Spend a Day in Brühl, Germany

Brühl is a small city of about 45,000 people just south of Cologne in Germany. If you go to Cologne, Brühl is a great day trip. You can spend a day in Brühl really easily from Cologne, using the tram. The city is home to Schloss Augustusburg (Augustusburg Palace), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In case you’re wondering, this is just one of Germany’s gazillion UNESCO sites. They’re big on world heritage.

Brühl is super easy to get to from Cologne, and is on the route to Bonn. It is so ideally located between these two cities, that I would recommend considering staying in Brühl as your base for a few days in the area.

Colourful houses in Brühl

Why Spend a Day in Brühl?

One could reasonably say that the day trip to Cologne is worth it just for the Palace, and possibly that’s true. But I think Brühl has far more to offer than that – and a day is probably not enough!

  • It’s super easy to get to Cologne (18 tram line) or to Bonn (train from the station)
  • The size makes it very manageble as your first stop
  • The trip from Frankfurt airport is under two hours
  • The main street is completely pedestrianized
  • There are supermarkets, a library, a discount store, and an information centre all in a very small radius
  • It is big on choir and classical music
  • There are plenty of attractions, but it’s also easy to get out and see other things

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But I only have a day in Brühl!

So you decide to stay somewhere else, and only have a day in Brühl. No problem. When you arrive off the tram, you will be at one end of town, and if you arrive off the train, you’ll likely be at the other. I suggest heading straight for the downtown core to start. Do a little window shopping, and have some coffee and cake (kaffee und kuchen) to get yourself caffeined-up at Cafe der Literaten.

After a coffee, take a stroll through the main pedestrianized square. You might stop into the tourist information to grab a map. Or, do a bit of shopping at some of the discount stores (I love European discount stores).

I didn’t get to have lunch in Brühl – that is, I was there for lunch, but I had cake instead. However a little Italian spot downtown, Mano, was recommended to me if you’re looking for somewhere to eat.

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Afternoon in Brühl

From downtown, follow the wayfinding signage to Augustusburg Palace. Schlösser is the German word for palace which you will see on the signs. It is a very short walk from downtown. The palace is huge and lemon yellow so really quite hard to miss.

You have several options once you get there:

First Option: Buy a “Kombiticket”. Visit both the Palace (guided tour only) and the falcon lodge (self-guided only) where the noblemen went to hunt. 15 Euro

Second Option: Choose to see either the Palace OR the hunting lodge. 9.50 or 7 Euro, respectively

Third Option: Don’t buy a ticket, and just wander the gardens.

I did option 1 – I went the whole way and committed. I wasn’t a fan however, and if I were to do it again, I would buy a ticket only for the hunting lodge, but also do a major walk around the grounds.

*Do note that if you plan to see the hunting lodge, it’s at least a 2 kilometer walk from the Palace, and there is no form of transportation. However, if you had a bike, which you could rent in town, it would be grand and wouldn’t take very long.

Prices and info may change, so you can check the most up to date information here.

I ended up doing the guided tour of the palace, the self-guided tour of the lodge, and, inevitably, the 4km round trip walk plus a visit to the gardens. By the end of that my feet hurt.

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Evening in Brühl

Whatever you choose to do, you’ll want to sit down after that and not walk very far. From the main entrance to the Palace (not the garden side, the other side) walk straight down through the gate to the white building that you can see. That’s the train station, and is also home to a beer garden and restaurant, the entirely unpronounceable Brühler Wirtshaus. The food is hearty and very hot. I highly recommend having a pretzel with enough butter to feed a small family. As a vegetarian, it was easy to find options, and in fact there was even a vegan curry.

If you’re staying in town, it’s an easy walk back to the cobblestone paths of downtown. Or, you can stagger over to the train station – conveniently in the same building as the restaurant – to head home. However, if you’re going back to Cologne on the tram, you’ll have to walk the 15 minutes back to the main train station to catch the underground. This is the cheaper option if you’re going back and forth from Cologne to Brühl. If you are catching the tram, there is a perfectly adequate washroom at the public library across the street – but there is NOT one at the little bus ticket shop near the tracks.

I love a good small town excursion. Spending a day in Brühl was the perfect way to get away from the crowds in Cologne.

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