The Best Places to Stay in Cologne, Germany

Where to stay in Cologne

Where to stay in Cologne

Cologne is located on the banks of Rhine river in North Rhine-Westphalia. With its stunning Gothic cathedral and a history that dates back to the Roman Empire, the city absolutely deserves to be on your German itinerary. The city is also a great base to explore the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany, including Bonn, Aachen, Essen.

Where I stayed

During my first trip to Germany, I spent 1 day and a half in Cologne and one night in Dortmund.

It has a fabulous location – a few steps from the Central train station and the famous cathedral (Kölner Dom). And the best part is that the hotel overlooks a quiet street. It’s a family run small hotel with exceptional breakfast that features homemade Nutella, butter, bread and jam.

Where to stay in Cologne, Germany – the best area

What is the best area to stay in Cologne, Germany? The Rhine river cuts the city into two halves that are connected by four bridges. The Old City (Altstadt) lies on the west bank, right in the city centre. Here are also most of the attractions, bars and restaurants, including the Central Railway station (Köln Hauptbahnhof). Everything is conveniently packed in one place. Actually, the Old Town is the best area to stay in Cologne not only for sightseeing but also for shopping.

Cologne Cathedral

Hotels near Kölner Dom

If you’re looking for the best central place to stay in Cologne, choose a hotel near Kölner Dom. You’ll be at walking distance from the most famous attractions and close to the best restaurants. Moreover, most of the good hotels in the city are located in this area.

Hotels near Kölner Dom (Best for families)

CityClass Hotel Residence am Dom – Most booked

8.7/10 Rating – See hotel images and 2,680+ guest reviews
CityClass Hotel Residence am Dom is located at the main square in the Old Town, only 300m away from the cathedral. The beautifully designed cosy rooms are ideal not only for tourists but also for business travellers.


Stern am Rathaus – Best rated

9.6/10 Rating – See hotel images and 390+ guest reviews
Stern am Rathaus is a small 3-star boutique hotel located in the centre of the Old Town, near the City Hall. The Central train station is 5 min away. It’s a great base to explore the city on foot. Yet, if you need to use public transport, the underground is just around the corner. The outstanding buffet breakfast features regional products from farmers of the surrounding countryside. A room safe and coffee and tea making facilities with kettle are available in all rooms.

Hotels near Kölner Dom (Best for couples)

Hotel Sandmanns am Dom – Most booked

9.0/10 Rating – See hotel images and 1,190+ guest reviews
Hotel Sandmanns am Dom is at the beating heart of the city, close to the main attractions, shopping streets and the Central train station. It’s only 100m away from the Cologne Cathedral. The desert themed rooms feature king size beds and coffee & tea making facilities. Some of the rooms are equipped with a room safe. During the weekends the delicious buffet breakfast is available till 11:00 AM.


Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom – Best rated

9.4/10 Rating – See hotel images and 770+ guest reviews
Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom is one of the best luxury hotels in Cologne, Germany near the cathedral. This grand hotel, family-owned since 1863, has an unbeatable location. It overlooks directly at the Cologne Cathedral. The hotel features a piano bar, French and Asian restaurants, a 24-hour room service and a free minibar. It’s the perfect base for a luxurious getaway in Cologne.

Apartments near Kölner Dom

Residenz am Dom Boardinghouse Apartments – Most booked

8.7/10 Rating – See apartment images and 720+ guest reviews
This residence style hotel features a garden, a sun terrace and parking. The apartments are perfectly located, only 200m away from the cathedral. They are spacious, with separate lounge and bedroom and the kitchen part has everything you need. A coffee shop and a restaurant are available on site.


First Domizil – Nearest to the cathedral

8.7/10 Rating – See apartment images and 350+ guest reviews
If you look for a comfy apartment just a stone’s throw away from Kölner Dom, First Domizil is the place. The apartments are bright, modern and well equipped. You can enjoy awesome views of the cathedral from your room and hear its bells.

Cologne Central station

Hotels near Cologne Central station

The Central train station is located in the city centre, right next to the cathedral. So both locations (near the station or the cathedral) are ideal for sightseeing or exploring this region of Germany by train. However, if your itinerary includes a lot of day trips, check out these 3 hotels, that are right next to the Cologne Railway station.

Marriott Hotel – Most booked

8.7/10 Rating – See hotel images and 2,400+ guest reviews
This stylish hotel is located 200m away from the Central train station. Marriott Hotel features spacious rooms, a private parking and a French-Asian fusion restaurant. It’s a great place to stay for business or leisure.


Hotel Domspitzen – Best for families

8.7/10 Rating – See hotel images and 1,690+ guest reviews
Hotel Domspitzen is a 3-star modern hotel located 70m away from the Central Railway station. The Kölner Dom, the Old Town and many cultural attractions are within a walking distance. The included breakfast is stupendous with a wide range of options.


Savoy Hotel – Best for couples

8.8/10 Rating – See hotel images and 2,160+ guest reviews
Savoy Hotel is one of the best-rated hotels near the Central station (Hauptbahnhof). It’s well positioned both for sightseeing and day trips, being only 100m away from the railway station. This 4-star boutique hotel features a spa, a wellness centre, a modern German cuisine restaurant and a rooftop terrace with a panoramic view.

Cologne Old Town

Where to stay in Cologne for nightlife

If not sightseeing, but nightlife is your priority, don’t stay near the cathedral or in the Old Town. The best area to stay in Cologne for nightlife is between Friesenplatz and Rudolfplatz. There are plenty of trendy cocktail bars and nightclubs to choose from. Yet, you’d still be close to the main attractions, no more than 1km away.

Steigenberger Hotel – Closest to Rudolfplatz

8.7/10 Rating – See hotel images and 2,670+ guest reviews

The hotel has a perfect location, on Rudolfplatz Square, right next to the subway. It’s a prime area for shopping, restaurants and bars.


Pullman – Closest to Friesenplatz

8.6/10 Rating – See hotel images and 1,130+ guest reviews

If you look for a nice Spa hotel with bar and restaurants on site, then Pullman is the best option. The hotel features a great restaurant with a summer terrace and a unique rooftop bar.

Old Town Hall

Where to stay in Cologne for Christmas markets

There are several Christmas markets and the most famous ones are at the cathedral, in front of the Old Town Hall and at Neumarkt. The markets are scattered around the city, so it’s difficult to choose a hotel that is close to every one of them. Yet, if the markets are the main reason for your trip, book a hotel in Old Town. This is the best area to stay in Cologne for Christmas markets.

Eden Hotel Früh am Dom – Most booked

8.5/10 Rating – See hotel images and 2,500+ guest reviews
Located directly opposite the Kölner Dom, this is the nearest hotel to the main Christmas market. The included breakfast has a good variety of products for all tastes. It’s a great base not only for the Christmas markets but also to explore the city.


Hotel am Museum Köln – Best for families

8.3/10 Rating – See hotel images and 790+ guest reviews
Located between two of the main Christmas markets, this 3-star hotel features a family atmosphere. The room’s design is a beautiful combination of modern amenities and old world charm. Although it’s right in the middle of the touristic and shopping area, the hotel is on a quiet street with no traffic.


Hotel Sion – Best for couples

8.5/10 Rating – See hotel images and 870+ guest reviews
Hotel Sion is the nearest hotel to the Christmas market in front of the Old Town Hall. This 3-star modern hotel offers spacious rooms with good facilities including a free mini bar. The included breakfast is awesome with a lot of different choices.

Kölner Dom

Hotels near Koelnmesse

While the west bank is great for sightseeing and nightlife, the east bank is a better option if you’re visiting the city for an event or exhibition. Plus the views of Kölner Dom from the east bank are remarkable. If you need accommodation near the Congress-Centrum Koelnmesse or Lanxess Arena, check out these three hotels.

Dorint An der Messe Köln – Closest to Congress-Centrum Koelnmesse

8.3/10 Rating – See hotel images and 2,500+ guest reviews
Dorint An der Messe Köln is the nearest hotel to Congress-Centrum Koelnmesse and Lanxess Arena. It’s a great business hotel located opposite the Congress-Centrum Koelnmesse. You can easily reach the Cologne exhibition grounds. In addition, the Lanxess Arena is less than 500m away. The hotel features soundproofed rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, safety deposit boxes and a spa area. The breakfast is outstanding with a delicious hot and cold selection.


Radisson Blu Hotel Köln – Well priced 4-star

8.7/10 Rating – See hotel images and 80+ guest reviews
This 4-star stylish hotel is 200m away from the Congress-Centrum Koelnmesse. Its proximity to the Koelnmesse trade fair makes it a great base for any business traveller. Plus Lanxess Arena is on a short walk. The hotel offers a spa centre and there are an Italian restaurant and private parking available on site.


Hyatt Regency Köln – Best views of the cathedral

8.8/10 Rating – See hotel images and 3,500+ guest reviews
Hyatt Regency has the ideal location both for business and sightseeing. It’s situated less than 1km away from Congress-Centrum Koelnmesse, Lanxess Arena and the Cologne Cathedral. The rooms offer marvellous views of the cathedral and the city’s skyline. This 5-star luxury hotel features an excellent spa area and a winter garden restaurant.

Castle hotels near Cologne, Germany

Staying in a castle or a palace is a unique and unforgettable experience. And the best part is that the price is the same as the price of a hotel room in Cologne. So if you need a place for a romantic escape or to explore the beautiful region around the city, check out these two great castle hotels near Cologne, Germany.

Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg – Luxury 5-star

9.1/10 Rating – See hotel images and 350+ guest reviews
This castle hotel is located in Bergisch Gladbach, a city only 16km away from the city (a 30min journey with a car or a train). This is the most luxurious castle hotel near Cologne. Prince-Elector Johann Wilhelm II of Duesseldorf commissioned the construction of Schloss Bensberg in the 18th century. This 5-star sumptuous hotel features an amazing 1,000 square meter spa area and a library with a vast selection of old and new works. It’s the perfect place for a romantic getaway.


Hotel Schloss Auel – For golf lovers

9.1/10 Rating – See hotel images and 230+ guest reviews
This palace hotel is in Lohmar, less than 30km away from the city (a 30min journey with a car). Hotel Schloss Auel is housed in a converted 14th-century water castle and it’s a fantastic place for golf lovers.

Most popular activities

Take a panorama boat cruise.
Use KölnCard to save money. It includes free access to public transport and many discounts at museums and shops.

How to get from Cologne airport to city centre

The airport is located about 15 kilometres from the city centre. You can easily reach it by bus or train.

Further reading for your trip

Find out what to see in Cologne in DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Germany.

Check out the best places to visit near Cologne.

Visitors often combine Cologne with Koblenz. Find out why Koblenz is worth visiting. Also, see where to stay in Koblenz.

Flying to Dortmund Airport? Check out the best places to stay in Dortmund for one night.

If you’re planning to rent a car, compare the car rental prices in Europe.

What is the best place to stay in Cologne, Germany for you?
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About the author
Avatar Milena Yordanova
I'm a travel blogger based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Travelling has always been my passion and I love to discover new places and cultures. I want to show you how easy it is to organize your vacation all by yourself.

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One Reply to “The Best Places to Stay in Cologne, Germany”

  1. We stayed in Sandmanns am Dom for 2 nights and it was fantastic! The location was perfect for the cathedral, train station and the Christmas markets. We couldn’t have asked for more!

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