Travel: City to city - Give me a break: Cologne on pounds 250
Wednesday 04 February 1998
Thanks to the new high-speed link through Belgium, central London to central Cologne takes just six hours including check-in time. From Charing Cross, walk briskly across the Hungerford footbridge to Waterloo. Eurostar (0345 303030) has a train at 12.27pm on Friday (change at Brussels, arrive at 6.57pm local time), returning on Sunday at 6.02pm, for pounds 89 return. This leaves pounds 161 to spend in Germany's fourth-largest city.
The German National Tourist Office in London (65 Curzon Street, W1Y 5NE; 0171-493 0080 for a live operator) dishes out brochures and recorded information on its premium-rate service (0891 600100). Save money by waiting until you reach Cologne; the tourist office is a short walk from the station, in the shadow of the city's most obvious landmark, the Dom (cathedral). No need for them to point you towards the centre, though; you're already there.
The weekend before Lent (21-22 February) is the high point of the local carnival. This is a huge, riotous event: museums close, the bars stay open, and rooms are in short supply. It can also be tricky to find reasonably priced accommodation when one of the city's frequent trade fairs is taking place. Fortunately the tourist office in Cologne has an efficient room- finding service for which it charges only a nominal fee (pounds 1.60 to pounds 2). When there's no fair in town, expect to pay around pounds 50 a night for a double with en-suite bathroom in a reasonable central hotel such as the Rhein Hotel St Martin (00 49 221 257 7955; fax 00 49 221 221 3320).
Must see ...
Must buy ...
Must eat ...
Must drink ...
Head a little way out of the centre to the trendy bars and cafes of the Quartier Lateng or Severin to sample something of Cologne's less traditional side. But for sheer novelty value, it would be hard to beat the nightly drag-queen cabaret show (1am to 4am) at the Hotel Timp in Heumakt. There's something about it that suggests the decadence of Berlin in the Thirties, and even if you are unlikely to be fooled as to the performers' gender, it's still a good way to pass a few night hours. Entry is free, though drinks are more expensive when the show is on; there is also a minimum charge of pounds 8 on Fridays and Saturdays.
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
They're back, they're big – and they're still spectacularly boringfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
- 3 Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: In defence of Mesut Ozil - the Arsenal midfielder works magic in the shadows
- 4 Pornhub pleads with users to stop uploading videos of Brazil 'getting f**ked by Germany' in World Cup match
- 5 Give childhood back to children: if we want our offspring to have happy, productive and moral lives, we must allow more time for play, not less
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories