Rail Travel in Germany

Rail Travel in Germany
Traveling by train in Germany is a wonderful way to take in the country's natural splendor. See quaint villages at the foot of the German Alps, take in the green rolling hills or travel back in time on a steam-powered locomotive. Germany's rail network offers fast trains to cover mileage between your destinations as well as some of Europe's most scenic rail journeys.


Long distance trains connecting Germany's major cities with other European cities are called EuroCity (EC) trains. These are usually fast trains. Night trains are known as Nachtzug (NZ) trains. Trains between cities and towns in Germany may vary in speed.

Rail Classes

Long distance journeys offer three passenger classes. The most economical option is to book a reclining seat in a Sitzwagen carriage. Liegewagen cars have berths in compartments that sleep four to six people, while the most comfortable option is to travel by Schlafwagen where you will get a berth in a compartment with two other people.

Rail Passes

Eurail passes are available to non-residents of Europe and must be purchased before leaving your home country. Passes offer a set number of days of unlimited travel within the countries of your choosing. There is not a pass for Germany alone, but you can buy combined country rail passes such as the Germany-Poland pass. As of 2009, prices start at $315 for five days of travel for youth second class passengers. Adult passes start at $369.

Single Journey Tickets

If you don't plan on traveling a lot by train, you can buy single journey tickets. Buy them directly from Germany's national rail company, Deutsche Bahn or from Rail Europe (see Resources).

Scenic Routes

Several routes from Munich are known for their jaw-dropping views; Munich to Salzberg, Austria, Garmisch or all the way to Venice are all routes with reputations. Travel from Koblenz to Trier along the Moselle, or book tickets to Nordhausen in the Harz Mountains. The trip from Munchen to Berchtesgaden in Bavaria and the ride from the German border to Prague also offer scenic vistas.

Article Written By Heather Carreiro

Heather Carreiro is a certified English teacher who has been writing since 2008. The editor of Matador Abroad, her work has appeared online at BootsnAll, Matador Network, GoNOMAD, Journey Beyond Travel and Expat Women. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is pursuing a Master of Arts in English at Bridgewater State University.

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