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  • Welcome to Cologne

    The world feels at home in Cologne, where people meet for a Kölsch, a chat or simply a laugh. Life in Cologne is vivacious.

  • Take a trip through 2000 years of history and visit cultural monuments from the Roman Empire to modern times.

  • Cologne provides over 250 hotels with a total capacity of more than 26,000 beds.

  • "Drinking a Kölsch is more than just drinking a beer: it´s like drinking an entire culture." (NYT, 5/07)

  • Enjoy the world-famous traditional Cologne Carnival and several top events throughout the year.

  • Prime location in the heart of Europe and exemplary infrastructure also a multitude of highly specialised modern economy.

  • Cologne’s Schildergasse is the most-visited shopping street in Germany.

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  • Carnival

Tuesday, 26-07-2016,

Cologne's biggest Events 2016

The world-famous "Kölner Karneval" street carnival and the spectacular "Kölner Lichter" fireworks, invite visitors to join in the celebrations, the crème de la crème of pop and rock will be playing in Cologne in 2016 and some of the leading trade fairs take place in Cologne.

In the begin of the year, the Cologne people invites the world to celebrate Carnival. The "fifth season of the year" as Carnival is called, begins on November 11th at 11:11 a.m. But the real "crazy days" do not start before the so-called Weiberfastnacht (Shrove Thursday, 2016 on Febraury 4), the Thursday before Rosenmontag (Carnival Monday, 216 on February 8). The "crazy days" of Carnival are celebrated with parties on the streets, in public squares and in pubs.  Closing times for pubs and bars are suspended for the duration of the festival.

On July 3, another parade takes place in Cologne: the parade of the Christopher Street Day. Every year on the first weekend of July half a million participants and visitors celebrate and demonstrate in the city centre. Only two weeks later (July 16) the Cologne Lights (Kölner Lichter) light up the sky in flames. The impressive firework display is synchronised with music and transforms the view of the Rhine into a colourful sea of banyan lights, waterfalls and hundreds of thousands of sparklers. A huge convoy of ships marks the crowning finale of a colourful celebration, which has taken its course during the day in the Old Town.

Concerts + trade fairs

The crème de la crème of pop and rock will be playing in Cologne in 2016: so enjoy a multi-layered programme of gothic-, medieval- and electronic sounds at the Amphi Festival from July 23 to July 24 and one of the most successful artists - Rihanna - will be paying a visit to her fans in Cologne on July 28.

From 5 to 9 August, Cologne will be transformed into a Mecca for gamers. At gamescom, the trade show for interactive games and entertainment, exhibitors will be showcasing all novelties in the gaming sector. The latest computer and console games will be on display in the large ‘entertainment area’. Visitors can test out the games even before their release.

On 20th September the world's largest and most important ordering event for the international photography and imaging sector will once again open its doors in Cologne. The photokina (September 20 to 26) is the year's key event for the international photography and imaging specialist trade. Trade dealers from all over the world will come to Cologne to find out about the sector's latest trends, establish business contacts and order products for the period of high turnover in autumn and winter. After that the fans of motorcycles, scooters and bicycles flock to Cologne to visit the intermot from October 5 to 9.

Magic moments

At the end of the year, the city centre of Cologne is touched by the magic of the festivities in the run-up to Christmas. Christmas music, arts and crafts, toys, Christmas decorations and the scent of the Christmas bakeries create a wonderful atmosphere at the famous Christmas markets in Cologne (November 21 to December 23 - estimated).

And finally: New Year in Cologne! Each year hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors from all across the planet enjoy the midnight fireworks against the magical backdrop of Cologne’s cityscape.

The 10 Highlights 2016 - in chronlogical order:

  • February 4 to February 9, 2016: Carnival
  • July 3, 2016: CSD
  • July 16, 2016: Cologne Lights
  • July 23 to July 24, 2016: Amphi-Festival
  • July 28, 2016: Rihanna
  • August 17 to August 21st, 2016: gamescom
  • September 20 to September 26, 2016: photokina
  • October 5 to October 9, 2016: intermot
  • November 21 to December 23, 2016: Christmas markets (estimated)
  • December 31, 2016: New Year's Eve

The biggest trade fairs 2016 in Cologne

  • Janurary 18 to January 24, 2016: imm Cologne
  • January 31 to February 3, 2016: ISM
  • April 14 to April  17, 2016: ArtCologne
  • August 17 to August 21st, 2016:  gamescom
  • August 24 to August 28, 2016: c/o pop
  • September 4 to September 6, 2016: spoga + gafa
  • September 14 to September 15, 2016: dmexco
  • September 20 to September 26, 2016:  photokina
  • October 5 to October 9, 2016: intermot
  • October 25 to October 29, 2016: Orgatec
  • November 16 to November 20, 2016: Cologne Fine Arts

Concerts 2016 - the highlights

  • March 6, 2016: Muse
  • March 11, 2016: Sunrise Avenue
  • April 13, 2016: Mariah Carey
  • April 18, 2016: The Australian Pink Floyd Show
  • April 26, 2016: a-ha
  • April 28, 2016: Hans Zimmer
  • May 14 and May 15, 2016: Adele
  • May 27, 2016: Queen and Adam Lambert
  • July 1 to July 3, 2016: Summerjam
  • July 23 to July 24, 2016: Amphi-Festival
  • July 28, 2016: Rihanna
  • September 18, 2016: Justin Bieber
  • November 10, 2016: The Cure
  • December 1, 2016: David Garrett

Events + sports 2016 - the Highlights

  • February 4 to February 9, 2016: Carnival
  • February 11, 2016: WWE Road to Wrestlemania
  • February 17, 2016: Night of the Dance
  • February 17, 2016: Nitro Circus
  • May 28 to May 29, 2016: Handball EHF Champions League Finals
  • May 28 to May 29, 2016: Role Play Convention
  • July 3, 2016:  CSD
  • July 16, 2016: Cologne Lights
  • September 2 to September 4, 2016: Bierbörse - Festival of beer
  • October 2, 2016: Marathon
  • October 8, 2016: Night of the Jumps
  • November 11, 2016: Carnival begins
  • November 21 to December 23, 2016: Christmas markets (estimated)
  • December 31, 2016: New Year's Eve

Find out more: Events