On Saturday, the German airline launched its inaugural flight from the northwest of Ireland to Cologne/Bonn. Future Germanwings flights will depart every Saturday from Knock International Airport at 3:15pm, reaching Cologne/Bonn at 5:15pm local time.
Cologne has plenty to offer: located on the banks of the Rhine just 15 minutes from the airport the city has many opportunities for sightseeing and shopping. Cologne is famous for its friendly Carnival culture and is the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by, perhaps with a glass of the local beer Kölsch, which is served in the Brauhaus around the picturesque lanes of the ‘Old Town’.
Cologne’s majestic gothic Cathedral is also a must-see. The relics of the Three Kings are kept at the high alter in an amazing gold casket. To burn up some energy visitors can climb the 509 steps to the top of the South Tower for a panoramic view or take a bicycle tour of the city. Not far away you can also jump aboard a fantastic sightseeing cruise down the Rhine.
The agricultural landscape is of the greatest importance to the north-west of Ireland, with its many sheep and cattle farms. Among the main attractions is the Pilgrimage Church of Knock. It was built in remembrance of an appearance by Our Lady, which is said to have taken place in 1879. The church is called "Our Lady Queen of Ireland" and can accommodate up to 10,000 worshippers; about 1.5 million people make the pilgrimage to the church every year. Furthermore, the region is popular for fishing, and organised fishing trips in the region are offered via Knock airport.