I only had one day in Köln (Cologne), and will have to make up for that in the future. What little I've seen has been an energetic, friendly, and cool city.
As soon as you step outside the train station, the awesomely gigantic Kölner Dom looms up at you. I had thought the St. Stephan's Dom in Vienna was impressive, but this gothic mammoth dwarfs it. From the detail on the stained glass windows inside to the view of the city from one of its spires (because I can't resist climbing something if it's there), it was memorable.
I also took in the Roman Museum and the modern art gallery next door. I don't get much out of most modern art, but am keeping an open mind. However, that openness does have a limit. One large piece in one of the main rooms was a large, crocheted, monochromatic brown blanket in a giant frame, entitled "Water." Ok, whatever.
However, there were some interesting Picassos, a very cool Salavdor Dali (wish I'd written down the name), and a room in the basement with several by Warhol, Jasper Johns, and Roy Lichtenstein. Most surprising was that in that latter room were two pieces, including the centerpiece for the whole room, from James Rosenquist from Grand Forks. I'm sure some of you already know him, but it was the first I had heard. Anyway, the huge piece in the middle I enjoyed.
After dinner I walked from the hostel down to the river and back. It's Carnival here for about 6 weeks, which means a variety of balls and celebrations into February. By the river I ran into a marching band dressed like the guard for the old prince of the city participating in the festivities. Like good Germans, the end of their march was at a beer hall.