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There are 8 ways to get from Cologne to Hamburg by train, bus, 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  •  3h 42m

  1. Take the train from Koeln Hbf to Hamburg Hbf Ice / ...

€22 - €120

Cheapest option

Rideshare  •  4h 26m

  1. Take the rideshare from Cologne to Hamburg 421.5 km

€15 - €27

6 alternative options

Train via Porta Westfalica  •  7h 37m

  1. Take the train from Koeln Messe/Deutz Gl.11-12 to Porta Westfalica Re / ...
  2. Take the train from Porta Westfalica to Hannover Hbf Re
  3. Take the train from Hannover Hbf to Buchholz(Nordheide) Re

€80 - €103

Bus  •  8h 28m

  1. Take the bus from Leverkusen to Hamburg central bus station 073 / ...

€23 - €28

Drive  •  3h 35m

  1. Drive from Cologne to Hamburg 423.2 km

€45 - €70

Fly from Cologne Bonn  •  2h 50m

  1. Fly from Cologne Bonn (CGN) to Hamburg (HAM) CGN - HAM

€36 - €281

Train to Dusseldorf, fly  •  3h 24m

  1. Take the train from Koeln Hbf to Duesseldorf Flughafen
  2. Fly from Dusseldorf (DUS) to Hamburg (HAM) DUS - HAM

€79 - €356

Train to Frankfurt, fly  •  3h 28m

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

€71 - €233

Cologne to Hamburg by train

The train journey time between Cologne and Hamburg is around 4h 5m and covers a distance of around 434 km. The fastest train normally takes 3h 39m. Operated by Deutsche Bahn Intercity-Express, Deutsche Bahn Intercity, Swiss Railways (SBB/CFF/FFS) and others, the Cologne to Hamburg train service departs from Koeln Hbf and arrives in Hamburg Hbf. Typically 156 trains run weekly, although weekend and holiday schedules can vary so check in advance.

Train route overview

Average train time:
4h 5m
Fastest train time:
3h 39m
Trains per week:
156
Cheapest price:
€22
Carbon emissions:
22 kg CO2

First and last trains

First train departs at:
02:10
Last train departs at:
20:11

The schedules shown below are for the next available departures.

Cologne to Hamburg train schedules

Cologne → Hamburg
Partially open

Travel safe during COVID-19

Rules to follow in Germany

1.5m

Mandatory

Travel within Germany

Observe COVID-19 safety rules
Domestic border crossings may be subject to approval, testing and quarantine

COVID-19 help in Germany

If you need help, visit the national COVID-19 website or call the COVID-19 Helpline 116 117

Frequently Asked Questions


There are currently travel restrictions within 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
  • Observe COVID-19 safety rules
  • Domestic border crossings may be subject to approval, testing and quarantine

Explore travel options

The national COVID-19 helpline number in Hamburg is 116 117.

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

The social distance requirement in Hamburg is 1.5 metres.

Make yourself known to an official member of staff and/or call the national coronavirus helpline number on 116 117.

Last updated: 22 Jun 2021
Exceptions may apply, for full details: Robert Koch Institute.

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 most affordable way to get from Cologne to Hamburg is to rideshare, which costs €15 - €27 and takes 4h 26m.

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The quickest way to get from Cologne to Hamburg is to fly which costs €35 - €290 and takes 2h 50m.

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No, there is no direct bus from Cologne to Hamburg station. However, there are services departing from Köln Heumarkt and arriving at Hamburg central bus station via Leverkusen. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 8h 28m.

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Yes, there is a direct train departing from Koeln Hbf and arriving at Hamburg Hbf. Services depart hourly, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 3h 42m.

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The distance between Cologne and Hamburg is 357 km. The road distance is 423.2 km.

Get driving directions

The best way to get from Cologne to Hamburg without a car is to train which takes 3h 42m and costs €22 - €120.

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The train from Koeln Hbf to Hamburg Hbf takes 3h 42m including transfers and departs hourly.

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Cologne to Hamburg bus services, operated by FlixBus, depart from Leverkusen station.

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

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The best way to get from Cologne to Hamburg is to train which takes 3h 42m and costs €22 - €120. Alternatively, you can bus, which costs €23 - €28 and takes 8h 28m, you could also fly, which costs €35 - €290 and takes 2h 50m.

Mode details

Map of how to get from Cologne to Hamburg.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 357.2 km
  • Duration: 3h 42m

What companies run services between Cologne, Germany and Hamburg, Germany?

Deutsche Bahn Intercity-Express operates a train from Koeln Hbf to Hamburg Hbf every 3 hours. Tickets cost €75 - €110 and the journey takes 3h 42m. Four other operators also service this route. Alternatively, FlixBus operates a bus from Leverkusen to Hamburg central bus station once daily. Tickets cost €23 - €28 and the journey takes 6h 55m.

Airlines
Eurowings
Website
eurowings.com
Flights from Cologne Bonn to Hamburg
Ave. Duration
1h 5m
When
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
Estimated price
€30 - €440
Flights from Dusseldorf to Hamburg
Ave. Duration
1h
When
Every day
Estimated price
€70 - €550
Lufthansa
Website
lufthansa.com
Flights from Dusseldorf to Hamburg via Frankfurt
Ave. Duration
3h
When
Every day
Estimated price
€160 - €550
Flights from Frankfurt to Hamburg
Ave. Duration
1h 5m
When
Every day
Estimated price
€65 - €280
Flights from Frankfurt to Hamburg via Luxembourg
Ave. Duration
3h 5m
When
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
Estimated price
€120 - €260
Luxair
Website
luxair.lu
Flights from Frankfurt to Hamburg via Luxembourg
Ave. Duration
3h 5m
When
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
Estimated price
€120 - €260
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 Hamburg Hbf
Ave. Duration
3h 42m
Frequency
Every 3 hours
Estimated price
€75 - €110
Website
Deutsche Bahn
Train from Koeln Hbf to Duesseldorf Flughafen
Ave. Duration
30 min
Frequency
Every 4 hours
Estimated price
€17 - €24
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
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 Hbf to Hamburg Hbf
Ave. Duration
4h
Frequency
Every 3 hours
Estimated price
€80 - €120
Website
reiseauskunft.bahn.de
Train from Koeln Hbf to Duesseldorf Flughafen
Ave. Duration
30 min
Frequency
3 times a day
Estimated price
€35 - €50
Website
reiseauskunft.bahn.de
Train from Koeln Messe/Deutz Gl.11-12 to Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Fernbf
Ave. Duration
3h 36m
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
€50 - €70
Website
reiseauskunft.bahn.de
Swiss Railways (SBB/CFF/FFS)

The national railway company of Switzerland, Swiss Railways operates trains throughout the country and adjacent European nations including Germany, France, Italy and Austria. Tickets are sold in two classes - First and Second - with most long-distance trains offering a bistro car serving beverages and snacks. Individual tickets can be bought easily at stands, while a variety of travel passes are on offer to suit different travel needs.

Contact Details
Phone
+41 51 220 11 11
Website
sbb.ch
Train from Koeln Hbf to Hamburg Hbf
Ave. Duration
4h 7m
Frequency
3 times a day
Estimated price
€110 - €210
Website
Swiss Railways (SBB/CFF/FFS)
Flixtrain
Phone
+49 1807 123 99 123
Email
info@flixbus.de
Website
flixtrain.com
Train from Cologne central station to Hamburg central station
Ave. Duration
4h 9m
Frequency
Twice daily
Estimated price
€22 - €28
Website
Flixtrain
Deutsche Bahn Eurocity

Deutsche Bahn’s EuroCity (EC) trains connect German cities to major cities in neighbouring European countries, and are operated in conjunction with their national train company. All EC trains offer First and Standard class; cars are air-conditioned and food and drinks are available onboard. Tickets can be booked up to 180 days in advance of travel. Seat reservations are not compulsory but are recommended for popular routes.

Contact Details
Phone
+49 30 2970
Website
bahn.com
Train from Koeln Hbf to Hamburg Hbf
Ave. Duration
4h 5m
Frequency
5 times a week
Estimated price
€40 - €60
Website
reiseauskunft.bahn.de
National Express
Phone
0221 13 999 444
Website
nationalexpress.de
Train from Koeln Messe/Deutz Gl.11-12 to Porta Westfalica
Ave. Duration
3h 22m
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
€50 - €70
Website
National Express Rail
Train from Koeln Hbf to Duesseldorf Flughafen
Ave. Duration
37 min
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
€11 - €14
Website
National Express Rail
WestfalenBahn GmbH
Phone
+49 521 55777755
Email
info@westfalenbahn.de
Website
westfalenbahn.de
Train from Porta Westfalica to Hannover Hbf
Ave. Duration
58 min
Frequency
Hourly
Website
WestfalenBahn GmbH
Erixx
Phone
05191/ 96944-250
Website
erixx.de
Train from Hannover Hbf to Buchholz(Nordheide)
Ave. Duration
1h 53m
Frequency
Hourly
Website
Erixx
HVV
Phone
040/ 19 449
Website
hvv.de
Train from Hannover Hbf to Buchholz
Ave. Duration
1h 53m
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
€24 - €35
Website
HVV
ABELLIO Rail
Phone
0800 2235546
Website
abellio.de
Train from Köln Hbf to Düsseldorf Flughafen
Ave. Duration
38 min
Frequency
Hourly
Website
ABELLIO Rail
Abellio
Phone
0800 223 5546
Website
abellio.de
Train from Koeln Hbf to Duesseldorf Flughafen
Ave. Duration
39 min
Frequency
Hourly
Website
Abellio
ABELLIO Rail NRW GmbH
Phone
0800 223 5546
Website
abellio.de
Train from Köln Hbf to D-Flughafen Bf
Ave. Duration
38 min
Frequency
Hourly
Website
Abellio NRW
Thalys
Phone
+32 70 66 77 88
Website
thalys.com
Train from Koeln Hbf to Duesseldorf Flughafen
Ave. Duration
58 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
€40 - €75
Website
Thalys
Standard
€40 - €55
Comfort
€50 - €70
Premium
€50 - €75
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
Bus operators
FlixBus

One of Europe’s leading bus companies, Flixbus serves 2000+ destinations in 29 countries, including Germany, France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and Croatia and into Scandinavia and eastern Europe, as well as some US cities. Coaches have toilets, free WiFi and power outlets, plus snacks and drinks for purchase on board. Flixbus is a good choice for the budget-conscious traveller; purchase tickets in advance for the cheapest fares (note: there is no option to reserve a seat in advance).

Rome2rio's guide to FlixBus
Contact Details
Phone
+49 1807 123 99 123
Email
info@flixbus.de
Website
flixbus.de
Bus from Leverkusen to Hamburg central bus station
Ave. Duration
6h 55m
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
€23 - €28
Website
flixbus.co.uk
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 Hamburg
Ave. Duration
4h 26m
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
€15 - €27
Book at
blablacar.co.uk

Want to know more about travelling around Germany

Rome2rio's Travel Guide series provide vital information for the global traveller. Filled with useful and timely travel information, the guides answer all the hard questions - such as 'How do I buy a ticket?', 'Should I book online before I travel? ', 'How much should I expect to pay?', 'Do the trains and buses have Wifi?' - to help you get the most out of your next trip.

More Questions & Answers

The quickest flight from Cologne Bonn Airport to Hamburg Airport is the direct flight which takes 1h 5m.

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Cologne to Hamburg bus services, operated by FlixBus, arrive at Hamburg central bus station.

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Cologne to Hamburg train services, operated by Deutsche Bahn Intercity-Express, arrive at Hamburg Hbf station.

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Yes, the driving distance between Cologne to Hamburg is 423 km. It takes approximately 3h 35m to drive from Cologne to Hamburg.

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Eurowings offers flights from Cologne Bonn Airport to Hamburg Airport.

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Book your Cologne to Hamburg train tickets online with Omio and FlixBus.

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Book your Cologne to Hamburg bus tickets online with Omio and FlixBus.

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There are 402+ hotels available in Hamburg. Prices start at €75 per night.

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

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The best way to get from Cologne to Cologne Bonn Airport is to train which takes 11 min and costs €3 - €17.

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