Signed up for GAS tour June 2023. Wondering about flying into Frankfurt and taking high speed train to Cologne from FRA airport. Has anyone done this and was it easy?
You are likely to find nonstop flights from North America to Frankfurt. If you fly to Cologne, you will have to make a connection from elsewhere in Europe. If you fly Lufthansa, and some other airlines, you can buy the ticket with a Rail&Fly option that will let you take any train from Frankfurt Airport to your final destination in Germany.
There are frequent trains from Frankfurt Airport to Cologne. Some use the high-speed tracks and can get you to Cologne in 1 hour. Others take the slower and more scenic route along the Rhine and you can see a lot of the castles on that route. Some trains may also let you off at Koeln-Deutz, across the Rhine from Cologne Hbf, but you just transfer to a quick local train to cross the bridge to the center city.
We flew into Frankfurt and took a train.
We flew into Frankfurt and took the train to St. Goar for a few days before taking the train to Trier where the GAS tour started. We took the KD line boat tours up and down the Rhine. Loved our stay on the Rhine. In September we are traveling independently in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. We are flying in to Frankfurt and taking the train to Cologne. Check out the DB (Deutsche Bahn Railroad) app. It will give you a lot of great information. The trains are fabulous.
We usually fly United, and got a connecting (Lufthansa) flight to Cologne at virtually no cost, using the United website. I consider Cologne to have at least 3 days of attractions, and that's not counting daytrips to places like Dusseldorf. Note that the Rhine around Cologne is not scenic; that is instead, the Middle Rhine.
We flew into Paris, spent a couple of days there, then took the train to Trier for the start of our tour in 2019. I got this idea from the forum! I also see that they changed the location of the start of the GAS tour from Trier to Cologne starting in 2023. Kind of makes me wonder why. It is a great tour though, enjoy!
We often fly United, which is a partner with Lufthansa. We found, one year (visiting Cologne, not meeting a tour), that a connecting flight to Cologne cost nearly zero additional dollars, and was very convenient. Since we fly from the east coast US, we usually arrive too early to get inside our hotel room, so arriving at noon instead is perfectly convenient.
It is true that the air travel system is currently suffering disruption, but we've had several good experiences with Lufthansa connections since then. May people find that Frankfurt has long walks between planes. But it can be a long walk to the rail station, depending on your arrival gate-which is not under your control.
Original poster here. Thanks so much for your kind replies. We are flying Delta, so decided on direct flight to Dusseldorf, with train to Cologne from there. Appreciate your advice.