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Cologne's best beer gardens

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17:41 CEST+02:00
The Local's guide to Germany's best beer gardens heads to where they drink copious amounts of brew from tiny glasses all summer long.

In Cologne, it's all about the local beer Kölsch, which comes in the Stange glass holding a measely amount of liquid. This regional Rhineland tradition carries over to the beer gardens, but you can always order a larger beer if you feel the need.

Aachener Weiher

Since its expansion in 2004, Cologne's Aachener Weiher has grown into an even more popular locale along the pond of the same name. With a university close by, there's no shortage of activity in the adjacent green spaces, including joggers, cyclists and drum circles. If you'd prefer to watch from a safe distance, however, this beer garden provides the perfect atmosphere in which to do so: a cold draft and seasonal, Mediterranean menu await. The friendly wait staff along with occasional live music performances round out the positive vibes at one of Cologne's most beloved outdoor venues.

0.25L beer from €2.00

Open daily from 11:00 am

www.biergarten-aachener-weiher.de

Hellers Volksgarten

Since the Roman Iron Age, Hellers Volksgarten has been a favourite Cologne haunt. Some 118 years after its inception, this lakefront venue and its three house-brewed beer varieties are still going strong. Though guests are no longer allowed to bring their own food, a comprehensive selection of meals and desserts are on hand at the adjacent restaurant. And if lounging carelessly on the shady terrace begins to bore you, simply grab yourself a paddle boat and venture across the lake: we would, however, recommend a paddle-partner, unless you are particularly fond of circles.

0.3L beer from €2.60

Open daily from 11:30 am

www.hellers-volksgarten.de/

Rheinterrassen

One of Cologne's poshest beer garden experiences, Rheinterrassen wasn't always so pristine. After its debut in 1928 as one of the city's first major installations to the right bank of the river Rhein, it was completely destroyed in the Second World War. Though it reopened in 1957, the entire location fell into managerial disrepair over the next thirty years. Thanks to a dedicated group of investors, however, April 1999 saw the long-awaited reopening of Rheinterrassen – now one of Cologne's premier beer garden destinations.

0.2L beer from €2.20

Open daily from 6:00 pm, 12:00 noon on Sundays

www.rhein-terrassen.de

Biergarten am Rathenauplatz

The Biergarten am Rathenauplatz is a good place to escape the usual Kölschkneipen this summer and you don't head too far from the city centre. Rest, relaxation and one of the least bitter of German beers around await at this pleasant, child-friendly urban escape. Rhineland mellowness abounds at the nearby fountain, complete with a beer kiosk, grassy knoll and plenty of young folks.

0.3L beer from €2.60

Open daily from 12 noon

www.buergergemeinschaft-rathenauplatz-ev.de

Stadtgarten

It may not overtly advertise itself as such, but Stadtgarten at the edge of Cologne's Innenstadt is a beer garden of luscious proportions. Having made it's home in the city park of the same name, this venue has served up cold beer, warm food and cool jazz since the 1950s. The Cologne Jazz House Initiative started here in 1978, and some of the biggest names in jazz have since graced the stage here: Sun Ra, Steve Lacy and Ornette Coleman.

Open daily from 12 noon

www.stadtgarten.de

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