Despite the fact that the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, there's still been a bit of an invisible wall with regards to train travel between east and west. Getting from Germany to Poland by rail has always been a popular route. However services coming back the other way have been thin on the ground. Until 2018, with a new range of cross-border rail tickets being introduced.
EuroCity is not a name that is so well known on the European rail network, but it should be, given that its trains link fifteen Polish cities with Germany and beyond. Two of the most popular routes are Gdańsk to Berlin and Warsaw to Berlin, of course, linking two fine capital cities at some fine prices.
There are in fact over a hundred services a day over this border, many of which cross at Frankfurt-an-der-Oder. And yes, there are two Frankfurts in Germany - a useful one for your pub quiz. Another good fact to file away is that although these tickets are released six months in advance, the best value fares are released only sixty days before travel. And these can be super cheap fares too so, unlike some other European routes, you can bide your time booking these trips to Poland or to Germany.
Top Poland to Germany train routes
Warsaw to Berlin isn’t the fastest train journey in the world, at 6.5 hrs, but it is fascinating. The Polish capital boasts an historic UNESCO old town where 17th century houses overlook markets and cafe life. Travel in either an open plan carriage or a traditional six seater compartment on this route, with an option to choose either when you book. Arriving into Berlin is always exciting and needs little introduction. It is worth noting that children under 15 travel free on these routes going into Germany, as that is the German norm. No better way to take your teens on a cultural trip of a lifetime.
Gdańsk to Berlin is a 5.5 hrs journey on board a direct Eurocity train which goes once a day between this historic Polish port city and the German capital. Gdansk has a very different feel to the rest of Poland, with its Baltic maritime and merchant history. Its destruction during World War II has led to the creation of a whole new wave of contemporary architecture, making this one of Poland’s cultural and coastal hubs.
Wroclaw to Berlin by rail is just over four hours and links Germany with another of Poland’s great historic cities. Wroclaw is celebrated not only for its cultural events and medieval central square, but also its stunning riverside location. As well as over a hundred bridges, the River Odra boasts many islands, one of which is home to a cathedral. Quirkily, Wroclaw it is also home to Poland’s largest model railway. This is a superb day trip, although if you are going from east to west and heading off early, bring your own food. There is no buffet car on board this one at present. Note: the new Wroclaw to Berlin train journey isn’t available until 9 December 2018 but you can set up a booking alert for when the route goes live.
Other European routes: Poland to London, Amsterdam and Strasbourg by train
Other great routes you may want to consider are Poland to England, the Netherlands and France by train. For example, you can now travel from Wroclaw to London in a day, albeit a long day. Travelling through Germany with changes in Berlin, Hanover and Cologne, the last leg to England is from Brussels. Book it all here for an easy yet extraordinary trans European trip. Note this journey isn't available until 9 December 2018 but you can set up a booking alert for when the route goes live.
Warsaw to Amsterdam by train can also be done in a day now and, amazingly, with just one change of train. A capital service if ever there was one. Leave Warszawa Centralna station just after breakfast and arrive in Amsterdam Centraal station in time for a couple of well-earned Dutch beers.
Zielona Gora to Strasbourg is a wine lovers’ route with a difference, with Poland’s Zielona Góra at the heart of Poland’s winemaking region. Viticulture dates back to medieval times here and so, by taking a train through to Strasbourg, just a few kilometres from the Alsace Wine Route, you are covering some seriously gorgeous, grape-filled ground. Students will love this route too, both cities being important European university hubs.
Note: At present we do not sell rail tickets within Poland itself. To do this, please go directly to PKP, the national rail provider.
Image credits top to bottom: Old Town in Warsaw, Poland iStock ©querbeet, The Long Lane street in Gdansk iStock, ©nightman1965 Amsterdam, iStock ©Puttipong Sriboonruang, Bicycle Lane along the sea sand beach, Kolobrzeg, Poland iStock, ©ewg3D.
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