With 2,000 years under its belt, Cologne, Germany has plenty of historic charm for locals and visitors to enjoy. There is no shortage of museums, medieval and gothic architecture and, of course, pubs (the city has more pubs per person than anywhere else in the country!)
All the incredible attractions, restaurants and nightlife hot spots are accompanied by lovely, spotless and affordable hotels that make our cheapo hearts sing. We’ve found some of the best cheap hotels in Cologne to make your trip planning easier.
Want more choices? Click to search for all budget hotel options in Cologne.
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Which Cologne neighborhood should I stay in?
You know you’re headed to Cologne. But what part of town will be ideal for your stay? Here’s a quick overview of Cologne’s most central neighborhoods.
South of Cacilienstrasse and west of the Rhine River, Altstadt-South (Old Town South) is part of Cologne’s first district. The neighborhood’s St. Maria im Kapitol, on Kasinostrasse, is famous for its thousand-year-old door, among other treasures.
On a small island off Holzmarkt, the Schokoaden Museum tempts visitors with the craft of chocolate-making while the Deutsches Sport & Olympia Museum entertains active participants with interactive bobsled and bike race exhibits.
The inspiring northern end of Cologne’s Altstadt (Old Town), known as Altstadt-North, is located on the west side of the Rhine River. The Dom, with its soaring twin spires, is situated a block south of the train station and easy to spot from all directions. The iconic Roman Arch sits just west of the Dom on Trankgasse and next to the tourist office. Gross St. Martin, a block from the river, towers over the Fischmarkt with four turrets circling its own central spire.
This neighborhood, located across the Rhine River from Old Town, is a bit more commercial than other areas of Cologne, with trade fairs taking place throughout the year at the Kolnmesse complex.
The large Rheinpark, one of several green spaces in Cologne, is also found here. Cologne’s Old Town is easily accessible from the Messe by way of the Deutzer Bridge.
This large area to the north of Old Town includes several tourist attractions. The internationally renowned Cologne Zoo and aquarium are located along the Rhine River. Just west of the Zoo, there’s the Botanical Garden.
South of the Zoo, along the Riehler Strasse, the city’s Sculpture Park includes works from such artists as Tony Cragg and Rosemarie Trockel.
Located south of Old Town, this large neighborhood is home to the city’s university as well as the main university hospital. The Volkgarten, a little more than a mile from Cologne’s central Dom, offers boat rides and a beer garden. Some hotels in this neighborhood may be a bit far from the city center.
Top cheap hotels in Cologne, Germany
Here are our favorite affordable accommodations with convenient locations in the heart of the city.
Beds from $27
With a location within a 20-minute walking distance to Museum Ludwig, Cologne Chocolate Museum and Wallraf Richartz Museum, the Cologne Downtown Hostel provides accommodations for the most extreme Cheapos without sacrificing comfort or amenities.
The hostel rooms here are standard fare, with white bunk beds, provided linens, en suite bathrooms (for four to eight people per room) and air conditioning. There is also free Wi-Fi for connecting with your new friends on social media, plus an outdoor terrace for dining or chit-chatting with your fellow hostel-mates.
Although there’s no breakfast offered, there is a shared kitchen to whip something up from local foods.
Doubles from $66
Nestled into a charming, 11th-century building, the Altstadt-Hotel Köln sits just a 5-minute walk to the Cologne Cathedral and the Philharmonie concert hall. The hotel is above one of the oldest vaulted cellars in the city.
The rooms as well as the bathrooms, either private or shared, are fairly basic but impeccably clean. Amenities are pretty standard as well, with free Wi-Fi and televisions available to guests.
There’s no breakfast here, but there are plenty of spots for an affordable morning meal nearby.
Doubles from $73
With a central location overlooking the Rhine, the three-star Hotel Drei Kronen is hard to beat with its low rates, spotless rooms and situation just a 7-minute walk from Cologne Main Station.
Guestrooms at Hotel Drei Kronen are rather plain with basic hotel furnishings, but you’ll find all the comforts of home here. Despite the low rates, there are still flat-screen televisions, coffee makers and free Wi-Fi. Be sure to ask ahead for one of the rooms that overlooks the river to get the most bang for your buck.
A continental breakfast is available each morning for an additional fee. There is also an Italian restaurant, Cosa Nostra, on-site.
Doubles from $101
We love the sweet, family-run Hotel Engelbertz, which is located just a short walk from major Cologne attractions such as the cathedral, museums and the Cologne Opera plus the convenient Central Train Station.
Rooms and common areas feel a lot like a visit to a grandparent’s house, with floral sofas, wood furnishings and simple art framed on the walls. Most of the rooms have excellent views of the city, a welcomed bonus for these low rates. Additionally, there are private bathrooms with bathtubs, free Wi-Fi and televisions.
As if the low rates, central location and rooms with views weren’t enough, breakfast is included in the price.
Doubles from $106
The Motel One Köln-Neumarkt offers rooms with a chic, laid-back vibe located in a popular shopping district of the city and just a little over a mile away from the Wallraf Richartz Museum. It sits next to the city’s former cattle market, founded in 1076, that now serves as a fashion destination.
Teal and gray rooms are attractive, with crisp, white bedding and abstract art on the walls. You can rent an iPad from the front desk or take advantage of the free Wi-Fi on your own devices. Each room includes a flat-screen television and a private bathroom. Be sure to ask ahead for a room with a view of the city.
Breakfast is available for an additional charge.
Doubles from $108
A friendly, welcoming spot, the Hotel Glockengasse lies in a central but quiet spot of Cologne just a 10 minute walk from the Central Train Station and a 10-15 minute walk from major sites including the Rhine promenade and the Cologne Cathedral.
The rooms here are standard fare: basic wood furnishings, crisp white sheets and small but spotless en suites. Free Wi-Fi and flat-screen televisions round out the list of amenities.
A delicious breakfast is served each morning in the cheerful dining area and is included in the already low nightly rate.
Doubles from $109
If you’re looking for a dose of charm, Hotel im Wasserturm has it. Situated within a converted water tower (once the largest water tower in Europe, no less), this hotel will give you plenty to talk about when you return from your travels. The Cologne Train Station is a mile away, and the hotel is just a 10-minute stroll to the banks of the River Rhine.
In contrast to its exterior, the rooms are adorned in contemporary decor and complete with plenty of amenities: free Wi-Fi, private bathrooms, additional seating areas, flat-screen televisions and more.
The hotel also includes the Brick Lounge, a traditional bar and terrace with food and drinks available every night.
Breakfast is available for a (pretty pricey) fee.
Doubles from $109
The Koncept Hotel zum kostbaren Blut is an attractive, modern hotel with technology at the forefront of the guest experience. This hotel is located a short stroll from the Wallraf Richartz Museum.
Rooms are outfitted in sleek decor, and there are HDTVs, Apple TV boxes, free Wi-Fi and even turntables and vinyl records that — get this — can be controlled via Bluetooth on a smartphone.
There is a room to fit every type of budget, too. The smallest Nun’s Rooms are the most affordable, while Matron’s Rooms offer views of the city. Meanwhile, Prioress’ Rooms are spacious and include kitchenettes, and the most expensive Abbess’ Rooms are even larger, many with balconies.
There’s no breakfast here, but it is easy to make it yourself in rooms with kitchenettes, or start exploring the city early for something to eat.
Doubles from $112
The Ibis hotel chain is known for its affordable rates as well as its modern decor and amenities, and this location near the Cologne Cathedral and the Central Train Station is no exception. At the two-star Ibis Hotel Köln Am Dom, you can enjoy the cathedral views from every room.
The clean and comfortable rooms feature air conditioning, televisions, free Wi-Fi and private bathrooms. Each room has its own views of the cathedral and the city, and those ready to explore will enjoy all of the restaurants, bars, cafes and museums near the hotel.
A buffet breakfast is available for an extra fee and is ideal for those who wake up extra early or late, as it runs from 4 a.m. until noon.
Doubles from $130
Sitting directly across the street from the Cologne Cathedral, the three-star Eden Hotel Früh am Dom offers contemporary rooms for affordable rates right in the heart of the city.
Rooms feature bright pops of red with plenty of amenities to fit your needs. Each room has a private bathroom as well as a flat-screen television, minibar, iPads, free Wi-Fi and more. Many of the rooms also offer views of the city or the cathedral.
The hotel also gets bonus points for the included buffet breakfast, Hof 18 restaurant that serves local fare, brew pub, beer garden and outdoor terrace.
Beds from $38
If you’re looking for a super cheapo stay, check out the central Youth Hostel Cologne Pathpoint, located in a converted old church building just a 5 minute walk from the Central Train Station.
With wood furnishings and white linens, the rooms here are basic but comfortable. Each shared room has its own bathroom, and guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi. The hostel supplies lockers as well.
The real draw here (aside from the low rates) are the common areas. With a lounge, garden, barbecue area, shared kitchen, ping pong and pool tables and a terrace, there are plenty of places on-site to make new friends.
Looking for more cheap hotels in Cologne and beyond? Check out more budget-friendly accommodations in Cologne and Germany.
Source: Euro Cheapo