Located right by the train station, the Cologne Cathedral is a huge Gothic church, that towers really high. It is the first thing to notice when exiting out of the train station.
Also called the Koln Dom or Koln Cathedral, this cathedral took a very long time to complete. Constructed started in 1248 during the Middle Ages, and was completed by 1880. Yes, it took over 6 centuries to build this thing. The cathedral suffered damage during World War II, but surprisingly, it was still standing, and one of the few that remained standing. That is remarkable, when considering the fact that almost all of Germany was flattened by bombs. Since then, it has been restored to its original appearance over the years.
It is free to enter inside, and well worth the time, as the place is just huge. There are really nice parts to see, like the various chapels, frescos, stained glass windows, and the Shrine of the Three Kings. Plus some statues as well. Outside of the cathedral, there is a Roman arch, and just looking at the outside is worth it itself.
Keep in mind that during the winter months, the cathedral is NOT heated at all. So yes, you will be freezing inside, just as much (if not more so) as you would be outside.
There is the option of climbing to the top of one of the spires. This part is not free, and you can only reach the top by climbing over 500 steps in a winding, twisting stairs, with no elevator. And once you reach the top, the views are nice, but not as great as it could be. That is because there was a fence around the deck, making it hard to take photos. Considering the difficult climb to the top, this was really disappointing.
If there was a reason to visit Cologne, this cathedral would definitely be one reason, at least for the interior. The climb to the top of one of the spires was a little bit of a letdown. But still, I came to Cologne mainly for this place, and it did not disappoint. Very much worth visiting!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.