ICE train at Berlin Hbf

A German ICE train...

This page explains how to travel by train from Hamburg to other key European cities, and how to buy the cheapest tickets, usually online direct from the operators with print-at-home or collect-at-station tickets & few or no booking fees.  It doesn't matter where you live, in Europe, Asia, the USA or Australia, you can buy train tickets from Hamburg as shown below and save money over expensive railpasses or travel agent mark-ups.

I want to travel from Hamburg to...

     

       Click here for journeys starting in another city.

       Train information is current for 2016.

       1st class passengers can use the 1st class lounge at Hamburg Hbf

Before you buy your tickets...

I recommend taking a moment to read these important tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, such as "Do I need to book in advance or can I just turn up & buy at the station?", "How far ahead can I book?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just go online & buy a €35 point-to-point ticket?".

Answering your questions about European train travel...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to InterRail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...



Hamburg to other German towns & cities...

Hamburg to London from €59...

Hamburg to Paris from €39...

Option 1, by daytime trains in a single day...

Option 2, by day trains with overnight stop in Cologne - the time-effective overnight option with an evening in Cologne... 


Hamburg to Lyon, Avignon, Marseille, Cannes, Nice...

Hamburg to Brussels & Bruges from €39...

Hamburg to Amsterdam from €39...
Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train   Inside the Amsterdam to Berlin bistro car

An InterCity train to Amsterdam...

 

The bistro car on an InterCity train to Amsterdam.  Treat yourself to lunch!

1st class comparment on a Berlin to Amsterdam train   2nd class seats on a Berlin to Amsterdam train

1st class seats on these trains are usually in traditional 6-seater compartments.

 

2nd class seating on these trains is usually in open-plan saloons like this, most seats unidirectional, but with some tables for 4...


Hamburg to Luxembourg from €39...

Hamburg to Basel, Zurich, Geneva & Switzerland from €39...

Option 1, by daytime trains in a single chill-out day...

Option 2, by overnight sleeper train...


Hamburg to Venice from €60...

Option 1, by sleeper train to Munich then scenic daytime train to Venice.  This is the option I'd recommend for the scenery.

Option 2, by ICE train to Munich, then City Night Line sleeper train from Munich to Venice...

Option 3, by daytime trains via the Brenner Pass with an overnight stop in Munich...

The restaurant car on a EuroCity from Munich, arrived at Verona.  You don't need to book a table, just go along and sit down.  Dining on the move as the scenery glides by is one of the pleasures of travelling on trains like this...

Austrian second class seats   Austrian second class seats   Austrian first class seats

Second class seats, mostly in 6-seat compartments with side-corridor like this, but some cars are open-plan saloons...

 

First class leather seats.  On a few trains you'll find 6-seat compartments too....

Mountains on the Brenner route...

Scenery (and vineyards!) on the Brenner route   Scenery on the Brenner route

Vineyards, mountains and castles south of Brenner as the train heads for Trento & Verona...

Hilltop fortresses seen from the Brenner Pass train

Watch out for hilltop fortresses...  See the Brenner Pass scenery video here.


Hamburg to Florence, Rome, Milan, Verona or anywhere else Italy from €39...

Option 1, by luxurious ICE train from Hamburg to Munich then City Night Line sleeper train to Bologna, Florence & Rome...

Option 2, by daytime trains via the Brenner Pass, with an overnight stop in Munich...

Option 3, by daytime trains, via the Swiss Alps...  Also a scenic ride!

ETR610 EuroCity train from Switzerland at Milan Centrale   2nd class seats on an ETR610 EuroCity train to Italy

ETR610 train, as now used on all Switzerland-Milan EuroCity trains.

 

2nd class seats on the stylish ETR610 EuroCity train...

The restaurant car on an ETR610 EuroCity train   Meal on a Swiss EuroCity train between Switzerland & Milan

The restaurant car on an ETR610...

 

Dinner in the diner, northbound...

Lake Maggiore, seen from a Milan to Basel train

This is Lake Maggiore, seen from the restaurant car of the 11:25 Milan to Basel EuroCity train over an excellent lunch of salmon tagliatelle & excellent Swiss red wine...


Hamburg to Barcelona, Madrid & Spain...

Hamburg to Lisbon, Porto & Portugal...

On board the Sud Express from Irun to Lisbon...

To Morocco by train...   En route to Morocco by train: gran classe 2-bed sleeper (day mode)   en route to Morocco by train: Gran Classes 2-bed sleeper (night mode)   Paris to Madrid & Barcelona by trainhotel: Gran Classe sleepers have a private shower and toilet

The Sud Express, about to leave Irun on the Franco-Spanish frontier, bound for Lisbon...  Courtesy of Ron Baker See panorama photo...

 

Gran Clase sleeper, in evening mode with the seats folded out...

 

....return from the bar to find the attendant has made up the beds...

 

Gran Clase private toilet & shower...

Sud Express trainhotel cafe-bar...    

The trainhotel's cafι-bar serves drinks & food.  Grab a barstool early, it gets crowded later on!

 

4-berth tourist class sleepers (Turista Cama) are cosy & inexpensive...  They convert from beds to seats as shown.  See panorama photo of 4-berth tourist class sleeper.


Hamburg to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria from €39...

Option 1, by daytime trains...

Option 2, by EuroNight sleeper train...

   

A double-deck sleeping-car...

 

2-berth sleeper.

 

4-berth couchettes.


Hamburg to Copenhagen & Denmark from €39...
ICE3 second class ICE3 first class Copenhagen-Cologne ICE on the Rodby-Puttgarten ferry

ICE 2nd class.

ICE 1st class with leather seats.

The ICE on board the ferry.


Hamburg to Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmφ & Sweden from €39...
ICE3 second class ICE3 first class High-speed ICE3 train from Brussels to Frankfurt

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

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

The Hamburg-Copenhagen ICE on board the Puttgarden-Rψdby ferry.  More info on ICE.

125 mph tilting 'X2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station 2nd class seats on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm The self-service buffet on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm...

A 125 mph SJ2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm.

 

2nd class seating on the SJ 2000.  All seats have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

 

Self-service buffet car on the SJ 2000 to Stockholm.

More info on SJ 2000 trains


Hamburg to Oslo & Norway...

Option 1, Hamburg to Oslo via the Kiel-Oslo Color Line cruise ferry - the most comfortable way to Oslo...

Option 2, by train all the way...


Hamburg to Helsinki & Finland...

Hamburg to Prague from €39...
Czech restaurant car on a Berlin to Prague train   Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

So civilised!  A meal in the Czech restaurant car as the Hamburg-Prague express snakes along the beautiful Elbe river south of Dresden.  Most Hamburg-Prague trains use Czech carriages like this.  Photo courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.


Hamburg to Bratislava from €39...

Hamburg to Budapest from €39...

Option 1, by daytime train - the cheap and leisurely option...

Czech restaurant car on a Berlin to Prague train   Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

So civilised!  A meal in the restaurant car as the EuroCity train snakes along the beautiful Elbe river south of Dresden.  Most Hamburg-Prague trains use Czech carriages, the train to Budapest uses Hungarian carriages.  Photo courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

Option 2, by sleeper train via Vienna - the time-effective option...

   

Double-deck sleeping-car...

 

2-berth sleeper.

 

4-berth couchettes.

Option 3, by sleeper train via Berlin- another time-effective option...

Stadard 2-bed sleeper on the train from Amsterdam to Prague   Standard sleeper on the train from Amsterdam to Prague, in daytime mode   Standard sleeper compartment, washstand   Deluxe sleeper en suite toilet and shower

Standard sleeper compartment, set up as a 2-berth, with the washstand open.  Each room can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 bed room.

 

The same sleeper with berths folded away & seats folded out, blind up, washstand closed.

 

Standard sleeper compartments have a washstand with hot water, fresh towels, drinking water & soap.

 

Deluxe sleepers are very similar, but with small en suite toilet & shower...


Hamburg to Brasov & Bucharest from €98...

Hamburg to Ljubljana, Zagreb from €39...

Option 1, by scenic daytime train either in a single day or with overnight stop in Munich...

Option 2, by Hamburg-Munich sleeper train then scenic daytime train...

Option 3, using the Munich-Zagreb sleeper train...

Austrian restaurant car between Munich and Villach   Scenery in the Austrian Alps between Munich & Ljubljana

An early lunch in the Austrian restaurant car as the Alpine scenery flies by.  The first stage is on a smart Austrian EuroCity train from Munich to Villach...

 

Through the Austrian Alps...  Clinging to the mountainside high in the Austrian Alps, the train snakes along between snow-capped mountains, absolutely wonderful...

  2nd class seats on the Munich-Zagreb train

...and along the Sava river in Slovenia.  Now across the border in Slovenia, the EuroCity train runs along the pretty River Sava all the way to Ljubljana and Zagreb...

 

Comfortable seats:  The 2nd class seats in the Slovenian cars are arranged 2+1 abreast, the same as 1st class!


Hamburg to Belgrade & Sofia...

Option 1, using the Berlin-Budapest sleeper train...

Option 2, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Budapest...


Hamburg to Warsaw, Krakow & Poland from €39...
The Berlin-Warsaw Express train   2nd class seating compartment on the Berlin to Warsaw Express train

The Berlin-Warszawa Express has modern air-conditioned 1st & 2nd class coaches, most with compartments and side corridor like this, others with open-plan seating.

Bistro car on the Berlin-Warszawa Express train   Sausage soup on the Berlin-Warszawa Express   A main course schnitzel in the bistro-restaurant on the Berlin to Warsaw Express train

Hamburg to Kiev & Ukraine...
The Kiev Express   1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment   Each compartment has a washbasin

Boarding in Warsaw...

 

A sleeper compartment...

 

...with washbasin.


Hamburg to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia...

Option 1, using the daily Warsaw-Moscow Polonez...

A modern Russian sleeping-car of the sort used on the Polonez   A 2-berth or 4-berth compartment in daytime mode

These modern sleeping-cars run from Warsaw to Moscow...

Option 2, using the new Berlin-Moscow Strizh (Swift) Talgo sleeper train, twice a week...

  • Step 1, travel from Hamburg to Berlin from €19.  For example, the 14:36 from Hamburg Hbf arrives Berlin Hbf at 16:19, but by all means take an earlier train.  Book this at www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.  Transfer by frequent S-Bahn train from Berlin Hbf to Berlin Ostbahnhof.

  • Step 2, travel from Berlin to Moscow by new direct Russian sleeper train, leaving Berlin Ostbahnhof at 18:50 on Sundays & Mondays, arriving at Moscow's Kurskiy station at 17:25 next day (day 3 from London).  It starts running from 18 December 2016.  Map of Moscow showing Kurskiy station.

    This train is an articulated Spanish-built Talgo train branded Strizh (swift).  It has ordinary seats and sleeping-cars with 2nd class 4-berth compartments, 1st class 1 or 2 berth compartments with washbasin and deluxe 1 or 2 berth compartments with en suite shower & toilet.  There's also a restaurant & bistro car.  See photo of 2-berth sleeper on this train.

    Russian track gauge is 5', but most of Europe (including the UK) is 4' 8½", so at Brest on the Belarus frontier the train runs through a gauge-changing shed and the axles automatically adjust to the new gauge.  Once in Russia, the scenery is rolling hills, birch tree forests, and villages of small wooden houses.  Approaching Moscow, you may glimpse the plaques on the station building marked '1812' and '1942' as the train passes through the small station of historic Borodino...

    You can book the Berlin-Moscow train at the Russian Railways website www.rzd.ru and print your own ticket, it's a little fiddly but works, see my advice for using rzd.ru here, or you can easily buy it online with English language after-sales service if you need it, using the Real Russia online system here.

  • Don't forget to arrange both your Russian visa and Belarus transit visa as the train runs via Belarus.


Hamburg to Athens, Corfu & Greece...

Option 1, Hamburg to Athens by train & ferry via Italy - the leisurely option with an Adriatic cruise thrown in...

A 2 or 4 berth cabin on the Italy-Greece ferry  

2 or 4-berth cabin with private toilet & shower.

 

Relaxing on deck...

The ferry from Bari to Greece at sea

At sea, passing Cephalonia & Ithaca.  This is what travel to Greece should be like!

Option 2, Hamburg to Athens overland by train via Munich & Belgrade - a rail adventure across the Balkans...


Hamburg to Istanbul & Turkey...

Find hotels in Hamburg & other cities

 

◄◄ 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 sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


Travel insurance & health card...

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

        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 a spare credit card, designed for travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly 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.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

 


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