Berlin: the Oberbaum Bridge over the River Spree (photo © Michal Bednarek / dreamstime.com)
One big leap across Germany
Let’s not beat about the bush. The main rail route linking Cologne with Berlin will hardly inspire you with fine scenery. A sleek ICE train leaves Cologne Hauptbahnhof (Hbf) hourly for the German capital and the journey takes about five hours. Yet our route between the two German cities is the one taken during the Cold War years by the transit trains which linked West Germany with West Berlin.
MAP Double click on the map (or double tap on mobile) to zoom in. You can connect onto other routes in places shown in red. Change to a layer showing a more familiar road map view by clicking on the menu at the top right of the map. Get back to the original view by clicking on the house icon shown in the top left menu on the map.
Whether you are making a long grand tour or just planning a couple of weekend breaks, Europe by Rail is the perfect guide. The book describes over 50 key routes in detail. Together, they span mainland Europe and – brand new for this 16th edition – now also the British Isles. Find out more about the guidebook below.