Cologne is not the cheapest place to live but you can find something in any price range! The city offers enough to make it worth it! It is important to start the room-hunting at least two months before your arrival.
Most rooms which are rented in Cologne are rented without furniture (unmöbliert), but you might probably need a furnished flat (möblierte Wohnung) or a furnished room (möbliertes Zimmer).
The monthly rent is usually broken down into two figures: the basic or cold rent (Kaltmiete) and the predictable utility bills (Nebenkosten), which include water usage, rubbish fees, city rates etc.
These two figures together make up the warm rent (Warmmiete). If you stay for a short period look for rooms that are sublet (Zwischenmiete).
A lot of students sublet their rooms when they are aboard and this can be one of your best options of finding a furnished room for a short-term lease.
A lot of furnished short-term accommodation can be found in shared flats (Wohngemeinschaften or WGs).
Best sites to start a search:
The Cologne student Union "Kölnerstudentenwerk" ownes 86 residental homes with app. 4600 places that offer "all inclusive" rents in the range of 180-400 EUR centrally located next to the university.
You can choose between the classical version with a room on the corridor, with communal kitchen and sanitary facilities, a shared flat with 2 to 6 persons, or a single apartment.
Half of all rooms a furnished. All residences have complete furnished kitchens, drier and washer.
All important info for application and living you find under A-Z. An overview of the houses you find under student accomodation. From there you will find all houses with detailed information, floor plan and interior views. Over the criteria search you can have a look on houses you are interested in. Afterwards you can do an online application.
Living for help
"Living for help" is a project that connects students searching for a room with elderly persons, single parents, families or handicapped persons.
For each m2 offered the student gives one our help in month. The predictibale utility bills has to be paid on the students own.
This project offers a unique possibility to combine social commitment with finding a cheap place to live and if interested a family like connection.
2. Compulsory registration/citizen center
In Germany it is a duty to register at the administration of your place of residence. The city will than hand you out a confirmation about your residence in Cologne (=Anmeldebestätigung). This "Anmeldebestätigung" you will often need, e.g. if you want to open a bank account, or want to ask for a library card.
The announcement has to be taken at the registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) or the district office (Bezirksamt). Ususally the landloard can provide information which office is responsible. For the registration process your passport/identity card, name and adress of the landloard is necessary.
3. Estimated living costs
To get an overview how mouch money you might spend per month we listed some guideline values:
rent: 300-400 EUR
nutrition and personal hygiene: 200 EUR
learning aid and language course: 100 EUR
health insurance: 70 EUR
others (culture, field trips, etc.): 75 EUR
pocket money: 125 EUR
Total: 600 - 800 EUR
4. Language courses
Information on course types, course contents, specification, application, fees, exams and dates you'll find here.
5. Pubs & clubs
Cologne is PARTY..
The best to start the evening is on the "Zülpicher Straße" or "Aachener Straße" with its several pubs and bars.
Alternatively you can head for a brewery, where the KÖLSCH, the traditional beer of Cologne is brewed.
The first flashing of hunger is stilled with a Döner, a Falafel, or a Pizza.
Again full of power, you can head for one of the clubs depending the music you like.