I recently rediscovered Cologne’s botanical garden. What I found boring as a kid nowadays seems like a perfect place for me: a beautiful park with fountains and flowerbeds, tropical glasshouses and fancy trees and plants. Have you ever expected an alley of palm trees in Cologne?
I like beautiful spots that have the opportunity to stop for a coffee or a bite to eat. And thankfully there is a wonderful café at the west wing of the “Flora”, the most prestigious building in the park. Dank Augusta is a small kiosk located on a huge terrace which can provide you with everything you need for a great picnic: choose your drinks, your salad, your cake, and the friendly staff will hand you out a picnic basket with your delicacies. Then you just have to pick a seat: perhaps at one of the bigger picnic tables or at a romantic spot for two overlooking the gardens.
By the way, the café’s name “Dank Augusta” means “Thanks to Augusta”. In the middle of the 19th century, Augusta was married to the German Emperor William I. She had a reputation for being very liberal and self-confident and when she took over the patronage of the botanical gardens she wanted it to be open to all citizens, regardless of their social class – something that was not self-evident at the time. A bust in the garden of the flora is still reminiscent of Augusta. Why don’t you try to find it?