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Your visit to Cologne Cathedral

Your visit to Cologne Cathedral

Opening hours

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:

  • The 2G rule applies to all visitors aged 16 or over. This means that they must provide evidence that they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. Children and young people aged 15 or under do not have to provide such evidence.
  • All visitors must carry photo ID.
  • Please note that visitors must wear a medical mask 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! Nevertheless, we recommend that visitors wear a medical mask or a mask of a higher standard at all times while they are in Cologne Cathedral. They must also keep the necessary distance from others.

People who would like to visit the cathedral to pray or to light a candle are welcome to do so under the following conditions:

  • It is possible to enter the cathedral to pray and to attend Mass without providing evidence of your state of health and without registering in advance. Nevertheless, we urgently recommend that visitors get vaccinated and voluntarily present evidence that they have been fully vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19, or have recently tested negative for COVID-19 (i.e. within the previous 24 hours). You are not only protecting yourself and others, you also make it possible for more people to be allowed to attend Mass. This would allow us to celebrate Mass with smaller distances and without limits on the number of people attending.

 

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:

  • The 2G rule applies to all visitors aged 16 or over. This means that they must provide evidence that they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. Children and young people aged 15 or under do not have to provide such evidence.
  • All visitors must carry photo ID.
  • All visitors must wear a medical mask or a mask of a higher standard and must keep the necessary distance from others.

 

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:

  • The 2G rule applies to all visitors aged 16 or over. This means that they must provide evidence that they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. Children and young people aged 15 or under do not have to provide such evidence.
  • All visitors must carry photo ID.
  • All visitors must wear a medical mask or a mask of a higher standard and must keep the necessary distance from others.

 

Service hours

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.

Sundays:
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:

  • for Mass on Christmas Day from 9 a.m. on 15 December 2021 either online (koelner-dom.de/zugangskarten) or by telephone (0221 17940 222) between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday to Friday.
  • for the Epiphany from 9 a.m. on 3 January 2022 either online (koelner-dom.de/zugangskarten) or by telephone (0221 17940 222) between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday to Wednesday.

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

Guided tours

Please note the following:

  • The 2G rule applies to all visitors aged 16 or over. This means that they must provide evidence that they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. Children and young people aged 15 or under do not have to provide such evidence.
  • All visitors must carry photo ID.
  • No more than 20 people are allowed on each guided tour of Cologne Cathedral and the Cathedral Treasury.
  • No more than 12 people are allowed on each guided tour of the roof and excavation area. For these tours, visitors must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Guides and visitors must cover mouth and nose with a medical mask or a mask of a higher standard.
  • People on the tour must adhere to current rules on social distancing, which means standing 1.5 metres apart.

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:
www.domfuehrungen-koeln.de

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. 
DOMFORUM


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: 
DOMFORUM
Monday - Thursday 10:00 - 12:00 and 13:00 - 15:00
Friday 10:00 - 12:00
Tel: +49 (0) 221 92 58 47 30

© Hohe Domkirche Köln, Dombauhütte; Foto: M. Unkelbach

Important notices

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

§8 The cathedral rules are effective as of October 1, 2019.

Provost emeritus Gerd Bachner

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