Buy ICE tickets from 19 direct from DB at www.bahn.de...

Buy ICE train tickets from DB

Buy direct from Deutsche Bahn with fares from 19, 29 or 39, no booking fees, on ICE & IC trains you can usually pick specific seats from a seating plan, and in most cases you simply print your own ticket. 

Definitely register when prompted, so you can log in & check or re-print tickets at any time.

What is the ICE?

ICE stands for InterCity Express, Deutsche Bahn's (German Railways) premier high-speed train, running at up to 175mph (ICE1 & ICE2) or 186mph (ICE3) on special high speed lines and up to 130 mph over upgraded conventional lines.  The ICE is arguably the most comfortable, civilised and impressive high-speed train in Europe, with a very high-spec interior designed to lure German businessmen out of their BMWs.  There are several versions, ICE1, ICE2, ICE3, ICE4 & two tilting versions, the electric ICE-T & diesel ICE-TD. 

  See ICE travel tips:  WiFi, catering, choosing a seat...

Which type of ICE operates which route?

ICE 1 & ICE 2 trains operate routes all over Germany including Cologne-Hanover-Berlin (ICE2) and Munich-Frankfurt-Berlin.  ICE1 also operates from Germany to Basel, Zurich, Bern & Interlaken in Switzerland.  The newer ICE 3 trains operate Paris-Frankfurt, Brussels-Cologne-Frankfurt, Amsterdam-Cologne-Frankfurt, Cologne-Munich & various routes in Germany.  Berlin-Munich ICE trains are a mix of ICE1 & ICE3.  ICE4 will take over many Germany-Switzerland runs from ICE1 in December 2019.  ICE-T (the 7-car version) operates Frankfurt-Nuremburg-Vienna and the direct Vienna-Berlin ICE train.

ICE 1 & ICE 2Virtual tour ICE1   Virtual tour ICE2

Seat numbering plan ICE1   Seat numbering plan ICE2

ICE second class   High-speed ICE train from Cologne to Berlin

ICE1 or ICE2, 2nd class.  Larger photo.

 

An ICE1 at Berlin Hbf...

ICE2 at Berlin   ICE first class

Boarding an ICE2 at Berlin Hbf...

 

ICE1 or ICE2 1st class seats.  Larger photo.

ICE2 restaurant car   ICE2 bar car

ICE1 restaurant car.  Larger photo.

 

ICE1 bar car.  Larger photo Sample menu.

Food on ICE   Meal in ICE restaurant car

Food on board an ICE, served on proper crockery with metal cutlery.  No airline plastic here...

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ICE 3 Virtual tour ICE3M...

ICE3s come in three variants:  ICE3M (class 406), equipped for international routes into Belgium & the Netherlands, Brussels-Cologne-Frankfurt & Amsterdam-Cologne-Frankfurt, see ICE3M class 406 seating plan.  ICE3 class 403 operates Cologne-Munich & various other routes, see class 403 seating plan.  The latest ICE3 trains (class 407, a close cousin to Eurostar's e320) operate Frankfurt-Paris, see class 407 seating plan.  ICE3s can reach 300km/h (186mph) - in fact, they can reach 320km/h (199 mph) on high-speed lines in France.  The photos below show ICE3M (class 406)...

ICE3M to Cologne & Brussels, boarding at Frankfurt (Main) Hbf

An ICE3M to Brussels at Frankfurt (Main) Hbf...

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

1st class 6-seat compartment on ICE3M train   Cafe-bar on ICE3M train

Compartments:  ICE3s are almost entirely open-plan 'saloon' seating.  But ICE3Ms have two 6-seat & one 4-seat 1st class compartments, two 6-seat & one 5-seat 2nd class compartments.

 

Cafe-bar counter on an ICE3M, with small standing area.  On ICE3Ms there's a second  larger standing area on the other side of the bar.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Food is served on proper china with metal cutlery.  I highly recommend the Erdinger Weissbier...

 

Restaurant car:  This is the small 12-seat restaurant on an ICE3M.  ICE3 classes 403 & 407 have a larger restaurant area.  Larger photo.

ICE3 train at Brussels   ICE3 seats behind cab

Boarding an ICE3M to Cologne & Frankfurt at Brussels Midi...

 

Viewing seats on ICE3 classes 403 & 406 (class 407 doesn't have a viewing area).  1st class at one end of the train, 2nd class at the other end.  The glass can be electronically frosted, Dutch & Belgian drivers tend to leave it frosted.

Video guide:  ICE3

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ICE4

The latest addition to the ICE family can only travel at 230 km/h or 250 km/h depending on the type and were to be designated ICx until changed to ICE4.  They are being introduced on various German domestic routes, and from December 2019 will take over many Germany-Switzerland routes from ICE1.  One key difference from previous designs of ICE is that ICE4 will carry bikes, in 8 bike spaces.  ICE4s have a similar interior to the other ICEs, most with a restaurant car.

ICE4 at Frankfurt Flughafen

An ICE4 at Frankfurt Flughafen...

ICE-T...  Virtual tour ICE-T...

Fitted with a tilting body so it can corner faster on conventional routes, the ICE-T is similar in appearance and interior to ICE3, but with a slightly blunter nose.  Some ICE-Ts have 7 cars and feature a restaurant car, other ICE-Ts have 5 cars with a smaller bistro car.  Seating is similar to ICE3.  You'll find ICE-T on routes such as Vienna-Nuremberg-Frankfurt (7-car version) and the direct Vienna-Berlin ICE is also an ICE-T 7-car.

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ICE-TD...

This is the diesel version of the ICE, now becoming rare.  It used to operate the Hamburg-Copenhagen route, although no longer does so.  Inside it's similar to ICE3, though the bistro car has no seating area.

ICE-TD train   ICE-T train at Frankfurt

An ICE-TD...

 

A Vienna-Frankfurt ICE-T arrived at Frankfurt...

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Tips for travel b ICE train...

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Sample ICE bistro menu...

This is an ICE3 bistro menu, a more extensive menu may be offered on ICE1/2 trains with a full restaurant.  2013 prices.

ICE train bistro menu

ICE train bistro menu


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