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

Should you visit Cologne or Hamburg?

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

Should I visit Cologne or Hamburg? 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 Hamburg?

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.

Hamburg

Hamburg is most noted for its port, which is the largest in Germany and the second busiest in Europe. Despite it's size, it is actually located about 100 kilometers from the North Sea on the River Elbe. The popularity of this port has given Hamburg the nickname as Germany's Gateway to the World. The city itself is the second largest in Germany and the metropolitan area has a population of over 4 million people.

Which city is cheaper, Hamburg 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 Hamburg is €93. 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 Hamburg in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cologne 70
    Hamburg 43
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cologne 140
    Hamburg 86
Compare Hotels in Cologne and Hamburg

Looking for a hotel in Cologne or Hamburg? 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 Hamburg


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cologne 15
    Hamburg 23

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Hamburg

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Hamburg:


  • Short Distance Ubahn Ticket
    1.70

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Hamburg

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Hamburg:

  • Airport Transfer Luxury Van 8-seater: $299
  • Airport transfer executive sedan: $148
  • Airport-Transfer First Class: $198
  • Airport-Transfer Premium Van: $180
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Hamburg Airport HAM to Hamburg City: $59
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Hamburg Airport HAM to Hamburg City: $77
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Hamburg Airport XFW to Hamburg City: $105
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Hamburg Airport XFW to Hamburg City: $87
  • Deluxe Private Transfer From Hamburg City to Berlin City: $249
  • Departure Private Transfers from Hamburg City to Hamburg Airport HAM: $62
  • Departure Private Transfers from Hamburg City to Hamburg Airport HAM: $77
  • Departure Private Transfers from Hamburg City to Hamburg Airport XFW: $99

Is it cheaper to fly into Cologne or Hamburg?

Prices for flights to both Hamburg 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
    Hamburg 28
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

Typical Food prices in Hamburg

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


  • Pink Thai Soup Dinner and Spring Rolls
    15
  • Currywurst and Pommes Frites
    5.00
  • Donner Kebab and Coke
    6.00
  • Traditional Hamburg Dinner w/ Beer
    15
  • Donner Kebab Lunch
    4.00
  • Sandwich and Coffee Break
    6.00
  • Fish Sandwich from Fish Market
    3.50
  • Coffee and Donut
    4.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Hamburg

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Hamburg.

  • Historic Reeperbahn Tour with Optional Dinner in Hamburg: $38
  • St. Georg Hamburg - Food Tour: $45
  • HafenCity & Elbphilharmonie - Food Tour: $50
  • Sternschanze Hamburg - Food Tour: $53
  • St. Pauli - Food Tour: $53
  • Eat Like A Local : Hamburg Private Food Tour With Tastings: $146

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cologne 16
    Hamburg 31

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

Typical Entertainment prices in Hamburg

Here are a few typical costs in Hamburg for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Tower at St. Michael's Church
    3.50

Tours and Activities in Hamburg

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

  • Spicy's Gewürzmuseum Entry Ticket and Audio Guide: $5.66
  • RICKMER RICKMERS Museum Entry Ticket: $6.79
  • Walking Tour for School Groups: $8.48
  • Panoptikum Hamburg Ticket: $8.58
  • Hamburg Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Hamburg by Boat: 1-Hour Hanseatic Tour: $16
  • Express outer Elbphilharmonietour: $19
  • Speicherstadt and Hafencity Guided Tour: $19
  • 2-Hour St. Georg Walking Tour: $19
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Tour - Yellow Double Decker - GROUP TICKETS: $20
  • GROUP TICKETS HOP-ON HOP-OFF City Tour by Bus: $20
  • Outer Elbphilharmonie Tour: Public Tour in German: $21

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cologne 18
    Hamburg 14

Sample the Local Flavors in Hamburg

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

  • Club and Pub Tour of St. Pauli: $27
  • Corona Pub Crawl with special drinks: $62
  • Private guided Club & Pub tour - Pub Crawl: $358


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cologne and Hamburg, we can see that Cologne is more expensive. And not only is Hamburg much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Hamburg would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Hamburg 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 Hamburg.


When is the best time to visit Cologne or Hamburg?

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 Hamburg in the Summer?

Both Hamburg and Cologne are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Also, many travelers come to Hamburg for the music scene and the family-friendly experiences.

Cologne is a little warmer than Hamburg in the summer. The temperature in Cologne is usually 19°C (66°F) in July, and Hamburg stays around 17°C (62°F).

It's quite sunny in Hamburg. Cologne usually receives less sunshine than Hamburg during summer. At this time of the year, Cologne gets 184 hours of sunny skies, while Hamburg receives 207 hours of full sun.

In July, Cologne usually receives around the same amount of rain as Hamburg. At this time of the year, Cologne gets 80 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Hamburg receives 82 mm (3.2 in) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Cologne 19°C (66°F) 
    Hamburg 17°C (62°F)

Should I visit Cologne or Hamburg in the Autumn?

Both Hamburg and Cologne during the autumn are popular places to visit. Also, many visitors come to Hamburg in the autumn for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Cologne is a little warmer than Hamburg. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Cologne in October are around 12°C (54°F), and Hamburg is about 10°C (50°F).

In the autumn, Cologne often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Hamburg. Cologne gets 104 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Hamburg receives 101 hours of full sun.

Cologne usually gets less rain in October than Hamburg. Cologne gets 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Hamburg receives 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cologne 12°C (54°F) 
    Hamburg 10°C (50°F)

Should I visit Cologne or Hamburg in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Cologne and Hamburg. Also, most visitors come to Hamburg for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Hamburg can be very cold during winter. Cologne can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Cologne is generally much warmer than Hamburg. Temperatures in Cologne average around 3°C (37°F), and Hamburg stays around 0°C (33°F).

Cologne usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Hamburg during winter. At this time of the year, Cologne gets 43 hours of sunny skies, while Hamburg receives 42 hours of full sun.

In January, Cologne usually receives around the same amount of rain as Hamburg. At this time of the year, Cologne gets 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Hamburg receives 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cologne 3°C (37°F) 
    Hamburg 0°C (33°F)

Should I visit Cologne or Hamburg in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Cologne as well as Hamburg. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Hamburg because of the natural beauty.

Cologne is a little warmer than Hamburg in the spring. The temperature in Cologne is usually 10°C (50°F) in April, and Hamburg stays around 8°C (46°F).

In the spring, Cologne often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Hamburg. Cologne gets 152 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Hamburg receives 161 hours of full sun.

Cologne usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Hamburg. Cologne gets 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Hamburg receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cologne 10°C (50°F) 
    Hamburg 8°C (46°F)

Typical Weather for Hamburg and Cologne

Cologne Hamburg
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 0°C (33°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Feb 4°C (39°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 1°C (34°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Mar 7°C (44°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 4°C (39°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Apr 10°C (50°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 8°C (46°F) 51 mm (2 in)
May 14°C (58°F) 68 mm (2.7 in) 12°C (54°F) 57 mm (2.3 in)
Jun 17°C (63°F) 76 mm (3 in) 15°C (60°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
Jul 19°C (66°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 17°C (62°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Aug 19°C (66°F) 73 mm (2.9 in) 17°C (62°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Sep 16°C (61°F) 62 mm (2.5 in) 14°C (57°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Oct 12°C (54°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 10°C (50°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) 5°C (41°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Dec 4°C (39°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 2°C (35°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)


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Cologne vs. Hamburg Travel Comparison

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