a VirtualTourist member
Hello! it's my first visit to Germany! Please, help me 1) how to get to train station from 2-terminal? 2) Our plane arrives at 5:40 pm, should I be able to catch an 7 pm train for Cologne with that arrival time? 3) Which one is the best choice: to buy tickets at the airport train station or online? thanks in advance!
From Terminal 2, take the SkyLine train to Terminal 1, then follow the "DB" signs toward "Fernbahnhof" (not "Regionalbahnhof). I see an ICE train departing for Koeln (Cologne) Hauptbahnhof (main train station) at 7:09 pm scheduled to depart from Gleis (track) "Fern 6." Cost for a ticket is EUR 66. As for making the train, if the flight arrives on time, i'd guess it's about a 50/50 chance of picking up your luggage, making it through immigration and customs, buying a ticket / validating a railpass, and getting to the track. The good news is, there's another train departing at 7:25 pm from track "Fern 7" to Cologne's Messe/Deutz station, then another train to the Hauptbahnhof at 8:09. Here are a few links to help you:
1. The railway station is very well-signed indeed within the airport complex so you should have no problems.Here's a map:
2. It should, in theory, be possible to catch the 7pm train but I wouldn't be happy to risk it. Your inbound flight may be delayed or you may get held up at border control or baggage reclaim. Frankfurt is a huge airport and it's possible you'll have quite a walk from your arrival point to the railway station.
The best place to look for train times, details and fares is on the official German railway website:
Choose 'Frankfurt(Main)Flugh' , which is the railway station actually in the airport.
3. As noted above, there are some cheaper online fares available but it's up to you whether you want to risk missing the train and having to buy another ticket. There are plenty of trains from the airport to Cologne (Koeln on bahn.de) so you might want to just buy the ticket when you get to the station.
i think you will be struggling to make it to a train in 70 minutes, if you need to clear immigration and customs this all takes time. Our luggage took 40 or 50 minutes to appear on the carousel and then we had all the above stuff to go through. If you do buy an advance train ticket give yourself 2 hours, there are plenty of cafes and so on to occupy you if you have spare time. I did prebook my train ticket and allowed 3 hours (flew from Australia) and really only had time for breakfast and then had to go and catch the train. Frankfurt aiport is huge but is well signed.
If you buy a ticket at standard fare it wil be valid for any train on the route. Buying it in advance thus saves you the hassle of having to buy it at the station. In that case you just walk of the plane, through immigration and on the first train that goes your way. OTOH, the ticket machins are very fast and user friendly, so you can just get the ticket once there.
go into the German Rail website bahn.de and select your dates, the departure (Frankfurt Airport and destination Cologne hbf, and you will see the times and cost. there are some direct trains and some require 1 change. I would choose the direct train simply for ease with luggage. You will see 2 columns with prices, Special price is online booking but you are bound to the train you selected. Buying at the station allows you to use a different train but the cost is more.
struggling to make it to a train in 70 minutes
I think you have gotten great advice as to how to get to the train station. However if you miss the 1900 train, there is another train leaving at 1944 which is a direct train. I have taken the train from Cologne to Frankfurt and found the train extremely comfortable, fast and hassle free. The train station in Cologne is well situated to downtown and within a stones throw of the Cologne Cathedral.