Where to Stay in Cologne (2019 • COOLEST Areas!)

In this EPIC GUIDE, we cover where to stay in Cologne based on your travel style & budget. Check out the coolest areas in Cologne!

Interested? PIN NOW, read later!

Located on the Rhine, Cologne has progressively risen to be one of the best cities in Germany to visit. Boasting the tallest cathedral in Europe and an impossible to miss chocolate museum, Cologne has something to offer to all kinds of visitors and all tastes.

However, it can be hard to figure which neighbourhood is the best to stay in while getting the best out of the numerous accommodation options offered on the Internet.

This is why I have decided to create this guide on where to stay in Cologne. Preparing for your next holiday should be fun and relaxing.

By the time you are done reading this guide, YOU will be an expert on Cologne and its neighbourhoods. Get ready, set, go!

 

Quick Tips – Where To Stay In Cologne

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

Check Top HostelCheck Top Hotel

Old Town
The Cologne Old Town is the real heart of the city. Visitors will be delighted with cobbled streets, old houses dating back from the 13th and 14th century, and bars serving the local brew of Kölsch beer. The quaint streets are home to hundreds of small restaurants and café, some of which have a beer garden during the summer months.
Places to Visit:
  • Sit down in a café and enjoy a local draft Kölsch beer
  • Admire and explore the Cologne cathedral, the tallest in Europe
  • Learn about the history of the city at the old city hall

 

Where To Stay In Cologne

 

Best Hostel in Cologne – Die Wohngemeinschaft

Die Wohngemeinschaft is a trendy hostel located in the Belgian Quarter. It offers private rooms with a shared bathroom as well as single pod beds in dormitory rooms. The hostel also has an in-house café that turns into a bar at night, and a theatre with a program of plays, movies and concerts.

Need to spend some quality time with fellow backpackers? Get your fix by staying at one of these amazing hostels in Cologne!

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Budget Hotel in Cologne – Hotel Sandmanns am Dom

The Hotel Sandmanns am Dom is the best option for where to stay in Cologne on a budget. Located in the heart of the city, this hotel offers rooms featuring a private bathroom, heating, soundproofing and a flat screen TV. Free wifi is available everywhere in the hotel.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Cologne – Hotel Casa Colonia

Hotel Casa Colonia offers a comfortable accommodation in a quiet but central location. All rooms feature a private bathroom a flat screen TV and a seating area. A free wifi connection is available all around the hotel. A buffet breakfast is served for guests every morning.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Cologne’s Neighbourhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Cologne

tbbn-table__image

Old Town

  • The Cologne Old Town is the real heart of the city. Visitors will be delighted with cobbled streets, old houses dating back from the 13th and 14th century, and bars serving the local brew of Kölsch beer.
Check Top HostelCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Altstadt Süd

  • The Altstadt Süd is located just south of the Cologne Old Town, on the western bank of the Rhine river. Together with the Altstadt Nord, where the Old Town is mostly located, it forms the Innerstadt, where most touristic sights are to be seen.
Check Top HostelCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Belgisches Viertel

  • The Belgisches Viertel owes its name to the streets within it, mostly named after cities from Belgium and the Netherlands. It is often referred to as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Cologne.
Check Top HostelCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Ehrenfeld

  • Tucked away from the city centre, Ehrenfeld has taken over the Belgian Quarter as the coolest neighbourhood in Cologne. People do not come here for cultural and historical sights but rather for a lifestyle and the trendy atmosphere that lingers in the streets.
Check Top HostelCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Deutz

  • The Deutz neighbourhood is located just across the Rhine river from Cologne’s Old Town. Until 1888, it was an independent town but is now fully part of Cologne.
Check Top HostelCheck Top Hotel

 

Over the years, Cologne has become a serious contender for the title of coolest city in Germany. Located on the banks of the Rhine river in the West of Germany, the city enjoys a prime position and should definitely be on your itinerary when visiting Germany. The Rhine cuts the city in half, with most of the tourist-worthy neighbourhoods standing on the West Bank.

The Old Town concentrates most of the historical sights and is thus perfect for first timers in Cologne. There, the most famous landmark is probably the Cologne Cathedral, standing tall at 157 meters. Around the cathedral, visitors will enjoy the cobble-stone streets and the old houses dating back from the 13th or 14th century.

On the Rhine bank, the Chocolate museum is also not to be missed. Learn how chocolate is crafted from the cocoa bean and, of course, leave with some Lindt chocolate samples!

To the north-west, the Belgian Quarter, or Belgisches Viertel, has become a prime spot for youngsters and nightlife. During the summer, beer gardens pop out and conquer the outdoor space. During the day, designer shops offer quality and unique shopping opportunities.

Despite its location a bit out of the city centre, the Ehrenfeld neighbourhood is now set to be the coolest area in Cologne. Designer shops, trendy coffee houses and independent restaurants are what you will find here. Some say the Berlin’s underground and subculture can be found here in Ehrenfeld.

 

The Best Travel Backpack?!

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Backpack.

Check out this post to read our full review!

 

Cologne’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods To Stay In

Cologne offers an array of neighbourhoods with different vibes and activities. Let’s explore each one of them together.

 

#1 Old Town – Where to Stay in Cologne your First Time

The Cologne Old Town is the real heart of the city. Visitors will be delighted with cobbled streets, old houses dating back from the 13th and 14th century, and bars serving the local brew of Kölsch beer. The quaint streets are home to hundreds of small restaurants and café, some of which have a beer garden during the summer months.

The highlight of the area is without a doubt the Cologne cathedral, standing tall at 157 meters high. The cathedral has been built in Gothic style from 1248 to 1880. It is open daily for visitors and guided tours are available.

While in the Old Town, you can also check out the fragrance museum, explaining how the world-famous Eau de Cologne came to life. The original brand’s shop is also located right next to it and is a convenient stop if you are looking for local souvenirs to bring back home.

Old Town, Cologne

 

Things to see and do in Cologne Old Town

 – Walk around the small quaint streets

 – Sit down in a café and enjoy a local draft Kölsch beer

 – Admire and explore the Cologne cathedral, the tallest in Europe

 – Learn about the history of the city at the old city hall

 

Best Hostel In Cologne Old Town – Cologne Downtown Hostel

The Cologne Downtown Hostel offers budget accommodation in a central area. You can choose between private rooms with an ensuite bathroom and a single bed in a mixed dormitory room. Each dorm has its own bathroom and a free Wifi connection is available. In the summer, guests can enjoy the outdoor terrace.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Budget Hotel in Cologne Old Town – Hotel Kunibert der Fiese

The Hotel Kunibert der Fiese is located in the heart of Cologne and is close to all the main historic attractions of the city. The rooms, located in a 13th century tavern, are comfortable and feature a private bathroom, free toiletries and heating. A free wifi connection is available in the building.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Cologne Old Town – Hotel Engelbertz

Hotel Engelbertz offers family-run accommodation just a short walk away from the cathedral, in a pedestrian street. It offers comfortable rooms featuring an ensuite bathroom and a TV. A good breakfast is included and served every morning, and free wifi is provided all around the property.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

#2 Altstadt Süd – Where to Stay in Cologne on a Budget

The Altstadt Süd is located just south of the Cologne Old Town, on the western bank of the Rhine river. Together with the Altstadt Nord, where the Old Town is mostly located, it forms the Innerstadt, where most touristic sights are to be seen.

In the Altstadt Süd, there are several interesting museums. The most famous one is probably the chocolate museum, positioned right on the Rhine river. There, visitors can learn about the making of chocolate and the techniques used to process it and transform it into the bars we love from simple cocoa beans. Lindt is now in charge of the museum and allows some tasting!

Around the chocolate museum, the Rheinhaufen quarter, the old commercial port, is now a modern area focused on creatives and digital technologies. Take a look at the Kranhaus buildings, built in the shape of cranes over the river.

Altstadt Süd, Cologne

 

Things to see and do in Altstadt Süd

 – Satisfy your sweet tooth at the chocolate museum

 – Explore the religious heritage of the city through several churches

 – Learn about Cologne’s Roman history looking at the remains of Roman walls and towers

 – Explore the modern quarter of Rheinhausen

 

Best Hostel in Altstadt Süd –  Cologne Downtown Hostel

The Cologne Downtown Hostel offers budget accommodation in a central area. You can choose between private rooms with an ensuite bathroom and a single bed in a mixed dormitory room. Each dorm has its own bathroom and a free Wifi connection is available. In the summer, guests can enjoy the outdoor terrace.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Budget Hotel in Altstadt Süd – Hotel Weber Cologne

Hotel Weber Cologne is a great choice for where to stay in Cologne on a budget. The comfortable bedrooms feature a private shower and a shared toilet, a seating area, free toiletries and heating. Some of the bedrooms have a private bathroom with a shower and a toilet.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Altstadt Süd – NH Köln Altstadt

The NH Köln Altstadt is conveniently located just across the street from the Rhine river and the chocolate museum. The rooms are clean, spacious, and feature a private bathroom with a bathtub, air conditioning, heating, and a flat screen TV. A fitness centre and a restaurant are available in the hotel.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

#3 Belgisches Viertel – Best Area to Stay in Cologne for Nightlife

The Belgisches Viertel owes its name to the streets within it, mostly named after cities from Belgium and the Netherlands. It is often referred to as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Cologne.

The Belgian Quarter is located on the outside of the city centre, further off to the west, and is often overlooked by tourists. However, if you like a laid-back atmosphere or a good party, you would really be missing out by skipping it.

The shops around the Belgian Quarter are mostly independent brands that are not usually seen on the high street. Come here to get a unique piece no one else will have! If you need a break, dozens of cafés and hip restaurants line the streets.

During the summer, beer gardens pop out everywhere and stay open late. Concerts are often organised. Many clubs are also located in the neighbourhoods, some of which like the famous Six Pack stay open until 8 in the morning.

Belgisches Viertel, Cologne

source: Rainer Lesniewski (Shutterstock)

 

Things to see and do in the Belgisches Viertel

 – Shop til you drop in the independent stores of Hohe Strasse and Schildergasse

 – Try some hip food in one of the local restaurants

 – Dance the night away in one of the numerous trendy clubs of the area

 

Best Hostel in the Belgisches Viertel – Die Wohngemeinschaft

Die Wohngemeinschaft is a trendy hostel located in the Belgian Quarter. It offers private rooms with a shared bathroom as well as single pod beds in dormitory rooms. The hostel also has an in-house café that turns into a bar at night, and a theatre with a program of plays, movies and concerts.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Budget Hotel in the Belgisches Viertel – Royal Inn Cologne

The Royal Inn Cologne is located just a few streets away from the Brüsseler Platz in the Belgian Quarter. The rooms feature a private bathroom, a flat screen TV and a balcony with a nice view. The hotel offers family rooms and allows pets to stay. The reception provides tour desk services.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in the Belgisches Viertel – Steigenberger Hotel Köln

The Steigenberger Hotel is a great choice for where to stay in the Belgian Quarter of Cologne. The rooms are spacious and offer either a city or a garden view. In addition, they are all fitted with a private bathroom, air conditioning, a flat screen TV with satellite channels and air conditioning.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Universal Travel AdapterOne of the best investments you can make is a worldwide travel adapter that will work anywhere! The one featured here is tough, reliable and a solid buy – Don’t leave home without one.

GET IT HERE

 

#4 Ehrenfeld – Coolest Place to Stay in Cologne

Tucked away from the city centre, Ehrenfeld has taken over the Belgian Quarter as the coolest neighbourhood in Cologne. People do not come here for cultural and historical sights but rather for a lifestyle and the trendy atmosphere that lingers in the streets.

A stop in one of the local artisan coffee shops is mandatory to try some one of a kind brews created by local baristas.

The Ehrenfeld neighbourhood is also a hotspot for street art and graffiti that even attracts international artists. Tours with local guides are organised to see all the artwork, or you can decide to explore the area on your own.

It is also in Ehrenfeld that Germany’s largest mosque is located. It recently opened in 2017 and was built in a modern style with floor to ceiling windows and raw concrete.

Finally, Ehrenfeld is a popular nightlife spot in the city. The clubs are eclectic and offer techno music as well as party classics from the 1980s. In the summer, enjoy a night out in one of the many beer gardens.

Ehrenfeld, Cologne

source: Bjarke Liboriussen (Flickr)

 

Things to see and do in Ehrenfeld

 – Walk along Cologne’s street art

 – Try some artisan brew in one of the independent coffee places

 – Dance the night away at techno parties

 – Visit Germany’s largest mosque

 

Best Hostel in Ehrenfeld – Weltempfänger Hostel

The Weltempfänger Hostel is a great option for where to stay in Ehrenfeld. The rooms offer single or dormitory accommodation. In-room lockers and a shared bathroom are available. A washing machine and a tumble dryer are available for use in the hostel, as well as a free Wifi connection.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Best Budget Hotel in Ehrenfeld – Park Inn by Radisson Köln City West

The Park Inn by Radisson provides stylish and modern rooms in Ehrenfeld. They are all fitted with a private bathroom with a bathtub, air conditioning, soundproofing and a flat screen TV with satellite channels. A state-of-the-art fitness centre can be used by guests at their convenience.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Ehrenfeld – NH Collection Köln Mediapark

The NH Collection Köln Mediapark is located just outside of the Ehrenfeld neighbourhood in Neustadt Nord. It offers modern and spacious rooms featuring an ensuite bathroom, air conditioning, a flat screen TV its satellite channels and a tea and coffee maker. A fitness centre, a sauna and a steam room are available for guests to use.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

#5 Deutz – Best Neighbourhood in Cologne for Families

The Deutz neighbourhood is located just across the Rhine river from Cologne’s Old Town. Until 1888, it was an independent town but is now fully part of Cologne. Deutz is quieter than the bustling city centre, especially in the summer when the beer garden season is in full swing. Families will appreciate the laid-back and tranquil atmosphere after a long day out exploring the city.

To the north of the neighbourhood, the Rheinpark offers a great opportunity to spend a day out amongst greenery. During the summer, take the kids out for a picnic in the park and spend a lazy afternoon at the beach club.

From Deutz, you will easily be able to reach Cologne’s Old Town by crossing the iconic Hohenzollern Bridge, formerly used for rail traffic. At night, the bridge lights up beautifully. Take the view in from the Kennedy Embankment, without forgetting to take a look at the beautiful Cologne skyline in the background, including the Cologne cathedral.

Deutz, Cologne

 

Things to see and do in Deutz

 – See your favourite artist at the Lanxess Arena

 – Admire Cologne’s skyline from Kennedy Embankment

 – Cross the iconic Hohenzollern Bridge to Cologne’s city centre

 – Have a day out in the greenery of Rheinpark

 

Best Hostel in Deutz – The Penny Pincher Inn

The Penny Pincher Inn offers dormitory rooms that are a great option for where to stay in Deutz on a budget. Each bed is assigned to a private locker and has a reading light. The rooms all have a bathroom with a shower, a wardrobe, and a toilet with toilet paper.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Budget Hotel in Deutz – Dorint An der Messe Köln

The hotel is conveniently located next to the Köln Messe and is a great option when it comes to where to stay in Deutz, especially if you are attending an event! The rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a private bathroom with a bathtub, soundproofing and a city view.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Deutz – Hyatt Regency Köln

Located on the banks of the Rhine river in Deutz, the Hyatt Regency Köln provides luxury accommodation in Cologne. The comfortable and spacious rooms are fitted with a private bathroom and air conditioning, and some rooms have a stunning view over the cathedral on the other side of the river.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Final Thoughts On Where To Stay in Cologne…

Cologne is a bustling metropolis, and surely deserves its title of coolest city in Germany. It is also full of history with a heritage that dates back to the Roman Empire. Visitors will enjoy the shopping, the cultural sights and the local food and beverages.

To me, the Old Town is the best place to stay as it is closest to all the sights and action. There, the  Hotel Casa Colonia offers comfortable rooms for a great price, while in a tranquil street close to all the main action.

If you are traveling on a budget, Die Wohngemeinschaft is a trendy pod hostel that will set you up for a comfortable night in the cool area of the Belgian Quarter.

Did I forget any hotspot in Cologne? Let me know in the comments and I will add it right away!

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email hostels@thebrokebackpacker.com to find out how.

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.


Need More Inspiration?

Like this post? PIN ME!!!

In this EPIC GUIDE, we cover where to stay in Cologne based on your travel style & budget. Check out the coolest areas in Cologne!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *