Most popular districts in Cologne

Belgisches Viertel

The trendy district between Stadtgarten and Aachener street is filled with the charm of a big city in the usually placid Cologne. Not only trendsetters and creative minds are congregating here but more and more business people are establishing themselves here. The Brüsseler square is an ever-growing center for young designer and artists who are opening their shops here. Still, this area is not as international as one might think: residents are mostly young Germans – Asian supermarkets and Turkish kebab shops are a rarity.

Other than that, this district is not missing anything: big and small theaters, a lot of recreational areas thanks to the Stadtgarten and Grüngürtel and a concentrated passion for creativity. Rent is quite high compared to other districts but chic new constructions projects like the Spichernhöfe are drawing high earners to the Stadtgarten.


A district comparable to the new and old town in the north is hard to find in Cologne as it is not only located centrally but also has a provincial flair. Here opposites meet and go hand in hand. Nordstadt is very multi-cultural – families are living side by side with higher earners and media representatives. Another charming point of this district is the notable absence of big chain stores – many owner-managed shops create their own identity with a variety of products. Moreover, beautiful restaurants are found here offering a big diversity of cuisines from around the world. Cultural highlights are the two arthouse cinemas, Metropolis and Filmpalette, as well as the Raketenclub and the old fire station/Alte Feuerwache.


Südstadt is characterized by its small corner pubs, owner-managed shops and diverse residents.  Young families and long-time residents are living here – glad about multiple schools and kindergartens. Moderate rent also attracts students and professors. But making Südstadt the talk of the town thanks to a variety of big construction projects: To connect the southern parts of Cologne and the inner-city the KVB is building the North-South-train for years now. Furthermore, big companies moved to fancy newly constructed buildings attracting many new inhabitants of Cologne to this district.


It is difficult to put the special flair of Ehrenfeld in words. Next to scruffy areas and junk shops gentrification breathed new life into the district. Many young people moved here thanks to low rent prices. As a result, stores and trendy pubs sprang up. Today a great variety of people are living in the former worker’s district.  No longer do only unemployed people and foreigners live here next to the old-established but so do doctors, lawyers, freelancer, young families and singles. On top of this, Ehrenfeld sits in a very well-connected location: a motorway approach road, a train station, four tramway lines and only a few minutes by bike to reach the inner city. This way the lack of green spaces can be overlooked – one cannot have everything after all.