Tucked away in the hip Belgian Quarter of Cologne, Germany you’ll find the truly unique Die Wohngemeinschaft Hostel. Here, none of the sixteen rooms are the same with each one lovingly created to different character backstory ranging from a 60’s mod chill pad to the glamours of Bollywood.
We contacted them after booking our flights back to UK which involved a 2 night stopover in Germany. Die Wohngemeinschaft hostel very kindly agreed to host us and provide a breakfast in exchange for the honest review we’ve written here.
Rather unique rooms
At the true heart of this hostel are the stylishly themed double, single and dorm rooms spread over 2 floors. All rooms include bedding, 24 hour access to the building, clean showers and toilets plus speedy wifi but the main feature here is the decor and fixtures.
The dorms here are certainly unlike anything we have encountered on our travels before. All offer well built separated sections with curtains rather than the usual bunk beds found in most hostels. Therefore guests get some privacy, a reading light and a generous 1.40 m wide mattress to rest on plus a secure locker each.
The 8 bed ‘The Shakespearantos’ dorm is dedicated to a theatre troupe who perform Shakespeare’s plays in Esperanto, complete with theatre curtains and dramatic lighting.
Whilst the 6 bed ‘Compagnie de Résisdance’ dorm is female only and will transport you into a world of ballet and chandeliers.
Or if you fancy something a little more rock n roll, try the ‘The Roadinis’ 6 bed dorm across the hall where you’ll be sleeping inside giant music kit boxes.
The selection of private double rooms on offer all come with a backstory too. We stayed in the ‘Keiki’ room, a Hawaiian hideaway complete with Tiki masks and bamboo bed frame. The owners thought it suited us best after reading that we got married in Hawaii, we were very touched.
If you fancy travelling through space and time then try the ‘Juri room’, equipped with an overhead control panel and second ‘rescue capsule’ bed. A great spot to blast off with the kids.
For some romance, try the ‘Tamara room’. Decked out in a Gone With the Wind theme with a cosy country house veranda and giant mural of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara, you can’t fail to feel the love here.
Charlie’s favorite was the ‘Jimmy room’, created in a 60’s mod style. It’s home to a double and single bed surrounded by rock memorabilia complete with a moped helmet and 7 inch vinyl records.
The only single room in Die Wohngemeinschaft hostel, ‘Tom Room’, lets you escape to the tranquility of the Canadian/Alaskan border for some quiet contemplation. You’ll be sleeping in a bed converted from Tom’s Canadian boat, great fun.
Check out Die Wohngemeinschaft website for a full rundown of all the unique rooms, the costs, their availability plus the stories behind them.
Superb staff who really care
This really shouldn’t be such a highlight but having travelled a lot we encountered our fair share of poor service and lacklustre staff. This can be a real problem at faceless chain hotels, places relying on volunteers who just want to party or hotels where owners are compelled to tell you how they are stuck in their self created hell.
No such issues at Die Wohngemeinschaft hostel where all the staff we met were caring and passionate. This had nothing to do with the fact that we are travel bloggers as they were taking an interest in our adventures even before we revealed that we own this blog.
We spent some time with Alex as we toured the rooms mentioned above and he explained how grateful he was to work at the hostel. He really believed in what the owners are trying to create and genuinely cared that you have a pleasant stay. As did the other 3 or so staff members we met.
Like with any business, when the staff buy into the company’s vision it makes a world of difference which shines through at Die Wohngemeinschaft hostel. There’s a confident but relaxed approach here which means everything just seems to work that bit better than many places we’ve stayed around the world.
Delicious daily breakfast
To get you ready to explore all that Cologne has to offer there’s a hearty breakfast available between 8 am and 11 am daily in the communal lounge area. The morning feast includes meats, cheeses, juice, fresh breads, hardboiled eggs and a selection of spreads and jams.
Coffee and tea is also available 24/7 from a machine situated in the lounge and there’s a fridge full of Fritz Kolas and beer available to buy anytime too.
The breakfast is €5 per person and offers great value to fill you up before heading into Cologne or you could opt for some pastries and a coffee at one of the nearby bakeries.
Funky Belgian Quarter area
Die Wohngemeinschaft hostel is located to the west of central Cologne in the hip Belgian Quarter of the city. It’s an area packed full of boutique shopping, cafes, bars and restaurants and has a very local vibe to it compared to the historic area around the cathedral.
We would recommend heading 1 street north to Aachener Str. where we enjoyed a hearty lunch at the buzzing Herr Pimock bar on the corner. Apparently the homemade quiche at Salon Schmitz, a little further along the street, is wonderful too but we never managed to find a table as it was always packed.
For a break from the traffic, walk west for a few minutes to the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Park to relax by the Aachener Weiher lake. The Salon Schmitz crew also run the cafe at the Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst if you fancy some coffee and cake with lake views or just soak up the East Asian Art here.
It’s easy to reach the hostel from the airport via the frequent public transport in Cologne. The journey took us around 1 hour in total but we had just missed a train so it can take less. Full directions are on the Die Wohngemeinschaft hostel website.