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A local’s guide to Cologne: 10 top tips

Vintage shops, great bars, buzzing squares and art on tap, there’s a lot more to Cologne than its iconic cathedral and railway bridge

There are many more amazing churches and spiritual spots to visit than just the incredible cathedral with its 157-metre twin spires, one of Germany’s most famous and visited buildings. For example, Melaten-Friedhof is among the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe, set in a huge park with wonderful trees and plants that attract lots of birds. It is 20 minutes’ walk east of Brüsseler Platz, in the Lindenthal district, and was modelled on Paris’s Père Lachaise cemetery. It has some beautiful tombs from the early 19th century to the present day – especially on Millionaire Avenue, where the city’s wealthiest inhabitants were buried.

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Snow patrol: 10 great winter train journeys in Europe

From a steam railway in Yorkshire to hotels on wheels in the Alps, sit back and enjoy the show outside the train window

Europe’s first standard-gauge mountain rail line, the Semmering – which connects Vienna with southwestern Austria – became the first transport route to be designated a Unesco heritage site. Completed in 1854, the line crosses 16 viaducts and passes through 15 tunnels, and provides a breathtaking vision of the Austrian Alps as it clings to the icy mountainside and sweeps above the snowy valley floor thousands of feet below. It is a world-class experience that costs around £38, for a return ticket from Vienna to Semmering, and can further be enjoyed with a two-course meal with wine and coffee for an extra £20.
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