One of the closest major cities east of the Dutch-German border, Cologne is just 150 miles (240 km) from Amsterdam. The city serves as an excellent entry-point into Germany for travelers, as navigating between the two cities whether it's by train, bus, or car, is both affordable and easy.
Cologne Tourist Information
Cologne is one of Germany's most populated cities, as well as a major tourist destination. With the scent of its namesake, Eau de Cologne circulating through the air, the city welcomes visitors with its distinctive sweet aroma.
Learn the basics of navigating the city and all the best sights and activities with this comprehensive Cologne Travel Guide. If you're bringing the family along, check out the Cologne with Kids guide, and if you're on a budget, articles like Cologne for Free will keep those pennies in your pocket.
Christmastime is a great time to visit Cologne as it is especially atmospheric. The city comes alive each season with holiday decorations on just about every corner and the famous bustling Christmas markets. There are seven in total, and the largest and most well-known market is stationed in front of the iconic Cologne Cathedral.
Cologne is best savored over several days, and there are plenty of hotel and hostel options in the city to suit your needs. This includes an incredibly unique water tower, turned luxury hotel.
Train travel between Amsterdam and Cologne is both a fast and affordable option. The travel time from Amsterdam Central Station is comparable to driving, at just two hours and 40 minutes. It's essential to book your trip two to three months in advance for the most economical fares, and tickets can be purchased on the NS Hispeed website.
Several bus companies serve the route between Amsterdam and Cologne. International coach is roughly half the price of the train, but also half the speed. Eurolines boasts fantastic promotion rates, but they are few and far between, so expect fares to be much higher than promised.
A road trip from Amsterdam to Cologne allows travelers the flexibility to stop at any number of destinations during the 150-mile (240 km) trip at will. This is especially useful given the many small, quaint towns that line the route between the two cities. To make your two and half hour journey as clear as possible, visit ViaMichelin.com to locate detailed directions and calculate trip costs.
While it may be possible to fly between Amsterdam and Cologne on KLM Cityhopper in just one hour, it is by far the most expensive and time-consuming option. Factoring the check-in time plus travel to and from the airport and you'll barely save any time or money at all.