Trains in Germany

Regional train in Frankfurt

Travel around Germany by train with a German Rail 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
Approximate journey times

Map of main train connections in Germany

Train types in Germany

 

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 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 German Rail Pass is also valid on various private railway companies in Germany.
 

On the German Rail Passes timetable regional trains appear as 'RE', 'RB', 'IR' and 'IC'.

Domestic high-speed trains in Germany

The following 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 travelers 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 German Rail Passes timetable ICE and ICE Sprinter trains simply as 'ICE'. Reservations are compulsory for ICE Sprinter trains. But are optional for standard ICE trains.

Domestic night train in Germany Map with night train connections in Germany

The City Night Line (CNL) connects several German cities by night: Munich – Berlin / Hamburg.

 

 

Scenic train routes in Germany

There are 2 scenic train routes that run in Germany:

Approximate journey times in Germany

 
From To ICE high-speed train ICE Sprinter
Berlin Munich 6hr -
Berlin Frankfurt 4hr 10min 3hr 35min
Berlin Hamburg 1hr 45min -
Berlin Cologne 4hr 30min -
Hamburg Frankfurt 4hr 3hr 25min
Hamburg Cologne 4hr 3hr 30min
Hamburg Munich 6hr -
Frankfurt Munich 3hr 35min -
Frankfurt Cologne 1hr 15min -
Munich Cologne 4hr 35min -
Back to top