Driving from Calais to Cologne

  • Driving guides
  • Germany
  • 3 min read
Driving from Calais to Cologne

The LeShuttle guide to driving from Calais to Cologne in Germany. Find out everything you need to know about your journey from our Calais terminal to Cologne.

A top European winter destination, Cologne is Germany’s fourth largest city and a wonderful place to take a break at any time of the year. Renowned for its remarkable cityscape, the awe-inspiring cathedral, Kölner Dom, chocolate museum, find out how you can make your way to Cologne with LeShuttle.

From Cologne, you are also close to Bonn, a city that was once the capital of Germany.

How long does it take to drive from Calais to Cologne?

The drive from Calais to Cologne takes roughly 4 and a half hours via the most direct route. The most popular routes for your journey pass some of Europe’s most popular destinations, so you have plenty of options for more or fewer stops depending on the time you have.

The main route is via the E40, but as always, we have some excellent alternatives for you.

a row of colourful buildings in green, orange, pink, and white with a towering Gothic cathedral behind them and a blue sky above

Are there any tolls from Calais to Cologne?

The most direct route to Cologne, the E40, doesn’t have any tolls to pay. You can relax and enjoy the scenery. Be sure to check for tolls if you are deviating from the route or change your mind as you travel.

The most direct route to Cologne – E40 via Brussels & Aachen

If you don’t have much time on your trip for stopping, this is the best route for you as it is the most direct. The E40 takes you through Brussels and Aachen, with service stations available for a quick pit stop if you need refreshments or a comfort break.

Aachen has an exceptional cathedral and the Wurm River running through the city, so riverside dining is always an option.

If you do have time for longer stops, you have both Bruges or Ghent available to you. Both cities have interesting history behind them, as well as wonderful places to eat and stay.

aerial view of the port and docks in Antwerp Belgium with rows of buildings lining the water and a blue sky filled with clouds abovePerhaps plan a stop in Antwerp?

Outside of the more direct option, these routes allow you to take in even more sights as you make your way to Cologne.

E40 & A4 via Ghent & Antwerp

This route keeps you a little closer to the coast and allows for a stop in Belgium’s port city Antwerp, just use the E40 before swapping to the A4 and continuing from there. Antwerp is Belgium’s second biggest city, and home to a vibrant fashion and entertainment scene. If you have the chance to visit on your drive, the stunning cobbled lanes, cathedral, and cafes are a wonderful addition to your trip.

A25 & E42 via Lille and Liege

This route sees you initially head south towards Lille in France before you cross into Belgium to Liège, a city along the Meuse River with a Medieval twist. From Calais to Lille is around 1 hour and 30 minutes with no tolls. From there to Liège is a further 2 hours’ drive, again with no tolls.

E40 via Monschau

A little under four hours from Calais and just over the Belgian border into Germany is the village of Monschau which is rather beautiful, especially during the festive period, when its Christmas market is in full swing. Visit anytime however to enjoy cobbled streets and timbered buildings, not to mention the 13th century church.

If you take this route, you also can enjoy Eifel Nature Park or North Rhine-Westphalia nearby for some outdoor adventures, just bring your walking boots.

An arched bridge made of metal stretching across a wide river with a Gothic cathedral on the banks

Start your drive to Cologne with LeShuttle

LeShuttle can get you from Folkestone, UK to Calais in just 35 minutes. From there, you can drive to exciting destinations like Cologne, or maybe Amsterdam is next on your list? We have plenty of driving guides like this one available so you can get going on your next European adventure.

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