Crossing the Kiel Canal at Rendsburg

Hamburg to Aarhus by train

How to take the rail journey Hamburg to Aarhus

Taking this train across Jutland is also the first stage of a no-fly route from northern Germany to Norway.



From Hamburg Hbf to Aarhus H

Journey Summary

Travel Time
4hr 26min
Travel Information

These trains are usually scheduled to depart daily from Hamburg Hbf at 10:53 and 14:50; though from June 18th to August 21st they will be departing at 08:56 and 16:32.

On German rail timetables and on the station info, these trains are referred to IC trains, but Danish IC trains and not German trains are used on this route.

Final Destination: Aarhus
Connect in Aarhus for trains on to Aalborg

All trains also call at: Hamburg -Dammtor; Flensburg and Frederica; make connections at Frederica if you're heading to Esbjerg

2 x trains per day


Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 3 months ahead of the travel date

Seat Reservations from mid June until early Sept:

Between theses dates reservations are compulsory on these trains, the reservations SHOULD automatically be included when booking both 1st AND 2nd class tickets.

Rail Pass users will need to have made seat reservations prior to boarding.

Seat Reservations on other dates:

Book 1st class ticket journey tickets and your seat reservation is included - but they're optional when booking 2nd class tickets, or if you will be travelling with a 1st or 2nd class rail pass.

Though we recommend paying the reservation fees of €4.50 in 2nd class (and €5.90 in 1st class if you will be using a rail pass) as these can be busy trains, particularly on Fridays - Sundays.

Finding Tickets:

On the DB booking site look for journeys that have 0 in the Chg. column.

Our step-by-step guide to booking train tickets on the DB (German national railways) website is available HERE.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
DB Bahn from €29.90

DB Bahn 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.

A key feature of DB website worth keeping mind is that it offers 1st class ticket purchasers complimentary seat reservations on journeys both within and to/from Germany.

Seat reservations for daytime in both 1st and 2nd class can also be booked separately from tickets.

On this journey

Good to Know

Germany to Norway by train and ferry from Hamburg:

Until June 16th
the summer schedule will be available from June 17th

Option 1: arriving in Oslo the next morning on a ferry from Kiel

The daily ferry operated by Color Line typically departs Kiel daily at 14:00 and arrives the next day into Oslo at 10:00.

There are the are two Regio trains per hour from Hamburg to Kiel, but the ICE train which typically departs Hamburg hbf daily at 11:39 connects with the ferry

Option 2: arriving in Oslo the next morning, on an overnight train from the ferry port in Norway

  1. Take the 10:53 train to Aarhus
  2. The typical schedule has a 30 min connection in Aarhus for the 15:50 departure to Aalborg st (the train will make multiple stops in Aalborg, but Aalborg st is the first station call in the city).
  3. At Aalborg st the typical schedule has a 26 min connection into the 18:09 train which will be heading to Skagen, leave this train when it arrives at Hjoerring st (take care not to leave the train at the prior station call, Hjoerring Ost st)
  4. At Hjoerring st the typical schedule has a 13 min* connection into the 19:02 train to Hirtshals st, which is due to arrive there at 19:24. (*= following train departs Hjoerring st at 20:04 and arrives in Hirtshals st at 20:24).
  5. The ferry to Kristiansand operated by Color Line is typically scheduled to depart from Hirsthals at 20:45.
    In Hirtshals station, a walkway by the rear of the trains, links the station to the Color Line ferry terminal.
  6. The ferry is scheduled to arrive in Kristiansand at 23:59, and the overnight train to Oslo is typically scheduled to depart from Kristiansand station, a 10 min walk from the ferry, at 02:22 and arrive in Oslo S station at 07:26.

Option 3: arriving in Stavanger on an overnight ferry from Denmark

  • Hamburg Hbf at 08:53 → Kolding st
  • Kolding at 12:31 to Aarhus
  • Aarhus at 14:50 → Aalborg
  • Aalborg at 16:44 → to Hirtshals st, arriving at 17:50.
    The usual transfer time in Aalborg will be 6 mins, so if need be take the following train which will be heading to Skagen and connect in Hjoerring st for Hirtshals with an arrival there at 18:19.
    On Saturdays and Sundays the direct train from Aalborg to Hirtshals won't be available, but by taking a train to Hjoerring st and connecting there the arrival time in Hirtshals st will be between 18:20 and 18:30.

The ferry to Stavanger operated by Fjordline is typically due to depart from Hirtshals at 20:00 and arrive in Stavanger the next morning at 06:30, but the Fjordline terminal is some distance from the railway station.
It seems as though a local bus service will depart Hirtshals station at 18:30 and arrive at the ferry terminal at 18:45, but this should be confirmed in advance.
Another option will be to book a local taxi prior to arrival in Hirtshals.
The Fjordline website suggests leaving the train at Lilleheden st, the stop before Hirtshals, to walk to the ferry terminal, but it is a 2km hike through an industrial area.

Option 4: taking the overnight ferry from Kobenhavn/Copenhagen to Oslo

Option 5: taking a train to Oslo with an overnight stay in Kobenhavn/Copenhagen.
For details of options 4 and 5, take a look at the Hamburg to Kobenhavn/Copenhagen journey guide.

Crossing the Kiel Canal at Rendsburg Crossing the Kiel Canal at Rendsburg
The descent from the bridge is on a 360 degree loop The descent from the bridge is on a 360 degree loop
The view over the town as the train ascends towards the bridge The view over the town as the train ascends towards the bridge
Departing from Flensburg Departing from Flensburg

It's not a scenic journey, but look out for the spectacular crossing over the Rendsburg High Bridge just before the train arrives there.

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