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

Should you visit Cologne or Dresden?

Should I visit Cologne or Dresden? 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.

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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Cologne and Dresden in more detail.



Accommodation

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.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around €48. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Dresden the cost is €96 on average.


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

Food

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.

On average, meal and food prices in Dresden cost around €25 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around €10.


  • 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

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around €15 per day to get around in Cologne.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around €8.45 per day to get around in Dresden.


  • 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
  • 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
  • Private Airport Transfer: Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN) to Bonn: $50

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
  • From Hike Through Saxon Switzerland with Transfers: $34
  • 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

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.





Entertainment

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.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around €7.64 per person, per day in Dresden. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • 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
  • Experience KölnCard: $11
  • 1-hour Rhine River Panorama Cruise: $12
  • Panorama City Cruise Options: $13
  • Cologne Sightseeing round-trip Cruise: $15
  • Skip-the-Line Ticket to Chocolate Museum in Cologne: $23
  • Skip the Line: Hard Rock Cafe Cologne: $24
  • Cologne Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour and Rhine River Sightseeing Cruise: $30
  • Cologne Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $38
  • Cologne All-inclusive Evening Cruise: $87
  • Cologne Walking tour of Old Town: $200
  • Private tour of the best of Cologne - Sightseeing, Food & Culture with a local: $249

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
  • Historical Walking Tour in German With Prosecco: $12
  • Dresden Old Town Walking Tour with a German-Speaking Guide: $13
  • Classical Dresden Walking Tour with German-Speaking Guide: $13
  • Tickets Dresden Transport Museum: $14
  • Panometer Dresden Entrance Ticket: $15
  • Dresden Walking Tour of the Historic Old Town with English Speaking Guide: $15
  • Walking tour with the night watchman: $19
  • Street Art Tour Dresden Neustadt: $21
  • Big Sightseeing Tour in Dresden: $23
  • From Paddle Steamer Cruise to Königstein Fortress: $26
  • Segway Classic Tour in German (3 hours): $80

Alcohol

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.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Dresden may vary from person to person, on average a person spends €13 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cologne 18
    Dresden 13

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: $24

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
  • 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.

Budget Your Trip

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Cologne vs. Dresden Travel Comparison

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