Is Cologne (Germany) Expensive to Visit? A Guide to Prices

Updated on November 13, 2023  


Planning a trip to the picturesque city of Cologne doesn't have to break the bank. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture, this German gem offers numerous experiences that cater to every budget.

In this blog post, we'll delve into the cost of traveling to Cologne by breaking down various expenses such as accommodation, transportation, food, entertainment and answering the question: "Is Cologne Expensive?

Understanding The Cost Of Traveling To Cologne

Best Time To Visit For Budget Travel

Planning your trip to Cologne during the right time plays a crucial role in managing travel costs. One of the best times for budget travel is early to mid-September, as it falls in the shoulder season.

Another ideal period for economical travel is spring or autumn because Cologne boasts mild temperatures that make exploring the city enjoyable without being overly hot or cold.

Best Time To Visit For Budget Travel

Visiting popular tourist attractions during these off-peak seasons also means shorter lines and reduced entrance fees.

In addition, by carefully selecting when to visit this amazing city, not only will you save on expenses but also have a more authentic experience with local cuisine at affordable prices and immerse yourself in various events such as markets and fairs that take place throughout the year.

Accommodation Options

Cologne offers a wide variety of accommodation options to cater to travelers with different budget preferences. From luxury hotels and mid-range properties to budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses, there's something for everyone.

For those looking to save on accommodations costs, options such as room-sharing platforms like Airbnb or home exchanges allow you to rent private rooms or entire apartments at a fraction of the cost of traditional hotels.

airbnb-germany is cologne expensive

Another great option is Couchsurfing which connects travelers with locals who offer their couches or spare rooms completely free of charge!

Additionally, housesitting provides an opportunity for securing complimentary stays in exchange for caring for someone's home while they're away.

Transportation Expenses

Transportation expenses are a key factor to consider when planning a trip to Cologne. With the city's well-connected public transportation network, including trams, local trains, and buses, navigating your way around is both convenient and cost-effective.

To minimize costs even further, opt for short-haul tickets priced at €1.90 each instead of full-day passes if your travel plans only require limited hops throughout the day.

Additionally, consider renting bicycles available for hire on the northern side of Cologne as an affordable alternative that also provides a fun way to experience this picturesque city up close.

Food And Entertainment Costs

When traveling to Cologne, food and entertainment costs are a significant part of your daily budget. On average, expect to spend around €50 per day on meals based on the spending habits of previous travelers.

Cafe-Schmitz cologne affordable food

If you plan to dine at fine restaurants or indulge in alcoholic beverages, be prepared to pay more than the average price. Additionally, entrance fees for tourist attractions can quickly add up, so it's worth researching free activities and sights beforehand.

With that said, there are ways to keep these costs down by exploring happy hour deals or opting for street food options instead of sit-down restaurants.

Entrance Fees To Attractions

Exploring the many attractions in Cologne can significantly impact your travel budget. Most visitors to the city go to see historical landmarks, museums, and art galleries that require admission fees.

So it's essential to plan accordingly for these expenses. For instance, access to the Tower of Cologne Cathedral costs €6 per person and €10 for guided tours. [1]

To make sure your money goes further when visiting different tourist destinations in Cologne City, look into discounts available with a tourist card or pass that includes attraction passes with discounted rates.

Average Daily Cost To Visit Cologne

Budget, Mid-range, And Luxury Options

When planning your trip to Cologne, it's important to consider your budget and travel style.

For those on a budget, there are plenty of affordable accommodations available in Cologne, including hostels and budget hotels. Additionally, public transportation is inexpensive and efficient, making getting around the city easy without breaking the bank.

Luxury travelers will find plenty of upscale options in Cologne as well.


No matter what your budget or travel preferences may be, Cologne has something for everyone.

Cost Breakdown By Category

When planning a trip to Cologne, it's essential to understand the average daily cost breakdown by category.

Budget travel in Cologne will usually cost around €73  per person per day, including accommodation, food, and attractions expenses.

Mid-range travelers should expect to pay around €130-€150  per person for each day of their stay.

Accommodation is one of the most significant expenses during any vacation; budget options start at €25 per night while mid-range hotels range from €80-€120 nightly.

Luxury travelers should plan to spend over €200 on hotel accommodations every night.

Food prices also vary depending on your preferences: street snacks and local markets offer affordable yet tasty grub starting from just under €5.

In contrast, fine dining restaurants could charge over €50, plus drinks.

Tips For Budget Travel In Cologne

Choosing Budget-friendly Accommodations

One of the easiest ways to save money on your trip to Cologne is by choosing budget-friendly accommodations. Luckily, there are plenty of options available, ranging from hostels and guesthouses to vacation rentals and apartments.