The fastest way to make the 152km trip from Cologne to Frankfurt is by train, with Deutsche Bahn’s high-speed ICE (Intercity-Express) and IC (InterCity) trains able to make this city-to-city journey in just one hour, without any worries of traffic or delays.
Once you get to Frankfurt, home of legendary writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, you'll be able to explore both the modern and old sides of this diverse city. Visit the Goethe House Museum, stroll around the Römerburg square, grab a bite at one of Frankfurt’s best restaurants, and make your own magical memories. Scroll down to find out more about this train journey, including train times and FAQs.
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.
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.
Operating alongside its sister coach company FlixBus since 2018, FlixTrain provides cheap intercity connections using 100% green energy. The main routes served by FlixTrain are Cologne-Hamburg, Aachen-Cologne-Berlin, and Berlin-Stuttgart. The network will expand in future to include more routes to Munich and Leipzig. FlixTrain carriages are fitted with free WiFi and power outlets or USB charge points. Plus, every ticket comes with a seat reservation, guaranteeing you a seat for the journey.
An express train running on German domestic routes, the Intercity is a little slower than the ICE and is also used for long distance trips. The integrated circuit covers long distances with a maximum speed of 125 mph (200 km/h). In recent years, trains of the new generation "Intercity 2" run on some lines at 100 mph (160 km/h) only – these trains, however, offer extra legroom and extra space for toddlers. They are also equipped with air conditioning, a food carriage and wheelchair parking spaces.
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 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf 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 Köln Hbf and Frankfurt (Main) Hbf is 1 hour and 23 minutes, with around 54 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 Köln Hbf to Frankfurt (Main) Hbf is 1 hour and 4 minutes.
Train ticket prices from Köln Hbf to Frankfurt (Main) Hbf can start from as little as €7.99 when you book in advance. The cost of tickets can vary depending on the time of day, route and class you book and are usually more expensive if you book on the day.
Yes, it is possible to travel from Köln Hbf to Frankfurt (Main) Hbf without having to change trains. There are 9 direct trains from Köln Hbf to Frankfurt (Main) Hbf each day. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.
The first train from Köln Hbf to Frankfurt (Main) Hbf leaves at 03:19. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
The last train from Köln Hbf to Frankfurt (Main) Hbf leaves at 23:47. 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 Köln Hbf to Frankfurt (Main) Hbf cover a distance of around 95 miles (152 km) during the journey.