Trains in Germany

Regional train in Frankfurt

Travel around Germany by train with an Interrail Pass and visit the enchanting Neuschwanstein Castle, soak up the lively atmosphere at Oktoberfest and admire areas of outstanding natural beauty like the Black Forest and the Rhine Valley.

Explore top cities Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Cologne and Frankfurt by regional, high-speed or night train while enjoying Germany's picturesque scenery on the way.

Train types in Germany
Reservations for trains in Germany
Domestic connections in Germany
International connections to and from Germany
Germany rail passes
Train stations in Germany
Pass benefits in Germany
Spelling of cities in Germany
Example train route in Germany

Map with main train connections in Germany

Train types in Germany

 

DB logo The German railways are run by Deutsche Bahn. You can check train times on the the Interrail train timetable.


 

Regional Express train, Leipzig, Germany Regional and intercity trains in Germany


S-Bahn

  • Suburban trains that run within most major cities.

  • No reservations required.


Regional Express (RE)

  • Connections between regional towns and larger cities. Frequent stops.

  • No reservations required.


Regional Bahn (RB)

  • Connections across all local towns. Slower than Regional Express trains.

  • No reservations required.


InterRegional (IR)

  • Connections between Germany’s regions.

  • No reservations required.


InterCity (IC)

  • Domestic and international connections between major cities. Frequent stops.

  • No reservations required.

 


 

Domestic high-speed trains in Germany

InterCity Express (ICE)

  • Connects major cities and travels at speeds of up to 320 km/h (200 mph).

  • Includes an on-board restaurant.

  • 1st class may have extra benefits, like newspapers and power sockets.

  • Reservations optional (but recommended during busy periods).


ICE Sprinter

  • Connects Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Hamburg with no stops in between.

  • Runs during the busy periods at the start and end of working hours.

  • Includes an on-board restaurant.

  • 1st class may have extra benefits, like newspapers and power sockets.

  • Reservations optional (but recommended during busy periods).

 



International high-speed trains in Germany High speed train ICE, Germany

ICE

  • Connects Frankfurt to Paris (France).

  • Reservations are compulsory for this route.


RailJet

  • Connects Munich to Vienna, Salzburg (Austria) and Budapest (Hungary).

  • Reservations are mostly optional, and compulsory when travelling to Hungary.


TGV

  • Connects Munich to Paris (France).

  • Reservations are compulsory.


Thalys

  • Connects Cologne to Paris (France) and Brussels (Belgium).

  • Reservations are compulsory.

 



Domestic night trains in Germany


ÖBB Nightjet (EN)

  • Connects Berlin – Hamburg - Munich and Cologne - Frankfurt - Munich by night.

 




International night trains in Germany

Berlin Night Express
  • Berlin - Malmö

ÖBB Nightjet (EN)
  • Munich - Salzburg - Florence - Rome

  • Hamburg - Berlin - Basel - Zürich

  • Hamburg – Hanover - Vienna

  • Düsseldorf - Cologne - Frankfurt - Vienna

EuroNight Austria-Germany
  • Cologne – Frankfurt – Vienna

EuroNight Hans Albers
  • Hamburg – Nuremberg – Vienna

EuroNight Kálmán Imre
  • Munich – Salzburg – Vienna – Budapest

EuroNight Lisinski
  • Munich – Ljubljana – Zagreb

EuroNight Metropol
  • Berlin – Prague – Bratislava – Budapest

  • Berlin – Prague – Vienna

 



Scenic train routes in Germany

Black Forest Line

  • Offenburg to Konstanz, through the Black Forest and small villages.


Rhine Valley Line

  • Koblenz to Mainz, through the German wine country.

 



Private railway companies in Germany

Your Interrail Pass can also be used on a several private railway companies in Germany (PDF file in German/English).

Reservations for trains in Germany

 

Which trains in Germany require reservations?

  • No reservations: Regional (RE, RB, IR) / InterCity (IC) / EuroCity (EC).

  • Optional (but recommended during busy periods): ICE and ICE Sprinter.

  • Required: All night trains.


Do you plan on booking international trains? Your Interrail Pass needs to be valid in each country that the train goes through. Exceptions are routes from Germany to the train stations of Basel (Switzerland) and Salzburg (Austria) - an Interrail Pass valid in Germany will cover these trips.

 

The ICE Paris-Frankfurt train has a limited amount of seats for Interrail Pass Holders. Our advice is to book this train well in advance, especially if you plan to travel in high season (May to September).

 

How can I make reservations for high-speed and night trains in Germany?

  • Online through the Interrail Reservation Service.

  • In person at ticket desks or self-service machines in German railway stations.

  • By phone through the Deutsche Bahn call center.

 

What can I expect when calling Deutsche Bahn?

  1. Call Deutsche Bahn on +49 1806 996 633 (available 24/7).

  2. You'll hear a menu in German.

  3. Choose extension "9" for an English menu.

  4. Select "1" for bookings and train details.

  5. The booking center can deliver your reservations to any country, without charging you a booking fee. The delivery cost is €3.50.

  6. You can also pick up your reservations at larger German train stations. Just take the order number you received on the phone to a ticket window or a self-service machine in the station.

 

 

Reservations for Thalys trains cannot be made through the Deutsche Bahn website, call center or at the ticket desks in German train stations. Find out how to make your Thalys reservations.

For more information about reservations in Germany:

Domestic connections in Germany

 
Map with popular domestic routes in Germany

Compare train travel times for popular routes in Germany. We'll show you the travel times for high-speed ICE trains and extra fast ICE Sprinter trains in Germany:
 

Route ICE ICE Sprinter
Berlin to Munich 6 hours -
Berlin to Frankfurt 4 hours 3.5 hours
Berlin to Hamburg 2 hours -
Berlin to Cologne 4.5 hours -
Hamburg to Frankfurt 4 hours 3.5 hours
Hamburg to Cologne 4 hours 3.5 hours
Hamburg to Munich 6 hours -
Frankfurt to Munich 3.5 hours -
Frankfurt to Cologne 1 hour -
Munich to Cologne 4.5 hours -

International train connections to and from Germany

 
Country Cities Which train? Travel time Reservations
Austria Innsbruck to Munich
Vienna to Munich
EuroCityBrenner
RailJet
1:45
4:10
None
Optional
Belgium Brussels to Frankfurt ICE 3:05 Optional
Czech Republic Prague to Berlin
Prague to Nuremberg
EuroCity
DB Express Bus
4:30
3:40
Optional
Required
France Paris to Frankfurt
Paris to Munich
TGV / ICE
TGV
3:50
6:10
Required
Italy Venice to Munich EuroCityBrenner
ÖBB Nightjet
6:20
9:00 (overnight)
Required
  Rome to Munich ÖBB Nightjet 11:30 (overnight) Required
Netherlands Amsterdam to Berlin
Amsterdam to Frankfurt
Amsterdam to Düsseldorf
Intercity
ICE
ICE
6:20
3:55
2:15
Optional
Poland Warsaw to Berlin
Wroclaw to Dresden
Berlin-Warsaw Express
trilex regional train
5:45
4:00
Required
Not required
Switzerland Zurich to Berlin ÖBB Nightjet 10:00 (overnight) Required
  Zurich to Hamburg ICE / ÖBB Nightjet 7:35 / 10:55 (overnight) Optional / Required

Germany rail passes

 

Interrail Pass options for Germany

 

Interrail Germany Pass

  • Explore all of Germany by rail.

  • Youth discounts, as well as family and senior discounts.

  • Benefits include FREE travel on the S-Bahn metro in major cities and 50% off ferries to Finland and Sweden.

  • Prices from € 154

 

View Germany Passes

 

Interrail Global Pass

  • Travel by train in up to 30 countries in Europe including Germany.

  • Discounts available for youth, seniors and families.

  • Prices from € 200

 

View Global Passes

Train leaving a tunnel near the river Moselle in Germany

Train stations in Germany

 
Berlin Main Station Germany

German main train stations

The main stations in Germany are very well connected to local and international cities. These stations are:

  • Berlin Hbf

  • Köln Hbf (Cologne)

  • München Hbf (Munich)

  • Frankfurt Hbf

 

German train stations are often well-maintained and have modern facilities:

  • Lockers

  • Cash machines and a foreign exchange desk

  • Restaurants and cafés

  • Restrooms

  • Tourist information offices

  • Elevators, escalators, and access for disabled passengers

Pass benefits for Germany

 
Ferry travel, Germany

Ferry travel in Germany

Free and discounted ferry travel is an extra benefit of the Interrail Germany Pass. Get discounted ferry travel between Germany and:

  • Denmark

  • Finland

  • Poland

  • Sweden


Bus travel in Germany

Interrail pass holders can also travel for free (pay only a reservation) on these international bus routes:

  • Munich – Prague (Czech Republic)

  • Nuremberg – Prague

 

See all Interrail benefits in Germany

Spelling of cities in Germany

 
Rüdesheim Station Germany

Sometimes the German spelling of cities is different to what you're used to. You'll see the local spelling when you arrive at the train stations or when you look up routes on the timetable.
 

Good to know:

  • Köln = Cologne

  • München = Munich

  • Nürnberg = Nuremberg

Example train route in Germany

 

Map with example route in Germany Route

Berlin > Hamburg > Cologne > Frankfurt > Munich > Füssen

 

  1. Berlin: Check out the eclectic underground scene and the remains of the Berlin Wall.

  2. Hamburg: Filled with a rich maritime history thanks to its thriving port.

  3. Cologne: Don't miss the cathedral next to the train station.

  4. Frankfurt: Germany's financial capital.

  5. Munich: In the heart of Bavaria, it's home to the country's beloved Oktoberfest.

  6. Füssen: The location of the spectacular Neuschwanstein Castle.

 

Pass suggestion

 

View Interrail Germany Passes

Back to top