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Germany By Train

Germany is filled with interesting destinations, like the dynamic capital Berlin, the enchanting Neuschwanstein Castle, or major cities like Cologne, Hamburg, or Munich. You can also explore the dense forests, mountainous regions, river valleys, or sea coast. In short – Germany has it all.


Train types in Germany

The German railways are run by Deutsche Bahn. You can check train times on the Eurail train timetable or on the DB website.


Germany map major rail connections

Your Eurail Pass can also be used on several railway companies in Germany.


Regional and intercity trains in Germany


  • 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.

Interregio-Express (IRE)

  • Connections between Germany’s regions.

  • No reservations required.

InterCity and Eurocity (Express) (IC, EC, and ECE)

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

  • No reservations required.


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).



  • Frankfurt/Munich/Stuttgart/Freiburg to France. 
  • Reservations optional for trips within Germany. 
  • Reservations required for trips to France.

International high-speed trains in Germany


All international ICE’s will be subject to mandatory reservations from June 1st until September 1st (except trains via Basel).

  • Frankfurt – Paris/Brussels/Amsterdam/Zurich
  • Stuttgart – Paris
  • Hamburg – Zurich
  • Dortmund/Berlin – Vienna
  • Berlin – Innsbruck
  • Frankfurt – Amsterdam
  • Frankfurt – Brussels
  • Frankfurt – Paris


  • Frankfurt – Paris/Marseille
  • Munich/Stuttgart/Freiburg - Paris
  • Frankfurt – Bordeaux. Running on Saturdays 08 July – 26 August
  • Freiburg – Bordeaux. Running on Saturdays 01 April – 02 September
  • Reservations optional for trips within Germany
  • Reservations compulsory for trips to France


  • Dortmund – Düsseldorf – Cologne – Brussels – Paris 
  • Reservations are compulsory 
  • Read more about special booking conditions on our dedicated Eurostar page
  • Operated by red coloured former Thalys trains


  • Munich – Salzburg/Vienna/Budapest
  • Munich – Innsbruck – Verona/Bologna/Venice (From Spring 2024)
  • Reservations are compulsory when crossing the German border


International conventional trains in Germany

All long-distance trains to/from Germany will be subject to mandatory reservations from June 1st until September 1st (except trains via Basel and Schaffhausen)


EuroCity Express (ECE)

  • Munich – Zurich
  • Frankfurt – Milan

EuroCity (EC)

  • Hamburg – Zurich/Interlaken 
  • Bochum – Klagenfurt 
  • Rostock/Hamburg/Berlin – Prague – Budapest 
  • Berlin – Gdynia/Warsaw (Reservations compulsory)
  • Berlin – Wroclaw – Krakow – Przemysl (Reservations compulsory)
  • Frankfurt – Munich – Salzburg – Ljubljana – Zagreb 
  • Munich to Venice, Verona and Bologna (Italy) 
  • Mandatory supplement if you are travelling to/from/within Italy. You can purchase it before boarding, but you can also do so on board of the train (for a €5 fee)
    • 1st class: €15 
    • 2nd class: €10

InterCity (IC)

  • Hamburg – Copenhagen
  • Berlin – Amsterdam
  • Hamburg – Zurich (part of the NightJet)
  • Amsterdam – Cologne – Frankfurt – Zurich (part of the NightJet)
  • Stuttgart – Zurich

Train stations of bordering countries

With a Eurail pass valid in Germany you can travel to the following train stations of countries that border Germany:

  • Basel (Switzerland) 

  • Salzburg (Austria)

Domestic night trains in Germany

ÖBB Nightjet (these trains continue or/and start abroad)

  • Düsseldorf – Cologne – Frankfurt – Nürnberg – Munich/Passau
  • Hamburg – Hannover – Nürnberg – Munich/Passau
  • Hamburg – Hannover – Frankfurt – Freiburg – Basel
  • Berlin – Leipzig – Frankfurt – Freiburg – Basel
  • Dresden – Leipzig – Frankfurt – Freiburg – Basel


International night trains in Germany

Snälltåget night train

  • (Dresden –) Berlin – Hamburg – Copenhagen Örestad – Malmö – Stockholm

SJ Euronight (EN)

  • Berlin – Hamburg – Copenhagen Airport – Malmö – Stockholm 

ÖBB NightJet (NJ and EN)

  • Munich – Florence – Rome
  • Munich – Verona – Milano – Genoa - La Spezia 
  • Stuttgart – Munich – Udine – Venice 
  • Hamburg – Basel – Zürich 
  • Hamburg – Linz – Vienna 
  • Hamburg – Munich – Innsbruck 
  • Hamburg – Nuremberg – Vienna 
  • Amsterdam – Düsseldorf – Linz – Vienna 
  • Amsterdam – Düsseldorf – Cologne – Innsbruck 
  • Amsterdam – Düsseldorf – Cologne – Basel – Zürich 
  • Vienna – Munich – Paris/Brussels
  • Berlin – Halle – Erfurt –Paris/Brussels
  • Prague/Berlin – Leipzig – Basel – Zürich

EuroNight Metropol (EN)

  • Berlin – Dresden – Prague – Bratislava – Budapest

EuroNight Chopin (EN)

  • Munich – Salzburg – Vienna – Krakow – Warsaw

EuroNight Kálmán Imre (EN)

  • Stuttgart – Munich – Salzburg – Vienna – Budapest

EuroNight Lisinski (EN)

  • Stuttgart – Munich – Ljubljana – Zagreb

EuroNight Opatija (EN)

  • Stuttgart – Munich – Opatija – Rijeka

European Sleeper (ESL) 

  • Prague – Dresden – Berlin – Amsterdam – Rotterdam – Den Haag – Antwerp – Brussels
    • Prague and Dresden from 25th March

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.


Elbe Valley Line

  • Dresden to Czechia, along the Elbe river in Saxon Switzerland.


Neckar Valley Line

  • Stuttgart to Heidelberg, along the picturesque Neckar river.


Mosel Valley Line

  • Koblenz to Trier, small towns and wine along the Mosel river.

Private railway companies in Germany 

Your Eurail Pass can also be used on several railway companies in Germany.


Popular connections

In Germany it's not mandatory to have a seat reservation on the ICE trains. However, we recommend you to buy a seat reservation, especially if you're traveling in a group. This way you can not be asked to leave a seat, which might happen if you don't have a reservation. We'll explain more about reservations in Germany a bit further down on this page.


View approximate train travel times between Germany's key cities with high-speed ICE trains.


Route ICE
Berlin to Cologne 4h 30m
Berlin to Frankfurt 4h
Berlin to Hamburg 2h
Berlin to Munich 4h 30m
Frankfurt to Cologne 1h
Frankfurt to Munich 3h 30m
Hamburg to Cologne 4h
Hamburg to Frankfurt 4h
Hamburg to Munich 6h
Munich to Cologne 4h 30m

Optional (Required June 1st till September 1st)

Optional (Required June 1st till September 1st)

Route Which train? Travel time Reservations
Berlin to Amsterdam (Netherlands) InterCity 6h 20m Optional (Required June 1st till September 1st)
Berlin to Prague (Czechia) EuroCity 4h 30m Optional (Required June 1st till September 1st)
Berlin to Warsaw (Poland) Berlin-Warsaw Express 5h 30m Required
Berlin to Zurich (Switzerland) ÖBB Nightjet 12h 15m (overnight) Required
Dresden to Wroclaw (Poland) trilex regional train 4h Not required
Düsseldorf / Frankfurt to Amsterdam (Netherlands) ICE 2h 15m / 3h 55m Optional (Required June 1st till September 1st)
Frankfurt to Brussels (Belgium) ICE 3h 05m Optional (Required June 1st till September 1st)
Frankfurt to Paris (France) TGV / ICE 3h 55m Required
Hamburg to Zurich (Switzerland) ICE / ÖBB Nightjet 7h 35m / 10h 55m (overnight) Optional / Required
Hamburg to Copenhagen (Denmark) IC train 4h 40m Optional (Required June 1st till September 1st)
Munich to Innsbruck (Austria) EuroCityBrenner 1h 45m Optional (Required June 1st till September 1st); Supplement required
Munich to Paris (France) TGV 5h 40m Required
Munich to Rome (Italy) ÖBB Nightjet 11h 30m (overnight) Required
Munich to Venice (Italy) EuroCityBrenner / ÖBB Nightjet 6h 50m / 8h 40m (overnight) Optional (Required June 1st till September 1st) / Required
Munich to Vienna (Austria) RailJet 4h 10m Optional (Required June 1st till September 1st)
Stuttgart to Zagreb (Croatia) EuroCity / EuroNight 10h 45m / 14h 10m (overnight) Required
Stuttgart to Budapest (Hungary) EuroNight 12h 50m (overnight) Required
Berlin – Stockholm EuroNight / Snälltåget 15h 20m / 17h 15m (overnight) Required
Berlin – Budapest (Hungary) EuroCity / EuroNight 11h 30m / 13h 30m (overnight) Required
Frankfurt – Milan (Italy) EuroCity Express 7h 45m Optional (Required June 1st till September 1st)

Dresden – Berlin to Brussels (Belgium) via Amsterdam (Netherlands) 

European Sleeper 11h 30m (overnight)  Required
Dortmund / Cologne to Paris (France) Eurostar 5h 10m / 3h 20m Required
Berlin to Paris (France) ÖBB Nightjet 14h Required

International ferry connections to and from Germany

You can also travel to and from Germany by ferry. Get a discount on specific routes with a Eurail pass.

  • Finland – Germany
    Sail with Finnlines from Rostock or Travemünde to Helsinki (Finland). Get a 30% discount with Eurail passes.

  • Poland – Germany
    Sail from Rostock to Gdynia with Finnlines and get 30% off with Eurail passes.

  • Sweden – Germany
    Travel from Travemünde to Malmö (Sweden) with Finnlines. Get a 20% discount with Eurail passes.

On the Eurail timetable RailJet trains are shown as 'RJ', ICE trains simply as 'ICE', Eurostar as 'ES' and TGV as 'TGV'. Reservations are compulsory for Eurostar and TGV trains. The international ICE route Frankfurt to Paris also has a compulsory reservation. For RailJet and ICE, reservations are optional but we recommend making reservations during weekends and busy periods.
ÖBB Nightjet trains appear on the Eurail timetable as "EN", same as the EuroNight trains. On these trains you're required to book seats or sleeping accommodation in advance.



Eurail reservation self-service system

  • Eurail
  • IC, EC, ECE, ICE, TGV, RailJet, Eurostar, Nightjet, EuroNight

Administration costs when booking through Eurail self-service

  • € 2,- p.p.per train
  • Additional € 9,- per order (for paper tickets)

With railway carriers

Other platforms

By calling Deutsche Bahn

  • By clicking the link above you'll find yourself on the DB contact page. There are phone numbers for English, French, Danish, Italian, Dutch or German speaking customer service representatives.


An explanation of how each booking platform works can be found here: How do I book my reservations


Locally at the train station in Germany

  • At the DB ticket machines at the station

Good to Know

Which trains in Germany require reservations?

  • No reservations: Regional (RE, RB, IR).

  • Optional (but highly recommended during busy periods): InterCity (IC) / ICE / EuroCity (EC) / ECE (Eurocity Express). €4,90 2nd class and €5,90 1st class.

  • Required: All international IC, EC, and ICE trains to and from Germany during summer season (June 1st until September 1st). 
    • Exception: To Switzerland, only trains Munich-Zurich have mandatory reservations. 
  • Required: All night trains, fees depend on destination and type of seat/bed booked.
  • Required: Supplement Eurocity (EC) trains to/from/within Italy. Optional for routes that don't start, end or run through Italy.

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


Eurostar trains are popular and therefore, usually sell out quickly. Make sure to get your seat reservation in time. Alternatively, find trains without seat reservations in our timetable by toggling on the ‘no reservation needed’ button.

Reservations for Thalys trains can no longer be made through the Deutsche Bahn website. You can instead make a reservation via a call center, a DB agency or at the ticket desks at German train stations. Find out how to make your Thalys reservations.


Get your Pass for Germany

German Rail Pass

Germany is not available as a Eurail One Country Pass.

If you only want to travel in Germany, check out the German Rail Pass.


Standard prices from $ 187

Global Pass


Be free to visit Germany along with the other 32 Eurail countries.

Standard prices from $ 233


Tips and tricks for Germany

Quick facts

  • Capital: Berlin

  • Population: 81.1 million

  • Language: German

  • Currency: Euro (EUR)

  • Dialing code: +49

Spelling of city names

On German train timetables and at train stations in Germany, you'll usually find the local spelling of German cities and stations.

Here is the local spelling of some popular German cities:

  • Hannover = Hanover

  • Cologne = Köln

  • Munich = München

  • Nuremberg = Nürnberg

German hub stations

Germany's main hub stations are Berlin Hbf, Köln Hbf (Cologne), München Hbf (Munich), and Frankfurt Hbf. At these train stations, it's possible to connect to trains to Germany's main cities and many international destinations.


Station facilities

Stations in Germany usually have excellent facilities, often including:

  • Luggage lockers

  • Foreign exchange desks

  • Restaurants and cafés

  • Tourist information offices

  • ATM cash machines

  • Elevators and escalators

  • Access for disabled passengers

Get around with the S-Bahn

Eurail Pass holders can travel for free on the S-Bahn (suburban metro railways) networks that DB operates in major German cities. The S-Bahn can be recognized by its logo (a white S on a green background).


Ferry buses to and from Germany

Free bus travel (reservation only) is an extra benefit of the German Rail Pass. Travel from Germany to Italy, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and many more countries.

See all Pass benefits in Germany


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