Köln / Cologne / Koeln to Leipzig by train

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



From Köln/Cologne Hbf to Leipzig Hbf

Travel Information

Final Destination: Dresden

All trains also call at: Magdeburg;

These direct trains are usually the slowest option for travelling from Koln/Cologne to Leipzig by train.

So if you're not averse to changing trains, you can get to Dresden more than an hour faster by taking a combination of ICE trains.

Though these direct trains are usually the (much) cheaper option for travelling by train from Koln/Cologne to Leipzig.

Monday to Friday = 6 x trains per day
Saturday = 5 x trains
Sunday = 6 x trains


Book early and save: Yes

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

Finding tickets:

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

Most of the options sold by DB, Germany's national rail operator, for travelling between Koln/Cologne and Leipzig by train involve taking more than one train and making a connection.

So if you want to travel by these direct trains, on the DB booking site look for journeys that have:

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

Use the earlier/later buttons to search for the cheapest ticket prices.

There can be gaps of more than three hours between the departures of these direct IC trains, so it can also be necessary to  search for 'earlier' or 'later' trains to find them on the booking sites.


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

Not High Speed

However, having something to watch or read with you is recommended, for most of this train ride, you will be travelling across the flat plains of northern Germany,

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