Köln Messe/Deutz is the secondary station in Köln/Cologne, it’s located away from the heart of the city.
It is on the opposite bank of the River Rhine to the city’s main station, Köln Hauptbahnhof.Though Messe/Deutz lives up to its name as it located adjacent to Köln Messe, the city’s trade exhibition halls; the Laxness Arena is also close by.
All of the local S-Bahn trains that serve the city call at Köln Messe/Deutz, along with most of the Regio train services to and from Köln/Cologne.
Some ICE trains from and to Köln/Cologne call at Messe/Deutz station and NOT at Köln Hauptbahnhof/Köln Hauptbahnhof.
ICE trains trains travelling between the cities to the north of Köln (such as Dusseldorf and Essen) and the Seigburg/Bonn to Frankfurt high speed line, have to divert off of the direct route in order to call at Köln Hauptbahnhof.
So some ICE trains call instead at Koln Messe-Deutz.
These include the trains on this popular ICE route:
Essen – Duisburg – Dusseldorf - Köln Messe/Deutz – Frankfurt Flughafgen/Airport – Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Wurzburg – Nurnberg – Munchen/Munich.
Due to this routing if you’ll be travelling from Köln/Cologne to Wurzburg and Nurnberg, then by far the most frequent and fastest trains to these cities depart from Messe/Deutz and not, Köln Hauptbahnhof.
Also if you want to travel from Köln/Cologne to Munchen/Munich by ICE trains in even hours, you’ll need to take trains from Messe/Deutz, the ICE trains to Munchen/Munich from Köln Hauptbahnhof only depart every other hour; the odd hours.
The service of ICE trains between Köln/Cologne and both Frankfurt Flughafgen and Frankfurt (Main) Hbf is also split between trains departing from/arriving at Messe/Deutz and Köln Hauptbahnhof.
In some hours during the day, if you want to travel from Köln/Cologne to Frankfurt (Main) Hbf, there will only be a train from Köln Messe/Deutz station.
A relatively new development is that most of the ICE trains between Köln/Cologne and Amsterdam now also use Köln Messe/Deutz instead of Koln Hbf.
Also at weekends trains can be diverted from Köln Hauptbahnhof to call at Köln Messe/Deutz.
If you can’t find the train you were expecting to take on the departure screens at Köln Hauptbahnhof, it’s worth checking to see whether it will instead be leaving from Messe/Deutz
(Option 1) By S-Bahn local train:
If you will be commencing your journey in the area around Köln Hauptbahnhof/Hbf, or will be making a connection from a train arriving at Köln Hbf, then the easiest means of accessing Köln Messe/Deutz is to make the one station hop on a S-Bahn train.
You shouldn’t have to wait more than 10 mins at Köln Hbf for a train – take any train from gleis (platform/track) 10.
On arrival at Köln Messe/Deutz the access down to the gleis (platforms/tracks) which the ICE trains will depart from is at the rear of the train - you will have to use the stairs, there is no elevator access down to this part of the station
(Option 2) By U-bahn (metro):
U-Bahn lines 1, 3, 4 and 9 call at Köln Messe/Deutz - all four lines connect the area of the city centre south of Köln Hbf to Messe/Deutz.
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