When looking up a journey by train from Bern to Cologne/Köln on the ticket booking websites most of the travel options will involve making a connection in Basel, or at a station in Germany.
However, there is a daily direct train available and it also happens to take a much more scenic route!
Final Destination: Hamburg
This train also calls at: Mainz and Koblenz and Bonn
This train is typically scheduled to depart from Bern daily at 13:04, so it travels through The Rhine Gorge around 17:30, it is usually due to arrive in Köln/Cologne shortly after 19:00.
If these timings don't suit, the ticket agents will offer numerous indirect options for taking the train from Bern to Köln/Cologne; so look out for those which only involve making one connection, which are these routes:
1 x direct train per day
Book early and save: Yes
Online bookings open: 6 months ahead of the travel date
When making an online booking, check that you’re looking at booking info for this direct EC train, if you want to
(1) take a direct train and
(2) take the more scenic route
So when booking tickets for this journey, look for the train that departs Bern at around 13:04.
Reservations are recommended for this journey; book a 1st class ticket on DB Bahn and your seat will be assigned, but not in 2nd class
They can also be booked separately at a later date on the DB website.
If you will be travelling with a rail pass reservations are optional, but if you do choose to reserve (recommended) book the reservation online on DB Bahn and avoid the booking fees you would be charged at the station in Switzerland.
The alternative routings:
When you up this journey you will see a swathe of other journey options, most of which are faster than taking this direct train, because they involve either taking 2 x ICE trains OR connecting into an ICE train.
Unlike this direct train, the ICE train on to Koln will use Germany's fastest high speed line.
There is no need to take more than 2 x trains IF the timings of this direct train don't suit, so avoid any options with more than 1 x change of train.
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
|Happy rail||from €34.90|
|Save A Train||from €34.90|
|Rail Europe||from €34.90|
One of the first class coaches on this train is a very groovy observation car, which offers particularly fabulous views as the train travels through The Rhine Gorge, at the time of year when the scenery can be appreciated.
It is a journey of seven distinct phases, with a dramatic beginning.
You can then see incredible views of The Rhine Gorge between Bingen and Koblenz (the videos were filmed from a train travelling in the opposite direction.)
(Though trains can be diverted to run along the east bank of the river north of Mainz, and if that does occur, the equally fabulous Rhine Valley views will be on the left).
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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.