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Accommodation for International Students

Photo: fotomek,

Finding accommodation in Cologne, a city of 1 million inhabitants, is tough and demanding for students, as in other large German cities.

The need of housing is high especially in the beginning of the semester, therefore we recommend to begin to search for an accommodation as early as possible from your home country. To help you with your housing search in Cologne, we have compiled the information and tips below.


First Days in Cologne

If you did not find any accommodation so far and you need a hotel or hostel room for your first days in Cologne, information is available at KölnTourismus. You can also reserve a room through this website.

Alternatively you can stay in a youth hostel ("Jugendherberge"). To stay at the youth hostels, it is necessary to obtain a youth hostel identity card. These identity cards are available in the youth hostels themselves or online.

At the beginning of the semester, the AStA of the University of Cologne offers an emergency accommodation, which is intended as a transitional and emergency solution for students without an apartment.


Student Dormitories

The Kölner Studierendenwerk operates 90 student dormitories with 5.000 spots for students from all of Cologne’s universities, including spots for students with children or families.

In addition to the student dormitories operated by the "Kölner Studierendenwerk", an array of private student dormitories (website in German language) operated by other institutions exists as well.

Applications to any of the above student dormitories must be submitted by the applicant as early as possible (3-6 months prior to moving in). Please note that the rooms are highly desired and scarce, so the probability of being assigned a room in one of the student dormitories is low.

Private Housing



Should you decide to rent your own apartment, please note that apartments in Germany are usually leased to tenants unfurnished and that most landlords are not interested in short-term leases. Furnished apartments, especially larger in size, are harder to find and also more expensive. 

The rents vary considerably depending on the district, connection to public transports and equipment of the apartment.

If you search for an own apartment, please find some useful links below to the most popular apartment portals.


Shared apartments

As an alternative to renting a room in a student dormitory or renting your own apartment, you can rent a furnished or unfurnished room in an shared apartment (Wohngemeinschaft – "WG"). In shared apartments, you share your bathroom and kitchen with your roommates.

A room in an apartment share is usually cheaper than an own apartment and, in most cases, affords the advantage of a completely furnished apartment - mostly except the own room. Furthermore, it is a good way to meet people in Cologne

Please begin your search for a room in an apartment share as early as possible. We have compiled some useful links for you below.

How do I detect apartment fraud?

Unfortunately, it happens again and again that students who are looking for an apartment come across apartment fraudsters. Please pay particular attention to the following points when looking at online offers:

  • In Germany, you only pay the rent once you have signed the rental agreement. Therefore, please do not pay any rent or "agency fee" from abroad. The pre-payment of a deposit can happen, but make sure that it is a serious offer. 

  • Check whether the apartment address actually exists!

  • Be vigilant if a particularly cheap/large apartment is offered and the landlord is allegedly abroad.

  • The apartment key of private apartments will never be sent to you abroad. It will be handed over to you once you are in Cologne.


Wohnen für Hilfe (Housing for Help)

Photo: Axel Schulten

Housing Partnerships Between the Generations in Cologne
Live Together - Make Everyday Life Easier!

Senior citizens, families, single parents or people with disabilities, who run their own household and would like to have the company, support and security of a student, provide them with living space. In return, the students support the housing providers by helping with day-to-day taskss.

Possible for students enrolled at one of the Cologne universities such as the University of Cologne, the Technical University of Cologne, the German Sport University Cologne, the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, the Cologne Business School or the Catholic University of Applied Sciences.

Further information (in German) at | Contact:


Rental prices in Cologne

Room in a student dormitory of the "Kölner Studierendenwerk": 141 € und 361 € 
Own apartment: approx. from 600 €
Room in a shared apartment ("WG"): 400 € - 550 €



Student dormitories of Kölner Studierendenwerk (KSTW)

Emergency accommodation of the AStA of the University of Cologne


Organise your Stay in Cologne: