Cologne city districts and neighborhoods

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Hi All,

 

I'm pleased to say that I will be moving to Cologne in December :D

 

I've booked a trip to visit this coming weekend, and would be interested to hear your advice on which neighborhoods I should explore as my potential future location. Basically, this is what I'm looking for:

 

1. An area that is relatively central and not isolated- not too far from the nightlife etc., and with a lot of young professionals (nicht der Stadtrand)

2. An area from which I could easily travel to Solingen via public transportation (i.e., not too far from the nearest metro stop)

3. I think it might be most practical for me to get a fully furnished apartment for my first year in Germany since I won't have much time to shop for furniture etc. (and probably won't get too far with my three words of German : ) Will this be hard to find?

 

Do you think I should look at the "Belgian Quarter", for example? Thanks in advance for your advice

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Hi looks like we're both after the same sort of info The Sun King, I'm moving to Cologne soon too.

 

I too would like info from you guys. I was wondering what people's opinions are on Kalk? I've seen a really nice place there. Closer for my commute to work as well so would suit. So whats it like?

 

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Cologne is split by the Rhein, with the West/left side (Links-Rhein) being the original city started by the Romans. Links-Rhein is arranged in a series of semicircular rings against the river with the Old City (Altstadt) and shopping area in the centre. The first ring is usually just called the Ring. Much of the night life takes place in a few places along the Ring (Friesenplatz, Clodwigplatz, Zulpicherplatz). Everything inside the ring is considered Innenstadt (inner city). There are some nice places around here if you like downtown living, but prices are not cheap.

 

A few hundred meters outside of the Ring is the main railway track which forms another ring. Between the tracks and the Ring is a belt of neighbourhoods that include some of the nicest and most expensive, like the Belgian Quarter (Belgisches Viertel) and Agnes Quarter (Agnesviertel). They are somewhat peaceful areas that have some nice pubs, and are still very close (five minutes walk) to the nightlife.

 

Just outside the tracks is a ring of parks and green space, followed by another set of neighbourhoods, including Ehrenfeld, Lindenthal and Sulz. I find these areas quite nice, though they are still more expensive than living further out. Each has a small shopping area for groceries and such and some nice pubs and cafes. Walking to the Ring and Innenstadt takes from 15 to 30 minutes depending on where in the neighbourhood you live, or 5 to 10 minutes by subway/tram (U-Bahn).

 

Anything further than that is more like suburbs. I don't know a lot about these regions. There are also other neighbourhoods in the city that I'm not as familiar with.

 

The East/right side of the river (Rechts-Rhein) is somewhat separate from the main city, though U-Bahn connections are still good. There are some nice areas around here, though I don't know specifics. The main neighbourhoods here are Deutz and Kalk. Though it is further from the main night life areas, it can make commuting to some places a lot easier.

 

I personally live in Ehrenfeld. I like the atmosphere, and it is still close enough that I can walk home in 15 minutes after a late night. Living farther becomes fairly complicated because most U-Bahn lines only run every hour after 1:00AM. I think most of the neighbourhoods around the Ring (Belgisches Viertel and Agnesviertel) and just outside the railway tracks (Ehrenfeld, Lindenthal and Sulz) are nice, though of course some parts are better than others.

 

To answer The Sun King more specifically:

To commute to Solingen, you will have take a region train that departs from either the Hauptbahnhof in the city center, or Deutz on the other side of the river. The train itself takes about 25 minutes. If you need to commute to the Hauptbahnhof first, you can expect to add another 15 to 30 minutes including connections and such. Check the Cologne U-Bahn plan (below) to find areas with a good connection to the Hauptbahnhof.

 

Some useful links:

The KVB, the Cologne U-Bahn system

Cologne U-Bahn plan

The train schedule that runs to Solingen

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Hi Gents,

 

Sounds like we need to get together at some point and share ideas over a drink or two!

 

Martin, many thanks for your helpful advice. I spent the whole weekend walking around Koln until my feet ached, trying to identify which neighborhoods would be most to my liking. So far of the places I've seen, the ones I am most attracted to are Agnesviertel, Lindenthal, and perhaps Friesenplatz (Belgian Quarter). What's the environment like in Ehrenfeld, is it quite lively? I saw a bit of it, but perhaps chose the wrong part (and wrong time).

 

Medicine Man, my hotel was actually in Kalk Kapelle this weekend. I didn't explore the area too much but around my hotel it looked fairly quiet, rather residential, and quite clean etc. It's quite easy to connect from there to the lively areas in the Belgian Quarter etc. using the S-bahn (about 10-15 minutes I suppose).

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The part of Ehrenfeld I like the most (and where I live) is around Venloer Straße, between Piusstraße and the Gürtel (as seen here). It is mostly local shopping (groceries, small shops), so it is very lively in the day, but not much outside of some cafés and pubs at night. Most people just make the short walk to Friesenplatz to find night clubs. One of the most popular live music venues, the Live Music Hall is in Ehrenfeld.

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Sounds like we need to get together at some point and share ideas over a drink or two!

Or six! :lol: Where are you in the UK before you leave? On the off chance we could moan together about the amount of things to sort out before we leave. I'm in Leeds and will be in Nottingham soon.

 

 

Medicine Man, my hotel was actually in Kalk Kapelle this weekend. I didn't explore the area too much but around my hotel it looked fairly quiet, rather residential, and quite clean etc. It's quite easy to connect from there to the lively areas in the Belgian Quarter etc. using the S-bahn (about 10-15 minutes I suppose).

Cheers for that, thats exactly the stop where its positioned 5 minutes away from there. My logic is its expensive to live in the centre, yes convinient but its only 15-20 minutes away which isn't far. Not sure what time U-bahn runs till if it would be a problem after a long night on the raz? It would cut my commute and be cheaper so it makes sense. I'll be on the S-bahn on the way back from work so not getting off and going staright to the centre for a session is always an option. You only have to sleep there right! or entertain there...the size of it is great for that.

 

One thing that is really putting me off getting it is the fees that these online agencies charge. I really can't believe how much they charge for hooking you up with a 1 year contract. I nearly chocked when I say that. I'm just finishing my studies and money was always tight so spending that amount to me on getting a place is huge!

 

Did you notice many food shops, cafes, bars or restaurants? Supposedly alot of immigrants live there, large turkish community (good for kebabs - hopfefully no donner crap ), so it is classified a lot less desirable. Also not supposedly as safe? See any strange looking people appearing threating ? :ph34r:

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Hi there,

 

The part of Kalk that my hotel was in definitely didn't look unsafe, and there was no evidence of a large immigrant community. However, I was speaking to a future coworker today about neighbhorhoods I should consider, and he brought up Kalk and told me to avoid it. When I asked him why, he was a bit evasive and basically said that it's "looked down upon" by the average Koln resident. Hmm...Perhaps there are indeed a lot of immigrants there in certain parts, and he didn't want to appear racist by admitting that's a turn-off for most people? The area I was in seemed to have a lot of normal shops and restaurants (instead of bars etc.); it was really quiet.

 

As you said, one of the advantages of Koln is that it seems quite centralised and easy to access the good nightlife, and like all German cities I've been to, the public transportation is better developed and cheaper than the English Third World systems.

 

I live in a dreadful town called Marlow, by the way, in Buckinghamshire, about an hour west of London.

 

Can you give me an example of what kind of fees you are seeing for the online agencies, for a 12 month contract? Are you looking at "e-rent" for furnished apartments?

 

Cheers

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When I asked him why, he was a bit evasive and basically said that it's "looked down upon" by the average Koln resident. Hmm...Perhaps there are indeed a lot of immigrants there in certain parts, and he didn't want to appear racist by admitting that's a turn-off for most people?

I think that could be the case, especially the way you describe it. I wouldn't care about the stigma attached to it personally.

 

 

As you said, one of the advantages of Koln is that it seems quite centralised and easy to access the good nightlife, and like all German cities I've been to, the public transportation is better developed and cheaper than the English Third World systems.

Third world systems :) I like that, commute to London by any chance?

 

 

I live in a dreadful town called Marlow, by the way, in Buckinghamshire, about an hour west of London.

Yeah I know it, my friend lives in Bourne End.

 

 

Can you give me an example of what kind of fees you are seeing for the online agencies, for a 12 month contract? Are you looking at "e-rent" for furnished apartments?

I've looked at e-rent, this place too http://www.zeitwohnen.eu/index.php?lang=en

 

They charge 1.5 months rent for a one year contract. So for a 800 euro place you'd be paying about 800 quid for a years contract. To a student mind thats a lot of wonga! Maybe I shouldn't be thinking like a student anymore seeing that I have a proper job. The catch is also that if you ever renew you have to pay the commision again. So thats why I'm thinking it might be better to get a longer contract as you can always give 3 months notice and break it from what I've read here.

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Hi mate,

 

Yeah, the commissions can be quite stiff- although I think with the standard real estate agents ("Immobilienhandler" in German), it can be even worse- 2 to 3 months' rent per contract. Any chance your future company will reimburse you? If not, the one good thing is that I'm quite sure you can deduct such expenses from your taxable income, so definitely save all receipts related to your relocation costs.

 

Looks like you're quite far from Marlow but if you stop by Bourne End, send me a PM and we can have a "pre-relocation pint (or seven)". :D It will be even better to meet in our new city- with Martin too- I'm really excited to start enjoying Cologne. When are you leaving? I'm moving the 6 December. Are you going to stay in a hotel for a while until you find the right flat?

 

Cheers

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Yeah, the commissions can be quite stiff- although I think with the standard real estate agents ("Immobilienhandler" in German), it can be even worse- 2 to 3 months' rent per contract. Any chance your future company will reimburse you?

Jesus, now that is a sting. I don't know but I can always ask ;) They did say they would cover relocation if I stay a minimum 2 years. Its a small start up, profitable, but those types of companies also count the pennies more than the big boys.

 

Interesting stuff on the tax deductable issue, I'll look into it when I have the time.

 

Yeah no can do before I leave, I'm starting the job on the 1st Nov. Company said they will put me up somewhere for a while at the start. So I'll be in Cologne when you arrive and hopefully know a lot more.

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Even if you find a place yourself, you might end up paying 1 to 3 months rent just for the privilege of moving in. Most people who rent out flats can't be bothered to deal with it themselves, so they find an Immobilien to do it for them. The Immobilien is paid by the tenant in the form of a Provision. It's a bit backwards from what I'm used to in Canada, but it seems to be the norm here.

 

Well over half of all flats in Cologne will require a Provision. There are some Provisionfrei (no Provision) places, but there will be a bit more competition for them, since nobody wants to spend an extra 1000 EUR.

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I've been living in Kalk for four years now and it's fine. The rental prices are more affordable too.

It's mainly a residential area with normal working folk and families, that type of person. Also it's not overrun with students - which is often a bonus.

Yes there are foreigners in Kalk - many Italians, Turkish, Croats, and Arabic/Middle Eastern. This only adds to the diversity of the place.

 

Kalk is sometimes looked down upon, almost always by people who've never been here.

They've just opened a large modern Shopping centre/mall and are building a large parkland area behind it.

For those "in the know" Kalk is often mentioned as an up and coming area...

 

Connections to the City Centre are splendid...

 

It's not the most up-market part of town, but it's a friendly place to live.

 

Don't let people with racist sub-texts or snob-values put you off. :)

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Thanks for that Rojack you've just put my mind totally at rest. I look at the diversity as being one of the big benefits as I like all types of people irrelevant of where they are from. You've just helped me decide that I don't need to be cautious anymore. Yeah I've heard that some have said it is an up and coming area and that to me is always better then paying the extra and being in THE area. Get more for your money.

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Anything further than that is more like suburbs. I don't know a lot about these regions. There are also other neighbourhoods in the city that I'm not as familiar with.

 

The East/right side of the river (Rechts-Rhein) is somewhat separate from the main city, though U-Bahn connections are still good. There are some nice areas around here, though I don't know specifics. The main neighbourhoods here are Deutz and Kalk. Though it is further from the main night life areas, it can make commuting to some places a lot easier.

Nice description of Cologne there, MartinH - this should go in the WIKI.

 

I'm naturally 'linksrheinisch' biased because I have to commute westwards & Mrs FG works in Suelz. Can also confirm that the "Guertel" bits from Marienburg round to Lindenthal are definitely leafier/trendier than elsewhere & much too expensive for us because we needed 'Space'. This means suburbs like Rodenkirchen (which has beaches & floods), Rhondorf (dreadful), Huerth (passable but featureless), Frechen (nice main street, but apparently pollution problems), Pulheim (fast train connection). If you work south of Cologne, Bruehl can be an option too.

 

This won't help you guys coming shortly because you'll want to be more central.

Good luck with the search - most of the stuff on offer is probably still in the Koelner Stadtanzeiger but there are a few online 'Immobilien-Boersen'.

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Just wondering guys about the flight path of planes ... do you get a lot of disturbance from this ? Also especially with regards to the Kalk area?

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I've edited and added my description to the Wiki, fnkygbn. Now it's your turn to add the areas that I missed. :)

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Kalk is looked down upon because in the past (until the 1990s) it was heavily industrialised and especially chemical factories polluted the air. Besides all the areas right of the Rhine are traditionally despised as “schäl sick

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Hello!

 

I will be soon moving to Köln. I am sent by my company in Stuttgart to a project at Ford (Merkenich) so I've been checking maps of the city looking for a district to live where I could commute easily to work without having to miss the flair of the city. So far the best location seems to be Nippes, but I am also considering something more up north, like Weidenpesch.

 

What could you tell me about these places? Do you know other places where people working at Ford tend to live? I wouldn't like to get an apartment in Köln-Merkenich. It seems to be too far away from the real life.

 

Any suggestions? I would really appreciate them!

 

Greetings,

Carolina

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Hi Carolina!

Well, if you want anything thats near the city I wouldn´t go for Weidenpesch!!! Nippes is allright. There is a good u-bahn connection between Ford and the City(line 12, look under www.kvb-koeln.de) It all depends what you are really looking for. I would suggest Agnesviertel,Belgisches Viertel .But all areas are really good connected and I think you would like Sülz(lively), Klettenberg(a bit greener), Südstadt and Ehrenfeld too...

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Thanks for the suggestion!

 

Weidenspesch is out of the search now. Too far away. I'm checking for places around Hansaring, Ebertzplatz or Losehstraße. I think Nippes (Neusserplatz) would be my limit to the north and Friesenplatz to the south.

 

Any additional tips are more than welcome!

 

Greetings,

Caro

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