There are many different ways to travel to the event and a lot of people will be using more than one method of transport to get there.
Cologne-Bonn Airport is the nearest airport and has a connecting train station to get to the City centre with ease. Airlines to look at are Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings.
Koelnmesse can be quickly reached by train from many cities in Germany and abroad. If you fly to Dusseldorf, take the S11 Skytrain to Düsseldorf Central Station (Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof) and change for a non-stop intercity service to Köln Hauptbahnhof.
Expect a journey time of approximately one hour from Cologne-Bonn airport. Getting around Cologne is also easy with a single ticket covering the Metro and Trams. You can use public transport for free in the whole VRR & VRS regions as it is included in your gamescom ticket.
Koelnmesse Conference Center is a 20-30 minute tram ride across the Rhine River from the city center. Trams 1, 3, 4 and 9 service this route.
Ten motorways are linked with the motorway ring around Cologne. This leads you directly to the fair grounds without being held up by crossroads or traffic lights. Simply follow the green "Koelnmesse" signs.
You can also follow the signs to the designated exhibitor and visitor car parks. The car parks are connected to the entrances of the centre.
Photo courtesy of The Crazy Tourist
Plan Your Days
Gamescom 2019 is extremely busy, over 370,000 visitors attended in 2018; this makes it difficult to do all of the activities you may want within a limited time. Here’s what you can do to get the most out of your visit.
You can't possibly see everything you want to in one day, you’ll need to arrange to come for at least two days to see it all with the amount of queueing needed.
When you visit Gamescom 2019, be aware of what games will be on offer and where they are located - pick a few games you really want to see and plan to visit those first; bare in mind that the bigger the game, the bigger the line.
You can approach the convention in two ways, get there very early to lower the queue time or come later in the day when it's less busy. The event starts at 9am, but the public will no doubt be queuing much earlier than this. Get there early to ensure you can get to the front of the line for your favourite games. In contrast, as the day goes on, people will start to leave the venue. As a result, the venue will be less busy and the queues will be shorter - Gamescom 2019 also offer a late arrival ticket for just €7 after 4pm.
My suggestion would be to dedicate the morning to queuing for the bigger games and use the afternoon to jump on the smaller ones as the venue clears out.
The event runs from Wednesday to Saturday. The Friday and Saturday will be the busiest days of the week, the earlier you can get out there the better.
If games offer the ability to book appointments or sessions, make sure you get ahead of the game and do it; this can also help you plan out your day.
Photo courtesy of Demodern.com
If you’re travelling to Gamescom 2019 from outside of the country, accommodation will be expensive; especially with over 370,000 people attending.
Your best bet is looking at hotels that may be a bit further out from the event to get a cheaper rate, especially if you’re booking nearer towards the event date. If you’re going with a large group of friends, getting an apartment can end up being cheaper and easier for everyone.
Another option is ‘Gamescom Camp’, this is essentially what it sounds like - a large camping site for Gamescom 2019 attendees. The campsite opens on the 19th August at 2pm and closes on the 25th August at 4pm. The campsite comes with multiple options for you to choose from including multi-person tents and camp-houses. It also has a wifi tent, lockers, food and drinks and gaming activities. If you’re on a budget, this could be a good option.
Photo courtesy of Gamescom
Take Care Of Yourself
As the event is so busy and queues can be long, you may forget to look after yourself accordingly. Your experience at Gamescom 2019 can quickly become a bad one if you’re not feeling your best.
Although there are lots of options for food, they can be expensive and overwhelmed with queues; the last thing you’ll want to do is queue again after a morning full of it. Bring plenty of food and water along with you, this will stop you being caught out and be easier on the wallet.
Something that may be laughed at is bringing a foldable camping chair. Some queues can be 4-5 hours long, if you really want to try out a game, it may not be the worst idea.
Make sure you are wearing comfy shoes and loose fitting clothes. You’ll be on your feet for a large amount of the day and the event can get extremely hot; especially in August
Lastly, if you’re there for the full week, break it up and explore the city of Cologne. You don’t want your only memories of the trip to be of you staring at the back of someone’s head for several hours.
Photo courtesy of The Baltimore Sun
Cologne has a great nightlife, the main hub in Cologne is around the Cathedral and there are plenty of bars and restaurants to visit to get some great food and drink.
During the event week, this is where a large majority of Gamescom’s attendees will be hanging out and will provide the opportunity to mingle with new friends from around the world.
Some places to visit are: Seiberts, Cologne Carnival Party, Spirits Bar, Love Lock Bridge, Papa Joe’s Jazz Lokal, The Corkonian Irish Pub, Pub Crawl Cologne.
Photo courtesy of Hotels.com