The beautifully-restored Reichstag in Berlin.  It's easy to reach Berlin by train..!

 

The restored Reichstag, Berlin...

 
 

For hotels I recommend booking.com as you can book with free cancellation before train bookings open - and use hotelscombined.com for price comparison, a remarkable site. 

 

London to any city in Germany from €59 each way...

It's so easy to travel from London to Germany by train.  Take Eurostar from London to Brussels in 1 hour 55 minutes, switch to a high-speed Thalys or ICE high-speed train from Brussels to Cologne in 1 hour 57 minutes, then take a superb ICE high-speed train from Cologne to almost anywhere in Germany.  And it's affordable, too, with fares from €59 (£49) from London to any city in Germany at www.bahn.de with print-at-home tickets.  Or take a mid-afternoon Eurostar from London to Paris then the overnight City Night Line sleeper train to Munich, Berlin or Hamburg, city centre to city centre, arriving in time for breakfast.  Some private sleepers even have their own toilet & shower.  This page will help you find the best option and buy the cheapest tickets.  It's centre to centre, with no baggage fees, no airport taxes, no expensive journeys to and from airports, children under 4 go free, and you can bring your own bottle of wine for the journey if you like (try doing that on Ryanair).

Train times, fares & tickets...

  London to Hanover & Berlin

  London to Cologne, Düsseldorf & Dortmund

  London to Bonn, Koblenz, Mainz

  London to Frankfurt

  London to Nuremberg

  London to Osnabrück, Bremen & Hamburg

  London to Mannheim, Stuttgart, Ulm, Augsburg & Munich

  London to Leipzig & Dresden

  Other destinations in Germany

  London, East Anglia & Harwich to Germany by ferry - an alternative to Eurostar

  Scotland & the north of England to Germany by ferry - bypassing London

  Starting your journey from other UK towns & cities

  Hotels & accommodation in Germany

  Tailor-made holidays & escorted tours to Germany by train

  Buy train tickets for travel within Germany

  Lander tickets - unlimited local travel in a whole region of Germany

  Schönes-Wochenende ticket - unlimited travel at weekends across Germany

Choose your destination...

Wait for the page to load then select your destination here:

Train travel between Germany & other countries...

  Train travel in Germany, a beginner's guide

  Train travel from other European cities to Germany

  Berlin to other European cities

  Hamburg to other European cities

  Cologne & Düsseldorf to other European cities

  Frankfurt to other European cities

  Munich to other European cities

  Munich to Prague by train not bus

  Berlin-Warsaw Express trains

Other useful information...

  General European train travel information

  Luggage on trains    Left luggage at stations    Send your luggage in advance

  Taking your bike     Taking your dog

  Child age limits & travel with kids (important for travel between France & Germany)

  Train seat numbering plans

Interactive mapClick a destination or route...

Sponsored links...

 


Useful country information

Train operator in Germany:

DB (Deutsche Bahn), see www.bahn.de for train times, fares & online tickets within Germany.

All-Europe train times    Eurostar times & fares   Berlin S-bahn information    Berlin U-bahn information   Motorail - taking your car

   

Railpasses:

 

Beginner's guide to European railpasses     Buy a rail pass online

Time zone:

GMT+1 (GMT+2 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).

Dialling code:

 

+49

Currency:

£1 = approx 1.15 euros  Check current exchange rates

Tourist information:

www.germany-tourism.de   City tours    Recommended guidebooks

Hotels & guesthouses:

Finding accommodation in Germany    German hotels    Tours to Germany

Page last updated:

17 April 2014.  Train times valid from 15 Dec 2013 to 14 June 2013.


London to Hannover & Berlin

Which route to choose?

There are several good options for travel between the UK and Berlin or Hanover.

Option 1: London to Hanover & Berlin by sleeper train

Take an afternoon Eurostar to Paris then the overnight City Night Line sleeper train to Berlin, an excellent time-effective option.  The deluxe sleeper compartments even have en suite toilet & shower, with breakfast included.  If you'd prefer a morning Eurostar from London and daytime trains to Berlin, see here.  If you'd rather use the overnight Harwich-Hoek van Holland with a comfortable en suite cabin, then daytime trains on to Berlin next day, see here.

London ► Berlin

Berlin ► London

See the London to Paris page for photos & information about Eurostar

Introducing the City Night Line sleeper train Perseus from Paris to Berlin...

The Paris-Berlin overnight train is one of the German Railway's excellent City Night Line sleeper trains.  Called the Perseus, it has modern Comfortline sleeping-cars (1, 2 & 3-berth deluxe compartments with private shower & toilet, 1, 2 & 3-berth economy compartments with washbasin, shower at the end of the corridor, all sleepers with power-points for mobiles & laptop computers), modern air-conditioned couchettes (choose between a berth in a 4 or 6-berth compartment), and ordinary seats (not recommended, as a couchette is far better).  Inclusive fares are charged covering travel plus sleeping accommodation.  The sleeping-car fare includes a light breakfast served in your compartment.  More pictures & information about this City Night Line train.

Dinner before you board?  There's no restaurant or bar car on the City Night Line sleeper, but for a good meal in a classic Parisian brasserie before boarding the sleeper train in Paris, why not catch the earlier 14:01 Eurostar from London & dine at the Brasserie Terminus Nord directly across the road from the Gare du Nord.  Alternatively, you can have a meal or beer at the Brasserie Flo at the Gare de l'Est whilst waiting for your sleeper, it's just inside the entrance in what was once the left luggage office.

Sleeping-car compartment on the Paris to Berlin night train   4-berth couchette compartment on Paris-Berlin overnight train   6-berth couchette compartment on Paris-Berlin overnight train  

The sleeping-car on the Paris-Berlin City Night Line train boarding at the Gare de l'Est

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper: The most comfortable option, economy with washbasin or deluxe with shower & toilet.

 

4-berth couchettes:  Ideal for families, much more space per person than 6-berth couchettes.

 

6-berth couchettes:  A very economical option, far better than a seat for just a few euros more...

 

The Night train to Berlin...  The Comfortline sleeping-car of City Night Line sleeper train Perseus boarding at Paris Gare de l'Est...

More pictures & information on this train...

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Paris

 by Eurostar

 From £39 one-way, £69 return 2nd class.

 From £107 one-way, £189 return 1st class.  Child, youth, senior fares 

 

 2. Paris to Berlin

 by sleeper train, per person

In a

seat

In a couchette

Economy sleeper

Deluxe sleeper

6-bunk 

4-bunk 

3-bed 

2-bed 

1-bed 

2-bed

1-bed

 Savings fare one-way from:

€43 (£36)

€59 (£49)

€69 (£58)

€84 (£70)

€104 (£87)

€144 (£120)

€134 (£112)

€174 (£145)

 Savings fare return from:

€86 (£72)

€118 (£98)

€138 (£116)

€168 (£140)

€208 (£174)

€288 (£240)

€268 (£224)

€348 (£290)

 Full price one-way:

€193

€208

€218

€233

€253

€293

€363

€403

 Railpass supplement*

€12

€27.50

€37.50

€55

€75

€115

€75

€115

 Children under 15**

€4

€20

€30

£71

€65

€105

€65

€105

 Child under 6 without berth:

Child under 6 sharing a berth travels free

Berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed.  The other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.

If you want sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a single sleeper, 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper, 4 tickets in a 4-berth couchette & so on.

* This is the supplement you pay if you have a railpass, a 1st class pass is required for deluxe sleepers.

** Children under 15 travel free if accompanied by a fare-paying adult, but must pay the berth supplement shown here.

Savings fare = advance-purchase fare, price varies, limited availability, no refunds, no changes to travel plans.

Full price = fully flexible, refundable, buy any time.

Youth fares: 25% discount on full price using uk.voyages-sncf.com if you're under 26 years old, but Savings fares usually cheaper!

Senior fares: 20% discount on full price using uk.voyages-sncf.com if you're over 60 years old, but Savings fares usually cheaper!

How to buy tickets online:  www.eurostar.com & www.bahn.de

The cheapest way to buy tickets is online direct from the operators, at www.eurostar.com for Eurostar and www.bahn.de for the sleeper train.  Anyone from any country can buy tickets in this way.  But read this first!

You can also book the Eurostar & City Night Line online at www.loco2.com, with the advantage that you can book both tickets together, booking London to Berlin all in one go.  Indeed, at www.loco2.com you can book direct from any station in Britain to Berlin, all in one go.  However, if you want to mix and match 2nd class on Eurostar with (say) a 2-bed sleeper on City Night Line, you'll need to click '+ Add via/stopover', enter 'Paris Nord', select 'specific duration' and enter (say) 1 hour.  It'll then allow you to select a fare and class separately for each leg.  If you have children, be warned that Rail Europe (to which Loco2 connects) applies French age limits to anything it books, incorrectly pricing any child over 12 as an adult an any infant over 4 as a child as in fact more generous German age limits apply to City Night Line so see this important advice.  Also note that for some reason, Rail Europe (and therefore Loco2) cannot book 4-berth couchettes on City Night Line, if you want these you'll have to use www.bahn.de.

How to buy tickets by phone...

To book both the Eurostar and the sleeper train by phone, call Deutsche Bahn's UK office on 08718 80 80 66 (lines open 09:00-20:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday & Sunday, no booking fee, 2% credit card charge, no charge for debit cards), or a booking agency such as European Rail on 020 7619 1083 (lines open 08:30-18:00 Monday to Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday, £35 booking fee per transaction).

Tailor-made travel & hotel arrangements...

A hassle-free option is to get a reliable specialist agency such as Railbookers to arrange your whole trip, with train bookings, hotels and transfers all sorted with one phone call.  Just tell them when and where you want to go, and they'll create the best rail holiday for you.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.com

Call toll-free 1-800-408-3280 or www.us.railbookers.com.

Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 002 034 or see website.


Option 2:  London to Hanover & Berlin by daytime trains...

It's easy to travel by train from London to Berlin all in one day from just €59 (£49), using a morning Eurostar to Brussels, a high-speed Thalys or ICE train to Cologne, then Germany's luxurious high-speed InterCity Express (ICE) onwards to Berlin.  The ICE is the pride of the German Railways, travelling at up to 280km/h (175 mph).  This route is served by second-generation ICE2s, with a cafe-bar and restaurant serving proper sit-down meals.  Breakfast in the ICE restaurant car costs about £8, a three-course meal with a couple of glasses of beer about £25.  Treat yourself!

ICE2 first class ICE2 second class High-speed ICE train from Cologne to Berlin, at Berlin Hauptbahnhof

ICE2 1st class.

ICE2 2nd class.

ICE2 at Berlin.  More info about ICE

   

Treat yourself to lunch!

 

ICE2's elegant restaurant car...

 

ICE2's convivial bistro-bar car...

 London ► Hanover, Berlin

 Eurostar (30 min check-in)

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

Note A

 London St Pancras

depart

06:50

08:58

10:58

12:58

15:04

08:58

10:58

12:58

12:58

08:58

08:58

14:04

15:04

15:31

 Brussels Midi

arrive

10:07

12:05

14:05

16:08

18:05

12:08

14:05

16:08

16:08

12:08

12:08

17:05

18:05

|

 Change at Brussels onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c) to Cologne...

sleeper

 Brussels Midi

depart

 10:25c

13:28t

 14:25c

17:28t

18:25c

13:28t

14:25c

17:28t

18:25c

13:28t

14:25c

17:28t

18:25c

via

 Cologne (Köln Hbf)

arrive

 12:15c

15:15t

 16:15c

19:15t

20:15c

15:15t

16:15c

19:15t

20:15c

15:15t

16:15c

19:15t

20:15c

Paris

 Change at Cologne onto a high-speed ICE train to Berlin...

|

 Cologne (Köln Hbf)

depart

12:48

15:48

16:48

 19:26*

21:10

16:48

16:48

19:26

21:10

15:48

16:48

19:48

20:48

|

 Bielefeld

arrive

14:36

17:36

18:36

21:36

23:18

18:36

18:36

21:36

23:18

17:36

18:36

21:36

22:36

|

 Hanover

arrive

15:28

18:28

19:28

22:28

00:18

19:28

19:28

22:28

00:18

18:28

19:28

22:28

23:28

06:30

 Berlin Hbf

arrive

17:11

20:12

21:08

00:10

-

21:08

21:08

00:10

-

20:12

21:08

00:10

01:11

08:28

How to read these timetables...  It's very simple, you read downwards, each column is a journey you can take.  You change trains at each grey bar.

Note A:  By sleeper train via Paris, see above for details.  Runs daily.

c = by high-speed ICE train with London Spezial fares from €59 available from London to Berlin or anywhere in Germany. 

t = by high-speed Thalys train.

* = departs 19:48 on Fridays.

Travel tip:  Short cut for changing trains in Brussels    Map of Berlin showing Hauptbahnhof   Hbf = Hauptbahnhof = main station.

What are Eurostar trains like?   What are Thalys trains like?   What are ICE trains like?   3D tour ICE 2nd class   3D tour ICE restaurant car

Evening departure from London & overnight stop in Brussels?  You can also catch an evening Eurostar to Brussels, stay overnight, continue next morning. For space reasons, this isn't shown here, but you can easily check times & prices using the London Spezial links below

Always check these train times using www.bahn.de, as they can vary on certain dates.   If you have a 1st class ticket you can use the DB Lounges at Cologne, Berlin Hauptbahnhof & Hanover.

 Berlin, Hanover ► London

 ICE train to Cologne

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

Note A

 Berlin Hbf

depart

06:47

07:46

10:47

11:46

06:47

07:46

10:47

11:46

06:47

06:47

10:47

11:46

20:08

 Hanover

depart

08:31

09:31

12:31

13:31

08:31

09:31

12:31

13:31

08:31

08:31

12:31

13:31

22:16

 Bielefeld

depart

09:22

10:22

13:22

14:22

09:22

10:22

13:22

14:22

09:22

09:22

13:22

14:22

|

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

11:09

12:09

15:09

16:09

11:09

12:09

15:09

16:09

11:09

11:09

15:09

16:09

|

 Change at Cologne onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c) to Brussels...

Sleeper

Cologne Hbf

depart

 11:43c

 12:44t

 15:43c

 16:42t

 11:43c

 12:44t

 15:43c

 16:42t

 11:43c

 12:44t

 15:43c

 16:42t

via

Brussels Midi

arrive

 13:35c

 14:32t

 17:35c

 18:32t

 13:35c

 14:32t

 17:35c

 18:32t

 13:35c

 14:32t

 17:35c

 18:32t

Paris

 Change at Brussels onto Eurostar.  Remember the 30 minute check-in...

|

 Brussels Midi

depart

14:56

16:56

18:56

19:52

14:52

16:56

19:52

 19:52

14:52

15:56

18:56

19:52

|

 London St Pancras

arrive

16:03

18:10

19:57

21:03

16:03

18:09

21:06

 21:06

16:03

16:57

19:57

21:03

12:30

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Cologne

 by Eurostar + Thalys or ICE:

 Fares for Eurostar+ICE start at €59 (£49) each way.

 Fares for Eurostar+Thalys start at £56 one-way or £103 return

 Fares vary like air fares, so book in advance to get the cheapest prices.

 Child, youth, senior Eurostar fares

 

 2. Cologne to Berlin by ICE:

 From €29 (£25) each way in 2nd class, €69 (£58) each way in 1st class.

 Price varies, book in advance to get these fares. Full price €117 each way

Or buy a London Spezial ticket, London to Berlin or Hanover from €59 (£49) each way...

Before you do anything else, check the German Railways website for cheap London Spezial fares between London and anywhere in Germany, including Berlin, using the special links below.  All you need to do is enter your date of travel.  I recommend buying a round trip as two one-ways, as it's easier to see where the availability is.  Booking normally opens 90 days before departure.

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets from London to Berlin:

Departing London at 06:50 Mondays-Fridays

Departing London at 08:58 Sundays

Departing London at 10:58 Mondays-Saturdays

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:04 Sun (often cheapest departure, overnight in Brussels required, suggest Ibis Brussels Midi)

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:04 Sun (same as above, but with more leisurely 10:25 departure from Brussels next morning)

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets from Berlin to London:

Departing Berlin at 06:47 any day

Departing Berlin at 10:47 on weekdays

Departing Berlin at 10:47 on Saturdays

Departing Berlin at 10:47 on Sundays

About these London Spezial tickets:  These excellent London Spezial tickets start at €59 each way 2nd class or €109 1st class from London to anywhere in Germany.  That price includes Eurostar to Brussels, a superb German ICE train to Cologne and onward trains to your final destination, all on one ticket.  You'll only find these London Spezial fares on services which use the German ICE train between Brussels & Cologne (marked with a 'c' in the timetable above), they aren't available on Thalys trains.  Availability is limited, and the German site can't sell normal tickets for this route, only these London Spezial fares which can sell out.  And it can't sell tickets of any sort for Eurostar+Thalys.  Incidentally, note that when using www.bahn.de, you often need to put Brussels South Stn in the 'via' box and either 01:00 or 02:00 in the 'stopover' box to force the journey planner to find the ICE connection (and so offer the cheap London Spezial fares) rather than a more immediate Thalys connection.  I've set up the 'check for cheap tickets' links above to include the necessary fiddle factor for each specific departure, so you don't need to worry about it, as long as you use the right link for the right departure.  If you find a cheap ticket using the links above then great, if not (or if you want a Eurostar+Thalys service), move swiftly on to the normal 'How to buy tickets' section below...

How to buy tickets online...

If your chosen journey includes an ICE train between Brussels and Cologne (marked with a 'c' in the timetable above):

If your chosen journey includes a Thalys between Brussels and Cologne:

How to buy tickets by phone...

To book by phone, call Deutsche Bahn's UK office on 08718 80 80 66 (lines open 09:00-20:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturdays & Sundays, no booking fee, 2% credit card charge) or call www.europeanrail.com on 020 7619 1083 (lines open 08:30-18:00 Monday to Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday, £35 booking fee per transaction).  Click here for a list of agencies and more information on how to buy tickets.

Tailor-made travel & hotel arrangements...

A hassle-free option is to get a reliable specialist agency such as Railbookers to arrange your whole trip, with train bookings, hotels and transfers all sorted with one phone call.  Just tell them when and where you want to go, and they'll create the best rail holiday for you.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.com

Call toll-free 1-800-408-3280 or www.us.railbookers.com.

Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 002 034 or see website.


Berlin's modern Hauptbahnhof...

Berlin's modern Hauptbahnhof (main station) is a symbol of the new revitalised Berlin.  It's a glass & steel structure that will warm the hearts of window-cleaning firms everywhere, just 3 minutes' walk from the Reichstag, 10 minutes from the Brandenburg Gate and Unter den Linden, or 25 minutes from the site of Checkpoint Charlie.  It's in fact two stations in one, with platforms 6 to 11 on the east-west elevated tracks well above ground level, and platforms 1 to 5 serving the north-south tracks on a below-ground level.  Trains from Cologne & Paris arrive at platforms 6 to 11.  The ticket office, 1st class lounge and the left luggage office are one level up from the ground (entrance) level, one level below platforms 6 to 11.

Map of Berlin showing the Hauptbahnhof    Berlin tourist information    Berlin S-bahn info    Berlin U-bahn info    Panorama photos of Berlin Hbf

Berlin Hauptbahnhof   Inside Berlin Hauptbahnhof   The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

Berlin Hauptbahnhof, where you arrive from London, Paris or Brussels...

 

Inside Berlin Hauptbahnhof...

 

The Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin is only 10 minutes walk from the Hauptbahnhof.


London to Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund

Cologne, or Köln in German from its Roman name, Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, was once the largest city in Germany.  Its magnificent cathedral stands right next to Cologne's main station - the cathedral was consecrated in 1322, but its distinctive 512 feet high towers were only completed in 1880.  You can climb them for a magnificent view over the city and the River Rhine.  Getting to Cologne from London is really easy by train:  Hop on a high-speed Eurostar train from London to Brussels in just 1 hour 55 minutes, then travel from Brussels to Cologne by high-speed Thalys train or German high-speed ICE train in just 1 hour 57 minutes more.  Frequent regional trains then link Cologne with Düsseldorf, Essen, Bochum & Dortmund.  Thalys is a consortium of the French, Belgian, Dutch and German railways formed to run the high-speed trains between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam & Cologne.

Take Eurostar to Brussels in 1 hour 55 minutes, then either a Thalys high-speed train...

Second class seats on board a 'Thalys' high-speed train to Cologne 1st class seats on Thalys A Thalys for Cologne about to leave Brussels Midi...

2nd class (Confort 2) seats on Thalys...

1st class (Confort 1) seats on Thalys...

A Thalys at Brussels.  Thalys info.

...or a German ICE high-speed train onwards to Cologne in 1 hour 57 minutes more.

ICE3 second class ICE3 first class High-speed ICE3 train from Brussels to Cologne & Frankfurt

ICE3 2nd class.  ICEs are perhaps the most comfortable daytime trains in Europe...

ICE3 1st class, with real leather seats.  All seats in both classes have power sockets.

An ICE to Cologne & Frankfurt waiting to leave Brussels Midi.  More ICE info.

 London ► Cologne, Düsseldorf & Dortmund

Eurostar, 30 minute check-in  

Mondays-Fridays

Saturdays

 London St Pancras

depart

06:50

08:58

10:58

12:58

15:04

08:58

10:58

12:58

12:58

16:04

 Brussels Midi

arrive

10:07

12:05

14:05

16:08

18:05

12:08

14:05

16:08

16:08

19:05

 Change at Brussels onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c)...

 Brussels Midi

depart

  10:25 c

  13:28 t

  14:25 c

  17:28 t

 18:25 c

  13:28 t

  14:25 c

  17:28 t

 18:25 c

19:28 t

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

  12:15 c

  15:15 t

  16:15 c

  19:15 t

 20:15 c

  15:15 t

  16:15 c

  19:15 t

 20:15 c

21:15 t

 Change at Cologne onto frequent regional trains to Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Bochum & Dortmund...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

12:49

15:49

16:49

19:49

20:49

15:49

16:49

19:49

20:49

  21:19 d

 Düsseldorf Hbf

arrive

13:19

16:19

17:19

20:19

21:19

16:19

17:19

20:19

21:19

  21:42 d

 Dortmund Hbf

arrive

14:15

17:15

18:15

21:15

22:15

17:15

18:15

21:15

22:15

  22:52 e

 London ► Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund

Eurostar, 30 minute check-in  

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

08:58

08:58

14:04

15:04

15:04

 Brussels Midi

arrive

12:08

12:08

17:05

18:05

18:05

 Change at Brussels onto a high-speed Thalys or ICE train...

 Brussels Midi

depart

13:28 t

  14:25 c

  17:28 t

 18:25 c

19:28 t

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

15:15 t

  16:15 c

  19:15 t

 20:15 c

21:15 t

 Change at Cologne onto frequent regional trains to Düsseldorf & Dortmund...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

  15:49 g

16:49

19:49

20:49

  21:19 d

 Düsseldorf Hbf

arrive

  16:19 g

17:19

20:19

21:19

  21:42 d

 Dortmund Hbf

arrive

17:15

18:15

21:15

22:15

  22:52 e

How to read these timetables...  It's very simple, you read downwards, each column is a journey you can take.  You change trains at each grey bar.

Duisburg, Essen & Bochum are also stops on the Cologne-Düsseldorf-Dortmund regional trains shown here, simply use www.bahn.de to check calling times.

Travel tip:  Short cut for changing trains in Brussels    Cologne station information    Hbf = Hauptbahnhof = main station.  If you have a first class ticket you can use the DB Lounges at Cologne or Düsseldorf.

If your Thalys or ICE arrives promptly, you may find an earlier onward train to Düsseldorf or Dortmund in addition to the ones shown here.

c = by high-speed ICE train with London Spezial fares from €59 available from London to Berlin or anywhere in Germany. 

d = The 19:28 Thalys from Brussels to Cologne runs direct to Dusseldorf (arriving 21:42), Duisburg (22:00) and Essen (22:16), no need to change in Cologne.

e = change at Dusseldorf.

h = The 06:45 Thalys from Cologne to Brussels in fact runs direct from Essen (05:40), Duisburg (05:54), Dusseldorf (06:13), with no need to change in Cologne.

t = by high-speed Thalys train.

 Dortmund, Düsseldorf & Cologne ► London

Regional train...

Mondays-Fridays

Saturdays

 Dortmund Hbf

depart

 05:45

06:45

09:45

10:45

13:45

14:45

 05:45

06:45

09:45

10:45

13:45

14:45

 Düsseldorf Hbf

depart

 06:40

07:40

10:40

11:40

14:40

15:40

 06:40

07:40

10:40

11:40

14:40

15:40

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

 07:12

08:12

11:12

12:12

15:12

16:12

 07:12

08:12

11:12

12:12

15:12

16:12

 Change in Cologne onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c)...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

   07:43 c

  08:44 t

  11:43 c

  12:44 t

  15:43 c

  16:42 t

   07:43 c

  08:44 t

  11:43 c

  12:44 t

  15:43 c

  16:42 t

 Brussels Midi

arrive

   09:35 c

  10:32 t

  13:35 c

  14:32 t

  17:35 c

  18:32 t

   09:35 c

  10:32 t

  13:35 c

  14:32 t

  17:35 c

  18:32 t

 Change in Brussels onto Eurostar - remember the 30 minute Eurostar check-in!

 Brussels Midi

depart

10:56

12:52

14:56

16:56

18:56

19:52

10:56

14:52

14:52

16:56

19:52

19:52

 London St Pancras

arrive

11:57

14:03

16:03

18:10

19:57

21:03

11:57

16:03

16:03

18:03

21:06

21:06

 

 Dortmund, Düsseldorf & Cologne ► London

 Regional train...

Sundays

 Dortmund Hbf depart:

05:45

06:45

09:45

10:45

13:45

14:45

 Düsseldorf Hbf depart:

06:40

07:40

10:40

11:40

14:40

15:40

 Cologne Hbf arrive:

07:12

08:12

11:12

12:12

15:12

16:12

 Change in Cologne onto a Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c)...

 Cologne Hbf depart:

   07:43 c

  08:44 t

  11:43 c

  12:44 t

  15:43 c

  16:42 t

 Brussels Midi arrive:

   09:35 c

  10:32 t

  13:35 c

  14:32 t

  17:35 c

  18:32 t

 Change in Brussels onto Eurostar - remember the 30 minute check-in 

 Brussels Midi depart:

11:56

11:56

14:52

15:56

18:56

19:52

 London St Pancras arrive:

12:57

12:57

16:03

16:57

19:57

21:03

 How much does it cost?

 Special inclusive fares from London to Cologne...

London to Cologne, Düsseldorf or Dortmund

from €59 (£49) one-way, €118 (£98) return

London Spezial booked online at www.bahn.de (limited availability, only available on the ICE trains between Brussels & Cologne).

London to Cologne from £97 return

= from £69 return Eurostar + from £14 each way for the ICE or Thalys, booked at www.loco2.com or www.b-europe.com.  Book in advance for the cheapest fares, as prices rise as cheaper seats are sold.  One-way fares start at £39 for London-Brussels + £14 for Brussels-Cologne, booked at www.loco2.com.  Add €19 each way for a connection to Dortmund.

How to buy tickets online...

There are several different ways to buy tickets from London to Frankfurt, and as each works in a different way with different prices and quotas, it's a good idea to try each of them.

1)  Check for cheap London Spezial tickets from €59 (£49) each way...

Before you do anything else, check the German Railways website for cheap London Spezial fares between London and anywhere in Germany, including Cologne, Düsseldorf, Essen or Dortmund, using the special links below.  All you need to do is enter your date of travel.  I recommend buying a round trip as two one-ways, as it's easier to see where the availability is.  Booking normally opens 90 days before departure.  These tickets are only available via the ICE between Brussels & Cologne, not Thalys.

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets outward from London to Cologne (click a link, enter date of travel, if necessary change 'Cologne' to 'Düsseldorf' or 'Dortmund'):

Departing London at 06:50 Mondays-Fridays

Departing London at 08:58 Sundays

Departing London at 10:58 Mondays-Saturdays

Departing London at 12:58 Saturdays

Departing London at 15:04 Mondays-Fridays & Sundays

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:04 Sun (often cheapest departure, overnight in Brussels required, suggest Ibis Brussels Midi)

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:04 Sun (same as above, but with more leisurely 10:25 departure from Brussels next morning)

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets inward from Cologne to London:  (click a link, enter date of travel, if necessary change 'Cologne' to 'Düsseldorf' or 'Dortmund'):

Departing Cologne at 07:43 on Mondays-Saturdays

Departing Cologne at 07:43 on Sundays

Departing Cologne at 11:43 any day

Departing Cologne at 15:43 on weekdays

Departing Cologne at 15:43 on Saturdays

Departing Cologne at 15:43 on Sundays

About these London Spezial tickets:  These excellent London Spezial tickets start at €59 each way 2nd class or €109 1st class from London to anywhere in Germany.  That price includes Eurostar to Brussels, a superb German ICE train to Cologne and onward trains to your final destination, all on one ticket.  You'll only find these London Spezial fares on services which use the German ICE train between Brussels & Cologne (marked with a 'c' in the timetable above), they aren't available on Thalys trains.  Availability is limited, and the German site can't sell normal tickets for this route, only these London Spezial fares which can sell out.  And it can't sell tickets of any sort for Eurostar+Thalys.  Incidentally, note that when using www.bahn.de, you often need to put 'Brussels South Stn' in the 'via' box and either 01:00 or 02:00 in the 'stopover' box to force the journey planner to find the ICE connection (and so offer the cheap London Spezial fares) rather than a more immediate Thalys connection.  I've set up the 'check for cheap tickets' links above to include the necessary fiddle factor for each specific departure, so you don't need to worry about it, as long as you use the right link for the right departure.   If you find a cheap ticket using the links above then great, if not (or if you want a Eurostar+Thalys service), move swiftly on to the normal 'How to buy tickets' section below... 'Couloir Sud' short cut for changing trains in Brussels.

2)  Buy tickets at www.b-europe.com...

3)  Buy tickets at www.eurostar.com from £49.50...

4)  Book each train separately...

How to buy tickets by phone...

If you prefer to book by phone, call Deutsche Bahn's UK office on 08718 80 80 66 (lines open 09:00-20:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturdays & Sundays, no booking fee, 2% credit card charge) or call www.europeanrail.com on 020 7619 1083 (lines open 08:30-18:00 Monday to Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday, £35 booking fee).  Click here for a list of agencies and more information on how to buy tickets.

Tailor-made travel & hotel arrangements...

A hassle-free option is to get a reliable specialist agency such as Railbookers to arrange your whole trip, with train bookings, hotels and transfers all sorted with one phone call.  Just tell them when and where you want to go, and they'll create the best rail holiday for you.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.com

Call toll-free 1-800-408-3280 or www.us.railbookers.com.

Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 002 034 or see website.


Cologne (Köln) Hauptbahnhof...

Cologne Hauptbahnhof (main station) is located right in the city centre, right next to Cologne Cathedral with its distinctive twin towers and a stone's throw from the banks of the River Rhine.

Map of Cologne showing the Hauptbahnhof    Cologne tourist information    Left luggage information    1st class station lounges

Climbing Cologne Cathedral's tower:  If you've 30 minutes to spare, you can climb the cathedral's south (right-hand) tower for a fantastic view over Cologne & the Rhine, 475 feet high, 533 steps, no lift.  The tower is open 09:00-16:00 in winter, 09:00-17:00 or 18:00 in summer, entrance €3, see www.koelner-dom.de.

Cologne Hauptbahnhof   Inside the station   Cologne cathedral

Cologne Hauptbahnhof main entrance...

 

The left luggage machines at Cologne...

 

Cologne cathedral...


London to Bonn, Koblenz, Mainz

High-speed Eurostar trains link London with Brussels in less than 2 hours.  From Brussels, high-speed Thalys and ICE trains take less than 2 hours to reach Cologne.  Regular trains link Cologne with Bonn, Koblenz and Mainz running via the original scenic rail route along the Rhine Valley.

How to check train times...

Simply use the London-Cologne timetable above to find train times from London to Cologne, then use www.bahn.de to find connecting train times along the Rhine Valley from Cologne to Bonn, Koblenz and Mainz.

How to buy tickets...

1)  Buy a cheap London Spezial ticket from €59 (£49) each way...

Before you do anything else, check the German Railways website for cheap London Spezial fares between London and anywhere in Germany, including Koblenz, Bonn or Mainz, using the special links below.  All you need to do is enter your date of travel.  I recommend buying a round trip as two one-ways, as it's easier to see where the availability is.  Booking normally opens 92 days before departure.

Check for cheap tickets from London to Koblenz

(select a link, enter your date of travel, change 'Koblenz' to 'Bonn' or 'Mainz' if you like):

Departing London at 06:50 Mondays-Fridays

Departing London at 08:58 Sundays

Departing London at 10:58 Mondays-Saturdays

Check for cheap tickets from Koblenz to London: 

(select a link, enter your date of travel, change 'Koblenz' to 'Bonn' or 'Mainz' if you like):

Departing Koblenz at 06:16 on weekdays

Departing Koblenz at 06:16 on Saturdays

Departing Koblenz at 06:16 on Sundays

Departing Koblenz at 10:16 any day

Departing Koblenz at 10:16 on weekdays

Departing Koblenz at 14:16 on Saturdays

Departing Koblenz at 14:16 on Sundays

About these London Spezial tickets:  These excellent London Spezial tickets start at €59 each way 2nd class or €109 1st class from London to anywhere in Germany.  That price includes Eurostar to Brussels, a superb German ICE train to Cologne and onward trains to your final destination, all on one ticket.  You'll only find these London Spezial fares on services which use the German ICE train between Brussels & Cologne (marked with a 'c' in the timetable above), they aren't available on Thalys trains.  Availability is limited, and the German site can't sell normal tickets for this route, only these London Spezial fares which can sell out.  And it can't sell tickets of any sort for Eurostar+Thalys.  Incidentally, note that when using www.bahn.de, you often need to put 'Brussels South Stn' in the 'via' box and either 01:00 or 02:00 in the 'stopover' box to force the journey planner to find the ICE connection (and so offer the cheap London Spezial fares) rather than a more immediate Thalys connection.  I've set up the 'check for cheap tickets' links above to include the necessary fiddle factor for each specific departure, so you don't need to worry about it, as long as you use the right link for the right departure.  If you find a cheap ticket using the links above then great, if not (or if you want a Eurostar+Thalys service), move swiftly on to the normal 'How to buy tickets' section below...  'Couloir Sud' short cut for changing trains in Brussels.

2)  Buy tickets at www.b-europe.com...

3)  Buy tickets at www.eurostar.com from £49.50...

4)  Book each train separately...

How to buy tickets by phone...

If you prefer to buy tickets by phone, call Deutsche Bahn's UK office on 08718 80 80 66 (lines open 09:00-20:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday & Sunday, no booking fee, 2% credit card charge) or call www.europeanrail.com on 020 7619 1083 (lines open 08:30-18:00 Monday to Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday, £35 booking fee).  Click here for a list of agencies and more information on how to buy tickets.


London to Frankfurt

Via Paris or Brussels?

You can travel from London to Frankfurt either via Paris or via Brussels.  Both routes usually involve just a single change of train, from Eurostar to a top-quality German ICE high-speed train, and both routes offer cheap fares if you book well in advance.  The change in Paris involves a 10-minute walk between Paris Nord and Paris Est, the change in Brussels is an easy same-station change.  The choice is yours... 

Option 1:  London to Frankfurt via Paris...

The new TGV-Est high-speed line opened in June 2007, and direct 199 mph German ICE trains now link Paris and Frankfurt in just 3 hours 50 minutes, city centre to city centre.  The ICE3 trains used on this service are superb, amongst the most comfortable high-speed trains in Europe.  This route is easy to book online using www.loco2.com.

High-speed ICE3 train from Paris to Frankfurt ICE3 second class ICE3 first class

An ICE3 from Paris to Frankfurt waiting to leave the Gare de l'Est...

ICE3 2nd class.  Perhaps the most comfortable trains in Europe...

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats.  Both classes have power sockets.

 London ► Frankfurt  (via Paris)

 Eurostar, 30 min check-in

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

07:55

12:25

14:31

 20:01*

08:54

14:01

20:01*

08:19

12:25

15:01

20:01*

 Paris Gare du Nord

arrive

11:17

15:47

17:47

 23:17*

12:17

17:17

23:17*

11:47

15:47

18:17

23:17*

 10 min walk to the Gare de l'Est for ICE train to Frankfurt:

 Paris Gare de l'Est

depart

13:10

17:10t

19:06

07:06

13:10

19:06

09:06t

13:10

17:10t

19:06

07:06

 Saarbrücken

arrive

14:57

18:56t

20:56

08:56

14:57

20:56

10:56t

14:57

18:56t

20:56

08:56

 Mannheim Hbf

arrive

16:17

20:17t

22:17

10:17

16:17

22:17

12:17t

16:17

20:17t

22:17

10:17

 Frankfurt am Main Hbf

arrive

16:58

20:58t

22:58

10:58

16:58

22:58

12:58t

16:58

20:58t

22:58

10:58

 Frankfurt ► London  (via Paris)

 ICE train from Frankfurt to Paris:

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 Frankfurt am Main Hbf

depart

06:00

08:57t

13:01

19:01*

06:54

09:01

13:01

16:58t*

08:57 t

13:01

19:01*

 Mannheim Hbf

depart

06:40

09:42t

13:41

19:41*

07:39

09:41

13:41

17:43t*

09:42 t

13:41

19:41*

 Saarbrücken

depart

08:00

11:02t

15:02

21:02*

09:03

11:02

15:02

19:03t*

11:02 t

15:02

21:02*

 Paris Gare de l'Est

arrive

09:50

12:50t

16:50

22:50*

10:54

12:50

16:50

20:54t*

12:50 t

16:50

22:50*

 10 min walk to the Gare du Nord for Eurostar to London  (30 minute check-in)

 Paris Gare du Nord

depart

11:13

15:13

18:13

07:13

11:13

14:13

19:13

08:13

14:13

18:13

07:13

 London St Pancras

arrive

12:30

16:39

19:39

08:30

12:30

15:30

20:39

09:30

15:30

19:39

08:30

How to read these timetables...  It's very simple, you read downwards, each column is a journey you can take.  You change trains at each grey bar.

* = This journey involves an overnight stop in Paris, but takes minimal time out of your day.  Hotels near Gare du Nord & Gare de l'Est.

t = By French TGV Duplex, all other Paris-Frankfurt trains are German ICE.

If you have a first class ticket you can use the DB Lounge at Frankfurt am Main Hauptbahnhof..

 Fares  (via Paris)

 1. London to Paris

     by Eurostar:

 From £39 one-way, £69 return 2nd class.

 From £107 one-way, £189 return 1st class.  Child, youth, senior fares 

 

 2. Paris to Frankfurt

     by ICE:

 Advance-purchase fares from €39 each way.  Full price €119 each way

 If you book at www.bahn.de, accompanied children under 15 go free.

Buy tickets online at www.loco2.com...

Or buy tickets online at www.bahn.de & www.eurostar.com...

Buy tickets by phone...


Option 2:  London to Frankfurt via Brussels...

High-speed Eurostar trains link London with Brussels in just 1 hours 55 minutes.  From Brussels, there are two daily Brussels-Frankfurt high-speed ICE trains taking just 3 hours 15 minutes, or you can take a more frequent high-speed Thalys train to Cologne and change there for an ICE to Frankfurt.  London-Frankfurt by Eurostar & ICE starts at just €59 (£49) each way, booked online at www.bahn.de.  However, although the high-speed line from Cologne to Frankfurt cuts a 2-hour journey to just 1 hour, you may prefer the old scenic route running right along the Rhine Valley, past cliffs and castles and the fabled Lorelei Rock.  If so, ask when booking, or simply check times from Cologne to Frankfurt yourself at www.bahn.de, entering 'Koblenz' in the 'via' box to get a Rhine Valley journey.

ICE3 second class ICE3 first class High-speed ICE3 train from Brussels to Frankfurt

ICE3 2nd class.  All seats in both classes have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

ICE3 1st class, with real leather seats.  Staff provide at-seat service of drinks & food.

The 12:25 ICE to Frankfurt waits to leave Brussels Midi.  More info about ICE.

   

 London ► Frankfurt  (via Brussels)

 Eurostar, 30 minute check-in

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

06:50

08:58

10:58

12:58

15:04

08:58

10:58

12:58

12:58

16:04

08:58

08:58

12:58

15:04

 Brussels Midi

arrive

10:07

12:05

14:05

16:08

18:05

12:08

14:05

16:08

16:08

19:05

12:08

12:08

16:08

18:05

 Change at Brussels onto a high-speed Thalys train to Cologne or a direct ICE train from Brussels to Frankfurt, marked 'c'...

 Brussels Midi

depart

 10:25c

13:28

  14:25c

17:28

 18:25c

13:28

  14:25c

17:28

 18:25c

19:28

13:28

  14:25c

17:28

 18:25c

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

|

15:15

|

19:15

|

15:15

 |

19:15

|

21:15

15:15

|

19:15

|

 Change at Cologne onto an ICE train, except for trains marked 'c' which are direct Brussels to Frankfurt ICE trains with no need to change.

 Cologne Hbf

depart

|

15:28

|

19:53

|

15:28

|

19:53

|

21:28

15:28

|

19:53

|

 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf

arrive

 13:24c

16:30

17:41c

22:13

21:30c

16:30

 17:41c

22:13

 21:30c

22:30

16:30

 17:41c

22:13

 21:30c

How to read these timetables...  Each column is a service, and you read downwards.  There's normally a change of trains at each of the grey bars.

c = by direct high-speed ICE train between Brussels & Frankfurt, with London Spezial fares from €59 available from London to Frankfurt via this service.  3D virtual tour.  Other Brussels-Cologne trains are Thalys.

Map of Frankfurt showing the Hauptbahnhof (Hbf)    Hbf = Hauptbahnhof, meaning main station.

Evening departure from London & overnight stop in Brussels?  You can also catch an evening Eurostar to Brussels, stay overnight, continue next morning. For space reasons, this isn't shown here, but you can easily check times & prices using the London Spezial links below

What are Eurostar trains like?   What are Thalys trains like?   What are ICE trains like?   3D tour ICE 2nd class   3D tour ICE restaurant car 

You can double-check these train times using www.bahn.de.     Travel tip:  Short cut for changing trains in Brussels.  If you have a first class ticket you can use the DB Lounge at Frankfurt.

 Frankfurt ► London  (via Brussels)

 Direct ICE train Frankfurt to Brussels...

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 Frankfurt am Main Hbf

depart

 06:25c

 10:16c

 14:29c

15:10

 06:25c

 10:16c

 14:29c

15:10

 06:25c

 10:16c

 14:29c

15:10

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

 |

|

 |

16:14

|

 |

|

16:14

 |

|

|

16:14

 Change at Cologne, except for trains marked 'c' which are direct Frankfurt to Brussels ICE trains with no need to change...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

 |

|

 |

16:42

|

 |

|

16:42

 |

|

 |

16:42

 Brussels Midi

arrive

 09:35c

 13:35c

 17:35c

18:32

 09:35c

 13:35c

 17:35c

18:32

 09:35c

 13:35c

 17:35c

18:32

 Change trains at Brussels onto Eurostar.  Remember the 30 minute check-in...

 Brussels Midi

depart

10:56

14:56

18:56

19:52

10:56

14:52

19:52

19:52

11:56

14:52

18:56

19:52

 London St Pancras

arrive

11:57

16:03

19:57

21:03

11:57

16:03

21:06

21:06

12:57

16:03

19:57

21:03

How to buy tickets...

There are several different ways to buy tickets from London to Frankfurt, and as each works in a different way with different prices and quotas, it's a good idea to try each of them.

1) Buy a cheap London Spezial ticket, London to Frankfurt from €59 (£49) each way...

Before you do anything else, check the German Railways website for cheap London Spezial fares between London and anywhere in Germany, including Frankfurt, using the special links below.  Only journeys using ICE between Brussels and Cologne can be booked this way, not Thalys.  All you need to do is enter your date of travel.  I recommend buying a round trip as two one-ways, as it's easier to see where the availability is.  Booking normally opens 92 days before departure.

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets from London to Frankfurt:

(just select a link & enter your date of travel)

Departing London at 06:50 Mondays-Fridays

Departing London at 08:58 Sundays

Departing London at 10:58 Mondays-Saturdays

Departing London at 12:58 Saturdays

Departing London at 15:04 Mondays-Fridays & Sundays

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:04 Sun (often cheapest departure, overnight in Brussels required, suggest Ibis Brussels Midi)

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:04 Sun (same as above, but with more leisurely 10:25 departure from Brussels next morning)

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets from Frankfurt to London:

(just select a link & enter your date of travel)

Departing Frankfurt at 06:24 or 06:29 any day

Departing Frankfurt at 10:16 any day

Departing Frankfurt at 14:29 any day

About these London Spezial tickets:  These excellent London Spezial tickets start at €59 each way 2nd class or €109 1st class from London to anywhere in Germany.  That price includes Eurostar to Brussels, a superb German ICE train to Cologne and onward trains to your final destination, all on one ticket.  You'll only find these London Spezial fares on services which use the German ICE train between Brussels & Cologne (marked with a 'c' in the timetable above), they aren't available on Thalys trains.  Availability is limited, and the German site can't sell normal tickets for this route, only these London Spezial fares which can sell out.  And it can't sell tickets of any sort for Eurostar+Thalys.  Incidentally, note that when using www.bahn.de, you often need to put Brussels South Stn in the 'via' box and either 01:00 or 02:00 in the 'stopover' box to force the journey planner to find the ICE connection (and so offer the cheap London Spezial fares) rather than a more immediate Thalys connection.  I've set up the 'check for cheap tickets' links above to include the necessary fiddle factor for each specific departure, so you don't need to worry about it, as long as you use the right link for the right departure.  If you find a cheap ticket using the links above then great, if not (or if you want a Eurostar+Thalys service), move swiftly on to the normal 'How to buy tickets' section below...

2)  Buy a London to Frankfurt through ticket at www.eurostar.com...

3)  Buy tickets at www.b-europe.com

4)  Or book each train separately for maximum flexibility...

You can of course book each train separately, and this usually gets you maximum control and maximum ability to choose seating options as you're booking each train with it's own operator.  If your chosen journey involves a direct ICE train between Brussels and Frankfurt (marked with a 'c' in the timetable above):

If your chosen journey involves a Thalys train between Brussels and Cologne (trains not marked with a 'c'):

How to buy tickets by phone...

If you prefer to book by phone, call Deutsche Bahn's UK office on 08718 80 80 66 (lines open 09:00-20:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday & Sunday, no booking fee, 2% credit card charge).  You can also buy tickets by calling www.europeanrail.com on 020 7619 1083 (lines open 08:30-18:00 Monday to Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday, £35 booking fee).  Click here for a list of agencies and more information on how to buy tickets.


London to Nuremberg

High-speed Eurostar trains link London with Brussels in less than 2 hours.  From Brussels, ICE high-speed trains run to Frankfurt in just over 3 hours.  Change in Frankfurt for Nuremberg (Nürnberg in German).

London ► Nuremberg (option 1)

London ► Nuremberg (option 2)

Other options..

You can in fact take any service from London to Cologne (see the Cologne section above) then use www.bahn.de to find a connecting train from Cologne to Nuremberg.  However, the options shown here are arguably the best, and usually have the cheapest fares.

Nuremberg ► London (option 1)

Nuremberg ► London (option 2)

Buy cheap tickets from London to Nuremberg from €59 (£49) each way...

Before you do anything else, check the German Railways website for cheap London Spezial fares between London and anywhere in Germany, including Berlin, using the special links below.  All you need to do is enter your date of travel.  I recommend buying a round trip as two one-ways, as it's easier to see where the availability is.  Booking normally opens 90 days before departure.

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets from London to Nuremberg: 

(just select a link & enter your date of travel)

Departing London at 06:50 Mondays-Fridays

Departing London at 08:58 on Sundays

Departing London at 10:58 on Mondays-Saturdays

Departing London at 12:58 on Saturdays

Departing London at 15:04 on any day except Saturdays

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:04 Sun (often cheapest departure, overnight in Brussels required, suggest Ibis Brussels Midi)

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:04 Sun (same as above, but with more leisurely 10:25 departure from Brussels next morning)

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets from Nuremberg to London:

(just select a link & enter your date of travel)

Departing Nuremberg at 08:02 any day

Departing Nuremberg at 12:00, on Saturdays

Departing Nuremberg at 12:00 on Mondays-Fridays & Sundays

About these London Spezial tickets:  These excellent London Spezial tickets start at €59 each way 2nd class or €109 1st class from London to anywhere in Germany.  That price includes Eurostar to Brussels, a superb German ICE train to Cologne and onward trains to your final destination, all on one ticket.  You'll only find these London Spezial fares on services which use the German ICE train between Brussels & Cologne (marked with a 'c' in the timetable above), they aren't available on Thalys trains.  Availability is limited, and the German site can't sell normal tickets for this route, only these London Spezial fares which can sell out.  And it can't sell tickets of any sort for Eurostar+Thalys.  Incidentally, note that when using www.bahn.de, you often need to put 'Brussels South Stn' in the 'via' box and either 01:00 or 02:00 in the 'stopover' box to force the journey planner to find the ICE connection (and so offer the cheap London Spezial fares) rather than a more immediate Thalys connection.  I've set up the 'check for cheap tickets' links above to include the necessary fiddle factor for each specific departure, so you don't need to worry about it, as long as you use the right link for the right departure.  If you find a cheap ticket using the links above then great, if not (or if you want a Eurostar+Thalys service), move swiftly on to the normal 'How to buy tickets' section below...

How to buy tickets online...

If you've tried to find a cheap London Spezial fare at bahn.de and can't find one, here's how to book the regular fares:

If your journey involves an ICE between Brussels & Cologne...

If your journey involves a Thalys between Brussels & Cologne, or a Thalys one way and ICE the other, or you're not sure which.

How to buy tickets by phone...

If you prefer to buy tickets by phone, call Deutsche Bahn's UK office on 08718 80 80 66 (lines open 09:00-20:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday & Sunday, no booking fee, 2% credit card charge) or call www.europeanrail.com on 020 7619 1083 (lines open 08:30-18:00 Monday to Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday, £35 booking fee).  Click here for a list of agencies and more information on how to buy tickets.


London to Osnabrück, Bremen, Hamburg

Which route to choose?

There are several good options for travel between the UK and Hamburg.

Option 1:  London to Hamburg by sleeper train

City Night Line reinstated a direct Paris-Hamburg sleeper train Andromeda from December 2010.  It's an excellent time-effective option if you need to be in central Hamburg in the morning.  You can also travel by daytime trains, see here.

London ► Hamburg

Hamburg ► London

See the London to Paris page for information about Eurostar...

Introducing the City Night Line sleeper train Andromeda to Hamburg...

The Paris-Hamburg overnight train is one of the German Railway's excellent City Night Line sleeper trains.  Called the Andromeda, it has a modern Comfortline sleeping-car (1, 2 & 3-berth deluxe compartments with private shower & toilet, 1, 2 & 3-berth economy compartments with washbasin.  There is a shower at the end of the corridor for passengers in economy sleepers, and all rooms have powerpoints for laptop computers), and modern air-conditioned couchettes (choose between a berth in a 4 or 6-berth compartment), and ordinary seats (not recommended).  Inclusive fares are charged covering travel plus sleeping accommodation.  The sleeping-car fare includes a light breakfast.  More pictures & information about this train.

Dinner before you board?  There's no restaurant or bar car on the City Night Line sleeper, but for a good meal in a classic Parisian brasserie before boarding the sleeper train in Paris, catch the earlier 14:01 Eurostar & dine at the Brasserie Terminus Nord directly across the road from the Gare du Nord.

Sleeping-car room - Paris-Munich night train   4-berth couchette compartment on Paris-Munich overnight train   6-berth couchette compartment on Paris-Munich overnight train  

The sleeping-car on the Paris-Hamburg overnight train boarding at the Gare de l'Est

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper: The most comfortable option, economy with washbasin or deluxe with shower & toilet.

 

4-berth couchettes:  Ideal for families, much more space per person than 6-berth couchettes.

 

6-berth couchettes:  A very economical option, far better than a seat for just a few euros more...

 

"Night train to Hamburg":  The Comfortline sleeping-car of City Night Line sleeper train boarding at Paris Gare de l'Est...

More pictures & information about this train...

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Paris

 by Eurostar

 From £39 one-way, £69 return 2nd class.

 From £107 one-way, £189 return 1st class.  Child, youth, senior fares 

 

 2. Paris to Hamburg by

 sleeper train, per person

In a

seat

In a couchette

Economy sleeper

Deluxe sleeper

6-bunk 

4-bunk 

3-bed 

2-bed 

1-bed 

2-bed

1-bed

 Savings fare one-way from:

-

€59 (£49)

€69 (£58)

€84 (£70)

€104 (£87)

€144 (£120)

€134 (£112)

€174 (£145)

 Savings fare return from:

-

€118 (£98)

€138 (£116)

€168 (£140)

€208 (£174)

€288 (£240)

€268 (£224)

€348 (£290)

 Full price one-way:

-

€198

€208

€223

€243

€283

€347

€387

 Railpass supplement*

-

€27.50

€37.50

€55

€75

€115

€75

€115

 Child under 15**

-

€20

€30

£71

€65

€105

€65

€105

 Child under 6 without berth:

Child under 6 sharing a berth travels free

Berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed.  The other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.

If you want sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a single sleeper, 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper, 4 tickets in a 4-berth couchette & so on.

* This is the supplement you pay if you have a railpass, a 1st class pass is required for deluxe sleepers.

** Children under 15 travel free if accompanied by a fare-paying adult, but must pay the berth supplement shown here.

Savings fare = advance-purchase fare, price varies, limited availability, no refunds, no changes to travel plans.

Full price = fully flexible, refundable, buy any time.

Youth fares: 25% discount on full price using uk.voyages-sncf.com if you're under 26 years old, but Savings fares usually cheaper!

Senior fares: 20% discount on full price using uk.voyages-sncf.com if you're over 60 years old, but Savings fares usually cheaper!

How to buy tickets online:  www.eurostar.com & www.bahn.de

The cheapest way to buy tickets is online direct from the operators, at www.eurostar.com for Eurostar and www.bahn.de for the sleeper train.  Anyone from any country can buy tickets in this way.  But read this first!

You can also book the Eurostar & City Night Line online at www.loco2.com, with the advantage that you can book both tickets together, booking London to Hamburg all in one go.  Indeed, at www.loco2.com you can book direct from any station in Britain to Hamburg, all in one go.  However, if you want to mix and match 2nd class on Eurostar with (say) a 2-bed sleeper on City Night Line, you'll need to click '+ Add via/stopover', enter 'Paris Nord', select 'specific duration' and enter (say) 1 hour.  It'll then allow you to select a fare and class separately for each leg.  If you have children, be warned that Rail Europe (to which Loco2 connects) applies French age limits to anything it books, incorrectly pricing any child over 12 as an adult an any infant over 4 as a child as in fact more generous German age limits apply to City Night Line so see this important advice.  Also note that for some reason, Rail Europe (and therefore Loco2) cannot book 4-berth couchettes on City Night Line, if you want these you'll have to use www.bahn.de.

How to buy tickets by phone...

You can book both the Eurostar and the sleeper train by phone by calling Deutsche Bahn's UK office on 08718 80 80 66 (lines open 09:00-20:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday & Sunday, no booking fee, 2% credit card charge but no charge for debit cards), or European Rail on 020 7619 1083 (lines open 08:30-18:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday, £35 booking fee).


Option 2:  London to Osnabrück, Bremen, Hamburg by daytime trains

You can easily travel by train from London to Osnabrück, Bremen or Hamburg in a day, using Eurostar, a high-speed Thalys or ICE train to Cologne, then a comfortable German InterCity train from Cologne to Osnabrück, Bremen or Hamburg.  London to anywhere in Germany starts at just €59 each way if you use one of the daily ICEs between Brussels & Cologne ICE and book at www.bahn.de.  For more information, read on...

German InterCity train   InterCity 2nd class   InterCity 1st class (6-seat compartment type)

Most Cologne-Hamburg trains are InterCity trains, a few are high-speed ICEs.  Virtual tour of InterCity train...

 

InterCity 2nd class.  You'll also find a few compartment coaches on InterCity trains, and a bistro or restaurant car...

 

InterCity 1st class, often available in both open-plan saloons like this and in compartments.

 London ► Osnabrück, Bremen, Hamburg

 Eurostar (30 minute check-in)   

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

06:50

08:58

10:58

12:58

08:58

10:58

12:58

08:58

08:58

14:04

 Brussels Midi

arrive

10:07

12:05

14:05

16:08

12:08

14:05

16:08

12:08

12:08

17:05

 Change in Brussels onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c)...

 Brussels Midi

depart

  10:25 c

13:28 t

 14:25 c

17:28 t

13:28 t

 14:25 c

17:28 t

13:28 t

 14:25 c

17:28 t

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

  12:15 c

15:15 t

 16:15 c

19:15 t

15:15 t

 16:15 c

19:15 t

15:15 t

 16:15 c

19:15 t

 Change in Cologne onto an IC or ICE train...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

13:10

16:10

17:10

20:10

16:10

17:10

20:10

16:10

17:10

20:10

 Osnabrück

arrive

15:23

18:22

19:23

22:25

18:22

19:23

22:25

18:21

19:23

22:25

 Bremen

arrive

16:14

19:14

20:15

23:25

19:14

20:15

23:25

19:14

20:15

23:25

 Hamburg (Hbf)

arrive

17:12

20:12

21:12

00:35

20:12

21:12

00:35

20:12

21:12

00:35

c = by high-speed German ICE train, with London Spezial fares from €59 available from London to anywhere in Germany.

t = by high-speed Thalys train.

How to read these timetables...  Each column is a service, and you read downwards.  There's a change of trains at each of the grey bars.

Map of Hamburg showing the Hauptbahnhof   Hbf = Hauptbahnhof, meaning main station.  If you have a first class ticket you can use the DB Lounges at Cologne, Bremen & Hamburg.

Evening departure from London & overnight stop in Brussels?  You can also catch an evening Eurostar to Brussels, stay overnight, continue next morning. For space reasons, this isn't shown here, but you can easily check times & prices using the London Spezial links below

Couloir Sud short cut for changing trains in Brussels   What is Eurostar like?    What are Thalys trains like?    What are ICE trains like?

You can check these train times at www.bahn.de.

 Hamburg, Bremen, Osnabrück ► London

 IC or ICE train

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

Hamburg Hbf

depart

06:46

07:46

10:46

11:46

06:46

07:46

10:46

11:46

06:46

07:46

10:46

11:46

Bremen

depart

07:44

08:44

11:44

12:44

07:44

08:44

11:44

12:44

07:44

08:44

11:44

12:44

Osnabrück

depart

08:37

09:37

12:37

13:37

08:37

09:37

12:37

13:37

08:37

09:37

12:37

13:37

Cologne Hbf

arrive

10:50

11:46

14:50

15:46

10:50

11:46

14:50

15:46

10:50

11:46

14:50

15:46

 Change in Cologne onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c)...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

  11:43 c

  12:44 t

  15:43 c

  16:42 t

  11:43 c

  12:44 t

 15:43 c

  16:42 t

  11:43 c

  12:44 t

  15:43 c

  16:42 t

 Brussels Midi

arrive

  13:35 c

  14:32 t

  17:35 c

  18:32 t

  13:35 c

  14:32 t

 17:35 c

  18:32 t

  12:35 c

  14:32 t

  17:35 c

  18:32 t

 Change trains onto Eurostar.  Remember the 30 minute check-in...

 Brussels Midi

depart

14:56

16:56

18:56

19:52

14:52

16:56

19:52

19:52

14:52

15:56

18:56

19:52

 London St Pancras

arrive

16:10

18:10

19:57

21:03

16:03

18:09

21:06

21:06

16:03

16:57

19:57

21:03

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Cologne

 by Eurostar + Thalys or ICE:

 Fares for Eurostar+ICE start at €59 (£49) each way.

 Fares for Eurostar+Thalys start at £56 one-way or £103 return

 Fares vary like air fares, so book in advance to get the cheapest prices.

 Child, youth, senior Eurostar fares

 

 2. Cologne to Hamburg by ICE:

 Advance-purchase fares start at €29 (£25) each way.

 Normal flexible fare €86 (£73) each way.

Or buy a London Spezial ticket, London to Hamburg or Bremen from €59 (£49)...

Before you do anything else, check the German Railways website for cheap London Spezial fares between London and anywhere in Germany, including Hamburg or Bremen, using the special links below.  All you need to do is enter your date of travel.  I recommend buying a round trip as two one-ways, as it's easier to see where the availability is.  Booking normally opens 90 days before departure.

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets from London to Hamburg:

(just select a link & enter your date of travel.  Change 'Hamburg' to 'Bremen' if necessary)

Departing London at 06:50 on Mondays-Fridays

Departing London at 08:58 on Sundays

Departing London at 10:58 on Mondays-Saturdays

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:04 Sun (often cheapest departure, overnight in Brussels required, suggest Ibis Brussels Midi)

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:04 Sun (same as above, but with more leisurely 10:25 departure from Brussels next morning)

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets from Hamburg to London:

(just select a link & enter your date of travel.  Change 'Hamburg' to 'Bremen' if necessary)

Departing Hamburg at 06:46

Departing Hamburg at 10:46, on Saturdays

Departing Hamburg at 10:46 on Mondays-Fridays & Sundays

About these London Spezial tickets:  These excellent London Spezial tickets start at €59 each way 2nd class or €109 1st class from London to anywhere in Germany.  That price includes Eurostar to Brussels, a superb German ICE train to Cologne and onward trains to your final destination, all on one ticket.  You'll only find these London Spezial fares on services which use the German ICE train between Brussels & Cologne (marked with a 'c' in the timetable above), they aren't available on Thalys trains.  Availability is limited, and the German site can't sell normal tickets for this route, only these London Spezial fares which can sell out.  And it can't sell tickets of any sort for Eurostar+Thalys.  Incidentally, note that when using www.bahn.de, you often need to put 'Brussels South Stn' in the 'via' box and either 01:00 or 02:00 in the 'stopover' box to force the journey planner to find the ICE connection (and so offer the cheap London Spezial fares) rather than a more immediate Thalys connection.  I've set up the 'check for cheap tickets' links above to include the necessary fiddle factor for each specific departure, so you don't need to worry about it, as long as you use the right link for the right departure.  If you find a cheap ticket using the links above then great, if not (or if you want a Eurostar+Thalys service), move swiftly on to the normal 'How to buy tickets' section below...

How to buy tickets online...

If your chosen journey involves an ICE train between Brussels and Cologne:

  • Step 1, go to www.eurostar.com and buy the Eurostar ticket from London to Brussels & back.  Tickets can be self-printed, collected at London St Pancras, or posted to any UK address.

  • Step 2, go to www.bahn.de, the German Railways website, and buy a ticket from Brussels to Hamburg (or Bremen or Osnabrück) using the train times on this page as a guide.  Brussels-Hamburg starts at just €39 (£35) each way.  I recommend registering when it asks you before completing the purchase, so you can easily retrieve any bookings.  You simply print out your own ticket.  Easy!

If your chosen journey involves a Thalys train between Brussels and Cologne, or a Thalys one way and ICE the other:

  • Step 1, go to the Belgian Railways international website www.b-europe.com and book a ticket from London to Cologne and back using the train times on this page as a guide.  You print off your own tickets.  B-europe.com can book both Eurostar+Thalys and Eurostar+ICE, and their booking system handles this two-leg journey well, usually seeming to find the cheapest prices.  You print your own tickets.  You can also try www.loco2.com.

  • Step 2, now buy a ticket from Cologne to Hamburg, Bremen or Osnabrück online at the German Railways website, www.bahn.de, using the train times on this page as a guide.  You simply print out your own Online Ticket.  Make sure the train you book connects with the Eurostar+Thalys you have booked, using the train times on this page as a guide.  I recommend registering when it asks you before completing the purchase, so you can easily retrieve any bookings.

How to buy tickets by phone...

If you prefer to buy tickets by phone, call Deutsche Bahn's UK office on 08718 80 80 66 (lines open 09:00-20:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday & Sunday, no booking fee, 2% credit card charge),  or www.europeanrail.com on 020 7619 1083 (lines open 08:30-18:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday, £35 booking fee). Click here for a list of agencies and more information on how to buy tickets.

Tailor-made travel & hotel arrangements...

A hassle-free option is to get a reliable specialist agency such as Railbookers to arrange your whole trip, with train bookings, hotels and transfers all sorted with one phone call.  Just tell them when and where you want to go, and they'll create the best rail holiday for you.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.com

Call toll-free 1-800-408-3280 or www.us.railbookers.com.

Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 002 034 or see website.



London to Stuttgart & Munich

Which route to choose?

There are several good options for travel between the UK and Stuttgart or Munich:

Option 1:  London to Munich by sleeper train

This is an excellent time-effective option, getting you to Munich first thing in the morning with a full day ahead of you.  It runs daily all year round except 24, 25 December.

London ► Munich

Munich ► London

See the London to Paris page for photos & information about Eurostar

Introducing the City Night Line sleeper train Cassiopeia from Paris to Munich...

The Paris-Munich overnight train is one of the German Railway's excellent City Night Line sleeper trains.  Called the Cassiopeia, it has a modern Comfortline sleeping-car (1, 2 & 3-berth deluxe compartments with private shower & toilet, 1, 2 & 3-berth economy compartments with washbasin.  There is a shower at the end of the corridor for passengers in economy sleepers, and all sleepers have powerpoints for laptop computers), and modern air-conditioned couchettes (choose between a berth in a 4- or 6-berth compartment), and ordinary seats (not recommended).  Inclusive fares are charged covering travel plus sleeping accommodation.  The sleeping-car fare includes a light breakfast.  More pictures & information about this train

Dinner before you board?  There's no restaurant or bar car on the City Night Line sleeper, but for a good meal in a classic Parisian brasserie before boarding the sleeper train in Paris, catch the earlier 14:01 Eurostar & dine at the Brasserie Terminus Nord directly across the road from the Gare du Nord.  Alternatively, try the Brasserie Flo just inside the entrance to the Gare de l'Est, located in what was once the left luggage office.  For a cooked breakfast in Munich or evening meal before boarding the Paris-bound sleeper on your return, try the typically Bavarian Mongdratzerl restaurant, located in the hauptbahnhof itself.

Sleeping-car room - Paris-Munich night train   4-berth couchette compartment on Paris-Munich overnight train   6-berth couchette compartment on Paris-Munich overnight train  

The sleeping-car on the Paris-Munich overnight train boarding at the Gare de l'Est

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper: The most comfortable option, economy with washbasin or deluxe with shower & toilet.

 

4-berth couchettes:  Ideal for families, much more space per person than 6-berth couchettes.

 

6-berth couchettes:  A very economical option, far better than a seat for just a few euros more...

 

"Night train to Munich":  The Comfortline sleeping-car of the Paris to Munich sleeper train boarding at Paris Gare de l'Est...

More pictures & information about this train...

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Paris

 by Eurostar

 From £39 one-way, £69 return 2nd class.

 From £107 one-way, £189 return 1st class.  Child, youth, senior fares 

 

 2. Paris to Munich

 by sleeper train, per person

In a

seat

In a couchette

Economy sleeper

Deluxe sleeper

6-bunk 

4-bunk 

3-bed 

2-bed 

1-bed 

2-bed

1-bed

 Savings fare one-way from:

€43 (£36)

€59 (£49)

€69 (£58)

€84 (£70)

€104 (£87)

€144 (£120)

€134 (£112)

€174 (£145)

 Savings fare return from:

€86 (£72)

€118 (£98)

€138 (£116)

€168 (£140)

€208 (£174)

€288 (£240)

€268 (£224)

€348 (£290)

 Full price one-way:

€154

€169

€179

€194

€214

€254

€300

€340

 Railpass supplement*

€12

€27.50

€37.50

€55

€75

€115

€75

€115

 Children under 15**

€4

€20

€30

£71

€65

€105

€65

€105

 Child under 6 without berth:

Child under 6 sharing a berth travels free

Berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed.  The other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.

If you want sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a single sleeper, 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper, 4 tickets in a 4-berth couchette & so on.

* This is the supplement you pay if you have a railpass, a 1st class pass is required for deluxe sleepers.

** Children under 15 travel free if accompanied by a fare-paying adult, but must pay the berth supplement shown here.

Savings fare = advance-purchase fare, price varies, limited availability, no refunds, no changes to travel plans.

Full price = fully flexible, refundable, buy any time.

Youth fares if you're under 26:  25% discount on full price (not Savings fares) using uk.voyages-sncf.com, Savings fares usually cheaper!

Senior fares if you're over 60: 20% discount on full price (not Savings fares) using uk.voyages-sncf.com, Savings fares usually cheaper!

How to buy tickets online:  www.eurostar.com & www.bahn.de

The cheapest way to buy tickets is online direct from the operators, at www.eurostar.com for Eurostar and www.bahn.de for the sleeper train.  Anyone from any country can buy tickets in this way.  But read this first!

You can also book the Eurostar & City Night Line online at www.loco2.com, with the advantage that you can book both tickets together, booking London to Munich all in one go.  Indeed, at www.loco2.com you can book direct from any station in Britain to Munich, all in one go.  However, if you want to mix and match 2nd class on Eurostar with (say) a 2-bed sleeper on City Night Line, you'll need to click '+ Add via/stopover', enter 'Paris Nord', select 'specific duration' and enter (say) 1 hour.  It'll then allow you to select a fare and class separately for each leg.  If you have children, be warned that Rail Europe (to which Loco2 connects) applies French age limits to anything it books, incorrectly pricing any child over 12 as an adult an any infant over 4 as a child as in fact more generous German age limits apply to City Night Line so see this important advice.  Also note that for some reason, Rail Europe (and therefore Loco2) cannot book 4-berth couchettes on City Night Line, if you want these you'll have to use www.bahn.de.

How to buy tickets by phone...

You can book both the Eurostar and the sleeper train by phone by calling Deutsche Bahn's UK office on 08718 80 80 66 (lines open 09:00-20:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday & Sunday, no booking fee, 2% credit card charge but no charge for debit cards), or European Rail on 020 7619 1083 (lines open 08:30-18:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday, £35 booking fee).

Tailor-made travel & hotel arrangements...

A hassle-free option is to get a reliable specialist agency such as Railbookers to arrange your whole trip, with train bookings, hotels and transfers all sorted with one phone call.  Just tell them when and where you want to go, and they'll create the best rail holiday for you.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.com

Call toll-free 1-800-408-3280 or www.us.railbookers.com.

Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 002 034 or see website.


Munich Hauptbahnhof...

 

First class lounges at German stations...

Munich Hauptbahnhof

Munich Hauptbahnhof.  Munich's main station is just 15 minutes walk from the Dom (cathedral) & Marienplatz.  For a meal before or after your train, try the typically Bavarian Mongdratzerl restaurant, located inside the station's shopping area.

  DB first class lounge, Munich

DB Lounges for first class passengers:  There are first class lounges, usually open 07:00-21:00 daily, with complimentary tea, coffee, soft drinks & WiFi at these main stations:  Berlin, Bremen, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt Main Airport, Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne, Leipzig, Mannheim, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart.  However, they cannot be used by first class railpass holders.


Option 2:  London to Stuttgart & Munich via Paris, by daytime trains...

The new TGV-Est high-speed line opened in June 2007 and direct French TGVs now link Paris & Stuttgart in 3 hours 40 minutes at up to 320km/h (199 mph).  This makes for a fast and easy train journey from London.  The TGVs on this route are now the impressive 200mph double-deck TGV Duplex.  Make sure you select a top deck seat for the best views.  All seats have power sockets for laptops and mobiles.

 London ► Stuttgart, Munich  (via Paris)

 Eurostar (30 min check-in)

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

07:01

10:25

12:25

15:31

06:18

11:01

14:01

10:25

12:25

15:31

 Paris Gare du Nord

arrive

10:17

13:47

15:47

18:47

09:47

14:17

18:47

13:47

15:47

18:47

 It's then a 10 min walk to the Gare de l'Est for TGV Duplex to Stuttgart & Munich...

 Paris Gare de l'Est

depart

11:25

15:25

17:25

20:05

11:25

15:25

20:05

15:25

17:25

20:05

 Stuttgart Hbf

arrive

15:04

19:04

21:05

04:17

15:04

19:04

04:17

19:04

21:05

04:17

 Stuttgart Hbf

depart

 15:12*

19:19

 21:12*

sleeper

 15:12*

19:19

sleeper

19:19

 21:12*

sleeper

 Ulm

arrive

 16:09*

20:14

 22:09*

05:42

 16:09*

20:14

05:42

20:14

 22:09*

05:42

 Augsburg

arrive

 16:55*

21:00

 21:55*

06:33

 16:55*

21:00

06:33

21:00

 21:55*

06:33

 Munich Hbf

arrive

 17:27*

21:36

 23:27*

07:10

 17:27*

21:36

07:10

21:36

 23:27*

07:10

sleeper = By overnight sleeper train between Paris & Munich, see the section above.

* = change in Stuttgart.  Other Paris-Munich trains are direct.

** = An earlier 12:13 Eurostar is available on Mondays and Fridays, arriving London 13:30.

How to read these timetables...  Each column is a service, and you read downwards.  There's a change of trains at each of the grey bars.

Eurostar times may vary slightly, so always double-check when booking.

 Munich, Stuttgart ► London  (via Paris)

 TGV Duplex train to Paris...

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 Munich Hbf

depart

-

06:27

 09:46*

22:50

-

06:29

 09:46*

22:50

06:29

 09:46*

22:50

 Augsburg

depart

-

06:57

 10:17*

23:20

-

07:07

 10:17*

23:20

07:07

 10:17*

23:20

 Ulm

depart

-

07:43

 11:04*

00:10

-

07:51

 11:04*

00:10

07:51

 11:04*

00:10

 Stuttgart Hbf

arrive

-

08:39

 12:01*

sleeper

-

08:47

 12:01*

sleeper

08:47

 12:01*

sleeper

 Stuttgart Hbf

depart

06:54

08:55

12:55

01:25

06:54

08:55

12:55

01:25

08:55

12:55

01:25

 Paris Gare de l'Est

arrive

10:35

12:35

16:35

09:24

10:35

12:35

16:35

09:24

12:35

16:35

09:24

 10 min walk to the Gare du Nord for Eurostar (remember the 30 minute check-in)...

 Paris Gare du Nord

depart

13:13**

15:13

18:13

11:13

13:13

14:13

19:13

11:13

14:13

18:13

11:13

 London St Pancras

arrive

14:39**

16:39

19:39

12:30

14:39

15:30

20:39

12:30

15:30

19:30

12:30

On board the TGV Duplex from Paris to Munich...     Watch the TGV Duplex video guide

Sit back with a glass of red and enjoy the ride - book an upper deck seat for the best views.  The train is equipped with power sockets for laptops & mobiles at all seats in both classes, and a cafe-bar serves drinks, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.  First class passengers on this route are given a simple but tasty meal box with a small bottle of beer or wine served at their seat, included in the fare.  The train soon leaves the Paris suburbs behind and speeds across a vast wide open plateau of woods and farmland at up to 200mph, past picturesque French villages of the Champagne region.  An hour or two later, the train leaves the high-speed line and slowly meanders through pretty wooded hills, the countryside eventually flattening out towards Strasbourg.  On leaving Strasbourg, look out for Strasbourg cathedral on the left with its famously missing second tower.  Minutes afterwards you rumble across the river Rhine into Germany, before heading on to Stuttgart and Munich.

A TGV Duplex to Munich at Paris Gare de 'Est   Upper deck second class on board a TGV Duplex.

Boarding a double-deck TGV Duplex.  These impressive 200 mph double-deck trains link Paris & Munich, a relaxing journey catching up on your reading over a bottle of wine.  And it isn't expensive if you follow the advice on this page!  Watch the TGV Duplex video

 

The upstairs landing on a TGV Duplex showing the stairs down to the entrance door...

Upper deck second class on board a TGV Duplex.     The bar on the upper deck of a TGV Duplex

2nd class seats on the upper deck.  There's a mix of unidirectional seating and some tables for four like this...

 

The cafe-bar in a TGV Duplex upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks and microwave-style hot meal dishes....

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex to Munich at Paris Est.

1st class seats on the upper deck, with a 'club duo' on the left, a 'club quatre' on the right.

 

A TGV Duplex.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.

 How much does it cost?

 1. London to Paris

     by Eurostar:

 From £39 one-way, £69 return 2nd class.

 From £107 one-way, £189 return 1st class.  Child, youth, senior fares 

 

 2. Paris to Stuttgart

     or Munich by TGV:

 From €39 (£35) each way in 2nd class.

 From €69 (£58) each way in 1st class.

 Price varies, book in advance to get these fares. Full price €139 each way.

 If you book at www.bahn.de, accompanied children under 15 go free.

Buy tickets online at www.loco2.com...

Or buy online at www.eurostar.com + www.bahn.de...

How to buy tickets by phone...


Option 3:  London to Stuttgart & Munich via Brussels, by daytime trains...

ICE3 second class ICE3 first class High-speed ICE3 train at Cologne

ICE3 2nd class.  All seats in both classes have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

ICE3 1st class, with real leather seats.  Staff provide at-seat service of drinks & food.

An ICE3 at Cologne Hauptbahnhof, used on the trains to Munich.  More info about ICE.

 London ► Stuttgart, Ulm, Munich  (via Brussels)

 Eurostar (30 min check-in)

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

06:50

08:58

10:58

12:58

15:04

16:04

08:58

10:58

12:58

12:58

16:04

08:58

08:58

14:04

15:04

 Brussels Midi

arrive

10:07

12:05

14:05

16:08

18:05

19:05

12:08

14:05

16:08

16:08

19:05

12:08

12:08

17:05

18:05

 Change in Brussels onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c)...

 Brussels Midi

depart

10:25c

13:28t

14:25c

17:28t

 18:25c

19:28t

13:28t

14:25c

17:28t

 18:25c

19:28t

13:28t

14:25c

17:28t

18:25c

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

|

15:15t

  |

19:15t

 20:15c

21:15t

15:15t

  |

19:15t

 20:15c

21:15t

15:15t

  |

19:15t

20:15c

 Frankfurt Main Hbf

arrive

13:24c

-

17:41c

-

 -

-

-

17:41c

-

 -

-

-

17:41c

-

 -

 Change in either Cologne or Frankfurt onto a high-speed ICE train...

 Cologne Hbf

depart

-

15:56

-

19:57

21:55

21:55

15:56

-

19:57

21:55

21:55

15:56

-

19:57

21:55

 Frankfurt Main Hbf

depart

13:50

|

17:50

|

|

|

|

17:54

|

|

|

|

17:50

|

|

 Mannheim

arrive

14:27

17:23

18:27

21:23

23:37

23:37

17:23

|

21:23

23:37

23:37

17:23

18:27

21:23

23:37

 Stuttgart

arrive

15:08

18:08

19:08

22:08

00:56

00:56

18:08

|

22:08

00:56

00:56

18:08

19:08

22:08

00:56

 Ulm

arrive

16:07

19:07

20:07

23:07

-

-

19:07

|

23:07

-

-

19:07

20:07

23:07

-

 Augsburg

arrive

16:53

19:53

20:53

23:52

-

-

19:53

|

23:52

-

-

19:53

20:53

23:52

-

 Munich

arrive

17:27

20:27

21:29

00:27

-

-

20:27

21:12

00:27

-

-

20:27

21:29

00:27

-

For overnight sleeper service between London, Paris & Munich, see above.  You can double-check these train times using www.bahn.de.

c = by high-speed German ICE train, with London Spezial fares from €59 available via this service from London to anywhere in Germany. 

m = change trains at Mannheim.

t = by high-speed Thalys train.

Hbf = Hauptbahnhof, meaning main station.  If you have a first class ticket you can use the DB Lounges at Cologne, Stuttgart & Munich.

How to read these timetables...  Each column is a service, and you read downwards.  There's a change of trains at each of the grey bars.

Evening departure from London & overnight stop in Brussels?  You can also catch an evening Eurostar to Brussels, stay overnight, continue next morning. For space reasons, this isn't shown here, but you can easily check times & prices using the London Spezial links below

Couloir Sud short cut for changing trains in Brussels    Map of Munich showing the station

What is Eurostar like?    What are Thalys trains like?    What are ICE trains like?  

 Munich, Ulm, Stuttgart ► London  (via Brussels)

 ICE train

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 Munich

depart

06:32

07:28

10:28

11:30

06:40

07:28

10:28

11:30

06:40

07:28

10:28

11:30

 Augsburg

depart

07:06

08:03

11:03

12:03

|

08:03

11:03

12:03

|

08:03

11:03

12:03

 Ulm

depart

07:51

08:51

11:51

12:51

|

08:51

11:51

12:51

|

08:51

11:51

12:51

 Stuttgart

depart

08:51

09:51

12:51

13:51

|

09:51

12:51

13:51

|

09:51

12:51

13:51

 Mannheim

depart

09:32

10:36

13:31

14:36

|

10:35

13:31

14:36

|

10:35

13:31

14:36

 Frankfurt Main Hbf

arrive

10:08

|

14:08

|

10:04

|

14:08

|

10:04

|

14:08

|

 Cologne Hbf

arrive

-

12:05

  -

16:05

-

12:05

  -

16:05

-

12:05

  -

16:05

 Change in Frankfurt or Cologne onto a high-speed Thalys train (marked t) or ICE train (marked c)...

 Frankfurt Hbf

depart

  10:16 c

-

  14:29 c

-

  10:16 c

-

  14:29 c

-

  10:16 c

-

  14:29 c

-

 Cologne Hbf

depart

|

 12:44 t

  |

 16:42 t

|

 12:44 t

  |

 16:42 t

|

 12:44 t

  |

 16:42 t

 Brussels Midi

arrive

  13:35 c

 14:32 t

  17:35 c

 18:32 t

  13:35 c

 14:32 t

 17:35 c

 18:32 t

  13:35 c

 14:32 t

  17:35 c

 18:32 t

 Change onto Eurostar in Brussels - remember the 30 minute check-in...

 Brussels Midi

depart

14:56

16:56

18:56

19:52

14:52

16:56

19:52

19:52

14:52

15:56

18:56

19:52

 London St Pancras

arrive

16:03

18:10

19:57

21:03

16:03

18:03

21:06

21:06

16:03

16:57

19:57

21:03

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Cologne

 by Eurostar + Thalys or ICE:

 Fares for Eurostar+ICE start at €59 (£49) each way.

 Fares for Eurostar+Thalys start at £56 one-way or £103 return

 Fares vary like air fares, so book in advance to get the cheapest prices.

 Child, youth, senior Eurostar fares

 

 2. Cologne to Munich by ICE:

 From €29 (£25) each way in 2nd class, €69 (£58) each way 1st class.

 Price varies, book in advance to get these fares. Full price €138 each way.

 If you book at www.bahn.de, accompanied children under 15 go free.

How to buy tickets...

There are several different ways to buy tickets from London to Munich via Brussels, and as each works in a different way with different prices and quotas it's a good idea to try each of them.

1) Buy a London Spezial ticket, London to Munich or Stuttgart from €59 (£49) each way...

This is potentially the cheapest option, so before you do anything else, check the German Railways website for cheap London Spezial fares between London and anywhere in Germany, including Munich, Ulm or Stuttgart, using the special links below.  All you need to do is enter your date of travel.  I recommend buying a round trip as two one-ways, as it's easier to see where the availability is.  Booking normally opens 92 days before departure.  The price is quite volatile, you'll see €59 one day and €139 the next, so try different dates and departures, and if you really cant find a cheap fare try one of the other booking options below.

To check for cheap print-at-home tickets from London to Munich:

(just select a link & enter your date of travel.  Change 'Munich' to 'Stuttgart' or 'Ulm' if necessary)

Departing London at 06:50 Mondays-Fridays

Departing London at 08:58 on Sundays

Departing London at 10:58 on any day except Sundays

Departing London at 12:58 on Saturdays (only as far as Stuttgart)

Departing London at 15:04 on any day except Saturdays (only as far as Stuttgart)

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:04 Sun (often cheapest departure, overnight in Brussels required, suggest Ibis Brussels Midi)

Departing London at 19:34 Mon-Fri, 19:04 Sat, 20:04 Sun (same as above, but with more leisurely 10:25 departure from Brussels next morning)

Check for cheap print-at-home tickets from Munich to London:

(just select a link & enter your date of travel.  Change 'Munich' to 'Stuttgart' or 'Ulm' if necessary)

Departing Munich at 06:40 every day

Departing Munich at 10:28, on Saturdays

Departing Munich at 10:28 on Mondays-Fridays & Sundays

If you see slightly different (in other words, later) departure times from Munich, no problem, this is simply an alternative train running via Nuremberg whereas the ones shown above are those via Stuttgart.

About these London Spezial tickets:  These excellent London Spezial tickets start at €59 each way 2nd class or €109 1st class from London to anywhere in Germany.  That price includes Eurostar to Brussels, a superb German ICE train to Cologne and onward trains to your final destination, all on one ticket.  You'll only find these London Spezial fares on services which use the German ICE train between Brussels & Cologne (marked with a 'c' in the timetable above), they aren't available on Thalys trains.  Availability is limited, and the German site can't sell normal tickets for this route, only these London Spezial fares which can sell out.  And it can't sell tickets of any sort for Eurostar+Thalys.  Incidentally, note that when using www.bahn.de, you often need to put 'Brussels South Stn' in the 'via' box and either 01:00 or 02:00 in the 'stopover' box to force the journey planner to find the ICE connection (and so offer the cheap London Spezial fares) rather than a more immediate Thalys connection.  I've set up the 'check for cheap tickets' links above to include the necessary fiddle factor for each specific departure, so you don't need to worry about it, as long as you use the right link for the right departure.  If you find a cheap ticket using the links above then great, if not (or if you want a Eurostar+Thalys service), move swiftly on to the normal 'How to buy tickets' section below...

2)  Buy a London to Munich through ticket at www.eurostar.com from £97.50...

3)  Or book each train separately...

This gives you the maximum control, even though it means making bookings on more than one website.  Do a dry run on each of them before booking for real.  If your chosen journey involves a Thalys train between Brussels and Cologne or a Thalys one way and ICE the other:

If your chosen journey involves an ICE train between Brussels and Cologne (marked with a 'c' above):

How to buy tickets by phone...

If you prefer to buy tickets by phone, call Deutsche Bahn's UK office on 08718 80 80 66 (lines open 09:00-20:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday & Sunday, no booking fee, 2% credit card charge), or www.europeanrail.com on 020 7619 1083 (lines open 08:30-18:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday, £35 booking fee).  Click here for a list of agencies and more information on how to buy tickets.

Tailor-made travel & hotel arrangements...

A hassle-free option is to get a reliable specialist agency such as Railbookers to arrange your whole trip, with train bookings, hotels and transfers all sorted with one phone call.  Just tell them when and where you want to go, and they'll create the best rail holiday for you.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.com

Call toll-free 1-800-408-3280 or www.us.railbookers.com.

Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 002 034 or see website.


London to Leipzig, Dresden & Colditz

London ► Leipzig & Dresden (option 1)...

Dresden & Leipzig ► London (option 1)...

London ► Dresden (option 2)...

Dresden ► London (option 2)...

Colditz...

Now part of WW2 folklore and well worth a visit. A train leaves Leipzig every hour (usually at .15 mins past the even hour) for Grossbothen (or on some departures, Grimma) where a bus connects for Colditz.  Journey from Leipzig about 1 hour 7 mins.  You can check train and bus times at www.bahn.de.  In 1992, I made the whole journey from Leipzig to Colditz by train, as did many of the PoWs.

How to buy tickets online...

Step 1, buy your London-Cologne tickets.  First, check to see if the cheapest option is available, a London Spezial fare from €59 at bahn.de, using these special links I've set up for you:

Buy an outward ticket from London to Cologne leaving London at 15:04 any day except Saturdays or leaving London at 12:58 on Saturdays.

Buy an inward ticket from Cologne to London leaving Cologne at 07:43 any day except Saturdays or leaving Cologne at 07:43 on Saturdays.

You may or may not find a cheap fare this way, as availability of these London Spezial fares is very limited as DB only have a small allocation of seats on Eurostar.  If you find a cheap ticket, great, if not, buy tickets from London to Cologne at regular prices by both Eurostar+ICE and Eurostar+Thalys using the Belgian Railways international website www.b-europe.com.  Their booking system handles this two-leg journey well, usually seeming to find the cheapest prices.  You can also try www.loco2.com.

Step 2, buy a Cologne-Dresden sleeper or couchette ticket at the German Railways site, www.bahn.de.  Book from Cologne (Köln Hbf) to Dresden and back, looking for the cheap Savings fares.  You pay online and print out your own ticket in .PDF format on your own PC printer.

How to buy tickets by phone...

If you prefer to buy tickets by phone, call Deutsche Bahn's UK office on 08718 80 80 66 (lines open 09:00-20:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday & Sunday, no booking fee, 2% credit card charge), or www.europeanrail.com on 020 7619 1083 (lines open 08:30-18:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday, £35 booking fee).  Click here for a list of agencies and more information on how to buy tickets.

Tailor-made travel & hotel arrangements...

A hassle-free option is to get a reliable specialist agency such as Railbookers to arrange your whole trip, with train bookings, hotels and transfers all sorted with one phone call.  Just tell them when and where you want to go, and they'll create the best rail holiday for you.

In the UK, call  020 3327 0761 or see www.railbookers.com.

In the USA & Canada, call toll-free 1-800-408-3280 or see railbookers.com.

In Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526 or see www.railbookers.com.au

In New Zealand call toll-free 0800 002 034 or see website.


Other destinations in Germany...

  Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria

Neuschwanstein Castle is one of King Ludwig II of Bavaria's fairytale castles.  Built in 1869 as an extravagant folly, it's now a major tourist attraction.  Travel by train to Füssen, it's then a short bus ride to Hohenschwangau, the village below the castle.  See www.neuschwanstein.de.

You can get to just about anywhere in Germany by train from London.  If your destination is a small place close to one of the big cities shown on this page such as Berlin, Hamburg or Munich, use the train times on this page to that city then use the German Railways website www.bahn.de to find train times onwards from that city to your final destination.  The German Railways website will also give fares and sell tickets for journeys within Germany.

London to anywhere in Germany, from €59 (£49) each way...

If your destination isn't listed here, for example, London to Heidelberg, Regensburg or Konstanz to name just three, use the links below to search for journeys with cheap London Spezial fares from just €59 each way.  I recommend booking a round trip as two one-ways, as it's easier to see where there's availability.  Booking normally opens 90 days before departure:

Check for cheap tickets outward from London to anywhere Germany:

(click a link, enter your destination & your date of travel)

Departing London at 06:50 on Mondays-Fridays

Departing London at 08:58 on Sundays

Departing London at 10:58 on any day except Sundays

Departing London at 12:58 on Saturdays

Departing London at 15:04 on any day except Saturdays

Check for cheap tickets inward from Germany to London:

(click a link, enter your starting station & your date of travel)

Arriving London at 11:57 on Mondays-Saturdays

Arriving London at 14:03 any day except Saturdays

Arriving London at 16:03 any day

Arriving London at 19:57 any day except Saturdays

Arriving London at 21:03 or 21:06 any day

Why are these links clever?  Well, London Spezial fares are only valid on a combination of Eurostar from London to Brussels and the German ICE from Brussels to Cologne.  You won't find them on any journeys involving the competing Thalys train between Brussels and Cologne.  On some departures from London, a Thalys happens to be the fastest connection with the Eurostar in question, so the bahn.de journey planner only offers the Thalys (and not the ICE leaving an hour afterwards) and so doesn't offer any cheap fares.  However, by typing Brussels in the 'via' box and 01:00, 01:30 or 02:30 in the 'stopover' box, you can force the journey planner to allow a 1 hour, 1½ or 2½ hour stopover in Brussels, calculated so that it ignores the immediate Thalys connection and instead finds the following train to Cologne, which happens to be an ICE, and so it offers the cheap fares.  I've incorporated this fiddle factor in the links above so you don't have to worry about it.

Other ways to buy train tickets to Germany:  If there are no cheap London Spezial fares available on the day you want, or if you want to use one of the other services involving Thalys trains between Brussels & Cologne rather than one of the German ICEs, you'll need to book in two stages using two websites.  First, use Belgian Railways international website www.b-europe.com to book your chosen trains from London to Cologne & back (you can also try www.loco2.com, which will book from any station in Britain to Cologne).  Then buy a connecting German ticket from Cologne to your final destination & back using www.bahn.de, with cheap Spezial fares from €29 (£25) each way from Cologne to any destination in Germany.  Allow at least 30 minutes in Cologne to change trains.

Neuschwanstein, Bavaria's fairytale castle...

Bavaria's fairytale castle, Neuschwanstein (www.neuschwanstein.de) is near Füssen, south-southwest of Munich, close to the Austrian border.  Travel to Munich as shown above, then take a local train to Füssen.  You can find train times and buy train tickets from Munich to Füssen at www.bahn.de, the journey time is about 2 hours 30 minutes and there's a train every hour or two.  From Füssen, take bus 73 or78 to Hohenschwangau.  These buses leave about twice an hour from directly alongside Füssen station, the journey time is about 8 minutes, the fare is only a few euros. For information on these buses, see www.rvo-bus.de.  Hohenschwangau is the tourist village which has the castle ticket office, restaurants and shops.  It's a 40 minute walk, 20 minute horse-drawn carriage or 10 minute shuttle bus ride up to the castle.

Colditz...

Now part of WW2 folklore, and well worth a visit!  Colditz is easy to reach from Leipzig, see the London to Leipzig section above.

Berchtesgaden, Obersalzberg & Eagle's Nest...

Another site from WW2 which can be visited, the site of Hitler's country house, the Berghof, can still be seen at Obersalzberg on the mountain above Berchtesgaden, where Göring, Bormann, Speer and others also had houses.  The ruins of the Berghof were demolished in 1952, all that can be seen now is an overgrown site with a large retaining wall.  Hitler's impressive mountain-top tea house, the Eagle's Nest, is still standing and can be visited in summer.  Travel to Munich as shown above, then change onto hourly trains to Freilassing, change there for Berchtesgaden, total journey time about 2½ hours.  www.bahn.de will give train times an sell you a train ticket.  Buses link Berchtesgaden with Obersalzberg, from where tourist shuttle buses go up to the Eagle's Nest.  Or take a tour - Eagles Nest Historical Tours (www.eagles-nest-historical-tours.com) do an Obersalzberg tour and an Eagles Nest tour, leaving from the tourist information centre directly across the roundabout from the station.

Tailor-made travel & hotel arrangements...

A hassle-free option is to get a reliable specialist agency such as Railbookers to arrange your whole trip, with train bookings, hotels and transfers all sorted with one phone call.  Just tell them when and where you want to go, and they'll create the best rail holiday for you.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.com

Call toll-free 1-800-408-3280 or www.us.railbookers.com.

Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 002 034 or see website.


London & East Anglia to Germany by ferry   

  Boarding the Stena Line ferry from Harwich to Hoek van Holland for Amsterdam

London to the Netherlands by Dutch Flyer train & ferry...  A train takes you from London's Liverpool Street station directly to the ferry terminal at Harwich.  You walk off the train, into the terminal, get your boarding card & cabin key at the Stena Line check-in desk and walk straight onto the overnight ferry to Hoek van Holland.  The new superferry Stena Hollandica is the largest ferry of its kind in the world.  See the Netherlands page and see the video...

  Captain's suite deluxe cabin on the Stena Line ferry 'Stena Hollandica'

Cosy cabins:  The overnight Harwich-Hoek ferry is a floating hotel.  All passengers travel in a cosy private cabin with en suite shower & toilet and satellite TV.  This is a Captain's class cabin...

  ICE train from the Netherlands to Germany at Frankfurt hauptbahnhof

Onwards to Germany by ICE high-speed train:  At Hoek van Holland, you walk off the ship, through passport control and straight onto the station for the frequent Sprinter train to Rotterdam.  Change in Rotterdam for a train to Amsterdam or Utrecht, change there for a train to Germany.  This is a superb German ICE train at Frankfurt am Main Hauptbahnhof...

The ferry alternative...

You might prefer to travel by train & ferry to reach Germany, for example to avoid the Channel Tunnel if problems affect the Eurostar service or if you suffer from claustrophobia.  This route is handy if you live in East Anglia as you can travel direct to Harwich avoiding London, and it also avoids France and Belgium, if the French or Belgians are on strike again!  Indeed, you may simply like the idea of cruising overnight on the Stena Line superferry in a luxury en suite cabin with shower, toilet, satellite TV and free WiFi, then travelling on by daytime train to Germany next morning - see the video!  If you need to travel at very short notice when cheap Eurostar tickets are unavailable, the rail & sail option may still be affordable. The train & ferry route via Harwich & Hoek of Holland is one of the routes shown in dark blue on the route map above.  Here's how to do it:

London, East Anglia & Harwich ► Germany

Germany ► Harwich, East Anglia & London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone:  Special booking form


Scotland & the North of England to Germany 

  DFDS Seaways ferry 'Princess of Norway' about to sail from Newcastle.

DFDS Seaways Princess of Norway about to sail overnight from Newcastle to Amsterdam...

  A Commodore Deluxe cabin on DFDS Seaways
 

A Commodore deluxe cabin on DFDS ferry King of Scandinavia from Newcastle to Amsterdam, with minibar, satellite TV, shower & toilet.  See the video...

  A standard cabin on DFDS Seaways Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry.

A standard Seaways class cabin with shower & toilet on DFDS Princess of Norway from Newcastle to Amsterdam.

If you live in the North of England or Scotland, option 1 is to take a train up to London and travel from London to Germany as described above.  This may well be the quickest & easiest option.  Here's some advice on buying connecting train tickets to London.  If you live in Scotland, the Caledonian Sleepers will get you up to London in time for a morning Eurostar & onwards trains to Germany.

But consider option 2, by-passing London by taking a luxurious overnight cruise ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam run by DFDS Seaways or a similar overnight ferry from Hull to Rotterdam run by P&O Ferries, then onward trains to Germany.  There are direct daytime trains from Amsterdam to Berlin, Cologne & Frankfurt, plus a City Night Line overnight sleeper to Munich.  So why not by-pass London by taking the overnight ferry to Holland, spend some time in Amsterdam, then hop on a train to Germany?

Scotland & the north of England ► Germany

Germany ► Scotland & the north of England

Fares & how to buy tickets...


Holidays, tours & breaks to Germany by train

 

020 3327 0761 (UK)

1-800-408-3280 (USA)

1300 971 526 (Aus)

0800 002 034 (NZ)

 

01904 730 727

 

01904 527 120

 

020 7619 1080

Please quote 'seat61'

If you want a holiday to Germany by train, but want someone else to organise all the train tickets & hotels for you, several good specialist companies do just that.  Railbookers & Erail offer tailor-made individual holidays with departure on any date you like, whereas Treyn Holidays & Great Rail Journeys offer escorted tours with specific departure dates.

Railbookers tailor-made tours, holidays & breaks to Germany by train...

Railbookers can tailor-make a flight-free holiday or short break to Germany for you, with train travel & hotels, for however long you like, leaving on any date you like.  If you tell them what you want, they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels and sort it all out for you.  They get a lot of repeat business!  For example:

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.com

Call toll-free 1-800-408-3280 or www.us.railbookers.com.

Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 002 034 or see website.

Erail, www.erail.co.uk, 020 7619 1080.  Please quote Seat61.com...

Short breaks to Berlin, 20 years after the collapse of the Wall...  Erail offer short breaks to Berlin, by Eurostar & City Night Line sleeper train or Eurostar & high-speed daytime train with daytime train travel and 3 nights hotel in Berlin, see www.erail.co.uk.

The Great Escape:  Weimar, Leipzig, Colditz & BMW...  Or they have a 7 day holiday to Eastern Germany with daily departures. Day 1, travel to Weimar, home of the poets Goethe and Schiller & birthplace of the Bauhaus architectural style. On day 3 take a short train to Leipzig, birthplace of Bach, a new museum opens about him this year. Nearby is infamous Colditz Castle from which British officers tried many daring escapes in World War 2, also the iconic new BMW factory which offers group tours. The final stop at Dresden on the river Elbe has been completely rebuilt, an you stay at the 4* Westin Bellevue with a wonderful panorama of the city. Opportunity to visit the nearby baroque Moritzburg castle by steam train to Radebeul. Finally high speed day trains back to London on day 7. Also available with 1st class rail. see www.erail.co.uk and remember to mention Seat 61.

Treyn Holidays, www.railholidays.com, 01904 730 727...

Treyn Holidays offers several train-based escorted tours to Germany, with 3* hotels and travel by Eurostar and onwards high-speed train.  For example, they offer a 5-day tour to the Rhine Valley, or a 6-day Rhine cruise.  Check prices & departure dates at www.railholidays.com, then book online or call 01904 730 727.

Great Rail Journeys, www.greatrail.com, 01904 527 120...

GRJ offers five-star inclusive escorted tours to several areas in Germany, with 1st class train travel and 5* or 4* hotels.  Tours include a 10-day tour to the Rhine Valley and a 12-day tour to Berlin, Dresden, Colditz & Prague, all with overland travel from London by train and a range of departure dates.  Great Rail Journeys also offer holidays by train to other European countries.  Check the tour details online, then call 01904 527120 to book or use their online booking form.


Send your luggage in advance

Enjoy your journey without heavy luggage... 

Let www.carrymyluggage.com deliver your bags door to door.

If you'd like to enjoy your train journey free of heavy luggage, making it easy to get on and off trains with nothing more than a lightweight daypack or handbag, www.carrymyluggage.com will collect your luggage at your home address a few days before you leave, and will deliver it to addresses all over the EU, so it will be waiting at your hotel when you arrive.  It's not cheap, you can reckon on around £78 per case each way, but this is door to door, covering collection from your home in the UK or other EU country and delivery to an address in another EU country.  I've also arranged a 10% discount if you use the Promo code 'seat61' when booking your bags online.  www.carrymyluggage.com are a reliable company, they also work with companies such as Great Rail Journeys, Virgin Trains, First Great Western, Hull Trains, and South West Trains.


The European Rail Timetable & maps

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineThomas Cook Rail Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable - highly recommended!

Formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable, this has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team have set up a private venture and published the first edition of a reborn European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online with worldwide shipping at www.europeanrailtimetable.euMore information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

Two excellent maps of the European rail network...

The Thomas Cook Rail Map of Europe (no longer in print, but 2nd-hand copies available via www.amazon.co.uk) and the Travellers' Railway Map of Europe (buy online for €13 + €5.50 worldwide delivery at www.treinreiswinkel.nl/railway_map_of_europe with worldwide delivery) are the two best & most comprehensive maps of train routes right across Europe, from Portugal in the west to Istanbul, Moscow & Ukraine in the east, from Finland in the north to Sicily & Crete in the south.  High speed & scenic routes are highlighted.  Both maps are highly recommended.  A new edition of the Thomas Cook Map is likely to be published by the European Rail Timetable team in 2014, see www.europeanrailtimetable.euMore information on rail maps, including free online maps.


Guidebooks

The Man in Seat 61 book - click to buy onlineClick to buy - Lonely Planet Western EuropeLonely Planet Germany - buy online at Amazon.co.ukRough Guide to Germany - buy online at Amazon.co.uk

Highly recommended:  The Lonely Planets & Rough Guides...

Make sure you take a good guidebook.  For independent travel, the best guidebook is either the Lonely Planet or Rough Guide.  Both guidebooks provide an excellent level of practical information and historical and cultural background.  You won't regret buying one!

Click the images to buy at Amazon.co.uk

Or buy the Lonely Planets from the Lonely Planet website, with shipping worldwide.    Alternatively, you can download just the chapters or areas you need in .PDF format from the Lonely Planet Website, from around £2.99 or US$4.95 a chapter.


Find hotels anywhere in Germany...

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Other hotel booking sites worth checking...

Backpacker hostels...


Car hire

Take the train to Germany, then hire a car:  www.holidayautos.co.uk

City centres and cars don't mix well, so stick with the train for city-based tours.  But if you want to get out of the cities and into the countryside, hiring a car can be a great idea.  Start by trying Holiday Autos, www.holidayautos.co.uk, they're part of Lastminute.com so are reliable and have a wide range of locations and very good prices.

Compare 50 different car hire companies:  www.carrentals.co.uk

The award-winning www.carrentals.co.uk compares many different car hire companies including Holiday Autos, meaning not only a cheapest price comparison but a wider choice of hire and drop off location.


Travel insurance & health card...

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Get travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel without insurance from a reliable travel insurer with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover loss of cash (up to a limit) & belongings, and cancellation. An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year (I have an annual policy myself).  Don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, though, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, Seat61 gets a little commission if you buy through these links, and feedback from using insurance for rail & ferry travel is always welcome.

In the UK, use www.confused.com to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get an EU health card, it's free...

If you're a UK citizen travelling in Europe, you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card, which entitles you to free or reduced rate health care if you become ill or get injured in many European countries, under a reciprocal arrangement with the NHS.  This replaced the old E111 forms as from January 2006.  The EHIC card is available from www.ehic.org.uk.  It doesn't remove the need for travel insurance, though.

Get a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low/no ATM fees

Taking out an extra credit card costs nothing, but if you keep it in a different part of your luggage you won't be left stranded if your wallet gets stolen.  In addition, some credit cards are better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.

You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.

Get an international SIM card to save on mobile data and phone calls...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, and if you're not careful you can return home to find a huge bill.  Consider buying a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone from www.Go-Sim.com, which can slash costs by up to 85%.  Go-Sim cuts call costs in 175 countries worldwide, and you can receive incoming calls and texts for free in 75 countries.  It's pay-as-you-go, so no nasty bills when you get home.  It also allows cheap data access for laptops & PDAs.  A Go-Sim account and any credit on it doesn't expire if it's not used between trips, unlike some others, so a Go-Sim phone number becomes your 'global phone number' for life.

 


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