Cologne is known for its really good shops including many exclusive fashion houses. Its main shopping streets are Hohestrasse and Shildergasse and there are several good markets. There are many souvenir ideas to be found including beautiful German skin products. Many of the more traditional souvenirs carry designs of the twin-spired cathedral (Dom) or the three kings who are said to be buried in the Shrine of the Three Kings which can be seen in the cathedral. You will see many of the suggestions on our list are foods because there are so many food items that you will enjoy during your stay in the city! So, get ready to dive in the pool of the top souvenirs to buy in Cologne.
1. A bottle or two of Kölsch!
This popular local beer can be found everywhere within the city but is really hard to get in other German cities let alone abroad! There are over 30 different brands to choose from. If you have space in your hand baggage and can wrap them well, some of the tall slim glasses that Kölsch is traditionally served in, make a very special souvenir.
2. Spicy Liqueur
Mexikölner is an increasingly popular Mexican style shot that was created by bar staff in the Kölschbar and is flavored with tomato juice, chilies and plenty of spice!
3. SenfmÜhle Mustard
Why not combine some souvenir shopping with sightseeing? In the heart of the city is the 200-year-old mustard mill producing the distinctively flavored mustard that goes so well with German sausages. There is a chance to join the guided tour which ends in the gift shop and the chance to buy a traditional jar of the mustard or one flavored with the city’s beer! The herbal flavored liqueur is also on sale there.
4. A bottle of Cologne from Cologne!
The city’s popular cologne 4711 can be bought in many places but its more upmarket brand Farina is harder to track down! The House of Fragrance in Glockengasse is fun to visit as 4711 is one of the oldest fragrances in the world. There is a fountain of cologne on display there and the chance to join a perfume workshop to learn how to create your fragrance.
5. Do you need flat and easy to pack souvenirs?
The postcard shop in Breite Straße is the perfect hunting ground for flat souvenirs! There are more than 50,000 postcards to choose from including plenty of artistic, abstract and fun cards – the selection is amazing and great fun for browsing!.
6. Treat yourself to some delicious Printe
Printe is the city’s traditional style of gingerbread biscuit and comes in a huge range including chocolate gingerbread, almond gingerbread, chocolate gingerbread and gingerbread with herbs! All taste really good and can be bought in various quantities. There are also gingerbread biscuits available that are shaped like Cologne cathedral!
7. The perfect hunting ground for chocoholics!
The chocolate museum has a wonderful smell the moment you step inside and has more than 80 different chocolates to choose from including organically made chocolate and sheep’s milk chocolate, plus another that is allergy free. If you are looking for something slightly daft as a souvenir, chocolate shaped miniature kÖlsch bottles must win!
8. Be tempted with some really good coffee
Germany is known for its excellent coffee and Schamong- an old coffee roastery that dates from 1949 can be found in the arty Ehrenfeld district. The company has a long tradition for making fine coffee and a bag of ‘Kölner melange’– ‘Cologne mix’ is a really good buy as the coffee is medium strength but full of flavor – without any bitterness.
9. A snazzy new cabin bag perhaps?
There is a really good gift shop just below the tourist information center that can be found just across from the cathedral. There is a good range of gifts including cute teddy bears wearing ‘I ♥ Köln’ tee-shirts! Tucked in a side display are some really smart cabin suitcases that are shiny black in color with a chic etching in dark grey of the cathedral on the front – definitely cuts the snazzy image!
10. If you are in the city before Christmas…
In the run-up to Christmas, Cologne’s Christmas market is in full swing and one of the eye-catching decorations on sale are the large lacy star-shaped lampshades. It is the local tradition to hang these in one or all of your windows as Christmas draws near and they are available in various sizes and colors – one point to double check is that as well as the starshade, the electrics are included in the price as these are often sold separately.