If you had the opportunity to go anywhere in the world, where would you go? A bit of a cliché question, however when presented with it, so many thoughts come to mind. You could pack your bags and head to Paris. Or what about flying away to Italy or Greece? For me, the answer is so simple: I would head to Germany. Cologne, German to be specific.
So grab your suitcase (my new favorite is the Delsey Luggage Helium Aero), and pack for an adventure of a lifetime, as I am taking you on my dream vacation and the things I have to see.
When it comes to packing for Germany, two things have to be included- boots and an umbrella. In addition to that, from what I have researched, I’ll need to pack layers, including gloves and cute hats.
When it comes to packing for a trip that is a little chillier, I love heading to Modcloth or Mindy Mae’s Market. Lately, I am all about a good skinny jean, a cute plaid top with a cardigan, and fun little booties or flats. That way I can wear the top during the day, and add the cardigan and a jacket once the temperatures begin to fall. And when it comes to flying, I am always one to go for comfort mixed with a “ready-for-anything” mentality. Meaning, sometimes when you land, you may not have time to stop at your hotel and have to head to your first destination. I typically travel in a maxi-dress or leggings with a trendy tunic or top so that I can go anywhere and look comfortably cute. I have recently fallen for Victoria’s Secret’s cashmere sweaters to pair with my leggings, along with a cute necklace. They keep me warm on the plane, but I can adjust how I wear it for a night out on the town.
Our first stop upon arrival in Cologne is the Hohenzollernbrücke Bridge. Similar to Paris, this bridge is filled with locks decorated in whichever way you prefer, and hung up by couples who toss the key to the lock in the Rhine River. I always thought this would be so powerful to see in person and I love the thought behind the locks.
After visiting the bridge, I absolutely want to check out the popular cuisine you hear about! I want to try a Kölsch beer, which is only brewed in Cologne, Germany and served in the traditional glass. When traveling anywhere for the first time, I have to try what that particular location is known for. I find that it is a great way to really dive into where you are and what is popular in that particular location.
After a beer, I will defiantly need to walk around and check out more of the city. One of my favorite things to do is to simply walk around and find the hidden gems that lie within a city; the things that people who live there sometimes take for granted. With a camera in hand, I would defiantly mask in the beauty of Cologne. But since Cologne is one of the more popular shopping venues in Germany, I do have to check out Schildergasse pedestrian zone, which attracts up to 15,000 people an HOUR during popular shopping times. To make shopping easier for myself, and for those who are visiting from other countries, it would be so helpful if shops and boutiques used a translation services, like Smartling. Especially in a shopping center as large as this one, Smartling will assist all parties greatly.
On my agenda is also heading to a castle. I have heard that Germany has some gorgeous castles to check out. I would make a day of it to travel to multiple castles, if given the time. But to keep everything within a day, I would absolutely head to Brühl Palaces. The gardens on the property are breathtaking art in and of itself. Heading here would be like taking a trip to a museum and heading back in time. From peeking at their website, I have many photo shoots in mind that I would have to do and post on my blog. The setting is simply gorgeous.
If I happen to be headed to Cologne in late November, something that has been on my bucket list is to check out the Christmas Markets. When I fly, I always make friends with those sitting next to me. One time, a gentleman told me about the famous book fair in Frankfurt, Germany, along with the Christmas Markets. I looked them up online, and fell immediately for the charm. Pictures don’t often give a location justice, so I can’t wait to see this in person. The photos seem like you would be walking inside of a snow globe. Christmas music plays everywhere you walk and you can shop and take in the art and beauty that is created by talented artists.
If I am traveling alone, I will likely opt to stay in a hotel or a hostel. However, if I were traveling with another or a small group of people, I would be up for camping for the mere fact that it would be a special experience in a location I have never been. But when traveling solo, I feel more comfortable staying in a hotel. If I could choose anywhere, I would go with the Azimut hotel. It’s minutes away from the Cologne Cathedral (also on my list of places to visit), but in a reasonable price point that will provide me with the opportunity to stay in the heart of the city and experience everything there is within a walking or biking distance.
I am thrilled to finish packing and catch that flight so I can share my photos and experiences while traveling, including how I will utilize Smartling and how easy it is. I always find that going anywhere new can be intimidating, which is why I enjoy finding blog posts from real people who went on the same journey and have the best tips available. I hope this is a great resource for you!