Europe Rail Star : Help You Travel in Europe with Ease

Germany Train Travel

Germany Rail Travel

Germany is the largest country in Central Europe. Germany is a federation of 16 states, each with its own distinct and unique culture. If you have perceptions of Germany as homogeneous, it will surprise you with its regions and diversity.

A great number of visitors will be particularly interested in Germany’s historical sights such as it’s cathedrals and castles, or it’s traditions such as Bavarian food and the beer culture. But at the same time, it is a very modern country that offers a cutting-edge music scene, superb night life, avant-garde art and a significant body of left-wing literature.

Available Rail Passes for Germany

  1. German Rail Pass
    Train travel throughout Germany.
  2. Eurail Benelux-Germany Pass
    Travel by Train in Germany and Benelux.
  3. Eurail Denmark-Germany Pass
    Travel by Train in Germany and Denmark.
  4. Eurail Austria-Germany Pass
    Travel by Train in Germany and Austria.
  5. Eurail Czech Republic-Germany Pass
    Travel by Train in Germany and Czech Republic.
  6. Eurail France-Germany Pass
    Travel by Train in Germany and France.
  7. Eurail Germany-Poland Pass
    Travel by Train in Germany and Poland.
  8. Eurail Germany-Switzerland Pass
    Travel by Train in Germany and Switzerland.
  9. Eurail Select Pass
    Travel by Train in up to 5 European Countries, you choose which ones.
  10. Eurail Global Pass
    The Premier European Rail Pass traveling in 21 countries!
  11. German Rail ‘n Drive
    Combine car rental & train travel exploring German.
  12. Eurail Drive Pass
    The Premier European Rail Pass traveling in 21 countries + Car rental!
  13. Eurail Select Pass & Drive
    Travel by Train in up to 5 European Countries + Car rental, you choose which ones.

Available High Speed Train in Germany

  • ICE
    The ICE can take you all over Germany, including Frankfurt, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Munich, Cologne, and Berlin. With high-speed comfort and luxuries like reclining seats and laptop connections.
  • Thalys
    Thalys, known as the red train, is an international high-speed train built around the high-speed lines between Paris, Brussels, Cologne and Amsterdam.
  • City Night Line
    The City Night Line overnight train allows you to make the most of your time during your European holiday. You’ll sleep in complete comfort aboard this night train—which links Switzerland and Germany with many of the surrounding countries.

Trains Schedule & Travel Times in Germany

From To Type of Train # of Trains Frequency Travel Time
Frankfurt Berlin ICE 18 Daily 4 hr
Frankfurt Heidelberg ICE, InterCity, RB 34 Daily 1 hr
Frankfurt Munich ICE, InterCity 18 Daily 3 hr, 45 min
Berlin Munich ICE, InterCity 13 Daily 6 hr
Berlin Postdam RE 29 Daily 25 min
Berlin Dresden EuroCity, InterCity 7 Daily 2 hr
Munich Heidelberg InterCity 7 Daily 3 hr, 15 min

Practical Train Information in Germany:

As Berlin strengthens its role as capital, increasing numbers of trains are speeding their way into town. All points of the country, especially Frankfurt, Munich, and Bonn, maintain excellent rail connections, with high-tech, high-speed improvements being made to the country’s railway system virtually all the time. Unlike many other European countries whose rail service is highly centralized, Germany uses a multihub system, which means you rarely have to wait long for a train.

German’s ICE (Inter City Express) train is renowned not only for its speed, but for its high-tech and outrageously comfortable accommodations as well. We give an enthusiastic “Yes!” to First Class, with its large, plush leather seats. Plus, the newest ICE trains also feature individual video entertainment systems, and a glass separation between the driver’s cabin and the passenger area. So you can head to the front of the train to truly experience a rail ride (at 186 mph!) like no other. There are actually several different types of ICE trains, ranging from the older buy incredibly spacious domestic ICE 1 trains to the newer ICE T trains that use tilting technology and travel internationally.

All ICE trains offer state of the art amenities, which may include electronic seat reservation displays, personal audio system (and even personal video screens in first class), luggage storage lockers, fold down tabletops, and computer ports. Some ICE trains have panoramic lounges that offer excellent views of the surrounding landscape. The ICE network significantly reduces travel time, making transit north to south or east to west across the country easily in the course of a single day.

Slightly slower are the hundreds of InterCity (IC) passenger trains, travelling up to 124 mph (200kmph) which service every hour or two to the centers of some 60 German cities. IC trains have adjustable cushioned seats and individual reading lights. Bars, lounges, and dining rooms are available, too. A network of EuroCity(EC) trains connecting Germany with 13 other countries offers the same high standards of service as those of IC.

Interegio-Express (IRE) trains, some with double decker compartments, handle inter-regional service and stop at more stations than the InterCity trains. Regionalverkehr (RV, RB, and RE) trains are local trains that stop at every station on their route.

CityNightLine (CNL) trains are exceptionally comfortable, including some double decker night trains that run domestically as well as between Germany and surrounding countries, such as the route from Berlin to Zurich, or Frankfurt to Vienna or Copenhagen. They offer four categories of comfort, from private cabins with bathrooms to reclining seats. Similarly, the EuroNights provide night service on major international routes, including Munich to Budapest.

Germany Railway Map

Germany Rail Map


German trains are invariably crowded, and even though they aren’t required on most IC or ICE routes, many people reserve seats. We strongly recommend that you do too, if you don’t want to end up standing. Reservations cost 1.50 € to 3.50 € extra; Reservations for the ICE Sprinters are mandatory and should be made as far in advance as possible, especially if you’re travelling on an international route; sleeper reservations are normally included in the price of the ticket or pass supplement that you pay. Seat reservations can be made at all train stations or can be reserved through Rail Europe.

Germany Travel Guides

If you’re planning for an excelent trip in Germany, I strongly recommend investing in Rick Steve’s Germany guide book, and the relevant Lonely Planet Guide for in-depth country information on the sights to see, places to stay, places to eat. They’re both are very very useful.

Rick Steves Germany 2010 with map

Germany Travel Guide Lonely Planet

Service & Amenities

All German trains, even the smallest, have a first-class section or cars (offering more leg space and comfier seats). Train are generally clean and comfortable. All trains are non-smoking.

ICE trains have a buffer or restaurant car (called BordBistro or BordRestaurant) that sells drinks, meals, and snacks. The quality is usually good. IC trains generally have an attendant who pushes around a small cart from which coffee, tea, mineral water, sandwiches, potato chips, and other snack items are dispensed. These are more expensive than the same things bought from a supermarket, so if you’re on a tight budget buy them before boarding the train.

Night trains offer first and tourist class. Sleeping accommodations in first class include single or double compartments with shower and toilet and are equipped with key cards, phones for wake up service, luggage storage, and other amenities. Tourist class offers four bed cabins with shared bathrooms as well as open seating with sleeperrettes (reclining seats). Trains are equipped with a restaurant and bistro car, and breakfast is included in the first class fare.

The national rail corporation in Germany, Deutsche Bahn (DB) will arrange assistance for travellers with disabilities (getting to and boarding trains, among other things), provide you call their Mobility Assistance Center (01805/512-512) at least a day in advance.

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