Why conferencing is buzzing here

Rheinauhafen / Tobias Kruse

Vibrancy and zest for life...

...are words that come to mind when thinking of Cologne. International visitors love the city on the Rhine, with its buzzing nightlife, arts and music scene and general penchant for the good life. As a venue for congresses and events it stands out with an excellent infrastructure, and one of the biggest exhibition centres worldwide make it a trade fair city of international standing.

gamescom, Koelnmesse GmbH

A cosmopolitan urban scene

Germany’s fourth largest city has a character all of its own, a fact that is appreciated by events organisers from around the world. In 2014, Cologne hosted more than 45,000 events that were attended by 3.65 million visitors. The city’s mix of a history going back almost 2,000 years, a cosmopolitan urban scene and state-of-the-art conference facilities provide organisers with the perfect ground for successful events. Within Germany, Cologne is a hub for all things media and creative; numerous companies in the communications sector are headquartered here as well as TV channels. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt DLR) as the country’s centre for aerospace, energy and transportation research is based in Cologne, too. Leading international conferences and trade fairs taking place in Cologne such as the International Association of Space Explorers Congress, Gamescom and c/o pop convention reflect the local strength of these industries.

TV Production, Felix von Canstein
Kölner Lichter, Köln Tourismus GmbH

Transport & Location

Flughafen Köln Bonn
Airport Cologne/Bonn, Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH

Transport and Location

Cologne is conveniently located in the heart of Europe with an international airport close to the city (11 miles). Nearby Düsseldorf airport (25 miles) as well as Frankfurt airport (93 miles) provide visitors with further flight options. The train station in the centre is serviced by high-speed ICE (Intersity-Express) trains as is Kölnmesse, the city’s exhibition centre and trade fair ground. An extensive public transport network makes getting around easy and connects major venues with the city centre and airport.

MICE Infrastructure

MICE Infrastructure

Altogether, Cologne has 165 MICE venues with more than 1,000 rooms for different purposes, including 20 event centres, 54 conference hotels and 91 event locations. For large audiences, KölnKongress convention centre is located on the grounds of KölnMesse and can seat over 19,500 delegates in total. KölnMesse itself is the number one trade fair location for over 25 commercial sectors. ISM, the world’s largest trade fair for sweets and snacks, as well as Anuga as the leading food fair for the retail trade, food service and catering market, are just two prominent examples.

Together with hotels of each category and altogether 32,000 beds, Cologne also provides an exceptional array of diverse event locations such as museums, mansions, film studios, historical factory buildings, event ships as well as palaces and castles in the surrounding area. Flora Köln, a 19th century palais right in the middle of the city’s Botanical Gardens, is an elegant event option. For something more traditional, try Cölner Hofbräu P. Josef Früh as one of the most popular of the city’s many quaint brewery taverns. Modern surroundings can be found in the

Congress Centrum
Congress Centrum, Andreas Möltgen, Köln Tourismus GmbH

bauwerk köln, a stylish design loft, and Blackfoot Beach on a popular swimming lake just outside town offers something different for outdoor events.

Things to see & do

Things to see & do

Obviously, there is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Cologne Cathedral which must not – and cannot – be missed. At 157 metres it is Europe’s second tallest church and among the top three most popular attractions for international tourists in Germany. Cologne’s old town is perfect for a stroll with Hohe Strasse a great place to shop. Rhine cruises are very popular options for group outings, and anyone wanting to experience Cologne at its most exuberant, should not miss the famous Carnival festivities. For something a bit more highbrow, art and culture lovers will find a wide selection of top museums such as the Ludwig Museum featuring works by Picasso, Warhol and Lichtenstein, plus also some more quirky options: Guided tours of Cologne’s Fragrance Museum take visitors through the history of the world famous Eau de Cologne perfume that originated in Cologne in the 18th century.

Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral, Andreas Möltgen, Köln Tourismus GmbH

Key Industries

Cologne: Dynamic Centre of Business and Industry

The dynamic landscape of companies, its centrality and accessibility as well as numerous science and research facilities characterize Cologne with its various key industries.

Key technologies of the 21st century are part of the research activities conducted in Cologne and the results are converted into products. In this context, biotechnology, media, information and communication technology as well as new materials play an important role.


Find more information about German Expertise

technology + innovation
medicine +heathcare
energy and the environment
transport + logistics
Chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Technical Visits

Technical Visits

Chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Transport and logistics






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