General Information

Cologne is one of the oldest large German cities and its name dates back to Roman times. The Romans founded the Ubii village on the Rhine in 50 AD and named it "Colonia".
The imperial governors of Rome resided here and soon the town grew into one of the most important trade and production centres in the Roman Empire north of the Alps. The inhabitants left behind many traces of their culture in the town. In the Middle Ages, Cologne was the most densely populated and one of the most prosperous towns in the German-speaking region - in particular due to the pilgrims and trade benefits that the newly introduced 'staple right' brought. The role as leading Hansa town and the early development of the trade fair business also led to further influence and prosperity. Impressive city gates and ruins of city walls line the "Ring" and the Museum of the City of Cologne houses other "historical artefacts".
During the Second World War around 90 percent of the inner city was destroyed. By the end of the War, only around 40,000 people were still living in the city area. After initial thoughts of giving up the old area, work began in 1947 to rebuild the Old Town. Post-war architecture still characterises the face of Cologne today. The Rhine metropolis is now the fourth largest German city and one of the most prominent travel destinations in Germany and Europe.
The Cologne museums rank amongst the best in the world and have enormous appeal for cultural tourism. Cologne is also becoming increasingly popular as a city of music and events. Today, as in Roman times, the city is one of the most important traffic hubs in Western Europe: all high-speed trains stop here and travellers can fly to more than 130 destinations around the world from Cologne-Bonn Airport.

Access

Cologne is one of the most important transport hubs in Western Europe with excellent connections via land, sea or air. With its five Rhine ports, Cologne has the second largest inland harbour in Germany. Ten motorways merge in a star-like formation into the motorway ring road that completely circles the city. The newly designed Cologne main station is one of the most important rail hubs in Europe. Cologne-Bonn Airport is the second largest freight terminal in Germany and has also grown in terms of the number of passenger flights offered, not least as a German hub for cheap airlines.

Köln Bonn Airport is connected to more than 130 domestic and international destinations. Via excellent high-speed connections you can travel by train which is often the fastest and greenest way to the cathedral city in the heart of Europe.

Airplane

Cologne Bonn Airport is the largest low-cost hub in continental Europe. Around 60 airlines connect the Airport to over 130 domestic and international destinations in 39 countries. The airport is located approximately 17 km (10.5 miles) east of Central Cologne and within easy reach of the city centre.

Cologne Bonn Airport by Train

More than 180 inter-city trains, inter-urban trains and local express trains arrive daily at the airport's own subterranean railway station. Being located conveniently between two terminals makes it only a matter of a few steps from the underground platform to the check-in desk.
S-Bahn S13 inter-urban trains leave from Köln Bonn Airport every 30 minutes. The average journey to Cologne Central Station "Köln Hauptbahnhof" takes 15 minutes.

Cologne Bonn Airport by Car

The airport provides an ideal example of how air, rail and road transport can be combined. With its own motorway access it is directly connected to the complex North Rhine-Westphalian motorway network. Via the A 59 motorway you can drive to Central Cologne within approximately  25 minutes.

Cologne Bonn Airport by Taxi

Depending on traffic, a taxi trip from the airport to the city centre takes about 20 minutes. A metered journey in an off-white taxi or mini-cab amounts to approximately Euro 25.

 

Train

Cologne's main station is one of Europe's most important railway hubs. You can travel to Cologne quickly and comfortably from major cities in Germany and other European countries: every day, more than 1,300 trains run between Cologne and destinations throughout Germany and abroad. Highlights of the service include the international high-speed trains that connect Cologne with London, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels. With the high-speed rail service to Frankfurt, the Köln-Deutz railway station — the second terminal for high-speed ICE trains in Cologne — and the Cologne/Bonn Airport station, Cologne has further enhanced its vital role as a central hub for railway transport.

Transportation
Cologne's extensive public transport network ensures convenient and fast travel around the town. Most local train stations are linked to tram stops and are equipped with live departure boards.
Climate
The weather in Cologne is fairly pleasant throughout the year, being at its warmest during the months of July and August, and coldest between December and January. Much of the region's weather is affected by the strong maritime breezes blowing in from the nearby North Sea and Atlantic Ocean, and from its location in the north-western German lowlands.  Cologne's main tourist season falls between May and September, when the local climate is at its best and plenty of fine, clear skies can be enjoyed.