Koeln Travel Guide

Public Transport

Road transport

Road building had been a major issue in the 1920s under the leadership of mayor Konrad Adenauer. The first German limited access road was constructed after 1929 between Cologne and Bonn. Today, this is the Bundesautobahn 555. In 1965, Cologne became the first German city to be fully encircled by a freeway belt. Roughly at the same time a downtown bypass freeway (Stadtautobahn) was planned, but only partially put into effect, due to opposition by environmental groups. The completed section became Bundesstraße ("Federal Road") B 55a which begins at the Zoobrücke ("Zoo Bridge") and meets with A 4 and A 3 at the interchange Cologne East. Nevertheless, it is referred to as Stadtautobahn by most locals. In contrast to this the Nord-Süd-Fahrt ("North-South-Drive") was actually completed, a new four/six-lane downtown thoroughfare, which had already been anticipated by planners like Fritz Schumacher in the 1920s. The last section south of Ebertplatz was completed in 1972.

In 2005, the first stretch of an eight-lane freeway in North Rhine-Westphalia was opened to traffic on Bundesautobahn 3, part of the eastern section of the Cologne Beltway between the interchanges Cologne East and Heumar.

Cycling

Like most German cities, Cologne has a traffic layout designed to be bicycle-friendly. There is an extensive cycle network, featuring pavement-edge cycle lanes linked by cycle priority crossings. In some of the narrow one-way central streets, cyclists are explicitly allowed to cycle both ways.

Rail transport

Cologne has a railway service with Deutsche Bahn Intercity and ICE-trains stopping at Köln Hauptbahnhof (Cologne Central Station), Köln Messe/Deutz and Cologne/Bonn Airport. ICE and TGV Thalys high-speed trains link Cologne with Amsterdam, Brussels (in 1h47, 6 departures/day) and Paris (in 3h14, 6 departures/day). There are frequent ICE trains to other German cities, including Frankfurt am Main and Berlin. ICE Trains to London via the Channel Tunnel were to be planned for 2013. Channel Tunnel liberalisation is now not expected until 2014 and maybe a Deutsche Bahn service in 2015 if the rolling stock meets the revised requirements of Eurotunnel.

The Cologne city railway operated by Kölner Verkehrsbetriebe (KVB) is an extensive light rail system that is partially underground (referred to as U-Bahn) and serves Cologne and a number of neighboring cities. Nearby Bonn is linked by both the city railway and Deutsche Bahn trains, and occasional recreational boats on the Rhine. Düsseldorf is also linked by S-Bahn trains which are operated by Deutsche Bahn.

There are also frequent buses covering most of the city and surrounding suburbs, and Eurolines coaches to London via Brussels.

Water transport

Häfen und Güterverkehr Köln (Cologne Ports and Railways) (HGK) is one of the largest operators for inland ports in Germany. Ports include Köln-Deutz, Köln-Godorf, and Köln-Niehl I and II. Köln-Düsseldorfer offers Rhine river cruises along the entire Rhine.

Air transport

Cologne's international airport is Cologne/Bonn Airport (CGN). It is also called Konrad Adenauer Airport after Germany's first post-war Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who was born in the city and was mayor of Cologne from 1917 until 1933. The airport is shared with the neighbouring city of Bonn. Cologne is headquarters to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The airport is also the main hub of the airline Germanwings.

source: Wikipedia

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