There are 7 ways to get from Schmalkalden to Cologne by train, bus, 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 via Frankfurt am Main  •  5h 32m

  1. Take the train from Wernshausen to Eisenach
  2. Take the train from Eisenach to Frankfurt(Main)Hbf Ice / ...
  3. Take the train from Frankfurt(Main)Hbf to Koeln Messe/Deutz Gl.11-12 Ice / ...

76€ - 149€

Cheapest option

Bus  •  9h 4m

  1. Take the bus from Gotha to Cologne, Cologne North, Leverkusen 154

19€ - 23€

5 alternative options

Train  •  7h 10m

  1. Take the train from Wernshausen to Eisenach Stb 41
  2. Take the train from Eisenach to Koeln Hbf Ic

80€ - 120€

Drive  •  3h 25m

  1. Drive from Schmalkalden to Cologne 333.1 km

35€ - 60€

Train, train to Leipzig, fly to Cologne Bonn  •  5h 26m

  1. Take the train from Zella-Mehlis to Erfurt Hbf
  2. Take the train from Erfurt Hbf to Halle(Saale)Hbf
  3. Fly from Leipzig (LEJ) to Cologne Bonn (CGN) LEJ - CGN

58€ - 311€

Train, train to Leipzig, fly to Dusseldorf  •  6h 24m

  1. Take the train from Zella-Mehlis to Erfurt Hbf
  2. Take the train from Erfurt Hbf to Halle(Saale)Hbf
  3. Fly from Leipzig (LEJ) to Dusseldorf (DUS) LEJ - DUS
  4. Take the train from Düsseldorf to Cologne, Cologne central station

82€ - 430€

Train, train to Nuremberg, fly to Dusseldorf  •  7h 10m

  1. Take the train from Zella-Mehlis to Erfurt Hbf
  2. Take the train from Erfurt Hbf to Nuernberg Hbf
  3. Fly from Nuremberg (NUE) to Dusseldorf (DUS) NUE - DUS
  4. Take the train from Düsseldorf to Cologne, Cologne central station

99€ - 323€

Questions & Answers

The cheapest way to get from Schmalkalden to Cologne is to bus which costs 19€ - 23€ and takes 9h 4m.

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The quickest way to get from Schmalkalden to Cologne is to drive which costs 35€ - 60€ and takes 3h 25m.

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No, there is no direct bus from Schmalkalden to Cologne. However, there are services departing from Schmalkalden, Recklinghäuser Straße and arriving at Köln Heumarkt via Gotha and Leverkusen Leverkusen Mitte Bf. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 9h 4m.

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No, there is no direct train from Schmalkalden to Cologne. However, there are services departing from Schmalkalden and arriving at Koeln Messe/Deutz Gl.11-12 via Wernshausen, Eisenach and Frankfurt(Main)Hbf. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 5h 32m.

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The distance between Schmalkalden and Cologne is 247 km. The road distance is 333.1 km.

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The best way to get from Schmalkalden to Cologne without a car is to train via Frankfurt am Main which takes 5h 32m and costs 75€ - 150€.

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It takes approximately 5h 32m to get from Schmalkalden to Cologne, including transfers.

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Schmalkalden to Cologne bus services, operated by FlixBus, depart from Gotha station.

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Schmalkalden to Cologne train services, operated by Süd Thüringen Bahn, depart from Wernshausen station.

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The best way to get from Schmalkalden to Cologne is to train via Frankfurt am Main which takes 5h 32m and costs 75€ - 150€. Alternatively, you can bus, which costs 19€ - 23€ and takes 9h 4m.

Mode details

Map of how to get from Schmalkalden to Cologne.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 246.5 km
  • Duration: 5h 32m

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

You can take a train from Schmalkalden to Cologne via Wernshausen, Eisenach, and Frankfurt(Main)Hbf in around 5h 32m. Alternatively, FlixBus operates a bus from Schmalkalden to Cologne 4 times a day. Tickets cost 19€ - 23€ and the journey takes 5h 30m.

Airlines
Lufthansa
Website
lufthansa.com
Flights from Leipzig to Cologne Bonn via Munich
Ave. Duration
3h 5m
When
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
Estimated price
100€ - 400€
Flights from Leipzig to Dusseldorf
Ave. Duration
1h 15m
When
Monday to Friday
Estimated price
95€ - 470€
Flights from Leipzig to Dusseldorf via Munich
Ave. Duration
3h 16m
When
Every day
Estimated price
160€ - 420€
Flights from Leipzig to Dusseldorf via Frankfurt
Ave. Duration
3h 10m
When
Every day
Estimated price
160€ - 420€
Flights from Nuremberg to Dusseldorf
Ave. Duration
1h 10m
When
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
Estimated price
40€ - 250€
Flights from Nuremberg to Dusseldorf via Munich
Ave. Duration
2h 57m
When
Every day
Estimated price
110€ - 430€
Flights from Nuremberg to Dusseldorf via Zurich
Ave. Duration
3h 10m
When
Monday to Friday
Estimated price
270€ - 700€
Eurowings
Website
eurowings.com
Flights from Leipzig to Cologne Bonn
Ave. Duration
1h 5m
When
Monday to Friday
Estimated price
35€ - 310€
Flights from Leipzig to Dusseldorf
Ave. Duration
1h 15m
When
Every day
Estimated price
95€ - 470€
Flights from Nuremberg to Dusseldorf
Ave. Duration
1h 10m
When
Every day
Estimated price
40€ - 250€
Swiss
Website
swiss.com
Flights from Nuremberg to Dusseldorf via Zurich
Ave. Duration
3h 10m
When
Monday to Friday
Estimated price
270€ - 700€
Train operators
Süd Thüringen Bahn
Phone
+49 (0)3693 5086 0
Email
info@sued-thueringen-bahn.de
Website
sued-thueringen-bahn.de
Train from Wernshausen to Eisenach
Ave. Duration
45 min
Frequency
Hourly
Website
Süd Thüringen Bahn
Train from Zella-Mehlis to Erfurt Hbf
Ave. Duration
51 min
Frequency
Hourly
Website
Süd Thüringen Bahn
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 Eisenach to Frankfurt(Main)Hbf
Ave. Duration
1h 44m
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
40€ - 60€
Website
Deutsche Bahn
Train from Frankfurt(Main)Hbf to Koeln Messe/Deutz Gl.11-12
Ave. Duration
1h
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
35€ - 55€
Website
Deutsche Bahn
Train from Erfurt Hbf to Halle(Saale)Hbf
Ave. Duration
27 min
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
24€ - 35€
Website
Deutsche Bahn
Train from Erfurt Hbf to Nuernberg Hbf
Ave. Duration
1h 9m
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
40€ - 60€
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
Website
bahn.com
Train from Eisenach to Frankfurt(Main)Hbf
Ave. Duration
2h 8m
Frequency
5 times a week
Estimated price
50€ - 75€
Website
reiseauskunft.bahn.de
Train from Frankfurt(Main)Hbf to Koeln Messe/Deutz Gl.11-12
Ave. Duration
2h 45m
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
50€ - 75€
Website
reiseauskunft.bahn.de
Train from Eisenach to Koeln Hbf
Ave. Duration
4h 35m
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
80€ - 120€
Website
reiseauskunft.bahn.de
Deutsche Bahn Regional

Deutsche Bahn’s regional network is made up of IRE (Interregio-Express), RE (Regional-Express), RB (Regionalbahn) and S-Bahn trains. Ticket prices are fixed and there’s no seat reservations – just turn up, buy a ticket and jump on the next train. All regional trains depart regularly and connect to local and long-distance services.

Contact Details
Website
bahn.com
Train from Zella-Mehlis to Erfurt Hbf
Ave. Duration
43 min
Frequency
Every 4 hours
Estimated price
10€ - 14€
Website
reiseauskunft.bahn.de
Flixtrain
Phone
+49 1807 123 99 123
Email
info@flixbus.de
Website
flixtrain.com
Train from Erfurt, Erfurt central station to Halle, Halle
Ave. Duration
41 min
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
7€ - 9€
Website
Flixtrain
Train from Düsseldorf to Cologne, Cologne central station
Ave. Duration
24 min
Frequency
Every 30 minutes
Estimated price
5€ - 6€
Website
Flixtrain
Abellio Rail Mitteldeutschland GmbH
Phone
0800 223 5546
Website
abellio.de
Train from Erfurt Hbf to Halle
Ave. Duration
1h 17m
Frequency
3 times a day
Website
Abellio Rail Mitteldeutschland GmbH
Abellio
Phone
0800 223 5546
Website
abellio.de
Train from Erfurt Hbf to Halle(Saale)Hbf
Ave. Duration
1h 17m
Frequency
3 times a day
Website
Abellio
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 Gotha to Cologne, Cologne North, Leverkusen
Ave. Duration
5h 30m
Frequency
4 times a day
Estimated price
19€ - 23€
Website
flixbus.co.uk

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More Questions & Answers

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

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Schmalkalden to Cologne bus services, operated by FlixBus, arrive at Cologne, Cologne North, Leverkusen station.

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Schmalkalden to Cologne train services, operated by Deutsche Bahn Intercity-Express, arrive at Koeln Messe/Deutz Gl.11-12 station.

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Yes, the driving distance between Schmalkalden to Cologne is 333 km. It takes approximately 3h 25m to drive from Schmalkalden to Cologne.

Get driving directions

Eurowings and Lufthansa offer flights from Leipzig Airport to Cologne Bonn Airport.

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Book your Schmalkalden to Cologne train tickets online with Rome2rio.

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There are 1230+ hotels available in Cologne. Prices start at 87€ per night.

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