Opinions are divided regarding one of Cologne’s last gentrified city districts, which is undoubtedly the most prominent one, since it has spectacularly affected Cologne’s skyline as seen from the right bank of river Rhine.
Friends of mine have had the chance to live in Halle 12 (an old warehouse transformed to a modern residential building) for almost two years and during that time I have often been in the area. I must confess: I do like it – mainly because I’m fascinated by the conversion of industrially used docklands to a modern city district with an impressive combination of old and new architecture.
However, I doubt that living here feels like living in a common Veedel (neighborhood). On sunny weekends, you observe masses of walkers, bladers and cyclists along the riverside promenade, whereas during weekdays after business hours the area is quite deserted, perhaps except for the square close to Ubierring (where the tram stops).
Here you find two nice restaurants: Bona’me, an easy-going spot with good Turkish food, and the Greek Limani specialized in great seafood, mezedes and wines. There is another restaurant Josephs which I really like regarding its food and interior design (it’s located in an old silo), but you should be aware that prices in Rheinauhafen are higher than in the nearby Südstadt.
For a cheaper snack go to the local bakery Mauel, take away your coffee and cake or sandwich and find a seat with a view on the river to watch the ships passing by.