When to make reservations

Most trains don't need reservations

Reservations are not necessary and not possible for local trains:
 

On these trains you simply board the train and find a seat. 
 

For some trains it's optional

Reservations are optional but not required for these trains:
 

You can always hop on the ICE but if you want to be sure of a seat, you should make a reservation. This is especially recommended during rush hours, during public holidays and in the busy high season.
 

  • ICE (Intercity-Express, the most common high-speed train)
    You can always hop on the ICE but if you want to be sure of a seat, you should make a reservation. This is especially recommended during rush hous, during public holidays and in the busy high season.
    Fees: 2nd class: € 4.50 / 1st class: € 5.90

  • EuroCity and InterCity (domestic trains)
    Fees: from € 3.50

  • Railjet (high-speed train)
    Fees: from € 3.50

     

For a few trains it's mandatory

Reservations are mandatory for these services:
 

  • IC Bus (bus services throughout Germany)
    Fees: €4

  • TGV (French high-speed train)
    Fees: 2nd class: €13 / 1st class: €30

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