Freizeit Köln (Image: Gewitterkind /


As a multicultural city of over a million inhabitants, Cologne offers a wide range of leisure activities for every taste: cultural events, sporting events, numerous restaurants, a diverse nightlife and much more. The area surrounding Cologne (the Bergisches Land; the Eifel; the Siebengebirge) also has a lot to offer.

Staying Connected


Students who would like to take a break from their books and be active will find plenty of activities in the sports program offered by Cologne’s universities.

In addition, the numerous sports clubs in Cologne also offer a good opportunity not only to be active, but also to get to know Cologne residents.

Logo "Hochschulsport Köln" (Image: Hochschulsport Köln)

Hochschulsport Köln

Hochschulsport Köln offers a great variety of mostly free-of-charge sporting activities for all students. To participate, you will simply need to present your valid student-ID card for most courses; for some courses, you will need to sign up prior to the beginning of the course or pay a participation fee.

Logo unisport² (Image: unisport²)

UniSport Köln

The UniSport Köln is the university sport of the University of Cologne and of the German Sport University of Cologne (DSHS). For participating in the programme of the UniSport a Sport Card is required, which costs 19 €. Single courses liable for costs (e. g. tennis, climbing, golf, Pilates, etc. ) can be booked without a Sport Card directly. Sport Cards for the current semester even entitle you to attend courses during semester holidays.

Sport (Image: Internationale Angelegenheiten/ K. Strumpf)

Sports clubs in Cologne

Many Cologne residents are active in the city's numerous sports clubs. This is an ideal way to get to know people outside the university universe.

Gumbala, Gummersbach

Welcome to the Gummersbach bathing and sauna area. This is an indoor water park with slides, waves and whirlpools as well as sauna and restaurant.

2T Climbing and Bouldering Hall, Lindlar

Whether in the separate training area or during top-rope or lead climbing at lofty heights of up to 15 metres, fun is guaranteed! Another new feature is the treasure hunt in the Escaperoom.

CaLevornia leisure pool, Leverkusen

Modern, indoor adventure pool with wild water slides and a spa with herbal infusions in the sauna.

Bahnstadt Opladen skate park, Leverkusen

Fun for skaters and BMX riders

Birkenberg Climbing Garden, Leverkusen

Large outdoor climbing park, open from April to October.

Voluntary Work

Voluntary Work is a non-profit, unpaid and voluntary activity. Volunteering can contribute to a positive change in the lives of citizens in a city or community in various areas. In addition, a proof of voluntary work can be very helpful when applying for scholarship programmes.

If you want to volunteer next to your studies, please check the following initiatives:

Europa macht Schule

Europa macht Schule allows European exchange students to give German children und adolescents a better understanding of their home country. It is also a good opportunity to get to know Germany from a completely different perspective.

Cultural and Recreational Activities in Cologne, Gummersbach and Leverkusen

In light of the manifold cultural and recreational activities in Cologne, you are presented with endless options of spending your leisure time. Renowned museums and theaters, musicals and concerts by famous artists, international art exhibitions and sporting events: Cologne caters to everybody’s needs. We have listed selected websites – some of which are available in German only – for you, giving you a first insight into what to do while you are in Cologne:

Fun activities and games in Cologne

Comedy, concerts, museum visits FOR FREE

A variety of free activities for students are listed on this website.

Hall 32, Gummersbach

Concerts, theatre performances, lectures, job fairs and much more take place here

Schwalbe Arena, Gummersbach

Here you can attend handball games of the VFL Gummersbach (2nd handball league), comedy shows, concerts etc.

Leverkusen Colony Museum

This museum documents the everyday life of Bayer factory workers in the factory settlements known as “Bayer colonies” in the 1920s and 30s.

Neuland-Park, Leverkusen

Play and sports in Neuland Park. The 25-hectare park is also a paradise for children - with numerous play and sports facilities: At the former East Access, there is a skater facility with all the chicanes directly under the highway bridge. Adjacent to this, a large lawn with various playground equipment awaits visitors. At the Nobelstraße entrance, water games with fountain jumpers provide the necessary cooling on hot days. In the boomerang, the centerpiece of the park, twelve play stations challenge skill and team spirit. Right next to it is a spacious play area with sand, climbing equipment, slides and everything a child's heart desires. And last but not least, fun for the whole family.

Scala Leverkusen

The Scala in Leverkusen-Opladen offers a varied concert, comedy and cinema programme all year round.

FORUM KulturStadt Leverkusen

Modern venue with halls for concerts and conferences as well as theatre and dance performances.

Recreation House, Leverkusen

Venue for music and dance

Trips in and around Cologne

Federal City of Bonn

The city of Bonn is located about 25km south of Cologne and was the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1990. Bonn is also the birthplace of the world-famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven. There is much to discover here!

Beethoven House

The composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born in this house at Bonngasse 20 in December 1770. Today, his birthplace houses a museum that provides insights into the composer's life and works. Students pay 7€.

Haus der Geschichte (Image: By Holger.Ellgaard (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

House of History

The House of History is located on the so-called "Museum Mile" in Bonn. Here visitors can dive into contemporary German history since 1945. It is one of the most visited museums in Germany. Free admission!


The Rheinaue leisure park was created in 1979 on the occasion of the Bundesgartenschau (Federal Garden Show) and is now one of the landmarks of the federal city. The almost 160-hectare park offers attractions such as the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden and the Rheinauensee.

Bonn Minster

The 11th-century Bonn Minster is one of the city's landmarks. The Christian martyrs and saints Cassius and Florentius are said to be buried in the crypt beneath the Romanesque-style minster basilica. Guided tours of the basilica from €6 on.

HARIBO factory outlet

On 13 December 1920, Hans Riegel from Bonn founded the company "HARIBO" (HAns RIegel BOnn). Since then, Haribo has been making "adults and children happy" (original slogan of the company: “Haribo macht Kinder froh und Erwachsene ebenso!”). In the factory outlet in Bonn-Bad Godesberg you will find a wide variety of HARIBO and MAOAM - a must for every Gold Bear fan!

State capital Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf is located about 45km north of Cologne and is the capital of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The city is known for its beautiful old town, the shopping street "Königsallee" and the great number of museums and galleries. Düsseldorf is also home to Germany's largest Japanese community - Düsseldorf's "Little Tokyo" - with over 8400 inhabitants.

State Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia

The Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia is the state parliament of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and is the central legislative body in the state's political system. Here, visits outside plenary sessions or online tours and much more are possible.


The Rheinkirmes is the largest funfair next to the Rhine River and takes place on the “Festwiese” in the third week of July every year.

Benrath Palace in Düsseldorf

Admission from 6€

Japanese Quarter

"Japantown" is an urban area in the centre of Düsseldorf. Here you can discover Japanese sights, restaurants, small shops and traditional Japanese supermarkets to experience this exciting culture up close!



The Siebengebirge is a low mountain range of volcanic origin, located south-east of Bonn in the area of the towns of Königswinter and Bad Honnef. On the Drachenfels, one of the seven mountains that gave the mountain range its name, the hero Siegfried from the "Niebelungenlied" is said to have killed the dragon and bathed in its blood to become invulnerable. Today, you can either climb the mountain on foot or take the historic Drachenfelsbahn cable car and enjoy the view of the Rhine valley from the viewing platform. Other activities in the Siebengebirge: Reptile House, Hotel Petersberg etc.

Drachenburg Castle at Drachenfels

Admission for students 5€

Königsforst, Bergisches Land, Ahr Valley and more

A variety of walks in the heart of the Rhineland are listed on the following two websites

World Heritage Site Brühl Palaces

Let us take you back on a marvellous trip into the 18th century. Enjoy an outstanding destination target in North Rhine-Westphalia. Marvel at the splendour and treasures of Augustusburg Palace, retreat to Clemens Augustus’ Hunting Lodge Falkenlust and take a walk through the flowering gardens of Brühl palaces.

Trips in and around Gummersbach

Bergisches Land Nature Park

The nature park includes 17 dams (unique in Europe!) and the Müngsten Bridge, the highest railway bridge in Europe. Other interesting sights include Burg Castle in Solingen next to the Wupper, Altenberg Cathedral in Odenthal (from 1133 AD) and Homburg Castle in Nümbrecht. The LVR open-air museum in Lindlar is also worth a visit.

Eckenhagen Monkey and Bird Park

A three-kilometre-long path leads through the eight-hectare grounds, where you can meet about 140 animal species, including a petting zoo and garden café.

Dieringhausen Railway Museum

This lively museum is located on the site of the former Dieringhausen railway depot.

Trips in and around Leverkusen

Reuschenberg Wildlife Park

The game park is home to 46 different species of wild and domestic animals. A total of over 300 animals can be observed in the spacious grounds.

Morsbroich Palace

This is a museum of contemporary art of international standing with more than 300 artworks.

Lambertsmühle Burscheid

Monument, museum, meeting place. The Lambertsmühle is a former water mill.

Japanese Garden Leverkusen