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Travel Info & Tips Euro 2024 By Train: Köln / Cologne
Euro 2024 by train from and to Cologne

Euro 2024 By Train: Köln / Cologne

All that's useful to know about traveling to and from the Euro 2024 matches in Cologne / Köln by train

| Last Updated: about 15 hours ago
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Cologne / Köln is a hub city on the German rail network, so it has direct trains to all of the other cities that are staging matches during Euro 2024.

To and From the RheinEnergieStadion

The RheinEnergieStadion is located in the western suburbs of Cologne / Köln and the only adjacent public transport link is provided by line 1 of the city's tram network.

The line has a 24hr service and it stops by Köln-Messe Deutz station, so when heading the stadium in Cologne by train leave the train at this station and not the city's main station, Köln Hbf
Though if your train to the city only calls at Köln Hbf, or if you will be heading to the stadium from the area around the station, take tram line U5 to Heumarkt and connect there for line 1.
The journey time between the city centre and the stadium is around 20-25 minutes.

The alternative route

The western terminus of tram line 1 is at Weiden West station, which is served by local, S-Bahn trains, on lines S12 and S19 - which combined provide trains every 15 min.
Both S-Bahn lines call at Köln Hbf and Köln-Messe Deutz - so making the connection into a Line 1 tram on to the stadium at Weiden West can be a less crowded alternative to travelling direct by tram from the city centre.
When heading to the stadium, the S12 trains to Weiden West will typically be heading to Horrem and the S19 trains will be heading to Duren - connect in Duren to travel between the stadium and Aachen.
The trains on line S19 operate every 30 mins throughout the night.

Local tickets

Match ticket holders are entitled to a 36 Hour Travel Pass for the entire VRS (Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg) and VRR (Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr) networks at no additional cost.
The pass is valid from 06:00 on match day until 18:00 the following day.

Or the VRS app allows passengers to purchase individual tickets or use the “eezy” function to ride and check out when the finish their journey – automatically calculating the cost.
Tickets can also be purchased from transport operators, online ticket shop, ticket machines at the stations or ticket counters at main transport hubs.

Where to go on the non-match days

Cologne’s main station, Koln Hauptbahnhof is located closer to a city centre than virtually any other major station in Europe, so it’s a super convenient location for exploring the best of north-west Germany by train.

Easy day trips by Regio trains

Regional (Regio) trains that depart at least hourly will take you from Cologne/Koln to numerous other must see destinations, including:
- Aachen
- Essen (for the Folkwang Museum)
- Wuppertal, the location of the fabulous suspended railway.

These destinations (and more) can also be reached from Koln on slightly faster IC and ICE trains, but by taking the Regio trains, you can pay the same price when booking tickets last minute at the station, so there’ll be no need to save by booking in advance.

The Rhine Gorge by train from Cologne

A beautiful location that’s within easy reach of Koln/Cologne by a variety of train services is the stunning Rhine Gorge.
Daily IC trains, which usually depart from Koln Hbf at 09:17 and 11:17, call at Bingen (Rhein) where the station is a 10-15 min walk from the pier at which the K+D Rhine River Cruises can be boarded for a ride back towards Koln.

Plus two of the prettiest villages on the west bank of The Rhine River St Goarhausen (St Goar) and Baccarach can be reached from Koln/Cologne on hourly direct Regio trains on route RB 26.

When heading south from Koln/Cologne on trains routed via Bonn, take a seat on the left for the spectacular river bank views, this may seem the wrong way round, but the trains on this route briefly head north on departure from Koln Hbf

Explore Roman History by train from Cologne

Two other more distant destinations with easy rail links from Koln/Cologne are some locations where Roman history can be explored, Trier and Xanten; the latter is home to the Roman Archaeological Park (change trains at Dusseldorf Hbf).

There is a choice of two routes when taking a train from Koln to the historic Roman city of Trier, but travelling via Koblenz is not only faster, it also involves taking the beautiful route by the Moselle River pictured below.

Take the hourly express (EC, IC, ICE) trains from Koln hbf to Koblenz for an easy connection into the RE trains going to Luxembourg and then when when boarding, head up to the upper deck, take a seat on the left and the views will be fabulous for virtually the entirety of the two hour journey.

Rail tickets for the journeys from and to Köln / Cologne

Good to know about the general rail tickets

The key things worth knowing about tickets to travel on trains to and from Köln / Cologne.

  • Tickets for the Regio and S-Bahn trains can be purchased at the station on the day of travel - they can't be booked online as they're not discounted
  • The Regio and S-Bahn trains are available for travel direct between Cologne and Dusseldorf and Dortmund and the journey to and from Gelsenkirchen can be done on 2 x Regio trains.
  • Tickets for the journeys involving the ICE or IC trains between Cologne and Frankfurt (Main), Munich and Stuttgart can be booked online and are already available for travel during the tournament.
  • However, match ticket holders can book the DB Ticket Euro 2024 offer for journeys by ICE and IC trains at a flat rate price of €29.90 in 2nd class and €39.90 in 1st class - see the info below,

the DB Ticket Euro 2024

Though something to look out for, is that to book the DB Ticket Euro 2024 ticket, you need to:

  • copy the name of the stop
  • scroll up the page and click on the red 'Jetzt Ticket buchen' button
  • paste the name of the stadium stop into the 'to' box
  • follow the booking path - info on how to do this is available here.
    However, if you click on the name of the stadium stop on this look-up page, it will then be automatically included as the destination on DB's standard booking path - but if you proceed to book, you seemingly won't then see the DB Ticket Euro 2024 offer.Those with match tickets are able to access a special type of ticket, the DB Ticket Euro 2024 for travel by ICE and IC train to the host city of the corresponding game - the train conductor will ask to see the rail ticket and the match ticket.
    Though the tickets have limited availability per departure, so for the widest possible choice of trains, it will be best to book as far in advance as possible.
    The key plus of these tickets is that they have a flat rate price for a one-way trip of €29.90 in 2nd class and €39.90 in 1st class; so when the cheapest prices of both types of Sparpreis tickets have sold out, these Euro 2024 tickets obviously become the cheapest option.

If when looking up a journey on DB there are tickets available at a cheaper price than €29.90 in 2nd class and €39.90 in 1st class, they will be offered as an alternative.
Though during the tournament the prices for the longer journeys from and to Köln / Cologne will otherwise likely be more than €100 - so these DB Ticket Euro 2024's will likely be significant money savers.

The info on our general Euro2024 guide has step-by-step instructions on how to book these tickets.

seat reservations

The 1st class tickets include a seat reservation, which otherwise costs €5.90, but seat reservations are not included when booking the 2nd class DB Ticket Euro 2024 tickets - and a 2nd class seat reservation has an additional charge of €4;90.
If you don't reserve it will be possible to board a train with a 2nd class DB Ticket Euro 2024 ticket to find that no seats are available.
Note that once you factor in the reservation, the additional cost of a 1st class DB Ticket Euro 2024 ticket is only €5-6 - for longer journeys this extra cost will be worth every cent!

core terms and conditions

These Euro 2024 tickets cannot be exchanged or refunded - so book your accommodation before you arrange the rail travel.
U[p to four children aged 6 to 14 can travel with for free of charge with someone aged 15 and over who has purchased a Euro 2024 ticket.

book to travel on to the stadiums

To make the journeys to the stations / public transport stops by the stadiums easier to book, a dedicated journey look up service has been created.
It shows the names of the stations / stops closest to the stadiums in each of the Euro 2024 cities.
That's because the the DB Ticket Euro 2024 ticket can include the transfer on to the stops by the stadiums.
Though something to look out for, is that to book the DB Ticket Euro 2024 ticket, you need to:

  • copy the name of the stop
  • scroll up the page and click on the red 'Jetzt Ticket buchen' button
  • paste the name of the stadium stop into the 'to' box
  • follow the booking path - info on how to do this is available here.
    However, if you click on the name of the stadium stop on this look-up page, it will then be automatically included as the destination on DB's standard booking path - but if you proceed to book, you seemingly won't then see the DB Ticket Euro 2024 offer.

To and from Köln / Cologne by train

So many ICE trains travel from and to Cologne / Köln each day, that the city's main station, Köln Hbf, can't handle all of them, so some ICE trains only use the secondary station, Köln-Messe Deutz.
Therefore what's good to know when planning a journey from and to the city is that the ICE trains use either Köln Hbf or Köln-Messe Deutz.
The shorter-distance routes taken by the Regio trains call at both stations.

The teams playing in Cologne will also be playing matches in the cities listed below.

to Dortmund

Attending the matches in Dortmund can be easily done as a day trip from Cologne / Köln.

typical journey time = 1hr 25mins
usual daytime frequency = 4 x direct trains per hour

There are 1 or 2 x ICE trains per hour to Dortmund many of which will depart from Köln Messe-Deutz station and not from Köln Hbf.
These ICE trains have journey times of around 1hr 15mins - 1hr 35mins; plus there will be an additional train during the tournament which will depart Köln Hbf at 00:15.
There are also 2 x Regio trains per hour which have a journey time of 1hr 25mins - 1hr 45 mins; route RE1 will be heading to Hamm (West) and route RE7 will be heading to Minden (West).
When booking last minute tickets at the station, the Regio trains will be cheaper.
The trains on line RE1 are available 24 hours, so heading back to Köln / Cologne post-game won't be a problem.

to and from Frankfurt (Main]

Attending the matches in Frankfurt can be easily done as a day trip from Cologne / Köln.

typical journey time to the city centre = 1hr 15mins by direct train
usual daytime frequency = 1 or 2 x direct trains per hour from Köln Hbf + 1 x direct train per hour from Köln-Messe/Deutz

typical journey time to the stadium station = 1hr 30 mins
usual daytime frequency = 1 or 2 x journey options per hour from Köln Hbf + 1 x journey options per hour from Köln-Messe/Deutz

The journey to Frankfurt city centre from Cologne is straightforward, as explained on the journey guide, though note that trains to Frankfurt (Main) depart either from Köln Hbf or Köln-Messe Deutz.
There will be an additional train during the tournament which will depart Köln Hbf at 00:28.

When heading direct to the Arena Frankfurt from Cologne the quickest route is:
1- take an ICE train to the station at Frankfurt Flughafen, there are multiple departures per hour, and
2- connect in Frankfurt Flughafen for a local S-Bahn train on to Stadion - take trains on lines S8 and S9, which will be heading towards Hanau every 15mins.

Stadion station in Frankfurt lives up to its name with a location that is a 10 min walk from the Arena Frankfurt.
The station is located on the railway route which connects Frankfurt Airport / Flughafen to the city's main station, Frankfurt (Main) Hbf, but the long-distance express trains don't call at Stadion.

The DB Ticket Euro 2024 will be available for travel on this route - the general Euro 2024 guide explains how to book them.

From Frankfurt

There is a high speed line between Bonn and Frankfurt Airport / Flughafen - and when heading north, trains use the line to arrive at one of two stations, Köln Hbf and Köln-Messe Deutz

The journey guide explains the options when travelling from Frankfurt (Main) Hbf to Cologne / Köln, but when travelling direct from the Arena Frankfurt stadium by train, the quicker and easier option will be to take trains to and from the station at Frankfurt Flughafen.
During the tournament there will be additional trains from Frankfurt Flughafen to Cologne / Köln at 00:23 and 01:21.

When heading to Cologne to attend matches at the RheinEnergieStadion there are two train travel options:
1 - take trains to Köln-Messe Deutz to connect for tram line 1
2 - take trains to Köln-Hbf, connect for trains, on lines S12 and S19 to Weiden West station and transfer there to a line 1 tram.

to Gelsenkirchen

Attending the matches in Gelsenkirchen can be easily done as a day trip from Cologne / Köln.

typical journey time = 55 mins by direct train
usual daytime frequency = 1 x direct train every other hour + 1 x hourly journey option

The only direct trains from Cologne to Gelsenkirchen are the IC / ICE trains, which typically depart every two hours and have a journey time of around 55min; the final departure of the day is usually at 22:12.
In the hours when no direct trains are available the optimum journey is to take a combination of two Regio trains and connect in Dusseldorf Hbf, the total journey time will be around 1hr 40mins.

During the tournament there will be an additional train which will depart Köln Hbf at 00:30, which has a connection in Essen into a train in to Gelsenkirchen.

In the opposite direction, during the tournament there should be an additional ICE train, which will depart Gelsenkirchen at 00:44, and arrive into Köln Messe-Deutz station.

Thanks to the Regio trains which link Dusseldorf to both Cologne / Köln and Gelsenkirchen, plus the 1 or 2 x ICE trains per hour between Dusseldorf and Frankfurt (Main), Dusseldorf is a good option for a base location for followers of the England team.

to and from Munich / München

typical average journey time = 4hr 30mins
usual daytime frequency = 1 or 2 x direct trains per hour from Köln-Messe Deutz station + 1 x train every other hour from Köln Hbf

This is a popular year round route for tourists, so the full details can be found on the journey guides; Cologne to Munich and fromMunich to Cologne by train.

The DB Ticket Euro 2024 will be available for travel on this route - the general Euro 2024 guide explains how to book them.

When heading from Munich / München to Cologne to attend matches at the RheinEnergieStadion there are two train travel options:
1 - take trains to Köln-Messe Deutz to connect for tram line 1;
2 - take trains to Köln-Hbf, connect for trains, on lines S12 and S19 to Weiden West station and transfer there to a line 1 tram.

During Euro 2024 there will be additional late night train in both directions:

  • to Cologne / Köln from München Hbf at 19:28, though the final ICE train of the day departs at 00:01
  • from Köln Hbf to München / Munich at 21:55.

to Stuttgart

typical average journey time = 2hr 15mins
usual daytime frequency = 1 x train every other hour from Köln-Messe Deutz station + 1 x train every other hour from Köln Hbf

As explained on the journey guide, there are more frequent trains to Stuttgart from Köln Messe-Deutz station.
Though there will be an additional train during the tournament which will depart Köln Hbf at 00:28.

The DB Ticket Euro 2024 will be available for travel on this route - the general Euro 2024 guide explains how to book them.

From Stuttgart

There are three groups of train services which travel from Stuttgart to Cologne / Köln:

  1. ICE trains, which depart in every other hour, in the odd hours, and arrive in the city's main rail station, Köln Hbf - they have a journey time of around 2hr 15mins.
    During the tournament there will be an additional later train which will depart Stuttgart at 21:51, plus there is a regularly timetabled train which departs Stuttgart at 02:22 and arrives into Cologne shortly after 06:00am.
  2. A mix of IC trains and ICE trains, which also arrive into Köln Hbf - but they take a longer, but more scenic, route through the Rhine Gorge, so have a journey time of around 3hr 30mins.
  3. ICE trains - some of which are the brand new Neo trains, which depart in every other hour, in the even hours, and arrive in the city's secondary rail station, Köln Messe-Deutz.

During the tournament there will be an additional later train which will depart Stuttgart at 23:39 and arrive into Cologne at around 02:30am.

If you will be travelling from Stuttgart direct to the RheinEnergieStadion there are two train travel options:
1 - take trains to Köln-Messe Deutz to connect for tram line 1; so this is the easiest option
2 - take trains to Köln-Hbf, connect for trains, on lines S12 and S19 to Weiden West station and transfer there to a line 1 tram; this route is longer, but it should be less crowded.

International trains to Cologne / Köln

There are direct trains to Cologne / Köln from cities in multiple countries with teams participating in Euro 2024: click the city names to access journey guides which have all the relevant info.

Author

Simon Harper

I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.

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