Boasting one of the largest street festivals in Europe with around a million revellers taking to the streets, Cologne Carnival has been a key part of life in the city since 1823. The week-long street party features numerous drummers keeping the beat for the costumed revellers who are led by the highly-prized carnival roles of Virgin, Prince and Farmer. The highlight of the carnival is Rose Monday, when the six-kilometre long grand parade is held - an exciting procession of bands, horses and floats with costumed participants handing out flowers and chocolates for the expectant audience. Other highlights of karneval include masked balls and Sitzungen stage shows.
Karneval kicks off on Shrove Thursday with Women’s Carnival Day. On this day at the Alter Markt, the official carnival-opening takes place, presided over by the three carnival characters, the Virgin, Prince and Farmer. Up until Rose Monday on 27th, the streets are alive with parades during the day and the evening is taken up with masked balls, parties and feasts in the local venues. The main event is the Rose Monday parade when those who haven’t participated in the festivities yet come out to play. If you’d like to attend the Karneval, fly into the West German city’s Cologne Bonn airport and then take the 15-minute train ride into Cologne.
If you’re planning to attend Cologne Carnival and you haven’t been to the city before, you may not be familiar with the local customs in the city of Köln. There are two types of people who live in this West German metropolis: Kölner are those who simply reside in the city while Kölsche are those who were born there. Even if you speak a bit of German, you may have to listen carefully to understand the locals as their dialect is known to be one of the most unusual in the country. Still, the Cologne-dwellers are known for their friendliness so help will always be at hand!
Make the most of your trip to Cologne for the carnival by staying in the perfect rental accommodation for you. Book a place to stay with Eventful Stays and you can choose from bed and breakfasts, studios, townhouses, apartments or penthouses…all close to the carnival festivities via public transport or on foot. Check out our accommodation in Cologne.
If you’re travelling to Cologne for the carnival, you’ll find plenty of things to see and do in this intriguing city, including: Cologne Cathedral, Koln Triangle and Museum Ludwig.
To find out more information about the carnival, please check out the carnival committee’s official website where you’ll be able to view the complete carnival programme and find out more about the costumes, masks, songs and history of the Cologne Karneval.
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