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There are 4 ways to get from Cologne to Brussels by train, rideshare, car or plane

Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2rio's travel planner.

Recommended option

Train  •  1h 43m

  1. Take the train from Koeln Hbf to Bruxelles-Nord Ice / ...

€40 - €130

Cheapest option

Rideshare  •  2h 30m

  1. Take the rideshare from Cologne to Brussels 210.1 km

€10 - €19

2 alternative options

Drive  •  2h 3m

  1. Drive from Cologne to Brussels 210.1 km

€23 - €35

Train, fly  •  3h 8m

  1. Take the train from Koeln Messe/Deutz Gl.11-12 to Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Fernbf
  2. Fly from Frankfurt (FRA) to Brussels (BRU) FRA - BRU

€55 - €219

Cologne to Brussels by train

The train journey time between Cologne and Brussels is around 1h 46m and covers a distance of around 216 km. The fastest train normally takes 1h 43m. Operated by Deutsche Bahn Intercity-Express and Thalys, the Cologne to Brussels train service departs from Koeln Hbf and arrives in Bruxelles-Nord. Typically 72 trains run weekly, although weekend and holiday schedules can vary so check in advance.

Train route overview

Average train time:
1h 46m
Fastest train time:
1h 43m
Train distance:
216 km
Trains per week:
72
Cheapest price:
€40
Carbon emissions:
11 kg CO2

First and last trains

First train departs at:
06:44
Last train departs at:
21:43

The schedules shown below are for the next available departures.

Cologne to Brussels train schedules

Germany → Belgium
Partially open

Travel safe during COVID-19

International entry into Belgium from Germany

  • Entry is partially open for citizens and permanent residents of Germany
Show more details
Allowed for: Citizens and permanent residents of Belgium, as well as residents from EU Schengen Area (EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland), Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Macau, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Qatar, Rwanda, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, United States and Vatican

Restricted for: Foreign nationals from outside EU Schengen Area with the above exceptions. Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Eswatini, India, Lesotho, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Zambia and Zimbabwe are also restricted

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Conditions of entry into Belgium from Germany

  • Passenger Locator Form (PLF) required
  • Negative COVID-19 test issued at most 3 days before arrival
This applies to arrivals from all countries, with no exceptions
  • Travellers with the Digital Green Certificate are exempt from the quarantine. Digital Green Certificate is proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19
  • Travellers who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 6 months are exempt from providing a negative COVID-19 test (certificate needed)
  • Travellers with a certificate of vaccination are exempt from providing a negative COVID-19 test
This applies to arrivals from Germany
Show more details
  • Negative COVID-19 test issued at most 3 days before arrival and 10 day mandatory self quarantine
  • A negative result for COVID-19 is a condition for subsequent release from quarantine. It is tested in quarantine on days 1 and 7
This doesn't apply to arrivals from the EU Schengen Area with the exception of Andorra, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. This also doesn't apply to arrivals from Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Macau, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and United States
  • Passenger Locator Form (PLF) required
  • Negative COVID-19 test issued at most 3 days before arrival
This applies to arrivals from all countries, with no exceptions
  • Travellers with the Digital Green Certificate are exempt from the quarantine. Digital Green Certificate is proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19
This applies to arrivals from EU Schengen Area
  • Travellers who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 6 months are exempt from providing a negative COVID-19 test (certificate needed)
  • Travellers with a certificate of vaccination are exempt from providing a negative COVID-19 test
This doesn’t apply to citizens and permanent residents of Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Zambia and Zimbabwe
  • Entry is allowed only for fully vaccinated travellers
This doesn't apply to arrivals from: EU Schengen Area, Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Lesotho, Macau, Malawi, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Show less

Rules to follow in Belgium

1.5m

Mandatory

Mandatory

Considerations leaving from Germany

The official advice is to avoid non-essential international travel to high risk countries

Frequently Asked Questions


Yes, but conditions apply when entering Belgium from Germany.

Explore options for future travel

Domestic travel is not restricted, but some conditions may apply

  • Face masks are mandatory
  • There is a social distancing requirement of 1.5 metres
  • Further restrictions may be implemented at short notice

Explore travel options

The national COVID-19 helpline number in Brussels is 800 14689.

Wearing a face mask on public transport in Brussels is mandatory.

The social distance requirement in Brussels is 1.5 metres.

Make yourself known to an official member of staff and/or call the national coronavirus helpline number on 800 14689.

No, but conditions apply when returning to Germany from Belgium.

See options for return travel.

Last updated: 29 Jul 2021
Exceptions may apply, for full details: European Union.

We're working around the clock to bring you the latest COVID-19 travel updates.
This information is compiled from official sources. To the best of our knowledge, it is correct as of the last update.
Visit Rome2rio travel advice for general help.

Questions & Answers

The cheapest way to get from Cologne to Brussels is to rideshare which costs €10 - €19 and takes 2h 30m.

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The fastest way to get from Cologne to Brussels is to train which takes 1h 43m and costs €40 - €130.

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Yes, there is a direct train departing from Koeln Hbf and arriving at Bruxelles-Nord. Services depart every two hours, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 1h 43m.

More details

The distance between Cologne and Brussels is 183 km. The road distance is 210.1 km.

Get driving directions

The best way to get from Cologne to Brussels without a car is to train which takes 1h 43m and costs €40 - €130.

More details

The train from Koeln Hbf to Bruxelles-Nord takes 1h 43m including transfers and departs every two hours.

More details

Cologne to Brussels train services, operated by Deutsche Bahn Intercity-Express, depart from Koeln Hbf station.

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The quickest flight from Frankfurt Airport to Brussels Airport is the direct flight which takes 55 min.

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Cologne to Brussels train services, operated by Deutsche Bahn Intercity-Express, arrive at Bruxelles-Nord station.

More details

Yes, the driving distance between Cologne to Brussels is 210 km. It takes approximately 2h 3m to drive from Cologne to Brussels.

Get driving directions

Map of how to get from Cologne to Brussels.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 182.7 km
  • Duration: 1h 43m

What companies run services between Cologne, Germany and Brussels, Belgium?

Deutsche Bahn Intercity-Express operates a train from Koeln Hbf to Bruxelles-Nord every 4 hours. Tickets cost €40 - €60 and the journey takes 1h 43m. Thalys also services this route 4 times a day.

Airlines
Lufthansa
Website
lufthansa.com
Flights from Frankfurt to Brussels
Ave. Duration
58 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
€70 - €400
Brussels Airlines
Website
brusselsairlines.com
Flights from Frankfurt to Brussels
Ave. Duration
58 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
€70 - €400
Train operators
Deutsche Bahn Intercity-Express

German rail company Deutsche Bahn is known for its efficient and comfortable service. It offers many different types of rail transportation, including ICE or Intercity-Express for high-speed services between major cities and regions, IC (InterCity) for long-distance trains, RE (Regional Express) trains that connect regions and cities, and the S-Bahn rapid transit service. There are two main tickets on offer: the Flexpreis that has full flexibility, and the Sparpreis which is the cheaper, advanced fare (bookings usually open 6 months in advance for domestic tickets).

Contact Details
Phone
+49 0180 6 99 66 33
Website
bahn.com
Train from Koeln Hbf to Bruxelles-Nord
Ave. Duration
1h 43m
Frequency
Every 4 hours
Estimated price
€40 - €60
Website
Deutsche Bahn
Train from Koeln Messe/Deutz Gl.11-12 to Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Fernbf
Ave. Duration
49 min
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
€35 - €50
Website
Deutsche Bahn
Thalys
Phone
+32 70 66 77 88
Website
thalys.com
Train from Koeln Hbf to Brussel-Zuid / Bruxelles-Midi
Ave. Duration
2h 2m
Frequency
4 times a day
Estimated price
€65 - €130
Website
Thalys
Standard
€65 - €90
Comfort
€75 - €100
Premium
€90 - €130
Dutch Railways (NS)

Dutch Railways (NS) is the main passenger railway operator in the Netherlands. Founded in 1938, NS connects all major cities in the Netherlands, and offers night trains, international trains, Intercity direct, and trains to and from the airport. NS International is the international subsidiary of NS; their services include high-speed trains such as Thalys, ICE International, Eurostar and TGV, to major European hubs including Paris, London, Brussels, Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt and Lille.

Contact Details
Phone
+31 30 751 5155
Website
ns.nl
Train from Koeln Messe/Deutz Gl.11-12 to Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Fernbf
Ave. Duration
53 min
Frequency
Every 4 hours
Estimated price
€18 - €45
Website
Dutch Railways (NS)
Book at
Netherlands Rail Pass
2nd Class
€18 - €26
1st Class
€30 - €45
Deutsche Bahn Intercity

Deutsche Bahn’s high-speed InterCity (IC) trains connect cities within Germany. They’re a popular way to travel as they’re faster than Deutsche Bahn’s regional trains and offer a frequent, fast service. All IC trains have first and second class carriages, power sockets and toilets, and most have a bistro cafe or restaurant. Tickets can be booked up to 180 days in advance of travel.

Contact Details
Phone
+49 30 2970
Website
bahn.com
Train from Koeln Messe/Deutz Gl.11-12 to Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Fernbf
Ave. Duration
2h 6m
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
€50 - €70
Website
reiseauskunft.bahn.de
Other operators
BlaBlaCar

Blablacar is a popular ridesharing platform with 70 million users over 22 (mostly European) countries. The basic idea is that you carpool with locals who are already planning to drive your route and have space in their car. With some flexibility, you’ll get to your destination often faster and cheaper than other means. On the website or app, enter your departure and arrival points and your date of travel, sift through the profiles of drivers who’ve posted pre-planned drives and find one whose timing and preferences match yours. Request to join the ride, wait to be accepted, and pay your share of the set price.

Rome2rio's guide to BlaBlaCar
Contact Details
Website
blablacar.com
Rideshare from Cologne to Brussels
Ave. Duration
2h 30m
Frequency
Every 4 hours
Estimated price
€10 - €19
Book at
blablacar.co.uk

Want to know more about travelling around Belgium

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More Questions & Answers

Brussels Airlines and Lufthansa offer flights from Frankfurt Airport to Brussels Airport.

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Book your Cologne to Brussels train tickets online with Omio.

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There are 430+ hotels available in Brussels. Prices start at €87 per night.

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Check out Blablacar's carpooling service for rideshare options between Cologne and Brussels. A great option if you don't have a driver's licence or want to avoid public transport.

Read Rome2rio's guide to Blablacar