Berlin to Erfurt by train

How to travel from Berlin to Erfurt by train

Erfurt is a great location for a holiday, particularly for those with an interest in railways, and thanks to a relatively new high speed line, it's never been so easy to reach the city from Berlin by train.



From Berlin Hbf to Erfurt Hbf

Journey Summary

Travel Time
1hr 40min - 2hr
Travel Information

Departing from Berlin:

These trains depart from the lower level (tief) in Berlin Hbf.

Final Destination: Munchen; Frankfurt (Main); Augsburg or Wien

All trains also call at: Berlin Sudkreuz - which is to the south of the city centre

Connections are available at Berlin Sudkreuz from S-Bahn trains from the eastern and western edges of the city centre, as well as S-Bahn (local) trains from Brandenburger Tor and Postdamer Platz and Anhalter stations.

S-Bahn trains on line S45 now also link Brandemburg Airport to Sudkreuz.

Check your connections in Berlin on this public transport map.

The trains
Multiple types of of ICE trains are used on this route, but the ICE 4 trains are most common, with the ICE 1 trains used on the fewest number of departures.


TBook early and save: Yes

Online bookings usually open: up to 6 months ahead of the travel date - but this period of time is shorter when looking up journeys in August to October.

A choice of tickets

Four types of tickets are available:
Two types of discounted tickets, which will be cheaper the further ahead you book - Sparpreis and Super Sparpreis
Two types of non-discounted ticket - Flexpreis and Flexpreis Plus

A key difference between these types of tickets is refunds:

  • Super Sparpreis tickets are cheapest, but they can't be refunded at all.
  • Sparpreis tickets can be refunded for a fee, but the refund will be in the form of travel vouchers to be used for alternative / future journeys.
  • Flexpreis and Flexpreis Plus tickets can be refunded at no additional charge.

The other key difference is that both types of Sparpreis tickets are only valid on the specific departures selected when booking, but both types of Flexpreis tickets live up to their name, as they can be used on any departure on your travel date.

Note that none of the tickets can be exchanged to a different departure.
There's no need for this to be available for Flexpreis tickets, as they aren't train departure specific.
If you book a Sparpreis ticket and want to travel by a different departure you can refund it and then use the travel voucher towards the cost of the new booking.
Super Sparpreis tickets can't be exchanged or refunded.

The Sparpreis, Flexpreis and Flexpreis Plus tickets also include 'City tickets', which can be used on public transport between locations in the city centre and the stations in Berlin and Erfurt.

Seat reservations

Seat reservations are optional on ICE trains for journeys within Germany.
They cost €4.90 when travelling in 2nd Class and €5.90 when travelling in 1st class.
Specific seats can be selected from seating plans - you don't have to accept the seat(s) that you will be automatically offered.

They are included within the cost of booking 1st class Flexpreis tickets and both 1st and 2nd class Flexpreis Plus tickets.
Though despite seats being automatically assigned when booking these three types of ticket - and these tickets being valid on any departure, you will need to pay to re-book the reservations, if you subsequently decide to travel on an alternative train.
So because you won't save by booking these types of tickets in advance, it can be a good idea to wait until you are sure when you will want to travel.

When booking Super Sparpreis, Sparpreis and 2nd class Flexpreis tickets, you have the option of purchasing seat reservations later.
It can be worth re-looking up a journey a week or two ahead of travel, because the DB website will indicate how busy a departure will be.

1st Class tickets

No matter what type of ticket booked, if you choose to travel 1st class, you will have access to the same seating areas on the train, ICE trains do not have Business or Executive lounges.
Though only those who have booked 1st class Flexpreis or Flexpreis Plus tickets can access the DB Lounges at the major stations.

Booking on the DB website

You can find these direct trains more easily by making a proactive selection of 'Direct Trains Only'.

Trains departing at different times can be cheaper than others leaving on the same day, so if you can be flexible with your departure time use the 'best prices' tool - at the top right on the list of journey options.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
DB from €17.90

DB Guide

DB is the national railway operator in Germany, so its website can be used for booking journeys by German express trains; the ICE and IC trains and it doesn't charge booking fees.
It also sells tickets for journeys by direct trains on all international routes from Germany regardless of whether DB is operating the train service.

It also sells an extensive range of end-to-end journeys which involve making connections both within Germany and in neighboring countries, but journeys between Germany and Britain cannot be booked on DB.

On journeys within Germany and on most international journeys from and to Germany on trains operated by DB:

  • For journeys by the express trains, EC. IC and ICE trains an adult (on German railways an adult is a person aged 15 and over) can take up to four children aged 6 - 14 with them at no additional charge.
  • Tickets need to be booked for children aged 0 - 5, but there is no charge for them.
  • Those aged 65 and over can take journeys at a discounted rate.
  • Dogs, which are too large to be placed in pet carriers, require tickets which cost 50% of the adult rate.

When booking both types of the discounted 'Sparpreis' tickets seat reservations are an optional extra, so need to be added when booking if you want an assigned seat(s).

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - NoHigh Speed (partial journey)

Good to Know

A mix of ICE trains are used on this route, but the ICE 3 trains are typically used on the fastest departures, with ICE 4 trains more often found on the departures which travel via Leipzig.
ICE-1 trains are also used on a few departures, particularly seemingly in the mornings, but the ICE-T trains can also be used

The trains with a journey time of around 1hr 40/45 mins take the direct route, but those with a journey time of around 2hrs travel via Leipzig; where they reverse direction.

Since the opening of the high speed line between Halle and Bamberg; Erfurt Hbf has become a major interchange station on the German rail network.

Primarily because the express trains from Berlin now inevitably take the high speed line, so other towns in Thuringia including Jena, Eisenach, Gotha and Weimar have lost most or all of their direct trains from Berlin.
Hence the usual need to make connections in Erfurt when travelling from the capital to these other towns and cities by train

Scenically this is a dull journey, but shortly after the trains on the direct route depart from Halle, they accelerate to more than 280 km/h as the remainder of the journey is on a high speed line.
Trains which divert off the direct route to travel via Leipzig, reach the high speed line around 10 minutes after they depart from there.
No matter which route the trains take, they will spend the final 40 minutes of the journey travelling at high speed.

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