Street Art at Ehrenfeld, Köln (Cologne)

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Ehrenfeld, Cologne, is famous for its street art and graffiti including works depicting Nazi atrocities and modern ethical dilemmas. Some of the street art can be credited to well-known artists, while others have been painted by amateur geniuses.

We thought that Ehrenfeld, a borough of Köln (Cologne), would just be a short stop during our day in the city but we ended up spending hours wandering around its colourful streets and corners!

Flea markets full of great deals, delicious food and peppy music are a regular fixture in Ehrenfeld, as are picturesque al fresco restaurants and boutique shops. But what drew us to this historic district is its reputation for edgy street art emblazoned on its walls and bahnhof (station) environs.

We also stayed for the quiet, leafy streets marked by industrial edifices sporting mysterious graffiti, with the Helios Lighthouse and Colonious telecommunications tower looming in the backdrop.

Street Art at Ehrenfeld

Ehrenfeld has a different vibe from the rest of Cologne. You can instantly sense the hipster atmosphere, and by night, the suburb comes alive with night clubs and bars. But interesting murals by Faith47, Sepe & Chazme, and INTI are Ehrenfeld’s real claim to fame. As far as local talent is concerned, Captain Borderline and Huami have earned a name for themselves.

The journey through Ehrenfeld's renowned street art began the moment we exited the bahnhof
The journey through Ehrenfeld’s renowned street art began the moment we exited the bahnhof
and continued well into the nearby walls and streets.
and continued well into the nearby walls and streets.
This work of art represents the Edelweiss pirates, escaped detainees from concentration camps who went on to form an anti-Nazi resistance group in 1944. In November the same year, 13 of them were publicly hanged in Cologne. But their bravery continues to sadden and inspire with evocative expressions such as this.
This work of art represents the Edelweiss pirates, escaped detainees from concentration camps who went on to form an anti-Nazi resistance group in 1944. In November the same year, 13 of them were publicly hanged in Cologne. But their bravery continues to sadden and inspire with evocative expressions such as this.
Both famous street artists and unknown local talents find a place on the walls of Ehrenfeld.
Both famous street artists and unknown local talents find a place on the walls of Ehrenfeld.
Street art at Ehrenfeld, Koln (Cologne)
This boy promises to give you the truth, as it is. That reflects the general German ethos of brutal honesty rather well!
Posing with the 'N' of Ehrenfeld
Posing with the ‘N’ of Ehrenfeld
This 3D mosaic face could compete with many famous works of art.
This 3D mosaic face could compete with many famous works of art. We wish we could frame it for our home (maybe we will!).

Apart from Ehrenfeld Bahnhof, the main spots to see street art in Ehrenfeld include the walls of Burgerzentrum Ehrenfeld and Venloer Straße. The area around the old Helios lighthouse is also full of artworks. Look out for stunning artwork on building facades such as Stapelbar.

Flea Markets in Ehrenfeld

On one or two weekends during the month, Ehrenfeld hosts a lively flea market called Nachtkonsum. The evening market regales visitors with vintage items, live music, and lots of food and drink from 5 to 11 PM.

Clothes, shoes and accessories from the Orient and the Middle-East were available at throwaway prices at this flea market in Ehrenfeld.
Clothes, shoes and accessories from the Orient and the Middle-East were available at throwaway prices at this flea market in Ehrenfeld.
Visitors also amused themselves by taking the stage and lip-syncing to recorded music!
Visitors also amused themselves by taking the stage and lip-syncing to recorded music!

Things to Do in Ehrenfeld

Ehrenfeld is home to Neptunbad, a Japanese thermal spa with saunas and pools. Enjoy coffee and cake at Cafe Sehnsucht, named after the fascinating German word for ‘wistful longing’. You can even play 3D mini golf at Glowing Rooms, and visit the modernistic Cologne Central Mosque. And if you like cemeteries, pay a visit to Melatenfriedhof.

The Helios lighthouse is what remains of an erstwhile German electrical engineering company. Now the compound houses other offices.
The Helios lighthouse is what remains of an erstwhile German electrical engineering company. Now the compound houses other offices.
Colonius, the telecommunications tower of Cologne, also serves as a viewing platform for the city.
Colonius, the telecommunications tower of Cologne, also serves as a viewing platform for the city.

How to Reach Ehrenfeld

Take any train or tram to Ehrenfeld bahnhof. The streets are best explored on foot or by bicycles. Other things to do in Ehrenfeld include visiting the Melatonfriedof cemetery, the Cologne Central Mosque and Neptunbad Spa.

If you’d like to discover more street art in Cologne, check out Street Art Cities, which documents 177 masterpieces across the city. What do you think of street art as a form of artistic expression? Leave a comment and let us know!

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