The beautifully-restored Reichstag in Berlin.  It's easy to reach Berlin by train..!

 

London to Germany by high-speed train.

No airports, no flights...  Watch the video

London to Germany from €59.90...

It's so easy to travel from London to Germany by train.  Take Eurostar from London to Brussels in just 2 hours, switch to a Thalys or ICE high-speed train from Brussels to Cologne in 1 hour 57 minutes, then take a luxurious ICE high-speed train from Cologne to almost anywhere in Germany.  And it's affordable, too, with fares from €59.90 from London to any city in Germany at www.bahn.de with print-at-home tickets.  This page will help you find the best option and buy the cheapest tickets.  It's centre to centre, with no baggage fees, no airport taxes, no expensive journeys to and from airports, children under 4 go free, and you can bring your own bottle of wine for the journey if you like (try doing that on Ryanair).

Choose your destination:    

Train times, fares & tickets...

  London to Hanover & Berlin

  London to Cologne, Düsseldorf & Dortmund

  London to Bonn, Koblenz, Mainz

  London to Frankfurt

  London to Nuremberg

  London to Osnabrück, Bremen & Hamburg

 

Buy a London Spezial ticket from to Germany by train

Booking usually opens 92 days ahead but this is progressively being extended to 6 months.  Book early for the best prices...

  You can add up to 2 stopovers of up to 48h each, just click Add intermediate stops.  Why not stop off in Brussels?

  For hotels try booking.com as you can book with free cancellation before train bookings open.  Or use hotelscombined.com for price comparison, a remarkable site. 

 
 

  London to Mannheim, Stuttgart & Munich

  London to Leipzig & Dresden

  London to other destinations

  London to Germany via the Harwich-Hoek ferry

  UK to Germany by ferry from Hull or Newcastle

  Starting your journey from other UK towns & cities

  Hotels & accommodation in Germany

  Holidays & escorted tours to Germany by train

  Rhine cruises - deluxe or inexpensive do-it-yourself

Train travel within Germany...

  Train travel in Germany - a beginner's guide

  Buy train tickets online for travel within Germany

  Schönes-Wochenende - unlimited weekend travel

  Lander tickets - unlimited travel in a whole region

  Visiting Neuschwanstein - Visiting Colditz

International trains to & from Germany...

  Other European cities to Germany by train

  Berlin to other European cities

  Hamburg to other European cities

  Cologne & Düsseldorf to other European cities

  Frankfurt to other European cities

  Munich to other European cities

  Amsterdam to Berlin by InterCity train

  Berlin to Prague by train

  Munich to Prague by train not bus

  Berlin-Warsaw Express trains

Other useful information...

  Useful country information - currency, dial code, etc

  General European train travel information

  Luggage on trains   Left luggage at stations

  Taking your bike     Taking your dog    

  Child age limits & travel with kids

  Train seat numbering plans

  Eurail passes - the railpass for overseas visitors

  InterRail passes - the pass for European residents

  Travel insurance & EU Health Card

Interactive map:  Click a destination or route...

Sponsored links...

 


Useful country information

Train operator in Germany:

DB (Deutsche Bahn), see www.bahn.de for train times, fares & online tickets within Germany.

All-Europe train times    Eurostar times & fares   Berlin S-bahn information    Berlin U-bahn information   Motorail - taking your car

   

Railpasses:

 

Beginner's guide to European railpasses     Buy a rail pass online

Time zone:

GMT+1 (GMT+2 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).

Dialling code:

 

+49

Currency:

£1 = approx 1.15 euros  Check current exchange rates

Tourist information:

www.germany-tourism.de   City tours    Recommended guidebooks

Hotels & guesthouses:

Finding accommodation in Germany    German hotels    Tours to Germany

Page last updated:

5 September 2017.  Train times valid 11 June to 9 December 2017.


London to Hannover & Berlin

Which route to choose?

There are two main options for travel between the UK and Berlin or Hanover.

London to Berlin by high-speed train from €59.90...

It's easy to travel by train from London to Berlin all in one day from just €59.90 in 2nd class or €109.90 in 1st class, using a morning Eurostar to Brussels, a high-speed Thalys or ICE train to Cologne, then Germany's luxurious high-speed InterCity Express (ICE) onwards to Berlin.  Pride of the German Railways, ICEs travel at up to 280km/h (175 mph).  This route is served by second-generation ICE2s, with a cafe-bar and restaurant serving proper sit-down meals.  Breakfast in the ICE restaurant car costs about £8, a three-course meal with a couple of glasses of beer about £25.  Treat yourself!

ICE2 first class ICE2 second class High-speed ICE train from Cologne to Berlin, at Berlin Hauptbahnhof

ICE2 1st class.

ICE2 2nd class.

ICE2 at Berlin.  More info about ICE

   

Treat yourself to lunch!

 

ICE2's elegant restaurant car...

 

ICE2's convivial bistro-bar car...

 London ► Hanover, Berlin

 Eurostar (30 min check-in)

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

 London St Pancras

depart

  06:47*

08:54

08:54

10:58

12:58

15:04

15:04

19:34

 06:57

08:58

10:58

12:58

12:58

16:04

19:04

 Brussels Midi

arrive

 10:07*

12:05

12:05

14:05

16:08

18:05

18:05

22:38

10:05

12:08

14:05

16:08

16:08

19:05

22:08

 Change at Brussels onto a Thalys (=t) or ICE (=c) high-speed train, see tip about short cut....

 Brussels Midi

depart

 10:25c

 12:25c Fri

13:28t

 14:25c

17:28t

18:25c

18:25c

06:25c

 10:25c

13:28t

14:25c

17:28t

18:25c

19:25t

08:25c

 Cologne (Köln Hbf)

arrive

 12:15c

 14:15c Fri

15:15t

 16:15c

19:15t

20:15c

20:15c

08:15c

 12:15c

15:15t

16:15c

19:15t

20:15c

21:15t

10:15c

 Change at Cologne onto an ICE high-speed train...

 Cologne (Köln Hbf)

depart

12:48

14:48

15:48

16:48

19:27

21:10

06:48

08:48

12:48

16:48

16:48

19:27

21:10

07:48

10:48

 Bielefeld

arrive

14:36

16:36

17:36

18:36

21:36

23:19

08:36

10:36

14:36

18:36

18:36

21:36

23:18

09:36

12:36

 Hanover

arrive

15:28

17:28

18:28

19:28

22:28

00:18

09:28

11:28

15:28

19:28

19:28

22:28

00:18

10:28

13:28

 Berlin Hbf

arrive

17:06

19:06

20:09

21:06

00:09

-

11:06

13:07

17:06

21:06

21:06

00:09

-

12:09

15:08

 London ► Hanover, Berlin

 Eurostar (30 min check-in)

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

08:58

11:04

12:58

14:04

15:04

15:04

20:03

 Brussels Midi

arrive

12:08

14:05

16:08

17:05

18:05

18:05

23:05

 Change at Brussels onto a high-speed Thalys train (= t) or ICE train (= c)...

 Brussels Midi

depart

12:25c

14:25c

16:25c

17:28t

18:25c

18:25c

06:25c

 Cologne (Köln Hbf)

arrive

14:15c

16:15c

18:15c

19:15t

20:15c

20:15c

08:15c

 Change at Cologne onto a high-speed ICE train to Berlin...

 Cologne (Köln Hbf)

depart

14:48

16:48

18:48

19:48

20:48

06:48

08:48

 Bielefeld

arrive

16:36

18:36

20:36

21:36

22:36

08:36

10:36

 Hanover

arrive

17:28

19:28

21:28

22:28

23:28

09:28

11:28

 Berlin Hbf

arrive

19:09

21:06

23:06

00:09

01:10

11:06

13:07

How to read these timetables...  It's very simple, you read downwards, each column is a journey you can take.  You change trains at each grey bar.

* On Mondays & Fridays the 06:47 Eurostar runs EARLIER, leaving London 06:13, arriving Brussels 09:22.

Fri = Runs on Fridays only.

c = by high-speed ICE train with Sparpreis London fares from €59.90 available from London to Berlin or anywhere in Germany. 

t = by high-speed Thalys train.

Shaded = time-effective journey with overnight hotel stop in Brussels or Cologne.

By all means choose an earlier Eurostar outbound or a later morning one westbound.

In Brussels, try the Ibis Brussels Midi just across the road from the station or the Pullman Hotel Brussels Midi, a more upmarket option above the station itself. In Cologne, try the Breslauer Hof Am Dom, Hotel Domspitzen, CityClass Hotel Europa am Dom, Hilton Cologne, Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom.

Brussels Midi station info & advice on changing trains there    Berlin Hbf station information & map of Berlin   Hbf = Hauptbahnhof = main station.

What are Eurostar trains like?   What are Thalys trains like?   What are ICE trains like?   3D tour ICE 2nd class   3D tour ICE restaurant car

Always check these train times using www.bahn.de, as they can vary on certain dates.   

If you have a 1st class ticket you can use the DB Lounges at Cologne, Berlin Hauptbahnhof & Hanover.

 Berlin, Hanover ► London

 ICE train to Cologne

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

 Berlin Hbf

depart

04:30

06:52

07:49

10:52

11:49

14:52

17:49

06:52

07:49

10:52

11:49

14:52

17:49

 Hanover

depart

06:21

08:31

09:31

12:31

13:31

16:31

19:31

08:31

09:31

12:31

13:31

16:31

19:31

 Bielefeld

depart

07:21

09:22

10:22

13:22

14:22

17:22

20:22

09:22

10:22

13:22

14:22

17:22

20:22

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

09:15

11:09

12:09

15:09

16:09

19:09

22:09

11:09

12:09

15:09

16:09

19:09

22:09

 Change at Cologne onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c) to Brussels...

Cologne Hbf

depart

 09:43c

 11:43c

 12:44t

 15:42c

 16:43t

 19:43c

 07:43c

 11:43c

 12:44t

 15:42c

 16:43t

  19:43c

  07:43c

Brussels Midi

arrive

 11:35c

 13:35c

 14:32t

 17:35c

 18:32t

 21:35c

 09:35c

 13:35c

 14:32t

 17:35c

 18:32t

  21:35c

  09:35c

 Change at Brussels onto Eurostar.  Remember the 30 minute check-in...

 Brussels Midi

depart

12:56

14:56

16:56

18:56

19:52

07:56

10:56

14:56

16:56

19:52

 19:52

08:52

11:56

 London St Pancras

arrive

14:05

16:05

18:06

19:57

21:03

08:57

11:57

16:05

18:06

21:03

 21:03

09:57

12:57

 Berlin, Hanover ► London

 ICE train to Cologne

Sundays

 Berlin Hbf

depart

06:52

06:52

08:52

10:52

11:49

14:52

17:49

 Hanover

depart

08:31

08:31

10:31

12:31

13:31

16:31

19:31

 Bielefeld

depart

09:22

09:22

11:22

13:22

14:22

17:22

20:22

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

11:09

11:09

13:09

15:09

16:09

19:09

22:09

 Change at Cologne onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c) to Brussels

Cologne Hbf

depart

 11:43c

 12:44t

 13:43c

 15:42c

 16:43t

  19:43c

  07:43c

Brussels Midi

arrive

 13:35c

 14:32t

 15:35c

 17:35c

 18:32t

  21:35c

  09:35c

 Change at Brussels onto Eurostar.  Remember the 30 minute check-in...

 Brussels Midi

depart

14:52

15:56

16:56

18:56

19:52

07:56

10:56

 London St Pancras

arrive

16:05

16:57

18:05

19:57

21:03

08:57

11:57

How much does it cost?  London to Berlin from €59.90...

How to buy tickets online...

Other ways to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone...

Holidays & short breaks to Berlin by train...

Back to top


London to Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund

Cologne, or Köln in German from its Roman name, Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, was once the largest city in Germany.  Its magnificent cathedral stands right next to Cologne's main station - the cathedral was consecrated in 1322, but its distinctive 512 feet high towers were only completed in 1880.  You can climb them for a magnificent view over the city and the River Rhine.  Getting to Cologne from London is really easy by train:  Hop on a high-speed Eurostar train from London to Brussels in just 1 hour 55 minutes, then travel from Brussels to Cologne by high-speed Thalys train or German high-speed ICE train in just 1 hour 57 minutes more.  Frequent regional trains then link Cologne with Düsseldorf, Essen, Bochum & Dortmund.  Thalys is a consortium of the French, Belgian, Dutch and German railways formed to run the high-speed trains between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam & Cologne.  Watch the London to Cologne video.

Take Eurostar to Brussels in 2 hours, then either a Thalys high-speed train...

Second class seats on board a 'Thalys' high-speed train to Cologne 1st class seats on Thalys A Thalys for Cologne about to leave Brussels Midi...

2nd class (Confort 2) seats on Thalys...

1st class (Confort 1) seats on Thalys...

A Thalys at Brussels.  Thalys info.

...or a German ICE high-speed train onwards to Cologne in 1 hour 57 minutes more.

ICE3 second class ICE3 first class High-speed ICE3 train from Brussels to Cologne & Frankfurt

ICE3 2nd class.  ICEs are perhaps the most comfortable trains in Europe...

ICE3 1st class, with real leather seats.  All ICE seats have power sockets.

An ICE to Cologne & Frankfurt waiting to leave Brussels Midi.  More ICE info.

 London ► Cologne, Düsseldorf & Dortmund

Eurostar, 30 minute check-in  

Mondays-Fridays

Saturdays

 London St Pancras

depart

  06:47*

08:54

08:54

10:58

12:58

15:04

15:04

 06:57

08:58

10:58

12:58

12:58

16:04

 Brussels Midi

arrive

 10:07*

12:05

12:05

14:05

16:08

18:05

18:05

10:05

12:08

14:05

16:08

16:08

19:05

 Change at Brussels onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c), see tip about short cut...

 Brussels Midi

depart

  10:25 c

  12:25 c Fri

  13:28 t

  14:25 c

  17:28 t

  18:25 c

19:28 t

  10:25 c

  13:28 t

  14:25 c

 17:28 t

 18:25 c

19:28 t

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

  12:15 c

  14:15 c Fri

  15:15 t

  16:15 c

  19:15 t

  20:15 c

21:15 t

  12:15 c

  15:15 t

  16:15 c

 19:15 t

 20:15 c

21:15 t

 Change at Cologne onto frequent regional trains to Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Bochum & Dortmund...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

12:49

14:49

 15:19 h

16:49

19:18 e

20:49

 21:18 d

12:49

 15:19 h

16:49

19:18 e

20:49

 21:18 d

 Düsseldorf Hbf

arrive

13:19

15:19

 15:53 h

17:19

19:40 e

21:19

 21:40 d

13:19

 15:53 h

17:19

19:40 e

21:19

 21:40 d

 Dortmund Hbf

arrive

14:15

16:15

-

18:15

20:36 e

22:15

 22:41 d

14:15

-

18:15

20:36 e

22:15

 22:41 d

 London ► Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund

Eurostar, 30 minute check-in  

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

08:58

08:58

11:04

12:58

14:04

15:04

15:04

 Brussels Midi

arrive

12:08

12:08

14:05

16:08

17:05

18:05

18:05

 Change at Brussels onto a high-speed Thalys or ICE train...

 Brussels Midi

depart

  12:25 c

13:28 t

  14:25 c

  16:25 c

  17:28 t

 18:25 c

19:28 t

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

  14:15 c

15:15 t

  16:15 c

  18:15 c

  19:15 t

 20:15 c

21:15 t

 Change at Cologne onto frequent regional trains to Düsseldorf & Dortmund...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

14:49

15:19 h

16:49

18:49

19:18 e

20:49

 21:18 d

 Düsseldorf Hbf

arrive

15:19

15:53 h

17:19

19:19

19:40 e

21:19

 21:40 d

 Dortmund Hbf

arrive

16:15

-

18:15

20:15

20:36 e

22:15

 22:41 d

How to read these timetables...  It's very simple, you read downwards, each column is a journey you can take.  You change trains at each grey bar.

Always check times online for your date of travel as times can vary, especially the Eurostar connection.

Duisburg, Essen & Bochum are also stops on the Cologne-Düsseldorf-Dortmund regional trains shown here, simply use www.bahn.de to check calling times.

If your Thalys or ICE arrives promptly, you may find an earlier onward train to Düsseldorf or Dortmund in addition to the ones shown here.

Brussels Midi station information & advice on changing trains there    Cologne Hbf station information   

Hbf = Hauptbahnhof = main station.  If you have a first class ticket you can use the DB Lounges at Cologne or Düsseldorf.

* On Mondays & Fridays the 06:47 Eurostar runs EARLIER, leaving London 06:13, arriving Brussels 09:22.

** The 10:56 Brussels to London only runs on Saturdays after 26 Mach 2017.

Fri = Runs on Fridays only.

c = by high-speed ICE train with Sparpreis London fares from €59.90 available from London to Berlin or anywhere in Germany, watch the London to Cologne video.

d = the 19:28 Thalys from Brussels runs direct to Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen & Dortmund as shown, no need to change in Cologne.

e = the 17:28 Thalys from Brussels runs direct to Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen & Dortmund as shown, no need to change at Cologne.

f = the 08:44 Thalys from Cologne runs direct from Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg & Düsseldorf as shown, no need to change in Cologne.

g = the 16:44 Thalys from Cologne runs direct from Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg & Düsseldorf as shown, no need to change in Cologne.

h = the 13:28 Thalys from Brussels runs direct to Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen & Dortmund as shown (only Dusseldorf on Saturdays), no need to change in Cologne.

t = by high-speed Thalys train.

 Dortmund, Düsseldorf & Cologne ► London

 Regional train...

Mondays-Fridays

Saturdays

 Dortmund Hbf

depart

 05:45

 07:14 f

07:45

09:45

10:45

13:45

15:14 g

 05:45

 07:14 f

07:45

09:45

10:45

13:45

  15:14 g

 Düsseldorf Hbf

depart

 06:40

 08:18 f

08:40

10:40

11:40

14:40

16:18 g

 06:40

 08:18 f

08:40

10:40

11:40

14:40

  16:18 g

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

 07:12

 08:42 f

09:12

11:12

12:12

15:12

16:41 g

 07:12

 08:42 f

09:12

11:12

12:12

15:12

  16:41 g

 Change in Cologne onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c)...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

  07:43 c

 08:44 t

 09:43 c

 11:43 c

 12:44 t

  15:42 c

16:43 t

  07:43 c

 08:44 t

 09:43 c

 11:43 c

 12:44 t

 15:42 c

 16:43 t

 Brussels Midi

arrive

  09:35 c

 10:32 t

 11:35 c

 13:35 c

 14:32 t

  17:35 c

18:32 t

  09:35 c

 10:32 t

 11:35 c

 13:35 c

 14:32 t

 17:35 c

 18:32 t

 Change in Brussels onto Eurostar - remember the 30 minute Eurostar check-in!

 Brussels Midi

depart

10:56

12:52

12:52

14:56

16:56

18:56

19:52

  10:56**

12:52

12:52

14:56

16:56

19:52

19:52

 London St Pancras

arrive

11:57

14:05

14:05

16:05

18:06

19:57

21:03

  11:57**

14:05

14:05

16:05

18:06

21:03

21:03

 

 Dortmund, Düsseldorf & Cologne ► London

 Regional train...

Sundays

 Dortmund Hbf depart:

05:45

 07:14 f

09:45

10:45

11:45

13:45

  15:14 g

 Düsseldorf Hbf depart:

06:40

 08:18 f

10:40

11:40

12:40

14:40

  16:18 g

 Cologne Hbf arrive:

07:12

 08:42 f

11:12

12:12

13:12

15:12

  16:41 g

 Change in Cologne onto a Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c)...

 Cologne Hbf depart:

   07:43 c

  08:44 t

  11:43 c

  12:44 t

  13:43 c

  15:42 c

  16:43 t

 Brussels Midi arrive:

   09:35 c

  10:32 t

  13:35 c

  14:32 t

  15:35 c

  17:35 c

  18:32 t

 Change in Brussels onto Eurostar - remember the 30 minute check-in 

 Brussels Midi depart:

11:56

11:56

14:52

15:56

16:56

18:56

19:52

 London St Pancras arrive:

12:57

12:57

16:05

16:57

18:05

19:57

21:03

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets online...

There are several different ways to buy tickets from London to Frankfurt, and as each works in a different way with different prices and quotas, it's a good idea to try each of them.

  An ICE train to Cologne boarding at Brussels Midi
 

An ICE to Cologne boarding in Brussels...

  Lunch aboard the ICE to Cologne
 

Civilised!  Lunch in the ICE's bistro car...

1)  First check for a Sparpreis London ticket from €59.90 each way...

Before you do anything else, check the German Railways website for cheap Sparpreis London fares between London and anywhere in Germany, including Cologne, Düsseldorf, Essen or Dortmund, using the special links below.  All you need to do is enter your date of travel.  I recommend buying a round trip as two one-ways, as it's easier to see where the availability is.  Booking normally opens 92 days before departure, but this is progressively being extended to 6 months before departure.  These tickets are only available via the ICE between Brussels & Cologne, not Thalys.

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets outward from London to Cologne (click a link, enter date of travel, if necessary change 'Cologne' to 'Düsseldorf' or 'Dortmund'):

Departing London at 06:13 or 06:47 on Mondays-Fridays or 06:57 Saturdays

Departing London at 08:54 Fridays or 08:58 Sundays

Departing London at 10:58 Mondays-Saturdays or 11:04 Sundays

Departing London at 12:58 Saturdays

Departing London at 12:58 Sundays

Departing London at 15:04 Mondays-Fridays & Sundays

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:03 Sun (often cheapest departure, overnight hotel in Brussels required, suggest Ibis Brussels Midi)

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:03 Sun (same as above, but with more leisurely 10:25 departure from Brussels next morning)

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets inward from Cologne to London:  (click a link, enter date of travel, if necessary change 'Cologne' to 'Düsseldorf' or 'Dortmund'):

Departing Cologne at 07:43 on Mondays-Saturdays

Departing Cologne at 07:43 on Sundays

Departing Cologne at 09:43 any day

Departing Cologne at 11:43 any day

Departing Cologne at 13:43 on Fridays or Sundays

Departing Cologne at 15:42 on weekdays

Departing Cologne at 15:42 on Saturdays

Departing Cologne at 15:42 on Sundays

About these Sparpreis London tickets:  These excellent Sparpreis London tickets start at €59.90 each way 2nd class or €109.90 1st class from London to anywhere in Germany.  That price includes Eurostar to Brussels, a superb German ICE train to Cologne and onward trains to your final destination, all on one ticket.  You'll only find these Sparpreis London fares on services which use the German ICE train between Brussels & Cologne (marked with a 'c' in the timetable above), they aren't available on Thalys trains.  Availability is limited, and these Sparpreis London fares can sell out.  And it can't sell tickets of any sort for Eurostar+Thalys.  Incidentally, note that when using www.bahn.de, you often need to put 'Brussels South Stn' in the 'via' box and either 01:00 or 02:00 in the 'stopover' box to force the journey planner to find the ICE connection (and so offer the cheap Sparpreis London fares) rather than a more immediate Thalys connection.  I've set up the 'check for cheap tickets' links above to include the necessary fiddle factor for each specific departure, so you don't need to worry about it, as long as you use the right link for the right departure.   If you find a cheap ticket using the links above then great, if not (or if you want a Eurostar+Thalys service), move swiftly on to the normal 'How to buy tickets' section below... See Brussels Midi station information & advice on changing trains there.

2)  Check for cheap through fare at www.eurostar.com from £49.50 one-way, £89 return...

3)  Or buy tickets at www.b-europe.com...

4)  Or book each train separately...

How to buy tickets by phone...

Holidays & short breaks to Germany by train...

Video guide: London to Cologne by Eurostar & ICE...

 

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Cologne (Köln) Hauptbahnhof...

Cologne Hauptbahnhof (main station) is located right in the city centre, right next to Cologne Cathedral with its distinctive twin towers and a stone's throw from the banks of the River Rhine.

Map of Cologne showing the Hauptbahnhof    Cologne tourist information    Left luggage information    1st class station lounges

Climbing Cologne Cathedral's tower:  If you've 30 minutes to spare, you can climb the cathedral's south (right-hand) tower for a fantastic view over Cologne & the Rhine, 475 feet high, 533 steps, no lift.  The tower is open 09:00-16:00 in winter, 09:00-17:00 or 18:00 in summer, entrance €3, see www.koelner-dom.de.

Cologne Hauptbahnhof   Cologne's left luggage machines   Cologne cathedral

Cologne Hauptbahnhof main entrance...

 

The left luggage machines at Cologne...

 

Cologne cathedral...


London to Bonn, Koblenz, Mainz

High-speed Eurostar trains link London with Brussels in just 2 hours.  From Brussels, high-speed Thalys and ICE trains take 1h55 to reach Cologne - watch the London to Cologne video.  Regular trains link Cologne with Bonn, Koblenz and Mainz running via the original scenic rail route along the Rhine Valley.

How to check train times...

Simply use the London-Cologne timetable above to find train times from London to Cologne, then use www.bahn.de to find connecting train times along the Rhine Valley from Cologne to Bonn, Koblenz and Mainz.

How to buy tickets...

1)  First check for a cheap Sparpreis ticket from €59.90 each way...

Before you do anything else, check the German Railways website for cheap Sparpreis London fares between London and anywhere in Germany, including Koblenz, Bonn or Mainz, using the special links below.  All you need to do is enter your date of travel.  I recommend buying a round trip as two one-ways, as it's easier to see where the availability is.  Booking normally opens 92 days before departure, but this is progressively being extended to 6 months before departure.

Check for cheap tickets from London to Koblenz

(select a link, enter your date of travel, change Koblenz to Bonn or Mainz if you like):

Departing London at 06:13 or 06:47 Mondays-Fridays or 06:57 Saturdays

Departing London at 08:54 Fridays or 08:58 Sundays

Departing London at 10:58 Mondays-Saturdays or 11:04 Sundays

Check for cheap tickets from Koblenz to London: 

(select a link, enter your date of travel, change 'Koblenz' to 'Bonn' or 'Mainz' if you like):

Departing Koblenz at 06:16 on weekdays

Departing Koblenz at 06:16 on Saturdays

Departing Koblenz at 06:16 on Sundays

Departing Koblenz at 08:16 any day

Departing Koblenz at 10:16 any day

Departing Koblenz at 10:16 on weekdays

Departing Koblenz at 14:16 on most but not all dates

Departing Koblenz at 14:16 on Sundays & some other dates

About these Sparpreis London tickets:  These excellent Sparpreis London tickets start at €59.90 each way 2nd class or €109.90 1st class from London to anywhere in Germany.  That price includes Eurostar to Brussels, a superb German ICE train to Cologne and onward trains to your final destination, all on one ticket.  You'll only find these Sparpreis London fares on services which use the German ICE train between Brussels & Cologne (marked with a 'c' in the timetable above), they aren't available on Thalys trains.  Availability is limited, and these Sparpreis London fares can sell out.  It can't sell tickets of any sort for Eurostar+Thalys.  Incidentally, note that when using www.bahn.de, you often need to put 'Brussels South Stn' in the 'via' box and either 01:00 or 02:00 in the 'stopover' box to force the journey planner to find the ICE connection (and so offer the cheap Sparpreis London fares) rather than a more immediate Thalys connection.  I've set up the 'check for cheap tickets' links above to include the necessary fiddle factor for each specific departure, so you don't need to worry about it, as long as you use the right link for the right departure.  If you find a cheap ticket using the links above then great, if not (or if you want a Eurostar+Thalys service), move swiftly on to the normal 'How to buy tickets' section below...  See Brussels Midi station information & advice on changing trains there.

2)  Then check for a special through fare at www.eurostar.com from £49.50...

3)  Or buy tickets at www.b-europe.com...

4)  Or book each train separately...

How to buy tickets by phone...

Back to top


London to Frankfurt

Via Paris or Brussels?

You can travel from London to Frankfurt either via Paris or via Brussels.  Both routes usually involve just a single change of train, from Eurostar to a top-quality German ICE high-speed train, and both routes offer cheap fares if you book well in advance.  The change in Paris involves a 10-minute walk between Paris Nord and Paris Est, the change in Brussels is an easy same-station change.  The choice is yours... 

Option 1:  London to Frankfurt via Paris...

The TGV-Est high-speed line opened in June 2007 with the final section opening in July 2016.  200 mph high-speed trains now link Paris and Frankfurt in as little as 3 hours 38 minutes, city centre to city centre.  Some Paris-Frankfurt departures are operated by German ICE3 trains which are amongst the most comfortable high-speed trains in Europe, watch the ICE video guide.  Those marked with a 't' in the timetable below are operated the impressive double-decker French TGV Duplex, see the video guide.  This route is easy to book online using www.loco2.com.

 London ► Frankfurt  (via Paris)

 Eurostar, 30 min check-in

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

08:31

10:24

12:24

14:22

 20:01

08:31

11:01

14:22

20:01

08:19

10:24

12:24

14:22

20:01

 Paris Gare du Nord

arrive

11:47

13:47

15:47

17:47

 23:17

11:47

14:17

17:47

23:17

11:47

13:47

15:47

17:47

23:17

 10 min walk to the Gare de l'Est for ICE train to Frankfurt.  Trains marked t are TGV Duplex...

 Paris Gare de l'Est

depart

13:01

15:20

17:10

19:06

07:20t

13:01

15:20

19:06

09:06t

13:01

15:20

17:10

19:06

07:20t

 Saarbrücken

arrive

14:57

|

18:57

20:57

|

14:57

|

20:57

10:56t

14:57

|

18:57

20:57

|

 Mannheim Hbf

arrive

16:19

18:18

20:17

22:17

10:18t

16:17

18:18

22:17

12:16t

16:17

18:18

20:17

22:17

10:18t

 Frankfurt am Main Hbf

arrive

16:58

18:58

20:58

22:58

10:58t

16:58

18:58

22:58

12:58t

16:58

18:58

20:58

22:58

10:58t

 Frankfurt ► London  (via Paris)

 ICE train from Frankfurt to Paris:

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 Frankfurt am Main Hbf

depart

05:58

06:58

08:56

12:58t

18:58

06:58

08:56

10:58

12:58t

16:57t

06:58

10:58

12:58t

18:58

 Mannheim Hbf

depart

06:39

07:39

09:40

13:40t

19:39

07:38

09:40

11:42

13:40t

17:40t

07:39

11:42

13:40t

19:39

 Saarbrücken

depart

08:00

|

11:01

15:01t

21:01

09:02

|

13:07

15:01t

|

|

13:07

15:01t

21:01

 Paris Gare de l'Est

arrive

09:51

10:38

12:50

16:50t

22:58

10:53

12:38

14:54

17:01t

20:41t

10:38

14:57

16:50t

22:58

 10 min walk to the Gare du Nord for Eurostar to London  (30 minute check-in)

 Paris Gare du Nord

depart

11:13

13:13

15:13

18:13

07:13

12:13

15:13

16:13

19:13

08:13

12:13

16:13

18:13

07:13

 London St Pancras

arrive

12:39

14:39

16:39

19:39

08:32

13:30

16:39

17:39

20:39

09:30

13:30

17:39

19:39

08:32

How to read these timetables...  It's very simple, you read downwards, each column is a journey you can take.  You change trains at each grey bar.

Shaded = time-effective journey with overnight hotel stop in Paris.  Suggested hotels near Gare du Nord & Gare de l'EstBy all means choose an earlier Eurostar outbound or a later morning one westbound.

t = By French TGV Duplex, all other Paris-Frankfurt trains are German ICE3.

If you have a first class ticket you can use the DB Lounge at Frankfurt am Main Hauptbahnhof..

 Fares  (via Paris)

 1. London to Paris

     by Eurostar:

 From £44 one-way, £58 return 2nd class.

 From £112 one-way, £168 return 1st class.  Child & youth fares 

 

 2. Paris to Frankfurt

     by ICE:

 Advance-purchase fares from €39 each way 2nd class, €69 1st class.

 If you book at www.bahn.de, accompanied children under 15 go free.

Buy tickets online at www.loco2.com...

Or buy tickets online at www.bahn.de & www.eurostar.com...

Buy tickets by phone...

On board the Paris to Frankfurt ICE...

Class 407 ICE3 at Paris Est   2nd class seats on a class 407 ICE3

A Mannheim to Paris ICE, at Paris Gare de l'Est...

 

2nd class seats...

Bistro-restaurant on a class 407 ICE3   Class 407 ICE3 1st class seats

Bistro-restaurant car...

 

1st class seats...

Back to top


Option 2:  London to Frankfurt via Brussels...

High-speed Eurostar trains link London with Brussels in just 2 hours.  From Brussels, there high-speed ICE trains to Frankfurt taking just 3 hours 15 minutes, or you can take a more frequent high-speed Thalys train to Cologne and change there for an ICE to Frankfurt.  London-Frankfurt by Eurostar & ICE starts at just €59.90 each way, booked online at www.bahn.de.  However, although the high-speed line from Cologne to Frankfurt cuts a 2-hour journey to just 1 hour, you may prefer the old scenic route running right along the Rhine Valley, past cliffs and castles and the fabled Lorelei Rock.  If so, ask when booking, or simply check times from Cologne to Frankfurt yourself at www.bahn.de, entering Koblenz in the 'via' box to get a Rhine Valley journey.  Watch the London to Frankfurt video.

ICE3 second class ICE3 first class High-speed ICE3 train from Brussels to Frankfurt

ICE3 2nd class.  All seats in both classes have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

ICE3 1st class, with real leather seats.  Staff provide at-seat service of drinks & food.

The 12:25 ICE to Frankfurt waits to leave Brussels Midi.  More info about ICE.

 London ► Frankfurt  (via Brussels)

 Eurostar, 30 minute check-in

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

  06:47*

08:54

08:54

10:58

12:58

15:04

08:58

10:58

12:58

12:58

16:04

08:58

11:04

12:58

15:04

 Brussels Midi

arrive

 10:07*

12:05

12:05

14:05

16:08

18:05

12:08

14:05

16:08

16:08

19:05

12:08

14:05

16:08

18:05

 Change at Brussels onto a high-speed Thalys train to Cologne or a direct ICE train from Brussels to Frankfurt, marked 'c', see tip about short cut...

 Brussels Midi

depart

 10:25c

 12:25c Fri

13:28

  14:25c

17:28

 18:25c

13:28

  14:25c

17:28

 18:25c

19:28

  12:25c

  14:25c

  16:25c

 18:25c

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

|

|

15:15

|

19:15

|

15:15

 |

19:15

|

21:15

|

|

|

|

 Change at Cologne onto an ICE train, except for trains marked 'c' which are direct Brussels to Frankfurt ICE trains with no need to change.

 Cologne Hbf

depart

|

|

15:28

|

19:53

|

15:28

|

19:53

|

21:28

|

|

|

|

 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf

arrive

 13:24c

 15:30c Fri

16:30

17:30c

22:13

21:30c

16:30

 17:41c

22:13

 21:30c

22:30

 15:30c

 17:41c

 19:25c

 21:30c

How to read these timetables...  Each column is a service, and you read downwards.  There's normally a change of trains at each of the grey bars.

* On Mondays & Fridays the 06:47 Eurostar runs EARLIER, leaving London 06:13, arriving Brussels 09:22.

** Runs from 8 April 2017 onwards.

Fri = Runs on Fridays only.

c = by direct high-speed ICE train between Brussels & Frankfurt, with Sparpreis London fares from €59.90 available from London to Frankfurt via this service, watch the London to Frankfurt video 3D virtual tour.  Other Brussels-Cologne trains are Thalys.

Map of Frankfurt showing the Hauptbahnhof (Hbf)    Hbf = Hauptbahnhof, meaning main station.

Evening departure from London & overnight stop in Brussels?  You can also catch an evening Eurostar to Brussels, stay overnight, continue next morning. For space reasons, this isn't shown here, but you can easily check times & prices using the Sparpreis London links below

What are Eurostar trains like?   What are Thalys trains like?   What are ICE trains like?   3D tour ICE 2nd class   3D tour ICE restaurant car 

You can double-check these train times using www.bahn.de.   See Brussels Midi station information & advice on changing trains there.  If you have a first class ticket you can use the DB Lounge at Frankfurt.

 Frankfurt ► London  (via Brussels)

 Direct ICE train Frankfurt to Brussels...

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 Frankfurt am Main Hbf

depart

 06:29c

 08:16c

 10:29c

 14:29c

15:10

 06:29c

 08:16c

 10:29c

 14:29c

15:10

 06:29c

 10:16c

 14:29c

15:10

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

 |

 |

|

 |

16:14

|

 |

 |

|

16:14

 |

|

|

16:14

 Change at Cologne, except for trains marked 'c' which are direct Frankfurt to Brussels ICE trains with no need to change...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

 |

 |

|

 |

16:43

|

 |

 |

|

16:43

 |

|

 |

16:43

 Brussels Midi

arrive

 09:35c

 11:35c

 13:35c

 17:35c

18:32

 09:35c

 11:35c

 13:35c

 17:35c

18:32

 09:35c

 13:35c

 17:35c

18:32

 Change trains at Brussels onto Eurostar.  Remember the 30 minute check-in...

 Brussels Midi

depart

10:56

12:52

14:56

18:56

19:52

  10:56**

12:52

14:56

19:52

19:52

11:56

14:52

18:56

19:52

 London St Pancras

arrive

11:57

14:05

16:05

19:57

21:03

  12:57**

14:05

16:05

21:03

21:03

12:57

16:05

19:57

21:03

How to buy tickets...

There are several different ways to buy tickets from London to Frankfurt, and as each works in a different way with different prices & quotas, it's a good idea to try each of them.

  An ICE train to Cologne boarding at Brussels Midi
 

An ICE to Frankfurt boarding in Brussels...

  Lunch aboard the ICE to Cologne
 

Lunch in the bistro, served on proper china...

1)  First check for a DB Sparpreis ticket from €59.90...

Before you do anything else, check the German Railways (DB) website for cheap Sparpreis London fares between London and anywhere in Germany, including Frankfurt, using the special links below.  Only journeys using ICE between Brussels and Cologne can be booked this way, not Thalys.  All you need to do is enter your date of travel.  I recommend buying a round trip as two one-ways, as it's easier to see where the availability is.  It's also good to register, so you can log in and reprint tickets as necessary.  Booking normally opens 92 days before departure, but this is progressively being extended to 6 months before departure.

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets from London to Frankfurt:

(just select a link & enter your date of travel)

Departing London at 06:13 or 06:47 Mondays-Fridays or 06:57 Saturdays

Departing London at 08:54 on Fridays or 08:58 on Sundays

Departing London at 10:58 Mondays-Saturdays or 11:04 Sundays

Departing London at 12:58 Saturdays

Departing London at 12:58 Sundays

Departing London at 15:04 Mondays-Fridays & Sundays

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri or 20:03 Sundays with 06:25 onwards (often cheapest departure, overnight in Brussels required, suggest Ibis Brussels Midi)

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:03 Sun as above, but with more civilised 08:24 departure from Brussels next morning.

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:03 Sun as above, but with more leisurely 10:25 departure from Brussels next morning.

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets from Frankfurt to London:

(just select a link & enter your date of travel)

Departing Frankfurt at 06:29 any day

Departing Frankfurt at 08:16 any day

Departing Frankfurt at 10:29 Mon-Sat or 10:16 Sundays

Departing Frankfurt at 14:29 any day

About these Sparpreis London tickets:  These excellent Sparpreis London tickets start at €59.90 each way 2nd class or €109.90 1st class from London to anywhere in Germany.  That price includes Eurostar to Brussels, a superb German ICE train to Cologne and onward trains to your final destination, all on one ticket.  You'll only find these Sparpreis London fares on services which use the German ICE train between Brussels & Cologne (marked with a 'c' in the timetable above), they aren't available on Thalys trains.  Availability is limited and these Sparpreis London fares which can sell out.  And it can't sell tickets of any sort for Eurostar+Thalys.  Incidentally, note that when using www.bahn.de, you often need to put Brussels South Stn in the 'via' box and either 01:00 or 02:00 in the 'stopover' box to force the journey planner to find the ICE connection (and so offer the cheap Sparpreis London fares) rather than a more immediate Thalys connection.  I've set up the 'check for cheap tickets' links above to include the necessary fiddle factor for each specific departure, so you don't need to worry about it, as long as you use the right link for the right departure.  If you find a cheap ticket using the links above then great, if not (or if you want a Eurostar+Thalys service), move swiftly on to the normal 'How to buy tickets' section below...

2)  Then check for a special Eurostar through fare at www.eurostar.com...

3)  Or buy tickets at www.b-europe.com

4)  Or book each train separately for maximum flexibility...

You can of course book each train separately, and this usually gets you maximum control and maximum ability to choose seating options as you're booking each train with it's own operator.  If your chosen journey involves a direct ICE train between Brussels and Frankfurt (marked with a 'c' in the timetable above):

If your chosen journey involves a Thalys train between Brussels and Cologne (trains not marked with a 'c'):

How to buy tickets by phone...

Video guide: London to Frankfurt by Eurostar & ICE...

 

Back to top


London to Nuremberg

High-speed Eurostar trains link London with Brussels in less than 2 hours.  From Brussels, ICE high-speed trains run to Frankfurt in just over 3 hours, watch the video guide.  Change in Frankfurt for Nuremberg (Nürnberg in German).

London ► Nuremberg (option 1)

London ► Nuremberg (option 2)

London ► Nuremberg (option 3)

Other options..

You can in fact take any service from London to Cologne (see the Cologne section above) then use www.bahn.de to find a connecting train from Cologne to Nuremberg.  However, the options shown here are arguably the best, and usually have the cheapest fares.

Nuremberg ► London (option 1)

Nuremberg ► London (option 2)

Nuremberg ► London (option 3)

Buy cheap tickets from London to Nuremberg from €59.90 each way...

Before you do anything else, check the German Railways website for cheap Sparpreis London fares between London and anywhere in Germany, including Berlin, using the special links below.  All you need to do is enter your date of travel.  I recommend buying a round trip as two one-ways, as it's easier to see where the availability is.  Booking normally opens 92 days before departure, but this is progressively being extended to 6 months before departure

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets from London to Nuremberg: 

(just select a link & enter your date of travel)

Departing London at 06:13 or 06:47 Mondays-Fridays or 06:57 Saturdays

Departing London at 08:54 Fridays or 08:58 Sundays

Departing London at 10:58 on Mondays-Saturdays or 11:04 Sundays

Departing London at 12:58 on Saturdays

Departing London at 15:04 any day except Saturdays

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:03 Sun (often cheapest departure, overnight in Brussels required, suggest Ibis Brussels Midi)

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:03 Sun (same as above, but with more leisurely 10:25 departure from Brussels next morning)

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets from Nuremberg to London:

(just select a link & enter your date of travel)

Departing Nuremberg at 06:00 any day

Departing Nuremberg at 08:00 any day

Departing Nuremberg at 12:00, on Saturdays & some other dates

Departing Nuremberg at 12:00 on Mondays-Fridays & Sundays, not certain dates

About these Sparpreis London fares:  These excellent Sparpreis London tickets start at €59.90 each way 2nd class or €109.90 1st class from London to anywhere in Germany.  That price includes Eurostar to Brussels, a superb German ICE train to Cologne and onward trains to your final destination, all on one ticket.  You'll only find these Sparpreis London fares on services which use the German ICE train between Brussels & Cologne (marked with a 'c' in the timetable above), they aren't available on Thalys trains.  Availability is limited and these Sparpreis London fares can sell out.  It can't sell tickets of any sort for Eurostar+Thalys.  Incidentally, note that when using www.bahn.de, you often need to put 'Brussels South Stn' in the 'via' box and either 01:00 or 02:00 in the 'stopover' box to force the journey planner to find the ICE connection (and so offer the cheap Sparpreis London fares) rather than a more immediate Thalys connection.  I've set up the 'check for cheap tickets' links above to include the necessary fiddle factor for each specific departure, so you don't need to worry about it, as long as you use the right link for the right departure.  If you find a cheap ticket using the links above then great, if not (or if you want a Eurostar+Thalys service), move swiftly on to the normal 'How to buy tickets' section below...

How to buy tickets online...

If you've tried to find a cheap Sparpreis London fare at bahn.de and can't find one, here's how to book the regular fares:

If your journey involves an ICE between Brussels & Cologne...

If your journey involves a Thalys between Brussels & Cologne, or a Thalys one way and ICE the other, or you're not sure which you want.

How to buy tickets by phone...

Visiting Nuremberg railway museum & pre-war rally grounds...

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London to Osnabrück & Hamburg

Which route to choose?

There are several good options for travel between the UK and Hamburg.

London to Osnabrück, Bremen, Hamburg by train from €59.90...

You can easily travel by train from London to Osnabrück, Bremen or Hamburg in a day, using Eurostar, a high-speed Thalys or ICE train to Cologne, then a comfortable German InterCity train from Cologne to Osnabrück, Bremen or Hamburg.  London to anywhere in Germany starts at just €59.90 each way (or €109.90 in 1st class) if you use one of the daily ICEs between Brussels & Cologne ICE and book at www.bahn.de.  For more information, read on...

German InterCity train   InterCity 2nd class   InterCity 1st class (6-seat compartment type)

Most Cologne-Hamburg trains are InterCity trains, a few are high-speed ICEs.  Virtual tour of InterCity train...

 

InterCity 2nd class.  You'll also find a few compartment coaches on InterCity trains, and a bistro or restaurant car...

 

InterCity 1st class, often available in both open-plan saloons like this and in compartments.

 London ► Osnabrück, Bremen, Hamburg

 Eurostar (30 minute check-in)  

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

 London St Pancras

depart

 06:47*

08:54

08:54

10:58

12:58

15:04

19:34

06:57

08:58

10:58

12:58

16:04

19:04

 Brussels Midi

arrive

 10:07*

12:05

12:05

14:05

16:08

18:08

22:38

10:05

12:08

14:05

16:08

19:05

22:08

 Change in Brussels onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c), see tip about short cut...

 Brussels Midi

depart

  10:25 c

 12:25 c Fri

13:28 t

 14:25 c

17:28 t

  18:25 c

  06:25 c

  10:25 c

13:28 t

 14:25 c

17:28 t

  19:25 t

  08:25 c

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

  12:15 c

 14:15 c Fri

15:15 t

 16:15 c

19:15 t

  20:15 c

  08:15 c

  12:15 c

15:15 t

 16:15 c

19:15 t

  21:15 t

  10:15 c

 Change in Cologne onto an IC or ICE train...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

13:09

15:09

16:14

17:10

20:10

07:09

09:09

13:10

16:14

17:10

20:10

07:09

11:09

 Osnabrück

arrive

15:21

17:21

|

19:21

22:21

09:21

11:21

15:21

|

19:21

22:21

09:21

13:21

 Bremen

arrive

16:15

18:15

|

20:15

23:16

10:14

12:15

16:15

|

20:15

23:16

10:14

14:14

 Hamburg (Hbf)

arrive

17:13

19:13

19:46

21:13

00:14

11:12

13:13

17:13

19:46

21:13

00:14

11:12

15:11

 London ► Osnabrück, Bremen, Hamburg

 Eurostar (30 minute check-in) 

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

08:58

11:04

12:58

14:04

15:04

20:03

 Brussels Midi

arrive

12:08

14:05

16:08

17:05

18:08

23:05

 Change in Brussels onto a Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c)...

 Brussels Midi

depart

 12:25 c

 14:25 c

 16:25 c

17:28 t

  18:25 c

  06:25 c

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

 14:15 c

 16:15 c

 18:15 c

19:15 t

  20:15 c

  08:15 c

 Change in Cologne onto an IC or ICE train...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

14:38

17:10

19:10

20:10

07:09

09:08

 Osnabrück

arrive

16:56

19:21

21:21

22:21

09:21

11:21

 Bremen

arrive

17:54

20:15

22:16

23:16

10:14

12:15

 Hamburg (Hbf)

arrive

18:49

21:13

23:14

00:14

11:12

13:13

How to read these timetables...  Each column is a service, and you read downwards.  There's a change of trains at each of the grey bars.

* On Mondays & Fridays the 06:47 Eurostar runs EARLIER, leaving London 06:13, arriving Brussels 09:22.

Fri = Runs on Fridays only.

c = by high-speed German ICE train, with Sparpreis London from €59.90 available from London to anywhere in Germany.

t = by high-speed Thalys train.

Shaded = time-effective journey with overnight hotel stop in Brussels or Cologne.

By all means choose an earlier Eurostar outbound or a later morning one westbound.

In Brussels I recommend the Ibis Brussels Midi just across the road from the station or the Pullman Hotel Brussels Midi, a more upmarket option above the station itself. In Cologne, try the Breslauer Hof Am Dom, Hotel Domspitzen, CityClass Hotel Europa am Dom, Hilton Cologne, Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom.

Map of Hamburg showing the Hauptbahnhof   Hbf = Hauptbahnhof = main station.  If you have a first class ticket you can use the DB Lounges at Cologne, Bremen & Hamburg.

What is Eurostar like?    What are Thalys trains like?    What are ICE trains like?    What are IC trains like?

Brussels Midi station information & advice on changing trains there.   You can check these train times at www.bahn.de.

 Hamburg, Bremen, Osnabrück ► London

 IC or ICE train

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

 Hamburg Hbf

depart

04:42

06:46

07:46

10:46

11:46

14:46

18:46

04:42

06:46

07:46

10:46

11:46

14:46

18:46

 Bremen

depart

05:40

07:44

08:44

11:44

12:44

15:44

19:44

05:40

07:44

08:44

11:44

12:44

15:44

19:44

 Osnabrück

depart

06:37

08:37

09:37

12:37

13:37

16:37

20:37

06:37

08:37

09:37

12:37

13:37

16:37

20:37

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

08:50

10:50

11:46

14:50

15:46

18:50

22:50

08:50

10:50

11:46

14:50

15:46

18:50

22:50

 Change in Cologne onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c)...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

  09:43 c

  11:43 c

  12:44 t

  15:42 c

  16:43 t

  19:43 c

  07:43 c

  09:43 c

  11:43 c

  12:44 t

 15:42 c

  16:43 t

  19:43 c

  07:43 c

 Brussels Midi

arrive

  11:35 c

  13:35 c

  14:32 t

  17:35 c

  18:32 t

  21:35 c

  09:35 c

  11:35 c

  13:35 c

  14:32 t

 17:35 c

  18:32 t

  21:35 c

  09:35 c

 Change trains onto Eurostar.  Remember the 30 minute check-in...

 Brussels Midi

depart

12:52

14:56

16:56

18:56

19:52

07:56

10:56

12:52

14:56

16:56

19:52

19:52

08:52

11:56

 London St Pancras

arrive

14:05

16:05

18:10

19:57

21:03

08:57

11:57

14:05

16:05

18:09

21:03

21:06

09:57

12:57

 Hamburg, Bremen, Osnabrück ► London

 IC or ICE train

Sundays

 Hamburg Hbf

depart

06:46

07:46

10:46

11:46

14:46

18:46

 Bremen

depart

07:44

08:44

11:44

12:44

15:44

19:44

 Osnabrück

depart

08:37

09:37

12:37

13:37

16:37

20:37

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

10:50

11:46

14:50

15:46

18:50

22:50

 Change in Cologne onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c)...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

  11:43 c

  12:44 t

  15:42 c

  16:43 t

  19:43 c

  07:43 c

 Brussels Midi

arrive

  12:35 c

  14:32 t

  17:35 c

  18:32 t

  21:35 c

  09:35 c

 Change trains onto Eurostar.  Remember the 30 minute check-in...

 Brussels Midi

depart

14:52

15:56

18:56

19:52

07:56

10:56

 London St Pancras

arrive

16:05

16:57

19:57

21:03

08:57

11:57

How much does it cost?  London to Hamburg from €59.90...

How to buy tickets online...

Other ways to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone...

Holidays & short breaks to Germany by train...

Back to top


London to Stuttgart & Munich

Which route to choose?

There are several good options for travel between the UK and Stuttgart or Munich:

Option 1:  London to Stuttgart & Munich by TGV from Paris...

The TGV-Est high-speed line opened in June 2007 with a final section opening in July 2016.  Impressive 200mph double-deck TGV Duplex trains now link Paris & Stuttgart in 3 hours 9 minutes at up to 320km/h (200 mph), with one a day going direct to Munich - watch the video guide.  This makes for a fast and easy train journey from London.  Make sure you select a top deck seat for the best views.  There's a cafe-bar on board and all seats have power sockets for laptops and mobiles.

 London ► Stuttgart, Munich  (via Paris)

 Eurostar - 30 min check-in

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

05:40

09:24

10:24

12:24

20:01

06:18

09:24

13:31

20:01

09:24

10:24

12:24

20:01

 Paris Gare du Nord

arrive

09:17

12:47

13:47

15:47

23:17

09:47

12:47

16:47

23:17

12:47

13:47

15:47

23:17

 It's a 10 min walk to the Gare de l'Est for TGV Duplex to Stuttgart & Munich...

 Paris Gare de l'Est

depart

10:54

13:55

15:55

17:55

06:40

10:55

13:55

17:55

06:40

13:55

15:55

17:55

06:40

 Stuttgart Hbf

arrive

14:04

17:04

19:04

21:04

09:48

14:04

17:04

21:04

09:48

17:04

19:04

21:04

09:48

 Stuttgart Hbf

depart

 14:13*

 17:12*

19:22

 21:12*

 09:58*

 14:13*

 17:12*

21:12

 09:58*

 17:12*

19:22

 21:12*

 09:58*

 Ulm

arrive

 15:09*

 18:09*

20:16

 22:09*

 10:55*

 15:09*

 18:09*

22:07

 10:55*

 18:09*

20:16

 22:09*

 10:55*

 Augsburg

arrive

 15:55*

 18:55*

21:00

 21:55*

 11:40*

 15:55*

 18:55*

22:55

 11:40*

 18:55*

21:00

 21:55*

 11:40*

 Munich Hbf

arrive

 16:27*

 19:27*

21:36

 23:29*

 12:11*

 16:27*

 19:27*

23:29

 12:11*

 19:27*

21:36

 23:29*

 12:11*

How to read these timetables...  Each column is a service, and you read downwards.  There's a change of trains at each of the grey bars.

* = change in Stuttgart.  The Paris-Munich train without any asterisks is direct.

Shaded = time-effective journey with overnight hotel stop in Paris.  Suggested hotels near Gare du Nord & Gare de l'EstBy all means choose an earlier Eurostar outbound or a later morning one westbound.

Eurostar times may vary slightly, so always double-check when booking.

 Munich, Stuttgart ► London  (via Paris)

 TGV Duplex train to Paris...

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 Munich Hbf

depart

-

06:23

 07:46*

 11:47*

 15:47*

-

06:28

 07:46*

 15:47*

06:28

 07:46*

 11:47*

 15:47*

 Augsburg

depart

-

06:56

 08:17*

 12:17*

 16:17*

-

07:05

 08:17*

 16:17*

07:05

 08:17*

 12:17*

 16:17*

 Ulm

depart

-

07:42

 09:04*

 13:04*

 17:03*

-

07:50

 09:04*

 17:03*

07:50

 09:04*

 13:04*

 17:03*

 Stuttgart Hbf

arrive

-

08:39

 09:59*

 13:59*

 17:59*

-

08:47

 09:59*

 17:59*

08:47

 09:59*

 13:59*

 17:59*

 Stuttgart Hbf

depart

06:54

08:54

10:54

14:54

18:54

06:54

08:54

10:54

18:54

08:54

10:54

14:54

18:54

 Paris Gare de l'Est

arrive

10:05

12:05

14:05

18:05

22:05

10:05

12:05

14:05

22:05

12:05

14:05

18:05

22:05

 10 min walk to the Gare du Nord for Eurostar - remember the 30 minute check-in...

 Paris Gare du Nord

depart

11:13

13:13

15:13

19:13

07:13

11:13

13:13

15:13

08:13

13:13

15:13

19:13

07:13

 London St Pancras

arrive

12:39

14:39

16:39

20:39

08:32

12:39

14:39

16:39

09:30

14:30

16:39

20:39

08:32

 

 How much does it cost?

 1. London to Paris

     by Eurostar:

 From £44 one-way, £58 return 2nd class.

 From £112 one-way, £168 return 1st class.  Child & youth fares 

 

 2. Paris to Stuttgart

     or Munich by TGV:

 From €39 each way in 2nd class.

 From €69 each way in 1st class.

 Price varies, book in advance to get these fares. Full price €139 each way.

 If you book at www.bahn.de, accompanied children under 15 go free.

How to buy tickets online at www.loco2.com...

How to buy tickets online at www.eurostar.com + www.bahn.de...

How to buy tickets by phone...

What's the journey like?

From London to Paris by Eurostar: See the Eurostar page for photos & information about Eurostar.

From Paris to Munich by TGV Duplex...         Click for video guide

Sit back with a glass of red and enjoy the ride - book an upper deck seat for the best views.  The train is equipped with power sockets for laptops & mobiles at all seats in both classes, and a cafe-bar serves drinks, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.  The train soon leaves the Paris suburbs behind and speeds across a vast wide open plateau of woods & farmland at up to 200mph, past picturesque French villages of the Champagne region.  An hour or two later, the train leaves the high-speed line and slowly meanders through pretty wooded hills, the countryside eventually flattening out towards Strasbourg.  On leaving Strasbourg, look out for Strasbourg cathedral on the left with its famously missing second tower.  Minutes afterwards you rumble across the river Rhine into Germany, before heading on to Stuttgart & Munich.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est   Upper deck second class on board a TGV Duplex.

TGV Duplex at Paris Est. These impressive 200 mph double-deck trains link Paris with Nice, Marseille, Munich, Barcelona & Switzerland...

 

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

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

The cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved hot dishes....

 

2nd class seats, this is upper deck seating.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.

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.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.

Back to top


Option 2:  London to Stuttgart & Munich via ICE from Brussels, from €59.90.

ICE3 second class ICE3 first class High-speed ICE3 train at Cologne

ICE3 2nd class.  All seats in both classes have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

ICE3 1st class, with real leather seats.  Staff provide at-seat service of drinks & food.

An ICE3 at Cologne Hauptbahnhof, used on the trains to Munich.  More info about ICE.

 London ► Stuttgart, Ulm, Munich  (via Brussels)

 Eurostar - 30 min check-in

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

 London St Pancras

depart

  06:47*

08:54

10:58

12:58

15:04

15:04

19:34

06:57

08:58

10:58

12:58

12:58

16:04

16:04

19:04

 Brussels Midi

arrive

 10:07*

12:05

14:05

16:08

18:05

18:08

22:38

10:05

12:08

14:05

16:08

16:08

19:05

19:08

22:08

 Change in Brussels onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c), see tip about short cut...

 Brussels Midi

depart

10:25c

13:28t

14:25c

17:28t

 18:25c

18:25c

06:25c

10:25c

13:28t

14:25c

17:28t

 18:25c

19:28t

18:25c

06:25c

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

|

15:15t

  |

19:15t

 20:15c

20:15c

  |

|

15:15t

  |

19:15t

 20:15c

21:15t

20:15c

  |

 Frankfurt Main Hbf

arrive

13:24c

-

17:30c

-

 -

-

09:24c

13:24c

-

17:41c

-

 -

-

-

09:24c

 Change in either Cologne or Frankfurt onto a high-speed ICE train...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

-

15:55

-

19:57

21:55

05:55

 

-

15:56

-

19:57

21:55

21:55

05:55

 

 Frankfurt Main Hbf

depart

13:50

|

17:50

|

|

|

09:50

13:50

|

17:50

|

|

|

|

09:50

 Mannheim

arrive

14:27

17:23

18:27

21:23

23:37

07:23

10:27

14:27

17:23

18:27

21:23

23:37

23:37

07:23

10:27

 Stuttgart

arrive

15:08

18:08

19:08

22:08

00:56

08:08

11:08

15:08

18:08

19:08

22:08

00:56

00:56

08:08

11:08

 Ulm

arrive

16:07

19:07

20:07

23:07

-

09:07

12:07

16:07

19:07

20:07

23:07

-

-

09:07

12:07

 Augsburg

arrive

16:53

19:53

20:53

23:52

-

09:53

12:53

16:53

19:53

20:53

23:52

-

-

09:53

12:53

 Munich

arrive

17:27

20:27

21:27

00:27

-

10:27

13:27

17:27

20:27

21:27

00:27

-

-

10:27

13:27

 London ► Stuttgart, Ulm, Munich  (via Brussels)

 Eurostar - 30 min check-in

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

08:58

08:58

11:04

12:58

14:04

15:04

15:04

20:03

 Brussels Midi

arrive

12:08

12:08

14:05

16:08

17:05

18:05

18:08

23:08

 Change in Brussels onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c)...

 Brussels Midi

depart

12:25c

13:28t

14:25c

16:25c

17:28t

18:25c

  18:25 c

  06:25 c

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

  |

15:15t

  |

  |

19:15t

20:15c

  20:15 c

  |

 Frankfurt Main Hbf

arrive

15:30c

-

17:41c

19:25c

-

 -

-

  09:24 c

 Change in either Cologne or Frankfurt onto a high-speed ICE train...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

-

15:55

-

-

19:57

21:55

05:55

 

 Frankfurt Main Hbf

depart

15:54

|

17:50

19:54

|

|

|

09:50

 Mannheim

arrive

|

17:23

18:27

|

21:23

23:37

07:23

10:27

 Stuttgart

arrive

|

18:08

19:08

|

22:08

00:40

08:08

11:08

 Ulm

arrive

|

19:08

20:07

|

23:07

-

09:07

12:07

 Augsburg

arrive

|

19:53

20:53

|

23:52

-

09:53

12:53

 Munich

arrive

19:07

20:27

21:27

23:07

00:27

-

10:27

13:27

How to read these timetables...  Each column is a service, and you read downwards.  There's a change of trains at each of the grey bars.

* On Mondays & Fridays the 06:47 Eurostar runs EARLIER, leaving London 06:13, arriving Brussels 09:22.

c = by high-speed German ICE train, Sparpreis London fares from €59.90 available from London to anywhere in Germany, watch the London to Frankfurt video

m = change trains at Mannheim.

t = by high-speed Thalys train.

Shaded = time-effective journey with overnight hotel stop in Brussels, Cologne or Frankfurt.

By all means choose an earlier Eurostar outbound or a later morning one westbound.

In Brussels, try the Ibis Brussels Midi just across the road from the station or the Pullman Hotel Brussels Midi, a more upmarket option above the station itself.  In Cologne, try the Breslauer Hof Am Dom, Hotel Domspitzen, CityClass Hotel Europa am Dom, Hilton Cologne, Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom.

Always check times for your date of travel using www.bahn.de.  There are additional Cologne-Munich trains running via Nuremberg, not shown here.

Hbf = Hauptbahnhof = main station.  If you have a first class ticket you can use the DB Lounges at Cologne, Stuttgart & Munich.

Brussels Midi station information & advice on changing trains there.    Map of Munich showing the station

What is Eurostar like?    What are Thalys trains like?    What are ICE trains like?  

 Munich, Ulm, Stuttgart ► London  (via Brussels)

 ICE train

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

 Munich

depart

04:49

06:29

07:27

10:28

11:28

14:28

17:27

04:49

06:51

07:27

10:28

11:28

14:28

17:27

 Augsburg

depart

|

07:06

08:03

11:03

12:03

15:03

18:03

|

|

08:03

11:03

12:03

15:03

18:03

 Ulm

depart

|

07:51

08:50

11:51

12:51

15:51

18:51

|

|

08:50

11:51

12:51

15:51

18:51

 Stuttgart

depart

|

08:51

09:51

12:51

13:51

16:51

19:51

|

|

09:51

12:51

13:51

16:51

19:51

 Mannheim

depart

|

09:32

10:36

13:31

14:36

17:32

20:36

|

|

10:35

13:31

14:36

17:32

20:36

 Frankfurt Main Hbf

arrive

08:04

10:08

|

14:08

|

18:08

|

08:04

10:04

|

14:08

|

18:08

|

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

-

-

12:05

  -

16:05

-

22:05

-

-

12:05

  -

16:05

-

22:05

 Change in Frankfurt or Cologne onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c)...

 Frankfurt Hbf

depart

 08:16c

 10:29c

-

  14:29c

-

 18:29c

-

 08:16c

 10:29c

-

 14:29c

-

 18:29c

-

 Cologne Hbf

depart

|

|

 12:44t

  |

 16:43t

 |

 07:43c

|

|

 12:44t

  |

 16:43t

 |

 07:43c

 Brussels Midi

arrive

 11:35c

 13:35c

 14:32t

  17:35c

 18:32t

 21:35c

 09:35c

 11:35c

 13:35c

 14:32t

 17:35c

 18:32t

 21:35c

 09:35c

 Change onto Eurostar in Brussels - remember the 30 minute check-in...

 Brussels Midi

depart

12:52

14:56

16:56

18:56

19:52

07:56

10:56

12:52

14:56

16:56

19:52

19:52

08:52

11:56

 London St Pancras

arrive

14:05

16:05

18:06

19:57

21:03

08:57

11:57

14:05

16:05

18:03

21:03

21:03

09:57

12:57

 Munich, Ulm, Stuttgart ► London  (via Brussels)

 ICE train

Sundays

 Munich

depart

06:51

07:27

10:28

11:28

14:28

17:27

 Augsburg

depart

|

08:03

11:03

12:03

15:03

18:03

 Ulm

depart

|

08:50

11:51

12:51

15:51

18:51

 Stuttgart

depart

|

09:51

12:51

13:51

16:51

19:51

 Mannheim

depart

|

10:35

13:31

14:36

17:32

20:36

 Frankfurt Main Hbf

arrive

10:04

|

14:08

|

18:08

|

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

-

12:05

  -

16:05

-

22:05

 Change in Frankfurt or Cologne onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c)...

 Frankfurt Hbf

depart

  10:16 c

-

  14:29 c

-

 18:29 c

-

 Cologne Hbf

depart

|

 12:44 t

  |

 16:43 t

 |

 07:43 c

 Brussels Midi

arrive

  13:35 c

 14:32 t

  17:35 c

 18:32 t

 21:35 c

 09:35 c

 Change onto Eurostar in Brussels - remember the 30 minute check-in...

 Brussels Midi

depart

14:52

15:56

18:56

19:52

07:56

10:56

 London St Pancras

arrive

16:05

16:57

19:57

21:03

08:57

11:57

How much does it cost?  London to Munich from €59.90...

How to buy tickets online...

1)  First check for a DB Sparpreis fare from €59.90...

2)  Check for a special Eurostar through fare at www.eurostar.com from £88 each way...

3)  Other ways to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone...

Holidays & short breaks to Germany by train...

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Option 3, London to Munich via the Cologne-Munich sleeperStarting 11 December 2016..

This is a time-effective way to go, though not as fast as using daytime trains.  ÖBB Austrian Railways are starting a new Cologne-Munich sleeper from the timetable change on 11 December 2016, part of their new Nightjet brand.  This is a comfortable Austrian-run Nightjet train and it gives you a the wonderful evening ride along the Rhine Valley.  In the evening light in summer or by moonlight in winter, you'll pass castles and vineyards along the sparkling waters of the Rhine, passing the legendary Lorelei Rock.  You can recognise the Lorelei from the word Lorelei painted in black on a white background just above the water line on the opposite bank, and from the two flags flying on its summit.

London ► Munich

Munich ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone...  UK call 0844 248 248 3, overseas call +44 844 2482483

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Munich Hauptbahnhof...

 

First class lounges at German stations...

Munich Hauptbahnhof

Munich Hauptbahnhof.  Munich's main station is just 15 minutes walk from the Dom (cathedral) & Marienplatz. 

  DB first class lounge, Munich

DB Lounges for first class passengers:  There are first class lounges, usually open 07:00-21:00 daily, with complimentary tea, coffee, soft drinks & WiFi at these main stations:  Berlin, Bremen, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt Main Airport, Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne, Leipzig, Mannheim, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart.  However, they cannot be used by first class railpass holders.

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London to Leipzig & Dresden

London to Leipzig or Dresden by daytime trains from €59.90...

This is the cheapest option, London to Leipzig or Dresden in a single day.  You can of course break up the journey with an overnight stop in Brussels or Cologne if you like.

London ► Leipzig, Dresden

Dresden, Leipzig ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...

How to buy tickets by phone...

Colditz...

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Other destinations in Germany...

  Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria

Neuschwanstein Castle, one of King Ludwig II of Bavaria's fairytale castles.  Find out how to visit it as a day trip from Munich here.

You can get to just about anywhere in Germany by train from London.  If your destination is a small place close to one of the big cities shown on this page such as Berlin, Hamburg or Munich, use the train times on this page to that city then use the German Railways website www.bahn.de to find train times onwards from that city to your final destination.  The German Railways website will also give fares and sell tickets for journeys within Germany.

London to anywhere in Germany, from €59.90 each way...

Neuschwanstein: Bavaria's fairytale castle...

Colditz...

Berchtesgaden, Obersalzberg & Eagle's Nest...

Holidays & short breaks to Germany by train...

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London to Germany via Harwich 

  Boarding the Stena Line ferry from Harwich to Hoek van Holland for Amsterdam

London to the Netherlands by Dutch Flyer train & ferry...  A train takes you from London's Liverpool Street station directly to the ferry terminal at Harwich.  You walk off the train, into the terminal, get your boarding card & cabin key at the Stena Line check-in desk and walk straight onto the overnight ferry to Hoek van Holland.  The new superferry Stena Hollandica is the largest ferry of its kind in the world.  See the Netherlands page and see the video...

  Captain's suite deluxe cabin on the Stena Line ferry 'Stena Hollandica'

Cosy cabins:  The overnight Harwich-Hoek ferry is a floating hotel.  All passengers travel in a cosy private cabin with en suite shower & toilet and satellite TV.  This is a Captain's class cabin...

  ICE train from the Netherlands to Germany at Frankfurt hauptbahnhof

Onwards to Germany by ICE high-speed train:  At Hoek van Holland, you walk off the ship, through passport control and straight onto the station for the frequent Sprinter train to Rotterdam.  Change in Rotterdam for a train to Amsterdam or Utrecht, change there for a train to Germany.  This is a superb German ICE train at Frankfurt am Main Hauptbahnhof...

The ferry alternative...

You might prefer to travel by train & ferry to reach Germany, for example to avoid the Channel Tunnel if problems affect the Eurostar service or if you suffer from claustrophobia.  This route is handy if you live in East Anglia as you can travel direct to Harwich avoiding London, and it also avoids France and Belgium, if the French or Belgians are on strike again!  Indeed, you may simply like the idea of cruising overnight on the Stena Line superferry in a luxury en suite cabin with shower, toilet & satellite TV, then travelling on by daytime train to Germany next morning - see the video!  If you need to travel at very short notice when cheap Eurostar tickets are unavailable, the rail & sail option may still be affordable. The train & ferry route via Harwich & Hoek of Holland is one of the routes shown in dark blue on the route map above.  Here's how to do it:

London, East Anglia & Harwich ► Germany

Germany ► Harwich, East Anglia & London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets online...

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Scotland & the North to Germany 

  DFDS Seaways ferry 'Princess of Norway' about to sail from Newcastle.

DFDS Seaways Princess of Norway about to sail overnight from Newcastle to Amsterdam...

  A Commodore Deluxe cabin on DFDS Seaways
 

A Commodore deluxe cabin on DFDS ferry King of Scandinavia from Newcastle to Amsterdam, with minibar, satellite TV, shower & toilet.  See the video...

  A standard cabin on DFDS Seaways Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry.

A standard Seaways class cabin with shower & toilet on DFDS Princess of Norway from Newcastle to Amsterdam.

If you live in the North of England or Scotland, option 1 is to take a train up to London and travel from London to Germany as described above.  This may well be the quickest & easiest option.  Here's some advice on buying connecting train tickets to London.  If you live in Scotland, the Caledonian Sleepers will get you up to London in time for a morning Eurostar & onwards trains to Germany.

But consider option 2, by-passing London by taking a luxurious overnight cruise ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam run by DFDS Seaways or a similar overnight ferry from Hull to Rotterdam run by P&O Ferries, then onward trains to Germany.  There are direct trains from Holland to Osnabruck, Hannover, Berlin, Cologne & Frankfurt.  So why not by-pass London by taking the overnight ferry to Holland, perhaps spend some time in Amsterdam, then hop on a train to Germany?

Scotland & the north of England ► Germany

Germany ► Scotland & the north of England

Fares & how to buy tickets...

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Tours to Germany by train

 

020 3327 0761 (UK)

1-888-829-4775 (USA)

1-855-882-2910 (Canada)

1300 971 526 (Aus)

0800 000 554 (NZ)

 

01904 730 727

 

01904 527 120

If you want a holiday to Germany by train, but want someone else to organise all the train tickets & hotels for you, several good specialist companies do just that.  Railbookers offer tailor-made individual holidays with departure on any date you like, whereas Rail Discoveries & Great Rail Journeys offer escorted tours with specific departure dates.

Railbookers holidays & breaks to Germany by train...

Railbookers can custom-make a flight-free holiday or short break to Germany for you, with train travel & hotels, for however long you like, leaving on any date you like.  If you tell them what you want, they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels and sort it all out for you.  They get a lot of repeat business!  For example:

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.co.uk

  US call free 1-888-829-4775, see website.

  Canada call free 1-855-882-2910, see website.

  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, see website

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or see website.

Rail Discoveries, www.raildiscoveries.com, 01904 730 727...

Rail Discoveries offers several train-based escorted tours to Germany, with 3* hotels and travel by Eurostar and onwards high-speed train.  For example, they offer a 5-day tour to the Rhine Valley, or a 6-day Rhine cruise.  Check prices & departure dates at www.raildiscoveries.com, then book online or call 01904 730 727.

Great Rail Journeys, www.greatrail.com, 01904 527 120...

GRJ offers five-star inclusive escorted tours to several areas in Germany, with 1st class train travel and 5* or 4* hotels.  Tours include a 10-day tour to the Rhine Valley and a 12-day tour to Berlin, Dresden, Colditz & Prague, all with overland travel from London by train and a range of departure dates.  Great Rail Journeys also offer holidays by train to other European countries.  Check the tour details online, then call 01904 527120 to book or use their online booking form.

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Rhine Valley cruises

There are two ways to cruise the wonderful Rhine Valley - as an inexpensive day trip on a scheduled KD Lines cruise, or as a multi-day trip on a full-blown cruise ship which you use as a floating hotel, staying on board in en suite cabins.

A day cruise down the Rhine Valley, an inexpensive short break...

Luxury Rhine cruises...

River cruisers with private cabins, restaurants and bars cruise the Rhine on multi-day trips where you live on board and visit locations along the way.

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Send your luggage in advance

Ride the trains without heavy luggage... 

Send your suitcase ahead by Luggage Mule from around £30 each way.

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European Rail Timetable & maps

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineTraveller's Railway Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable) has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team have set up a private venture and published the first edition of a reborn European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online with worldwide shipping at either www.stanfords.co.uk or www.europeanrailtimetable.euMore information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

A Traveller's Railway Map of Europe covers the whole of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  On the back are detailed maps of Switzerland, Benelux & Germany, plus city plans showing stations in major cities.  Scenic & high-speed routes highlighted.  Buy it online for £14.50 + postage worldwide (UK addresses £2.80) at www.stanfords.co.uk/Continents/Europe-A-Travellers-Railway-Map_9789077899090.htm or (in the Netherlands) for €13 + €5.50 postage from www.treinreiswinkel.nl.

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Guidebooks

Highly recommended:  The Lonely Planets & Rough Guides...

Make sure you take a good guidebook.  For independent travel, the best guidebook is either the Lonely Planet or Rough Guide.  Both guidebooks provide an excellent level of practical information and historical and cultural background.  You won't regret buying one!

Click the images to buy at Amazon.co.uk

Rough Guide to Germany - buy online at Amazon.co.uk

 

Lonely Planet Germany - buy online at Amazon.co.uk

 

Click to buy - Lonely Planet Western Europe

Or buy the Lonely Planets from the Lonely Planet website, with shipping worldwide.    Alternatively, you can download just the chapters or areas you need in .PDF format from the Lonely Planet Website, from around £2.99 or US$4.95 a chapter.

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Find hotels in Germany...

    

◄◄ 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 has been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel at a cheaper rate.

►► My recommended booking site:  www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site, and unless HotelsCombined throws up major price differences I prefer doing my bookings in one place here. 

You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a great feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.

Backpacker hostels: www.hostelworld.com...

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Car hire

Take the train to Germany, then hire a car:  www.holidayautos.co.uk

City centres and cars don't mix well, so stick with the train for city-based tours.  But if you want to get out of the cities and into the countryside, hiring a car can be a great idea.  Start by trying Holiday Autos, www.holidayautos.co.uk, they're part of Lastminute.com so are reliable and have a wide range of locations and very good prices.

Compare 50 different car hire companies:  www.carrentals.co.uk

The award-winning www.carrentals.co.uk compares many different car hire companies including Holiday Autos, meaning not only a cheapest price comparison but a wider choice of hire and drop off location.

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Travel insurance & health card

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

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

Never travel without proper travel insurance from a reliable insurer with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover loss of cash & belongings (up to a limit), and trip cancellation.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year - I have an annual policy myself.  However, don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, Seat61 gets a little commission if you buy through these links, and feedback from using insurance for rail & ferry travel is always welcome.

In the UK, use www.confused.com to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

        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.

Get an EU health card, it's free...

If you're a UK citizen travelling in Europe, you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card, which entitles you to free or reduced rate health care if you become ill or get injured in many European countries, under a reciprocal arrangement with the NHS.  This replaced the old E111 forms as from January 2006.  The EHIC card is available from ww.nhs.uk.  It doesn't remove the need for travel insurance, though.

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

Taking out an extra credit card costs nothing, but if you keep it in a different part of your luggage you won't be left stranded if your wallet gets stolen.  In addition, some credit cards are 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.

 


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