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do we need train reservations?

Can anyone tell me whether it is necessary to have train reservations in Germany at the end of July?

We are traveling from Hamburg to Heidelberg, Heidelberg to Munich, Munich to Fussen, Munich to Rothenburg, Rothenburg to Eisenach, Eisenach to Dresden, Dresden to Berlin.

Right now I am considering making reservations for the train from Hamburg to Heidelberg as we are planning to take a 6 a.m. train and the trip is long (so we don't want to be stuck standing!) The rest I am thinking of hoping for the best.
We are a group of 4 (but don't necessarily need to all sit together) and will be traveling on second class rail passes if that makes any difference.

Posted by
15 posts

To clarify, it would be the last two weeks of July. From what I know, there don't seem to be any major festivals/holidays going on, but I am wondering how busy the trains are with tourists, etc. in general at that time of year.

Posted by
19149 posts

I have been on about 200 trains in Germany in the last eight years, never with a reservation. The only time I could not find a seat was Dec. 26 (a BIG holiday, 2nd day of Christmas). All the seats on the train were taken, but only about half were reserved. If I had made a reservation at the time I bought my ticket I would have had a seat.

Reserve your seats when you get to Hamburg and you should be find.

For Munich to Füssen and Rothenburg, you don't need to use a railpass day. All four of you can travel for €27 (total, €6,75 each) on a Bayern-Ticket.

Posted by
29 posts

If it were during Oktoberfest( especially on the weekends),yes! Trains were full entering and leaving Munich when we were there in Sept/Oct. 2007.

Posted by
2297 posts

Friday afternoons I would most certainly make a reservation. I've seen some VERY crowded trains where even standing room was scarce. On any other day you'll be probably just fine without one.