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Cheap Hotels in Cologne

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Enjoy Cologne on a Budget

Cologne is Germany’s understated capital of cool. The spiritual home of electronic dance music, known for its student scene, and bursting at the seams with alternative culture, there’s no better destination than the “San Francisco of Germany” for a hip European vacation on a budget. The buzz around the cheap and cheerful restaurants and bars every night of the week secures Cologne’s status as the ultimate party destination for travelers on a tight budget.

Things to see in Cologne

Dominating the panorama of the city, the two towers of Cologne Cathedral, or Kölner Dom, are one of Cologne’s most famous landmarks and a must-see for cash-conscious visitors. Gargoyles and Gothic embellishments crowd the cathedral’s exterior, a stunning abstract stained-glass window by Gerhard Richter lends the interior a modern edge, and climbing to the top gives a bird's-eye view of the skyline. Located right next to the cathedral is the excellent modern art museum, Museum Ludwig, that features one of the largest Picasso collections in Europe and boasts an extensive permanent display—what’s more, discounted admission is available at certain times so art aficionados needn’t worry about breaking the bank. Music lovers should make a beeline for the concert hall of the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, where the public are regularly invited to watch free lunchtime orchestra rehearsals—check the orchestra’s website to find out what’s on during your stay.

Cheap hotels in Cologne

A popular destination for both German and international tourists, there is certainly no shortage of cheap hotels in Cologne. Many of Cologne’s budget hotels normally serve visitors of the huge Koelnmesse trade fair, so if you are flexible with dates, planning around lulls in the trade fair calendar can be a great way to find discount hotel rooms in Cologne. Most economy hotels offer on-site restaurants and small bars, where you can grab a drink and a bite to eat for next to nothing. Or why not try one of the many affordable hostels in Cologne where you can cook with fellow travelers in the communal kitchen and save a few bucks?

Where to stay in Cologne

The leafy Belgisches Viertel is an ideal location to source a budget hotel in Cologne. The neighborhood is packed full of small cafés and vintage stores, with student bars and some of the best cheap restaurants in Cologne on nearby Zülpischer Straße. An option for serious clubbers is Deutz, home to some of Cologne’s best underground nightclubs—staying in this area is a great way to save on cab fares. The area around the Altstadt and Dom is also a prime location—you’ll be near the main shopping and restaurant quarter, and booking in advance will ensure you get the best deal.

How to get to Cologne

Cologne is directly served by Cologne Bonn Airport, a hub for budget airline Germanwings which offers cheap flights to Cologne from around Europe. Located around 45 minutes away is Düsseldorf Airport, with direct international connections to the US. Frankfurt Airport is only about 1 hour from Cologne by train, and is a major hub for a huge selection of international flights. Getting around Cologne is really easy, thanks to its excellent public transportation network—KVB. Hop on a tram or bus to get you from A to B, or do your bit for the environment (and your wallet) and hire a bike, pedaling through the city at your leisure.

Cologne travel guides

Cologne Travel Guides

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