Thanks to its student flair, hip hotels and diverse neighborhoods, Cologne has an incredible selection of bars. But the drinks are not worth it everywhere. We’ll tell you the 15 best bars in Cologne.
The Grid Bar – Friesenstrasse
It’s the attention to detail – in combination with a staff that simply knows what they are doing – makes “The Grid Bar” on Friesenplatz an absolute insider tip! The bar team around Marian Krause inspires with first-class drinks and an exciting bartender show. Good music and the friendly pampering culture invite you to a relaxing evening with friends in the in-house lounge. Can it be anymore special? Then please take a look at the map. Which map you ask? The Square Paper. Here, you will find cocktails that have been created in collaboration with inspiring people from all over the world and will also make you want to travel a bit. How about a refreshing “Sichuan Panda” with carrot and pandan palm juice? This is the first of the best bars in Cologne.
Zülpicher Strasse is a thing of its own: there are countless bars lined up here, and every Friday and Saturday evening, drunk students shove their way across the pavement. Why? Because there are particularly cheap drinks, sports bars and all kinds of fast food here. At Oma Kleinmann’s, for example, you find all kinds of schnitzels and across the street in the Stiefel, table football is played and Kölsch is drunk in a chilled atmosphere.
If you want to get involved and try out a wide selection of “shorts”, you should pay a visit to “Shorty”. Hundreds of different unusual mini drinks are waiting to be tried here – from yummy drinks like “Polar Bear”, to ones more on the creamy side like “Irish Flag”. Insider tip for those with a sweet tooth: the shot of the same name comes with a rubber tongue and the promise of pure sugar! So, if you are a drinker and like colorful drinks, a visit here will be a real experience. Who hasn’t always wanted to drink a flaming shot without getting burned?
Seiberts – Friesenwall
Welcome to the next of our best bars in Cologne. Here, the eye drinks, too! Exceptionally good cocktails and new creations in a lovingly designed atmosphere ensure the wow moment in the American-style bar, “Seiberts”! Every drink served is a small work of art in itself and will bring a smile to your face. It’s not for nothing that the bar is nicknamed “Liquid Kitchen”. The professional and reserved service and the elegant and welcoming atmosphere will take care of the rest and guarantee relaxing hours among friends.
The Bär – Ehrenfeld
Unfamiliar at first glance and wonderfully inviting at a second glance: That’s what you’ll find at “The Bär”. Inside, cozy and rustic while outside it’s between colorful umbrellas and turf. The gin and cocktail bar lives up to its name: people here know their way around with spirits, especially gin. Over 200 different national and international varieties are transformed into signature drinks with herbs and much more. They’re also tasted in the classic styles of pure or with tonic. Real gin fans always like to come here!
The name is misleading because the “BOIze.bar” is a location only for women. Whether you are planning a relaxing evening with your girls or want to go dancing in peace: women of all kinds are always welcome here! The atmosphere is retro and the music tends to get louder as the evening progresses. You should expect longer waiting times during the weekend and not come during carnival or the CSD. This is because the bar is also a meeting place for the LGBTQ+ scene and that’s when it gets particularly crowded. By the way, it’s always worth taking a look at the Facebook page – because readings and lectures by the queer community in Cologne take place here very often. https://www.instagram.com/boize.bar/?hl=en
The trademark of this cult pub are the hundreds of red roses dangling from the ceiling. This small bar in Ehrenfeld is a meeting place for a drink or two with mainly different bottled beers on the menu. But people come primarily because of the good atmosphere and the right music. Tip: There are always exciting events and concerts taking place in the “Die hängenden Gärten von Ehrenfeld” – just check their Facebook page.
Little Link – Belgian Quarter
Sitting on the terrace, having a bite to eat and sipping on a fancy cocktail – that’s the pleasure you’ll get at “Little Link”. The bar, which was voted the “most innovative bar of the year”, is designed in an industrial style and offers pure chic lifestyle! Both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails are fantastically delicious here and are a must-try in combination with the sandwiches! Our favorite: cheese and truffle sandwich. Tip: get there early enough because the bar is more than popular, especially at the weekend!
Metronom – Barbarossaplatz
Not far from Barbarossaplatz – at Kwartier Latäng – you will find the bar “Metronom”. The popular jazz bar brings young and old jazz fans together between records and a retro feeling! Jazz history from the last hundred years can not only be heard here, but also felt. Sometimes, in the form of live music. Anyone who likes to drink whiskey or Irish beers will be completely happy here!
Bar Rosebud – Kwartier Latang
“So jung kommen wir nicht mehr zusammen!” which roughly translates to “We won’t get together that young anymore!” is the motto of the hip “Rosebud Bar” in the heart of Cologne. Whether in the bar or on the cozy terrace, you can sit elegantly anywhere between lots of plants. The drinks here are on point. Tip: The bartender fulfills (almost) all wishes and you can even put together your own cocktail.
Having an after-work drink high above the rooftops of Cologne while enjoying the spectacular view of the cathedral as well as the whole city is always possible in the “Monkey Bar”. The elevator takes you from the reception up to the eighth floor, because this rooftop bar is on the roof of the 25hours Hotel in Cologne. What you can notice immediately: It’s hip here! It doesn’t matter whether you’re outside on the narrow terrace with the amazing view or inside on the armchairs and upholstery – around the fireplace – everything here is Instagrammable. Of course, this also applies to the drinks, which range from classics to a handful of signature creations. There are also a few little things on the menu from the “Neni” restaurant right next door – the hummus is simply divine!
Spirits – Kwartier Latang
The small whiskey and cocktail bar, “Spirits”, is always worth a visit. The elegant ambience, the delicious drinks and the changing DJs ensure unforgettable nights. Whether in business clothes or sporting casual attire with sneakers, everyone is welcomed here and it’s easy to start a conversation. However, during the weekend, it tends to get very crowded in the small room.
Suderman Bar – Hansaring
The interior of the “Suderman” is elegant and comfortable, with a classic bar atmosphere. Of course, delicious drinks shouldn’t be missing – and they’re available here. The six bar tenders mix cocktails and drinks from 300 different spirits, and delicious pastrami sandwiches are served with them. On weekends, you can look forward to DJs and other events. Cocktail courses and tastings also take place here.
Bar Botanik – Pantaleon’s Quarter
With the best rooftop location, the “Bar Botanik” has been attracting visitors to the Old Water Tower since 2022. The largest former water tower in Europe even has a hotel inside! Drinks are served here with a breathtaking view, preferably on the terrace where you can see the sunset. The bar is also really pretty inside with the drinks being super creative. If you like, you can order tasty bites like braised peppers, burrata and truffle fries. Or, you can have head chef, Michael Szofer, serve you a whole steak or veal cheeks.
The bar “Em Schnörres” is located in the heart of the beautiful Südstadt. This cozy pub is the favorite of many people from the south of the city and is always happy to see new faces. Meanwhile, the DJs ensure that the dance floor never goes untouched at the weekend. Anyone who comes by here and can get one of the coveted seats inside and outside should definitely treat themselves to a gin and tonic or a fresh Kölsch. Various events also take place in the bar, such as comedy evenings. Truly one of the best bars in Cologne.
The last of our best bars in Cologne is a true hidden gem directly opposite to the main entrance of Cologne’s main train station: the “Kunstbar”. Quite inconspicuous from the outside, rocked and chic on the inside. Between graffiti and heating pipes, chandeliers and velvet stools, you can sip first-class cocktails here and can hardly imagine being right next to the main train station. As the evening progresses, the louder the music gets from the hip DJs who spin here. Other events such as comedy are also popular here.