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Prepare for lift-off!

Prepare for lift-off!

In just over a month’s time (18-22 May 2015), the global wide format print community will be heading to Cologne – the biggest city in Germany’s prosperous Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area – for FESPA 2015. While visitors to the exhibition will discover a galaxy of print, there is also plenty to discover outside of Koelnmesse in this cultural city.

Exploring Cologne

Described by Lonely Planet as a ‘3D textbook on history and architecture offering seemingly endless attractions’. Cologne is a fascinating amalgamation of ancient Roman walls, medieval churches, avant-garde structures and modern skyscrapers which can all be explored by foot, bus or boat.

One thing visitors certainly won’t be able to ignore is the famous Cologne Cathedral, which, at 157m in height, has been towering over the city skyline since its completion in 1880. Officially Cologne’s biggest tourist draw and Germany’s most visited landmark, the cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe.

A trip to Cologne could not be considered complete without sampling what the Rhine has to offer. A boat cruise gives visitors the best panoramic views of the city. Alternatively, visitors can hop aboard the evening party boat and dance the night away.

As a major cultural centre, Cologne is home to 42 museums and a vast assortment of art galleries, each with its own distinct flair. Museum Ludwig, devoted to 20th Century modern art, hosts the biggest pop art collection outside of the USA. The German Sport & Olympics Museum provides insight into the history of national, international and Olympic sports, while the Cologne Carnival Museum shows how the yearly Carnival has been a key part of the city’s identity since the early 1800s. Another option could be the Chocolate Museum (Schokoladenmuseum) for a sweet interlude from the exhibition.

Getting about

The Koelnmesse’s central location means that it is easy for visitors to navigate to and from the city centre, airport and train stations. Cologne is served by an excellent and efficient transport system with regular trains from Cologne-Bonn Airport to the Messe and city centre. International visitors can also fly into Düsseldorf and Frankfurt with transport to Koelnmesse in under an hour, meaning that there’s more ways than ever to travel to a FESPA exhibition.

Food & drink

Cologne boasts over 3000 pubs, cafés and restaurants, many of which serve local specialities, like KölscheKaviar (black pudding with onions), Halve Hahn (a rye bread roll with semi-mature Gouda, onions and mustard), Hämmche (boiled knuckle of pork) or Soorbrode (a beef dish). Breweries like Sion and BrauhauszurMalzmühle are highly recommended for visitors looking for a typically Kölsche experience.

Being a cultural melting pot that attracts thousands of international tourists every year, Cologne also has its fair share of international restaurants, whether they are Asian, Latin American or Mediterranean.


There are several musical and theatrical events coinciding with FESPA 2015. The Sommerblut Festival der Multipolarkultur, featuring art shows and performances runs from 9-25 May and the Cologne Philharmonie will host the Gürzenich Orchestra on the 18-19 May, performing symphonies and concertos from the works of Beethoven and Bernd Alois Zimmerman.

For more travel information and what’s on in Cologne, visit:

In the final countdown to FESPA 2015, don’t forget to visit for more information or to pre-register.

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