Need the skinny on visiting Cologne on the cheap? Here we'll tell you all the practical info on the tourist office, museum and transportation passes, and discounts for students and seniors.
Cologne Budget Tips
The Cologne tourist office can be found at Kardinal-Höffner-Platz 1 near the cathedral in the city center. Opening hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 8 PM and Sundays and holidays from 10 AM to 5 PM.
The Köln WelcomeCard provides discounts at tourist attractions like the cathedral treasury and the Museum Ludwig, as well as free access to public transportation and discounts at certain restaurants and shops.
Buy one card for €9, two cards for €16, or three cards for €23.
An all-day pass on the entire public transport network costs €7.10 for one person. You can also buy a five-person pass for €10.40, which allows up to five people (any combination of children and adults) to make unlimited trips from 9 AM to 3 AM of the following day. For more information on transportation, check out our guide to Getting Around Cologne.
Those over 60 receive a reduced price (€11 versus the full-price €15) on Colognes Hop-on Hop-off (http://www.ccs-busreisen.de/en/Tourist-Shuttle-16.html) bus tour. Members of the AARP also receive discounts on hotels, airfares and car rentals in Cologne. They can be reached in the United States at 1-800-424-3410 or accessed online at the AARP Web site.
The International Student Identity Card, ISIC, the most widely accepted form of student ID, provides discounts on sights, accommodations, food, and transportation. Some places offer admission discounts of 20%-50% to ISIC members. All cardholders have access to a 24-hour emergency helpline. In the United States call 1-800-223-7986 or click onto the ISIC site. Applicants must be degree seekers of a secondary or post-secondary school and must be at least 12 years of age. The card costs US$22 and is valid until the end of the year issued.
For non-students 25 years or younger, the International Youth Travel Card, IYTC, also offers many of the same benefits as the ISIC. The card costs US$22 and is valid for one year from the date issued.