Buy tickets for trains in Germany

Germany by train.  There's no check-in, you walk straight from the city centre into the station, glance at the indicator board to find your train & hop on, any time before departure...

Buy German train tickets online direct from DB at

Buy train tickets for Germany direct from DB

I recommend buying direct from Deutsche Bahn with all the cheap fares shown, no booking fees and print-at-home or show-on-smartphone tickets.

I recommend registering when prompted, so you can log in and check or re-print your tickets at any time.

Inter-city train tickets from €19...

Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) high-speed IC and ICE trains are easily the best way to travel between major town & cities all over Germany, in comfort at ground level.  DB's ICE trains travel at up to 186 mph from city centre to city centre, and if you pre-book direct with the operator you can find some really cheap fares.

COVID-19 update See COVID-19 travel information.

Train travel within Germany...

  How to buy tickets online

  How to buy tickets by phone

  Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket: discontinued

  Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket: Unlimited travel after 09:00 weekdays for €44

  Lander tickets: Unlimited train travel in one region

  Bayern Ticket:  Unlimited day's travel Munich, Neuschwanstein, Berchtesgaden, Salzburg

  Railpasses for Germany

  What are German trains like?

  Travel tips: Luggage, food & drink, lounges...

  How to visit Neuschwanstein Castle

  How to visit the Harz mountains steam railway & the Brocken

  How to visit Obersalzberg & Eagle's Nest

  Escape to Colditz by train

  Useful country information: Currency, dial code, etc

  Recommended guidebooks

  Hotels & accommodation in Germany

International trains to & from Germany...

  Trains from the UK to Germany

  Trains to Germany from other European cities

  Trains from Berlin to other European cities

  Trains from Hamburg to other European cities

  Trains from Cologne & Düsseldorf to other cities

  Trains from Frankfurt to other European cities

  Trains from Munich to other European cities

  Munich to Prague by train not bus

  Berlin to Prague by train

  Berlin-Warsaw Express trains

Station guides...

  Berlin Hbf station information

  Cologne Hbf station information

  Hamburg Hbf station information

  Munich Hbf station information

General train travel information...

  General European train travel information

  Train seat numbering plans

  Luggage on trains   

  Luggage lockers at stations

  Eurail passes &  InterRail passes

  Taking bikes   Taking dogs

Useful country information

Train operator in Germany:

DB (Deutsche Bahn), see 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




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:




£1 = approx 1.15 euros  Check current exchange rates

Tourist information:   City tours    Recommended guidebooks

Hotels & guesthouses:

Finding accommodation in Germany    Tours to Germany

Page last updated:

27 August 2020

Buy German train tickets online...

How to check times, fares & buy tickets online...

Maps of the German rail network...

Do you need to buy tickets in advance?

When does booking open?

Flexpreis or Sparpreis?

Credit card no longer necessary as ID for print-at-home tickets...

Tips for using

Competing private operator:  Flixtrain...

Back to top

Buy train tickets by phone...

Tickets by phone in the UK...

Custom-made train travel & hotel arrangements...

Back to top

Special regional tickets

These one-day unlimited travel passes are well worth knowing about, even though they're not valid on fast long-distance trains, only on slower regional trains.  If you want a railpass valid on all trains, including high-speed and long-distance ones, see the German Rail Pass section below.

Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket Unlimited regional train travel at weekends

Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket: Unlimited regional train travel on weekdays after 09:00 = €44...

Lander ticketsA day's unlimited regional train travel in one region, e.g. Bavaria...

Bayern ticketMunich, Füssen (Neuschwanstein castle), Berchtesgaden (Eagle's Nest), Salzburg...

City Mobil:  Urban city transport added to your inter-city rail ticket.

Back to top

Railpasses for Germany

InterRail Germany pass (for European residents):  Click to check prices & buy online...

German Rail pass (for overseas visitors)...

Back to top

Maps of the German rail network...

Back to top

What are German trains like?

InterCity Express (ICE):  More photos & info ...

InterCity Express high-speed trains, usually known as ICE, are German Railways' front-rank trains, travelling at up to 175mph (ICE1 & ICE2) or 186mph (ICE3).  You'll find information about ICEs on the ICE page.

ICE2 2nd class ICE2 1st class An ICE2 high-speed train at Berlin

ICE1 or 2, 2nd class

ICE1 or 2, 1st class

An ICE2 at Berlin Hauptbahnhof.

InterCity (IC):  More photos & info...

InterCity trains travel at up to 125mph, usually using a locomotive and conventional carriages.  Some InterCity trains cross borders into neighbouring countries and these will be classified EuroCity (EC) rather than InterCity.

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

InterCity trains are now being refurbished with similar seating to 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.

Regional trains...

Regional trains are sometimes operated by Deutsche Bahn (DB, German Railways) or sometimes outsourced to a private operator such as Abellio, Metronom, Erixx, but still run as part of the national network, with tickets sold by DB at  They come in many different shapes and sizes, some single-deck, some double-deck.

Seats on double-deck regional train   Double-deck regional train

Seats on a double-deck regional train...


DB Regio double-deck regional train at Hamburg...

German regional train   Seats on a German regional train

DB Regio regional train on a rural route...


2nd class seats on a rural DB Regio train...

Seat numbering plans: Click here...

There are several types of ICE, for plans of the seating layout on IC, ICE and various other types of train in Germany see the Train seat numbering page

Back to top

Travel tips...

  Train composition display on station platform in Germany

Train formation poster or Wagenstandsanzeiger, on a German station platform, showing where along the platform each car of a train will stop, so you can be waiting in the right place when your train comes in!

Places not served by the main rail network...

Back to top


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!

Buy online from or

Rough Guide to Germany - buy online at


Lonely Planet Germany - buy online at


Click to buy - Lonely Planet Western Europe

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.

Back to top

Tours of Germany by train


Custom-made tours of Germany by train...

If you want to tour Germany by train, with all your train reservations and hotels sorted for you to your own specification, contact rail travel specialists Railbookers and they'll create the best rail holiday for you, hassle-free.  Unlike some overseas travel agents, they really do know all about train travel in Italy and right across Europe, and they know some excellent hotels, too.  They take good care of their clients and it's not surprising they get a lot of repeat business, so I have no hesitation in recommending them.

  UK call 0207 864 4600,

  US call free 1-888-829-4775, see website.

  Canada call free 1-855-882-2910, see website.

  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, see website

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or see website.

Back to top

Find hotels anywhere in Germany

My favourite hotel search site: is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here.  You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.  I never book hotels non-refundably.  I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with anything over 8.0.

Tip:  It can pay to compare prices across multiple hotel sites: is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on,, Expedia, Accor, Agoda and many others.  Though if there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place at

AirBnB: began in 2008 when two designers who had space to share hosted three travellers looking for a place to stay.  AirBnB is a platform which connects hosts with guests, so you can now book a room in people's homes, or an apartment, flat or house which people want to rent out.  It can be nicer than a hostel, cheaper than many hotels.

Backpacker hostels:  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in Paris and most other European cities at rock-bottom prices.

Back to top

Back to home page