Köln / Cologne / Koeln to Heidelberg by train

How to take the rail journey by direct trains from Cologne/Köln to Heidelberg



From Köln/Cologne Hbf to Heidelberg Hbf

Travel Information

Final Destination: Stuttgart (most departures)

All trains also call at: Koblenz and Mainz

9 x trains per day


Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 6 months ahead of the travel date

Finding tickets

When looking for tickets from Köln on DB Bahn type ‘K‘ or 'COLOGNE' into the ‘from‘ box and not ‘Ko‘.

Check that you’re looking at booking info for the direct trains.
On the DB Bahn booking site look for journeys that have:

  • 0 in the Chg. column
  • IC (and only IC) in the Product column

Also use the earlier/later buttons to also search for the cheapest ticket prices, trains leaving at different times during the day can be more expensive/cheaper.

There can be gaps of more than three hours between the departures of these direct trains - so it can be a good idea to look for 'earlier' or 'later' trains, you may need to sort through multiple other options to find them.
The overwhelming majority of the options that DB Bahn sells for this journey involve a change of train


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 Bahn from €17.90

DB Bahn 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.

Omio from €17.90

Omio Guide

Omio is an online ticket agency which offers tickets for rail journeys in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain.

The three key advantages of using Omio are

  • it offers prices in multiple currencies
  • it usually offers price comparison with other modes of travel including flights and buses
  • when visiting Europe, you can book journeys in multiple countries in one transaction.

The disadvantage of booking with Omio is that it often adds a booking fee to the final price; therefore when it does so without offering a price advantage, SMTJ doesn't tend to offer Omio as a booking option.

Save A Train from €17.90

Save A Train Guide

Happy rail from €17.90

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.

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesRiver viewsNot High Speed

Journey description:

After Bonn there are some fabulous views of the Upper Rhine Valley from the LEFT of the train, when facing the direction of travel; if the train takes its usual route along the west bank, but if its switched to the east bank, the railway line is still right by the river.

The best of the views occur when the trains travel through The Rhine Gorge between Koblenz and Bingen.

The journey is a delight, you can't miss the endless parade of boats travelling up and down the river and look out for the multitude of castles perched on top of the hills.

As the video clips and images show, this is a journey which can be worth taking for the sake of making the trip, even if the weather isn't absolutely perfect.

Then after Mainz the train will cross the river; this video was taken from a train travelling in the opposite direction.

The views of the Middle Rhine Valley as the train heads south from Koblenz The views of the Middle Rhine Valley as the train heads south from Koblenz
The views of the Rhine Valley can be seen from the left of the train The views of the Rhine Valley can be seen from the left of the train
A highlight of a Rhine Valley train journey is the view of Lorely A highlight of a Rhine Valley train journey is the view of Lorely
The spectacular Rhine Valley views from the train continue to Bingen The spectacular Rhine Valley views from the train continue to Bingen
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