EThings are complicated in Cologne these days. At least if he doesn't put anything on the carnival. The celebrations culminate in Rose Monday, a day when there is a big parade, children pick sweets from the ground and many adults enjoy Höhner-fuelled alcohol intoxication.

Rose Monday is a day of celebration in Cologne, but not a public holiday. An expert talks about a customized day or a fake vacation. Although it is customary for employers to give their employees time off on this day, they are usually under no obligation to do so. So if you want to know what's open in Cologne on Rose Monday, you're faced with a confusing situation.

Municipal institutions open to the public are closed

If Cologne's anti-carnivalist hopes to use this day to perform daily tasks, he will be quickly disappointed. All municipal institutions open to the public are closed. He also has to postpone legal matters as the district and district courts in Cologne are closed for the day. Sparkasse Köln Bonn and Volksbank Köln Bonn eG have also closed their branches. At least you can do your shopping and many supermarkets are open until 2pm. However, you won't be able to register your boat on Shrove Tuesday – the staff at the Cologne-based Federal Waterways and Shipping Authority are allowed to indulge in the silly activity.

So what could Cologne's Rose Monday day plan look like, apart from the carnivalesque disinfection? We start the day on the right bank of the Rhine in Köln-Kalki. Cologne arcades are open from ten to eight o'clock. So not only do we have a lot of time, but we also have a lot of choice for a more or less balanced breakfast at either Kamps bakery, Ditsch or Burger King.

Then we venture onto the ice – because both the ice rink and the swimming pool are open in Lentpark. Although we are inexperienced, we manage to go around the hall without falling.

Köttbullar at Ikea

Skating makes you tired and hungry. That's why we go to Ikea in Cologne's Butzweiler Hof, which is also open on Shrove Tuesday. Here we can do several things at once: First we enjoy vegan potato-leek soup as a starter, and as a main course Köttbullar with peas, mashed potatoes, cream sauce and cranberries, and finally a small cinnamon bun. Then we venture through the halls and, if necessary, dream with our partner about a new interior design for the living room. We take tea candles with us when we go out.

Feeling musical, we head to a music store on Istanbul Street. It is a huge musical instrument store – 6,000 square meters spread over four floors. There, we will also have the opportunity to pick up a Gibson Les Paul on New Year's Eve and be familiar with the latest event technology.

What could be more obvious than pampering our stressed bodies with thermal waters, bubble lounge chairs and finally neck showers? In the evening we go to Claudius Therme, which is also open on Rose Monday.

On the way home, we notice that the streets are empty. You can spend a pleasant day in Cologne on Rose Monday – without sweets and alcohol.