Cologne station safe?

Gadget88

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I was there a few months ago been once before but the area doesn’t seem very safe especially the main hall always seemed to be trouble possibly with Homeless too. I have visited many European cities but did not feel safe here anybody else had issues in a Cologne?
 
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Spamcan81

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I was there a few months ago been once before but the area doesn’t seem very safe especially the main hall always seemed to be trouble possibly with Homeless too. I have visited many European cities but did not feel safe here anybody else had issues in a Cologne?
No problems on my last trip there but that was last year, presumably before your recent visit.
 

ainsworth74

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I've been there a few times just the other month and it felt fine no more or less safe/unsafe than a large UK station. Only thing that was a bit different was the presence of beggars on the platforms at a large station (perhaps an advantage of lots of large UK stations being barriered?) though looking glumly at them and going "English please?" usually seemed to send them on their way quick enough.
 

farci

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Central stations in major German cities are underground and sometimes don’t look safe. IMO Cologne is no worse than others and there is active private security
 

tony6499

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Always keep your wits about you and use your common sense. I've been in a few continental stations in the evening/at night and some do feel a little more threatening than at home but that may be because we're in a foreign country as well
 

Islineclear3_1

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Which ones, out of interest? Assuming you mean main stations, the only one I've felt nervy in is Charing Cross, specifically the gents, which is full of all sorts of neer-do-wells since the charge was abolished.
Blackfriars, Victoria and Kings Cross

There was security standing outside Victoria toilets the other day who didn't look customer-friendly; my wife chanced it but I dived into the unisex toilets instead of going downstairs and once I was inside, I heard one of the security guys hollering in no unfriendly terms at someone who probably wanted to go in the unisex as well

At Kings Cross, someone made a pass at me...
 

Bletchleyite

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Edinburgh Waverley had a similar feel to Cologne.
Really? One of the aspects that leads to German stations having an edgey feel is that a lot of it is often crammed into an underpass - Edinburgh Waverley (which feels totally safe to me) has no underpass.

(The reason for this is that bridging the higher loading gauge results in a rather large bridge!)
 

30907

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Really? One of the aspects that leads to German stations having an edgey feel is that a lot of it is often crammed into an underpass (...the reason for this is that bridging the higher loading gauge results in a rather large bridge!)
The reason is surely that the Prussian/German government insisted on replacing termini with through stations, and putting the railway at ground level was no longer an option post 1870 (though with Cologne, I suspect it was the Hohenzollern Bridge that was the deciding factor).
 

Bletchleyite

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The reason is surely that the Prussian/German government insisted on replacing termini with through stations, and putting the railway at ground level was no longer an option post 1870 (though with Cologne, I suspect it was the Hohenzollern Bridge that was the deciding factor).
That I didn't know - but Germany does indeed have very few end-on termini like the UK has loads of. There are of course stations with bridges but that relies on the railway being below ground level - Hamburg Hbf and Luebeck Hbf are two I can think of. The only UK style footbridge I recall in Germany is somewhere in the East and it is *high* even compared with the UK ones that go over OHLE.
 

duesselmartin

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Really? One of the aspects that leads to German stations having an edgey feel is that a lot of it is often crammed into an underpass - Edinburgh Waverley (which feels totally safe to me) has no underpass.

(The reason for this is that bridging the higher loading gauge results in a rather large bridge!)
But the non travelling public is similar.
 

Bletchleyite

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But the non travelling public is similar.
I haven't found significant issues with what you might term "non-travelling public" at Waverley or indeed other major UK stations. They do hang around on the steps and at the top of them and in the city centre itself, but not really in the station - security seem far quicker to remove them than their equivalents in Germany.

That the station is locked up overnight might well help here too.
 

scragend

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I was at Cologne station for the first time a couple of months ago. I arrived late at night, it was cold, dark and wet, and it's true that there were a few undesirables knocking about. I wouldn't say I felt unsafe, but it was a pretty dismal experience.

I was staying at the Station Hostel just a short walk away (the name itself makes the establishment sound less than salubrious IMO), and that was a bit dingy too. All grey painted walls and too dim lighting. Fortunately I was only staying for one night and was off very early in the morning to the airport.
 

AlbertBeale

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German stations do feel a bit rough - Hamburg Hbf is the only place I've ever seen someone openly injecting drugs - but you aren't likely to come to any kind of grief beyond pickpocketing, which you should watch for at any station anywhere.
I was in and out of, and through and round, Hamburg Hbf frequently over a period of nearly a week recently (using it both for trains a number of times, and for the metro, as well as for other station facilities; and staying very close by). It was a lively and bustling station at all hours (like many such big, busy, city centre stations), but I felt absolutely no more threat than at any such station in Britain (indeed, allowing for my relative linguistic and cultural unfamiliarity with Germany, it probably felt rather "friendlier" than some in Britain - and I don't think I'm especially unworldly or naive about these things).

My experience of Cologne is much less, but I did find the main concourse and passageway between platforms absolutely fine, including after dark. My main problem was the fact that the place is partly surrounded by big pedestrian-unfriendly roads, cutting you off from where you might want to go - now I did find that a bit unnerving.

The only (non-UK) European station I've sometimes felt threatened in, and where someone once tried to rob me, was Gare de Nord in Paris; I've always found the tunnels from the main station to the RER (and the latter's platforms) reminded me somewhat of Bladerunner. (Though rather that than the enforced trip up and down levels via a shopping mall in between trains, as being proposed for there...)
 

AlbertBeale

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Blackfriars, Victoria and Kings Cross

There was security standing outside Victoria toilets the other day who didn't look customer-friendly; my wife chanced it but I dived into the unisex toilets instead of going downstairs and once I was inside, I heard one of the security guys hollering in no unfriendly terms at someone who probably wanted to go in the unisex as well

At Kings Cross, someone made a pass at me...
Many years ago, one lot of the gents at [London] Victoria was well known for cottaging - which did bother some people (though certainly not everyone).

The area around Kings Cross, which I know well, has gone up and down a lot over the decades, in terms of how visitors perceive its safety, though it's never felt especially bad for most regulars/locals of my acquaintance (the exception being some women friends, who found it a bit off in some eras). The station itself has never felt rough to me; though some of the tube platforms very late at night are another matter.
 

Aictos

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The only stations I've encountered to be flooded with beggers is Gare Du Nord in Paris and to a lesser extend but the same problem at Gare Du Est in Paris - the former is so bad that it's advisable not to get a table by the pavement by the cafes outside as you will get stopped by them.

Never really had a issue as such in Germany or other European countries to feel unsafe.
 

scragend

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The only (non-UK) European station I've sometimes felt threatened in, and where someone once tried to rob me, was Gare de Nord in Paris; I've always found the tunnels from the main station to the RER (and the latter's platforms) reminded me somewhat of Bladerunner. (Though rather that than the enforced trip up and down levels via a shopping mall in between trains, as being proposed for there...)
I agree about Gare du Nord. I don't think I've ever used the RER from there, so I can only go off the mainline station. It is potentially a nice station (particularly the frontage), but the fact that you step outside and tend to be immediately accosted by a beggar who, when he asks you to give him money and you say no, follows up with "Why not?" isn't exactly a welcoming first impression of Paris.
 

alex397

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I would also agree about Gare du Nord. I think it applies to most of Paris too. I've travlled to most parts of Western and Eastern Europe now, and Paris is the only place i've felt really unsafe. The amount of times gangs of people tried to corner me or grabbed me by the arm was terrifying - and this was in very busy areas in the middle of the day. Goodness knows what the grimy parts of Paris in the evening are like. I've visited three times and always had issues.
 

Bletchleyite

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I would also agree about Gare du Nord. I think it applies to most of Paris too. I've travlled to most parts of Western and Eastern Europe now, and Paris is the only place i've felt really unsafe. The amount of times gangs of people tried to corner me or grabbed me by the arm was terrifying - and this was in very busy areas in the middle of the day. Goodness knows what the grimy parts of Paris in the evening are like. I've visited three times and always had issues.
I've never had issues like that - the only time anyone has attempted to attack me was what felt like an attempted pickpocketing in Amsterdam which was fended off with a sharp whack. Paris does feel rough to me, though, Gare du Nord particularly so.
 

duesselmartin

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Paris felt ok to ne. Rome was another matter. I noticed at least five pick pocket tricks in me in three days. Termini station is very unpleasant. Milan felt relaxed in comparision.
 

raetiamann

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I've used Cologne Hbf numerous times over the last wish years, without any problem, but I'm aware of very odd instances of tension outside the cathedral entrance.
 

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