Buy ICE tickets

from €18.90 at

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Buy ICE train tickets from DB

Buy direct from Deutsche Bahn with fares from €18.90 upwards, 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 an ICE?

ICE - InterCity Express - is Deutsche Bahn's (German Railways) premier high-speed train.  There are several types, some of which can run at up to 300 km/h (186 mph) on Germany's high speed lines and up to 230km/h (130 mph) on upgraded conventional lines.  The ICE is arguably Europe's most comfortable, civilised & impressive high-speed train, with a very high-spec interior including free WiFi, power sockets at all seats, and a bistro or restaurant car.

small bullet point  ICE1 & ICE2

small bullet point  ICE3

small bullet point  ICE4

small bullet point  ICE-T & ICE-TD

small bullet point  Travel tips:  WiFi, catering, choosing a seat...

small bullet point  See this month's bistro-restaurant car menu

Which ICE operates which route?

Paris-Germany ICEs are always ICE3, usually the latest class 407 type.

Brussels-Germany ICEs are always ICE3 of the international ICE3M type.

Amsterdam-Germany ICEs are always ICE3 of the international ICE3M type.

Vienna-Germany ICEs are always ICE-T, of the 7-car type.

Switzerland-Germany ICEs are ICE1 & ICE-T, but ICE4 is taking over most services.

Cologne-Hannover-Berlin ICEs are all ICE2.  Hamburg-Berlin is a mix of ICE1 and ICE4.

There's no easy way to identify which type of ICE operates a specific train within Germany, but this Wikipedia page may help.

ICE 1 & ICE 2  Virtual tour ICE1  Virtual tour ICE2

ICE1 & ICE 2 run at up to 280 km/h (174 mph) when using the new high-speed lines.  They have the most impressive interiors of all the ICEs.  ICE1 runs routes into Switzerland, but is being replaced by ICE4.  ICE2 operates the Cologne-Ruhr-Hannover-Berlin ICE service. Seating plan ICE1   Seating 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 photoSample menu.

 

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 can run at up to 300km/h (186mph) - in fact, they can reach 320km/h (199 mph) on high-speed lines in France.  They come in 3 variants:  ICE3M (class 406), equipped for international routes Brussels & Amsterdam to 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 of Eurostar's e320) operate Frankfurt-Paris, see class 407 seating plan.  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.  Sample menu.

 

Restaurant:  This is the 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 have been introduced on various German domestic routes including Hamburg-Munich, and took over many Hamburg-Switzerland & Berlin-Switzerland  services from ICE1 in December 2019.  One key difference from previous designs of ICE is that ICE4 carries bikes, in 8 bike spaces.  ICE4s have a similar interior to the other ICEs, most with a restaurant car.  ICE4 is a nice train, but I have to say it appears to be the cut-price version when you compare it to ICE1/2/3.

ICE4 at Frankfurt Flughafen

An ICE4 at Frankfurt Flughafen.  Click on the interior images below for larger photos.

1st class on an ICE4 train   Restaurant car on an ICE4 train

1st class on an ICE4...

 

Restaurant car on an ICE4.  Sample menu.

Bar counter car on an ICE4 train   2nd class on an ICE4 train

Bar counter (shown closed) at the other end of the kitchen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE4...

ICE-T  Virtual tour ICE-T

ICE-T can run at up to 300 km/h.  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.  7-car ICE-T trains now have spaces for 3 bikes.  ICE-T 7-car seating plan ICE-T 5-car seating plan.

ICE-T train at Frankfurt am Main Hbf

An ICE-T from Vienna, arrived in Frankfurt...

ICE-T restaurant car   ICE-T restaurant car meal

Restaurant car on a Vienna-Frankfurt ICE-T.  Take a seat at any table and the waiter will take your order.  At the other end of the car is a counter where you can buy snacks, drinks & food to take back to your seat.  In 1st class, staff take you food & drink orders and serve you at your seat, you don't need to visit the restaurant.

ICE-T restaurant car   ICE-T restaurant car meal

Most seats are open plan, similar to ICE3.  However, an unusual feature of the ICE-T is these two 1st class 4-seat semi-compartments in one of the cars, ideal for families, small groups or a business meeting on the rails.  Opposite these semi-compartments are a couple of tables-for-two, my favourite configuration.

ICE-TD...

This is the diesel version of the ICE.  It used to operate the Hamburg-Copenhagen route, but no longer does so.  All ICE-TDs were retired in 2016-2007.

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Tips for travel by ICE...

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See this month's bistro & restaurant menu...


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