Cologne cable car



Mountain railway/cable car/lift

Soaring from the Zoo to the Rheinpark and back since 1957

After getting in, you’ll be lifted about 50 metres into the air — and in some cases even into seventh heaven. A ride in the Cologne Cable Car has been a tourist attraction since 1957. It’s also a good option for lovers who want to “take the next step”.

As you sit in one of the 44 cable cars, each decorated with a different motif, you’ll have a bird’s eye view of Cologne as you cross the Rhine, gently swaying, over a distance of 935 metres. The city’s nostalgic cable car runs from the Zoo to the Rheinpark and back. The one-way trip lasts about six minutes. At a relaxing speed of 10 km/h, you have enough time to take a good look around — or to get legally married. That too is possible in the Cologne Cable Car.

Every day between March and October, every 18 seconds

Eighteen seconds after your four-seat cable car rises, it’s the next car’s time to rise. As a result, the cable car can transport as many as 1,600 visitors per day. However, it operates only between March and the end of October, because in the winter it’s time for the maintenance and repair of this listed historical monument.

Combining tourist attractions or going on a night ride

When you visit the Cathedral City, you can use the cable car to connect several of Cologne’s tourist attractions in a way that’s fun for just about all of your companions, whether they’re young or old. For example, you can visit the Zoo and the Flora botanical garden, then cross the river by the cable car to the Rheinpark, which has a café and a playground, and finally stroll back across the Hohenzollern Bridge to the main railway station or the historic city centre.

We also highly recommend taking one of the regularly offered night trips such as Midsummer Eve, Shooting Star Watch, The Cable Car at Night, Indian Summer or Autumn Night. You’ll have a splendid view of the illuminated metropolis on the Rhine as well as the softly shimmering river.

Pure romance: Celebrate your engagement with a few friends at an airy height

But it can get even more romantic. Although a cable car can hold only four people, this fulfils the requirements for getting legally married as you cross the Rhine. This opportunity has been offered since 2008 in the Cologne Cable Car’s special wedding car, which will accommodate you and your partner as well as an official from the city’s registry office. It’s a concept that will get you very close to seventh heaven.

The history of the cable car, from 1957 until today

Shortly before the opening of the first National Garden Show in 1957, which was held on the grounds of today’s Rheinpark, the Cologne Cable Car — which was still called the Rheinseilbahn back then — went into operation as a bicable gondola lift. It was the first cable car in Europe that crossed a river. It remained unique in this category in Germany as well until 2011.

In operation for more than 65 years, transporting about 500,000 passengers per year

Because of the construction of the Zoo Bridge, the cable car was shut down for a few years starting in 1962 and its supports were rotated slightly. It has been operating regularly once again since 1966, transporting about 500,000 passengers per year. The cable car always attracts a large number of visitors, especially during major events in Cologne.

During its long history, the Cologne Cable Car has also experienced a few dark days when the cable cars stood still and passengers needed to be rescued. After such incidents, comprehensive technical changes were carried out as the company invested in new safety measures.

The Cologne Cable Car was built by the Julius Pohlig company

After the city council of Cologne had decided in 1955 to build a cable car, it commissioned the Cologne-based Julius Pohlig company to implement the construction project. In the following years, the company became the world’s biggest builder of cable cars. In addition to the Cologne Cable Car, Pohlig built the world’s first cabin cable car in Hong Kong in 1908 and a cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro in 1913, as well as many others. The company’s interesting history started with the construction of material cableways for the transportation of coal and ore in the mining industry.

The old chairlift in the Rheinpark

Some Cologne residents can still remember a different cableway that floated above the Rheinpark until the 1990s. It was designed as an open chairlift with wooden double seats and colourful roofs and enabled visitors to glide above the installations, flowerbeds and ponds of the Rheinpark at a height of ten metres. It was in effect a small continuation of the big cable car across the Rhine.

Unfortunately, it was discontinued after major repairs became necessary and was completely dismantled in 2003. However, a few reminders of the old chairlift still exist and may at some point end up in a Cologne museum.

Useful Information

General Information

  • Parking Available

  • Bus stop available


  • for families

  • for individual guests

Parking facilities

Buses & trams
- Left bank of the Rhine: Line 18, 140
- Right bank of the Rhine: Line 150, 250, 260

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Price info

Price adult: €5.00
Price child: €3.00

Our offers

Cologne Zoo
Zoo/wildlife park
Flora and Botanical Garden Cologne