Köln/Cologne Hbf

Köln / Cologne / Koeln, (Germany)

Journeys from Köln / Cologne / Koeln

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About the station

Our guide to using Cologne's main railway station will help make sense of navigating a space which is constantly busy - it also provides insights into what to look out for when arriving and departing by train.
It also explains how to travel between Köln Hbf and both Koln/Bonn and Dusseldorf Airports by train, as well as how to access the city's Christmas markets from Cologne's main station.

Köln Hbf, the main train station in central Köln/Cologne, has a stunning location adjacent to the city's magnificent cathedral - complimented by the splendid glass roof which runs the length of the station.

However, Köln Hbf is smaller than many other hbfs in Germany (hauptbahnhof = main city station) which makes for an always busy location - both in terms of people using the station and the constant coming and going of the trains.


An Introduction to Koln Hbf - the main station in Cologne:

Nearly every time we take a rail trip around Europe, we find ourselves at Köln Hbf.
That's because Cologne's central train station functions as a gateway when travelling across northen Europe by train.

The high speed trains from Belgium to Germany only take routes heading towards Dortmund or Frankfurt.
So if you want to head anywhere else in Germany, you'll usually need to change trains in Koln/Cologne.
Not a problem as up to eight express trains an hour depart from and arrive at Köln Hbf.


If you would like help with planning a train journey to or from Koln/Cologne, or want to include the city on a European train travel itinerary, take a look at ShowMeTheJourney's new Concierge Service.


Five Things also worth knowing about Koln Hbf - Cologne's central railway station:

(1) It isn't a terminal station, so most trains are pausing fairly briefly at Köln Hbf/Cologne Hbf on their way to other destinations.
So all of the gleis (platforms/tracks) have multiple departures per hour -  it is this that can make the station a bewildering space to navigate for first time users.

(2) The entrances/exits at Köln Hauptbahnhof/Köln Hbf are at street level, but the  gleis (platforms/tracks), which the trains arrive at and depart from are at an upper level.

(3) There are two passage ways beneath the railway lines that provide the access from and to the trains.

(i) The ‘A’ passage* way, the main passage way, which directly links the platforms/gleis to the main entrance - has stairs and escalators to/from the platforms/gleis - but no lifts.
(ii) The smaller ‘B’ passage* way has stairs AND lifts to/from the platforms and also gives the quickest access to/from the main taxi rank.

*You won't see 'A' and 'B' on the signage at the station - but these passage ways are marked A and B on the station map/diagram - click the button below.

(4) So if you will be departing by train with heavy LUGGAGE etc and will be using the main entrance to access the station - don’t use the passage that will be ahead of you to reach the gleis (platform/track) that your train will be departing from.

Instead turn to the left on the main concourse, go pass the main ticket hall and then turn right when you find the other passage way – in this passage way you'll find the elevators Aufzufgs) up to the gleis (platforms/tracks) .

(5) Both passage ways have entrances to a food court - the ‘Markthalle’.
It houses a plethora of options for having a meal/snack before your journey - or for purchasing food/drink to take on to trains.

1st Class Lounge
Bus Station
Car Hire
Information Desk
Left Luggage
Step Free
Taxi Rank
Terminus Station

Useful links

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Arriving at Köln Hbf HauptBahnhof by train

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Taking a train from Köln Hauptbahnhof

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Using Köln Messe-Deutz Station:

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To Koln/Bonn Airport By Train

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To The Christmas Markets from Koln Hbf

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To Dusseldorf Airport By Train from Cologne's main station

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Convenient Hotels/Hostels

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Day Trips By Train Suggestions

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Our General Guide to Using German Stations

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City Guides

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