Located on the Rhine River, the delightful city of Cologne can trace its origins back to the Roman era. It has the largest and most famous church in Germany (and that's quite a statement).

The city is filled with architectural marvels both old and new, and it's also home to some of Germany's best art and history museums.

Apart from its sights, the best reason to visit Cologne is to experience its friendly atmosphere—it's one of the most fun-loving cities in Europe. Much of the activity centers around pubs, where people gather to drink kolsch, the local beer, which is served in small glasses.

Entertainment is available everywhere one turns in Cologne, from festivals to a prolific opera program. Located 120 mi/190 km north of Frankfurt, Cologne is well worth devoting a few days to, and makes a great starting point for exploring other cities in the area such as Aachen and Bonn.

Cologne has its own dialect known as Kölsch. About 25% of Cologne's population speaks this German dialect but many more in Cologne understand it.

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