With the rise of low cost flights, travelling cheaply is no longer an impossibility. Ryanair, Luftansa, and Easyjet are the equivalent of Malaysian AirAsia, and between those three, there are plenty of promotions for you to choose. As long as you keep an eye on it, it would be possible to get a cheap flight to the place you wanted to go. In fact, I have heard of somene who flew with Ryanair for GBP2. I was fortunate enough to be able to buy a return ticket to Cologne for around GBP25. Of course, due to a mishap, the flight ticket became a little bit more than I was comfortable with. However, that is not something for this post.
- Visit No.4711 House of Cologne – It cost nothing to enter to take a look at the building that has been there for centuries. At 4711, you can buy the ‘Eau de Cologne’ that they are famous for. It came in various sizes, and I actually bought a mini one for myself. Even though I already have a perfume, I thought a mini one would come in handy during my travels.
- Take picturesque photographs of the Cologne Cathedral – A recommended place to do so would be at the Cologne Love Lock Bridge – which has the similar concept as the one in Paris. There are areas where you can lock your “love” on. There are specialty shops that sells customized padlocks at a ripoff price. But feel free to do so if you fancy yourself a romantic. As a budget traveller, I cannot afford to be romantic.
- Visit the Cologne Cathedral – At the time I was there, there was a vigil for the Germanwings crash that occured recently. Thus, I was not able to get into the cathedral. But it is still a nice place to go. You can see the cathedral the moment you get out of the main train station. Thus far, the Cologne Cathedral is the most memorable one for me – partly because of its fascinating use of Gothic architecture, and partly because it was the first cathedral I saw in Europe. Took over 600 years to built, it was a sight to behold.
- Enjoy a Bratwurst while taking a stroll around the city – Cologne is a small city, and walking from one attraction to the other is possible. If the weather is good, you can find a place to sit by the Rhine River and enjoy a little picnic. It is cheap, and you get to enjoy a brief respite from the harsh reality.
- Take a cruise along the Rhine River – Don’t worry about the price. It was pretty affordable by Malaysian standards. If I remember correctly, it was around 8-10 euros at the time i was there. For that price, you’d get on-board audio commentary and learn about Cologne history and the buildings surrounding the river. If it was too cold or hot, you can always go to the restaurant part of the ship and enjoy the view over some snacks.
Cologne is still a pretty cheap city to visit compare to the other parts of Germany. As long as you don’t eat out for every meal, and use sites like AirBnB/Couchsurfing you can easily keep the budget within 100 pounds for 3d2n. For your information, I tend to make sure that I don’t spend over 100 pounds when I travel for 3D2N. For most of the time, I actually managed to keep within the budget.
Photo Credit : Edmund Choon from GoCar