This walk can be an interesting complement to exploring Cologne's charming Old Town and its waterfront. It'll take you about an hour if you just follow the Rhine, but if you stop and admire each landmark and perhaps have a coffee or lunch in between, it can easily extend to two hours or more. If you wish to visit any of the museums or galleries along the way, add extra time for that.
The walk, as presented here, is arranged from South to North, ending by the Chocolate Museum, where the original waterfront starts. This orientation is because the southern end of the Rheinauhafen is in an area slightly remote from the city centre, where it is not that easy to get to and not much happens in the evenings. The idea is to get to the starting point and do the walk by day and end it towards afternoon or evening, with perhaps a lunch in between and visit for a "dessert" to the Chocolate Museum, and then further continue to the explore the Old Town in the evening.
You may, however, decide to start from the Old Town by the Chocolate Museum and continue down south. In that case, just follow the points here in reverse numerical order, but bear in mind that you will end up in a remote part of town and will need to take the U-Bahn to get back into the city centre.
KAP 686 Skateplaza
KAP am Suedkai
Wohnwerft 18.20Two long apartment buildings along the Rhine
Altes KrafthausPreserved historic warehouse behind the Altes Hafenamt
The BenchBuilt in 2007 to designs by Bahl + Partner, this office building houses the European headquarters of computer game company Electronic Arts
Pier 15Immediately behind the Kranhaus 1 across the marine are the twin office buildings
RheinauArtOfficeThe two-part building across the marina houses Microsoft offices.
Deutsches Sport & Olympia Museum
Der TauzieherA sculpture by Nikolaus Friedrich (1908) right by the Drehbrücke
phone: +49 30 400 55 7700address: Holzmarkt 4The trendy, modern art'otel fits the theme of the area really well, and is close to the Chocolate Museum, and the Altstadt as well. Some rooms facing the Rheinauhafen have glazed balconies "floating" over the water. Rooms are appointed in a comforting white-ish theme, there are stained glass windows between bedrooms and bathrooms, and the washbasins are to be found on a long table in your room, where you will also find a Nespresso machine.
phone: +49 221 272 28 80Immediately behind the art'otel is the much more standard NH hotel. There is not much in terms of possible views, and do mind that rooms with windows in the direction of Rheinauhafen actually face the busy Holzmarkt thoroughfare (and beyond it, the art'otel). Do not mistake this hotel with another NH hotel in Cologne, the NH Köln Mediapark, which is in a totally different location!
phone: +49 221 80 14 7-0address: Bayenstrasse 51The Novotel is further south and faces the Pier 15 building across the busy Bayenstrasse. The rooms are very standard Novotel fare.