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.
|Main routes||Travel time|
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. Can I ensure that my traveling party will share a compartment on an overnight train?
A. Our booking system always attempts to book all travellers in the same compartment on overnight trains, as long as you submit your request for your entire traveling party at once.
Our ability to book all travellers in the same compartment ultimately depends on compartment availabilities on the train you’re booking. The earlier you make your reservations, the better the chance that everyone in your travel party will be in the same compartment.
If a compartment can’t be fully filled by the traveling party alone, some trains may need to separate you into gender-specific compartments. Therefore, if you are a traveling party of mixed gender – the way to ensure that you will be traveling together is to make sure that you book a compartment that you fill entirely.
Q. How do I contact you while I’m in Europe?
A. If you need to contact us while you’re in Europe, you can send us a message by visiting our Contact Us Page.
Q. If I arrive at the station early, will I be able to board my train?
A. You may be able to board the train early, but it depends on a few things…
First, early boarding may possible if you are boarding the train in the city from which it originates. If you are boarding a train on one of the stops along its routes, then the train won’t be in the station until a few minutes before the time indicated on your ticket.
Even if you are boarding in the very first city from which your train departs, the platform may only be indicated 15 minutes or so before departure. Though early, you may find yourself in the train station with no information as to which platform the train is located.
In any event, we typically advise you get to the station at least 30 minutes prior to departure. This way when your train is ready to board, you can hop on and take your seat without having to rush through the station.
Q. I just landed in Europe. How do I get to the train station from the airport?
A. Whether you’re going straight to a train or to your hotel, you’ll generally find public transportation options from the airport to the center of town, where most train stations are located. Below is a list of airports that have rail connections (train or local subway/metro) to the main rail station:
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
15 minute train trip to Amsterdam Central Station
Stockholm Arlanda Airport
20 minute train trip to Stockholm Central Station
30 minute train to Barcelona Sants Station
Berlin Schoenefeld Airport
Birmingham International Airport
12-15 minute train trip to Birmingham New Street Station
28 minute train trip to Brussels Zuid/Midi Station
15 minute train trip to Cologne Central Station
Copenhagen Kastrup Airport
14 minute train trip from Copenhagen Airport to Copenhagen Central Station
Geneva Cointrin International Airport
7 minute train trip to the Geneva City Central Station
Glasgow Prestwick Airport
1 mile bus or taxi trip to Paisley Gilmour Station and then a 12-15 minute train trip to Glasgow
London Gatwick Airport
30 minute train trip to London Victoria Station
London Heathrow Airport
15 - 27 minute train trip to London Paddington Station
45 minute train trip to London St. Pancras Station
12 minute metro trip to Madrid Nuesvos Ministerios Metro Station
10 minute train trip to Malaga Torremolinos Station
Munich International Airport
41 - 46 minute train trip to Munich Main Train Station
Oslo Gardermoen Airport
19 - 22 minutes train trip to Oslo S Station
Paris Orly Airport
24 minutes train trip to Paris Austerlitz Station
Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport
30 minute train trip to Paris Gare du Nord Station
Porto – Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport
7-10 minute metro trip to Porto City Center Station
Rome Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport
30 minute train trip to Rome Termini Station
47 minute train trip to London Liverpool Station
Stuttgart Echterdingen Airport
30 minute train trip to Stuttgart Central
10 - 14 minute train trip to Zurich Central Station
Many other European airports have buses to the central or main rail stations. There are typically a minimum of two departures per hour, and travel times can vary from 15 minutes – 55 minutes depending on the city (and of course traffic en-route to the city center).
You can always check directly with your arrival airport for specific information regarding transfers to the city center. Most airports have websites with information on where to go to find a train or bus connection to the downtown area.
In addition, we encourage you to visit our Train Station pages to view information about services at the station and what airport links are available, if any, for a particular city.
Q. What is the 7:00 pm rule?
A. Overnight train journeys departing after 7:00pm and arriving after 4:00am without any change of train will count as one travel day. The date of arrival should be recorded on your rail pass.
Overnight train journeys departing after 7:00pm that arrive or involve a connection between midnight - 4am count as two travel days on your rail pass.
Q. I understand that some of the train platforms in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy now have gates. How do I get to my train?
A. Many train stations in the Netherlands and the Brussels Airport Station in Belgium now have platforms with entry/exit gates. To enter or exit from the train’s platform, you will need to pass through these gates that are controlled with a bar code reader.
Most paper tickets and e-tickets and all Eurail Pass covers have a square barcode which can be scanned at the entry/exit point of the platform. Just hold the bar code on your travel document to the scanner on the illuminated area on the gate and pass through the gate.
Some of the high traffic train stations in Italy, such as Milan Centrale, Roma Termini and Firenze Santa Maria Novella stations now have entry/exit gates. Access through these gates are exclusively reserved for traveller’s holding a ticket. It is suggested that you have your paper or electronic tickets ready to present upon arriving at these security gates.
Q. If I bought my rail pass from another company, can I still book my seat reservations through Rail Europe?
A. Yes. You can book your reservation with Rail Europe regardless of where you purchased your rail pass.
Q. I’ve already booked my rail pass, but think I’d like a different one. Can I exchange it? It’s totally unused.
A. Unused and unvalidated rail passes can be exchanged for an alternate rail pass of equal or greater value. A 7% administration fee, any price difference, and additional shipping fees would apply. Some promotional rail passes are non-exchangeable; please read the terms and conditions for these passes for more details.
Please send us a message through the Contact Us page to begin the exchange process. To exchange a rail pass, we must receive your original unused and unvalidated rail pass no later than 3 days prior to your departure to Europe, issue a new rail pass, and ship it to you.
If you bought the Rail Protection Plan™ when you placed your rail pass order, you are eligible to receive the full value of your original pass as a credit and use it towards any future Rail Europe purchase within 2 years, with no fee or penalty incurred.
Q. Are the train tickets you send me the actual tickets, or do I need to exchange them at the station?
A. If you selected the paper delivery option, then yes – the travel documents you receive from us in the mail are your actual train tickets. Do not lose them, because we cannot replace them.
Only the original paper ticket will be accepted onboard the train. No other document such as a print out of the email invoice can be used in lieu of the original paper train ticket.
Q. Do I need to show my passport to board the train?
A. If you’re traveling with a rail pass and this is your very first train trip, you’ll need to present your passport to the railway official at the ticket window to activate your pass, before you board the train.
Please note that there will be no passport control (day or night) when traveling between countries that signed the Schengen Treaty. Not all countries belonging to the EU are part of the Schengen Treaty (e.g. Great Britain, Ireland). On the flip side, some countries that are not part of the EU are part of the Schengen Treaty (e.g. Switzerland, Norway).