The Best Hostels in Cologne, Germany

The youthful stylishness of 25hours Hotel the Circle is sure to lift even the most jaded of traveller’s spirits
The youthful stylishness of 25hours Hotel the Circle is sure to lift even the most jaded of traveller’s spirits | Courtesy of 25hours Hotel the Circle / Expedia
Culture Trip

From straight-up hostels to competitively priced design hotels, there are lots of accommodation options when it comes to experiencing the cultural hub of Cologne, Germany, without blowing your budget.

Cologne’s creative credentials draw a wide variety of travellers to this glittering Gothic city, which spans the Rhine but centres on its left bank. A wealth of significant museums and galleries – and one of Europe’s most-visited cathedrals – are only part of the story, with grassroots creatives continually refreshing the city’s cultural mix. In response, a panoply of hotels and hostels have sprung up to cater to a diverse range of temporary Cologne residents.

1. Die Wohngemeinschaft Hostel


Die Wohngemeinschaft Hostel
Courtesy of Die Wohngemeinschaft Hostel /

There are 16 individually – and exuberantly – decorated rooms in this hostel, which aims for a shared apartment feel. Tongue-in-cheek (but surprisingly well-executed) decor themes range from outer space to Bollywood, and there’s an intimate live performance venue on site. Depending on the evening, international touring indie bands and poetry performances hold court.

2. The Penny Pincher Inn


Courtesy of the Penny Pincher Inn / Hostelworld

This unpretentiously named hostel is a cheap yet cheerful accommodation option in a quiet corner of the Deutz area, right in the heart of Cologne. Rooms are in a dorm set-up with four or six beds, and the communal lounge and kitchen offer guests some space to make plans for the day while downing the free tea and coffee. Keyless entry 24 hours a day means that you can roll in as late as you like.

3. Weltempfänger Hostel


Weltempfänger Hostel
Courtesy of Weltempfänger Hostel /

Pick from a mix of private rooms and a dorm room set-up at this solid hostel option on the outskirts of the city centre. Bring a padlock for the lockers to save yourself the deposit, but make use of the convenience of the towel rental, which is free if you stay three nights – because who wants to travel with wet towels? There’s a well-equipped kitchen, but for a surcharge, hostel guests can luxuriate in a big breakfast at the adjoining cafe.

4. 25hours Hotel the Circle


25hours Hotel The Circle
Courtesy of 25hours Hotel the Circle / Expedia

The first thing you notice when stepping over the Circle’s threshold is its playful contemporary update of ’50s and ’60s-inspired decor. The youthfully stylish hotel, which is sure to lift even the most jaded of traveller’s spirits, has an in-house bar and restaurant that are genuinely popular with locals (always a good sign). All this serves as context to frame the panoramic views of Cologne, from within this 1950s rotunda building. Visitors to Berlin may be familiar with its sister establishment.

5. art'otel cologne by Park Plaza

Hotel, Chain Hotel

artotel cologne by Park Plaza
Courtesy of art'otel cologne by Park Plaza / Expedia

Park Plaza’s consistently successful art’otel brand has found a home in Cologne, with views of the Rhine and original artwork by Korean contemporary artist, SEO. An in-house restaurant and craft cocktail bar are worth staying in for, while a fitness centre and sauna complete your night in. If you can drag yourself outside, the old-school delights of the Old Town, from the Chocolate Museum to Cologne’s iconic cathedral, are just a short walk away.

6. Flandrischer Hof


Flandrischer Hof
Courtesy of Flandrischer Hof / Expedia

The USP of this smart hotel is its good range of five room types, all at different price points. But its major appeal is the convenient location, in the vicinity of Rudolfplatz – Cologne’s prime shopping and restaurant area. A grown-up, pet-friendly establishment, Flandrischer Hof also offers add-ons such as laundry service and underground parking, in a functional yet warm atmosphere.

7. Maison Marsil Boutique Hotel

Boutique Hotel

Maison Marsil Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Maison Marsil Boutique Hotel / Expedia

This thoughtfully styled, contemporary boutique hotel in Cologne’s Old Town comprises just six rooms. It’s consistently well-reviewed by guests, who love its proximity to the artfully stylish Belgian Quarter, buoyant atmosphere and carefully chosen furnishings and finishes. Hole up here and expect to be sharing the communal spaces with anyone from bloggers and digital nomads looking for a room to work in, to families with young children and travellers of all stripes.

8. Stern am Rathaus


Stern am Rathaus
Courtesy of Stern am Rathaus / Expedia

The nine rooms of this affordable boutique hotel, in the heart of Cologne’s Old Town, pack enough of a punch to have propelled it into the upper reaches of user-generated review sites. Intriguingly, the hotel’s site actually lists some reasons not to stay with them – ever seen that before? Us neither – such as small room size and the lack of an on-site restaurant beyond the breakfast buffet. Somehow, it just makes this good-value Cologne accommodation option more tempting.

9. URBAN LOFT Cologne

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

Courtesy of URBAN LOFT Cologne / Expedia

This Cologne-founded loft hotel concept, which pushes a buzzy, alternative lifestyle angle hard and fast, has already successfully expanded to Berlin. It serves up contemporary style and comfort to appeal to young professionals, but with a good range of rooms at varying price points. Bathrooms are stocked with sustainable toiletries, and there’s a destination restaurant and genuinely appealing co-working lobby space on site. Coffee is free, which is a nice touch.

For a bite to eat in Cologne, check out the city’s best breakfast and brunch options.

This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Anwesha Ray.

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