Cologne, Germany

See Also Our Running Guides for Nearby Düsseldorf & Bonn


Located in the German federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne is the fourth populated city in Germany. The Rhine River defines the city, with Historic Cologne located on the west side. Much of the city was destroyed in WWII, so the city’s architecture is mainly modern. The impressive Cologne cathedral famously preserved. Our guide to running in Cologne features wonderful routes along the Rhine and several greenbelts.

The signature run in Cologne is along the paths of the Rhine, which extend for several km north and south from the center, on both sides and linked by numerous bridges. The Inner and Outer Green Belts are another highlight, with wonderful paths through linear parks. Our 8 km ‘runseeing’ tour features history and scenery all in one run!

Cologne is a fairly compact city. Transit is excellent, consisting of light rail and buses.

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Cologne is one of the warmer, but cloudier cities in Germany. Summers are warm but not hot, with average high temperatures in of 24C (75F), with a chill at night (13C, 55F). Winters are cool and damp, with average January highs of 5C (42F) and lows just below freezing. Significant snowfall is rare — but dress accordingly and be prepared for slick surfaces in winter. The 828mm (33 inches) of annual precipitation is evenly spread through the year.

There’s a good selection of hotels in the city center. Try to stay within a couple of km of the Rhine, which features the Cologne’s best running. An alternative choice is near the Inner Greenbelt. On the east side of the Rhine, there are stadiums, convention center, general hospital and so on. Lots of hotels here too. Try to stay inside of the main Deutz-Mülheimer Str., for good access to Rhine paths, south of the 55a (Zoo Bridge) and north of the 55.