‘The Belgisches Viertel – Belgian Quarter – still offers some of the best cafés, shops and eateries in town, but it is getting almost too hip for my taste. I prefer Ehrenfeld, which used to be an industrial area and still has a certain sketchiness that I do really like. Most of the best clubs are located here and so is our office.
‘I live and work in Ehrenfeld so I naturally spend most of my time here. But Cologne in general is a pretty dense city so it’s easy to get around and explore many places. Walk or take a bike – Cologne is a horrible place for driving.
‘There is a very out-of-the-way shop for vintage furniture at the Fröbelplatz, called Exquisit. The owner Marcel is a nice, funny guy, although for some reason he only opens the store when he feels like it. Be sure to call ahead for opening times.
‘Cologne is also home to one of the best record stores in the world for aficionados of electronic music, called Kompakt. You can easily spend an entire day here having beers and browsing through records.
‘Magasin 2 and Monsieur Courbet are, in my opinion, the best fashion shops.
‘Cologne zoo is awesome! But nobody ever actually goes there. How come? It’s very underrated!
‘Königsblut, just off Körnerstrasse, is a nice place for drinks and so is Grünfeld, near the corner of Aachener Strasse and Brüsseler Strasse. The people of Cologne really enjoy drinking and eating outside, and these two places have enough space that you can still get a table when it’s busy.
‘When friends are visiting and I want to show them something new, I go to TeamEscape on Brüsseler Platz. The concept is roughly this: you are locked in a room and need to solve several puzzles to escape within one hour. It’s extremely good fun.
‘My favourite walk in the city is straight down Brüsseler Strasse. For an amazing view, I head to the gates of the Odonien club at sunrise. On my days off, I try to go for a run in the Stadtwald city forest, and afterwards try to clean up the mess in my home!
‘There are hipster burger places right now all over town, but Karl Hermanns takes it one step further: burrata burgers, truffle burgers, Iberico pork burgers, sweet potato cumin fries and much more, as well as an amazing selection of craft beer and gin. If you want to get into the trend for cool burgers, do it here.
‘There are many local secrets that I can’t tell you … You have to know someone who knows someone to find out … One I will share is the beer garden at the Odonien. It has an amazing location, good food, and you can stick around for the parties at night.’