Best Places to Stay in Cologne Altstadt

In this post we have an in depth analysis of the best places to stay in Cologne, featuring also the best months to visit the city and cost of travel figures

stay in cologne station

ICE Train in Cologne. Photo by Thomas Depenbusch.

Cologne (or Köln in German) is the fourth largest city in Germany and the largest in the Rhine-Westphalia region. It is one of the cities in Germany that attracts a high number of foreign visitors.

Tourism in Cologne: Overview

Cologne received nearly 5 million overnight visits in 2015. As a tourist destination Cologne has various sights and attractions to bring this number of visitors. Chief among these is its cathedral. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1996, the cathedral has been an important site of pilgrimage in Europe for centuries, due to its shrine of the Three Wise Men and the relics contained within.

Most of Cologne’s city centre was destroyed during the Second World War, so much of its architecture dates from the 1950s onwards. The few older looking buildings are mostly reconstructions of important buildings. What does remain of their old town is a major tourist attraction and has many little museums for tourists to visit.

Cost of Travel in Cologne

For tourists coming to Cologne there are some very good value options. A tourist card, known as KölnCard is available to individuals and groups for up to 48 hours at a time. The card costs between 9 Euros for a 24-hour individual ticket to 38 Euros for a 48-hour group one. Purchasing the card gives you unlimited travel on public transport and up to 50% off entry to partner attractions.

The public transport system is an effective mix of trams and buses. They have very good coverage and transport around 800,000 people a day.

Best Months to Visit Cologne

Cologne has a relatively mild climate, much like most of Northern Europe. The temperature varies from an average 2 or 3 degrees in Winter to around 18 degrees in Summer. However, their warmest months also coincide with their wettest.

Like much of Germany, around Christmas is an excellent time to go. The Germans love Christmas and many traditions stem from original German ones. Cologne indulges in this as well and has a large Christmas Market.

Another time to go if you want to enjoy Cologne culture is late February. This is when they hold their annual carnival. A great experience for children and adults. The city comes alive with fancy dress, music and fun activities for the week running up to Ash Wednesday.

Best Places to Stay in Cologne

stay in cologne altstadt

Cologne, Altstadt. Photo by Robert Andersson

Even if Cologne is relatively big, its center (Innenstadt) is rather compact and gather most of its attractions. The Altstadt Nord is the part of the Innenstadt with most restaurants, shops and nightlife activities. It is also where the famous Cologne Cathedral is located and possibly the best place to stay in Cologne.

Click here to check accommodation options in the Altstadt-Nord area on

The Cologne Main Station is also located in this area of the city, next to the Cologne Cathedral. Its surrounding  can be an excellent choice for a stay in Cologne if you are traveling by train. It is also very convenient if you are flying into Cologne, as suburbans train connect the Cologne-Bonn airport to the Cologne Main Station frequently.

Click here to check accommodation options near the Cologne Main Station on

The Altstadt-Süd is a slightly quieter area, but still at a walking distance to the Altstadt-Nord and its interesting attractions.

Click here to check accommodation options in the Altstadt-Süd area on

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