Whether you're planning a day trip or heading off on vacation by bike - by train you're flexible and, above all, sustainable. To make sure you're on the right track, here are a few tips.

Better to be early

Did you know, that you can book a ticket for you and the bike up to six months before your trip?

On bahn.de or in the DB Navigator app to do this, click on the box "Show only connections for bicycle transport". This way, you can buy your bike ticket, the parking space reservation for the long-distance train, and the digital ticket in one go. And if you book early, you can also take advantage of special savings prices on long-distance trains. On long-distance trains operated by Deutsche Bahn, you can take your bicycle on special bicycle parking spaces on all Intercity and Eurocity trains and on an increasing number of ICE trains, but you must make a reservation in advance.

If you are not traveling long distancebut in the local traffic of the Deutsche Bahn, then you can buy your bike day ticket online in this Ticketshopat the ticket vending machine or at the DB Reisezentrum. Parking spaces cannot be reserved on local trains. You can also find all information about taking bicycles on the train and about tickets at www.bahn.de/fahrrad.

You can safely park your bikes in the bike parking areas
You can safely park your bikes in the bicycle stands - for example in the ICE 4 © Deutsche Bahn AG / Tobias Gromatzki

Last minute long distance

For those on short notice, who want to use a long-distance connection, there is the express reservation. Even if the train has already departed from the departure station, you can make a reservation up to ten minutes before the scheduled departure of the train at the boarding station - provided that there are still free bicycle parking spaces available. Express reservations can be made at DB Reisezentrum, DB agencies or by calling 030 - 2970, not online. It is not possible to purchase bicycle tickets and reserve bicycle parking spaces on board from train attendants.

Whether you can transport the bike on the local train, depends on how crowded it already is on the train. There is no parking reservation, only the bike ticket. As many cyclists as possible will be taken along - if it should get crowded, safety has priority. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that bicycles will be taken along. Please give way to baby carriages and wheelchairs. In some regions, additional baggage cars are used on busy routes, especially on weekends in the summer months, to avoid crowding on the train. Especially on tourist routes, trains are often very crowded. Therefore, it is always advisable to check in advance whether you really choose one of the busy routes on a sunny holiday or rather look for a quieter alternative route.

Special bike compartments are available for you on local trains
Special bicycle compartments are available on local trains © Deutsche Bahn / Pablo Castagnola

Exceptions confirm the rule, even with the railroadsThat is why it is important to know: Bicycle transport on local trains is regulated differently in the transport associations. In some, there are blackout periods for bicycle transport, e.g. during rush hour. In addition, the prices for bicycle transport in the transport associations usually differ from the tariffs of Deutsche Bahn. You can find the tariff of your association at  railroad.com

How to: get in, sort, get out

Compares on the platform in time before the arrival of the long-distance train, the carriage number of the reserved bicycle parking space with the carriage order. This is because the bicycle parking spaces are not always at the end of the train, they can also be distributed among several carriages. The carriage status indicator on the platform shows in which section the train sections with bicycle symbol are located. The apps DB Navigator and DB Bahnhof provide information about the respective carriage order.

How to position yourself correctly on the platform - and avoids hectic and stress when boarding the long-distance train. Tip: To make it easier to load and park your bike, take luggage items such as saddlebags off your bike before the train arrives.

Before boarding the train, you should check where the part of the train with the bicycle parking spaces is located © Deutsche Bahn AG

You can also usually find space for your bike on local transport. Many of these trains are equipped with multi-purpose compartments for bicycles and cyclists. The bicycle symbol on the outside of the vehicle will show you the way. As a rule, these compartments are located at the beginning or end of the train. Bicycles can also be parked in the boarding areas of commuter trains - but be careful not to obstruct other passengers getting on and off. The best thing to do is to discuss with the other cyclists on the train who will get off and when. This way you can sort the bikes in the order of the respective exit stations to avoid crowding.

With Deutsche Bahn's bicycle transport options, nothing stands in the way of a relaxed cycling vacation © Deutsche Bahn AG / Arne Lesmann

Cycling vacations without own bike

The Allgemeine Deutsche Fahrrad-Club e.V. (ADFC) is mobility partner of Deutsche Bahn and recommends you on www.adfc-radtourismus.de numerous routes and cycling regions and also provides tips on rail travel and e-bike rental stations along the routes. Instead of bringing your own bike, why not rent one, for example an e-bike? This way you can cycle long tours in comfort, discover more and take on every hill and stiff breeze - and travel light. For northeastern Germany, there's the "DB Ausflug" app, which only suggests bike tours with a corresponding bike rental along the route.

Arrived at your destination you can get right on the saddle - have fun on your bike tour
Once you arrive at your destination, you can get right on the saddle - have fun on your bike tour © Deutsche Bahn AG / Georg Wagner

Cover photo: Taking your bike on vacation - the ICE 4 also has reservable bicycle stands © Deutsche Bahn AG / Volker Emersleben

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