Accommodation that is both affordable and appealing is somewhat rare in Cologne. One exception is the Wohngemeinschaft, a hostel located in the Belgian Quarter, which is a real hit with backpackers. The lovingly decorated single, double and dorm rooms ooze originality and cosy flair. Whether you bed down in the Sixties-Beat-Bude (Sixties Beat Digs) or the Compagnie de Résisdanse (a girly ballet-style dorm), you won’t get bored here: the building feels like one big communal house where everyone is welcome. Perfect for solo travellers who don’t want to prop up the bar alone or who fancy taking in a concert, reading or play while they’re here.
Richard-Wagner-Str. 39, 50674 Cologne, die-wohngemeinschaft.net
The New Yorker
Still the only design hotel on the right-hand side of the Rhine, The New Yorker opened its doors back in 1999 and is more than a match for its competitors across the water. Not far from the Messe Köln exhibition centre, the privately managed four-star hotel is a little off the beaten track in terms of proximity to the city centre, but its quiet location and free parking spaces on the doorstep more than make up for that. The rooms give off a traditional yet modern vibe and the Event Loft, has a cosy lounge area and professional kitchen. The adjoining boarding house, where you can rent a furnished apartment for longer stays, also comes highly recommended.
Deutz-Mülheimer Str. 204, 51063 Cologne, thenewyorker.de
25hours Hotel The Circle
Designed with meticulous attention to detail, 25hours Hotel The Circle in Cologne’s Gerling Quarter has been setting hipster hearts racing ever since it opened back in 2018. The stylish interior forms a striking contrast to the shell limestone façade of the complex, which housed the offices of an insurance company during the heyday of the German economic miracle. These days, guests are welcomed by a talking robot and can rent bicycles for free or browse the records in the retro-futuristic foyer, which also incorporates a great souvenir shop. And before you leave, make sure you take the elevator up to the eighth floor for drinks and panoramic vistas in the Monkey Bar or dinner at NENI.
Im Klapperhof 22–24, 50670 Cologne, 25hours-hotels.com/hotels/koeln/the-circle
City-centre hideaway The Qvest has already established itself as something of an all-time classic here in Cologne. Its blend of 19th-century neo-Gothic architecture with a curated collection of furniture, contemporary art and photography is both elegant and sophisticated. This is what you get when the publisher of a design magazine dreams up their own hotel! With an upmarket price tag to match, The Qvest is a boutique bolthole that is certainly worthy of the description. Last year, two luxury townhouses were added to the rear of the building, which used to house the historical city archive.
Gereonskloster 12, 50670 Cologne, qvest-hotel.com
Koncept Hotel International
A new take on the Cologne attitude to life beyond carnival and Kölsch: guests at the newest addition to Martin Stockburger’s hotel chain have Paten – or ambassadors – to provide them with online tips such as where the city’s best baklava or hottest salsa parties can be found. Koncept Hotel International, which only opened this summer, isn’t far from the Chocolate Museum and focuses more on the city’s intercultural side. After all, Cologne is every bit as vibrant as the eclectic décor of this freshly renovated building, which used to house the former Central Immigration Authority.
Blaubach 13, 50676 Cologne
(by Katja Peglow)