When looking up a journey by train from north-west Germany to central and southern France most of the options on the ticket booking services will involve taking a Thalys train from Köln to Paris and then a TGV on from Paris to Lyon.
However that routing involves an awkward cross Paris transfer, which can be avoided when following the two journey options set out below.
So they're worth looking out for when travelling by train between these areas of Europe.
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.
6hr 17min - 7hr 16min (approx)
2 or 3* x optimum connections per day
*Depart Koln daily at 07:42 and 09:42
Additional connection departs Friday and Sunday only at 16:47.
Change trains in: Bruxelles/Brussels
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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.