Cologne/Bonn Airport (CGN) is a hub for low-cost carriers. There are connections every 10 to 20 minutes between the airport and Cologne central station (Köln Hauptbahnhof), take the S13 (towards Köln Hansaring) or RE8 (towards Mönchengladbach). Travel time is 15 minutes and a ticket costs €2,70. A taxi also takes 15 minutes and costs around €27. Cologne is less than an hour away from Frankfurt am Main Airport (FRA) and Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS) by train.
From Frankfurt Airport you can connect with intercity express (ICE) services to Cologne. The travel time between Frankfurt airport and Cologne is around an hour. Tickets cost €66 but savings can be made if you book online through DB Bahn where you can print out your ticket in advance (alternative language versions of their website are available from the drop down menu at the top of their home page). There is also a (much) slower but cheaper IC train route you can take. Taking a taxi is not recommended.
From Düsseldorf take the "SkyTrain" to the airport's train station where every half-hour regional trains connect the airport to Cologne's central station. Catch either RE1 ("NRW-Express" towards Aachen) or 5 ("Rhein-Express" towards Koblenz). Trains usually depart from platform (Gleis) 4. Travel time is around 40 minutes and a ticket costs €10,80. Taking a taxi may cost between €80-100.
High-speed trains link Cologne to many German and European cities. Thalys connects the city directly to Brussels (1:47) and Paris (3:14); ICE offers through trains from Amsterdam (2:38) and Berlin (between 4:30 and 5 hours). London is around 4:30, changing in Brussels via Eurostar.
Cologne central station (Köln Hauptbahnhof) is located in the city centre and is less than ten minutes’ walk from the conference venue.
Connections are especially good between eastern European cities and Cologne. The bus station is located in the centre of Cologne next to the central train station. To reach the conference venue you will need to walk through the central train station to the cathedral side.
GESIS and the Maternushaus can be reached via Autobahn A1, A3, A4, A57, A59 and A555. Take the exit for "Zentrum/Innenstadt" and follow the red colored "Dom/Rhein" signs of the Cologne car-park routing system until you see the cathedral (Dom). Finding a parking place free of charge and close to the venue is difficult. However, there are numerous public car parks (chargeable) within walking distance.
Cologne has a good bus and tram network. Tickets are sold on a regional zonal tariff basis. The city of Cologne, Cologne/Bonn Airport, main train station, and the IASSIST conference venue are all located in zone 1b. Tickets in zone 1b cost €2,70. However, if your journey is less than four stops you can buy a cheaper KurzstreckenTicket (Short Trip Ticket) for €1,90.
Tickets are available for one person or for groups of up to five, and for one or four journeys. Other tickets (week, month) are available for longer periods, but run from Monday to Sunday or the first to last day of the month - not when you first use the ticket. With the WelcomeCard tourists can use public transport for 24 hours.
Ticket vending machines are available on buses, underground and tram trains, and at most stops. However, be aware these machines often only accept coins or an EC card. Tickets bought here are automatically validated. If you purchase your ticket at a sales outlet, please validate it as soon as you enter the vehicle by using the red validating machine.
The closest stations to the conference venue are Dom/Hbf or Appellhofplatz.