Should you visit Cologne or Baden-Baden?
Should I visit Cologne or Baden-Baden? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
Spanning the Rhine River in western Germany, the city of Cologne dates back 2,000 years, once existing as the largest city of the Holy Roman Empire in medieval times. Today, it is the region's cultural hub - a center of museums, galleries, and towering Gothic cathedrals.
Baden Baden is the perfect spa town in Germany that lets you dip your toes in the culture, relax, and mingle with the locals all while soaking your weary travel bones in the nourishing mineral waters or sweating out the toxins from one too many German beers.
For a detailed guide on Baden Baden, including the bathhouses and spa etiquette, what else to do in and near Baden Baden and more, you can check out my complete guide to Baden Baden for the perfect spa weekend getaway.
Where is Baden Baden?
Baden Baden is located about 2 hours directly South of Frankfurt, making it the perfect day trip. Alternately, Baden Baden is still an easy day trip from Bavaria or other nearby regions of Germany or you can even create a whole weekend in the Black Forest, complete with Cuckoo Clock shopping and more. It's also not far from Stuttgart.
Which city is cheaper, Baden-Baden or Cologne?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Cologne is €126, while the average daily cost in Baden-Baden is €123. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Cologne and Baden-Baden in more detail.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around €70. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Cologne the cost is €140 on average.
A hotel room in Baden-Baden is about €140 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
In Cologne travelers spend around €40 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
The average traveler spends about €33 per day in Baden-Baden for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Cologne
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Cologne:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cologne
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Cologne.
Traveling Spoon French Quiche Private Online Cooking Class:
Private Gourmet Cooking Class in the Heart of Cologne:
Private Market Tour and Gourmet Vegetarian Cooking Class in the Heart of Cologne:
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around €15 per day to get around in Cologne.
The average price of local transportation around Baden-Baden is €27 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cologne
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cologne:
Private Arrival Transfer from Cologne Airport to Cologne City:
Private Departure Transfer from Cologne City to Cologne Airport:
Private Airport Transfer: from Cologne to Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN):
Private Airport Transfer: Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN) to Cologne:
Private Business Transfer from Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN) to Hotel in Cologne:
Private Business Transfer from Hotel in Cologne to Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN):
Private Airport Transfer: Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN) to Bonn:
Private Cologne Airport - Cologne City Round-Trip Transfer:
Low Cost Private Transfer From Cologne Bonn Airport to Cologne City - One Way:
Round Trip Transfer Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN) to Cologne City Center:
Arrival Private Transfer Cologne-Bonn Airport CGN to Cologne City - Business Car:
Departure Private Transfer Cologne-Bonn Airport CGN to Cologne by Business Car:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Baden-Baden
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Baden-Baden:
Baden-Baden to Karlsruhe Airport (FKB) - Departure Private Car Transfer:
Baden-Baden to Karlsruhe Airport (FKB) - Departure Private Van Transfer:
Private transfer from Baden-Baden to Füssen or the opposite way:
Private transfert from Baden-Baden airport to Colmar or the opposite way:
Private transfert to Baden-Baden from Basel - Mulhouse or the opposite way:
Private transfert to Baden-Baden from Zurich or the opposite way:
Is it cheaper to fly into Cologne or Baden-Baden?
Prices for flights to both Baden-Baden and Cologne change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around €16 per person, per day in Cologne. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Baden-Baden's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around €27 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.
Tours and Activities in Cologne
Here are a few actual costs in Cologne for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
English guided tour (other languages offered):
1-hour Rhine River Panorama Cruise:
Panorama City Cruise Options:
Cologne Sightseeing round-trip Cruise:
Skip-the-Line Ticket to Chocolate Museum in Cologne:
Skip the Line: Hard Rock Cafe Cologne:
Cologne Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour and Rhine River Sightseeing Cruise:
Cologne Like a Local: Customized Private Tour:
Cologne All-inclusive Evening Cruise:
Cologne Walking tour of Old Town:
Private tour of the best of Cologne - Sightseeing, Food & Culture with a local:
Tours and Activities in Baden-Baden
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Baden-Baden are as follows:
Baden-Baden Private Walking Tour:
Private Black Forest Tour: Baden-Baden to Freiburg:
Baden - Baden Walking Tour:
The best of Baden-Baden walking tour:
Romantic tour in Baden-Baden:
The best of Passau walking tour:
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Cologne may vary from person to person, on average a person spends €18 per day on alcoholic beverages.
The average person spends about €9.60 on alcoholic beverages in Baden-Baden per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
Sample the Local Flavors in Cologne
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Cologne:
Pub Crawl Cologne Including Admission Fee for Bars and Shots:
When comparing the travel costs between Cologne and Baden-Baden, we can see that Cologne is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.
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