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Train Lay Over in Cologne/Koln

Traveling by train though Cologne/Koln on a Sunday in early April. Will be arriving at around noon. Want to visit the Cathedral. How many hours should I budget for the lay over. Booking PTP train tickets. Thanks, Dave

Posted by
252 posts

Hi Dave,
Will you be in a rush to get somewhere else? Any limit to the numbers of hours?
It would be nice if you had enough time to visit the inside and go up all the stairs of the cathedral (really worth it imo). Perhaps a walk into the city closeby and a german meal too...? So half a day at least?

Posted by
12040 posts

If all you want to see is the cathedral, an hour is more than enough time. The cathedral sits right next to the Hauptbahnhof. It will take you longer to store and retrieve your luggage in the interesting mechanical system they use than to walk to the cathedral.

Posted by
17 posts

We are on our way to Cochem arriving in Koln at 12:15. The trains are every hour so I guess my choice is 2 or 3 hours. A 3 hour lay over would get us into Cohem at 5:00. Does that make more sense to spend 3 hours from start to finish? Thank you for your help.

Posted by
16941 posts

3 hours would work in what has become my favorite German city. You might want to add another hour if you want to climb the tower. Another thing to do is take a stroll half way on the railroad bridge over the Rhine that trains from the north and east cross entering the station (the Hohenzollern Bruecke). See if the chain link fence is still covered with "love" locks. Ours is somewhere in the middle.

Posted by
5615 posts

Cologne is worthy of 3-4 hours. Stow your bags at the station and enjoy the place. The cathedral is magnificent. Museums are plentiful. You might be interested in the Documentation Center too:

Doc Center info and reviews

Posted by
854 posts

I think the English tour of the Dom is at 1400 if you're interested. You could walk across the platz to Fruh for a great beer hall lunch.

Posted by
2081 posts

@ Dave,

i was there last Sept and they were doing some renovation work. They had the towers closed on one day, so check if theyre open on your only day there. i was sitting out in the plaza waiting for the towers to open when i went down to the ticket office to find they were closed for the day.

If you have nothing to do for a while, the Roman/germanic museum next door was excellent.

happy trails.

Posted by
6951 posts

You can see the downtown Duomo area in 1/2 day. But why not spend the night. Koln is underrated as a lively city, and they have some great clubs/bars.

If you're traveling south, Bacharach is south of Koln and Koblenz, and is another great layover town. See Bavaria Ben for info on this area--

Posted by
252 posts

Like I said...I suggest staying longer and checking out Koln.
But if you must only spend 2-3hours...YES, you have time to see the cathedral for sure. It is super close to the train station like Tom said.