Should you visit Cologne or Heidelberg?
Should I visit Cologne or Heidelberg? 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.
Heidelberg, in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg, is a top travel destination in Germany. It's picturesquely situated in the Neckar River Valley and is a wonderful place to spend a few days. The city has a population of over 148,000 and it's home to Germany's oldest university, the Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat, which has a student population of approximately 28,000.
Which city is cheaper, Heidelberg 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 Heidelberg is €113. 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 Heidelberg 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.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Heidelberg, €148 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Heidelberg, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is €74, such as in a hostel.
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 Heidelberg cost around €30 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 €12.
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.
Heidelberg's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend €14 per person, per day on transportation in Heidelberg.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cologne
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cologne:
Private transfer from Baden Baden to Köln or the opposite way:
Private transfer: Cologne to Cologne Airport (CGN):
Low Cost Private Transfer From Frankfurt am Main International Airport to Cologne City - One Way:
Private Cologne-Bonn Airport CGN Arrival Transfer to Koblenz City:
Low Cost Private Transfer From Eindhoven Airport to Cologne City - One Way:
Low Cost Private Transfer From Düsseldorf International Airport to Cologne City - One Way:
Low Cost Private Transfer From Mönchengladbach Airport to Cologne City - One Way:
Superior Private Transfer from Cologne City to Dortmund City:
Luxury Car Private Departure Transfer: Cologne city to Cologne-Bonn Airport:
Luxury Car Arrival Transfer: Cologne-Bonn Airport to Cologne City:
Arrival Private Transfer Cologne-Bonn Airport to Cologne City by Luxury Van:
Luxury Van Private Departure Transfer: Cologne-Bonn Airport:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Heidelberg
Also for Heidelberg, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Low Cost Private Transfer From Mannheim-City Airport to Heidelberg City - One Way:
Private Transfer from Heidelberg City to Frankfurt Airport FRA by Minivan:
Private Transfer from Heidelberg City to Stuttgart Airport STR by Minivan:
Private Transfer from Hotel in Heidelberg City to Frankfurt Airport:
Is it cheaper to fly into Cologne or Heidelberg?
Prices for flights to both Heidelberg 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Heidelberg can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around €9.18 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Tours and Activities in Cologne
Here are a few actual costs in Cologne for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
1 hour limousine sightseeing ride in Cologne:
Bonn City Private Tour (Day trip from Cologne):
Cologne All-inclusive Evening Cruise:
Cologne Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour and Rhine River Sightseeing Cruise:
Cologne Like a Local: Customized Private Tour:
Cologne Sightseeing round-trip Cruise:
Cologne Walking tour of Old Town:
Cologne Walking tour with a visit to world famous Cathedral:
Cologne and Dresden: 5-Day Independent Coach Tour from Cologne:
1-hour Rhine River Panorama Cruise:
Panorama City Cruise Options:
English guided tour (other languages offered):
Tours and Activities in Heidelberg
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Heidelberg.
Virtual Tour of Heidelberg:
Heidelberg old Town Tour.:
Heidelberg Public Walking Tour:
Alternative Heidelberg Tour.:
Heidelberg Like a Local: Customized Private Tour:
Food & Fables Tour of Heidelberg:
Bicycle Tour from Heidelberg to quaint Ladenburg.:
Kayak-Tour in Heidelberg on river Neckar:
Beer and Old Town Tour:
E.Bike Tours around Heidelberg:
Heidelberg Tour with winetasting.:
Mannheim Castle 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.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Heidelberg, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is €14.
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 Heidelberg, 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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