The main shopping street of Cologne is the Schildergasse, extending from the Neumarkt. Both the Schildergasse and Neumarkt, as well as pedestrianized side streets extending from them (in particular the Hohe Strasse leading towards the Dom), feature numerous department stores, boutiques and other high-profile (and, often, high-price) retail establishments.
Galeria KaufhofGermany's largest department store chain and direct descendant of the mighty Leonhard Tietz AG has its flagship store in Cologne, where it is headquartered (although the headquarter offices have now moved to a different, modern building in Altstadt-Sued). The original 19th century Tietz department store on the Schildergasse has been expanded with a modern part, including a multi-storey parking, facing the Caecilienstrasse and now fills the entire huge block. You can find everything there, from apparel to groceries.
KarstadtKaufhof's main competitor situated themselves in a modern shopping centre north of Neumarkt, over the Zeppelinstrasse.
Peek & CloppenburgThe department store chain specializing in upscale apparel is known for their architecturally unique buildings, and the glass-faade Zeppelin over the Nord-Sued-Fahrt is one of them.
Although it is Duesseldorf that brands itself as the German capital of fashion, Cologne's Altstadt also features a wide range of high-end fashion stores with a selection of top German and global brands.
Franz SauerMinoritenstrae 13, 50667 Kln
AproposMittelstrae 3, 50672 KlnFeatures a Gucci brand store
La Belle ModehausMittelstrae 20, 50672 Kln
Modehaus ElscheidtBenesisstrasse 36
Boutique 69Pfeilstrae 31-35, 50672 Kln
There is an abundance of record stores in Cologne, but most are hidden in non-tourist quarters.
For a mainstream record store, go to Saturn, which hosts the "world's largest CD collection", as they quote on their store windows. It's huge, and to pre-listen a record, you just have to hold it under one of the many scanners spread throughout the shop. Always worth a visit. Subway and Regional Train from central station: Hansaring. Does not take credit cards.
Independent record stores are spread around Saturn: Cross the street for 2nd hand and punk, follow the "Ring" (boulevard) north, and you will find Jazz, Electro and HipHop at Schallschock record store. Famous alternative music-store Normal is south of Saturn, as well as Underdog Record Store (specialized in Alternative Rock, Emo, Garage and related matters) Subway and Regional Train from central station: Hansaring
For electronic music, get off at Friesenplatz, and go to groove attack in Maastrichter street. Also famous is Kompakt record store. Both are connected to a label sharing the name, and putting out fine German electronic music. Subway: Friesenplatz
"Mayersche" and "Thalia" at Neumarkt are the biggest bookstores, you will find anything you want, but mostly in German.
On "Ehrenstraße", you will find cheap and arty books, take a look at "Buchhandlung König" at the eastern end, buy art books at well known "Taschen" at the corner of Ehrenstraße and the Ring.
Travel books are bought best at "Gleumes", between Zülpicher Platz and Rudolfplatz. They have only maps and travel books, but these from around the world.
Books in English - "English Books and Tea", Auf dem Rothenberg 9a, in the old town, stocks a wide range of new and secondhand books in English. It also offers a choice of teas and conversation and invaluable tourist orientation - all in English.
Honorable mention: "Cafe Goldmund" in Ehrenfeld. A very cozy corner-café with all walls lined with bookshelves. You can buy every (second hand) book after you finnished flipping through it while you enjoyed your drinks for a small tip. Also hosts small music and poetry events. Glasstraße 2, right next to the S-Bahn station "Ehrenfeld".