Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum – Cultures of the World

Where we live, what we believe in and where we belong - these are common themes that are important to every culture. The Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum is the only one of its kind in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia and is housed in a spacious new building with an innovative presentation concept. An exhibition area of 3,600 square metres shows the rich variety of world cultures.

The theme-based presentation "People in their Worlds" takes visitors on an interactive multi-media voyage of exploration where they learn more about the European view of other cultures and familiarize themselves with different concepts of life. Impressive exhibits from Africa, Asia, America, Oceania and Europe illustrate themes that concern people worldwide and enthral visitors from all age groups. The theme-based presentation "Comprehending the World" provides an insight into the European view of other cultures as reflected in travelogues, art and museums.

The presentation "Shaping the World" takes a closer look at different ways of living. What does a Gamelan orchestra from Indonesia sound like? What is the role of masks in rituals? How do nomads survive in the desert? Comparing cultures to detect commonalities and differences is at the heart of this ethnological museum that is fun and makes you want to know more.


acitivities (in German only)

Sa. 27.02.
16:00 Uhr

Vortrag | Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum - Kulturen der Welt

Resisting ISIS Films, presentations and artist talks with Khalid Albaih, Morehshin Allahyari, Chloé Galibert-Lâiné, and Kevin B. Lee

Für: Alle | Von: Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum | Treffpunkt: Online | Teilnahme: kostenlos 29.01.2021 - 11.07.2021

Mi. 03.03.
19:00 Uhr

Gespräch | Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum - Kulturen der Welt

RESIST! CONVERSATIONS It’s Yours! Peju Layiwola

Für: Alle | Von: Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum | Treffpunkt: Online | Teilnahme: kostenlos 29.01.2021 - 11.07.2021


current Exhibition

RESIST! The Art of Resistance

January 29, 2021 to July 11, 2021

This special exhibition deals with different forms, moments and stories of resistance against colonialism and its current manifestations. The museum has invited the curators and activists Peju Layiwola from Nigeria, Esther Utijua Muinjangue and Ida Hoffmann from Namibia, Timea Junghaus from Hungary, and Elizaveta Khan and Mona Leitmeier from Cologne to curate their own rooms. Their works will be complemented by objects from the permanent museum’s collection.

The Shadows of Things # 1

September 11, 2020 to April 11, 2021

This is the first in a new series of exhibitions staged by the museum – “ … of things #”. This first instalment focusses on four objects with a special biographical background from Cambodia, Canada, New Zealand and Nigeria. The installation approaches their histories, their presence or absence, and their repercussions on life today. It invites visitors to explore the biographies of these four objects and see them in a different light.



Cäcilienstraße 29-33
50667 Köln
T +49-221.221-31356
F +49-221.221-31333

Opening hours

Tue to Sun (incl. public holidays) 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thu 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Every 1st Thu of each month: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
closed on Mondays



Admission to the permanent collection Adults: 7 €
Concession: 4.50 €
Combination ticket (permanent and special exhibitions):
Adults: 10 €, concession: 7 €

Free admission for children up to 6 years, for Cologne residents up to 18 years, students (incl. 2 teachers per group), holders of the KölnPass, Cologne residents on their birthday

Free admission to the permanent collection on the 1st Thu of each month (except public holidays): for Cologne residents.

Public transport

Public transport
bus, tram, underground: "Neumarkt" (5 min walk)
Car park
Coach pick-up and drop-off point
in front of the museum; coach park along the Rhine river