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Moving to Cologne? Get ready with our guide!

Are you moving to Cologne? This guide will help you find your next home this amazing city.

Are you moving to Cologne? Whether you’re looking to buy a house or rent a furnished apartment, this guide will help you get started.

The city wears many hats: an acclaimed university town, an industrial powerhouse, a major trade fair center, and a leader in the development of biotechnology. As the source of over a third of Germany’s television programs, the city is also a cultural powerhouse! No wonder furnished apartments in Cologne (Köln in German) are particularly popular with 18 to 30-year-olds, who are drawn by its educational, research, and business opportunities.

An Introduction to Cologne

Welcome to Cologne, Germany’s fourth largest city located on the banks of the Rhine. Cologne’s history stretches back over 2,000 years and evidence of this past can be seen throughout the city. The city’s most famous landmark is the Cologne Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This Gothic masterpiece dominates the city’s skyline with its soaring towers and ornate façade that leaves visitors in awe. Explore the cobbled streets of the Old Town, where you will find charming medieval buildings such as the historic town hall and the picturesque houses at the fish market.

Cologne is also renowned for its vibrant cultural scene. Art enthusiasts will rejoice at the abundance of museums and galleries, including the Museum Ludwig, which houses an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art. With so much to discover, get ready to explore a city that seamlessly blends its rich heritage with modern attractions, making it a top choice for international expats. 

Let’s dive in and explore your next hometown!

Moving to Cologne: the living room & kitchen of a furnished apartment on Wunderflats

Living in Cologne-Mülheim

Centered around the hustle and bustle of the diverse Wiener Platz, Mülheim is an easy-going, multicultural area on the east bank of the Rhine. It’s a great place to shop, hang out, or grab a bite to eat at the local Turkish restaurants and cafes.

The Cologne-Mülheim Neighborhood

Mülheim reflects the diversity and coolness of modern Cologne. Keupstrasse is the hub of the city’s Turkish business community, while the TV studios on Schanzenstrasse are responsible for a stream of hit shows. With its eclectic flavor and lively nightlife, Mülheim is popular with young people and international visitors.

Living in Cologne-Nippes

Loved by students and trendsetters alike, Nippes is one of the hippest areas in Cologne! This part of town encourages you to “think green.” There’s a large car-free zone and several rural green spaces. However, there is no shortage of shopping opportunities in this area either.

The Cologne-Nippes Neighborhood

The Nippeser Tälchen park is a highlight for those who love the outdoors or have small children. A water playground with wooden channels allows children to get muddy and splash around. Another favorite is the Cologne Zoo, which hosts a collection of primates, big cats, and penguins. If you are more in the mood for shopping, the boutiques on Neusser Strasse draw crowds daily and the market at Wilhelmplatz is well-loved by foodies.

Living in Cologne-Porz

Originally an independent town, it was incorporated into the city in 1971. This large district on the south side of Cologne is still very contained. With everything you need right on your doorstep, its convenience and affordability make it a popular choice for families.

The Cologne-Porz Neighborhood

There’s no denying Porz’s family-friendly infrastructure. Based around the airport, it has its own hospital and pedestrian town center (known as “Porzity” to the locals). Couples can go for walks along the Rhine or through community gardens, and there are playgrounds and nature reserves to appeal to the kids.

Living in Cologne-Lindenthal

Home to the lauded University of Cologne, Lindenthal is one of the city’s most coveted residential locations. Its elegant houses, leafy avenues, and lanes stocked with small boutiques all show the city at its very best.

The Cologne-Lindenthal Neighborhood

One of the prime local attractions is the green Stadtwald (city forest) area. With its zoo and pond, it’s a magical place for all ages. Meanwhile, football lovers should head to the Rhine Energy Stadium, where Köln FC plays in front of packed crowds.

Living in Cologne-Innenstadt

The Innenstadt is the historic heart of Cologne with iconic landmarks such as the cathedral and Hohenzollern Bridge, not to mention much-visited shopping thoroughfares such as Schildergasse.

The Cologne-Innenstadt Neighborhood

The Cologne Philharmonic Hall is based in Innenstadt, and there’s also an opera house, theater, and museums. The city’s famous carnival kicks off every year at the Old Market on the 11th of November (the eleventh month) at 11:11 pm.

Living in Cologne

As one of Germany’s largest cities, there is no shortage of amenities, from spectacular sights to glitzy shopping and efficient transport.

Transport in Cologne

These tips will help you survive your first couple of weeks after moving to Cologne.

Public Transport
Cologne benefits from an integrated system of buses, trams, and overground trains operated by KVB. A single-day ticket called a KölnCard lets you travel anywhere in the city and costs €9.00. It can be easily bought at ticket machines or on board KVB vehicles.

The Deutschland-Ticket is another option, allowing you to travel on all public transport throughout Germany for just €49 per month. It also includes unlimited travel on all local trains. If you feel like exploring the country, this is a great option. You can buy this ticket online and in travel centers from KVB, or Deutsche Bahn (DB), the German national railway company.

Taxi and Bike Sharing
With limited parking in the city center, taxis are a sensible option for getting around on four wheels. You can hail them on the street, queue at taxi ranks, or order them by phone. Expect a base fare of around €4.90, and rates of around €2.20 per kilometer thereafter. The city operates an eco-friendly bike-sharing scheme called KVB-Rad. Sign up for the free app, which will send you a code to open the bike’s lock. Simply park the bike when you are finished.

Sightseeing in Cologne

Moving to Cologne: the Crane buildings in Cologne's harbour (Rheinauhafen)

You might want to visit the city before you relocate or keep exploring after moving to Cologne. In either case, you’ll have plenty to see. As an important provincial capital and trading post since Roman times, Cologne has a long and fascinating history that is reflected in its various highlights.

Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral with its twin spires rises to a lofty 157 meters. This soaring behemoth of Gothic architecture was built mainly between 1248 and 1473 but finished off in the nineteenth century. Among its treasures are the sacred relics of the three wise men who visited the infant Jesus.

Cologne Old Town

Painstakingly reconstructed after WWII, the Old Town is a maze of little cobble-stoned lanes of shops, beer cellars, and narrow townhouses with steep gables. It is a wonderful place for a stroll or to stop for a Kölsch beer, the local variety of beer that is light and refreshing.

The Lindt Chocolate Museum

Why do half a million visitors a year visit the Lindt Chocolate Museum? Perhaps to trace the historic origins of chocolate? Or, maybe it has something to do with the 3-meter-high chocolate fountain and the shop stocked with tasty delights.

The Rheinauhafen district

In 2002, work began to turn what was once the old commercial port on the banks of the Rhine into a sparkling assemblage of new offices, bars, cafes, and restaurants. The award-winning Three Crane Houses in the Rheinauhafen district quickly became an iconic part of the cityscape.

The Rhine Boulevard

Part archaeological dig, part flood protection, Rhine Boulevard is another of the city’s waterside redevelopment projects. An esplanade and steps with views across the river to the Old Town and the cathedral, it’s become a popular place to take photos and admire the scenery since its opening in 2015.

Cologne Triangle (LVR Tower)

It might not be the tallest building in Cologne. However, at 103 meters the LVR Tower, also known as the Cologne Triangle, is still impressive, and its observation deck offers unmatched views of the cathedral, Old Town, Museum Ludwig and much more.

Moving to Cologne?

Moving to Cologne: a view of Cologne Cathedral from the front

If you’re considering moving to Cologne, you’re in good company: expats make this choice for good reasons: the city is renowned for its lively festivals, top-notch dining options, and affordable cost of living. Its efficient transportation system, the abundance of green spaces, and world-class healthcare facilities provide foreigners with everything they need to live a comfortable and fulfilling life. 

You can make your relocation process easier and faster by finding a home in Cologne with Wunderflats. With its wide selection of quality furnished apartments, helpful customer service, and easy solutions, Wunderflats has everything you need to make your move a success. To get started, visit wunderflats.com.

If you’re also interested in other German cities and enjoyed our guide to Cologne, look at our guides to Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg!

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