Cologne for families
Animals, robots and chocolate
Cologne: the perfect destination for everyone. A wide range of options is also available for young families.
Cologne has much to offer in terms of family attractions, including its zoo. Not only is it the oldest zoo in North Rhine-Westphalia, but with more than 10,000 animals it is also one of the largest zoos in Germany.
On the occasion of the zoo’s 150th birthday in 2010, it unveiled the Hippodrome - probably one of the most unique designs in Europe: a walk-through replica of an African river landscape allows visitors to observe the animals from a variety of different vantage points, from both above and under water. The elephant park also has something special to offer. Measuring two hectares, it is the largest of its kind north of the Alps, according to the zoo. The zoo regularly offers special night-time experiences: on several days each year children (and adults) can camp out in the zoo for the night in a tent.
The Cologne Odysseum is another option for families seeking adventure. Whether you’re after an expedition through the jungle, a game of basketball against robots or journeys at the speed of light – everything is possible in this science-themed adventure park. Aspiring astronauts who feel the call of the stars can be tested to see if they are suited to going into space. The park features an outdoor adventure area specially designed for children where they can shoot their own films or explore how canal locks work. In addition, a high rope course offers an ideal adventure for young climbers. The permanent exhibition is divided into several themed worlds. The mouse from German children’s television cartoon Die Sendung mit der Maus is also there to greet visitors.
The Chocolate Museum is yet another perfect destination for young families. Visitors here can embark on a journey through 3,000 years of chocolate’s cultural history, from the Aztec ‘ambrosia’ to the modern industrial product. Exhibition highlights include the tropical greenhouse, where guests can experience the cocoa tree it its tropical climate, a transparent chocolate production factory, which shows how small chocolate bars, hollow figurines and pralines are made, and a large chocolate fountain to taste from. The Schokoladenmuseum (Chocolate Museum) sits like a futuristic glass and aluminium boat anchored in the Rheinauhafen harbour near Cologne Cathedral.
open daily throughout the year
March to October: 09:00 – 18:00
November to February: 09:00 – 17:00
Monday to Thursday: 09:00 – 18:00
Friday to Sunday and during NRW school holidays: 09:00 – 20:00
Schokoladenmuseum (Chocolate Museum):
Tuesday to Friday: 10:00 – 18:00
Weekends and public holidays: 11:00 – 19:00