What`s a Hostel?

COLOGNE DOWNTOWN HOSTEL - Also a concept for independent travelers

The definition of a hostel

A hostel can be defined as „a budget-oriented, sociable accommodation.“

This definition is rather simple and brief but the concept of a hostel in today’s major cities has become much more.

Alternatively, one can use this slightly longer definition as well:

„The term hostel stands for a style of accommodation which many people are familiar with from their schooldays. It offers people a low priced place to stay during their travels.“


COLOGNE DOWNTOWN HOSTEL -  Originating from backpacking tourism

The word hostel originates from the late 60ies and early 70ies. It was around this time when backpacking tourism became popular, which resulted in the first hostels.

Far off travel destinations such as India or Australia, usually exclusive to the wealthy population, became more accessible for budget-oriented travelers. However, backpacking back in those days usually meant uncomfortable and complicated traveling and lodging. 

Nowadays, with the effects of globalization, backpacking has become much more advanced and convenient. While the typical backpacker still belongs to the younger demographic and has less financial means, this style of traveling has become popular among people from all walks of life. For some people it is a matter or attitude and conviction even though they could afford a more luxurious style of travel.


COLOGNE DOWNTOWN HOSTEL - Development and dissemination of hostels

Chronology of a hostel

In light of these developments, the need for affordable accommodations drastically increased. This marked the birth of the hostel concept. In Germany, most people still refer to it as „youth hostel“, although this term no longer adequately represents this concept.

Today, hostels are not only found in major cities but can also be found in more remote parts of the country.


COLOGNE DOWNTOWN HOSTEL - Why it is not a youth hostel

Originally, (and in some places this is still true today) a hostel was a place where many people were accommodated in a small space. This resulted in multi-bed rooms, usually bunk beds.

These days, more and more hostels are characterized by modern design, latest technology and an infrastructure commonly found in a hotel. Especially in larger cities, hostels generally provide a higher standard of accommodation compared to simple youth hostels.

The standards will vary when it comes to luxury and comfort, therefore the price range is widely spread. The goal is to provide affordable lodging while meeting the individual wishes of each guest. Other than the regular German „youth hostel“, you do not have to be a member of the German Youth Hostel Association for an overnight stay in a hostel in Germany.


COLOGNE DOWNTOWN HOSTEL - Shaped by community and little privacy

Together instead of alone

The night, the breakfast, the personal hygiene…all this usually doesn’t involve a lot of privacy in a hostel. In order to offer low prices, hostels are mostly characterized by joint use of the facilities. Many people are accommodated in a small space. While they don’t necessarily share a bed, a lot of the time they share the same room/dorm. What can be fun if you are surrounded by loved ones can quickly turn into a restless night in a room full of strangers. All of this continues in the bathroom, the breakfast room or the communal kitchen. Some may consider this a loss of privacy while others embrace the chance to meet new people.

Due to the fact that most guests of a hostel are familiar with these circumstances, the latter is probably the more common approach.

By the way: all this may or may not be the case. Modern hostels offer a hotel like privacy if you are willing to pay some extra money.


The COLOGNE DOWNTOWN HOSTEL has a lot more to offer:

The location of the DOWNTOWN HOSTEL is truly special! 


It sits on top of the REWE parking garage and is in close proximity to the Rhine bank. The historic old town is only 200 meters away as well as the most visited pedestrian precinct Hohestrasse.


The Cologne Central Station and the Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral) lie in 10-minute walking distance.


As of this summer you can enjoy a nice view of the Dom and downtown Cologne from atop our new wood-panelled patios.


The DOWNTOWN HOSTEL has just recently finished construction and is therefore a step ahead of many older hostels.  


Each room features its own fancy bathroom and air conditioning. Bed linen are also provided by the hostel so you do not have to make your own bed. You can enjoy a quiet and restful sleep since there is no traffic noise entering the room.


In the lobby you will find a digital piano from Music Store, which is available to all guests and can be played with or without headphones. You can also lend a Western guitar from our reception desk. This makes for great entertainment among our international guests.


Additionally, there is a large REWE grocery store located on the ground floor which is open until 10pm, so you can buy your food and prepare it in our spacious kitchen. The kitchen is equipped with large tables so everyone has enough room to eat and enjoy their food.


Should you arrive by car, you can park your vehicle at a discounted price on the parking deck of the 6th floor. Your car will be parked right underneath the hostel. The parking garage has 24/7 video surveillance.


The hostel also provides a laundry room with modern washers, so you can do your laundry during your stay. 



The COLOGNE DOWNTOWN HOSTEL - much more than a simple accomodation!