Arriving by Plane
Cologne Bonn Airport (“CGN”, Köln/Bonn Flughafen) is located right outside of Cologne. You can find cheap flights to Cologne Bonn Airport from about everywhere in Europe, as well as from many international airports. A train to Cologne Central Station will cost you about 2,70 EUR. Trains to the central station arrive and depart almost constantly and will take you to there in about 15 minutes.
Düsseldorf Airport (“DUS”) is slightly bigger than Cologne Bonn Airport. Many international flights arrive and depart here daily. Located about 60 km outside of Cologne, a train ride to Cologne Central Station will take about one hour and set you back about 11 EUR, although the fare is often included in your flight if you indicate Cologne as your final destination.
Frankfurt Airport (“FRA”) is Germany’s biggest international airport. Although it is a little further from Cologne than Düsseldorf, a high-speed train will take you to Cologne Central Station in less than an hour. If you are looking for a cheaper option to get from Francfort to Cologne, Flixbus offers a direct connection by bus, which will get you to Cologne within 2 – 3 hours. For more information, refer to the paragraph “Arriving by Bus”.
Depending on where you are arriving from, you may also want to check out airports outside of Germany. Amsterdam and Brussels, for instance, are not too far away and well connected to Cologne via trains and long-distance busses.
Arriving by Train
Cologne is very well connected to Germany’s high-speed train system, which makes it easy to travel here from within Germany. There are also a number of possibilities for coming by train from abroad: Thalys trains, coming to Cologne from Paris over Brussels and Liège, arrive at the central station a couple of times a day. The train system is also connected to neighbouring countries, such as Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands. If you come from a country neighbouring Germany, for environmental reasons we do recommend that you consider arriving by train before you book a flight. Often, travelling by train won’t take considerably more time and is often more convenient.
Arriving by Bus
Cologne is approached by a number of long-distance coaches. The biggest company is Flixbus. Travelling by bus takes longer than a train would, however, it can be considerably cheaper. Please note that the busses do not arrive at Cologne Central Station, but either at Cologne Bonn Airport, south of Cologne, or in Leverkusen, north of Cologne. From both destitations, you’ll be able to reach the central station in 15 – 30 minutes. If you choose to come by bus, make sure to factor in some extra time to account for (at times significant) delays.