Is Cologne (Germany) Safe for Travel?

Updated on November 11, 2023  

is-cologne-safe

As a bustling metropolis steeped in history, Cologne, Germany attracts countless travelers every year. But with its growing popularity comes the question: is Cologne safe?

Rest assured, this beautiful city boasts low crime rates and takes measures to ensure the safety of its residents and tourists alike.

However, it's still important for you to be aware of potential dangers and precautions necessary for your safety while in Cologne.

Safety In Cologne, Germany

Low Crime Rates

Cologne boasts a reputation for its low crime rates, making it an appealing destination for travelers who prioritize safety.

As of September 2023, according to Numbeo, when assessing the "perception of safety" while walking alone during the day, Cologne boasts a safety index of 74.90, showing a high level of safety. However, during nighttime, this figure slightly dips to 48.97, a moderate level of safety.

In short: These safety ratings in Cologne align closely with the overall safety standards in Germany.

Is Cologne Safe

But as with any popular tourist destination, there are always potential risks. For example, high traffic areas in Cologne are known for pickpocketing.

So always stay alert and follow the basic precautions below when touring Cologne's iconic landmarks. Such as the stunning Cathedral or while wandering through bustling areas like the Altstadt (Old Town).  [1]

Common Dangers And Areas To Avoid

Theft and pickpocketing poses the most risk to travelers in Cologne. This happens mostly in crowded spaces - popular attractions like the Cologne Cathedral, shopping areas popular with tourists like Schildergasse, and main train stations such as Cologne Central Station.

If you leave your valuables lying around out of your sight for a long time, be it your wallet or bicycle, be prepared that it might be taken. Have a hand on your bag whenever you walk around.

Is Cologne (Germany) Safe

There are also certain parts of Cologne known for higher crime rates where it would be best not to venture after dark:

For example, the neighborhoods around Ebertplatz, Kalk, Ostheim, Ossendorf, Chorweiler, and Kölner Ringe have been reported as unsafe at night by locals and tourists alike.

Measures Taken To Ensure Safety

If you witness a crime, or are in danger of a crime, during your time in Cologne you can call the German police. The general number for police in Germany is 110 and the operator usually speaks German and English.

You can also contact the regional police, the Cologne District Police Authority:

Address: Walter-Pauli-Ring 2-6, 51103 Cologne
Telephone: 
0221 229-0

Travelers can also appreciate the robust infrastructure designed to keep them safe during their stay. Train stations and many businesses have installed CCTV cameras, while well-lit streets make walking around at night much more secure.

things-to-do-in-cologne-at-night-time

Additionally, awareness campaigns on pickpocketing are often promoted by the authorities to remind travelers of potential risks in crowded places like public transportation or popular markets.

Solo Female Travelers' Safety In Cologne

Women's Safety In Cologne

Like Germany, Cologne is said to be generally safe for female travelers. In fact, many locals and expats living here will agree with this too.

However, a 2020 survey by a children's rights organization said that 1 in 4 women reported feeling unsafe in major German cities, including Cologne. While this isn't an official survey by any means, it does raise some concerns.[2]

In Germany, 43% of women have reportedly experienced sexual harassment at least once, in the form of improper touching and inappropriate remarks. [3]

Therefore while most female travelers don't experience any issues in Cologne, it's worth taking precautions and not be complacent with taking charge of your own safety.

To stay safe while traveling solo in Cologne, avoid walking alone at night and use well-lit and busy streets when possible.

It's essential also not to accept drinks or food from strangers or leave your drink unattended.

Remember that common sense goes a long way in ensuring your safety while you're here, so keep your wits about you and trust your instincts if you don't feel entirely comfortable with a situation!

Precautions And Tips For Safe Solo Travel

Traveling solo can be an exciting and liberating experience, but safety should always remain a top priority.

When traveling to Cologne, it's important to take standard precautions such as staying aware of your surroundings and securing your belongings.

Be cautious of strangers who approach you asking for money.

Only use official ATMs by legitimate banks.

Women's safety is taken seriously in Cologne, but it's still important to never leave your drink unattended at the bar or walk alone late at night in secluded areas.

Consider traveling in groups or with a reputable tour company for added security.

Tips For Safe Travel In Cologne

Stay Aware Of Surroundings

When traveling to Cologne, it's important to stay aware of your surroundings and exercise vigilance at all times.

Some tourists complain about getting pickpocketed at busy places, because they were careless about their valuables.

Be wary of anyone who tries to get too close to you. Sometimes pickpocket gangs may work in pairs - one tries to distract the victim (usually asking questions or causing a diversion) while the other works on getting your wallet or purse.

Although the city is generally considered safe with low mugging and kidnapping risks, travelers should still be cautious when visiting tourist locations and crowded public venues. [4]

ghost-tour-cologne

It's also recommended to avoid isolated areas at night, especially for solo female travelers. Stick to well-lit streets where other people are present.

If you're out late, consider using reputable transportation options like taxis or ride-sharing services rather than walking alone.

Secure Belongings

When traveling to Cologne, it is essential to keep personal belongings secure at all times.

It is recommended to use a cross-body bag or backpack that can be worn securely on the front of the body f