Five things to do in Cologne

WHILE visiting Gamescom 2010, Becky recently had a free day in Cologne. Here's her top five list of things to do:

Cologne is a fabulous city to visit with children – there are so many things to do, it was difficult to pick just a few things to fit into our one allocated day of sightseeing.  Still, with coaching from the well-travelled and ever-helpful Liz Jarvis, we planned a fun-packed day to get the most out of this fabulous city:

1. Start your day in one of Cologne's gorgeous cafés.  We highly recommend La Büff (Aachener Strasse 22, 50674) where we feasted on the thinnest slivers of crispy bacon, nestling on a mound of creamy, herby scrambled eggs, served with fresh bread and fabulous coffee. 

2. Grab a taxi (it should cost about €8 – it's wise to pretend you know the city very well as some Cologne taxi drivers tend to work the old 'twice round the block' technique with tourists) to the Chocolate Museumwhere you can learn all about chocolate and watch the Lindt 'chocolatiers' crafting the gorgeous stuff (don't forget to get a taste from the chocolate fountain), and try to avoid the gift shop, it's crammed with every single shape, size and flavour of chocolate you could possibly imagine.

3. Indulge in one of the incredible gateaux from the Chocolate Museum's café.  Not only does it have the best selection of cakes I think I've ever seen, but you can eat them whilst watching the Rhine slide majestically past outside the window.  Wash all that chocolate down with one of their fruity spritzers (we recommend the rhubarb one).

4. Take a walk back along the Rhine towards the city centre.  There are plenty of cafés and ice cream vendors, or take one of the sightseeing boats.  If you want to work off that cake, you can hire a bike too.

5. Your sprightly ten minute walk will take you to the magnificent Cologne Cathedral.  Brace yourself and do the 533 steps up to the bell tower.  It's a long trudge up a very small spiral staircase (so maybe not for littlies), but the view at the top is well worth the effort.  For the younger or less mobile visitors, the interior of the cathedral is not to be missed (we were awestruck by the pixellated stained glass window).

We ran out of time at that point, but Liz also recommended the Museum Ludwig(another one with a great café), and the Roman Museum

I'm sure we'll be back to check them out.  It's that kind of place.

We flew to Germany with German Wings from London Stansted and stayed at the Barcélo, City Centre.