Cologne has has the unfortunate experience of having it's new year's eve party associated with very negative public perception following the unsavoury incidents that took place here a couple of years ago, but we can assure you that this is in no way representative of live or indeed new year in the city.
Cologne is a beautiful historic city, the 4th largest in Germany, located on the banks of the river Rhine and watched over by the famous Cologne Catherdral, with a plethora of medieval churches and other structures to keep the visitor entertained while provided a uniquely atmospheric backdrop to your new year celebrations.
The fireworks over the Rhine at midnight are the highlight of the new year's eve party in Cologne. For the best views try to secure yourself a spot on one of the bridges over the river or, failing that, along the river's banks.
If you don't mind heading a little further away there are also excellent fireworks views to be had from the city's Rheinpark, or you can avoid the heaviest crowds by heading across the river to the Deutz area, which also affords the best views of the city's historic centre, a perfect backdriop to the pyrotechnics.
If you are planning on heading to Cologne over the festive season then we can also heartily recommend the city's excellent Christmas markets, there are several in the city with the most popular located right in front of the cathedral and you will be treated to a full range of local festive treats, including of course the excellent German mulled wine, gluhwein.
This year there will also be a spectacular multi media show of light and art installations in the area around the famous Cologne Cathedral.
For your new year's eve dining experience there are plenty of restaurants to choose from covering all tastes and cuisines, top rated eateries include Hanse-Stube, Restaurant Konrad, Daitokai and Plomari. For vegan options check out Hans Im Gluck. You can see the full range of Cologne restaurants here.
if you want to check in on the new year's eve party in Cologne and maybe catch a look at the fireworks there are several live webcam views worth checking out, including excellent live shots of the cathedral and the city skyline:
Accommodation in Cologne is realtively reasonably priced compared to other large German cities, but does of course get more expensive over the festive season, so the usual caveat applies, book early!
For a highly rated hotel with an excellent location right by the cathedral and a private new year party with gourmet cuisine and live music we can recommend the Excelsior Hotel Ernst.
You can search for deals at this, and all of the most popular Cologne local hotels here.