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Traffic in Cologne

Mobility is the most important thing if you plan to experience the diversity of the city in full. For this purpose you don't have to use your own car.

The public transport system in Cologne is knitted very tightly. It's possible to get to know the whole city by using S-Bahn, the trams or busses by the KVB. Such a trip soon can turn into a guided tour if you dare to ask some natives. By taxi or rented car every corner can be reached, but especially at weekends and during trade fairs a drive may take more time due to heavy traffic. Cheaper and more healthy is a tour by bike; there a break in one of the many parks or by the Rhine can be planned too. And of course a tour by ship is the highlight of every visit in Cologne.




Public transport

With the around 250 buses and 350 trams of the Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe (KVB) (Cologne Transport Company), 800,000 people are on the move in Cologne daily. Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG is one of the largest public transport companies in Germany.

However, the needs of the people to be mobile do not stop at the city limits; many commuters come to Cologne from the surrounding region. Thus, in 1987, nine areas and citys which are free from areas merged to form the Rhine-Sieg Transport Association (VRS), in order to jointly develop transport concepts, and to offer passengers uniform tariffs, tickets and attractive connections.

KVB Fahrplan

VRS Fahrplan

 Motorway crossing Cologne East









Mobile parking






Map green zone


Today Cologne, the city of millions, also has one of the top traffic infrastructures in Europe. 10 main branches of the European motorway network meet in Cologne. Although the closed motorway ring circulating the city is exemplary, traffic jams are commonplace, not only during the rush hour or at the beginning of the main holidays. The A3, for example, the eastern section of the Cologne circular motorway experiences the highest ever traffic density in Germany.


Aachen (AC) - 91 150 80 134 259 149 70 212
Bonn (BN) 91 - 120 77 105 175 63 27 84
Dortmund (DO) 150 120 - 63 34 264 190 83 35
Düsseldorf (D) 80 77 63 - 29 232 158 47 29
Essen (E) 134 105 34 29 - 249 175 68 36
Frankfurt (F) 159 175 264 232 249 - 137 189 236
Koblenz (KO) 149 63 190 158 175 137 - 115 162
Köln (K) 70 27 83 47 68 189 115 - 55
Wuppertal (W) 121 84 63 29 36 136 162 55 -

Distances in km

Parking in Cologne

ParkleitsystemA traffic guide system has been set up as a pilot scheme which displays information about the current traffic situation in the city on the motorways surrounding Cologne and on the link roads. Parallel to this, a parking guide system simplifies travel in the inner city of Cologne for motorway drivers. Around 30 multistorey car parks are linked to the system. The position and space-situation of car parks are displayed on large, partly electronically controlled road-report signs.

ParkleitsystemSince the beginning of 2008 parking fees can be paid via mobile phones. One call is enough and only the time you actually parked is counted.

In Cologne, but also other cities, mobile parking is possible. Different companies offer this service for which you have to be registered in the internet beforehand.

Cologne's environmental green zone

UmweltzoneOne of the first environmental green zones was coming into force as of January 1, 2008 in Cologne. As of now, you are able to order the environmental badge online from your home country. The traffic signs that mark the entrance to an environmental zone belong to the general traffic indicators in effect for everyone and also apply to foreign vehicles. Generally, at the same locations as all registered vehicles in Germany a tag can be acquired; at the vehicle registration office, the engineers' associations, such as the Technical Inspection Authority or Dekra and at all workshops in Germany licensed to do an EI (Emissions-Inspection). It is of course easier to order the tag online, for example at the city of Cologne directly.

Traffic in Cologne

Traffic NRW







Taxi & car rentals

In Köln sind etwa 1.200 Taxis unterwegs, von denen die meisten über die Taxiruf-Zentrale erreichbar sind. Nach dem Anruf ist das Taxi in der Regel innerhalb einer Viertelstunde an Ort und Stelle, nur sollte der Köln-Besucher zu Zeiten der großen Messen morgens und abends für längere Wartezeiten gewappnet sein. Dafür werden auch Sonderwünsche gern erfüllt, so stehen zum Beispiel Großraum- und Nichtrauchertaxis zur Verfügung. Frauen können auf Wunsch auch von einer Taxifahrerin zu ihrem Zielort chauffiert werden. Und so mancher Taxifahrer entpuppt sich auf Nachfrage womöglich sogar als waschechter Stadtführer, der auch über eher unbekannte Details Bescheid weiss. Taxistände sind übrigens an allen großen Plätzen in der Stadt zu finden.

Daneben gibt es natürlich die Möglichkeit, für den mobilen Köln-Besuch einen Mietwagen zu buchen. Da die Fahrt durch die dicht befahrenen Innenstadtstraßen für Ortsunkundige schnell stressig werden kann, ist eine weitere Alternative die Buchung eines Wagens inklusive Chauffeur.




The KölnTourismus Board only arranges coaches for city sight-seeing trips. For to rent coaches for transport or excursions to surrounding areas please apply directly to the coach firms.


Bike, rikshaw & Co.