ICE train at Berlin Hbf

A German ICE train...

This page explains how to travel by train from Cologne or Düsseldorf to other key European cities, and how to buy the cheapest tickets, usually online direct from the operators with print-at-home or collect-at-station tickets & few or no booking fees.  It doesn't matter where you live, in Europe, Asia, the USA or Australia, you can buy train tickets from Cologne or Düsseldorf as shown below and save money over expensive railpasses or travel agent mark-ups.

I want to travel by train from Cologne or Düsseldorf to...

          

       Click here to buy tickets starting in another city

       If you have a 1st class ticket you can use the 1st class lounge at Cologne & Düsseldorf

Before you buy your tickets...

I recommend taking a moment to read these important tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, such as "Do I need to book in advance or can I just turn up & buy at the station?", "How far ahead can I book?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just go online & buy a €35 point-to-point ticket?".

Answering your questions about European train travel...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to InterRail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...



Cologne or Düsseldorf to other German towns & cities...
ICE second class ICE first class High-speed ICE train from Cologne to Berlin

ICE1/2, 2nd class

ICE1/2, 1st class

A Cologne-Berlin ICE2 at Berlin.


Cologne or Düsseldorf to London from €59, www.b-europe.com...

Cologne or Düsseldorf to Paris from €35, www.b-europe.com...
Second class seats on board a 'Thalys' high-speed train to Cologne 1st class seats on Thalys A Thalys for Amsterdam about to leave Brussels Midi...

2nd class (Comfort 2) seats...

1st class (Comfort 1) seats...

A Thalys at Brussels...


Cologne to Brussels or Bruges from €19...

Cologne or Düsseldorf to Amsterdam from €19...

Cologne or Dusseldorf to Luxembourg from €19...

Cologne or Düsseldorf to Basel, Zurich, Geneva & Switzerland from €39...
Sleeping-car room - Paris-Munich night train   4-berth couchette compartment on Paris-Munich overnight train   6-berth couchette compartment on Paris-Munich overnight train  

A sleeping-car as used on the Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper: The most comfortable option, economy with washbasin or deluxe with shower & toilet.

 

4-berth couchettes:  Ideal for families, much more space per person than 6-berth couchettes.

 

6-berth couchettes:  A very economical option, far better than a seat for just a few euros more...

 

City Night Line sleeper train  from Cologne to Switzerland...

More pictures & information about this train...


Cologne to Venice from €59...

Option 1, by sleeper train to Munich then scenic daytime train to Venice.  This is the option I'd recommend for the scenery.

Option 2, by ICE train to Munich, then City Night Line sleeper train from Munich to Venice...

Option 3, by daytime trains via the Brenner Pass, with an overnight stop in Munich...


Cologne to Florence, Rome, Milan, Verona or anywhere else Italy from €39...

Option 1, by ICE train from Cologne or Düsseldorf to Munich then City Night Line sleeper train to Bologna, Florence & Rome...

Option 2, by daytime trains via the Brenner Pass, with an overnight stop in Munich...

Option 3, by daytime trains, via the Swiss Alps...  Also a scenic ride! 


Cologne or Düsseldorf to Barcelona & Spain...

Option 1:  Cologne to Spain in one day, by high-speed trains...

Option 2:  Cologne to Spain with overnight stop in Paris...

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon   Upper deck second class on board a TGV Duplex.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon. These 200 mph double-deckers link Paris with Barcelona.  Watch TGV Duplex video.

 

2nd class table for 4 on TGV Duplex upper deck...

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

1st class seats on the upper deck, with a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right.

 

A TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  One of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline on the right all the way from Perpignan to Girona, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CanigouMore photos of what to see on the Paris-Barcelona train journey.


Cologne or Düsseldorf to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria from €29...
1 & 2 berth standard sleeper on the Austrian EuroNight train.   EuroNight sleeper train to Vienna:  6-berth couchettes   The Cologne-Vienna sleeper train is an Austrian Railways (OBB) EuroNight train

1 or 2 bed sleeper: The most comfortable option. Standard sleepers have a washbasin, deluxe sleepers a private shower & toilet.

 

4 & 6-berth couchettes:  The economy option, ideal for families.  Couchettes are basic padded bunks with rug & pillow.  This is a 6-berth couchette.

 

Düsseldorf & Cologne to Vienna by cosy EuroNight sleeper train.

Sleeper & couchette passengers receive a complimentary light breakfast with tea or coffee in the morning.

More pictures & information about these EuroNight trains


Cologne or Düsseldorf to Prague from €39...
A 1 2 or 3 bed sleeper on the Cologne-Prague overnight train

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper: The most civilised option, economy with washbasin or deluxe with shower & toilet.

  4-berth couchettes on the sleeper train to Prague

4-berth couchettes:  Ideal for families, much more space per person than 6-berth couchettes.

  6-berth couchettes on the sleeper train to Prague

6-berth couchettes:  A very economical option, far better than a seat for just a few euros more...

  The Kopernikus sleeper train to Prague...

The Phoenix rises...  At Prague Hlavni, the sleeping-car attendant on the Phoenix greets passengers for Cologne.

More pictures & information about the Amsterdam to Prague sleeper train.


Cologne or Düsseldorf to Bratislava from €39...

Cologne or Düsseldorf to Budapest from €39...

Cologne or Düsseldorf to Bucharest from €98...

Cologne or Düsseldorf to Ljubljana & Zagreb from €39...

Cologne or Düsseldorf to Warsaw, Krakow & Poland from €39...
The Jan Kiepura EuroNight train from Amsterdam to Warsaw   A deluxe sleeper on the Amsterdam to Warsaw train   Deluxe sleepers have a private shower & toilet

The Jan Kiepura sleeper train from Amsterdam & Cologne to Warsaw. This is one of the modern Polish sleeping-cars.  More information.

 

Deluxe sleeper, set up as a 2-berth, showing TV & wardrobe.

 

Deluxe sleeper:  En suite shower & toilet...


Cologne or Düsseldorf to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia...

Cologne or Düsseldorf to Kiev & Ukraine...

Cologne & Düsseldorf to Copenhagen, Odense & Denmark...

Cologne & Düsseldorf to Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö & Oslo...

Sadly, the Cologne-Copenhagen City Night Line sleeper was discontinued from1 November 2014.  But here are the daytime options...

125 mph tilting 'X2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station 2nd class seats on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm The self-service buffet on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm...

A 125 mph SJ2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm.

 

2nd class seating on the SJ 2000.  All seats have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

 

Self-service buffet car on the SJ 2000 to Stockholm.

More information about SJ 2000 trains


Cologne & Düsseldorf to Helsinki...

Cologne & Düsseldorf to Istanbul & Turkey...

Find hotels in Cologne & other cities

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


Travel insurance & health card...

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Carry a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.

Get an international SIM card to save on calls & mobile data...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, so consider getting a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone which can cut call & data costs by up to 90%.  At the time of writing, www.roamsure.com claims a definite 25% saving within the EU and up to 90% saving in the rest of the world.  Incoming calls are free in 73 countries, including the USA, Australia, South Africa and EU.  There's no contract or commitment, and at time I write this Roamsure is offering a global SIM card for free when you buy £20 of call credit.  Seat61 gets some commission to support the site if you buy airtime from Roamsure.

 


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