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Travel Info & Tips Euro 2024 By Train: the ultimate guide

Euro 2024 By Train: the ultimate guide

All that's good to know about travelling to Euro 2024 football tournament games in Germany by train.

| Last Updated: about 1 month ago
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Welcome to the guide to travelling around Germany by train during the Euro 2024 football tournament, which is being staged in Germany from June 14 to July 14.

The goal is for UEFA Euro 2024 to be as sustainable as possible, so getting to the games by train is integral to how the football tournament has been organized.
So even if taking the train wouldn't usually be your first choice, this guide is here to help you make those journeys as easily and as cheaply as possible.
And it also helps with choosing a base city in which to stay during the group games, when it will obviously make things easier.

A good place to start will be clicking on the name of the city, in which your team will be playing is first match - you can jump to it on the Contents Menu.
You'll find info on:

  • how to reach the stadiums from the rail stations,
  • details of last trains of the day, for heading back to another city post-game,
  • how to take the trains on to the other cities,
  • how to travel with the discounted rail tickets, which are only available to match ticket holders.

Instead of driving across Germany, for €39 you can be pressing a button and having an ice cold beer delivered to you in your comfortable, and reserved, 1st class seat, on a train that's travelling at more than 250 km/h!

Why the train will be the way to go during Euro 2024

Taking the train during Euro 2024 will often be the easier option, because:

  • Nine of the ten Euro 2024 stadiums have dedicated public transport stops - and the one which doesn't, Hamburg, has free shuttle buses to/from the nearest stations.
  • Taking a local train or super-tram between the main rail stations, aka the hauptbahnhofs, and the stadiums will be made as easy as possible - greater frequencies, dedicated routes, later services etc.
  • In all ten host cities, match ticket holders, will be able to obtain free public transport passes, which will be valid for 36 hours - so it won't cost anything to travel to and from the stadiums - and you can also have a free trip to another attraction!
  • Car parking will not be available at the stadiums in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Leipzig.
  • It's apparent that the match schedule has been arranged so that the need to travel long-distances has been minimised, for the supporters of many of the teams.

Train travel in Germany is in effect managed by the national rail operator DB and it is an official partner of Euro 2024.
Hence DB has put in place multiple special measures to make it easier to attend Euro 2024 by train:

  • Those who have match tickets can also book special discounted long-distance rail tickets which cost €29.90 in 2nd class and €39.90 in 1st class, no matter the distance! See the guide below on how to find them.
  • The public transport stops at each stadium have been made easier to find when looking up a journey on the DB website.
  • Up to 14 additional trains will be available daily, most of which will make it easier to travel overnight post-game, on to the next city on each team's schedule.
  • More seats will be available on existing services, the length of many trains will be doubled.
  • The major reconstruction works on the German rail network won't be occurring during the tournament.

And to make it easier to travel to and from Germany by train, with the option to stopover in fantastic locations - plus travel to/from any game - match ticket holders can also obtain special, discounted InterRail passes.

The train services in Germany

The front end view of an ICE 3 (403) train The front end view of an ICE 3 (403) train

Some need to know info is that the type of train you will be travelling by matters in Germany because it affects not only the journey experience, but also how tickets can be used.

The five types of train services in Germany, relevant to Euro 2024 are:

1: The iconic ICE trains
The ICE trains which typically, but not always, spend part of their journey travelling at more than 250 km/h on the high speed lines.
Good to know about these trains:

  • They have on board restaurant cars which can be accessed by all ticket holders.
  • There is a non-complimentary at seat catering service in 1st class, have a stein of beer etc delivered to you at your seat.
  • Discounted tickets are placed on sale; the DB Ticket Euro 2024 tickets are available for journey by ICE trains.
  • Seat reservations are available, but they are not mandatory.

2: The IC trains

The Intercity (IC) trains are long-distance express trains which aren't used on the high-speed routes.
Good to know about these trains:

  • The newer and now dominant Intercity 2 trains, only have catering trolleys, so have no on-board bars or restaurants.
  • Discounted tickets are placed on sale; the DB Ticket Euro 2024 tickets are also available for journey by IC trains.
  • Seat reservations are available, but they are not mandatory.

3: The Regio trains

Regio trains operate between these Euro 2024 host cities:

  • Cologne ↔ Dusseldorf
  • Cologne ↔ Dortmund
  • Dusseldorf ↔ Gelsenkirchen
  • Dusseldorf ↔ Dortmund
  • Dortmund ↔ Gelsenkirchen

Regio trains also call at the airport stations in Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt (Main) and Leipzig; and at the rail stations closest to the stadiums in Dortmund and Frankfurt (Main),

Good to know about these trains:

  • the 'RE' services are faster than the 'RB' services, because they call at fewer stations;
  • many of these trains aren't operated by the national rail operator DB, so have different external colour schemes and branding - but this doesn't affect how tickets can be used;
  • no on board catering or seat reservations;
  • tickets aren't discounted, so it doesn't matter that they can't be booked online;
  • if you buy a ticket last-minute at the station and don't pay an additional cost to travel by the IC or ICE trains, you will only be able to travel on the Regio and S-Bahn trains.

4: The S-Bahn
Good to know about these trains:

  • They call at all the stations on their routes; so are slower than Regio trains
  • The ticketing usage is the same as on the Regio trains
  • In the larger cities including Berlin, Frankfurt (Main), Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart, they are local/commuter train services - similar to the Overground in London and the RER in Paris. The stadiums in Berlin, Frankfurt (Main), Hamburg and Stuttgart are connected to the city centres by S-Bahn services.
  • In the areas where the cities are close together, they travel between them - but are slower than the Regio trains as they don't skip stations.
    S-Bahn trains operate between these Euro 2024 host cities:
  • Cologne ↔ Dusseldorf
  • Dusseldorf ↔ Gelsenkirchen
  • Dusseldorf ↔ Dortmund
  • Dortmund ↔ Gelsenkirchen

5: The U-Bahn
There are two types of what are known as U-Bahn services - which are local rail services managed by the cities or regions that they serve:
(1) Fast tram services, which can use tunnels to cross city centres - and often travel on railways rather than on the roads when they get nearer to the stadiums.
(2) Subway style trains, as used in Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt (Main) and Munich; in these cities the trams are separate to the U-Bahn services.
The stadiums in Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Gelsenkirchen and Munich are connected to the city centres by U-Bahn services.

To and from Germany by train

In summary these direct rail journeys are available between each participating country and the host cities of Euro 2024:

  • Berlin ↔ Amsterdam, Basel, Bratislava, Budapest, Copenhagen, Innsbruck, Prague, Paris and Vienna.
  • Cologne ↔ Amsterdam, Basel, Brussels, Innsbruck, Paris, Salzburg and Vienna
  • Dortmund ↔ Basel, Paris and Vienna
  • Dusseldorf ↔ Amsterdam, Basel, Paris, Salzburg and Vienna
  • Frankfurt (Main) ↔ Amsterdam, Brussels, Basel, Innsbruck, Lyon, Marseille, Milan, Paris, Salzburg, Vienna and Zurich
  • Hamburg ↔ Basel, Bratislava, Budapest, Copenhagen, Innsbruck, Prague and Vienna
  • Munich ↔ Amsterdam, Budapest, Florence, Innsbruck, Ljubljana, Milan, Paris, Prague, Salzburg, Venice, Verona, Vienna, Zagreb and Zurich
  • Stuttgart ↔ Budapest, Innsbruck, Ljubljana, Paris, Salzburg, Venice, Vienna, Zagreb and Zurich

The special rail tickets for Euro 2024

Booking the DB ticket Euro 2024 Booking the DB ticket Euro 2024

Those with match tickets are able to access a special type of ticket, the DB Ticket Euro 2024 for travel by ICE and IC train to the host city of the corresponding game - the train conductor will ask to see the rail ticket and the match ticket.
Though the tickets have limited availability per departure, so for the widest possible choice of trains to the group matches, it will be best to book as far in advance as possible.

The key plus of these tickets is that they have a flat rate price for a one-way trip of €29.90 in 2nd class and €39.90 in 1st class.
If when looking up a journey on DB, there are tickets available at a cheaper price than €29.90 in 2nd class and €39.90 in 1st class, they will be offered as an alternative.

But when the cheapest prices of the usual rail tickets have sold out, these Euro 2024 tickets obviously become the cheapest option.
So there will likely be the potential to make big savings when booking tickets for travel on to the games in the knock out phase - though it'll be best to book these as soon as you know your team will be marching onwards, because of the limited availability per departure.

seat reservations

The 1st class tickets include a seat reservation, which otherwise costs €5.90, but seat reservations are not included when booking the 2nd class DB Ticket Euro 2024 tickets - and a 2nd class seat reservation has an additional charge of €4:90.
If you don't reserve it will be possible to board a train with a 2nd class DB Ticket Euro 2024 ticket to find that no seats are available.
Note that once you factor in the reservation, the additional cost of a 1st class DB Ticket Euro 2024 ticket is only €5-6 - for longer journeys this will be worth every cent!

core terms and conditions

These Euro 2024 tickets cannot be exchanged or refunded - so book your accommodation before you arrange the rail travel.
Up to four children aged 6 to 14 can travel with for free of charge with someone aged 15 and over who has purchased a Euro 2024 ticket.

book to travel on to the stadiums

To make the journeys to the stations / public transport stops by the stadiums easier to book, a dedicated journey look up service has been created.
It shows the names of the stations / stops closest to the stadiums in each of the Euro 2024 cities.
That's because the the DB Ticket Euro 2024 ticket can include the transfer on to the stops by the stadiums.
Though something to look out for, is that to book the DB Ticket Euro 2024 ticket, you need to

  • copy the name of the stop
  • scroll up the page and click on the red 'Jetzt Ticket buchen' button
  • then follow its booking path - see the instructions below
    If you instead click on the name of the stadium stop, it will be included as the destination on DB's standard booking screen - but if you then proceed, you seemingly won't see the DB Ticket Euro 2024 offer.

Booking the tickets - Step One

Booking the DB Ticket Euro 2024 Booking the DB Ticket Euro 2024

The DB Ticket Euro 2024 offer can seemingly only be booked if the booking path is accessed from this special page on the DB website - DB is the national rail operator in Germany.
Clicking the red 'Jetzt Ticket buchen' button is apparently a crucial step to accessing the special tickets.

The page is only seemingly available in German, but something to note is that the page only makes reference to 2nd class tickets at a price of €29.90, but 1st class tickets are available at a price of €39.90.

Booking the tickets - Step Two

booking the DB Ticket Euro 2024 offer booking the DB Ticket Euro 2024 offer

Clicking on the red 'Jetzt Ticket buchen' button will take you to a mirror of the standard DB ticket search home page.
The key things to note are:
1 - Choose the main station in the city in which your journey will be commencing
2 - If you want to travel direct to a stadium, you can find the name of the closest stop on this page - copy and paste the name of the stop into the 'To' box
3. If you choose a date during the tournament, from June 14 to July 14 inclusive, you will be able to access the offer
4. Use this tool if more than one person will be travelling together etc.
5. 2nd class will be the default, but if you want book the 1st class offer, you will need to proactively select 1st class here - this is the only path to accessing the 1st class offer.

Booking the tickets - Step Three

booking the DB Ticket Euro 2024 offer booking the DB Ticket Euro 2024 offer

If the DB Ticket Euro 2024 is the cheapest price for each travel option, you will see the €29.90 or €39.90 prices over on the right - but if the usual ticket price is cheaper, you will see that instead.
Note that the offer price will be made available for travel by direct trains and for journeys with connections; the connections are indicated by breaks - as highlighted in green.

Booking the tickets - Step Four

booking the DB Ticket Euro 2024 offer booking the DB Ticket Euro 2024 offer

Clicking on the red 'Continue' buttons will take you to the ticket type selection page - and one of the options should be the DB Ticket Euro 2024.

The InterRail Offer for Euro 2024

Those with Euro 2024 match tickets will be able to obtain a 25% discount on InterRail passes, so that the passes can be used to travel to and from Germany - in addition to taking the train for journeys within Germany.

The usual German rail tickets

If you won't have match tickets for games in the cities that you will be travelling to, the key things worth knowing about the usual tickets to travel on trains in Germany are:

  • Tickets for the ICE and IC trains can be booked online and are already available for travel during the tournament.
  • Tickets for the Regio and S-Bahn trains can be purchased at the station on the day of travel, but if you don't specify that you want to travel by ICE or IC train, you won't be able to travel by those other train services - so you can't just hop on the next train to depart.
  • Because tickets booked last minute at the station for travel by the IC and ICE trains will be more expensive than those which can be used on the Regio and S-Bahn trains.
  • Discounted tickets, branded 'Sparpreis' and the cheaper 'Super Sparpreis', are made available for travel on the ICE and IC trains - the further in advance of the travel date that they are booked, the cheaper they will be.
  • Up to four children aged 6 to 14 can travel with for free of charge with someone aged 15 and over who has purchased either type of Sparpreis ticket
  • Those aged 15 and older pay the adult rate and there is no charge for those aged 5 and under.
  • Those aged 65 and over can travel at a discounted rate.
Author

Simon Harper

I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.

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