There are a number of train types in Germany ready to transport you both day and night. The German train network is operated by Deutsche Bahn. Use the Interrail train timetable to check times for trains in Germany.
Regional and intercity trains in Germany
The main rail network in Germany is made up of the following regional trains and intercity trains:
Regional Express trains connect regional destinations with larger cities. It makes frequent stops and connects with high-speed ICE trains.
Regional bahn trains link all local towns. These trains are slower than Regional Express trains.
InterRegional trains connect Germany’s regions.
S-Bahn (suburban trains) is a network of trains that operate within most big cities, including Berlin and Munich.
InterCity trains operate domestically and internationally between key cities. They are slower than the high-speed ICE trains as they make more stops.
Your Interrail pass is also valid on various private railway companies in Germany (PDF file).
On the Interrail timetable regional trains appear as 'RE', 'RB', 'IR' and 'IC'. Reservations are not required for regional and intercity trains.
High-speed trains in Germany
International high-speed trains in Germany
These high-speed trains operate to and from Germany:
RailJet connects Munich to Vienna, Salzburg (Austria) and Budapest (Hungary)
Thalys links Cologne to Paris (France) and Brussels (Belgium)
TGV connects Munich to Paris (France)
ICE connects Frankfurt to Paris (France)
Domestic high-speed trains in Germany
These high-speed trains operate within Germany:
ICE (InterCity Express) is the most popular train in Germany, connecting key cities. These high-speed trains travel at speeds of up to 200 mph (320 km/h).
ICE Sprinter is the newest brand of extra fast ICE trains, connecting Germany’s main cities: Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne and Düsseldorf, with no stops in between. The ICE Sprinter is aimed at business travellers and runs during the busy periods at the start and end of the working day.
ICE and ICE Sprinter trains include an on-board restaurant. Snacks and drinks can also be served to your seat. In 1st class there may be extras, like newspapers, power sockets, audio channels and video screens.
On the Interrail timetable RailJet trains are shown as 'RJ', ICE and ICE Sprinter trains simply as 'ICE', Thalys as 'THA' and TGV as 'TGV'. Reservations are compulsory for Thalys and TGV trains. The international ICE route Frankfurt to Paris also has a compulsory reservation. For RailJet, ICE and ICE Sprinter, reservations are optional but we recommend making reservations during weekends and busy periods.
Night trains in Germany
The following night trains connect Germany with other European countries:
City Night Line (CNL)
Connects Germany to key cities in Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands and Switzerland. Key routes include:
Berlin – Zurich
Hamburg – Zurich
Munich – Rome / Venice / Amsterdam
EuroNight Berlin Night Express
Berlin – Malmö
Cologne – Frankfurt – Vienna
EuroNight Hans Albers
Hamburg –Nuremberg – Vienna
EuroNight Kálmán Imre
Munich – Salzburg – Vienna – Budapest
Berlin – Prague – Bratislava – Budapest
Berlin – Prague – Vienna
Munich – Ljubljana – Zagreb
Domestic night trains in Germany
City Night Line trains appear on the Interrail timetable as "CNL", and all EuroNight trains appear as "EN". On these trains you're required to book seats or sleeping accommodation in advance.
Scenic train routes in Germany
There are 2 scenic train routes that run in Germany:
Train stations of bordering countries
With a Interrail pass valid in Germany you can travel to the following train stations of countries that border Germany: