"It was the strongest earthquake in North Rhine-Westphalia this year," said one of the employees at the Bensberg earthquake station just outside Cologne.
The institute on Thursday announced the magnitude of the earthquake, which registered on the Richter scale at 5:40pm on Wednesday.
According to their data, the earthquake had a depth of about 16.5 kilometres and its epicentre was in Hürth, a town located south west of Cologne.
Currently no injuries or damage have been reported.
Earthquakes with a magnitude between 2.5 and 5.4 on the Richter scale can often be felt and if they cause damage, it is usually only minor.
Police in the Rhine-Erft western district of Cologne said that they had received seven calls about the earthquake from concerned residents.
Several people in the city centre also contacted the police, said a police spokeswoman.
The vibration caused by the earthquake lasted about two seconds, according to Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ).