From Amsterdam to Cologne – A Rhine River Rail Journey

The city of Cologne is a short train ride from Amsterdam. The journey takes only a few hours, and you don’t have to go through passport control as both Netherlands and Germany are members of the Schengen Zone agreement.

There are 13 rides between Amsterdam and Cologne each day, available from Eurolines, Megabus, Regiojet or FlixBus. Check the schedule on Omio to see what suits you best!

1. The Rhine River

The Rhine River is one of Europe’s great rivers and has borne witness to a number of historic events. It has been a vital artery for trade and commerce, as well as the site of many battles and wars. It is also a source of legend and mystery; from the tales of cruel Archbishop Hatto eaten by mice to the story of the Lorelei maid who sat combing her golden hair on a high rocky crag, distracting sailors so they crashed their ships into the shoreline.

Traveling by train from Amsterdam to Cologne is a wonderful way to enjoy this historic and picturesque river trip. The journey is easy and comfortable and allows for plenty of time to relax and enjoy the scenery. On the Rhine, you will experience the historic cities of Cologne, Strasbourg and Heidelberg. Each destination has its own unique charms – from the twin-towered gothic cathedral of Cologne to the medieval houses and winding streets of Strasbourg to the 13th century castles of Heidelberg. In addition, you can explore the vineyards of the region and try a glass of the popular Riesling wine.

There are a variety of different trains that will take you from Amsterdam to Cologne. Some of these will be direct and others will require a transfer along the way. Omio makes it easy to find and compare all options available for this route so you can find the perfect rail travel option for your needs.

When you book your trip with Omio, you can choose from a variety of different train providers including Deutsche Bahn and VIAS Rail GmbH. The average ticket price for this route is $54 (EUR47) but you can often save money by booking in advance. The cheapest tickets start at $19 (EUR16) when booked in advance. For your convenience, you can also select the station that you would like to depart from and the station where you want to be dropped off.

2. The ICE Train

The ICE train is the fastest way to travel between Amsterdam and Cologne. You’ll enjoy a comfortable, smooth ride through the scenic Netherlands and into Germany’s western region with this high-speed train. Book tickets online on our website and enjoy great savings when booking in advance.

On board you’ll find power outlets accessible from every seat as well as air conditioning and free Wi-Fi access. Depending on your ticket class you can also take advantage of the Bordbistro restaurant-bar carriage where you can order and get served hot meals at an additional cost.

Traveling between Amsterdam and Cologne by train is the best option for anyone who wants to save time and travel in comfort. There are around 8 trains each day between the two cities and fares start at just €19 when you book early.

We recommend you book your tickets in advance as prices tend to increase closer to the departure date. Depending on the type of train you want and your preferred departure time we offer different tickets including single, day and group tickets as well as sleeping compartments and couchettes.

For the most convenient and relaxing journey from Amsterdam to Cologne we recommend booking with Deutsche Bahn (DB). Their fast InterCity Express (ICE) trains are designed as an integrated whole allowing them to achieve top speeds of up to 300 km/h on some routes.

Travelling with DB will also give you the added security of knowing that your travel arrangements are 100% financially protected in case anything unexpected happens on your trip. Your payments are safeguarded by the statutory guarantees of the German Train Passengers’ Rights Act and by the European Union’s Package Travel Directive.

If you’re unsure which ticket class to buy for your train from Amsterdam to Cologne, our friendly staff will be happy to help. We’ve put together a handy guide to the various ticket classes and services available so you can make an informed decision about which is best for your needs.

3. The City of Cologne

As you float along the river, enjoy a one hour panoramic cruise to discover Cologne’s most famous landmarks and sights such as Cologne Cathedral (Dom zu Koln). Cologne is also known for its party spirit and joie de vivre. This is reflected by the vibrant streets, great restaurants, and the infamous Kölsch beer.

Founded by the Romans, the city was an important center for trade and production in the ancient world. Today, it’s home to some of Germany’s most important museums, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site—the stunning Cologne Cathedral.

Cologne’s unique mixture of medieval and modern architecture is a joy to explore. You’ll find plenty of Romanesque churches, a Gothic cathedral, and a Marienkapelle, all within walking distance of each other. You can also visit the neo-classical Elector’s Palace, and see a massive copper statue of Emperor Wilhelm I at the Deutsches Eck or German Corner, where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet.

The sculpted figures of Father Rhine and Mother Moselle—representing the fusion of the two rivers—on the promenade near the city center are an especially poignant symbol of the mingling of these two powerful bodies. The imposing Eigelsteintor and Severinstor gates are other highlights of this historic city.

With so much to see and do, you’ll want to spend a few days exploring the enchanting city of Cologne. Luckily, it’s easy to reach from Amsterdam by train. The trip takes on average 2 h 36 min and is best booked well in advance to ensure availability of your preferred dates.

There are several direct trains that run daily from Amsterdam to Cologne, and they all depart from Amsterdam Centraal and arrive at Köln Hauptbahnhof station in central Cologne. Train tickets typically cost around $54 (EUR47) and are sold by Deutsche Bahn or VIAS Rail GmbH. Using Omio, you can easily compare prices and book your ticket in just a few clicks.

The most popular departures are the ICE trains, but there are also several Intercity and IC trains that make stops along the way. To save time, you can also opt for a train with fewer stops, but this may cost a bit more.

4. The Stay

Whether you’re escaping to the vineyards of Rudesheim, strolling the canals of Amsterdam or enjoying the medieval architecture of Cologne, the Rhine River is a treasure trove for all who visit. Take a river cruise to discover the allure of these remarkable cities or embark on a rail journey that reveals the splendour of this grand old river from the comfort of your train seat. The best way to experience the Rhine is by boat, cruising past scenic valley gorges and historic halftimbered towns as you soak up the beauty of this grand old river.

Taking a bus ride from Amsterdam to Cologne can be an affordable and enjoyable option. Eurolines, Megabus, Semitimes and Regiojet operate a variety of direct bus services every day. The first bus leaves as early as 7:00 am and the last service departs at 10:30 pm, so there’s plenty of opportunity to pick your ideal departure time. With comfortable seats, free WiFi and miles of stunning scenery on offer, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Flying from Amsterdam to Cologne is another great choice, and fares can be cheaper than you might think if you book ahead. The cheapest month to fly is usually December. You’ll be on the move in no time as you arrive at Cologne Hauptbahnhof, situated right next to the imposing Kölner Dom Cathedral.

If you’d prefer to stay longer, why not opt for a hotel in Cologne? There are plenty of hotels to choose from including the Mondial MGallery Am Dom, which offers an excellent location in the heart of the city. During your stay, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the iconic canals, parks and art galleries, or visit one of the many museums and pubs.

With its stunning cities, rich history and countless pubs and restaurants, Cologne has a lot to offer. There are landmarks to visit, parks to explore and distinct neighborhoods to explore. So, what are you waiting for? Book your trip today and explore this enchanting German city on the banks of the Rhine.

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