Sports active - outdoor

Whether on land, water or in the air, the Cologne-Bonn region offers plenty of opportunity for active leisure time. Passionate golfers can improve their handicap between the Bergisch Land and Eifel and between Neuss and Bad Neuenahr on more than 30 golf courses. The region’s rivers are perfect for extensive canoe tours and many lakes are cut out for sailing and surfing.

The Rhine, Europe’s busiest waterway, is a real paradise for private motorboats and jet and water-skiers. Every few kilometres, row upon row of yacht harbours line the river bank, including Cologne’s Rheinauhafen with its spectacular architecture.
Airsport enthusiasts can take off from the region’s eleven sports airports for gilders and motor planes as well as from more than 20 hot air balloon take off points. For those who would like to discover the nature and sights of the Rhineland on their own by bike or on foot, there are dozens of signposted themed routes with different difficulty gradings.



Whoever is fit enough for a longer run, can compete in the Cologne Marathon; with 15,000 competitors it is the second largest marathon over this distance in Germany. This event is sponsored by a number of Cologne companies (particularly Ford, Sparkasse KölnBonn and DKV) and occurs at the beginning of each October.

Running, Sprinting or Walking, the Rhine promenades are a perfect point for such active sports. Running towards the city and looking at the nice panorama of Cologne, so the training will be fun.

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Today major parts of the inner city and old town – and thus many sights – can be reached without the disturbance of car traffic. Since the construction of the »Rheinufer« tunnel in the eighties the Cologne Old Town lies directly adjacent to the Rhine again, being linked to it by a large pedestrian zone. Along both the right and left banks of the Rhine there are pretty tree-lined promenades, which entice half of Cologne to take a walk at weekends and on bank holidays. During a walk on the Kennedy bank between the Deutzer and Hohenzoller Bridge the visitor is able to enjoy the spectacular sight of the Old Town panorama including the cathedral. It is possible to walk via the Hohenzollern Bridge to the Rheinpark, which is on the other (right) bank of the Rhine and adjoins the exhibition grounds (Messegelände) and Tanzbrunnen on the north side. It is directly adjacent to the ICEs, which are approaching Köln main station (Hauptbahnhof) at this point.

This park reaches as far as the Zoo bridge, and is a product of the Federal Garden Show of 1957, where it switches to the Jugendpark. It is an ideal area to withdraw to from the hustle and bustle of the city, is perfect for a walk and is equipped with a large playing area for children. At this point between April and October the Rhine cablecar crosses the river and terminates at the gates of the Zoological Gardens and Flora in the Cologne Suburb of Riehl.

The many parks and the green belt are not just inviting for walkers, but also for many joggers, particularly at the weekend.


Canoe Sports

The region’s rivers are perfect for extensive canoe tours.

Biking through Cologne


Cologne has been receiving awards for being a bicycle-friendly town in North Rhine-Westphalia for many years. The first cycle station with room to park 1,000 bicycles was opened right next door to the main station in the spring of 2002. The guarded parking area has a service station with a repair workshop, cycle hire service and the sale of accessories.

There are over 70,000 bikes in Cologne, i.e. almost a third more bikes than cars. In comparison with other German cities, the proportion of bicycle traffic in terms of the total traffic is relatively high at 11%. Particularly when the weather is fine, biking tours through Cologne are popular. Alongside Cologne’s Roman and medieval sights, parks, city forest, greenbelt, the many beer gardens and tourist cafés (naturally because the fresh air makes you thirsty), there is plenty to explore by yourself or with a town tour on a hired bike. Under the motto »Take a ride along the Rhine«, a total of 17 towns and cities on the Rhine – from Bonn via Cologne and Düsseldorf up to Duisburg – are advertising for a region full of exciting contrasts: uniformly sign-posted cycle paths on both banks of the Rhine enable individual tour planning. Theme boards provide information about special local features and about the Rhine and the route. Along the whole route, excursion boats and ferries invite you to take a trip. A guide »Touring Cologne by Bike« is available from the KölnTourismus Board.



At the same time as the Cologne Marathon, in September the »Inline Marathon« is conducted. Wearing a helmet is compulsory and it is strongly recommended to wear knee, wrist and elbow protectors. The time limit for the total distance of the in-liners is 3 hours.

Inline skating is booming. In Cologne skating offers the best alternative to travelling by car or tram and buses – especially if you are in a hurry. At the last Lord Mayor’s election one of the candidates even called for places with a gap-free floor covering for the skaters. There is already a »Skaters Paradise« now on the Cologne Cathedral concourse. Skaters can try things out or perform and are often applauded by a grateful audience. Anyone who has dedicated themselves to cross-country skating can, above all, find beautiful scenic routes in the surrounding area of Cologne. The mini guide »Inline Guide« suggests 15 routes between 8.5 and 24 km:

Golf -und Landclub Köln e.V.


International tournaments and valuable prizes determine the golf scene in and around Cologne. The city itself is home to six golf clubs alone, and on the outskirts of Cologne there are about 30 other courses. The region can thus proudly describe itself as the region of Germany with the highest concentration of greens. The facilities extend from expensive and exclusive top clubs through to public golf courses up to pure driving ranges. The golf event highlights include the international »Linde German Masters«, which is held each autumn on the Lärchenhof estate, and which attracts golf enthusiasts from all over the world to the Cologne region.