ICE train at Berlin Hbf

A German ICE train...

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This page explains how to travel by train from Frankfurt to other cities all over Europe, and how to buy tickets the cheapest way.  Information current for 2022.

bullet pointBefore you buy your tickets...

Take a moment to read these tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, "Do I need to book in advance or can I just buy at the station?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just buy a €35 point-to-point ticket online?".  Click here to understand how far ahead you can buy train tickets.

bullet pointEuropean train travel FAQ...

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...


Frankfurt to Cologne, Berlin, Munich & other destinations in Germany...

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Frankfurt to London & UK...

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Frankfurt to Dublin & Ireland...

Option 1, Frankfurt to Dublin via London & Holyhead - daily departures...

Option 2, Frankfurt to Dublin via Paris & Cherbourg - several times a week...

Irish Ferries' WB Yeats

Sail from Cherbourg to Dublin aboard Irish Ferries' WB YeatsWB Yeats photos courtesy of Irish Ferries.

Irish Ferries' WB Yeats club cabin   Irish Ferries' WB Yeats deluxe cabin

Club cabin on the WB Yeats with shower & toilet.

 

Deluxe cabin on the WB Yeats with shower & toilet...

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Frankfurt to Paris from €39.90...
An ICE3 (class 407) to Paris at Frankfurt

A Frankfurt to Paris ICE3 boarding at Frankfurt (Main) HbfMore information about ICE trains...

Bistro-restaurant on a class 407 ICE3   Lunch in the bistro on an ICE train

Bistro-restaurant car...

Lunch in the restaurant car...

2nd class seats on a class 407 ICE3   Class 407 ICE3 1st class seats

2nd class seats...

 

1st class seats...

Cafe-bar on a class 407 ICE3   Lunch served at a 1st class seat on an ICE train

Cafe-bar, at the other end of the restaurant car...

Meal served at my seat in 1st class...

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Frankfurt to Strasbourg from €29.90...

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

Option 1, using the direct Frankfurt-Marseille TGV...

Option 2, via Milan...

Frankfurt to Marseille TGV

The direct TGV Duplex from Frankfurt to Marseille, ready to leave Frankfurt am Main Hbf...

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

The cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwave-style hot dishes...

 

2nd class seats, this is upper deck seating.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360Ί photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   A TGV Duplex at Frankfurt

1st class seats on the upper deck, a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right. 360Ί photo.

 

The TGV to Marseille, boarding at Frankfurt am Main Hbf.  You enter on the lower deck, with 9 stairs up to top deck.

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Frankfurt to Brussels or Bruges from €29.90...
ICE3M to Cologne & Frankfurt, boarding at Brussels Midi

An ICE3M at Brussels MidiMore information about ICE trains...

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.

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 recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

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

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Frankfurt to Amsterdam from €29.90...
ICE3 at Amsterdam Centraal

An ICE3M to Frankfurt at Amsterdam CentraalMore information about ICE trains...

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.

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 recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

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

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Frankfurt to Luxembourg from €20.90...

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Frankfurt to Basel, Zurich, Geneva & Switzerland from €37.90...
ICE3M to Cologne & Brussels, boarding at Frankfurt (Main) Hbf

An ICE3 at Frankfurt (Main) HbfMore information about ICE...

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.

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 recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

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

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Frankfurt to Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome & Italy from €39.90...

Option 1, Frankfurt to Italy in a day through the Alps - the scenic option...

ETR610 EuroCity train at Frankfurt Hbf

The direct train from Frankfurt to Milan, boarding on platform 2 at Frankfurt Hbf.  There's a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Photo courtesy of @Nordkommission.

Frecciargento train 2nd class seats   Frecciargento train 1st class seats

2nd class on a Trenitalia ETR610...

 

1st class on a Trenitalia ETR610.

Lake Maggiore, seen from a Milan to Basel train

Lake Maggiore, seen from the restaurant car over an excellent lunch of salmon tagliatelle & excellent Swiss red wine.

Option 2, Frankfurt to Italy by sleeper train - the time-effective option...

The Nightjet sleeper train from Munich to Venice at Munich Hbf

The Munich to Venice Nightjet, on platform 12 at Munich HbfMore information about Nightjet trains.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photo Video of deluxe room

 

The same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchettes   Couchette car on sleeper train

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet train...

Option 3, Frankfurt to Italy using the Bernina Express through the Swiss Alps - the ultimate scenic route... 

First class seats   Bernina Express panormaic cars

Bernina Express 1st class seats...

 

the Bernina Express uses panoramic carriages...

The train descends from the Bernina Pass

The Bernina Express descends from the Bernina Pass...

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Frankfurt to Sicily...

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Frankfurt to Barcelona, Madrid, Alicante, Malaga & Spain...

Option 1, Frankfurt to Barcelona & Spain in a single day...

Option 2, Frankfurt to Barcelona & Spain with overnight stop in Marseille - avoids having to cross Paris...

Frankfurt to Marseille TGV

Step 1, Frankfurt to Marseille by direct TGV Duplex, seen here ready to leave Frankfurt am Main Hbf...

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

The cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwave-style hot dishes...

 

2nd class seats, this is upper deck seating.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360Ί photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   A TGV Duplex at Frankfurt

1st class seats on the upper deck, with a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right. 360Ί photo.

 

The TGV to Marseille, boarding at Frankfurt am Main Hbf.  You enter on the lower deck, with 9 stairs up to top deck.

AVE S100 at Barcelona Sants

Step 2, Marseille to Barcelona by AVE...  Above, an AVE-S100 at Barcelona Sants. 

 

1st class seats on an AVE S100.  360Ί photo of 1st class.

Cafe-bar...

AVE train at Barcelona  

These S100 AVE trains operate the TGV/AVE services from Madrid to Marseille, Barcelona to Lyon, Toulouse.  This is an AVE-S100 at Barcelona Sants.

 

2nd class seats on the S100 AVE, all with power sockets.  Luggage goes on the racks at the car ends or above the seats.  360Ί photo of 2nd class More photos & info about AVE S100.

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  One of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline on the right all the way from Girona to Perpignan, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canigou.

Option 3, Frankfurt to Barcelona & Spain with overnight stop in Paris...

Option 4, Frankfurt to Paris by TGV, French sleeper train to the Spanish border & onward Spanish trains...

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Frankfurt to San Sebastian...

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Frankfurt to Lisbon, Porto, Faro & Portugal...

Option 1, Frankfurt to Lisbon via Barcelona & Madrid...

Option 2, Frankfurt to Lisbon via San Sebastian & Vigo...

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Frankfurt to Andorra...

Option 1, Frankfurt to Andorra in a day...

Option 2, Frankfurt to Andorra using the Paris-Toulouse-l'Hospitalet overnight train...

Intercite de nuit overnight train   Intercite de nuit couchette

The intercitι de nuit overnight train from Paris to Latour de Carol has 1st class 4-berth & 2nd class 6-berth couchettes, each with lightweight sleeping-bag & mineral water...

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Frankfurt to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria from €27.90...

Frankfurt to Austria by daytime trains...

Frankfurt to Vienna ICE train

An ICE-T from Frankfurt to Vienna, at Frankfurt (Main) HbfMore information about ICE-T.

1st class table for two on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train   Lunch in the restaurant car on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train

Table for two in 1st class, my favourite configuration.  There are also tables for four in both classes.

 

Lunch in the restaurant.  In 1st class you can choose to be served at your seat.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!

ICE-T train, driving cab   ICE-T train, 2nd class

You can see into the cab at each end of the train.

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats on the ICE-T to Vienna...

Scenery from the train

You'll glimpse the Inn and Danube rivers from the Frankfurt-Vienna ICE...

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Frankfurt to Copenhagen & Denmark from €39.90...
Hamburg-Copenhagen train at Hamburg Hbf

Hamburg to Copenhagen by Danish IC3...  This is the late afternoon Hamburg-Copenhagen IC3 leaving platform 5 at Hamburg Hbf on a busy summer day.  The yellow stripe above the windows indicates first class, located at one end of both 3-car units.  More information about the Hamburg-Copenhagen journey.

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...   1st class seats on an IC3 train from Hamburg to Copenhagen

Boarding a Danish IC3 train at Hamburg Hbf...

 

1st class seats on an IC3 train.  Larger photo.

2nd class seats on an IC3 train from Hamburg to Copenhagen   A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...

2nd class seats on a IC3 train.  Larger photo.

 

An IC3 train to Copenhagen at Hamburg.

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Frankfurt to Stockholm, Gothenburg & Malmφ from €59.90...

Option 1, Frankfurt to Sweden with overnight stop in Hamburg...

Option 2, Frankfurt to Sweden with overnight stop in Copenhagen...

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...   1st class seats on a Danish IC3 train

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...

 

1st class seats on an IC3 train...

2nd class seats on a Danish IC3 train   IC3 train to Copenhagen at Hamburg

2nd class seats on an IC3 train...

 

Boarding a train to Copenhagen in Hamburg.

125 mph tilting 'SJ2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station SJ2000 2nd class seats

A Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train boarding at Copenhagen main station...

 

2nd class seats on an X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm.  Larger photo.

SJ2000 train   SJ2000 buffet car seating area   SJ2000 self-service buffet car.

X2000 bistro car...

 

X2000 bistro car seating area.  Larger photo.

 

Bistro self-service...

Winter scenery fro a Copenhagen-Stockholm train

Winter scenery from a train between Copenhagen & Stockholm. Courtesy of Radoslav Sharapanov

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Frankfurt to Oslo & Norway...

Option 1, Frankfurt to Oslo via Hamburg & Copenhagen - by train all the way...

Option 2, Frankfurt to Oslo via the Kiel-Oslo cruise ferry - the most luxurious & scenic route to Oslo...

Germany to Oslo Color Line ferry at Kiel

This photo is taken from the exit of Kiel station, so you can see how close the ferry is.  It's a 5-6 minute walk across the harbour, with a street lift up to a connecting walkway which takes you to the ferry terminal. If you have reserved one of what Color Line call their "5 star suites", check in at the desk rather than the machines and you'll be directed to a special lounge to wait with free tea, coffee, juice, snacks & WiFi.  You'll also have priority boarding of the ship.  Photos courtesy of Andrew Leo.

Boarding the ferry in Kiel

Boarding the Color Line ferry to Oslo in Kiel...

Kiel to Oslo ferry, Color Class suite   Kiel to Oslo ferry, restaurant

A 5 Star Suite on the ferry...

 

More cruise liner than ferry!  The restaurant.

View from Color Line ferry to Oslo

Wake up to this....

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Frankfurt to Helsinki & Finland...

Option 1, Frankfurt to Helsinki using a Finnlines ferry from Germany - the easiest option...

Finnlines Star class ferry to Helsinki   Cabin on the Finnlines ferry to Helsinki

One of Finnlines 3 star class ferries to Helsinki.  Courtesy of Finnlines.

 

Cabin on the ferry...

Option 2, Frankfurt to Helsinki by train to Stockholm, then ferry...

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Frankfurt to Prague from €16 - yes, really...

Option 1, Frankfurt to Prague via Cheb - fastest & cheapest, from €16 - or €30 in 1st class!

Cheb station, en route from Brussels to Prague

The easy & relaxed interchange at Cheb...  The red train on the right is the German regional train arrived from Nuremberg.  You cross to the blue Czech train on the left about to leave for Prague - although always check the departure boards as sometimes a faster train to Prague goes from an adjacent platform.

Scenery between Nuremberg & Cheb   Scenery from the train between Cheb & Prague

Scenery between Nuremberg & Cheb.  Courtesy of Arnaud Loneux.

 

Hills & forest between Cheb & Prague.  Courtesy of Arnaud Loneux.

Option 2, Frankfurt to Prague via Dresden - the scenic route, from €27.90...

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 Berlin-Prague express snakes along the beautiful Elbe river south of Dresden.  See more photos, tips & info for the Dresden to Prague train ridePhoto courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

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Frankfurt to Cesky Krumlov & other Czech destinations...

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Frankfurt to Bratislava from €39.90...
The train from Vienna to Bratislava, at Vienna Huaptbahnhof...   Inside the hourly train from Vienna to Bratislava...

The hourly regional express train from Vienna to Bratislava Hlavna, about to leave from Vienna Hbf.  More about these Vienna-Bratislava trains.

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Frankfurt to Poprad Tatry & Kosice

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Frankfurt to Budapest from €39.90...

Option 1, Frankfurt to Budapest by daytime trains - the leisurely daytime option...

A railjet train about to leave Munich Hbf

A railjet to Budapest about to leave Munich Hbf...

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

The restaurant...

Economy class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   The morning RailJet from Munich has arrived in Budapest.

Economy class on RailJet, in open saloons with picture windows.  Some seats around tables, most unidirectional.

 

The RailJet from Munich, arrived at Budapest Keleti spot on time.  More photos & information about Railjet trains.

Option 2, Frankfurt to Budapest using the Munich-Budapest sleeper - the safe, comfortable, time-saving option...

The sleeper train Kalman Imre from Munich to  Budapest

Sleeper train Kalman Imre, boarding on platform 12 at Munich Hbf.  More information about this train.

Sleeper compartment in the Hungarian sleeping-car from Budapest to Zurich   4-berth couchettes on train from Budapest to Zurich   6-berth couchettes on train to Zurich

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

6-berth couchettes.

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Frankfurt to Brasov & Bucharest from €79...

Option 1, Frankfurt to Romania by Dacia Express sleeper train from Vienna to Sighisoara, Brasov & Bucharest - the fastest & most comfortable option...

Dacia Express sleeping-car

The Dacia Express has an air-conditioned Romanian sleeping-car, seen here at Bucharest.  You can check the train formation at www.vagonweb.cz Courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom

Washbasin   Dacia Express sleeper compartment   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

Sleepers:  Each compartment can be sold as a single, double (as here) or triple.  Most compartments have a washbasin as shown, two compartments have a shower & toilet.  Beds fold away to form a private sitting room for day use.  Larger photo.

 

Couchettes:  4 & 6-berth, bedding is provided.  Larger photo.

Dacia Express couchette car

The Dacia Express has one couchette car, seen here at Bucharest.  Courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom.

Scenery in Transylvania

Transylvania:  The Dacia Express crosses rural Transylvania.  Courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom.

Dacia Express bar-bistro car

The Dacia Express en route to Bucharest...  Photo courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom.

  Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest

Enjoy lunch and a beer in the bar car, as a bar-bistro is attached to the Dacia Express in Romania between Simeria & Bucharest.  Photos courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom & @_DiningCar.

Dacia Express Carpathian mountains

The Carpathian mountains:  Almost Alpine scenery between Brasov & Bucharest...  Courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom

Option 2, Frankfurt to Romania using the sleeper train Ister from Budapest to Brasov & Bucharest...

2-berth sleeper on the Ister   The Ister at Bucharest Nord

A 1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper with washbasin.  Larger photo.

 

The sleeping-car (vagon de dormit) on the westbound Ister at Bucharest.  Sleepers convert from beds to private sitting rooms for day use.  Courtesy of @AndyBTravels, DiscoverByRail.com.

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

The vagon cuseta (couchette car) on the westbound Ister, boarding at Bucharest.  Couchettes convert from bunks at night to seats by day.  Courtesy of @AndyBTravels, DiscoverByRail.com .

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

Option 3, Frankfurt to Romania with overnight stop in Budapest - if you prefer daytime trains & hotel to sleepers...

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Frankfurt to Ljubljana or Zagreb from €29...

Option 1, Frankfurt to Ljubljana & Zagreb by daytime trains...

Scenery in the Austrian Alps between Munich & Ljubljana

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 in an open-plan car   2nd class seats in 6-seat compartments

2nd class seats in an open-plan saloon.  See larger photo.

 

2nd class seats in a compartment.  See larger photo.

  1st class 6-seat compartment

...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...

 

1st class seats in an Austrian 6-seat compartment with side corridor as used on the Blauer Enzian/Mimara...

Option 2, Frankfurt to Ljubljana & Zagreb using the Munich-Ljubljana-Zagreb sleeper - safe, comfortable & time-effective...

The 'Lisinski' sleeper train from Munic to Zagreb, boarding in Munich

Above, the air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb is boarding on platform 12 at Munich Hbf.  It has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as 1, 2 or 3 berth, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  Compartments convert to a private sitting room for evening or morning use.  A light breakfast is included in the sleeper fare.  The Croatian couchette car is the next vehicle to the right, also modern & air-conditioned with 4 & 6 bunk compartments, ideal for families.  Couchettes convert from bunks to seats for evening or morning use.

Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb   4 or 6-berth couchettes on train from Munich to Zagreb

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper.

 

Set up as a single-berth.

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes. 360Ί photo.

Scenery between Ljubljana, Zagreb & Belgrade

Wake up to scenery like this between Ljubljana & Zagreb, along the river Sava...

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Frankfurt to Belgrade, Sofia, Montenegro...
The 'Lisinski' sleeper train from Munic to Zagreb, boarding in Munich

Munich to Zagreb by sleeper.  Above, the air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb is boarding on platform 12 at Munich Hbf.  It has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as 1, 2 or 3 berth, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  Compartments convert to a private sitting room for evening or morning use.  A light breakfast is included in the sleeper fare.  The Croatian couchette car is the next vehicle to the right, also modern & air-conditioned with 4 & 6 bunk compartments, ideal for families.  Couchettes convert from bunks to seats for evening or morning use.

Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb   4 or 6-berth couchettes on train from Munich to Zagreb

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper.

 

Set up as a single-berth.

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes. 360Ί photo.

Scenery between Ljubljana, Zagreb & Belgrade

Wake up to scenery like this between Ljubljana & Zagreb, along the river Sava...

2nd class seats in a Serbian air-conditioned train   The train from Belgrade to Zagreb & Zurich, about to leave Belgrade

Zagreb to Belgrade by Serbian train...

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Frankfurt to Warsaw & Krakow from €37.90...

Option 1, Frankfurt to Warsaw by in a single day from €37.90 - all in one day...

Option 2, Frankfurt to Wroclaw & Krakow in a single day from €37.90 - Mondays-Fridays only...

  • Step 1, travel from Frankfurt to Berlin by ICE train with restaurant car & free WiFi, leaving Frankfurt (Main) Hbf 05:58, arriving Berlin Hbf 09:53.

    A later departure is possible with a tighter connection in Berlin, but any delay means missing the once-a-day train to Krakow, so I recommend the earlier train shown here, Mondays-Fridays only.

  • Fares start at €37.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

  • Buy tickets at www.bahn.de.  Booking to Poland opens 60 days ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

    Tip:  Click Add intermediate stops, enter Berlin Hbf with a stopover duration of 40 minutes.  This gets you the robust connection in Berlin as recommended above.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin Hbf

Berlin to Warsaw or Krakow by EuroCity train.  This is the Wawel to Krakow at Berlin Hbf...

1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

1st class on the Wawel to Krakow...

 

2nd class.  Some seats are in compartments.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car...

 

The bar...

 

Decent food, served on proper china...

Option 3, Frankfurt to Warsaw or Krakow with overnight stop in Berlin from €37.90...

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Frankfurt to Vilnius. Riga, Tallinn...

Option 1, Frankfurt to Lithuania with overnight stop & morning free in Warsaw...

  • Day 2, travel from Warsaw to Kaunas & Vilnius, leaving Warsaw at lunchtime, changing at Bialystok and arriving Kaunas in Lithuania in the evening, with connections to Vilnius, see the Warsaw to Vilnius page for details.  Warsaw-Vilnius costs around €24.

  • Day 3, for onward travel from Vilnius to Riga, see here.

  • Day 4, for onward travel from Riga to Tallinn, see here.

Option 2, Frankfurt to Lithuania with overnight stop in Berlin - faster, Sundays-Fridays only, with a very early start from Berlin...

  • Day 1, travel from Frankfurt to Berlin by ICE train in the early evening.

  • Stay overnight in Berlin.  The 3-star InterCity Hotel (my favourite) or Meininger Hotel are right next to Berlin Hbf, a 10-minute walk from the Reichstag or 15 minutes from the Brandenburg Gate, relatively inexpensive with good reviews.  The Steigenberger Hotel is more upmarket, also right next to the station with great reviews.  If you want to push the boat out, the famous & historic Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin is next to the Brandenburg Gate.  If you're on a tight budget, the cheaper Motel One Berlin-Hbf is behind the station or see www.hostelworld.com.

  • Day 2, travel from Berlin to Warsaw by EuroCity train leaving Berlin Hbf at 05:43 Mondays-Saturdays only arriving Warsaw Centralna at 11:42.

    The Berlin-Warsaw EuroCity train is a comfortable air-conditioned Polish train with trolley refreshment service and a restaurant car serving drinks, snacks and meals.  Treat yourself to a cooked breakfast the restaurant car.

    Frankfurt to Warsaw starts at €37.90 in 2nd class or €56.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Buy tickets from Frankfurt to Warsaw at the German Railways website www.bahn.de.  Booking to Poland opens 60 days ahead.  To get the overnight stop in Berlin, click Add intermediate stops, enter Berlin Hbf and a suitable stopover duration, say 10 hours.  Adjust departure time & stopover duration to get the trains you want either side of Berlin, a little trial & error may be required.

    Tip: You may be able to buy a through ticket from Frankfurt to Bialystok covering both the Frankfurt-Berlin-Warsaw & Warsaw-Bialystok trains for almost the same price as Frankfurt to Warsaw.  In which case, you just need to buy a Bialystok-Kaunas/Vilnius ticket at the station in Warsaw, or on board the train.

  • Day 2, travel from Warsaw to Kaunas & Vilnius, leaving Warsaw at lunchtime, changing at Bialystok and arriving Kaunas in Lithuania in the evening, with connections to Vilnius, see the Warsaw to Vilnius page for details.  Warsaw-Vilnius costs around €24.

  • Day 3, for onward travel from Vilnius to Riga in Latvia, see here.

  • Day 4, for onward travel from Riga to Tallinn in Estonia, see here.

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Frankfurt to Lviv, Kiev & Ukraine...

Option 1, Frankfurt to Lviv & Kiev via Vienna...

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass.  Photos courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

Sleeper to Kiev about to leave Vienna   Ukrainian sleeper corridor   1, 2 or 3 bed Ukrainian sleeper compartment

The Vienna-Kiev sleeper about to leave Vienna Hbf... Courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

The sleeper corridor.  Courtesy Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment.

Option 2, Frankfurt to Kiev via Warsaw...

The Warsaw to Kiev train at Warsaw Centralna

The Kiev ExpressCourtesy of DiscoverByRail.com.

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment   Each compartment has a washbasin   The Kiev Express

1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper...

 

Washbasin...

 

Kiev Express...

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Frankfurt to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia...

Option 1, Frankfurt to Moscow via Kiev - avoids Belarus, daily departures...

Option 2, Frankfurt to Moscow using the Berlin-Moscow sleeper train, twice a week...

Option 3, Frankfurt to Moscow using the daily Warsaw-Moscow sleeper.

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...

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Frankfurt to Athens, Corfu & Greece...

Option 1, Frankfurt 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, Frankfurt to Athens overland by train via Munich & Belgrade - a rail adventure across the Balkans...

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Frankfurt to Istanbul...

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bullet pointHotels in Frankfurt & other cities

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com 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:  HotelsCombined.com is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on Booking.com, Hotels.com, 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 www.booking.com.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...

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bullet pointTravel insurance & VPN

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

 

Confused.com logo

Always take out travel insurance...

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.

UK flagIn the UK, reliable insurers include Columbus Direct.

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

UK flagYou can use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

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

  US flag If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

A Curve card saves on foreign transaction fees...

 

Curve card

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate, then charge you a currency conversion fee.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, £500 per month at time of writing.  The balance goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.

How it works:  1. Download the app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to most European addresses including the UK.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, just like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance onto whichever of your debit or credit cards you choose.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself - I get some commission if you sign up to Curve, but I'm recommending it here because it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card - they'll give you £5 cashback through that link, too.

 

Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  VPNs & why you need one explained...

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN means your connection to the internet is encrypted & always secure, even using unsecured WiFi.  In countries such as China where access to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions.  And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for example one booking site charges a booking fee to non-European visitors but none to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN.  VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy and I use it myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with expressvpn.com using the links on this page, you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription, and I get a small commission to help support this site.

 


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