How to take the rail journey from Cologne/Köln to Brussels/Bruxelles

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Köln / Cologne / Koeln to Bruxelles / Brussels by train

What's fairly unusual about taking the journey by train from Cologne/Köln to Brussels/Bruxelles to is that alternative services operate on this route; the Thalys trains managed by the French & Belgian national rail operators and the ICE trains operated by Germany's national rail company.

They depart from Köln hbf in different hours so if you need to depart from Cologne/Köln or arrive in Brussels/Bruxelles at a specific time, you'll be travelling on an ICE or a Thalys train.

Though if travelling at the cheapest price is your key criteria, be guided by that; it is timings rather than the type of train, which have a bigger impact on prices, the cheapest tickets inevitably sell out faster on the more popular departures.
SMTJ prefers the on the board ambience of the ICE trains, but it's not worth paying more to travel by them, particularly on such a comparatively short route.

Though rail pass users should take the ICE trains and ignore the Thalys trains.

Routes you can take to go from Köln / Cologne / Koeln to Bruxelles / Brussels

When travelling between most cities by train there is only one logical option, though on other journeys there is a choice between different trains or alternative routes. If different options are available you can use the info to decide which is best for you.

Choose one of the following options:

Route Information

Travel Time (approx)

1hr 47min - 1hr 51 min



Travel Info

10 - 12 x trains per day

There are 5 x daily Thalys trains, plus
6 x ICE trains on Mon-Thurs
7 x ICE departures on Friday

However, due to ongoing technical problems with the international type of ICE trains used on this route, many of the departures by ICE train are currently experiencing short notice cancellations.

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