A Travel Price Comparison for Germany Cologne vs. Dresden for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Cologne or Dresden?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Cologne or Dresden? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Cologne or Dresden?

Cologne

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.

Dresden

As towering baroque architecture and verdant woodlands surround your vision, this cityscape works almost as a time capsule of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, untouched by the burdens of modernity. With a melange of cultures and histories, Dresden, Germany stands before you. The capital of the eastern German state of Saxony, Dresden is globally known for its celebrated art museums and classic architecture of its reconstructed Old Town. From the baroque church Frauenkirche to the Versailles-inspired Zwinger palace, the aesthetic value of this Germany city is simply immeasurable. Located on the gorgeous Elbe River, Dresden receives about ten million tourists a year, most of them from Germany. Nevertheless, despite the traditional German culture its most historic buildings exude, Dresden is still touched by the present-day generation with its abundance of restaurants, clubs, shops, and theaters. Whether you wish to gaze at the Raphael's "Sistine Madonna" or simply go for a quick shopping run, Dresden obliges its guests most satisfactorily.

Which city is cheaper, Dresden 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 Dresden is €107. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cologne and Dresden in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cologne 70
    Dresden 48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cologne 140
    Dresden 96
Compare Hotels in Cologne and Dresden

Looking for a hotel in Cologne or Dresden? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Cologne


Hotels in Dresden


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Cologne Hotel Prices and Dresden Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cologne 15
    Dresden 8.45

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cologne

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cologne:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Cologne-Bonn Airport CGN to Cologne City - Business Car: $73
  • Arrival Private Transfer Cologne-Bonn Airport to Cologne City by Luxury Van: $87
  • Private Transfer to/from Cologne Airport (CGN): $70
  • Departure Private Transfer Cologne-Bonn Airport CGN to Cologne by Business Car: $73
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Cologne Bonn Airport to Cologne City - One Way: $69
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From D├╝sseldorf International Airport to Cologne City - One Way: $201
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Eindhoven Airport to Cologne City - One Way: $243
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Frankfurt am Main International Airport to Cologne City - One Way: $540
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From M├Ânchengladbach Airport to Cologne City - One Way: $192
  • Luxury Car Arrival Transfer: Cologne-Bonn Airport to Cologne City: $98
  • Luxury Car Private Departure Transfer: Cologne city to Cologne-Bonn Airport: $98
  • Luxury Van Private Departure Transfer: Cologne-Bonn Airport: $87

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dresden

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dresden:

  • 1-way Dresden to Prague - private transfer - Mercedes Benz - up to 8 passengers: $243
  • Arrival Private Transfer Dresden Airport DRS to Dresden by Luxury Vehicle: $52
  • Departure Private Transfer Dresden to Dresden Airport DRS by Luxury Vehicle: $52
  • Private Airport Transfer: Dresden International Airport (DRS) to Dresden: $30
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Dresden to Dresden International Airport (DRS): $30
  • Private Transfer from Dresden City to Leipzig City: $156
  • Private Transfer from Dresden to Prague: $199
  • Private Transfer from Dresden to Prague with 2 Sightseeing stops: $157
  • Private Transfer from Dresden to Prague, Hotel-to-hotel, English-speaking driver: $132
  • Private transfer from Dresden to Prague: $409
  • Private transfer: Dresden Airport (DRS) to Dresden: $73
  • Private transfer: Dresden to Dresden Airport (DRS): $73

Is it cheaper to fly into Cologne or Dresden?

Prices for flights to both Dresden 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Cologne 40
    Dresden 25
Typical Food prices in Cologne

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Cologne:


  • Dinner
    14
  • Donner Kebab
    4.00

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: $27
  • Private Gourmet Cooking Class in the Heart of Cologne: $129
  • Private Market Tour and Gourmet Vegetarian Cooking Class in the Heart of Cologne: $183

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cologne 16
    Dresden 7.64

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): $6.22
  • 1-hour Rhine River Panorama Cruise: $12
  • Entertaining History Tour: $12
  • Tour in German - West to East from Rudolfplatz: $12
  • Tour of Germany's Oldest Metropolis (in German): $14
  • Historical Crime Tour in German: $14
  • Guided Tour of the Melaten Cemetery: $14
  • Guided Highlights Tour with a Local: $14
  • Melaten Cemetery Tour in German: $14
  • 2000 Years of Sex & Crime City Tour (in German): $14
  • 90-Minute Tour in German from Cathedral to Old Town: $15
  • Cologne Sightseeing round-trip Cruise: $15

Tours and Activities in Dresden

Here are a few actual costs in Dresden for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Dresden's 'Balcony of Europe': An audio tour along the River Elbe: $5.00
  • Classical Dresden Walking Tour with German-Speaking Guide: $13
  • Dresden Old Town Walking Tour with a German-Speaking Guide: $13
  • Zwinger Guided Tour: $14
  • Tickets Dresden Transport Museum: $14
  • The Original Night Watchman Tour in Lantern Light: $14
  • Panometer Dresden Entrance Ticket: $15
  • Semperoper Tickets and 45-Minute Guided Tour: $15
  • 1719 Baroque Era Virtual-Reality Experience: $15
  • Dresden Walking Tour of the Historic Old Town with English Speaking Guide: $15
  • Discover the City Sights Walking Tour: $16
  • Theatrical Poison, Ghosts, and Demons Tour: $17

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cologne 18
    Dresden 13

Sample the Local Flavors in Dresden

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Dresden:

  • Dresden on Food! Without wine tasting.: $50
  • Dresden on Food! With wine tasting. Small group tour: $62
  • Boat Cruise, Wine Tasting and Lunch Platter: $96
  • Adventure day boat trip, wine tasting & wine tasting: $101


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cologne and Dresden, we can see that Cologne is more expensive. And not only is Dresden much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Dresden would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Dresden and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Cologne would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cologne than you might in Dresden.


When is the best time to visit Cologne or Dresden?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Cologne or Dresden in the Summer?

Both Dresden and Cologne are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities.

Cologne is around the same temperature as Dresden in the summer. The temperature in Cologne is usually 19°C (66°F) in July, and Dresden stays around 20°C (68°F).

In July, Cologne usually receives more rain than Dresden. Cologne gets 80 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Dresden receives 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Cologne 19°C (66°F) 
    Dresden 20°C (68°F)

Should I visit Cologne or Dresden in the Autumn?

Both Dresden and Cologne during the autumn are popular places to visit.

In the autumn, Cologne is a little warmer than Dresden. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Cologne in October are around 12°C (54°F), and Dresden is about 11°C (51°F).

Cologne usually gets more rain in October than Dresden. Cologne gets 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Dresden receives 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cologne 12°C (54°F) 
    Dresden 11°C (51°F)

Should I visit Cologne or Dresden in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Cologne and Dresden.

Dresden can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Cologne. In January, Cologne is generally much warmer than Dresden. Temperatures in Cologne average around 3°C (37°F), and Dresden stays around 1°C (33°F).

In January, Cologne usually receives more rain than Dresden. Cologne gets 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Dresden receives 38 mm (1.5 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cologne 3°C (37°F) 
    Dresden 1°C (33°F)

Should I visit Cologne or Dresden in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Cologne as well as Dresden.

Cologne is around the same temperature as Dresden in the spring. The temperature in Cologne is usually 10°C (50°F) in April, and Dresden stays around 10°C (50°F).

Cologne usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Dresden. Cologne gets 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Dresden receives 53 mm (2.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cologne 10°C (50°F) 
    Dresden 10°C (50°F)

Typical Weather for Dresden and Cologne

Cologne Dresden
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 1°C (33°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Feb 4°C (39°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 2°C (36°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Mar 7°C (44°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 5°C (41°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Apr 10°C (50°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 10°C (50°F) 53 mm (2.1 in)
May 14°C (58°F) 68 mm (2.7 in) 15°C (58°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Jun 17°C (63°F) 76 mm (3 in) 18°C (65°F) 81 mm (3.2 in)
Jul 19°C (66°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 20°C (68°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 19°C (66°F) 73 mm (2.9 in) 19°C (67°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Sep 16°C (61°F) 62 mm (2.5 in) 16°C (60°F) 52 mm (2 in)
Oct 12°C (54°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 11°C (51°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) 6°C (43°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)
Dec 4°C (39°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 2°C (35°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)


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Cologne vs. Dresden Travel Comparison

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