Rhine Cable Car (Kölner Seilbahn) Cologne

Kölner Seilbahn

7 EUR (adult return)



There are periodically discussions, whether the Cologne local transport is upgraded by cable car traffic over the river Rhine. However, there is a cable car in Cologne since 1957, introduced with the Bundesgardenschau (National Gardening exhibition) in the city. It connects the Cologne Zoo area with the Rheinpark in Cologne-Mülheim, which hosted the park-alike exhibition more than sixty years ago. The Kölner Seilbahn (“Cologne cable car”), how the transportation is officially called, is nowadays rather a tourist attraction.


Rhine Cable Car Cologne – Location & Admission

As said above, the Kölner Seilbahn connects the Zoo station with the Rheinpark one. The Zoo station does not only feature the animal park and the adjacent Flora, it is also connected to the local traffic (Underground line 18). The Rheinpark station is mainly offering to stroll through the park area. On top of that, there is one of Cologne’s most famous spas, the Claudius Therme. There is a bus stop close to the cable car station, which is serviced by three bus lines, 150, 250 and 260. The Zoo station is also offering car parks for cars and coaches.

The Rhine Cable Car is operating in the summer months only, typically from April to October. It is operating from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. On special occasions, there are nighttime services, e.g. during the Cologne fireworks Kölner Lichter. A one-way trip is 4.80 Euro, a return ticket 7.50 Euro (adult ticket). There are some options for minor reductions, e.g. in combination with a zoo ticket or a spa admission. The cable car is not part of the public transport system.


Rhine Cable Car Cologne – The Cable Cars

The one-way trip is roughly 900 meters, which can be serviced by up to 44 wagons. In peak times, they can operate with an average distance of 51 meters while on track. Cable cars are surprisingly effective in their energy consumption. The two engines operate at 37kW each. Each cabin can be driven with four people up to a total weight of 320 kgs. They do not have air conditioning or similar amenities.


Rhine Cable Car Cologne – The Ride

After all the details – here is what you in fact want to see – the views of from the cabins. You have a lovely view over the river Rhine. Cologne Cathedral is likely your key attraction to watch during your trip. The ship traffic on the river as well as the traffic on the nearby Zoobrücke (“Zoo Bridge”), which the cable car is crossing, are nice views as well. A funny thing is that once you are approaching the Rheinpark station, you see the Claudius Therme including its nudity area from above. This regularly leads to confusion – and amazement – at the visitors.

Of course, the view is not that different on the way back. Even on a round trip, you have to leave the cabin and re-enter the station. Depending on how you are seated, you might have some different views on the way back.


Rhine Cable Car Cologne – My View

On a sunny day in Cologne, riding the Kölner Seilbahn is one of the most beautiful things you can do in the city. The view over the river Rhine is lovely. However, the location is rather remote – if you do not fancy a day at the lovely Cologne Zoo. I still recommend a relaxing trip twice over the Rhine.



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