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I’m ­fascinated by the wealth of outdoor options ­Cologne has to offer

A day in the life of Eva Himmighofen

|   day in the life

 I try to fit as much in as I can when I’m not working. No two days are ever the same in Cologne and there are plenty of things to do in and around the city. My perfect day starts very early, either when it’s still dark or as the sun gradually begins to envelop Cologne in its warm embrace. Getting up early also means that I can hear the birds, which I love. Who would have thought that was possible amid the hustle and bustle of Ehrenfeld? My perfect day? Always today!

But the ultimate day in Cologne would involve some or all of the following: after getting up early, I would go for a walk. If I decide to stay in my neighbourhood, I’ll pick up a delicious coffee from Café Rot­kehlchen on Venloer Strasse and either stroll around the streets or head to a park. I love being close to nature and you can often find me at the Leo-Amann-Park next to the Bürgerzentrum Ehrenfeld, or the Blücherpark. Basically, I love wandering around different areas and exploring every­thing from street art to all the unusual, historical elements of the city. There’s always something new to discover and when your perspective changes, you begin to see things in a new light. I either walk or cycle around the city as it gives me the opportunity to stop and take it all in. Cycling is a quick and easy way to see everything and makes Cologne feel like a village. I am a self-confessed coffee addict and have my favourite cafés along my route from Ehrenfeld to the city centre: Café Rotkehlchen in Ehrenfeld, Caveedel in the Belgian Quarter, GuteBohne on Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ring, Hommage on Friesenstrasse and Espresso Perfetto near the Kolumba museum.

Once I’ve had my caffeine fix, I wander around town or go down to the Rhine. I love being out and about and am always fascinated by the wealth of outdoor options Cologne has to offer. I like to sit by the water at the Blücherpark and the Grüngürtel (Cologne’s green belt) is great too. From the riverbanks, it’s fun to cycle north to the Sculpture Park, or Stamm­heim Castle on the other side of the ­water. The Sculpture Park never fails to impress and inspire me – and is always worth a visit.

Whenever I want to escape the hectic of the city streets, I set off early to go hiking. My favourite trail is the Rheinsteig, which you can easily reach by train and then take a boat back. You can look up route that is suitable for your level beforehand. Along the way you will find small villages, breathtaking views and amazing paths through the forest or along vineyards. If I don’t feel like hiking but still want to get out, I will go to a lake to have a stroll, do some activities or read a book and relax. The Fühlinger See, a local lake, is awesome for any kind of water activity. A day here goes by really quickly, but it wouldn’t be a typical Cologne experience without a healthy dose of fun, socialising and culture. I ike to meet up with friends, get a drink from a kiosk and head to a park. There are so many kiosks, you can spend an evening wandering from one to the next. We love to combine that with visits to old pubs and newer ones. In Ehrenfeld you have a fun mix of places. Kiosks are pretty much everywhere and in between you can just stop in one of the many cool bars like Hängende Gärten, Rubinrot, Em Höttche or Red Fox Bar, to name just a few. ­Cologne never gets boring!

With her Alternative Cologne Tours, Eva Himmighofen, specialises in ­alternative guided city tours, especially of the local street art, and is a professional network marketer.