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 www.bahn.de...

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...

small bullet point  How to buy tickets online

small bullet point  How to buy tickets by phone

small bullet point  Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket: discontinued

small bullet point  Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket: Unlimited off-peak travel for €44

small bullet point  Lander tickets: Unlimited train travel in one region

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

small bullet point  Railpasses for Germany

small bullet point  Maps of the German rail network

small bullet point  What are German trains like?

small bullet point  Travel tips: Luggage, food & drink, lounges...

small bullet point  How to visit Neuschwanstein Castle

small bullet point  How to visit the Harz steam railway & Brocken

small bullet point  How to visit Obersalzberg & Eagle's Nest

small bullet point  Escape to Colditz by train

small bullet point  Useful country information: currency, dial code...

small bullet point  Recommended guidebooks

small bullet point  Hotels & accommodation in Germany

International trains to & from Germany...

small bullet point  Trains from the UK to Germany

small bullet point  Trains to Germany from other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Berlin to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Hamburg to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Cologne & Düsseldorf to other cities

small bullet point  Trains from Frankfurt to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Munich to other European cities

small bullet point  Munich to Prague by train not bus

small bullet point  Berlin to Prague by train

small bullet point  Berlin-Warsaw Express trains

Station guides...

small bullet point  Berlin Hbf station information

small bullet point  Cologne Hbf station information

small bullet point  Hamburg Hbf station information

small bullet point  Munich Hbf station information

General train travel information...

small bullet point  General European train travel information

small bullet point  Train seat numbering plans

small bullet point  Luggage on trains   

small bullet point  Luggage lockers at stations

small bullet point  Eurail passes &  Interrail passes

small bullet point  Taking bikes   Taking dogs


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    Tours to Germany

Page last updated:

12 October 2020


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

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 www.bahn.de...

Competing private operator:  Flixtrain...

Buy tickets by phone in the UK...

Custom-made tours of Germany by train...

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 travel at weekends

Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket: Unlimited regional off-peak train travel, €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 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 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...

 

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

 

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 www.bahn.de.  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


Recommended guidebooks

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 Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rough Guide to Germany - buy online at Amazon.co.uk

 

Lonely Planet Germany - buy online at Amazon.co.uk

 

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

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 flag  UK call 0207 864 4600, www.railbookers.co.uk

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

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

Australian flag  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, see website

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

Back to top


Find hotels anywhere in Germany...

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.

AirBnB:  www.airbnb.com...

www.airbnb.com 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: www.hostelworld.com...

www.hostelworld.com:  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