You know the best way to get to know a city? Get a friend to show you around. Freewalkcologne is kind of exactly that. It’s a free walking tour of Cologne run by two friends, Matthias Boden and Florian Friedersdorf. They love their city so much they want to share it with strangers.
The guided walking tour takes place every day, come rain or shine, lasts for about two and a half hours and covers a distance of up to three kilometres. The meeting place is the same every day and the tour will take place even if only one person shows up. The idea came about in 2015 when Matthias began giving his Couchsurfing guests tours of the city. As the popularity grew Matthias’ friend Florian came on board and another six new guides recently swelled the ranks even further.
The standard walk always starts at Eigelsteintorburg and will take you into the Altstadt and the Kölner Dom. Along the way you’ll find out about the city’s history and traditions and will also hear stories and facts that help to uncover the soul of Cologne. New routes are being developed and Matthias and his team are also happy to arrange special personalized tours in either English or German.
If you’re wondering how someone can run a business based on a service that’s free, well it’s not actually free, it’s donation based. “The correct name would be: feel-free-to-pay-as-much-as-you-think-it-was-worth-tour. But that would be a bit of a mouthful!” says Matthias. People must think the tour is pretty good because Matthias only has to work one day a week in an office to make sure he can cover his rent. The rest of the time he’s out on the streets showing off his city. “We love our city and we love to share this love,” he enthuses. “Our tour feels like you’re taking a walk with a friend as he shows-off his beloved home-town.”
If you’d like to take a tour just show up at the right time and enjoy a relaxed tour that might actually leave you with a warm feeling inside and a little more love for this little city on the Rhine.
Bonus point: They also some know some of the best hotspots for catching Pokemans around the city….