This is a classic European river run with paths along the water and pedestrian crossings on every bridge. It’s a great way to see some of Cologne’s most interesting sights, while enjoying water views and dedicated paths the whole way. The central Rhine River paths go for miles in each direction, so we’ve created two separate routes, including a table with segment distances, both starting in the Historic Cologne. The North route is 10k (6.1 miles). Best bridges for crossing: Deutzer Bridge, Hohenzollern Bridge, or South Bridge (Südbrücke).
Start at the Deutzer Bridge (Brücke) on the historic Cologne (western) side of the river, and head north toward the Church of Great St. Martin. Pass major sites of historic Cologne on your left, in the first 1/2 km to the Hohenzollern Bridge: Church of St. Martin, Rheingarten, Cathedral, Modern Art Museum, and several other venues if you’d like to take a detour.
It’s 2.2 km to the Zoo Bridge (55a), where the Cologne Zoo is located (look for the gondolas), and an outdoor sculpture park. You can cross here or keep going another 1.8 km (1.1 miles) to the Mülheimer Bridge, along more park
like terrain and gravel paths. Along some sections of the route, you’ll have a choice of gravel or paved paths. Turn around, or cross over and run south on the eastern side, including paths along a small isthmus, and through the Rheinpark, which includes outdoor stages (Tanzbrunnen) for concerts and a beach park, and the Convention Center just to the east. The eastern side is more park like.
Notes: Köln=Cologne; Brücke=Bridge; Fluss=RiverSouth Route