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10

You do need an emission sticker for the inner parts of both cities. Here are links to maps showing the zone for Düsseldorf and Cologne (Köln) to see if your destination is part of the zone. If these links become invalid, just use Google's picture search for "Umweltzone [name of city]" and you should get decent results. First I'd ask the car rental company ...


6

There are only two German airports that have non-stop service from San Francisco: Frankfurt and Munich. Frankfurt is closer by about 170 miles. The official flight time difference is not meaningful: 11h 10m vs 11h 15m. Random factors, like wind, weather, gate traffic, taxiing, etc is going to make more of a difference than the actual distance. Technically ...


4

The most commonly used airports for such a trip are: Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) Dusseldorf International Airport (DUS) Both are served by US-American Airlines from the US. There are also non-stop flights to Frankfurt, which you may want to prefer. Airport Cologne-Bonn (CGN) is actually closer, but less commonly used for such trips. Trying to ...


3

One option you can consider is that Lufthansa has a partnership with Deutsche Bahn, the German train operator. You can go to Lufthansa.com and make a single booking consisting of a flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt (operated by either United or Lufthansa) and a train ticket from Frankfurt to Cologne, with a guaranteed connection in case your flight is ...


2

Frankfurt Airport has a long distance train station attached to the airport, with a direct link to Cologne. The train Frankfurt - Cologne is pretty much the fastest train run in the country. It is one of the few places in Germany where the ICE actually runs at 300km/h (I have a picture to prove it!), and there is only 1 stop in between, the trip takes about ...


2

Alternatives for Frankfurt, which has the best connection to Cologne, are Amsterdam (AMS, Schiphol airport, the Netherlands) and Paris, (CDG, Charles de Gaulle, France) and likely a couple more I did not check. The travel time from the USA to Europe will be about the same, maybe a bit less, but not a lot. Both cities I mentioned have direct trains to ...


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