Germany by Train

Trains - Tickets - Tours

A Travel Guide For Train Travel In Germany.

Here you will find information for Germany about trains, routes, tours, connections, where to buy train tickets, and more.

Useful Information

Population: 82.79 million

Currency: Euro

Language: German

Capital: Berlin

Country Code: +49

Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

Train Companies

The most of the trains in Germany are operated by Deutsche Bahn (DB); however, there is an abundance of smaller, private train operators around Germany. Some other well-known companies are listed below:

  • Flixtrain
  • ALEX
  • Eurobahn
  • HKX
  • Nord Ostsee Bahn (NOB)

 

Train Tickets

Buy your train tickets for Germany online on the Deutsche Bahn (DB) official homepage.

Rail Passes

Interrail / Eurail Pass

Do you want to travel throughout Europe flexibly and comfortably? Then the Interrail Pass is perfect for you. With the Interrail Pass, you can visit 40,000 destinations in 33 countries in Europe. You can travel for up to 3 months by train.

German Rail Pass

Explore Germany by train with the German Rail Pass. The German Rail Pass offers you unlimited train travel in Germany. You can take all trains up to 15 days.

TrAIN tYPES

S-Bahn (suburban trains) is a train network operating in larger cities.

  • No reservations, no differentiation in classes

Regional Express (RE) connects smaller cities to larger cities.

  • 2nd Class only
  • No reservations required
  • Trains are equipped with air-conditioning

Regionalbahn (RB) connects all cities in a region, slower than the regional express, and stops often at smaller towns.

  • 2nd Class only
  • No reservations required
  • Trains are equipped with air-conditioning

InterRegio (IR) links cities throughout different regions of Germany.

  • 1st and 2nd Class offered
  • No reservations required
  • Trains are equipped with air-conditioning and toilets

InterCity (IC) offers domestic and international connections between major cities.

  • 1st Class: Rows of three seats (2+1)
  • 2nd Class: Rows of four seats (2+2)
  • No reservations required; however, recommended during the peak travel season.
  • Trains are equipped with air-conditioning, WiFi, an onboard bistro, power sockets, in-seat service (1st class), and toilets.

InterCity Express Sprinter (ICE Sprinter) quickly connects the largest German cities multiple times a day.

  • 1st Class: Rows of three seats (2+1), or six-seat compartments
  • 2nd Class: Rows of four seats (2+2), or six-seat compartments
  • No reservations required
  • Trains are equipped with power sockets, air-conditioning, WiFi, and a bistro car offering a range of food and drinks.
  • Bicycles are allowed on trains if it is collapsible and stored in a bag

EuroCity (EC) operated by Deutsche Bahn, connects Germany to Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary Slovenia, and Croatia.

  • 1st Class: Rows of three seats (2+1)
  • 2nd Class: Rows of four seats (2+2), or six-seat compartments
  • No reservations required
  • Trains are equipped with electrical plug-ins, air-conditioning, and a bistro car offering a range of food and drinks.
  • Bicycles are allowed on trains; however, the bike needs an additional ticket.

InterCity Express (ICE) connects Frankfurt to Paris, France

  • 1st Class: Rows of three seats (2+1)
  • 2nd Class: Rows of four seats (2+2)
  • First-class passengers may enjoy additional benefits such as magazines, power outlets, and in-seat service.
  • Reservations required on this route
  • Trains are equipped with electrical plug-ins, free WiFi, toilets, and air-conditioning. Trains are equipped with an onboard bistro offering a range of food and drinks.

RailJet (RJ) connects Munich to Vienna and Salzburg, Austria, and also to Budapest, Hungary.

  • 1st Class: Rows of three seats (2+1), offering more legroom, Business Class is also offered. Purchase of a 1st Class ticket is required to be able to upgrade to the Business Class.
  • 2nd Class: Rows of four seats (2+2)
  • No reservations required*, but optional:
    • 2nd Class €4,50
    • 1st Class €5,90
  • Trains are equipped with electrical plug-ins, free WiFi, and air-conditioning. Trains are also equipped with a dining car offering a range of food and drinks.
  • Bicycles are allowed on trains; however, reservations for the bicycle are mandatory (online cost €3) and the bike needs an additional ticket.
  • *Reservations are required to Hungary 

TGV connects Germany to Paris, France

  • 1st and 2nd Classes offered
  • Reservations required, book as soon as possible
  • Trains are equipped with electrical plug-ins, free WiFi, and air-conditioning. Trains are equipped with a dining car offering a range of food and drinks.
  • Bicycles are allowed on trains, but the bike needs an additional ticket.

Thalys (THA) connects Cologne to Brussels, Belgium and to Paris, France

  • Premium Class: Rows of three seats (2+1), includes a meal, drinks, and newspapers
  • Comfort Class: Rows of three seats (2+1)
  • Standard Class: Rows of four seats (2+2)
  • Reservations required, book as soon as possible
  • Trains are equipped with power sockets, free WiFi, and air-conditioning. Trains are also equipped with a dining car offering a range of food and drinks.

ÖBB NightJet (NJ)

Routes:

    • Berlin – Frankfurt – Freiburg
    • Hamburg – Hannover – Munich
    • Düsseldorf – Frankfurt – Munich
    • Cologne – Frankfurt – Munich
  • Reservations are included in ticket price
  • Sleeping Carriage:
    • Standard cabin includes your own bed, washbasin, and breakfast in the morning
    • Deluxe cabin includes your own bed, shower, toilet, washbasin, and breakfast in the morning
  • Couchette Carriage:
    • 4 berth and 6 berth couchette, as well as private compartments, are offered
    • Bathrooms are located in the coach carriage
    • Breakfast is included in the ticket price
  • Sitting Carriage:
    • 2nd Class offered, no 1st Class
    • Bathrooms are located in the coach carriage
    • Food cart offering a selected variety of drinks and food pass through the carriages.

EuroNight (EN)

Routes:

    • Cologne – Frankfurt – Vienna, Austria
    • Hamburg – Nuremberg – Vienna, Austria
    • Munich – Ljubljana – Zagreb, Croatia
    • Munich – Salzburg – Vienna – Budapest, Hungary
    • Berlin – Prague – Bratislava – Budapest, Hungary
    • Berlin – Prague – Vienna, Austria
  • See ÖBB Nightjet for carriage and sleeping arrangements
  • Some trains have the possibility for vehicle transportation

Snälltåget Night Train (VEO) / Berlin Night Express

Routes:

    • Berlin – Malmö, Sweden (only available in summer)
  • Reservations required
  • Couchette Carriage:
    • 6 berth couchette to be shared with others
    • Bed linens included
    • Bathrooms are located at the end of the carriage
  • Private Compartments:
    • All private compartments have the same layout as the 6 berth couchette; however, the private compartment is for yourself and your company (1-6 persons)
    • 3 different private compartments available
      • Regular: Bed linens included, the room is equipped with WiFi and power outlets
      • Comfort: Bed linens, hot drinks, water, and breakfast included, the room is equipped with WiFi and power outlets.
      • Family: Bed linens included, the room is equipped with WiFi and power outlets. One passenger within the group must be under age 16, no alcohol permitted in the room past 21:00
    • Bathrooms are located at the end of the carriage
  • Most services have a bistro car offering drinks, small meals, and snacks.
  • Discounts available to students and those of which are 26 or younger

Venice Simplon-Orient Express
Höllentalbahn
Schwarzwaldbahn
Brockenbahn
Zugspitzbahn
Fichtelbergbahn
Rügensche Bäderbahn
Öchsle

Routes

Frequently Travelled Routes In Germany

National

 
From > To
Duration (h)
Changes Transport
Berlin to Hamburg 1:43 Direct Train (ICE)
Berlin to Munich 4:30 Direct Train (ICE)
Berlin to Frankfurt 4:14 0-1 Train (ICE)
Berlin to Dresden 1:51 Direct Train (EC)
Hamburg to Frankfurt 3:36 Direct Train (ICE)
Hamburg to Cologne 4:00 Direct Train (ICE)
Hamburg to Munich 6 – 6:30 0-1 Train (ICE)
Cologne to Frankfurt 1:04 Direct Train (ICE)
Munich to Cologne 4:30 Direct Train (ICE)
Munich to Frankfurt 3:19 Direct Train (ICE)

International

 
From > To
Duration (h)
Changes Transport
Berlin to Prague, Czech Republic 4:05 Direct Train (EC)
Berlin to Warsaw, Poland 6:12 Direct Train (EC)
Hamburg to Malmö, Sweden 5:24 1 Train
Munich to Vienna, Austria 4:01 Direct Train (RJX)
Munich to Venice, Italy 6:51 Direct Train
Cologne to Amsterdam, Netherlands 2:52 Direct Train (ICE)
Cologne to Brussels, Belgium 1:43 Direct Train (ICE)
Hamburg to Copenhagen, Denmark 4:38 Direct Train (IC)
Frankfurt to Paris, France 3:51 Direct Train (TGV)
Stuttgart to Zurich, Switzerland 2:55 Direct Train (IC)

Germany travel routes

East Germany On Rails

East Germany On Rails

Main Train Stations

  • Berlin
  • Leipzig
  • Dresden
  • Nuremberg
  • Munich
  • Stuttgart
  • Freiburg
  • Kassel
  • Frankfurt
  • Manheim
  • Dortmund
  • Dusseldorf
  • Cologne
  • Hanover
  • Bremen
  • Hamburg

Good to know

Best Time To Travel To Germany

Depending on the reason for your visit, we would recommend visiting anytime from April to October. During the thick of summer, hoards of crowds will be at popular tourist destinations; however, if you want warm temperatures and longer days of sunlight this is the time to visit.

Whether you want to see the inspiration for the iconic Disney castle (psst.. it’s Neuschwanstein), throw back a beer at Munich’s Oktoberfest, dress up for Cologne’s Carnival, wander Nuremberg’s Christmas markets, or visit the Berlin Wall, Germany has plenty to do and plenty to see whenever you get here!

 

  • High Season: June to August, Oktoberfest time (16 days in September), and Christmas time
  • Low Season: November – March (omitting Christmas time)

 

Accommodation In Germany

Booking

The best place to find cheap hotels for is to book by www.booking.com. There you will find a large selection of cheap hotels, hostels, and apartments. > BOOK HERE

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Hostelworld

If you are looking for a low budget accommodation, then go on www.hostelworld.com. They have the best choice of cheap hostels for backpackers and low budget travelers. > BOOK HERE

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Guidebooks For Germany

Travel with a guidebook ease your journey to find best sights and things to do. Buy it on Amazon.

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend not to travel without insurance. Don’t fret! World Nomads offers many different travel insurance coverage plans to suit your trip best. > BUY HERE

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