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 Western Germany. Cheap tickets and discount deals are often available, especially when traveling over weekends and booking in advance.
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.
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 night life. 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 4h40. 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.
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 require 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. However, sometimes the savings are worth the risk as specials are often available on either section of the journey but less often all the way from London to Germany.
Eurostar makes reservations from London to Cologne or Aachen but on the Brussels to Germany leg, Eurostar currently books travelers only on TGV Thalys trains. By ignoring the German Railways ICE trains, fewer connections are available and special deals offered by Deutsche Bahn are not applied.
Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) allows online reservations from London to Cologne, or any other German destination, on the Eurostar via Brussels and on to Germany on either TGV Thalys or ICE trains. The better deals are often available on ICE trains only. Furthermore, ICE trains do not require seat reservations while both the TGV Thalys and Eurostar trains do. Deutsche Bahn frequently has special deals especially when booking in advance, staying a Saturday night, or traveling in small groups.
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 airberlin, Germanwings, Ryanair, and EasyJet offer cheap services between major British and German cities.