Excited to get around in Cologne on two wheels?
We are soon launching our smart bike-share system
with orange Donkey Bikes in Cologne
How it works
Rent a bike in a few clicks
Get the app to rent a bike from many locations, in many cities.
Unlock your rental bike
Find your bike at the pick-up location and unlock with the app.
Ride and keep the bike
Short or long rentals. Lock and unlock your bike as much as you like.
Return the rental bike
Return the rental bike to an available drop-off location, lock it and end your rental with the app.
Do you live in Cologne?
Get a bike-share membership! Choose between a fixed monthly fee
for unlimited free usage or cheap rentals from time to time.
Cologne cycling guide
Bike rental in Cologne
The 4th biggest German city lies on the Rhine – Germany’s longest river – with most of its must sees concentrated on the west bank of it. This often underrated city is famous for its gothic churches, unique culture and for being the LGBT capital of Germany. If you want to rent a bike in Cologne you can find Donkey Bike locations spread all over the city.
Get in the lane
The city is flat and the central areas feature a patchwork of cycle lanes, which make it ideal to explore Cologne by bike. To bring your Cologne cycling to the next level, there are 7 bridges to cross on the river and they also offer you some of the best spots for taking a snap together with your Donkey Bike.
How to explore Cologne on a bike
Renting a bike in Cologne is the quickest and best way to do reach your destinations. Whether you have a meeting or decide to get around in the city by exploring its neighbourhoods, cafes, bridges, churches or go sight by sight. We collected our recommendations below for where to take your Donkey Bike to, all you need to do is to download the Donkey Republic app to rent a bike in Cologne and start exploring on two wheels.
Culture of Cologne
There are a handful of things good to know about the culture, before you jump in the saddle to explore Cologne on your rental bike. Cologners are not your typical Germans. They are pretty open-minded, thus the city is also considered as the capital of the LGBT scene in Germany. Expect a buzzing gay bar culture with carnival vibes all year round. Köln is also known for the unique local dialect and their similarly named local beer, Kölsch that is only served in 200ml glasses (aka Stangen). The word “Kölsch” for Cologners is similar to what hygge means for the Danes.
Take your bike to the old town
Similar to other European cities, the old town (Altstadt) hides all the treasures of the past and also some of the current high street fashion too. You can easily feel like you are in Copenhagen when you arrive in the city centre of Cologne on your rental bike to enjoy a lazy coffee surrounded by colourful facades. Once you are in the centre, don’t miss the Cologne Cathedral, it should be right in front of you and is a must in Cologne. They say the view from the top is worth the 500 steps, if your legs aren’t already burnt out by your bike tour around Cologne.
Cycle Cologne’s Neighbourhoods
The most popular neighbourhoods or as Cologners call them Veedels are concentrated in the center and are all equipped with plenty of bars, cafes and entertainment. The Belgian quarter is one of the hippest areas with record stores and fashion boutiques while Schaafenstrasse and Heumarkt are home to the busiest gay bars and attractions. If you are planning to pedal through a night out on your rental bike in Cologne, head to the triangle of Rudolfplatz, Rathenauplatz, Zülpicher platz, a popular destination for locals, university students and tourists too. If you feel like making yourself and your Donkey work for the sweets (or beers), take your bike outside the centre and check the eclectic area of Ehrenfeld.
See Cologne’s architecture from the saddle
Destroyed during the war, Cologne now paints a contrasted picture of modern architecture sitting in a concrete jungle. Renting a bike to cycle the streets is the best way to experience this tapestry of diverse structure. Similar to Hafencity in Hamburg, Rheinauhafen is a (fairly) newly renovated area at the harbour, hosting the well known crane shaped glass buildings. However if you are more into a Game of Thrones kind of experience, there are a number of gothic and fairytale-like churches in Cologne that you can easily connect by jumping on your Donkey Bike.
German cycling rules
In safe hands
Always use hand signals to communicate your intentions while riding your rental bike. One hand straight up means stopping, right hand to the side – turning right, left hand to the side … you get the drill.
Fall in line
Riding two abreast is forbidden on roads – always ride single file even in a bicycle lane. I know, that sounds so German!
You’ve only got 2 wheels
It is illegal for bicycles to be on the autobahn, so don’t be caught trying to race 120 Km/h traffic.
Stay sober or park your bike
Don’t even think about cycling under the influence of alcohol or drugs – you’ll face a hefty fine if you do, not to mention the risk of an accident. Also, well, we don’t want a smashed up rental bike 🙂