Urbanana Köln-LeBloc Sonic Ballroom, © Georg-Hopp alias Fänger der Zeit

The Pop-Trail Cologne

The pop-spots at a glance

Have you lost your music thread during all that cheer and you stray through the streets dancing? That’s great. What’s also great is to follow the pop-route in Cologne. The route leads you to 17 carefully chosen spots from Chlodwigplatz to Stadtgarten, which you can head for one by one during an extended walk around the city. Our tip: Allow for about two to two and a half hours for a relaxed pop music stroll.

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The Luxor in Cologne., © Copyright für "Luxor"


Legend has it that Joe Cocker got rejected at the door, Whitney Houston turned up incognito and the Pogues required 20 crates of beer backstage.

The so called Bermuda triangle at Schaafenstraße, © Andreas Möltgen


This is where the party mood of the LGBTQ- community collides with the "Kölner" pleasure in singing, dancing and swaying.

Busy Hohenzollernring, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

The Rings

In the midst of roaring engines, student clubs, part-time celebrities and memories of the city's first techno club.

The neon light of Roxy, © Ole Löding


Lots of vinyl, unusually good sounds and the utopia of a classless society.

The streetview of Parallel Records, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Parallel Records

This is how it's supposed to be: Whoever enters Parallel with distinct ideas, leaves with a tote bag full of findings.

The entrance to Six Pack, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Six Pack

Cologne's biggest fridge: Long nights with handsome bartenders, electronic music and a light green woodruff schnaps called Flimm.

Urban art at Brüsseler Platz, © Timo Klein

Brussels Square

Party stronghold and meeting point of the Bohème: All around the Brussels Square is where the "Sound of Cologne" emerged in the beginning of the 1990s.

Front of Hallmackenreuther, © Tourismus NRW e.V.


While currently closed, the Hallmackenreuther used to provide for the perfect intro into a long night.

The house wall of Kompakt, © Tourismus NRW e.V.


Kompakt - as a label, booking agency and record store - is the epitome of the "Sound of Cologne".

The streetview of the (former) Basement, © Tourismus NRW e.V.


This basement-club is where the crucial encounter between Wolfgang Niedecken and Klaus "Major" Heuser took place. The outcome: BAP.

The Stadtgarten ("City garden"), © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Stadtgarten/Studio 672

With more than 400 events is the Stadtgarten one of the most vibrant cultural spaces in Cologne and the nucleus of the c/o Pop.

The view of CBE from the street, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld

Concerts, parties, flea markets, poetry slams, exhibitions or record exchanges. It's always worth checking the program.

The Helios light house in Cologne, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Helios Leuchtturm

Ehrenfeld is all about the 44 meter high tower, even though there is nothing going on in this industrial monument.

The Underground before it was torn down, © Tourismus NRW e.V.


There was a time when low rent and abandoned industrial buildings drew the attention to wild minds who flourished this cultural biotope.

Entrance gate of Heinz Gaul, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Heinz Gaul

The old masonry with character in "Electro-culture-stile" unites electro and hip-hop sounds in the hot neighborhood of Ehrenfeld since 2012.

Insight into the courtyard of Live Music Hall, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Live Music Hall

The Live Music Hall manages the balancing act between pop and metal- party.

The streetview towards the Sonic Ballroom, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Sonic Ballroom

The rough Sonic Ballroom duly gives room to cultivated noise.