Cologne's main station...

Cologne Hauptbahnhof (usually abbreviated in German as Köln Hbf) is the Cologne's main station, located in the heart of Cologne right next to the city's historic cathedral and a few minutes walk from the banks of the Rhine.  First opened in 1859, the station was rebuilt after the war and the current station building dates from 1957.  You can read more about Cologne Hbf and its history at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%B6ln_Hauptbahnhof.

Cologne Messe/Deutz station:  Cologne Messe/Deutz is a secondary station on the other side of the Hohenzollern Railway Bridge across the Rhine from Cologne Hbf, just 400m away.  Frequent suburban trains link the two stations in 3 minutes, but it's usually possible to find simple journey options that only involve Cologne Hbf.

On this page...

  Station layout & finding your train

  Ticket office

  Left luggage, WiFi, ATMs

  First class DB Lounge  

  Food & drink, somewhere to eat

  Hotels near the station

  Local bus & taxi info

 

On other pages....

  Trains from Cologne to other European cities

  Trains from other European cities to Cologne

  General information for European train travel

Station location...

Station layout & finding your train...

Berlin Hbf, exterior

Cologne Hbf, seen from the station square (bahnhofplatz) in front of the station.  This photo is taken standing on the steps up from the station square with my back to the cathedral.  If you're staying in Cologne overnight, the good but inexpensive Ibis Hotel Köln-am-Dom is the building immediately to the left of the glass station facade.

Berlin Hbf, exterior

To take this photo I'm standing next to the tracks with my back to the Hohenzollern Bridge across the Rhine.  You can see how close the cathedral is to the station.  Platform 1 is on the left of the photo, platform 11 on the far right.

Ticket offices...

There is a large DB travel centre (DB ReiseZentrum) selling national & international tickets & reservations, just inside the main entrance.  Note that the DB travel centre doesn't sell  tickets for Thalys trains to Brussels & Paris, for these you must go outside the station to the Thalys Store & More office on the other side of the station square.

Luggage lockers, ATMs, WiFi...

The station has WiFi, but only the first 30 minutes are free.  The network to select is Telekom.

There are various ATMs around the station.

Left luggage is available if you need to store your bags, see the luggage lockers page for prices & opening hours.  Cologne has an innovative left luggage system - self-service left luggage machines (see the centre photo below) take your bag down to underground storage and return it when you key in the code.  It's a bit scary watching your bags disappear, but it does work!  The machines are located in the main passageway outside the DB travel centre (DB ReiseZentrum).

   

An ICE from Brussels arrived at platform 4.

 

Left luggage machine...

 

Train composition poster.

DB First Class Lounge...

If you have a DB long distance 1st class ticket (in other words, for an IC, ICE or EC train, but not for Thalys, Nightjet, regional train, nor a 1st class railpass) you can use the DB first class lounge with complimentary tea, coffee, beer and snacks plus free WiFi.  Highly recommended!  It's located on platform 1, follow the signs to DB Lounge.  It's usually open 07:00-21:00 daily, you can check www.bahn.de for opening times.  If you get any photos of the lounge entrance or interior, please let me know.

Food & drink...

There are plenty of cafes, shops & kiosks in the passageways beneath the platforms for stocking up with food and drink for the journey.  The best place to stock up is the REWE To Go minimarket in the passageway underneath platforms 6 & 7 - look for the large green illuminated To Go sign on the front.

For a meal between trains, there are several places in the station itself including the Schweinske, www.schweinske.de located in the passageway beneath platforms 4 & 5, it's an inexpensive cafe-restaurant chain specialising in pork dishes.  Outside the station, the Malzmuehle restaurant (www.muehlenkoelsch.de) is 13 minutes walk away and has been highly recommended to me (it gets great reviews) but I have yet to try it myself.

Recommended place for a meal:  The excellent Brauhaus Sion, www.brauhaus-sion.de is only 5 minutes walk from the station, see it marked on this map.  It serves hearty German meals and great local beer in a traditional German beer hall.

Food at the Brauhaus Sion   Brauhaus Sion

Dinner at the Brauhaus Sion before the sleeper to Vienna.

 

The Brauhaus Sion, www.brauhaus-sion.de.

Local transportWalking, taxis & buses...

Hotels near the station...

More information...

   

Cologne cathedral is right next to the station.  For a few euros you can climb one of the towers, well worth the effort - the photo above right shows the Hohenzollern Railway Bridge across the Rhine seen from the top of the cathedral tower, with part of the station roof at Cologne Hbf visible at lower left.  For more information see www.koelner-dom.de.

 

The Hohenzollern Railway Bridge across the Rhine, just east of Cologne Hbf, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hohenzollern_Bridge.  You can walk across it as it has a pedestrian walkway.

 

Down by the banks of the Rhine you'll find bars and cafes.  This photo was taken with my back to the Rhine.


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