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. Can I add a friend to my existing rail pass?
A. Once a rail pass has been printed, another name cannot be added. We may be able to exchange the rail pass through our contact center, but exchange fees and penalties will apply. The only exception is if you bought the Rail Protection Plan along with your rail pass. In that case, you’re eligible to exchange your rail pass for a new one that includes your friend, without incurring any fee or penalty. You’ll just need to pay the additional cost of the rail pass for your friend.
Q. Is dinner and/or breakfast included with my reservation on an overnight train?
A. When you travel on an overnight train meal inclusions vary depending on the train you are on, as well as what type of train ticket you have purchased. With the purchase of a Premier class ticket, you will generally get a meal on board the train. This meal is typically breakfast in the morning. Some trains will bring the meal to you in your compartment, while other trains will serve you breakfast in the restaurant car on board the train.
If you are not traveling in a First Class sleeping compartment, don’t worry, you won’t starve on board! Overnight trains all include a restaurant car, bar car or vending machine services containing hot/cold drinks and snacks. Most restaurant/bar cars are open until at least 1:00am. Additionally, you can purchase food before hopping on board the train and eat as you wish. Though not included with the price of your ticket, you can certainly find something to eat during the ride.
Q. Why do some German station names have extra characters in the station name?
A. In a few circumstances, German station names are listed with extra characters extended after the official station name. They are of no concern for travellers, and can be disregarded.
Muenchen Hbf Gl.27-36 = Munich Main Train Station
Koeln Messedeutz11-12 = Cologne Messe Deatz Station
Berlin Hbf (Tief) = Berlin Main Train Station
Q. When I board the train, can I sit anywhere I want?
A. If you booked a reservation for a specific train, you’ll have a designated car and seat number. This information will be located on your ticket.
If you don’t have a reservation and the train you’re traveling on either doesn’t accept reservations or reservations are not mandatory, then you’ll be able to get on board and look for an available seat in the class of service you booked. Keep in mind that during the train journey, if another traveller gets on board and has reserved the seat you’re occupying, you will need to move.
Keep in mind that local commuter trains generally do not accept reservations. During peak hours (typically before 9am and in the evening between 5-7pm) the trains are used by locals going to work and tend to be a bit more crowded. This may make it more difficult to find an available seat.
Q. How can I check to see if food is served on a particular train?
A. When you search for a train schedule, the results page will give you the opportunity to click and view the onboard services for each class of service offered.
Q. Are there restrooms on the train?
A. Yes! Restrooms can be found on all trains in Europe. Restrooms are easily accessible on all trains and are frequently marked with the letters WC (Water Closet). They’re usually found at the front or back of each train car and typically include a sink, toilet, and locking door.
Q. What do I need to show to the conductor when traveling by train with a rail pass?
A. While traveling with a rail pass, you will need to show the conductor your pass. Be sure your pass is activated prior to boarding the train. For trains that require reservations, be sure to have your valid reservations ready to show the conductor, as well. Lastly, it is not uncommon for a conductor to request to see your passport, best to keep it handy.
Q. What ways can a train ticket be issued? Paper? e tickets?
A. There are potentially three ways to receive European train tickets.
Paper tickets: the rail pass or train ticket is physically printed at the Rail Europe fulfillment center and shipped to you.
Print at home e-ticket: the train ticket may be issued as a PDF which may either be emailed to you directly, or retrieved via a web link that is communicated to you at the time of purchase, depending on the rail carrier. You must print the PDF from a computer printer on any regular paper prior to boarding the train. Some e-tickets are delivered with a unique e-ticket confirmation code that is printed on your Rail Europe confirmation email. You must provide this e-ticket confirmation code along with your id to the conductor on board the train.
Print at station e-ticket: you will receive an e-ticket confirmation code (also known as PNR or Passenger Name Record) on your confirmation email, as well as a link to detailed instructions for retrieving your ticket. Use this e-ticket code at a self-service kiosk located at the train station in Europe to print out your actual ticket, prior to boarding the train.
Print at home e-ticket and print at station e-ticket are “electronic” delivery methods requiring no physical shipment to you. This means we can issue you an e-ticket whether you’re still at home or already in Europe.
Please note that all three methods are not always offered for a given train ticket. In fact, many tickets only support one of these issuance methods.
Q. Can I print my rail pass at the station?
A. At this time, most rail passes are printed as a paper document and must be shipped to you prior to your departure to Europe. If a rail pass is offered as an e-pass this option will be offered at the time of booking. For rail passes offered as e-passes, you will need to print it out on paper prior to arriving at the train station..
Q. Can I bring my bike on board?
A. In general, bicycles can be taken with you as carry-on luggage, free of charge on just about any national or international train- if you put it in a bike bag. In the bike bag, the wheels, pedals and handlebars must be removed.
In addition, many European trains allow bikes in a special bike compartment for free or a small fee. If there is a fee, it’s typically about 5-15 Euros per journey. Bikes are typically permitted on local & regional trains in most countries, at least outside peak travel hours.
Many inter-city trains also allow bikes, however not in Spain. And in France only a few French TGVs allow bikes that aren’t in a bike bag. Some TGV-Lyria trains between Paris & Switzerland also allow bikes. Paris-Madrid & Paris-Barcelona night trains only allow bikes if they’re in a bike bag and if you & your fellow travellers occupy the entire sleeper compartment. Overnight Thello sleeper trains & daytime TGV trains between Paris & Italy only allow bikes in a bike bag. Thalys trains between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam & Cologne only allow bikes in bike bags. Long-distance trains into Eastern Europe such as Cologne-Moscow, Bucharest-Istanbul or Budapest-Sofia only allow bikes in bike bags, primarily because these trains don’t have luggage compartments.
Lastly, some trains, primarily in the UK, will require advance reservations for bicycles. These reservations will need to be made locally at the station.