There isn't a high speed line between Hamburg and the German capital, but the 'classic railway' has been re-engineered to enable the ICE trains to travel at up to 230 km/h; which is the highest speed in Europe achieved for a sustained length of time on a line that hasn't been specifically constructed for high-speed.
Departing from Hamburg:
Most of these trains commence their journeys at Hamburg-Altona station and then call at Hamburg-Dammtor before they arrive at Hamburg Hbf.
So it can be a good idea to look up the starting point of your journey and then book tickets from the most convenient station; only Hamburg Hbf has connections with the U-Bahn (subway).
Arriving in Berlin:
All trains also call at: Berlin-Spandau
If your final destination in West Berlin it's likely that your best option is to leave these trains at Berlin-Spandau and make onward connections by S-Bahn or Regio trains to Zoologischer Garten station; the Regio trains will be faster.
1 or 2 x trains per hour
4 x trains per day
1 x train per day
Book early and save: Yes
Online bookings usually open: 6 months ahead of the travel date
The ticket prices for this route tend to depend on the time of day that you want to travel, rather than the type of train.
So the ICE trains are not automatically more expensive, despite being faster than the other trains.
On the DB booking site look for journeys that have:
Trains departing at different times can be cheaper than others leaving on the same day - so you may need to look through the day's departures to find the cheapest fares.
Use the earlier/later buttons to search for the cheapest ticket prices.
Book 1st class ticket journey tickets on DB Bahn 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.
Opting to reserve is particularly recommended if you will be travelling at business hours and/or during the day on Fridays and Sundays.
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
|DB Bahn||from 17.90|
|Save A Train||from €17.90|
|Happy rail||from €1790|
|Omio||from €17.90 approx (in £s)|
The Hamburg to Berlin journey by train has been transformed for the better in recent years as the service used to be shared by ICE trains and IC trains; because it isn't a high-speed route, but the IC trains have now been replaced by additional ICE departures, virtually all of which are non-stop from Hamburg Hbf to Berlin-Spandau and therefore take around 1hr 45mins to travel from city center to city center.
Until 12:51 (typically), there are also four EC trains, departing every two hours, which are Czech trains heading to Prag/Prague.
There is one IC train remaining on the route as direct train service has been provided between Westerland and Berlin, and this train usually departs from Hamburg Hbf at 17:51
Final Destination: Berlin Hbf or Leipzig
In contrast to the other rail services on the Hamburg to Berlin route, the Flix trains only depart from the main station in Hamburg.
Arrival in Berlin:
In addition to the central station Berlin HBf, some of these Flix trains also arrive at Berlin-Charlottenburg which is located in West Berlin.
Online bookings usually open: up to 3 months ahead
Something to be aware of when booking tickets for journeys by FlixTrain is that Flix is predominantly a bus operator, so the train travel options for booking tickets are listed alongside the bus travel options; also some of the info around ticket exchanges and FAQs in general can point at the FlixBus website.
To make a it easier to hone in on a train journey it can be a good idea to look up the timetables to check the departure times which suit and then keep these times in mind looking for your rail ticket(s).
Much of the general advice around booking and using rail tickets in Germany doesn't apply to journeys by FlixTrain.
Tickets booked with DB, the German national rail operator, can't be used on FlixTrains, as Flix has used its own terms and conditions and set its own policies for how its tickets can be booked and used.
What are particularly different from DB is the reservation / seat selection on FlixTrain and how tickets can be exchanged (how tickets can be exchanged on FlixTrain also applies to FlixBus).
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
The first departure of the day on Friday to Sunday is slower than the other departures by around 40 mins.
Final Destination: Hamburg-Altona or Kiel
All trains also call at: Berlin-Spandau; Hamburg-Harburg
Some trains also call at: Berlin-Sudkreuz; Hamburg-Damtor
At Berlin Hbf the train should depart from the lower level (tief) platforms/gleis.
Check the location of your final destination in Hamburg before booking.
The trains from Berlin also serve three other stations in Hamburg other than Hamburg Hbf, so one of these other stations may suit you better.
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