Eurostar, TGV Thalys, and ICE trains offer fast, cheap transportation from London and England to Christmas markets in Germany such as Cologne, Aachen, and Frankfurt.
Eurostar trains, combined with TGV Thalys or Inter-City-Express (ICE) trains, are often the fastest and most convenient way to travel from London and England to Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmärkte) in German cities including Aachen, Cologne, and Frankfurt. Although all parts of Germany can easily be reached by train, Cologne with its large Christmas markets is particularly popular with British travelers due to the ease and speed of the train ride from England via Belgium to Germany. Cheap tickets and discount deals are often available, especially when traveling over weekends and booking in advance. Both Omio and Deutsche Bahn are great sites for booking train tickets.
By Eurostar Trains from London and England to Christmas Markets in Germany
For British tourists traveling by train to Christmas markets in Germany, Cologne (Köln) and Aachen (Aix-La-Chapelle) are particularly attractive destinations. The actual traveling time to Cologne can be as fast as four hours (but add check-in times for the Eurostar!)
Aachen is the closest German town if traveling by rail from England. It has an interesting old town with important sights related to Charlemagne and the crowing of the German emperors during the early Middle Ages. The Carolus Therme hot water spa baths are also a pleasure to visit on a cold day.
Cologne is a much bigger city with larger Christmas markets, excellent museums and galleries, and lively nightlife. It is well worth spending an additional half an hour on the train to travel all the way to the Rhine River.
Train journeys from England to Germany generally start on the Eurostar train via the Channel Tunnel to Brussels. From Brussels Midi, fast TGV Thalys trains run to Aachen and Cologne while German Railways (DB) have sleek Inter-City-Express (ICE) trains running from Brussels Midi to Aachen, Cologne, and on to Frankfurt am Main.
Traveling times from London to Cologne by Eurostar and ICE trains can be as fast as 3h59. London to Brussels takes around two hours on the Eurostar while Brussels to Cologne is just over two hours on a TGV Thalys or DB ICE train. Add another hour if on an ICE train to reach Frankfurt am Main.
Remember the longer check-in times required for the Eurostar in London (and Brussels on the return journey). The ICE trains may be boarded up to the departure time.
Cologne is a very important railway junction with frequent trains departing from here to all parts of Germany. British travelers heading to Munich, Bavaria, and other destinations in the south of Germany can also use routings via Paris and Strasbourg.
The Best Deals and Savings on Trains from London to Germany
Getting the best deals on train tickets from England to Germany requires a bit of research. It may sometimes be cheaper to book the London to Brussels and Brussels to Cologne legs separately but in such case, the traveler carries most of the risk if a connection is missed.
It is also worth comparing offers: at times the exact same trains booked at different services may have different prices. Omio and Trainline are good comparative booking sites that will also include coach options. (The bus, especially Flixbus, is often the cheaper option when booking last minute but the journey times are much longer.)
It is also possible to book through Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) that may have special deals at times that are not always easily bookable through third party websites.
Christmas markets in Germany have long been popular travel destinations for British tourists. Many transportation options are available to travel from London, England, and the rest of the British Isles to Germany. The cheapest, if not necessarily the most comfortable, way to travel from England to visit Christmas markets in Germany is usually by coach or tour bus. Although the number of cheap flights between the UK and Germany has declined in recent years, various low-cost airlines including Ryanair, and EasyJet offer cheap services between major British and German cities, while Lufthansa often advertises cheap deals during quiet periods.