Cologne's main station:  Click for location & city map...

Cologne Hauptbahnhof (usually written 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 River 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

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.

  Station layout & finding your train

  Tickets & reservations

  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

Cologne 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.

Cologne Hbf, main hall

The main hall, just inside the main entrance.  You can see the main departures board in the photo, with an information point beneath it.  You walk under the departures board into the broad shop-lined passageway under the tracks, with escalators up to each platform.  Or you can turn left immediately after entering the station into the passageway behind the camera for the ticket office and left luggage machines.

Station layout & finding your train...

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.

Tickets & reservations...

There is a large DB travel centre (DB ReiseZentrum) selling national & international tickets & reservations.  Walk through the main station entrance into the main hall and turn immediately left into the passageway shown in the photo below left.  The DB travel centre doesn't sell  tickets for Thalys high-speed trains to Brussels & Paris, for these you must go outside the station to the Thalys Store & More on the opposite side of the station square, see the photo below right.  There are many self-service DB ticket machines all over the station, these have a touch screen and English language facility.

Cologne Hbf ticket office   Thalys Store & More in Cologne

Enter the station & turn immediately left into this passageway to find the ticket office (entrance on the right, behind the Ibis sign)


The Thalys Store & More, more or less directly opposite the station...

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 even if it's a cheap 1st class sparpreis fare, but excluding extra-cheap supersparpreis fares or tickets for Thalys, Nightjet, regional trains, or an InterRail or Eurail pass) you can use the DB first class lounge with complimentary tea, coffee, beer and snacks plus free WiFi.  Highly recommended!  The entrance is on platform 1, follow the signs to DB Lounge.  It's usually open 07:00-21:00 daily, you can check for opening times.

Entrance to DB Lounge at Cologne Hbf   Inside the DB Lounge at Cologne Hbf

Entrance on platform 1.


Inside the DB first class lounge at Cologne Hbf.  Photos courtesy of Tim Parsons.

Food & drink, restaurants & supermarkets...

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, 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 ( is 13 minutes walk away and has been highly recommended to me (it gets great reviews) but I have yet to try it myself.

Another option is to walk 5 minutes down to the river, where there's a long row of beer houses all facing the Rhine.  The area by the river is obviously touristy, with walkers, picnic-ers and drinkers at the many outside tables, but it's a nice place to hang out on a summer evening.  I have eaten at the Delfterhaus ( which was pretty good.

However, my personal recommendation is the excellent Brauhaus Sion, 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,

Restaurants & beer houses in Cologne, down by the Rhine.   Food at the Delfterhaus, Cologne

Row of beer-houses down by the Rhine, including the Delfterhaus...


A dish at the Delfterhaus...

Local transportWalking, taxis & buses...

Hotels at & near the station...

The Hohenzollern Railway Bridge across the Rhine...

The Hohenzollern Railway Bridge crosses the Rhine immediately east of Cologne Hbf, see  You can walk across it as it has a pedestrian walkway.  On the other side of the bridge you'll find Cologne Messe/Deutz station.  Trains between Cologne Hbf and Dusseldorf, Amsterdam, Hamburg & Berlin all cross this bridge on their way into or out of the station.

Cologne cathedral...

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 below 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 & opening times see  Get there early, the tower climb opens at 9am and closes at 4pm, 5pm or 6pm depending on the time of year.


More information...

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