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Taking the train from Cologne to Brussels

You can travel by train from Cologne to Brussels in under two hours - it's much faster than the nearly three-hour car journey. Crossing the border from Germany to Belgium by train is completely seamless. The fastest, direct services are operated by Thalys and Deutsche Bahn. Services depart from Cologne main station (Koln Hbf in German) in the centre of the city and arrive in Brussels-Midi (also known as Brussels-Zuid), which is situated in the heart of the Belgian capital.  What easier way to travel to the beating heart of continental Europe?

Once in Brussels there is so much to discover, from the famous Mannequin Pis to the iconic Atomium structure. The historic, UNESCO-protected Grand Place provides an understanding of the city's significant past, whilst the European Parliament proves its importance today. Walk the streets to discover some of Europe's best examples of Art Nouveau architecture, but don't forget to sample Brussel's famous frites and beer along the way.

As the fastest, cheapest and most comfortable way to reach Brussels from Cologne, rail travel takes you to the heart of this unique city.  Want to know more about saving money and travelling in style?  Check out our Journey Planner and journey FAQs below and start your train journey from Cologne to Brussels today.

Köln Hbf to Brussels by train

It takes an average of 2h 20m to travel from Köln Hbf to Brussels by train, over a distance of around 114 miles (183 km). There are normally 15 trains per day travelling from Köln Hbf to Brussels and tickets for this journey start from $19.98 when you book in advance.
Journey timeFrom 1h 52m
PriceFrom $19.98
Distance114 miles (183 km)
Frequency15 trains per day
First train05:44
Last train18:46
Departure stationKöln Hbf
Arrival stationBrussels
ChangesDirect trains available
Train and bus operatorsDeutsche Bahn, Thalys

Köln Hbf to Brussels train times

Check out the next trains departing from Köln Hbf to Brussels for mardi août 10e 2021. For the full train timetable/schedule, or to search for a later time or date, click here.
DepartsArrivesDuration
07:33 09:35 2h 2m, direct
08:42 10:35 1h 53m, direct
08:47 12:00 3h 13m, 2 changes
10:43 12:35 1h 52m, direct
10:47 14:00 3h 13m, 2 changes
12:43 14:35 1h 52m, direct
12:50 16:01 3h 11m, 2 changes
14:43 16:35 1h 52m, direct
15:43 17:35 1h 52m, direct
16:43 18:35 1h 52m, direct

Deutsche Bahn, ICE (Intercity Express) and Thalys trains from Köln Hbf to Brussels

You can travel from Köln Hbf to Brussels on Deutsche Bahn, ICE (Intercity Express) and Thalys trains. When you search for times and tickets, we might also show you some other options with multiple connections or operators if they’re available.

PhotoJoachimKohlerBremen, under licence CC BY-SA 4.0

The Deutsche Bahn Group is owned by the German State and controls the majority of rail traffic in Germany as well as in many border regions of the country. Every year, Deutsche Bahn transports several million passengers and many stations in Germany are served exclusively by DB trains, including the ICE, IC and EC fleet.

PhotoNelso Silva, under licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The high-speed train of Deutsche Bahn, with a maximum speed of 205 mph (330 km/h), the ICE connects major cities and is also used for international travel to neighbouring countries such as Austria, France and Denmark. This train is equipped with air conditioning, a dining car, a children's compartment and power sockets. Passengers enjoy a free WiFi connection throughout the duration of the ICE trip.

Thalys is the railway company connecting four European countries – France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Thalys trains run at a speed of up to 186 mph (300 km/h) and have three comfort classes on all services called – Standard, Comfort and Premium (equivalent to the First Class, with access to the Thalys Lounge). All Thalys trains have a car restaurant (called Thalys Welcome Bar) and a free WiFi connection.

Cheap train tickets from Köln Hbf to Brussels

The price of train tickets from Köln Hbf to Brussels starts at $19.98 one-way for a Standard Class ticket if you book in advance. Booking on the day is usually more expensive and costs can vary depending on the time of day, route or class.

Book in advance

Most of the train companies across Europe release their tickets around three to six months in advance, many of which can be cheaper the earlier you book. If you know the dates you want to travel, you may be able to find some cheaper train tickets from Köln Hbf to Brussels by booking early.§

Be flexible with your travel times

Many of the train services in Europe are also popular commuter services, lots of train companies increase ticket prices during “peak hours” (generally between 06:00 – 10:00 and 15:00 – 19:00 on weekdays). If you can, consider travelling outside of peak hours to find lower priced tickets.

Choose a slower or connecting train

On some of the busier routes, you might also have the option to take a slower or connecting train. It may take a little longer than some high-speed or direct services, but if you have a little extra time on your hands, you might find a cheaper fare. Plus, you'll have more time to enjoy the view of the countryside!

Look out for special deals

Take a look at our handy guides to find out when train operators release their special deals and offers to see if you can find cheap European train tickets for your journey.

For specific information about how to get your hands on cheap tickets, check out our European train tickets hub.

§Some train companies may not offer any Advance ticket types or cheaper deals for early bookings. On rare occasions, train companies may choose to release special offers closer to the date on last-minute or late-release tickets. This is dependent on the individual train operating company you travel with.

FAQs for Köln Hbf to Brussels

Want to know more about your journey from Köln Hbf to Brussels? We've compiled some of the most frequently asked questions by our customers to help you plan your journey.

How long does the train from Köln Hbf to Brussels take?

The average journey time by train between Köln Hbf and Brussels is 2 hours and 20 minutes, with around 15 trains per day. The journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays, so use our Journey Planner on this page to search for a specific travel date.

What's the fastest journey time between Köln Hbf and Brussels by train?

The fastest journey time by train from Köln Hbf to Brussels is 1 hour and 52 minutes.

How much does the train from Köln Hbf to Brussels cost?

Train tickets from Köln Hbf to Brussels can start from as little as $19.98 when you book in advance and are usually more expensive when purchased on the day. Prices can also vary depending the time of day, route and class you book.

Is there a direct train from Köln Hbf to Brussels?

Yes, it is possible to travel from Köln Hbf to Brussels without having to change trains. There are 10 direct trains from Köln Hbf to Brussels each day. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.

What time does the first train from Köln Hbf to Brussels leave?

The first train from Köln Hbf to Brussels leaves at 05:44. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.

What time does the last train from Köln Hbf to Brussels leave?

The last train from Köln Hbf to Brussels leaves at 18:46. Trains that depart in the early morning hours or very late evening may be sleeper services, time and services may also vary during weekends and holidays.

What's the distance between Köln Hbf and Brussels by train?

Trains travelling from Köln Hbf to Brussels cover a distance of around 114 miles (183 km) during the journey.

Looking for more information?

If you’re looking for the return train journey, check out trains from Brussels to Köln Hbf.
The information provided is calculated based on scheduled train services for Köln Hbf to Brussels for a typical week day using timetable data for 08/10/2021. On weekends, holidays or other exceptional times, fewer services may be available. The fare range provided has been found by our customers on Trainline on 09/06/2021 for travel on 09/06/2021 and for adult tickets in economy, discount cards and coach journeys excluded.

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