How to travel from München / Munich to Köln / Cologne by train

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München / Munich to Köln / Cologne / Koeln by train

There are multiple options for travelling from München/Munich to Köln/Cologne by train during the day and overnight

During the day ICE trains take two different routes from München/Munich to Köln/Cologne.
The more frequent services (and new fastest 'Sprinter' services) take a route via Nurnberg and Frankfurt, but they don't arrive at the main station in Köln/Cologne as their route takes them through a station named Köln Messe/Deutz.
However, other ICE trains from München/Munich do arrive at the main station, Köln hbf.

So check the location of your final destination in Köln/Cologne and use the station info below, to see which route will suit you better.
Köln Messe/Deutz is further from the city centre, but if your ultimate destination is located along the U-Bahn (metro) routes; 1, 3, 4 or 9 then connections are available to these lines at Messe/Deutz.
While U-Bahn lines 5, 16 and 18 have stations linked to Köln hbf.

If your final destination is within walking distance of Köln hbf and you won't be travelling with luggage etc and you can find a cheaper price for train Messe/Deutz; or if the arrival times of those trains suit you better, then take the trains heading to Messe-Deutz.
You can then hop on a local S-Bahn train at Messe-Deutz (if you book to Koln hbf) and can be at the main station less than 10 minutes after you have stepped off the train at Messe/Deutz.

However, if you will be heading to a location near Koln hbf and will have luggage etc, or making an onward connection in that station, then do target the direct ICE trains to Koln hbf.
That's because the interchange between the ICE and S-Bahn trains at Messe/Deutz involves walking up a staircase.

When travelling overnight you will arrive at Koln hbf, but can choose between travelling in a bed or bunk on the Nightjet train, or travelling on the same ICE trains as used for the daytime services.

Routes you can take to go from München / Munich to Köln / Cologne / Koeln

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

Option 1: ICE trains to the main station in Koln/Cologne

Route Information

Option 2: by ICE train to the alternative station in Koln/Cologne
Travel Time (approx)

4hr 20 min - 4hr 35 min (approx)



Travel Info

1 or 2 x trains per hour
(even hours have two departures)

Route Information

Option 3: taking a faster 'Sprinter' services to the alternative station in Koln/Cologne
Travel Time (approx)

3hr 51min



Travel Info

Monday to Friday: 2 x trains per day
Sat/Sun: 1 x train per day

Route Information

Option 4: through the night on an ICE train

Route Information

Option 5: Travel overnight in sleeping cabins and couchettes
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