Living in Cologne
Steve Dix brings another insider's perspective on living in one of Germany's most distinctive and laid-back cities.
The Rhine bisects Cologne, and the west bank, where the city centre is located, is considered to be superior to the east bank, and so rental accommodation reflects that in price.
The main city is surrounded by two ring roads with the innermost - "the Ring" - bordering the centre. Between the inner and outer ring road - "the Gürtel" - lie separate quarters, the two most famous being the Belgisher Viertel - Belgian quarter, and the Quartier Latieng, or latin quarter - also known as the student quarter, due to its proximity to the university. These contain most of the nightlife that isn't in the city centre. The centre is on the bank of the Rhein, behind the Dom (Cologne Cathederal). Nearby is the tourist trap Altstadt, which contains many old-fashioned beer halls. All bars in Cologne serve the local brew, Kölsch, a light, lager-type beer that is drunk in short measures of 0.2 litres.