Your visit to Cologne Cathedral

Your visit to Cologne Cathedral

Opening hours

Current information on the opening of Cologne Cathedral

The following applies to all visitors to the cathedral - whether you are attending a church service, are a tourist or part of a guided group:

  • Please be prepared for identity checks by cathedral staff when entering the cathedral, the treasury and the tower ascent.
  • Only small bags and rucksacks (maximum A4 size) may be taken into the cathedral, the treasury and the tower ascent. Wheeled suitcases, cabin trolleys, hiking rucksacks and other large items of luggage are not permitted in the cathedral and its special areas, nor can they be stored there.

We thank you for your understanding of these measures, which contribute to your safety.

Welcome to Cologne Cathedral!

This section contains the rules of admission for Cologne Cathedral, the tower, the Cathedral Treasury, and guided tours.
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. Please consult our up-to-date Mass times page before your visit.

It is generally possible to pray or light a candle in the tower narthex during a liturgy.

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.

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. 

Please consult also our up-to-date Mass times page.

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.

Cologne Cathedral tower FAQs

Where is the entrance to the tower?

When standing facing the main portal of the cathedral, turn to your right and walk towards Roncalliplatz. After just a few metres, you will see a flight of steps beside the south tower leading downwards. These steps are marked 'Dom-Turm / Parkhaus / Toiletten' (which means 'cathedral tower/car park/toilets'). The entrance to the tower is at the bottom of these steps.

When is the tower open to the public?

March–April: from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
May–September: from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
October: from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
November–February: from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On what days is the tower closed?

During the carnival season in Cologne, the tower is closed on Women's Carnival Day (Weiberfastnacht), Carnival Saturday, Carnival Sunday, Rose Monday (Rosenmontag). The dates of these days change from year to year. The tower is also closed on 11 November, Christmas Eve (24 December), Christmas Day (25 December), New Year's Eve (31 December), and New Year's Day (1 January) every year.

When is last admission to the tower?

Half an hour before the tower closes.

How much does entry cost?

Adults pay €6. Children, schoolchildren, students, and persons with special needs pay a reduced entry fee of €3. Families can buy a family ticket for €12.

Combi tickets, which give visitors access to both the tower and the Cathedral Treasury, cost €10 for adults. The reduced rate is €5,00. Family combi tickets cost €20.

How much time should I plan in for a visit to the south tower of Cologne Cathedral?

It depends on how fast you can climb the 533 steps to the viewing platform (which is about 100 m above ground) and how long you want to stay on the viewing platform. We recommend that you plan in between 30 and 45 minutes.

Are there lockers or spaces to park buggies/prams at the entrance?


Do I have to make a booking in advance for myself/my group?

No. It is neither necessary nor possible to make a booking or reserve a time slot. Just come to the ticket desk on the day of your visit. Children and youth groups must be accompanied by responsible adults.

Should I expect long queues/waiting periods at the ticket desk?

Not usually, no. But on busy days when a lot of tourists want to climb the tower, there may be a wait.

Do people accompanying school groups or people accompanying people with special needs pay a reduced rate?

People accompanying school groups pay the reduced price. People accompanying people with special needs who can show the B mark on their disabled person's pass may enter the tower free of charge.

Can I book and pay in advance for my group?

No. It is not possible to make a booking or pay in advance. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Do holders of the KölnPass pay a reduced rate?


Do holders of the KölnCard pay a reduced rate?


Do members of Church or charity organisations pay a reduced rate?


How old does a child have to be to climb the south tower of Cologne Cathedral?

Children may visit the tower with their parents if they are able to climb the 533 steps to the viewing platform (which is about 100 m above ground) of their own accord.

Is there a lift?

No, for structural reasons, it is not possible to install a lift on the south tower of Cologne Cathedral. Visitors access the viewing platform via a spiral staircase and a metal staircase.

Do the steps leading to the viewing platform pass the cathedral bells?

Yes, visitors generally pass through Cologne Cathedral's bell chamber, which contains eight of the cathedral's 12 bells, on their way to the viewing platform. If extended bell-ringing is scheduled before a mass (for example on Sundays and feast days before 2.00 p.m.) or in the event of maintenance work, the bell chamber remains closed.

Is it possible to book a tour of the belfry?

Yes, the Cathedral Works Department offers special tours of the belfry on working days for visitors who would like to experience the ringing of the bells. Visitors taking this tour will be provided with professional hearing protection devices.

Cathedral Treasury

Visiting the Cathedral Treasury:

The Cathedral Treasury is open to visitors between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. You will find more information here.

Guided tours

Please note the following:

  • 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.

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). 

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 at 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
Information on the next guided tour: 
Adults: € 10,00
Children and Students: € 8,00
Tickets for public guided tours (max. 12) may be purchased in advance at the DOMFORUM at until 15 minutes prior to the preferred tour.
For participants of the open guided tour, the charge for the tour guide system (wireless communication system) is included in the price. 
Meeting point: DOMFORUM

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


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

§1 Conduct

(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.

§2 Pictures and video

(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.

§3 Luggage and other items

(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.

§4 Propaganda

Distribution of printed matter requires the express consent of the cathedral provost.

§5 Animals

Animals, with the exception of guide-dogs, must remain outside.

§6 Cathedral tours

(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.

§7 Security personnel and cathedral guards

(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.

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

Provost emeritus Gerd Bachner


Download the free Cologne Cathedral app containing a spiritual tour of Cologne Cathedral: spiritual thoughts at ten different locations in the cathedral. The app also includes mass times and opening hours, information on the cathedral's works of art, topical issues, events, and much more…

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