As we moved along the corridor of Die Wohngemeinschaft Hostel, I began to wonder if perhaps I hadn’t arrived in Cologne at all.
What if the horrid thirteen hour bus ride from Lyon had actually included such a traumatic accident that I remembered nothing, and as a result had ended up in heaven.
I pinched myself whilst letting myself be led in to yet another room inspired by fantasy and reminded myself that I was still alive and well.
I had found (hostel) heaven on Earth.
Much like the rest of the hostel, the atmosphere at Die Wohngemeinschaft is a product of quirky design and homeliness. The breakfast and main common area is decorated in soft tones, with tables designed to encourage their guests to mingle and discuss plans for the day.
This is also helped by the great music. On my last morning the staff were playing some banging Bob Marley tunes.
Without a doubt, the main atmosphere came from the stunning Die Wohngemeinschaft café and bar. With a beautiful outside terrace, composed of benches flowing out on to the main street, the bar was the perfect place to get to know other guests and grab a spot of dinner.
P.s. I highly recommend the chilli con carne!
After dinner and a much-needed nap, returning downstairs to take up a seat on the bar stools encircling the main bar made me feel as if I was finally experiencing the true culture of Cologne.
The bar was buzzing! And not just with your usual travellers and tourists, but also with locals who had been regulars at the Die Wohngemeinschaft bar long before the hostel existed. Here’s the fabulous story:
Beginning as the Die Wohngemeinschaft bar, the owners began to receive repeat requests from people looking for a room to rent. The general meaning of ‘wohngemeinschaft’ is ‘flatshare’ – so after a number of requests the idea for opening a hostel was born!
The fact that the hostel began first as a bar before it ever opened its doors to travellers and tourists means that guests here not only get to experience a fantastic boutique hostel in the coolest neighbourhood of Cologne, but they also get to live the local experience too.
Oh and the bar also has a ping-pong table and fully-converted VW campervan…
From the moment I rang the buzzer at the entrance to the hostel (it’s the door on the right side, not the left as I realised after walking like a wally between the two!) I began to de-stress after my long journey.
I had chosen Die Wohngemeinschaft Hostel because of the unique way each room had been designed, but I hadn’t realised how much I also desperately needed a home from home vibe from this hostel until I was confronted with the friendly nature of the reception staff.
Sabina welcomed me in at 8.30am, reminding me to help myself to their free tea and coffee as well as giving me free reign of the common area and bathrooms. I hadn’t slept much on the bus, so it was much appreciated to be able brush my teeth and have the option to relax in the hostel.
When I returned later to check in there was no rush or hint of being treated as just another customer. The Die Wohngemeinschaft staff really make you feel like a guest in their home, taking the time to explain the information sheet and reception closure times, as well as giving some great tips on what to do in the area around the hostel (which is really cool for those hipsters out there!).
The welcoming attitude extended to the Die Wohngemeinschaft bar, located on the ground floor of the hostel. Usually a really outgoing person, I was really low on energy during my stay in Cologne and so it was up to the bar staff to get me chatting – which they did with ease!
Despite spending most of the evening napping and struggling to break a smile (those of you who know me know how easily and often I smile!) just ten minutes on the bar stool had me laughing away with the bar staff and locals.
I’m going to try and be brief here – partly because I’ve waxed lyrical enough about the atmosphere and staff and partly because I think the photos will work better than words.
What I will give you before I begin a photo essay on the unique artistry found in each hostel room is the nitty gritty details that are just as important as the artwork:
Security: Each bed in the dorm-rooms is equipped with it’s own locker and key. No need for padlocks here as everything is included.
Comfort: I don’t even want to discuss the size of my ‘bunk-bed’ for fear I may never be able to sleep in a normal bunk-bed again. Far wider than a single bed, the bunks are each custom made to fit the rooms and came with privacy curtains, a lamp, a plug socket, and shelf. I could easily have fit four of me in my bottom bunk.
Bathrooms: The bathrooms at Die Wohngemeinschaft aren’t en-suite. However, there are more than enough for everyone, and as the floors in the hostel aren’t very big you won’t have to walk far to find them either. I also found them spotlessly clean.
Room sizes: The hostel has three dorm rooms (including a female dorm), and nine private rooms with varying capacities.
So here’s the special part – each room in the hostel has a unique design and character. So much effort and attention to detail has gone in to creating spaces that are both homely and fun! They also each have a story – make sure to read about the ‘history’ of each room on their website.
(click the photos below to enlarge)
If you take my lead and choose dorm rooms over private rooms, you can sleep in the wonderfully comfortable 8-bed Shakespeare dorm for as little as €20 per night, although prices do depend on season.
Rates for the private rooms at Die Wohngemeinschaft start from €59 a night for double rooms, €75 for triple, and €90 for the beautiful four bed private. Whilst initially this seems like a lot, if you are four friends that ends up at €22.5 a night per person – hardly more than the dorm rooms but instead you get the room to yourselves!
For the most up-to-date prices and availability, and also the best prices, make sure to book online on the hostel’s website by clicking below.
I’ve mentioned already the cool neighbourhood (known as the Belgium Quarter) in which Die Wohngemeinschaft is located, but it should also be noted that the hostel’s location is really easy to find and a great base for exploring Cologne.
The closest tram station to the hostel is Moltkestraße, which is located on the crossing between Moltkestraße and Aachener Straße. From there you can get tram lines 1 or 7 that reach all the main stops in town if you need to change.
However, it took me just twenty minutes to get to the centre of Cologne by foot, and I would really suggest walking around the city as much as you can. For such a small city there is so much to see and walking really lets you stumble on the hidden gems.
Click here to download a great map of the public transport system in Cologne, and see below for a Google map of the hostel’s location.
Getting to Köln/Bonn airport from Die Wohngemeinschaft
Similarly, getting from the hostel to Köln/Bonn airport was super easy!
I took a right out of the hostel and walked for just five minutes to Rudolf-platz metro station. Then, go down the escalators and take line 12 or 15 in the direction of Merkenich or Chorweiler, but get off at Hansaring in order to grab the S13 to the airport. The whole trip took just half an hour!
I got these directions from the fabulous Sabina at reception, as well as a very hand map of the city and it’s public transport system, so don’t be afraid to ask for help at the hostel!
Arriving to Die Wohngemeinschaft by bus
I arrived to Cologne by Megabus, who probably has the best connections to the city. The Megabus stop in Cologne is on Gummersbacher Strasse. Once you get off the bus, stay on the same side of the road and follow the pavement in the same direction of the traffic.
After a minute or two you will come to a park on your left – walk through it with the intention of crossing directly ahead of you to the other side and once you are out of the park turn to your right. The U-Bahn station is called Deutz Fachhochschule and all you need to do is jump on the U1 in the direction of Weiden West.
After about 13 minutes and six stops you will be at the Moltkestraße stop just around the corner from the hostel… Simple!
Address: Richard-Wagner-Str. 39, 50674 Köln
Phone: (+49) 221-39760904
Email: online contact form
- Check-in is from 15:00 and check-out before 12:00 noon… so you get to lay in!
- The reception is closed from 15:00 – 17:00, and over night from 20:00 – 08:00. If you need to check in at these times just drop in at the bar downstairs. If you’re arriving really late at night, make sure to let them know to make sure there will be someone around to check you in.
- The bar is open until at least midnight.
- Breakfast is €5.50 and is amazing so I highly suggest enjoying a good meal in the morning at the hostel before exploring the city.
- There is free luggage storage for those arriving before check in – like me!
- Despite it’s hip and thronging bar scene, the hostel does not count itself as a party hostel, so bookings for under-21s travelling alone aren’t encouraged.
I would like to thank Die Wohngemeinschaft for arranging my stay with them, but as always opinions are honest and my own.
Disclaimer: I would also like to confront the fact that this review is highly positive. I try my best on each review to provide you all with a thorough overview of each hostel: the good and the bad. But I’ve struggled here. Die Wohngemeinschaft is a truly beautiful hostel, from the inside-out, and I hope some of you will get the chance to enjoy it as much as I did!
Lots of love,