It may be the height of summer but Christmas markets and pints of Kölsch are on the horizon as British Airways launches a brand-new route to the German city of Cologne.The airline has announced it will be adding a new four-per-week service from Gatwick airport to the winter break hotspot, located on both sides of the Rhine, from November 16, 2018.
Cologne (Köln), Germany's fourth largest city, offers a plethora of attractions led by its famous cathedral whose filigree twin spires dominate the skyline.
Known for its art, history and architecture, visitors can immerse themselves in the avant-garde before enjoying a dish of the local speciality Himmel un Ääd, mashed potato with apple sauce and sausage. For those with a sweeter tooth, a trip to the famous chocolate museum is a must before spending the evening at one of the many beer halls experiencing the liberal Rhinelander spirit, or soaking up the party atmosphere in one of the countless bars or restaurants. No other German city has as many pubs per capita.
The highlight of the Cologne calendar is the six-day street carnival known as "Crazy Days". Normal life is suspended in Cologne as the city celebrates in a colourful spectacle of eclectic costumes, dancing, sequins, parades and parties where more than one million revellers take to the streets for the largest carnival in Europe.
During the winter season customers will be able to fly direct for the first time with British Airways, with services taking off on Mondays, Thursdays. Fridays and Sundays; offering holidaymakers the perfect excuse to visit one of the seven Christmas markets.
Adam Carson, British Airways' Managing Director of Gatwick, said: "Cologne adds another exciting destination to our Gatwick network and is perfect for a winter break. Cologne is becoming increasingly popular due to being a cultural hub and is a living textbook on art, history and architecture."
The addition of the Cologne route follows the introduction of the Gatwick to Las Vegas flight which operates thrice-weekly all year round.
The airline is also increasing the number of flights it operates to other firm-favourite city break destinations from Gatwick this winter, with more flights to Palma in Mallorca, Turin, Lanzarote, Malaga and Geneva.