Cologne has enough to satisfy the most dedicated shoppers and it doesn’t matter which of the numerous Cologne hotels people stay at as getting to the shops is made easy by a thorough and timely public transport service. One little purchase that Cologne is famous for is its perfumes and the shops openly allow people to sample a variety of scents and in some cases it’s possible to create your own unique fragrance. The other main items that shoppers fill bags with is the clothing as the city has a great selection of innovative boutiques and designer stores.
If you’re on a budget then there are dozens of second-hand places too and with enough rummaging designer labels can be picked up at a fraction of the cost. Otherwise Cologne has a flagship T. K. Maxx store at Neumarkt square where clothing by designer brands such as Calvin Klein, Versace, Hugo Boss and Gucci can be bought from 20 to 60 per cent less. The Neumarkt Galerie is also another good option for clothes, food and everything usually found in large department stores. This giant shopping centre is close to the Neumarkt subway and apart from being the city centre’s largest, it’s famed for the outdoor artwork which consists of an ice cream plonked upside down on the roof.
For mainstream shopping Schildergasse and Hohe Strasse are the two main shopping streets that stretch for over two kilometres. To get to these, find the impossible to miss Dom cathedral and the Hohe Strasse leads south, which then leads to the Schildergasse, In der Hohle and finishes at Neumarkt. The Hohe Strasse is fairly wide and is for pedestrians only meaning there are no cars to get in the way as shoppers make a bee line for the sales.
Making your way to the Schildergasse visitors may suddenly feel like the crowds have stepped up a bit as this is actually the busiest shopping street in Germany with in excess of 13,000 people shopping here every hour. It doesn’t take long to see why though as the large department stores and smaller independents cover most of everything. Household goods, gifts, perfumes and clothing are all in abundance and if your feet are just too tired to go any further there are plenty of restaurants and cafes for a quick bite to eat or a coffee. The clothing stores are also good here, as they are along the nearby Mittelstrasse and Pfeilstrasse, with their designer outfits hanging in the windows.
Venturing away from the main avenues, diving into the side streets can throw up some interesting possibilities and along and off the Breite Strasse and connecting Ehrenstrasse are a few treasures. For some these could literally be in the form of rare stamp and coin collections that are sold by specialist stores or the area is also well known for leather ware. Ehrenstrasse is totally unique for its eclectic mix of fashion, with funkier styles to the most outrageous ensembles and the street has a vibrancy not found in many other places. The Apostelnstrasse should be visited just for the architecture alone but the trendy and diverse shop styling is its main feature while people in the know also go here for jewellery.
Another core shopping destination, especially for furniture, is Kolner Ringe. Home decor and modern furniture are housed in Gerling Karree over three floors or Mobel Pesch has stores operating here with furniture for all purposes. Around Friesenplatz and between Barbarossaplatz and Hansaring the shops provide an even greater choice. Stocked with art and accessories, there are also the Weingarten stores which specialise in larger sizes as well as separate shops for men, women and children.
Lek Boonlert is an editor and content reviewer at DirectRooms and is responsible for all Cologne Hotels content.