Köln / Cologne / Koeln to Amsterdam by train

How to take the rail journey from Cologne/Köln to Amsterdam

Taking the train from Cologne / Köln / Koeln to Amsterdam is usually blissfully simple, as the cities are usually linked every other hour by swish ICE trains.
Though what's a tad odd about this route is that the ICEs are high speed trains, but they only have the opportunity to travel at more than 270 kmh south of Köln/Cologne.
On this route to The Netherlands there are no high speed lines for them to whizz along.



From Köln/Cologne Hbf to Amsterdam Centraal / Amsterdam CS

Travel Information

Final Destination: Amsterdam Centraal/CS

All trains also call at: Dusseldorf; Arnhem connect for Nijmegen, and Utrecht connect for Den Haag and Rotterdam.

Mon - Fri 7 x trains per day
Sat = 5 x trains
Sun = 6 x trains
The usual final departure of the day does not operate on Saturdays.


Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings usually open: 6 months ahead of the travel date

When making an online booking, check that you’re looking at booking info for the direct trains.

On the DB  booking site look for journeys that have:

  • 0 in the Chg. column
  • ICE in the Products column.

Trains departing at different times can be cheaper than others leaving on the same day, so you may need to look through the day's departures to find the cheapest tickets.
Use the earlier/later buttons to search for the cheapest fares.


Book 1st class ticket journey tickets and your seat reservation is included, but they're optional when booking 2nd class tickets, or if you will be travelling with a 1st or 2nd class rail pass.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
DB from €19.90

DB Guide

DB is the national railway operator in Germany, so its website can be used for booking journeys by German express trains; the ICE and IC trains and it doesn't charge booking fees.
It also sells tickets for journeys by direct trains on all international routes from Germany regardless of whether DB is operating the train service.

It also sells an extensive range of end-to-end journeys which involve making connections both within Germany and in neighboring countries, but journeys between Germany and Britain cannot be booked on DB.

A key feature of DB website worth keeping mind is that it offers 1st class ticket purchasers complimentary seat reservations on journeys both within and to/from Germany.
Seat reservations for daytime in both 1st and 2nd class can also be booked separately from tickets.

Two types of ticket have recently been made available;

  1. Cheaper 'Young' tickets which can only be booked by those aged 15-26 on the travel date.
  2. Flexi Plus tickets, which are now the most expensive type of ticket, but they're the only type of 2nd class tickets which DO include a seat reservation.
NS Intl from €20

NS Intl Guide

NS is the Dutch national rail operator and it operates a bespoke website for the booking of international rail journeys from and to The Netherlands.
Therefore it offers tickets for journeys by:

  • Thalys trains to Bruxelles and Paris
  • IC trains to Berlin via Hannover and Bruxelles via Antwerpen
  • Eurostar to London
  • ICE trains to Basel and Frankfurt (Main) via Koln
  • the Nightjet trains to Austria and Germany

NS International also sells tickets to a range of destinations in Austria, Czechia, Denmark, Italy and Switzerland, which involve a change of train in Germany, along with the destinations in France, which can be accessed by making a connection in Bruxelles.

Happy rail from €19.90

Happy rail Guide

Happy Rail is a Netherlands rail ticket agency which sells tickets for both national and international journeys within a range of countries including Belgium France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland.

HappyRail doesn't charge booking fees in the conventional sense, but if you're not Dutch you can expect to pay additional transaction fees, which will be added to the total cost.
That's because the most common form of online payment used in The Netherlands is 'iDEAL' and HappyRail doesn't charge a transaction fee for 'iDEAL' payments, but only Dutch residents can sign up to 'iDEAL'.
Other forms of payment include Visa debit cards will incur a fee.

Save A Train from €19.90

Save A Train Guide

Trainline from €19.90

Trainline Guide

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - NoNot High Speed

Good to Know

The trains on this route are particularly susceptible to alteration due to works on the lines.
On multiple dates construction work is being carried out in the Frankfurt area and when it is occurring these trains will be commencing their journeys in the station at Frankfurt Flugfahen / Airport.

Journey description:

There is no high speed line between Koln and Amsterdam, the rather sleek ICE 3 trains are used on this route because they will have travelled on Germany's fastest high speed line on their way TO Koln.
The trains won't in fact won't travel exceptionally fast on this route.

It's perhaps not a huge surprise to discover that this isn't a particularly scenic journey, the train will travel through a string of industrial cities and towns in Germany, before heading for the border.

Between Utrecht and the suburbs of Amsterdam, there will be a canal on the right hand side of the train, which will give the final part of the journey a Dutch aura.

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