Looking for a place to stay within walking distance of the Cologne Cathedral and other must-see sites? This guide will help you find the perfect place to sleep in the city center of Cologne, Germany.
Home to a world-famous UNESCO heritage site and largest cathedral in Northern Europe, top-notch universities, a chocolate museum, several nearby castles, and so much more, Cologne (Köln) should rank highly in anyone’s Germany travel bucket list – even if just for a short visit.
Cologne is the largest city in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany and is great jumping off point for visiting the Rhein and Mosel regions.
I lived in Cologne for a time in high school, and Aaron & I have been back to visit this beautiful city in both winter and summer. On one Germany trip I planned a stopover in Cologne for a couple hours just so I could spend a little time at the amazing cathedral and wandering around downtown!
Whether you’re looking for overnight accommodations or plan to stay a while, this guide will help you find the perfect place to stay in Cologne, Germany.
Top Hotels in Downtown Cologne
All hotels listed below are in the city center and within a 10-minute walk from the train station, the Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom), public transportation, restaurants, shopping, and other must-see sites.
- Best hotel for two people traveling together: Lindner Hotel Dom Residence
- Perfect for families: Hilton Cologne
- Closest to Cologne Cathedral: Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom
- If you want an American-style breakfast: Cologne Marriott Hotel
- Stylish business type hotel: Wyndham Köln
- If you’d like a gourmet German restaurant: Hotel Mondial am Dom Cologne MGallery
- Best value for the price: CityClass Hotel Residence am Dom
- Most elegant rooms and facilities: Hotel am Augustinerplatz
- If you want to splurge on a luxury 5-star hotel: Dorint Hotel am Heumarkt Köln
- Best parking facilities: Maritim Hotel Köln
Cologne Hotel Comparison Chart
The featured hotels are all in or near the historic district, and only a short walk to the Cologne Cathedral, main train station, shopping area and other popular points of interest.
All feature air conditioning, elegant rooms, free wifi access, breakfast, and an en suite private modern bathroom. Some feature amenities like room service, a stylish restaurant, cable channels, a concierge, an indoor swimming pool, laundry service, on-site parking or a roof terrace.
You’ll find boutique hotels, historic buildings, and a couple luxury accommodations for when you want to spurge.
Below is a comparison chart overview so you can easily compare hotels. Scroll down to find a more detailed review of each hotel!
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What to Look For In a Hotel in Cologne
When looking for a place to stay in Cologne, we recommend considering which of the factors below are most important to you.
- Central location in the Altstadt (Old Town) downtown area. In Cologne, if you want to stay in the heart of the city, the best location is within walking distance of the Cathedral. That way you’ll also be close proximity to Cologne central station (which is right across from the Cathedral) and public transportation in general.
- Number and size of beds. You’re likely to have the option to book a variety of bed types – e.g., king (which might be 1 mattress or 2 twins on one king-sized frame – often with 2 duvets), a queen, or 1 or more twins. Sometimes a single room will have a queen or a twin. Not all of these will be available every hotel, though, so be sure to check what type of beds they offer.
- Rooms with en suite full baths. Most hotels offer full en suite bathrooms, some with a bathtub, some with a bathtub and shower combo, others will just have a shower. Some hotels in Germany – usually smaller boutique hotels or budget hotels – will offer rooms with a shared hall bathroom. The hotels in this list have full en suite bathrooms.
- Rooms with A/C. Summers in Germany can at times be hot and humid. Not all hotels in Germany have A/C, so if this is important to you, be sure to specifically look for it before booking. Note: if you don’t have A/C in your hotel, you’ll likely be able to open the windows (though you’re not likely to have a screened-in window).
- Breakfast. Most hotels offer free or paid breakfast (sometimes whether or not you get a free breakfast depends on the type of room you book). Many hotels offer a full German breakfast buffet, while others are simpler (bread, Brötchen, cold cuts, jam, coffee, tea). American chain hotels may offer an American-style breakfast (eggs, bacon, pancakes, etc).
- An elevator. While you’re likely to find an elevator in large, modern hotels with high floors, stairs might be the only option at older, boutique or smaller hotels. If you don’t mind carrying your luggage up a few flights of stairs, these non-elevator hotels are often quite charming. But if an elevator is important to you, look for larger, modern, or chain hotels.
- Parking. Some city center hotels will offer on-site parking for a daily fee. If there’s no on-site parking, you can likely find a nearby public parking area or on-street parking.
- Free wifi. Most hotels will offer free wifi throughout the hotel but it’s a good idea to check on that if having free wifi is important to you.
- Amenities. Hotels may offer facilities such as a gym, sauna, indoor pool, on-site restaurants and bars, or services like valet parking, a concierge or laundry service. Some even offer babysitting services! Many hotels offer the option to pay at the hotel and fully refundable rooms – sometimes at a slightly higher price than pre-pay or non-refundable rooms.
- Good value. Staying in a popular part of the city will typically cost more than staying further out but you’ll be able to easily walk to many sites and you’ll be close to public transportation. So you’ll not only have more flexibility during the day, you’ll also save time and stress by not having to “commute” to the city center each day.
Where to Stay In Cologne: Our Recommendations
Cologne is a very walkable city, and fortunately, there are lots of cozy hotels right in the heart of Cologne. Tourist spots that are located away from the center are easily accessible via tram, bus, U-bahn or S-bahn.
The last time we were in Cologne together, we stayed downtown in the vibrant pedestrian area full of shopping and restaurants. We were able to easily walk to the hotel from the train station (with our luggage) and get to everything we wanted to see and do in the city, including the famous Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral).
We highly recommend staying in the downtown area so you have easy access to everything Cologne has to offer (see our Cologne City Guide for what to do and see there). The hotels in this guide are all conveniently located in the city center.
If Cologne will be your first stop in Germany, the nearest large airport to fly into is Düsseldorf. Depending on where you’re flying from, you might be able to get a direct international flight. Frankfurt is a bit further but still convenient.
10 Best Hotels in Cologne
This guide shows you 10 of the best places to stay in Cologne City Center so you can maximize your stay in this beautiful city.
The Lindner Hotel Dom Residence is located in the city center with quick access to Cologne’s top spots. The elegant rooms are equipped with an en suite bathroom with bathtub and shower, wifi, A/C, and mini fridge. The hotel has an elevator, a highly-rated buffet breakfast, and on-site parking for a daily fee. Some rooms have a view of the city!
You’ll also enjoy an outdoor terrace, swimming pool, spa, and laundry service. The staff speak English and there’s a 24-hour front desk.
PERFECT FOR: Two people traveling together who are looking for a comfortable, affordable hotel in the city center.
GUESTS SAY: “Great location to the city center and train station. Breakfast was really the best we had on our trip, a ton of options and items always refilled by staffed. The rooms were comfortable and quiet. I would say it was a pretty good value for the price.”
SUMMARY: From spacious rooms and modern design to highly-rated buffet breakfast and central location, this 4-star hotel provides a no-stress, comfortable stay in Cologne.
Hilton Cologne has famous tourist spots right at its doorstep. It’s situated at the heart of Cologne less than a kilometer from the Cologne Cathedral and the Central Station and near the Hohe Strase and Schildergasse shopping centers. Additionally, being part of one of the biggest companies in the hospitality industry, this hotel offers the same excellent service the Hilton brand is known for. Exclusive perks and treats await members of the Hilton Honors!
PERFECT FOR: Families traveling with kids who want spacious rooms in a great location
GUESTS SAY: “Room was spacious and comfortable. Restaurant was great both for dinner and breakfast. Hotel was conveniently located near to the cathedral and main train station. Staff were friendly and helpful.”
SUMMARY: Hilton Hotels are known for their stellar service and first-class facilities, and the Hilton Cologne is no exception. This hotel features family rooms which is perfect for families who want to travel in comfort without sacrificing location and quality of service.
- Across from Cologne Cathedral
- Valet parking
- Babysitting service
- Michelin rated restaurant
- Family run since 1863
- Not all rooms have A/C
A highly rated hotel in Cologne, the castle-like features of the Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom look straight out of a fairytale. The historic building was first built in 1863 and offers the best location in the city since it’s right across from the Cologne Cathedral. You’ll also find top-notch service and first class facilities in this five-star hotel. Definitely perfect for guests looking for luxury accommodation!
PERFECT FOR: Those who want to stay just a few steps away (literally!) from the Cathedral
GUESTS SAY: “The location is great, right in front of the cathedral. The staff was really helpful and ready to help. Great breakfast, amazing cocktail at the bar. We highly recommend the hotel to enjoy Cologne!“
SUMMARY: Imagine waking up everyday to unobstructed views of Cologne Cathedral. Well with Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom being right in front of the Cathedral, it’s more than possible! Not only will you wake up to stunning views, you’ll be doing it from the comfort of luxurious and classically decorated rooms.
The Cologne Marriott Hotel offers outstanding service, beautiful interiors, and easy access to public transportation! Its superb location is hard to match – close enough to walk to main attractions but far enough to enjoy a quiet and relaxing sleep.
PERFECT FOR: Those who want to enjoy American-style breakfast every morning
GUESTS SAY: “My family and I found the staff very professional, polite and helpful. The room was spacious and very comfortable. The selection and quality of food at breakfast was second to none, and the location was close to the train station and not too far from the centre making it a great base for the two days we stayed.“
SUMMARY: Staying too near the city’s top tourist attractions can sometimes mean noisy and crowded streets. At the Cologne Marriott Hotel, you don’t have to compromise the convenience of proximity. Its ideal location means that you’re still within walking distance of Old Town but far enough where you’re tucked away from the busy, touristy streets.
Situated at the heart of Cologne and by the Rhine River, the Wyndham Köln is close to all amenities you will ever need for your stay in the city! Public transportation, famous landmarks, Christmas markets, and shopping centers are all within a few-minute walk from the hotel!
PERFECT FOR: Business travelers looking for a modern hotel
GUESTS SAY: “The location was great being next to all the transport links definitely helped. Staff was very friendly and helpful.”
SUMMARY: With the Wyndham Köln, business trips don’t have to mean staying in boring hotels. The Wyndham Köln offers no-frills rooms with the best amenities while also having outdoor terraces and a great location near the Cathedral so you can squeeze in sightseeing in your free time.
A four-star facility, Hotel Mondial am Dom Cologne MGallery promises the best travel experience through authentic German cuisine, strategic location, and heightened health and safety measures. Experience Cologne like a local with their traditional dishes, fresh draught beers, and cultural attractions!
PERFECT FOR: Foodies who want to try out authentic German food
GUESTS SAY: “The hotel is located close to the train station and immediately behind the cathedral. It is located near all the best restaurants and bars. The staff are very helpful and I ate in the restaurant which was excellent.“
SUMMARY: A great way to immerse yourself even more in Germany’s culture is through food! At the Hotel Mondial am Dom Cologne MGallery, you’ll have easy access to delicious breakfasts and modern German cuisine at their on-site restaurant.
CityClass Hotel Residence am Dom is a highly rated Cologne hotel for location! Its lovely interiors are even made more attractive by the panoramic view of the Cathedral and city square.
PERFECT FOR: Travelers on a budget who don’t want to compromise on quality and location of their accommodation
GUESTS SAY: “Very clean, great location just a short walk from the train station, the river and restaurants. Updated and modern feel.
SUMMARY: The CityClass Hotel Residence am Dom is located near some of the best cultural landmarks of Cologne like the Museum Ludwig, a contemporary art museum which houses the largest Picasso collection in Europe, and the Kölner Philharmonie, a grand symphonic concert hall.
- Completely renovated in 2009
- Family rooms
- Free wellness center with spa and hot tub
- Some rooms with kitchenettes
- Can't reserve parking
The four-star Hotel am Augustinerplatz is the perfect place for shopaholics as it stands right at the edge of the city’s shopping district! It’s situated right next to Hohe Strasse and Schildegasse.
PERFECT FOR: Travelers who looking for a elegant rooms with modern amenities
GUESTS SAY: “Beautiful modern room, very friendly staff, great location, AC amazing, good bathroom amenities.”
SUMMARY: If you love window-shopping and finding the best bargains, then Hotel am Augustinerplatz is the place for you. You won’t have to worry about carrying around all your shopping bags after a long day of shopping since the hotel is right near the shopping district!
- Gourmet bar and restaurant on site
- Glass-roofed indoor pool
- Rooms with terraces and city views
- No family rooms
The Dorint Hotel am Heumarkt Köln in Altstadt Nord lets guests experience Cologne like no other: starting your morning with a hefty breakfast at the Faveo, spending your day walking to historical landmarks and shopping centers, and capping off your night with a drink at the hotel’s famous Harry’s New York Bar. Although preferred by business travelers for their numerous meeting and banquet facilities, this modern hotel is also perfect for tourists with its first-class amenities perfect for relaxation. Some rooms even come with front row seats to the majestic view of the Cologne Cathedral!
PERFECT FOR: Travelers looking for a luxury getaway in a 5-star hotel
GUESTS SAY: “The room was spacious and very, very clean. The location is perfect: It’s in the middle of the vibrant city center, there is a supermarket nearby and some good restaurants and within walking distance from the train station. What I really liked is that you can order room service via a tablet that’s in the room.”
SUMMARY: The Heumarkt Square is one of the city’s main plazas. Staying nearby means you won’t have a problem finding a place to eat as it’s surrounded by bars and restaurants. It’s perfect for the holiday season since there’s also a Christmas market hosted in the square!
- Family rooms
- Public underground and valet for over 600 vehicles
- Exclusive boutiques and elegant restaurants
- Babysitting services
- 10 minute walk to Cathedral
The Maritim Hotel Köln features a gorgeous geometric facade and an even more stunning view of the River Rhine. Among the city’s top accommodations, this hotel features a garden island, a restaurant, and an exclusive shopping arcade inside its premises. It’s located at the Deutzer Bridge, about 10 minutes from the Cologne cathedral and main station. Very near Lanxess Arena and the Kölnmesse Exhibition Center.
PERFECT FOR: Those traveling around Germany with a rental car and want hassle-free parking
GUESTS SAY: “Excellent location – convenient for walking to area attractions. Parking garage on-site. Beautiful atrium with many restaurant choices in the hotel. Our room was large with lots of closet space, and space for luggage. Beds very comfortable. The shower in the bathroom is amazing! Overall, we this hotel ranks high with us.”
SUMMARY: The River Rhine is a beautiful and integral part of the city of Cologne. You can go on river cruises or stroll by the riverside and with Maritim Hotel Köln, you can now enjoy stunning views of the river at any time of the day.
A Few More Options
If you’re looking for luxury, would prefer to stay a bit outside of the city center, or are looking for something more unique, here are some great options:
- Savoy Hotel – With its sophisticated suites and interiors, this hotel makes for a great luxury stay. But it’s not as close to the Cologne Cathedral, around a 10-minute walk.
- Qvest Hideaway Cologne – This designer hotel is set in a historic building built in 1897 and is certainly one of a kind. This hidden gem is a 15-minute walk away from the Cologne Cathedral.
- Hyatt Regency Köln – Upscale hotel featuring modern suites with river views. Comes highly rated though it’s located on the other side of the Rhine.
- 25hours Hotel – A boutique hotel with vibrant, vintage-style rooms and furnishings located in a retro building. It’s also located a bit further outside of Old Town.
- Adina Apartment Hotel Cologne – Great for those looking for an apartment-style hotel and modern studios. It’s a very new accommodation and is on the other side of the Rhine.
- Villahotel Rheinblick – This hotel is a grand villa by the Rhine River with beautiful traditional rooms. Though its unique location means it’s quite far from the city center.