The main street entrance to Dresden Hbf looking down from gleis 17

Frankfurt to Dresden by train

How to take the rail journey from Frankfurt (Main) to Dresden

ICE trains are used for the journey between Frankfurt and Dresden, but despite the distance they spend only a small percentage of the travel time on a high speed line.



From Frankfurt Main Hbf to Dresden Hbf

Travel Information

Final Destination: Dresden

All trains also call at: Leipzig

These direct trains to Dresden are usually scheduled to depart from Frankfurt (Main) in odd hours.

If the departure times don't suit, alternative indirect connections will be available, the easiest of which involve changing trains in Leipzig.

1 x train every other hour


Book 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.

When travelling to and from the major cities, the Sparpreis, Flexpreis and Flexpreis Plus tickets also include 'City tickets', which can be used on public transport between locations in the city centres of Frankfurt / Dresden and the stations where the trains depart and arrive.

Seat reservations

Seat reservations are optional on ICE trains for journeys within Germany - take note if you will be using a rail pass.
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 trains more easily by making a proactive selection of 'Direct Trains Only'.

Or to see all the combinations of trains and journey options, some of which may be cheaper, take off the 'fastest connections' default.

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).

Omio from €17.90

Omio Guide

Omio is an online ticket agency which offers tickets for rail journeys in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain.

The three key advantages of using Omio are

  • it offers prices in multiple currencies
  • it usually offers price comparison with other modes of travel including flights and buses
  • when visiting Europe, you can book journeys in multiple countries in one transaction.

The disadvantage of booking with Omio is that it often adds a booking fee to the final price; therefore when it does so without offering a price advantage, SMTJ doesn't tend to offer Omio as a booking option.

Save A Train from €17.90

Save A Train Guide

Happy rail from €17.90

Happy rail Guide

Happy Rail is a Netherlands rail ticket agency which sells tickets for both national and international journeys within a range of countries including Belgium France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland.

HappyRail doesn't charge booking fees in the conventional sense, but if you're not Dutch you can expect to pay additional transaction fees, which will be added to the total cost.
That's because the most common form of online payment used in The Netherlands is 'iDEAL' and HappyRail doesn't charge a transaction fee for 'iDEAL' payments, but only Dutch residents can sign up to 'iDEAL'.
Other forms of payment include Visa debit cards will incur a fee.

On this journey

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