Cologne, Germany

6:11 PM

We love to make friends and hear about their story. This one was a chance of Rara, one of our friend, a girl with a brave heart and a wonderful life adventure in germany! Let's hear her story! :)
Hi lovelies! So I decided to share my year living in Cologne (Köln), Germany and give you guys a little insight of this city and what-to-do, where-to-go kind of things so enjoy!
Since I graduated from high school in 2013, I decided to take a gap year (or two) in Germany as an au-pair before actually studying there. I spent a year living in the suburban part of Cologne and had a wonderful time living with a German host family who has taught me lots of things (especially German)!
Cologne is located in Nord Rhein Westfalen, Germany, and if you don’t know where that is, that’s the west part of Germany. What I love about Cologne is that the people are so friendly and it’s not very hard to make new friends and discover new culture. The icon of the city itself is a massive gothic cathedral called Kölner Dom and when you climb to the top of the cathedral, the view from above is absolutely breath-taking! You just have to be prepared for 10-15 minutes of vertical climb to the top which is pretty exhausting if you’re not used to it, but it’s really worth it!

The Weather
I guess I can say that the weather in Cologne is quite mild, it’s never been extremely cold or warm compared to other cities in Germany. The best time to visit Cologne is spring/summer, because at those times the weather can be really nice if you’re lucky (16-22 degree Celsius) and the sun comes out longer than in autumn/winter. You can also do a boat tour on the river Rhine when the weather is good, I’ve never done this but it’s a must-try if you have the chance to visit Cologne! In winter you can visit the Weichnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) at Schildergasse or Rudolfsplatz and experience Christmas, German style! In winter the temperature varies from below zero to 9-12 degree Celsius at noon.My favorite part of Weichnachtsmarkt or Christmas market is the food! They sell lots of warming food, drinks and sweets and the Christmas vibe just feels so nice. Try the roasted nuts (Macadamia, walnuts, almonds, etc) coated with sugar or Lebkuchen, a cake, sweetened with honey and spices. It tastes delicious, especially in cold winter nights.

Weichnachtsmarkt 002
Places to go
Here are some places that you should visit in Cologne:
(Some museums/ tourist attractions offer discounts for students)
• Kölner Dom
• Chocolate Museum / Schokoladenmuseum
• Perfume Museum/Duft Museum im Farina Haus Köln (Ps: the word eau de cologne comes from the name of this city)
• Hohenzollernbrücke/Hohenzoller Bridge
• Kölner Zoo & Seilbahn

It’s easy to go from places to places with public transportation, train (U-Bahn) or bus. If it’s reachable within minutes and you’ve got a map in your hand, it’s also nice to go on foot. If you can speak German, great! But if you don’t, don’t worry. Most people in big cities in Germany speak/understand enough English so if you are lost or don’t know anything, don’t be discouraged and feel free to ask.

It’s probably the most essential part of traveling. Yes. Food. Germany is known for the sausages and meat dishes BUT it can be tricky for Muslims to eat meat in Germany as well as most countries in Europe. So, my suggestion is, if you really want to eat meat, go eat in Turkish/Middle East restaurants. Some of them do all-you-can-eat buffet and you can eat breakfast as much as you want for only 6-9 €. I’m a vegetarian so when I lived there I didn’t eat any meat products, and you can find lots of vegan/vegetarian choices in cafes/restaurants.

Germany is also known for its bread. There’s probably no country in this world that has bread as much as Germany, so do the Germans say. You can find all sorts of bread, from rye bread (Roggenbrot), Schwarzbrot, pumpkin bread (Kürbisbrot), Brötchen, Brezel, etc etc… But you should really try Brezel. It’s this heart-shaped bread, sprinkled with sea salt on the top and usually the Germans eat them by slicing them in two and putting some butter in it.
So I guess that’s all I can share with you guys for the moment. I also did some traveling (solo and with my friends) to other places in Europe so if you want to know more of the stories, keep your eyes peeled!

Rara x

Zafira Nur Shabrina
Rara. 19. Adventure craver, yoga doer and wellness seeker. Live the now, nourish your body, and be content with your natural beauty.

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