Cheap flights to Cologne
When it comes to real beauty the German city of Cologne wins first prize. Sat right on the Rhine, and boasting all the boat rides and riverside charm you’d expect, it’s a perfectly up-to-date medieval town.
It has all the spectacular sights, age-old wonder and breathtaking buildings of a historical setting, put together with modern lifestyle, some truly edgy and interesting nightspots, and a rich and varied selection of art and culture.
Even just taking a quick stroll though the city will take you past spectacular medieval cathedrals, Roman ruins, the multi-coloured buildings of the Altstadt, or old town to you and me, and plenty of interesting museums and galleries. That is, of course, provided you haven’t been lured away by its clutch of unique boutiques, trendy second-hand stores or chic designer outlets.
On 13 October athletes from more than 40 countries descend on the city for the 2013 Cologne Marathon. With a route that crosses the Rhine, takes in some of Cologne's funkiest neighbourhoods and finishes close to the famous cathedral, it's a celebration of the city's charms as well as one of the year's sporting highlights. koeln-marathon.de
Designer fashion fans should make a beeline for the streets west of Neumarkt. The label count is thickest on Mittelstrasse, where twin Apropos Concept Stores field an array of big names from Victoria Beckham to Tom Ford, together with a Gucci store, chill-out lounge and suitably stylish restaurant. apropos-store.com
Have two city breaks for the price of one with a day trip to Cologne's stylish neighbour (and deadly rival) Düsseldorf, just half an hour away by train and packed with art, fashion and excellent places to eat and drink. duesseldorf-tourismus.de