One of the few downsides of Berlin is that it is stuffed way up in the northeast corner. While people in Munich and Frankfurt are just an hour from many of Europe's premier cities, it takes a bit longer in Berlin.
Luckily, there are fantastic day trips within Germany and just a little bit further is another world-class city, Prague. Though a bit too far away for a day trip, people take the 4.5 hour train journey from Berlin to Prague everyday.
Train Travel in Europe
The German National Railway is called Deutsche Bahn, or DB for short, and connects many locations throughout Europe. Their website is available in English and allows for easy trip planning with clearly outlined fares.
German rail travel is also one of the best ways to travel the country. It is comfortable and easy and beautiful. Watch the gorgeous landscape roll by as you recline in relaxing accommodations.
Train from Berlin to Prague
This route often starts as far west as Amsterdam (although some begin in the north, like Hamburg). This hit list of cultural (and party) capitols means the train is often quite busy and full of tourists. On my last trip on this train, I heard English coming from every compartment.
The first train from Berlin to Prague departs bright and early at 6:46 in the morning and runs all day late into the evening (usually around 18:00). Many are direct trains that make the journey in about 4.5 hours, though some require a transfer and may take 6 hours.
Late trains are usually sleeper trains, although there are fewer of these than there once were. Since the journey is fairly short for a sleeper, it is smart to only use this option if you are starting from further away, like in Amsterdam. However, this would mean missing out on Berlin.
Note that the journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays. Use the DB trip planner for exact times, routes, fares and transfer points.
Berlin's Train Station
Trains may stop at other stations in Berlin, but the main station is the Hauptbahnhof (main train station). This is the biggest train station in Europe and is state-of-the-art (despite issues with its construction).
There is a DB tourist office (open 24/7) that can help answer questions on the first floor, plus a pharmacy, fast food and sit-down restaurants, supermarkets, ATMS and shops on site.
Address: Invalidenstrasse 10557 Berlin
Connections: S Bahn S5, S7, S75, S9; Bus 120, 123, 147, 240, 245
Prague's Train Station
The Prague Hlavni Nadrazi Train Station (Praha Hlavni Nadr) was opened in 1871 and is Prague's main train station. It has been recently renovated, but still retains its historic features like a dome and stained glass windows. There is a tourist office on the lower floor, as well as a pharmacy, fast food restaurants, supermarket, ATMS & shops on site.
Address: Wilsonova 8, New Town, Prague 2
Connections: Tram Lines 5, 9, 26, 55, 58
Options for Taking the Train from Berlin to Prague
The train journey from Berlin to Prague is a thing of beauty. Leaving the German capitol, look out the left side for glorious vignettes of village life along the Elbe and Vlatava rivers and stunning rock formations in Sachsen. The train also has a dining car to sustain you throughout the trip. A cart also comes through the cars with small supplies like coffee and sandwiches.
There are several different options for taking the train from Berlin to Prague. You will need to select between first and second class, what time you want to travel, and if you want to take a train, if you're ok with a detour, or if you want to take an overnight train.
- EuroCity Train - Average time: 4 hours 30 minutes; seat reservations are optional; Departs 8-14 times per day (depending on time of year)
Though seat reservations are optional for some trains, I highly recommend spending a few euros to confirm a seat. This route can be quite popular and you don't want to be left standing in the passageway.
Budget and Travel Tips for How to Get From Berlin to Prague by Train
The earlier you buy tickets, the cheaper they are. Trains are available for purchase as early as 90 days in advance with only a certain number of discount tickets. Once the cheapest (€19.90 one-way) have sold out, there will be more expensive discount tickets. Once those sell out, tickets will be regular price (around €129 one-way). Luckily, this route often has high availability of discount tickets.
Recommended Stops from Berlin to Prague
If you have to change trains, it is not a disaster. Dresden is a common place to change and is an ideal destination to stretch your legs for a few hours, or spend the night. Because trains depart for Prague so frequently, you can easily get an early start from Berlin, take a few hours in Dresden, and be in Prague before nightfall.
You can even stay the night in Dresden and continue on your journey the next day.