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A playground for kids and adults: Cowoki, Photo: Daniel Grünfeld
A playground for kids and adults: Cowoki, Photo: Daniel Grünfeld

A home (office) away from home

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There are over 60 co-working spaces for Cologne’s start-up scene to get together in. Here’s our round-up of the best five WFH alternatives


Startplatz Köln

Start-up incubator and accelerator Startplatz is the first port of call for start-ups in Cologne. Having opened in 2012, the co-working space now covers over 4,500 square metres on three floors. It is home to a well-networked scene that operates in a total of 300 workspaces within five co-working areas and 30 team offices. The sheer number of networking events is particularly impressive – a wide range of symposia and workshops are held here every year. The Rheinland-Pitch can even claim to be Germany’s largest pitch event with thematic offshoots such as Health and InsurTec, whose finals attract many thousands of visitors every year. Since 2015, Startplatz has linked together the Cologne and Düsseldorf tech scenes from its base in Cologne’s Mediapark and its second location in ­Düsseldorf’s Media Harbour.

Im Mediapark 5, 50670 Cologne,



Possibly Cologne’s most aesthetically pleasing co-working space, Wertheim is an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of Hansaring and Christophstrasse. In a refurbished 19th-century mansion, host Oliver Struch and his team have set up a modern, feel-good space that you’ll instantly want to move into. And, theoretically, you can: the two top floors are taken up by stylish lofts with a view of Cologne Cathedral, which are mainly used as locations for shoots, retreats and workshops. Even leaving aside its rich history, modern furniture and impressive artwork, Wertheim is a fabulous place to knuckle down and tick off that to-do list. And when the working day is done, you can enjoy a relaxing drink with your fellow remote workers at the on-site bar – be sure to ask for the special Spanish beer that can’t be found anywhere else in Cologne.

Hansaring 12, 50670 Cologne,


Cowoki – Co-working with kids

Located in an extension built onto the Christuskirche church in Cologne’s Belgian Quarter, Cowoki’s special co-working concept has gone from strength to strength since spring 2017. On two floors, the modern space provides co-working options for those who are looking for somewhere “where life isn’t just about work, and where work doesn’t mean dropping everything else that makes life richer”. As well as the children’s crèche, the ground floor has plenty of workspaces where parents can work away while keeping an eye on their offspring. Those who don’t have children – or who simply need a quieter environment to work in – can move upstairs to the first floor. A second location with just under 20 co-working spaces and 17 team offices of all sizes opened this July in Cologne’s Sülz district.

Dorothee-Sölle-Platz 2, 50672 Cologne,



Kalkspace is a community space in the classic sense of the word. A handful of developers and other creative thinkers joined forces to carry out projects and then decided to set up their own space for their needs. In doing so, they established an association, found a suitable building tucked away in a rear courtyard and set about converting it themselves. Today, Kalkspace is a small but impressive space with a team who is less interested in profitability than they are in community and pursuing shared interests. Soldering, restoring rare computer hardware, debating about feminism or holding communal lunches – all of this is what sets it apart. Not to mention the occasional wild party in the basement! Together with the Cologne Game Haus, the space also happens to be one of the few co-working options available on the other side of the Rhine.

Olpener Str. 33, 51103 Cologne,


Forum Food & Nachhaltigkeit

In 2018, the co-working space ­Forum Food & Nachhaltigkeit – which translates as Food & Sustainability Forum – opened in Ehrenfeld, arguably Cologne’s hippest district. The 360 square-metre location houses 50 workspaces in a prime location. The space is mainly geared towards founders of companies that are active in the field of food and sustainable, ecological products. And the Forum is the ideal place for them: after all, founder Annika Schuh, who actively markets sustainable products herself, was singled out last year as one of the Rhineland’s top 40 female entrepreneurs under the age of 40. In the summer, the roof terrace is ideal for tasting sessions of newly developed products. The Forum is also part of an active sustainability scene in Ehrenfeld, which also includes co-working space Colabor.

Oskar-Jäger-Str. 160, 50825 Cologne,