Cologne Nightlife

Many visitors are content to while away most of the evening drinking Kölsch (the famous local beer) in one of Cologne's brewhouses (Brauhäuser), which is cross between a Bierkeller (beer cellar) and a traditional British pub.

Nightclubs and stylish bars are dispersed around the town too. Look in the Altstadt (around Buttermarkt and Salzgasse) or go a little further out to the Belgisches Viertel (between Rudolfsplatz and Friesenplatz) to find the biggest concentration of fashionable places to drink and eat. Else the Univiertel (University Quarter), around Barbarossa Platz and Zülpicher Platz, rarely disappoints.

Bars in Cologne

Cubana Bar

Boasting the best cocktail menu in town, this laidback bar has Che Guevara as its core theme. It also stocks an enviable range of aged Cuban rums and serves a wide selection of tapas. Located close to several top clubs, it's a popular meeting point for those heading out for the night.

Barbarossaplatz 5, Cologne, 50674, Germany
Telephone: +49 221 923 5481.
Früh am Dom

Früh am Dom is a labyrinthine Brauhaus, where sooner or later everyone ends up. It's always busy but still manages to provide excellent service and top-quality food (try the Brauhausteller). Make the most of the chance to drink Kölsch, the light, refreshing local beer delivered by bartenders beneath chandeliers and enjoyed besides antique wooden screens and furniture.

Am Hof 12-18, Cologne, 50667, Germany
Telephone: +49 221 261 3215.

This elegant, award-winning bar offers a unique experience away from the buzzle of the city. With attention to detail and a passion for cocktails, Seiberts has made it its mission to create a personal connection between the bartender and the guests. You can choose from handpicked champagnes and barrelled spirits as well as an extensive selection of cocktails.

Friesenwall 33, Cologne, 50672, Germany
Telephone: +49 221 301 950 13.

Clubs in Cologne


Whether you're looking for a nostalgic trip back to the 1970s, when disco and soul ruled the airwaves, or prefer modern hip hop and techno, the themed nights at Diamonds can satisfy all cravings. Clubbers pack the dancefloor to strut their stuff to modern house music and retro tunes too, all basking in the reflected beams of a giant glitterball.

Hohenzollernring 90, Cologne, 50672, Germany
Telephone: +49 178 517 3273.
Wartesaal am Dom

Set in a former waiting room in the vaults beneath Cologne's Hauptbahnhof (central station), this beautifully converted restaurant and club holds 80s and 90s nights each Saturday. It's worth a detour just to look at the facade by night, even if you have no intention of going in. The golden arches backlit against the sky make a striking entrance as revellers make the most of the party atmosphere inside.

Johannisstrasse 11, Cologne, 50668, Germany
Telephone: +49 221 126 064 718.

Live Music in Cologne


Located in Ehrenfeld, an area known for its alternative party scene, Artheater is not just a night club but also a theatre and concert space. On two dance floors party-goers can dance to predominantly EDM. Alternatively, listen to live music from upcoming artists or watch in-house and guest productions on stage.

Ehrenfeldgürtel 127, Cologne, 50823, Germany
Telephone: +49 221 550 9960.

The largest multifunction hall in Germany, LANXESS arena has hosted the likes of Pavarotti, Eric Clapton, Elton John and Rod Stewart. It's big, it's bold and it’s busy but it's the sort of place where you can have a good time if you book your tickets well in advance.

Willy-Brandt-Platz 3, Cologne, 50679, Germany
Telephone: +49 221 8021.

Following Nietzsche’s mantra - “Life without music would be a mistake” - this live music venue is a local favourite in Cologne. Its ever-changing line-up features anything from rock and pop to house and indie, and it prides itself on moderate prices, good music and a great atmosphere. This isn’t a place for restraint, though and the place pumps through the week as well as at the weekend.

Luxemburger Strasse 40, Cologne, 50674, Germany
Telephone: +49 221 924 460.
Papa Joe's Jazzlokal

So pokey the bands almost play on top of the audience, but that’s part of the charm of Papa Joe's Jazzlokal, one of the oldest jazz clubs in Germany. Traditional jazz and swing bands play every night and Sunday afternoon. Admission is free and Sunday afternoon jazz sessions take place throughout the winter months.

Buttermarkt 37, Cologne, 50667, Germany
Telephone: +49 221 257 7931.
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