7 Spots to Sleep in Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN)

Cologne Bonn Airport, while a significant hub in Germany, lacks innovative compact sleeping pods with a flexible pay-per-use model, such as NapCabs, that are available in other major airports like Berlin Brandenburg, Frankfurt, and Munich.

If you have an upcoming layover in this airport, you’ll find this Cologne Bonn Airport Sleeping Guide as we have shared some free spots within the terminals to consider.

You’ll also find a review of the sleep quality of this airport so you can know what to expect. We also have details of the lack of sleeping pods, the benefits of such pods if they were there, and the limitations of sleep in this airport with overnight terminal closures – despite landside areas being accessible 24/7.

We have also included info on paid sleep options such as in-airport hotel as well as nearby hotels to consider.

Sleeping at Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN)

Overview:

Cologne Bonn Airport offers several options for passengers needing to sleep overnight, though it presents unique challenges depending on whether you are airside or landside.

The airport operates 24 hours, but security checkpoints close from around midnight to 4:00 AM, restricting access to the airside during these hours.

Landside, there are several comfortable spots, such as the hidden leather sofas opposite the 24-hour shop in Terminal 1, and the 24-hour McDonald’s in Terminal 2. Airside, while generally quieter with access to amenities like duty-free shops and lounges, becomes inaccessible at night.

Therefore, travelers should plan to sleep landside if staying overnight, making use of warm clothing and sleep aids like earplugs and eye masks to mitigate noise and light.

Security is generally good, but it’s always wise to remain vigilant and keep your belongings secure. Understanding these nuances helps ensure a more comfortable and restful overnight stay at Cologne Bonn Airport.

Does Cologne Bonn Airport Have Sleeping Pods?

Even Before COVID-19 Cologne Bonn was among the busiest airports in Germany and currently handles around 9 million passengers annually. Unfortunately, this airport has not invested in making the airport more layover friendly by installing modern innovative pay-per-use sleeping pods such as those available in other German Airports such as Frankfurt and Munich Airports. Read about Frankfurt Airport NapCabs Sleeping Pods here.

Cologne Bonn Airport has lagged behind its peers which have partnered with NapCabs to provide compact, private spaces equipped with a comfortable bed, workstation, WiFi, and charging ports, offering passengers a quiet retreat to rest or work between flights.

NapCabs enhances the travel experience by offering an accessible, efficient solution for travelers needing rest during layovers. However, there are currently no details available on whether Cologne Bonn Airport plans to introduce such amenities soon.

Other German Airports without sleeping pods include Dusseldorf Airport and Hamburg Airport.

Best Sleeping Locations at Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN)

Opposite the 24-Hour Shop in Terminal 1

  • Description: A hidden spot with comfortable leather sofas, located across from the 24-hour shop. Limited disturbances due to its secluded nature. You might receive a wakeup call around 5 AM from shop owners.
  • Pros: Comfortable, quiet, hidden.
  • Cons: Wakeup call at 5 AM.

Black Leather Chairs Before Baggage Claim in Terminal 1

  • Description: Comfortable chairs situated before the baggage claim area in Terminal 1, providing a quiet and disturbance-free environment.
  • Pros: Comfortable, quiet, no security announcements.
  • Cons: Limited availability.

Top Floor Near Emergency Exit in Terminal 2

  • Description: Metal benches located in a quiet corner near the emergency exit on the top floor of Terminal 2, close to the check-in area for Turkish Airlines and Ryanair.
  • Pros: Quiet, ample benches, Wi-Fi available.
  • Cons: Metal benches are not very comfortable, cold during winter.

McDonald’s in Terminal 2

  • Description: Comfortable seats and couches available in McDonald’s, which is open 24 hours, located to the left from the left staircase in Terminal 2.
  • Pros: Open 24 hours, comfortable seating.
  • Cons: Limited seating due to high demand.

In Front of the 24-Hour Supermarket in Terminal 1

  • Description: Comfy chairs belonging to a bar, available when the bar is closed at night, situated right in front of the 24-hour supermarket.
  • Pros: Comfortable chairs, convenient location near the supermarket.
  • Cons: Can be noisy due to airport announcements.

Near Gate C61 in Terminal 1

  • Description: Two power plugs available, suitable for charging devices while resting, located near Gate C61.
  • Pros: Availability of power plugs.
  • Cons: Limited to only two power plugs.

Benches Without Armrests in Terminal 1

  • Description: Benches without armrests offering a comfortable and quiet environment, with fewer announcements than usual. These benches are located in various spots in Terminal 1.
  • Pros: Comfortable, quiet, free Wi-Fi.
  • Cons: Limited availability, REWE supermarket closed from 1 AM to 5 AM.

Additional Tips

  • Warm Clothes: Always bring warm clothes as the airport can get cold, especially at night.
  • Earplugs and Eye Mask: Due to periodic announcements and bright lights, using earplugs and an eye mask can enhance your sleep quality.
  • Security and Safety: The airport is generally safe, but it’s always wise to keep an eye on your belongings and stay aware of your surroundings.

Sleep Challenges at Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN) and NapCabs Solutions

  1. Noise (Terminal 1 near Gate C):
    • Challenge: Frequent announcements and cleaning activities disturb sleep.
    • Solution: NapCabs provide soundproofing for a quiet sleeping environment.
  2. Limited Comfortable Seating (Landside, Terminal 1 and 2):
    • Challenge: Most benches and chairs have armrests or are metal.
    • Solution: NapCabs offer comfortable, ergonomic sleeping areas.
  3. Cold Temperature (Throughout the Airport):
    • Challenge: The airport can get cold at night.
    • Solution: NapCabs have climate control for a warm sleep.
  4. Lack of Privacy (Landside, Terminal 1 and 2):
    • Challenge: Public sleeping areas lack privacy.
    • Solution: NapCabs provide a private, enclosed space.
  5. Security Concerns (Landside, Terminal 1 near baggage claim):
    • Challenge: Landside areas accessible to the public pose security risks.
    • Solution: NapCabs have lockable storage for belongings.
  6. Limited Power Outlets (Near Gate C61, Terminal 1):
    • Challenge: Few power outlets landside for charging devices.
    • Solution: NapCabs are equipped with multiple power outlets.
  7. Uncomfortable Sleeping Conditions (Airside, Terminal 2):
    • Challenge: Limited sleeping options and restricted access at night.
    • Solution: NapCabs offer comfortable airside sleeping solutions.
  8. Hygiene Concerns (Landside, Terminal 1 and 2):
    • Challenge: Public sleeping areas may not be hygienic.
    • Solution: NapCabs are regularly cleaned and maintained.
  9. Limited Access to Amenities (Landside, Terminal 1 near REWE):
    • Challenge: Many shops and amenities are closed at night.
    • Solution: NapCabs provide amenities like Wi-Fi and lighting controls.
  10. Inconvenient Sleeping Spots (Landside, Terminal 1 and 2):
    • Challenge: Some sleeping spots are not always accessible.
    • Solution: NapCabs offer dedicated, always-accessible sleeping spaces.

Reviews of Sleep Quality at this Airport:

Pros

  1. 24/7 Operation:
    • Availability: The airport remains open around the clock, providing shelter and facilities throughout the night.
    • Convenience: With 24-hour shops and eateries, like the McDonald’s in Terminal 2, travelers have access to food and other necessities at all times.
  2. Multiple Sleeping Spots:
    • Comfortable Areas: Various comfortable spots are available landside, such as leather sofas opposite the 24-hour shop in Terminal 1 and metal benches in quiet corners of Terminal 2.
    • Quiet Locations: Hidden and less busy spots, such as the area opposite the 24-hour shop in Terminal 1, offer quieter environments for sleep.
  3. Amenities:
    • Free Wi-Fi: Available in most areas, allowing travelers to stay connected.
    • Charging Stations: Several locations, including near Gate C61 and in eateries like McDonald’s, provide charging points for electronic devices.
  4. Safety:
    • General Security: The airport is generally safe, with regular security patrols and surveillance.

Cons

  1. Limited Airside Access at Night:
    • Security Checkpoint Closures: Airside areas are inaccessible from around midnight to 4:00 AM when security checkpoints are closed.
    • Potential Relocation: Even if you manage to stay airside late into the night, you may be asked to move to landside once the last flight has departed.
  2. Noise and Activity:
    • Announcements: Regular announcements can be disruptive, especially landside.
    • Cleaning and Maintenance: Cleaning activities and other maintenance work can create noise and disturb sleep.
  3. Comfort Issues:
    • Cold Temperature: The airport can get cold at night, making it uncomfortable without warm clothing or blankets.
    • Limited Comfortable Seating: Not all areas have comfortable seating, with some benches having armrests or being made of metal.
  4. Safety and Security:
    • Public Access Landside: Landside areas are accessible to the public, which may raise safety concerns and the need to be more vigilant with belongings.
    • Shady Characters: While generally safe, there have been reports of occasional disturbances from individuals with erratic behavior.

Sleep Situation at Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN): What to Expect:

Noise Levels

  • Details: Frequent announcements and cleaning activities throughout the night can be disruptive.
  • Locations: Particularly noticeable in landside areas such as the main terminal halls and near the 24-hour shop in Terminal 1.

Bright Lighting

  • Details: The airport remains brightly lit throughout the night, which can make it challenging to sleep.
  • Locations: Terminal 1 near the baggage claim and seating areas in Terminal 2 are particularly well-lit.

Temperature Levels

  • Details: The airport can get cold at night, so it’s advisable to bring warm clothing or a blanket.
  • Locations: This is a general condition throughout the airport, especially in larger open areas like the seating near Gate C61 in Terminal 1.

Seating Comfort

  • Details: Many benches and chairs have armrests or are made of metal, offering limited comfort.
  • Locations: Terminal 2 top floor near the emergency exit offers metal benches, while Terminal 1 near the 24-hour shop has leather sofas which are more comfortable.

Security

  • Details: The airport is generally safe with regular security patrols, but travelers should still keep an eye on their belongings.
  • Locations: Landside areas, particularly around public seating and near the baggage claim in Terminal 1, require vigilance.

Privacy

  • Details: Public sleeping areas lack privacy, with constant foot traffic and limited secluded spots.
  • Locations: The hidden spot with leather sofas opposite the 24-hour shop in Terminal 1 offers a bit more seclusion compared to other areas.

Power Outlets

  • Details: Limited availability of power outlets can make it difficult to charge devices.
  • Locations: Available near Gate C61 in Terminal 1 and in McDonald’s in Terminal 2, but these areas can be crowded.

Hygiene

  • Details: Public sleeping areas may not always be maintained to high hygiene standards.
  • Locations: Landside areas, especially those with high foot traffic like near the 24-hour shop in Terminal 1, can be less clean.

Fliers should be aware of these conditions and plan accordingly to ensure a more comfortable overnight stay at Cologne Bonn Airport.

Locations to Avoid Sleeping at Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN)

Near Security Checkpoints:

Security checkpoints close around midnight and reopen at 4:00 AM, making these areas unsuitable for overnight stays due to high foot traffic and noise when they reopen.

Near Baggage Claim in Terminal 1:

This area is busy with constant movement of passengers collecting luggage, and bright lighting can make it difficult to rest.

Main Terminal Halls Landside:

These areas are often noisy with frequent announcements, cleaning activities, and bright lighting, leading to a poor sleeping environment.

Metal Benches in Terminal 2 Top Floor Near Emergency Exit:

The metal benches here are uncomfortable, and the area can get cold at night, making it a less desirable spot for sleeping.

Near Gate C61 in Terminal 1:

Limited power outlets and high traffic from passengers looking to charge their devices make this area noisy and crowded.

High Foot Traffic Areas Landside:

Areas with high foot traffic, such as near the 24-hour shop in Terminal 1, can be noisy and lack privacy, leading to frequent disturbances.

Food Courts and Eateries:

While some eateries like McDonald’s are open 24 hours, these areas can be crowded and noisy, especially during meal times and peak hours.

By avoiding these locations, travelers can improve their chances of finding a quieter, more comfortable spot for sleeping at Cologne Bonn Airport.

Here are Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN) Hours So you Can Prepare:

Airport Hours

Cologne Bonn Airport operates 24 hours a day, but specific services and areas within the airport have varying operational hours. This means while the airport itself remains open, certain amenities may not be available during nighttime hours.

Security Checkpoints

Security checkpoints at Cologne Bonn Airport do close for a few hours during the night. Generally, these checkpoints close around midnight and reopen early in the morning, typically around 4:00 AM. The exact times may vary slightly based on flight schedules and operational requirements.

Accessing Airside

  • Closing Times: If you are planning to sleep at the airport overnight, be aware that the airside area (past security) may be inaccessible from around midnight to 4:00 AM. Passengers who are airside before the security checkpoints close may be asked to move to the landside area until the checkpoints reopen.
  • Reopening Times: Security checkpoints generally reopen around 4:00 AM, allowing passengers to access airside areas again. It’s advisable to arrive early to pass through security promptly if you have an early morning flight.
  • Overnight Stay: If you need to stay overnight, it’s best to find a comfortable spot landside. Areas such as Terminal 1 near the 24-hour shop, or Terminal 2 in McDonald’s, offer more suitable sleeping conditions when airside access is restricted.

Tips for Fliers

  1. Check Flight Schedules: Confirm the timing of your flight and security checkpoint opening hours to ensure smooth transit.
  2. Prepare for Nighttime Restrictions: Have a plan for where you will stay if you arrive at the airport late at night or have a long layover.
  3. Warm Clothing and Essentials: The airport can get cold at night, so bring warm clothing. Also, pack earplugs and an eye mask to deal with noise and light.
  4. Security Protocols: Keep your belongings secure and be mindful of airport announcements regarding any changes in security procedures or timings.

By understanding the operational hours and security checkpoint schedules, you can better plan your time at Cologne Bonn Airport, ensuring a more comfortable and stress-free travel experience.

Airside vs Landside Sleeping at Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN)

Airside Sleeping

Airside refers to the secure area of the airport past the security checkpoints. This includes departure gates, duty-free shops, and other amenities available to passengers who have cleared security.

Pros:

  • Quieter Environment: Fewer announcements and less foot traffic compared to landside.
  • Amenities: Access to duty-free shops, lounges, and closer proximity to boarding gates.

Cons:

  • Limited Access at Night: Security checkpoints close around midnight and reopen around 4:00 AM, making airside sleeping impossible during these hours.
  • Risk of Being Asked to Leave: Even if you manage to stay airside late into the night, you may be asked to move to landside once the last flight has departed and the area is closed for the night.

Recommendations:

  • If you plan to sleep airside, ensure you pass through security well before midnight.
  • Use airport lounges if accessible, as they often provide more comfortable seating and amenities for sleeping.

Landside Sleeping

Landside refers to the public area of the airport before the security checkpoints. This includes check-in counters, baggage claim, public seating areas, and various shops and restaurants.

Pros:

  • 24/7 Access: Landside areas remain open even when security checkpoints are closed.
  • Variety of Sleeping Spots: Multiple locations with comfortable seating, such as near the 24-hour shop in Terminal 1 or McDonald’s in Terminal 2.

Cons:

  • More Noise and Activity: Higher likelihood of disturbances due to announcements, cleaning activities, and other passengers.
  • Less Secure: Public access means more people and potentially less secure sleeping environments.

Recommendations:

  • Opposite the 24-Hour Shop in Terminal 1: A hidden spot with leather sofas providing a quieter environment.
  • Black Leather Chairs Before Baggage Claim in Terminal 1: Comfortable chairs in a quieter area.
  • Top Floor Near Emergency Exit in Terminal 2: Metal benches in a quiet corner, though a bit cold and less comfortable.
  • McDonald’s in Terminal 2: Comfortable seating available 24 hours, though popular and often crowded.

Tips for Sleeping at Cologne Bonn Airport

  • Bring Essentials: Warm clothes, earplugs, and an eye mask to manage cold temperatures, noise, and light.
  • Stay Informed: Check security checkpoint opening times and flight schedules to plan your sleep location.
  • Security and Safety: Keep your belongings secure and be mindful of your surroundings, especially when sleeping landside.

By understanding the differences between airside and landside sleeping at Cologne Bonn Airport, you can make an informed decision on where to rest based on your arrival time, flight schedule, and personal preferences.

Concluding Thoughts on CGN Airport Sleep:

While Cologne Bonn Airport doesn’t have sleeping pods, and lack designated rest areas, travelers can still find spots to rest while waiting for their flight.

Key resting spots inside CGN include the leather sofas opposite the 24-hour shop in Terminal 1 and the 24-hour McDonald’s in Terminal 2, which offers warm seating. The black leather chairs before baggage claim in Terminal 1 are also favored for their comfort. Be mindful of occasional noise from announcements and cleaning activities, as well as colder temperatures at night.

These areas, though not specifically for sleeping, are appreciated for their comfort, access to power outlets, and proximity to amenities. Free Wi-Fi and regular security patrols enhance the overall experience.

For more privacy and comfort, nearby hotels such as the Leonardo Hotel Köln Bonn Airport and the Airport Hotel by The New Yorker offer comfortable rooms and shuttle services. The Holiday Inn Express Cologne Troisdorf is also a great option with excellent amenities, perfect for late arrivals or early departures.

FAQs

Image of Nathan Kip Rotich

Nathan helps travelers find the most comfortable sleep setups during layovers, from cozy airport hotels to futuristic sleep pods. His insights aim to transform layovers into rejuvenating sleepcations, offering travelers an alternative to costly hotels and uncomfortable benches.