Length 10.0 km (6.2 miles), terrain flat
Cologne Running Routes:
Rhine River Route
For more running routes, see Route List.
Any town located on a great river deserves a route like this. And Cologne (Köln) is on a really great river, the Rhine, bordered on each side by walkways, with pedestrian lanes lining every bridge in town. If you want to head anywhere along the river, just run there, cross to the other side and then head back. You can't go wrong.
We'll start in the heart of the old town in the small square in front of the Rathaus (town hall), Rathausplatz. The town hall is a stylistic mix of romance- and gothic-sections, built over the ages.
Facing the Rathaus, turn left to run north for one block along Bürgerstraße. At the first cross-street, Alter Markt, turn right and run past the market square, heading downhill, straight east to the river. This is a quiet old-town neighborhood around the St. Martin's churchyard. This was the heart of the original Roman town, Colonia Agrippina.
|Start of riverside run, heading north|
Next, you'll run under the railroad bridge that connects Köln to the north, beyond the Rhine. The promenade is full of runners, walkers, bicyclists and tourists, so you might need to weave your way through. We are heading north for 2 more bridges.
|Passing the Bastei, heading towards the Zoo bridge|
The waterside is lined with gravel- and sand-beaches, and an ever-widening meadow. After almost the same distance again, you'll come to the Mühlheimer suspension bridge.
|Running through meadows to Mühlheimer Brücke|
|Crossing the Mühlheimer bridge|
You are now at the half-way point, entering, you guessed it, Mühlheim.
The first stairs back down on the east side of the river, in Mühlheim, is 100 meters past the riverside. So, when you go down the stairs, run back to the river and then start running southwards.
But after just 200 meters, your path will be blocked by a sturdy metal fence. You will need to turn left and go around the next few houses along the river. This little neighborhood is the filming location of the German TV soap-opera, Die Anrheiner.
|Run left around the Anrheiner film set and then cross that bridge to right|
On the other side of the bridge, you'll find yourself on a wooded, sandy peninsula: the island isn't really an island at all. Now, continue heading south along the waterside.
You'll soon pass Rope Island, a ropes course (Hochseilgarten) set up in the treetops.
|Rope Island on the peninsula|
|View to Köln from the Rheinpark|
But we won't cross back on the railroad bridge. We'll run the the next bridge, the Deutzer Brücke, so that we can run back through a different side of the old town.
|View towards Köln old town, with St. Martin's church|
|At the Heumarkt|
|Archeological Zone in front of the town hall|