Taking the train from Cologne to Berlin has never been easier. Berlin, one of the largest cities in Germany, is rich in culture with incredible exhibitions highlighting the city's history. In under five hours, you'll find yourself in the heart of the city relaxed and ready to explore.
Travelling by train from Cologne to Berlin is even more convenient and enjoyable than taking a flight. You have a variety of trains to choose from at a time that suits, no need to get up at 4 am. Eliminate the stress of arriving at the airport two hours early, and those long waits at security or baggage reclaim. Simply arrive at the station, hop on your train and let the high-speed Deutsche Bahn services do the hard work.
Trains are comfortable with air conditioners and plenty of room for your legs, stretch out and forget about the cramped spaces of prior travels! If the countryside views and gothic-style buildings on the way into Berlin don't interest you, just recline in your seat, and fall asleep. You can also plug your laptop or phone into the available power outlet, connect to the free WiFi and catch up with your friends and family via social media.
Ready to book? Search for a ticket in our Journey Planner above!
Frecciarossa trains are Trenitalia's flagship high-speed trains capable of reaching speeds of up to 186 mph (300 km/h). The "red arrow" trains are distinguished by their comfort, their ultra-modern design and their reduced impact on the environment. All Frecciarossa trains are equipped with a food carriage, a free WiFi connection and four levels of service – Standard, Premium (with drinks and welcome snacks served on arrival, as well as a morning newspaper), Business (with drinks and snacks, morning newspaper and larger seats) and Executive (with Fast Track, access to FrecciaClub lounges in train selected stations, and gourmet meals served to your seat).
Italo is a high-speed train operator that runs services between many of the major cities across Italy. All Italo trains are modern, air conditioned, and have free WiFi available for all travellers. There are four comfort classes, or "ambiances", as Italo like to call them – Smart (the cheapest price), Comfort (with wider seats and extra legroom), Prima (with a welcome selection of food and drink, fast track boarding and extra space), and Executive Club (with all Prima services, extra-wide seats, access to Italo Club lounges and personal entertainment screens at your seat).
Trenitalia is the national railway company of Italy, with a fleet including high-speed trains (Frecciarossa, Frecciargento and Frecciabianca), Intercity and Intercity night trains and regional trains. Trenitalia offers discounts and special promotions on selected routes, two types of discounted tickets for young people under 30 and people over 60.
ÖBB is the major railway company for Austria, subdivided into several subsidiaries, responsible for certain areas of transport, such as long distance and local transport, the operation of postal buses and the transport of goods. Railjet is ÖBB's high-speed train, which travels at speeds of up to 143 mph (230 km/h) and connects the main Austrian cities with Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Italy.
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 Cologne to Berlin by booking early.§
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.
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!
For specific information about how to get your hands on cheap tickets, check out our European train tickets hub.
The average journey time by train between Cologne and Berlin is 17 hours and 50 minutes, with around 16 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.
The fastest journey time by train from Cologne to Berlin is 12 hours and 23 minutes.
Train tickets from Cologne to Berlin can start from as little as €53.69 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.
No, there are no direct train services from Cologne to Berlin. Travelling from Cologne to Berlin by train will require a minimum of 3 changes.
The first train from Cologne to Berlin leaves at 06:58. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
The last train from Cologne to Berlin leaves at 21:40. 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.
Trains travelling from Cologne to Berlin cover a distance of around 505 miles (812 km) during the journey.