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Alcohol allowed on trains?

This might be an obvious question, but are passengers allowed to bring a bottle of wine or beer to drink with lunch/dinner on a train? Edited to add: yes, I should probably mention our train journeys. We are going Brussels-Bruges (roundtrip), Berlin-Prague, Prague-Munich, and Munich-Amsterdam (overnight)

Posted by
4637 posts

Yes. You can even drink it in your compartment. But obviously they won't allow you to bring it into dining car, the same they usually don't allow to bring your own alcohol or food into a restaurant.

Posted by
33142 posts

Not a completely unqualified "yes". In which country? The OP has been less than completely specific. For example, in the UK "dry" trains are often run on specific company trains on football days or other sporting fixtures.

Posted by
7209 posts

Whatever you do, do NOT bring beer onto ANY train in Germany nor should you EVER bring a bottle of wine on an Italian train. Last but not least - NEVER EVER bring a Lindt chocolate bar aboard a Swiss Train! ;-)

Posted by
265 posts

In local city transportation such as S-bahn, it's often not allowed. Also, it's not allowed in Norway. But rest of Europe should be OK.

Posted by
9106 posts

On Dutch trains, Alcohol is permitted, but eating is not(everyone does it anyways). I'm not certain what the exact rules are for Germany trains, but drinking seems to be common practice on lots of trains I've ridden; from S-Bahn all the up ICE.

Posted by
23437 posts

I think Tim is having fun with the board. We have more than once had our picnic lunch on an Italian train with a bottle of wine, and no one said anything or even looked at us in a disapproving way. Same for once on a Spanish IC train.

Posted by
19156 posts

Two years ago, I bought a bottle of bier in the club car on an ICE between Köln and Hannover. I drank it there so I wouldn't have to share it with the others in the coach, but they didn't indicate that I couldn't take it back with me. . . . . ¶ For some passengers (sleeper compartments, I believe. Maybe only 1st class) they even provide you with a bottle of wine when you board.

Posted by
873 posts

Tim, I'll make sure I bring beer on the Swiss train, wine on the German train, and chocolate on the Italian train. And, I guess, work Italy and Switzerland into my intinerary. Whew.

Posted by
7209 posts

Europe is so much more laid back than the USA...especially in riding trains and bringing picnics and bottles of wine on board with you. It's just "the way things are done" there. Yes, by all means bring picnics, wine and especially chocolate!

Posted by
4411 posts

Ohhhhh, yeah! Be sure to bring something to drink them out of (airplane cups saved from the trip over are great...you may be on the lookout for something better). Don't fill your glasses full - remember the trains start, stop, and do a certain amount of rocking...you might want to split the beer bottles with someone else for this reason (and a 1/2 full bottle will slide off the table, too)

Posted by
5678 posts

I will always remember my train trip from Stuttgart to Athens back in the 70's. I thought it was a 22 hour trip and it was really a 46 hour trip. I brought a great bottle of wine with me, but no water. ; ) Pam

Posted by
873 posts

Eileen, how about I steal a mug from the Hofbrauhaus like a friend of mine did? :-P

Posted by
12172 posts

Eileen, Definitely the voice of experience. :)......................... Anna, Bringing a picnic that includes wine or beer is generally fine....... Being completely blitzed on the train is likely to earn you some stares and in some circumstances get you tossed (although after Oktoberfest, and before or after football matches, blitzed seems to be the preferred mode of travel).

Posted by
7209 posts

Why would anybody want to steal a mug from the Hofbrauhaus? There is an attached giftshop where you can buy all sorts of souvenirs including mugs - without stealing!

Posted by
873 posts

Tim, something tells me it wasn't a sober decision.

Posted by
81 posts

It was a dare thing. It was years ago. They can have it back it they really want it. I am glad to know I was not the only one that left the premises with a bulge in my jacket. Beer definately tastes better in it though.

Posted by
2829 posts

As for The Netherlands, where I am living now: it IS allowed to eat and drink on inter city trains. They even have trash bins near the seats. However, it is not allowed to be drunk or unruly. On certain dates (like major holidays or parties) they ban alcohol on board. It IS NOT allowed to drink alcohol in local buses, trams and subways. You can get fined for that or, more common, being denied boarding a bus or tram with an open container or food in you hand (ice-cream, a snack etc). GVV in Amsterdam area is quite harsh about fining people who drinks and eat in their vehicles.

Posted by
4411 posts

Rudy, I'm sure if you wrote them and asked for a R/T ticket in order to return the mug,...;-).........No, no craziness on the train; "experience", yes - just a little wine or a beer or two. I'm no crazy drunken Irish soccer fan.........And Tim will be glad to know that I DID purchase my Oktoberfest 2006 .5L mug, and my Oktoberfest tastes zehr yummy in it......[the 1L Salzburg Augustiner will come out this weekend for the keg - "O'zapft is!" ;-)]

Posted by
9106 posts

Andre, the ban against eating on Dutch trains was explained to me personally by one of the ticket collectors, and she further explained how it didn't apply to alcohol. Though as I said everyone does it anyways, and most all the merchants at the train stations specifically cater to people eating in trains.

Posted by
5678 posts

When my Dutch friends and I took the train from Edinburgh to Inverness we absolutely bought "supplies" in the train station. There was a Marks and Spencer that would sell us all the food drink (alcoholic) that we needed for a kick off to our vacation. Pam

Posted by
199 posts

I rode the ICE train from Wurzburg to Munich during Oktoberfest in 2002. There were some Germans on the train with at least 3 cases of beer. Considering how loud they were I would have to say they probably had 1 case left by the time they got to Munich. I say just be discreet and polite and you should be fine.

Posted by
337 posts

The private rail company "metronom" which has concessions for a few regional lines in the state of Lower Saxony (mainly Hamburg-Hanover-Göttingen, Hamburg-Bremen, Hamburg-Cuxhaven) has introduced the first (and as far as I know so far the only) "alcohol consumption and open alcohol container ban" in the German train system roughly one year ago. Because it is relatively well accepted and has resulted in substantial cost savings (cleaning and vandalism) it is seen wildly as a successful pilot project for regional trains and local transit authorities. For example the director of the Berlin-Brandenburg transit association VBB publicly proposed such a ban only four months ago.

Posted by
873 posts

The only thing worse than the Euro suddenly surging up in the next 4 weeks!

Posted by
2829 posts

I don't see a reason for people to whine about public consumption of alcohol on trains. While most would complaint about not being able to do what they parents did while backpacking in the 70's, I'm glad to see rail companies banning behaviors that are disruptive of others. Yes, a bunch of drunk youths that doesn't respect the silence carriage when you are trying to write emails on your BlackBerry Friday night is very annoying and no fun at all.

Posted by
182 posts

i thought it was mandatory. any train i have taken that was over an hour in length i have had some cheer. i have drank on all of the legs of your trip. have a great time, amsterdam, prague and munich are three of my favorites. bruges, what can you say, it looks like a fairy tale. have fun, be safe.

Posted by
33142 posts

The vast majority of problems that train conductors deal with - and which ruin the journey for the regular passengers just going from A to B - are down to alcohol (and to a much smaller degree drugs). I speak from the heart.

Posted by
4411 posts

I've yet to encounter one of those 'tailgate parties on rails' that I've seen on TV/movies - in my fairly extensive experience, there are just people drinking a beer or wine in their seats; no worse than people drinking on an airplane. Of course, there are those flights that end up with someone gagged and duct-taped to their seat...but that's pretty rare. Now I understand not allowing alcohol/drinks/food on 'local' transport - city buses, etc. - but one doesn't typically spend 4 hours riding the metro...hopefully ;-)

Posted by
337 posts

Eileen, here in Germany the problem on regional trains aren't "tailgate parties," but soccer fans traveling to away games. ..(line.break).. Just to be clear: the majority of soccer fans are regular people enjoying a sports game. Yes, they can get a little louder on a train, like every bigger group of travelers, but not in a problematic fashion. It's a train after all, not a library. ..(line.break).. But the sad reality is that there are always a portion of soccer fans who will get totally wasted and behave like jerks. They will drink truly huge amounts of alcohol on the train to get hammered. They will almost certainly litter and soil. They will often vandalize or behave in a threatening manner. They're the reason why people think that these bans are a good idea.

Posted by
4411 posts

stooopid drunks going to soccer games = 'tailgate parties'......any preamble to a game.........I've been on many trains FULL of soccer fans - before and after the game - and they were perfectly fine. One bad apple...

Posted by
2779 posts

Yes, unfortunately anybody can bring any alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) beverages onto the trains. In Poland your fellow passengers might even invite you to huge glass of vodka containing 40% or more of alcohol...

Posted by
873 posts

Andreas, I'm from Russia. They've got nothing on me :)

Posted by
12172 posts

Medical advice from our Polish taxi driver, "If you're feeling bad, hot tea with a shot of Vodka will cure you."