious home brew, Früh am Dom right in the centre of Cologne – you can’t miss it. We also ate at Freddy Schilling – Die Hamburger Manufaktur, which had amazing meat and vegetarian burgers -mine was stuffed with a goat’s cheese and apple. You’ll definitely need a wee lie down after that.
Day 2 – Eltz Castle
Before going to the fairy tale that is Eltz Castle, I’d read lots of blogs on how to get there. Some had rented cars, others had commented on how long the train took, but the train had seemed cheaper than renting a car for 24 hours (around €70+petrol and took around 1.5hours).
We took the train from Cologne Central Station to Koblenz Staton (last stop and takes 1hour) and jumped on another train to the little town of Cochem (50 minutes). The whole journey took around 1hr50minutes and cost around €30. Bring a book or just look out the window – the scenery is stunning!
From the tiny little town of Cochem, you have to walk through the forest up to Eltz Castle. The walk takes around 45 minutes and there is a rest stop/cafe before the walk properly begins so that you can fuel up before hand. It’s a straight forward walk and mostly flat with a slight incline. Entry is free however if you’d like a tour, it’s around €10-15.
NOTE: If you have trouble walking, I would rent a car as you can drive to the car park at the top of the castle.
Day 3 – Dusseldorf
The train from Cologne to Dusseldorf costs around €15 each for the 30 minutes journey and if you try to jump on without a ticket, guaranteed the guards will catch you.
Unfortunately, due to bad weather, we weren’t able to do much apart from walk around the Old Town and the centre of town. However, Uerige Obergärige Hausbrauerei is a good brewery inn to hide from the weather with a delightful Stein (beer).
My good friends at the Culture Trip, have a detailed blog on the top things to do in Dusseldorf, which I’m sure you can cram into a day!
Let me know how you get on.
❤ STG x