From Cologne you can easily reach the Middle Rhine Valley in two hours with the regional train (e.g. RB26, RB48) or the regional express (RE5). However, a change in Koblenz is necessary. If you want to go further into the valley, you can do so with the RB10. You can use all these trains with the 9 euro ticket.
For nature and art lovers: Museum Island Hombroich
In a maximum of one and a half hours by train you can reach die from Cologne Museum Island Hombroich in Neuss. Nature lovers as well as art and architecture lovers will get their money’s worth here: In the middle of the 21 hectare landscape protection area there are numerous open-air sculptures and small daylight museums.
A special kind of cafeteria takes care of your physical well-being: the “walk-in sculpture” was designed by the artist Erwin Heerich in 1988. From Cologne you can reach the Museum Island either with the S11 (change in Neuss-Süd) or the RB27 and the RE8 with a change in Grevenbroich.
If you change trains there, you can then take bus line 869 in the direction of Neuss. This also stops in Neuss-Süd. The regular entrance fee to the island is 10 euros, reduced 5 euros. Admission is free for children up to 12 years of age.
Curious amusement park: the core water wonderland of Kalkar
Or: what else can be done with a decommissioned nuclear reactor. Strictly speaking, the former Kalkar nuclear power plant was never in operation. Today there is a classic amusement park on the site of the “fast breeder”, which not only attracts visitors from nearby Holland.
Anyone who has always wanted to ride a chain carousel in the cooling tower of a nuclear power plant is in the Corewater Wonderland Kalkar precisely. Its facade offers a climbing wall for the adventurous. In addition, around 40 other attractions await guests, including a wild water ride and a roller coaster.
From Cologne you can reach the wonderland in two and a half hours with the regional express. If you don’t want to make the return trip in the evening, you can stay in one of the nearby hotels. Day tickets are available from around 30 euros. Afternoon tickets (three hours each) from 15.95 euros.
Scene of legends and fairy tales: The Siebengebirge and the Drachenfels
The Siebengebirge begins in Königswinter, not far from Cologne. According to legend, giants seven mountains left themselves here after clearing the river bed of the Rhine with spades. Last but not least, the legendary hero Siegfried is said to have defeated the dragon Fafnir on the local Drachenfels.