German trains: Intercity (IC)
Intercity and Eurocity trains connect all major German cities.
- Book up to 180 days in advance
- Regional trains
German trains: Intercity (IC)
Travelling faster than regional trains, Intercity (IC) and Eurocity (EC) are the most popular way to move around in Germany. The trains can travel up to 200km/h making them the ideal means of transport to travel between major cities. While the Intercity (IC) trains operated only in Germany, Eurocity (EC) trains operate on international routes to reach neighbouring countries. Both IC and EC are operated by the DB, Germany’s national railway company.
Receive your ticket directly to your address. Just take them with you and you are ready to travel. Shipping fees apply.
- German trains: Intercity (IC) tickets are open for booking 180 days ahead.
- Get the lowest prices by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell the fastest.
- Opt for off-peak trains when you have to travel short notice. They are more affordable than morning and evening trains along with those running on holiday eves, Friday and Sunday afternoon.
A class apart
Classes of service
|First class||Second class|
|Comfortable seats Spacious seats with a headrest and generous legroom. small>|
|Bar buffet car Access to the bar buffet car where snacks and beverages can be bought. small>|
|Reclining seats Cosy with more legroom, reclining seats are ideal to enjoy the trip. small>|
Reviews & ratings German trains: Intercity (IC)
Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. What are the fees associated with getting a train ticket refunded?
A. The first type of fee is carrier penalties. These are charges determined by the rail carrier depending on the exchange and refund conditions associated with your original train ticket. For example, there may be a 15% penalty assessed for exchanges, which means that only 85% of the value of the original ticket will be carried over for the purchase of a new ticket. Or there may be a fixed penalty charged for exchanges, or no fee at all.
When browsing fares on our website, you can read a brief description of each fare flexibility level, and then see the full exchange and refund conditions for each fare.
Once you have booked a train ticket with us, its exchange and refund rules will be indicated in your Rail Europe booking confirmation email, as well as printed with your train ticket and/or on the ticket jacket in the case of paper tickets. Please note that train tickets must be received for exchange or refund within the allowed time frame mentioned in the exchange and refund conditions.
The second type of fee is Rail Europe’s administrative fee. This fee is charged in addition to applicable carrier penalties. The processing fee is 7% of the cost of the original train ticket.
Q. Are there discounts available for rail passes?
A. Yes, many rail passes offer discounted options. The most common discounts are:
Child discount: Children between 4 -11 years of age usually travel for half the price of the regular adult rate. Most Eurail passes offer free travel for up to two children per adult pass holder.
Youth Discount: If you or anyone in your party is a traveller aged 12 to under 28 years of age on the first date of travel, discounted rates are available for certain rail passes.
Senior Discount: Seniors over the age of 60 are eligible for a discounted rate on certain rail passes.
Saver Discount: Small groups of 2 to 5 people traveling together are eligible for savings of about 15% on certain rail passes.
Group Discount: If you travel in a party of 10 or more, see our special group offers for a more customized travel solution.
Q. How early should I arrive at the train station?
A. We advise travellers to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure. This allows you time to clear any security checks and locate the platform where your train will be departing. If you are departing from a larger train station (typically a city’s main station) and need to activate your rail pass prior to boarding, you will want to arrive even earlier to make sure you have enough time to get your rail pass activated and avoid doing a luggage-hauling sprint through the station.
Please note: For Eurostar trains, follow the "check-in and Ticket Gate Time Limit" instructions which can be found on your ticket under "Additional Information".
Q. Is there onboard medical help in case of emergency?
A. Currently most trains do not carry emergency medical equipment. In case of a medical emergency, conductors on board will radio ahead to the next stop so that help will be ready and waiting.
Q. Can I use my rail pass on any train within its area of coverage?
A. In general, yes, but there are some exceptions and a few rules to keep in mind.
First, be mindful that some trains (such as high speed, scenic, and night trains) require rail pass holders to purchase reservations at an additional cost.
For international train journeys, be sure that your rail pass covers the country of departure, country of arrival, and any countries through which your train will travel.
Lastly, some private rail lines in certain countries don’t offer reservations for rail pass holders and don’t accept rail passes. In these cases, you can purchase a train ticket locally for the desired journey.
Q. What do I do if no one comes to check my train ticket or rail pass?
A. It’s best to keep your travel documents (train ticket, rail pass, and/or reservation) out and ready to be checked by a conductor. If for any reason a conductor does not come by to check your train ticket or rail pass during your entire journey, no worries. Simply get off the train at your destination station and continue with your travel plans.
Please keep in mind that you will need a valid rail pass or train ticket to travel on board trains in Europe. If your pass or ticket were not looked at, it is an unusual occurrence.
Q. Are lockers and luggage storage services available at the train station?
A. Most major train stations have a left luggage facility offering either self-serve luggage lockers or staffed luggage facilities.
Keep in mind that there is a fee to store your luggage at a train station. Typically, stations will charge a flat rate to rent a luggage locker that you’re free to fill. For staffed luggage facilities, you may incur a “per bag” fee. In either case, the fee is usually under 10 Euros. If you do leave your bags, be sure to keep some money in your pockets for the luggage lockers.
Q. Do restaurant cars cater to specific dietary needs like vegetarian, diabetic or kosher?
A. Some European trains do offer special menu items. You can check the menu card found on board the train when you get on. Please keep in mind that you are also permitted to bring food on to the train, so if you have a specific dietary condition that requires special food, you can purchase before getting on the train and avoid any disappointment if the train you are on does not cater to your specific needs.
On Eurostar a wide variety of meals can be arranged prior to your departure to Europe. They include vegetarian, kosher, halal, vegan, diabetic, low fat, low salt and gluten-free meals. For vegetarian meals, we require 24-hours notice in advance of travel. For all other meals we require 48-hours advance notice. If you need to arrange a special meal for your Eurostar journey, please contact us via our Contact Us page.
Q. What should I do if I am downgraded due to equipment issues, or affected by a traffic disruption or a strike?
A. If your travel is affected by circumstances beyond your control, such as a strike or mechanical problems, the railroad will often put in place measures to compensate travellers.
If a train is canceled by the railroads due to a mechanical issue and alternate transportation has not been offered or you decline the alternate transportation, then a railway official at the origin station must cancel your seat and they must stamp the back of your ticket/reservation “Not Used Due to Mechanical Issue” before the original train departure time.
Our partners at the European Railroads will not allow us to process a refund unless this step has been taken.
Please send the ticket to our Customer Relations department within 30-days from the train departure date so that they can process any applicable refund.
Q. How far in advance can I buy my rail pass?
A. A rail pass can be purchased anywhere from 6 to 11 months prior to your first travel day. We advise you to check the specific conditions of use for the pass you are interested in.