Ways to Celebrate the Cologne Carnival
Cologne’s Carnival is Germany’s second-most famous celebration after Oktoberfest. Nearly a million people attend the annual festivities, which kick off in November and ramp up around Lent in February. Here are a few ways to enjoy the celebration.
- Pedal through the city center on a small-group bike tour tosee where the Carnival celebrations take place, including Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral).
*Attend one of the city’s costume balls, Fools’ Gatherings, or a parade rehearsal to get in the Carnival spirit.
Participate in a pub crawl tosee the best of Cologne’s nightlife.
At 11:11am on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday,kick off Carnival Weekwith costume parades and street parties.
Wrap up Carnival season at the official Carnival parade called the Rose Monday Parade (Rosenmontag), featuringmarching bands, dancers, elaborately constructed floats, and thousands of costumed revelersshouting “Kölle Alaaf!”
Check out theyear-round Cologne Carnival Museumfor elaborate Carnival costumes and floats, and to learn more about the origins the Carnival (Fastnacht) origins around Easter and Lent.