COVID-19: updated information for visitors
This section contains the rules of admission for Cologne Cathedral, the tower, the Cathedral Treasury, and guided tours.
Visitors are currently welcome to visit Cologne Cathedral and the Cathedral Treasury and to climb the South Tower subject to a number of conditions. Guided tours are also available. Please note that we reserve the right to change the rules of admission given below at any time depending on the daily incidence rate in the City of Cologne.
Opening hours: daily from 06:00 - 20:00
The Cologne Cathedral world heritage site is, as a rule, open to tourists on working days (Monday to Saturday) between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and on Sundays between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and the tower narthex after the evening Mass until 8 p.m. Because Masses take priority, we reserve the right to change opening hours.
The following conditions apply to visits to Cologne Cathedral:
People who would like to visit the cathedral to pray or to light a candle are welcome to do so under the following conditions:
Climbing the tower:
The South Tower of Cologne Cathedral and the belfry are open to visitors between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The following rules of admission apply:
Visiting the Cathedral Treasury:
The Cathedral Treasury is open to visitors between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The following rules of admission apply:
Masses at Cologne Cathedral are held at the following times:
Working days (Monday to Saturday):
Mass: 6.30 a.m., 7.15 a.m., 8.00 a.m., 9.00 a.m., and 6.30 p.m.
Devotion: Monday to Friday, 6.00 p.m.
Mass: 7.00 a.m., 8.30 a.m., 10.00 a.m., 12 midday, 5 p.m., and 7 p.m.
Divine Office: 6.00 p.m.
You have the opportunity to go to confession on working days. You find the confessionals at the chapels in the ambulatory.
First Sunday of the month: Chapter Mass in Latin
Many Catholics whose native language is not German visit Cologne Cathedral and celebrate Mass with us, especially on Sundays. In order to ensure that they can pray with us and not just silently in their own languages, the High Mass at 10 a.m. on the first Sunday in the month is, as a rule, celebrated partially in Latin. The parts in Latin are the well-known texts that are used in every Mass. This means that all Mass-goers – whatever their native language – can pray together.
You will find the Latin texts and a German translation in the Gotteslob prayer book, Numbers 582 to 591.
Unless otherwise indicated on the Mass times page, people can attend Mass in Cologne Cathedral without registering and without providing evidence that they meet the requirements of the "3G" rule (which requires all visitors aged 6 and over to be either fully vaccinated, have recovered from COVID, or tested negative for COVID in the previous 24 hours). Nevertheless, we urgently recommend that Mass-goers voluntarily provide such evidence for all Masses.
Please note that there are special rules of admission for the 24, 25, and 31 December 2021 and 6 January 2022:
Special rules for Christmas and the Epiphany
In order to both take account of the situation regarding COVID-19 and to allow everyone to attend Mass, there will be Masses both with and without rules of admission at Cologne Cathedral this year.
For the Masses marked "3G", the following rules apply: all visitors aged 6 and over must be either fully vaccinated, have recovered from COVID, or tested negative for COVID in the 24 hours before the Mass. Evidence and photo ID must be presented for inspection at the entrance. On Christmas Eve, school children can present their school pupil's card instead of a negative test result. By reducing distances and requiring everyone to wear a mask, we can allow more people to attend Mass. Registration for these Masses is not necessary.
People can attend Masses marked "R" without presenting evidence of their health status. At these Masses, Mass-goers must keep greater distances in the pews, which means that there will be fewer places available. For this reason, we recommend that you register for these Masses. You can register:
Until 10 minutes before the start of Mass, only those people who can provide evidence that they have registered for the Mass will be admitted. If any spaces are left, other Mass-goers will be allowed in. Once this happens, registrations lose their validity.
For Masses not marked either "3G" or "R", no admission rules apply and no registration is necessary.
Please note that medical masks must be worn when entering, walking around, and leaving the cathedral. Medical masks within the meaning of the relevant COVID-19 regulations are surgical masks, masks that meet the FFP2 standard or comparable masks (KN95/N95) without a valve. During Mass, visitors may remove their masks in their seats as long as they maintain the required distance to other Mass-goers. Visitors must always wear a mask when singing! However, we recommend that visitors wear a mask at all times while they are in Cologne Cathedral!
Please note, however, that changes may have to be made at short notice, depending on how the pandemic develops and what the regulations are at the time. Please check this page for up-to-date information: we will post any changes here.
3G: The 3G rule applies (visitors are fully vaccinated, have recovered from COVID, or have tested negative within the previous 24 hours)
R: Registration recommended
Christmas Eve, Friday, 24 December 2021
Christmas vespers for families at 4.30 p.m. 3G
Midnight Mass, 12 midnight. Doors open at 10.30 p.m. 3G
Christmas Day, Saturday, 25 December 2021
7.00 a.m. Holy Mass R
8.30 a.m. Holy Mass R
10 a.m. Pontifical High Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Steinhäuser, Apostolic Administrator R
12 midday Holy Mass R
5.00 p.m. Holy Mass R
6.00 p.m. Christmas Vespers, R
7.00 p.m. Holy Mass R
St Stephen's Day/Boxing Day, Sunday, 26 December 2021
Holy Mass will be celebrated at 7.00 a.m., 8.30 a.m., 12 midday, 5.00 p.m., and 7.00 p.m.
Pontifical High Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m.
New Year's Eve, Friday 31 December 2021
Holy Mass will be celebrated at 6.30 a.m., 7.15 a.m., 8.00 a.m., and 9.00 a.m.
New Year's Eve Mass will be celebrated at 6.30 p.m. 3G
The Solemnity of Mary/New Year, Saturday, 1 January 2022
Holy Mass will be celebrated at 7.00 a.m., 8.30 a.m., 12 midday, and 7.00 p.m.
High Mass will be celebrated at 10.00 a.m.
Pontifical High Mass will be celebrated at 5 p.m.
The Epiphany/Three Kings Day, Thursday, 6 January 2022
Holy Mass will be celebrated at 7.00 a.m., 8.30 a.m., 12 midday, and 5.00 p.m. R
Pontifical High Masses will be celebrated at 10 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. 3G
Please note the following:
Tickets for public tours can be purchased up to seven days in advance in the foyer of the Domforum.
For more information, visit: www.domforum.de/domfuehrungen
Tours of special areas (roof, excavation area, Cathedral Treasury, Cologne Cathedral at Night, etc.) are now open for bookings again (www.domfuehrungen-koeln.de). The 2G rule (visitors must provide evidence that they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19) also applies to tours of special areas. Visitors must also wear a medical mask for the entire duration of the tour.
General information on tours in Cologne Cathedral
All tours of Cologne Cathedral must be registered in advance. Only authorised or registered cathedral tour guides are permitted to conduct tours inside Cologne Cathedral. In other words, individuals, groups, and travel companies must book a group tour of Cologne Cathedral either with the Cologne Tourist Office: Köln Tourismus or the DOMFORUM.
Individual visitors may explore the cathedral by themselves outside Mass times. Tours shall be allocated to available tour slots. A maximum of 10 tours per hour and a maximum of 25 people per group are permitted in the cathedral.
For information about guided tours on the roof, in the excavations, in the treasure chamber as well as to the bells please contact:
The DOMFORUM organizes guided tours of the interior of the cathedral. Please observe the regulations concerning guided tours of groups in Cologne cathedral. Unless otherwise indicated, tours will be conducted in German.
Guided tours in English
Saturday, Sunday and Feastday: 14:30
Meeting Point: DOMFORUM, Roncalliplatz
Adults: € 8,00
Children and Students: € 8,00
In case of special events short term changes are possible.
For further information or booking please contact:
Monday - Thursday 10:00 - 12:00 and 13:00 - 15:00
Friday 10:00 - 12:00
Tel: +49 (0) 221 92 58 47 30
Dear visitors to Cologne Cathedral,
We are happy to welcome you to the Cathedral St. Peter at Cologne. This cathedral was built to the glory of God and is to this day, above all, a house of prayer and worship. The cathedral protects the precious relics of the Three Kings. By entering the cathedral, you acknowledge the following rules.
Domordnung Italiano • Chinese • Arabic
(1) All visitors respect the dignity of this holy place and refrain from loud talking or running.
(2) Sightseeing is generally permitted whenever no service is being celebrated at the main altar in the center of the cathedral
(3) Music and singing outside of services is not permitted.
(4) Parents or adults accompanying children or youth observe their supervisory responsibilities.
(5) Visitors respect closures and areas which are off limits to sightseeing.
(6) Cell phones etc. are to be placed in “silent” mode. Talking on the phone is only permitted outside the cathedral.
(7) Clothing should be appropriate for the house of God. Sleeveless or cropped tops are considered inappropriate as are short shorts or skirts. Men may cover their heads for health or religious reasons. Religiously offensive or racist symbols will not be tolerated.
(8) Food and drink are to be consumed outside the cathedral.
(9) Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not permitted in the entire cathedral building.
(10) Persons who are visibly drunk may not enter the cathedral.
(11) Drugs of any kind (as defined by the Controlled Substances Act (BtMG)) are forbidden.
(12) Scavenger hunts etc. cannot take place inside the cathedral.
(1) Taking pictures without a flash and recording videos with reasonable technical components is permitted outside of services for private use. During services, it is possible only from one’s place. Respectful cooperation is to be observed in that recordings do not directly contain other visitors. Those taking pictures or making videos must, in any case, respect the dignity of the location and follow the instructions of cathedral personnel.
(2) Private “photo shoots” are forbidden.
(3) Recordings with tripods require the permission of the cathedral provost.
(4) The use of model airplanes and unmanned aircraft (drones) is not permitted in the cathedral or over the property outside.
(5) The publication of pictures or videos for non-private use — i.e. editorial reports, commercial and ideological promotion (including private websites and social media) — must have prior permission.
(6) These rules are excerpts from the regulations for taking pictures and recording videos in the cathedral. Please see the complete and concrete regulations at www.koelner-dom.de/fotografierenundfilmen.
(1) Luggage should be kept with you at all times. The owner is responsible for costs incurred by storage of luggage. Only luggage the size of a standard carry-on bag (max 55 x 40 x 20 cm) may be brought into the cathedral.
(2) Wheelchairs, rollators and licensed electric wheelchairs are allowed in the cathedral; other wheeled vehicles and bicycles must remain outside.
(3) Weapons (including potential weapons and CS-gas) are prohibited throughout the cathedral.
(4) Folding chairs, stools and the like may not be brought.
(5) Balloons, confetti and streamers are forbidden throughout the cathedral.
Distribution of printed matter requires the express consent of the cathedral provost.
Animals, with the exception of guide-dogs, must remain outside.
(1) Cathedral tours are only possible with a guide licensed for such tours at the cathedral.
(2) Tour participants are to be informed of the cathedral rules.
(1) The instructions of the security personnel and cathedral guards are to be followed at all times.
(2) Persons not following the cathedral rules or the instructions of the staff may be asked to leave.
(3) Cathedral guards do not serve as cathedral guides.
Provost emeritus Gerd Bachner
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