Cologne is a great place to base yourself when exploring the Rhine Valley. Since I live in Cologne anyways, I love to explore the surrounding region. Here, I compiled a list of my favorite photo worthy day trips from Cologne. All of these destinations can be reached by car or by public transport.
Photo Worthy Day Trips from Cologne – Overview
- Schloss Drachenburg / Drachenburg Castle
- Burg Eltz / Eltz Castle
- Linz am Rhein
1. Schloss Drachenburg / Drachenburg Castle
Can you imagine that Drachenburg Castle was built within two years as a private villa and was never inhabited? You can still rent a suite there today, but you have to stay at least two days.
Can you imagine that? Living in a castle like this? Well, that’s actually pretty common in Germany and most of our palaces and castles are actually inhabited.
Since Schloss Drachenburg was built at the end of the 19th century, it’s a fairly new castle. Despite the fact that it was badly destroyed in World War II, it has been completely restored and can be visited as a museum since 2009.
Admission to the park and castle costs €7 for adults and €5 for children and students. Since the castle and the castle park are in good condition, this is completely okay.
Drachenburg Castle is located in Königswinter. It takes about 30 minutes from Cologne.
Read more about Drachenburg Castle here.
2. Burg Eltz / Eltz Castle
I already have some posts about the beautiful Eltz Castle, because in addition to the castle itself, the surrounding area also has a lot to offer. For example, you can hike along the dream path and enjoy the Eltz panorama to its fullest.
You’ve probably seen Burg Eltz yourself in your Instagram feed countless times. Especially in summer during the sunset it is full of photographers and content creators who want to take a photo or two!
Unfortunately, Burg Eltz is harder to reach than Schloss Drachenburg. If you can, I’d advise you to take the car instead of the train.
Read more about Eltz Castle here.
If you like cold blue tones and urban city style, Düsseldorf is the perfect day trip for you! Düsseldorf is the capital city of North Rhine-Westphalia and located about 45 kilometres north of Cologne. From the Cologne Central Station, it takes about 30 minutes to reach Düsseldorf by train.
I recommend walking around the famous Medienhafen to see the modern architecture of Düsseldorf and the famous Gehry buildings. Florian and I love taking photos here!
My favorite photo spots in Düsseldorf are very easy to find: They’re located in the Medienhafen and a bit more outside at Schloss Benrath.
Don’t miss out on the superb bars in Düsseldorf though! The city center is full of cute and unique bars where you can simply hang out with friends and have a chat but you’ll also find high-end bars which only accept guests with suits and style.
Read more about photo spots in Düsseldorf here.
Bonn is a beautiful city about 30 kilometres south of Cologne. The city is particularly famous for its beautiful cherry blossoms which attract thousands of people every year.
As a Roman settlement, the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven and the former capital of Western Germany, Bonn is still an important city in Germany and has a lot to be proud of.
Did you know that many government offices are still split between Berlin and Bonn and that is why many people fly back and forth every day?
Read more about Bonn here.
5. Linz am Rhein
Linz am Rhein – a small town in Rhineland-Palatinate and about 55 kilometres south of Cologne. The town itself is situated in the Romantic Rhine Valley and you can reach it by taking the boat or train (and obviously also by car).
From Drachenburg Castle it only takes 15 minutes to arrive in Linz am Rhein which makes it very easy to combine these two stops in one day.
Linz am Rhein is perfect if you love half-timbered houses and/or hiking, because you can easily hike the Rheinsteig Trail to Bad Honnef.
I hope you liked these photo worthy day trips from Cologne. Here are other posts I think you might like:
- Photography Locations in Düsseldorf
- Couple Posing Guide
- Instagram Spots in Cologne
- How to take amazing couple photos on your own
- Best Rooftop Bars in Düsseldorf