Low-emission zone in Köln (Cologne)

Köln, in English better known as Cologne, was together with Berlin and Hannover the first German city that introduced a low-emission zone. Since 1 January 2008, an emissions sticker is required for most motorized vehicles. On this page you can read everything you need to know about the situation in the Cologne. Will you also visit other German cities? Then please look at this list of all low-emission zones in Germany. Want to know more about the emissions sticker itself instead? Please read this explanation.

Order the German emissions sticker

Order your sticker

Order the official German emissions sticker, now for only €13,95 including VAT and delivery costs.

Map of the low-emission zone of Cologne

kaart: Umweltzone in Cologne

On the map above, the low-emission zone of Köln is indicated with orange. Within this zone, an emissions sticker is required. Initially the low-emission zone was restricted to the city center, but in 2012 it was expanded to include most of the suburbs as well. A second expansion in 2019 also included the parts of Cologne east of the Rhine. Smaller towns around Cologne that are part of the agglomeration, such as Pulheim, Frechen, Hürth and Porz, do not belong to the low-emission zone. An emissions sticker is not required here.


Within the low-emission zone of Cologne, there are a few roads where you will not receive a fine if your vehicle does not have an emissions sticker. First of all, an emissions sticker is not required on the A1 that passes through the western part of the low-emission zone. And as long as you stay on the Militäringstraße just a bit to the east, you will also not receive a fine. East of the city, a sticker is not required on the A3, the A4, a part of the B8 and the Mülheimer Zubringer. This last road connects the B8 and the A3. These roads are all marked with red lines on the map above.

Another important exception is if you want to reach Koelnmesse, the trade fair grounds (1 on the map) of Cologne. From the northwest you can use the A57 and then continue on the Innere Kanalstraße (L100) and the B55a until you reach the trade fair grounds. If you approach from the north, take the Riehler Straße along the Rhine. Close to the Kölner Zoo you can then continue on the B55a to the trade fair grounds. From the northeast the A3 connects to this same B55a, while from the southeast the A559, the Gummersbacherstraße and finally the Straße des 17. Juni lead you to the trade fair grounds. On the map, all of these streets are indicated with blue lines. The entire terrain of the Koelnmesse, including its parking lots, is not part of the low-emission zone of Cologne.

Parking outside the low-emission zone

Since the expansion of the low-emission zone in April 2012, an emissions sticker is required to reach most parking garages and P+R terrains of Cologne. A few P+R terrains still lie outside the low-emission zone. These are P+R Marsdorf (A on the map) close to junction Köln-West where the A1 and the A4 highways meet, and P+R Bocklemünd (B). This last P+R terrain technically lies within the low-emission zone, but it can be reached without a sticker if you follow the Venloer Straße. In both cases it is possible to park the entire day for only €2,50 and take a quick train to the city center.

Which emissions sticker do you need in Cologne?

The green emissions sticker

In Cologne the same green emissions sticker is required as in almost all other German cities with a low-emission zone. If you drive within the low-emission zone without a green emissions sticker, you risk a fine of €100.

Where to buy the emissions sticker

In the past the city of Cologne sold the sticker directly to owners of foreign vehicles, but since October 2018 they refer you to vehicle inspection companies such as DEKRA and TÜV. You can find them all over Germany. Make sure you bring your vehicle registration certificate and ask for an Umweltplakette, which is the common German name for an emissions sticker. The sticker cannot be bought at gas stations along the highway, unless there is a station authorized to perform exhaust emissions tests attached to it.

Order your emissions sticker

If you want to order the sticker online instead, you can use the order form on our website. The advantage is that you will receive the sticker at your home address, which saves you time because you will not need to go through the trouble or purchasing a sticker on the road in Germany. The required copy of your vehicle registration certificate can be uploaded together with your order. Payment options include most common credit cards, Apple Pay and bank transfer.

What is there to see and do in Cologne?


Cologne is the fourth largest city of Germany with many tourist attractions. First of all there is the Kölner Dom, the enormous cathedral that is one of the largest in the world. Even older are the famous twelve Romanesque churches of the city. If medieval architecture is not your thing, you could still visit one of the many museums Cologne has to offer. For art you can’t miss Museum Ludwig and the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, while the Romano-Germanic Museum informs you about the Roman history of Cologne. The Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum, where you can also taste chocolate, is one of the most visited museums of Germany. Important events are the Christmas markets in December, Carnival in February and many important trade fairs such as gamescom, photokina and Art Cologne throughout the year.

Order the German emissions sticker

Order your sticker

Order the official German emissions sticker, now for only €13,95 including VAT and delivery costs.

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