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Overview

Just a dab leaves you longing for more

Just a dab leaves you longing for more

Cologne or "Köln", as the locals call their city, is so rich in history that excavations can date the area back to 38 BC when the Romans set up camp here. Cologne is over 2000 years old and was once a center for international trade. With that came riches, which helped build the city’s incredible architectural gems.

Exit the centrally located Cologne Hauptbahnhof (main train station) and find yourself smack dab in front of the city’s biggest and best sight : the magnificent Cologne cathedral (Köln er Dom). Think of the church as your compass (moral or otherwise) around the capital of Rhineland. The edifice will seemingly follow you, as it can be seen from nearly every point in the city.

About Germany

Rebuilt after a fire in 1248 this Cathedral can hold over 20,000 people and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stretching over 500 feet above this beautiful medieval city, you can climb the 519 steps to the top of the spire for a closer view of the handcrafted stone work. Aside from the colossal scale, the church claims to have the world’s largest church façade, and houses a wide variety of religious relics and artifacts, including the Shrine of the Three Holy Kings.

Beyond the Cathedral, there are important museums housing prized works. But there’s something to see that is so sweet, so popular, most locals and tourists flock to get a taste. It’s the Imhoff Chocolate Museum. Visitors get to see the entire chocolate process from cocoa bean to chocolate bar. There’s a three-meter-high chocolate fountain with a docent readily handing guests wafers to dip into the liquid goodness.

Continue to tempt your senses by visiting the home of the original Eau de Cologne at 4711 Glockengasse. Situated in the old town, the building houses a glockenspiel, which rings throughout the day (maybe as a reminder to douse yourself in scent ?) To say you wore the original “Cologne,” give yourself a brisk splash of the Echt Kölnisch Wasser from the fountain at the front door.

You may get splashed on your river cruise up the Rhine, which is included with your German Pass and any Eurail Pass that covers Germany. The country’s longest and busiest waterway is surrounded by centuries-old castles and is a distinct way to see the city. Who knows – maybe you’ll see a Rhinemaiden ! (Time to read up on your Wagner operas.)

Cologne is perfectly situated for seeing other world-class cities. Perhaps that’s why so many Eurail passes include Germany. Be in Amsterdam in just under two hours, Paris in just over three hours and to Brussels in less than two.

Think of your rail pass like cologne itself – the more you use it, the further it travels.

Cologne station(s)

Trains are convenient way to reach any town and city in Europe. All main towns have a railway station, while major cities have more than two railway stations. Nearly all railway stations are located in the city centre. Check our map to locate railway station(s) in Cologne.

Cologne city guide

Travel forum

From our travel community

Can i take my bike on the day time intercity express trains from amsterdam to basel and then from basel to milan? i do have a bike (...) I need to get me and my bike from Amsterdam to Milan in July. Any help much appreciated! I'm happy to consider other routes, such as via Paris. Thanks!

David Charles | 18 May 2022 complete | 2 Comments
Reservation booked/tickets received transfer times are 5 min! Hi, I reserved and booked train tickets on rail europe already and found a few reservations I made with 5-6 min transfer! Is this enough time? What happens if I miss a transfer, can I just jump on the next one without buying another ticket? (...)

mlo878 | 15 February 2011 complete | 62 Comments
Reservations with rail pass. how do i make a reservation? How do I use my euro rail pass? how do I reserve train tickets? is euro rail accepted by all train companies?

Madeleine Johnson | 12 June 2013 complete | 87 Comments
Frankfurt airport to mainz, mainz to amsterdam, and amsterdam to frankfurt. summer vacation & travel guide Hello,I am coming to Frankfurt this summer. My family and I would like to also travel to Mainz and Amsterdam. Is there a train that goes from the airport in Frankfurt to Mainz? And is there a train from Mainz to Amsterdam? And then a train from (...)

Sonya | 18 February 2009 complete | 5 Comments
Mobility scooter in spain I am excited to visit Spain but have limited mobility. I walk with crutches and use a mobility scooter. Can I travel with my mobility scooter on the train? Are the trains stops too fast for me to board? Looking forward to your response (...)

Yasmin Somji | 16 April 2013 complete | 5 Comments

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Customer reviews

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Small Train |
    "I was expecting a long train, but it's no big deal. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Bravo ! |
    "Service was great. Would have liked to see more variety in food served. On return, my seat was double booked. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    europe train |
    "I took the train from Cologne to Brussels. Train left Cologne on time and arrived in Brussels on time. Very smooth and comfortable ride. Better than the plane ! "

  • Value for money
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    Cologne celebration |
    "A 60th birthday celebration for my brother in Cologne and the train travel and arrangements were excellent ! "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Amsterdam, Rotterdam  |
    "I cannot say much about comfort as on my trip the train is always full. Nevertheless, I can say it is very convenient as I got an open ticket. As such I am free to choose any train/time I like. There is no stress or rush for me. The staff are all friendly and polite and very willing to assist. You wont get lost ! Keep it up ! "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Enjoyable journey |
    "The journey on the Thalys was a pleasant experience. The seats were very comfortable, the luggage space was sufficient and the breakfast service was excellent. The total feeling was one of commitment to customer care. And the total cost for 6 people was reasonable. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    A very pleasant experience !  |
    "The trip was uneventful, which is great. The train was on time and the ride was very smooth. We had plenty of space for our luggage and plenty of legroom. The seats were very comfortable and clean. A very pleasant experience ! "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Excellent value |
    "First class travel with excellent value. Trully enjoyed the trip, facilities and amenities on Thalys. I was fortunate to find a good price to travel on this one. "

  • Value for money
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    Smooth ride |
    "Very nice short trip to Koln. Having assigned seat also help with the planning and enjoyment of the trip. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Europe made easy !!!! |
    "My daughter and I discovered the ease and comfort of travelling thru europe via high speed train Clean, safe, comfortable, friendly attendants. Who could ask for more ? "

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