I had to travel to Cologne for work and I decided to make the most out of it and make a weekend out of it. I decided to travel by train as a solo female traveler and I found everything to be safe. It was a short weekend get-a-way and I traveled solo. Are you traveling to Cologne in the near future? Do you wonder how to set your budget and what will be your costs for a short weekend in Cologne?
My main tip for staying on budget while traveling is to actually set a budget and stick to it. You can only know your expenses when you keep track of them. Therefore, I give you my report on the costs of a short weekend in Cologne for 1 person.
I paid for everything in full myself. I was not paid or sponsored. All my opinions and experiences are my own.
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What were my costs for a weekend in Cologne?
I only spent 2 days in Cologne, one of which was for work. I traveled by train, stayed in a hostel, and only did free things around Cologne. My main goal was to see the Cologne Dom. I arrived on Sunday in the early afternoon and left Monday evening. Here is a breakdown of my expenses:
Costs to get to Cologne?
I wanted to see what it was like at the Cologne Main Train Station and it was easier for me to travel by train. Besides, I love traveling by train, so I booked 2 single tickets from my home town in the Netherlands to Cologne Train Station. The journey took me 2 hours and 40 minutes and I switched trains once per journey.
- One way train ticket for 1 person Netherlands-Cologne: €23,40
- One way train ticket for 1 person Cologne-Netherlands: €24,45
Total transportation costs for 1 person by train: €47,85
Costs for staying in Cologne
I found a hostel in Cologne, the Cologne Downtown Hostel. I paid €25 euro for a 4 person, ensuite mixed dorm-style room. This was for 1 night.
Total costs for 1 person on accommodation: €25
Costs for food in Cologne
Here is a breakdown of the costs for a short weekend in Cologne. I only had lunch and dinner on Sunday and breakfast on Monday.
The hostel I stayed at had a supermarket at the ground floor. I bought some cut meat, cheese and some breads and a bottle of juice for my breakfast on Monday morning.
- Breakfast meats: € 1,89
- Cheese: € 1,95
- Bread: €0,93
- Orange Juice: € 1,49
Total costs for groceries at the supermarket to make 1 breakfast: €6,26
I must say, it was more than enough to feed 2 persons. So I left the remainders in the fridge at the hostel and hope somebody else had a good lunch or breakfast with it.
I didn’t exactly had lunch. I was hungry. It was around tea time and I stumbled upon a great coffee and cake house. I spend 10 minutes looking at all the cakes and finally decided on a chocolate layer cake with a latte macchiato. I didn’t even check how expense the cake was. As it turned out: not expensive at all.
- Chocolate layer cake which was too big to eat: € 3,50
- Latte Macchiato: € 2,95
Total costs for “lunch”: € 6,45
Diner costs in Cologne
It was the week before Carnival and I strolled around town. I found a nice and warm restaurant that was full of people dressed up for Carnival. I spend a few hours there and took my time. As per usual, I ate too much and had a couple of beers. Oopsie.
- Schnitzel with salad: € 13,50
- Beers (2): €6,20
- Tea: €2,50
The small beer was cheaper than the tea, but ok. For more beer, try beer tasting in Cologne.
Total costs for a diner and drinks at restaurant Gilden im Zims in Cologne: €22,20
Costs for a short weekend in Cologne sightseeing
I only did free things
- Visit the Cologne Dom. I spent some time walking around the Dom and sat at one of the benches for a while to soak up the atmosphere.
- I walked around the old Town and checked the old houses and city gates.
- One of the Romanesque Churches I visited was the Big St. Martin Church.
- I walked across the Hohenzollern Bridge with the love locks on there
The things I missed
- Museums: there are several interesting museums in Cologne, but I felt my time was too short to visit them. The Roman-German Museum looked really interesting and at only €9, you won’t go broke.
- Climbing the Dome: I really wanted to do this. It was only €4,00 but I wasn’t allowed to take my backpack with me.
- More things to do on a day trip of Cologne by Go Beyond Bounds.
Total costs for sightseeing around Cologne: €0
Costs of getting around Cologne
I didn’t spent any money on transportation within the city. I walked everywhere. My step-checked calculated the steps I took:
Sunday: 11.714 steps
Monday: 10.532 steps
That’s a whole lot of calories burned and guess what: all for free.
Costs for getting around in Cologne: €0
Other miscellaneous expenses
I only tipped in the restaurant for €2,00. I didn’t buy any souvenirs or postcards. Luckily, you can drink the water from the tap and that keeps all the rest of your money in your pockets.
Total costs for tipping: € 2,00
Recap of the costs for a short weekend in Cologne for 1
- Round trip NL-Cologne by train: €47,85
- 1-night hostel: € 25
- Total food and drink costs for 2 days: €34,91 / average per day: €17,46
- Total costs for 1 day of sights: €0
- and Total transport costs 2 days: €0
- Miscellaneous: €2
€109,76 are the costs for a short weekend in Cologne for 1
Conclusion about the costs for a short weekend in Cologne
I recently did a costs report on the costs for a 5-day trip for 2 to Dublin. When I compare that to my weekend in Cologne, I notice that the transport costs to get to the destination are the same.
For Cologne a train ticket for 1 person, for Dublin 2 plane tickets. I know our tickets to Dublin were dead cheap, but 43% of all expenses, the train tickets to Cologne seem rather expensive.
As I only had 2 days, I didn’t explore that much and did free things. Entree for the main Cologne Dome was free. I did spend some money on food, but I think I kept things rather decent.
What do you think? Did I spend too much? Do you keep track of your expenses? Please share your experiences in the comment section below.