Whether Prada, Chanel or H&M just as colourful as the people of Cologne are the shopping facilities and correspondingly varied and diverse is the character of the shops and passages: from international haute couture to low-priced no-name articles or antique treasures, anyone in the cathedral city can strike it rich. And everything is so close together that you can switch from one amusement to the next comfortably by foot.
The number one destination on the shopping trip are the car-free pedestrian precincts in the Hohe Straße and Schildergasse, which extend from the central railway station to Neumarkt. Whether you are looking for Esprit, Mango, Mexx, Benetton or Laura Ashley the range is very broad and there is still space for a few well known companies and large department stores, e.g. the Kaufhof Galerie or Peek & Cloppenburg in the new Weltstadthaus.
Stores & Malls
The Neumarkt traffic junction brings together the streams of passers-by, with the gallery and arcade of the same name vying for a share of this. Extremely popular in this area are the two large book stores Mayersche and Bouvier.
Breite Straße and Ehrenstraße run northwards parallel with Schildergasse. Cologne’s first shopping arcade, Schweizer Ladenstadt now Opernpassage with exclusive shops, e.g. for golfers, was developed in 1964. In the immediate vicinity there are further shopping centres, with the WDR Arcades and the DuMontCarré, which offer a wide range of products from fashion to music, from electronics to the WDR mouse shop. And of course: there is no arcade without cafés, restaurants and bistros for relaxing and recovering one’s strength!
Ehrenstraße takes on a completely different character. Dozens of small boutiques and shops offer unusual fashions and loud accessories. From refined fashion shops to good quality second-hand shops, young people in particular will find their favourite brands here. In the adjacent Mittelstraße, on the other hand, things are more expensive and more exclusive, with designer shops and haute couture.
Anyone who wants to get into the world of entertainment electronics will find his or her way to the MediaMarkt (media market) on Hohe Straße or Saturn on the Hansaring the latter being a paradise for everything electrical or electronic and, by its own admission, is a supplier of the largest range of CD’s worldwide.
Tax free shopping
The flea markets of the city and not forgetting the traditional Christmas markets which are ceremoniously opened from the end of November, promise a shopping experience of the romantic kind. What is particularly attractive is the shopping trip in the cathedral city due to the possibility of tax free shopping, the value added tax paid being refunded in cash on the journey home.
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If you want to bring those at home a genuine Cologne souvenir, the place to go is the official Cologne Tourism shop near the Cathedral. Every taste is catered for from the model cathedral to the painting of a Rhine panorama. The »4711 Genuine Eau de Cologne« from the head office of the company in Glockengasse is of course also a must for every visitor to Cologne.
By law all shops in Nordrhein-Westphalia can be open 24 hours a day from Monday to Saturday, but most opt for the old German schedule:
Regularly visitors can also use the opportunity to go shopping on Sunday. Every year there are several Sundays when shops are open all day.
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