The route from Berlin to Prague is one of the remaining major routes in Europe still used by classic "Eurocity" trains. Travel from the German to the Czech capital, have a seat in the restaurant car and enjoy the trip through beautiful Elbe valley across the border between the two countries.
Trains and schedules from Berlin to Prague and reverse
There are six daily Eurocity (EC) trains running every two hours, taking about 4h45 for the journey. Additionally there is a connection via Leipzig early in the morning from Monday to Saturday. The last connection of the day is the night train from Berlin to Budapest that arrives in Prague around midnight. The latter train is the only connection where you need a seat reservation. Unless your travel plans require you to arrive in Prague very early or late in the evening I would recommend to travel with the EC trains.
UPDATES: Since December 2017, the night train Berlin - Budapest is not operating anymore. With the withdrawal of this train, the last connection from Berlin to Prague is now two hours earlier and the first connection from Prague to Berlin is running two hours later.
From summer 2018, new "Vectron" locomotives of Czech Railway will haul the Eurocity trains all the way from Prague to Berlin or Hamburg. There wont be a change of engines anymore in Dresden, resulting in a journey about 15 minutes faster.
The EC trains between Berlin and Prague consist of modern air-conditioned 2nd and 1st class carriages. All of them also carry a restaurant car and most of them also have facilities for persons with reduced mobility and bicycles. You will also find electrical outlets in most coaches. Wifi is also available on most carriages.
The trains makes intermediate stops at Dresden, Bad Schandau, Decin and Usti nad Labem. Many EC trains already start in Hamburg before calling at Berlin, one of them also continues from Prague to Budapest. All other trains provide good connections in Prague to the two-hourly direct trains to Bratislava and Budapest as well as towards Vienna, respectively.
|ICE 1503/EC 259||EC 171||EC 173||EC 379||EC 175||EC 177||EC 179|
|Leipzig Hbf (change trains)||dep||05:55|||||||||||||||||||
|Děčín hl. n.||arr||07:53||09:53||11:53||13:53||15:53||17:53||19:53|
|Ústí nad Labem hl. n.||arr||08:13||10:11||12:11||14:11||16:11||18:11||20:11|
|Praha hl. n.||arr||09:24||11:27||13:27||15:27||17:27||19:27||21:27|
|EC 178||EC 176||EC 174||EC 378||EC 172||EC 170||EC 256/ICE 1000/2|
|Praha hl. n.||dep||06:28||08:28||10:28||12:28||14:28||16:28||18:28|
|Ústí nad Labem hl. n.||dep||07:41||09:41||11:41||13:41||15:41||17:41||19:41|
|Děčín hl. n.||dep||08:00||10:00||12:00||14:00||16:00||18:00||20:00|
|Leipzig Hbf (change trains)||arr||||||||||||||||||||22:03|
Tickets and reservations
Tickets for this route are available at stations as well as online on the websites of German Railways (DB), Omio, Trainline and Czech Railways (CD). Besides the standard fare which is 67,70 Euro in 2nd class, 109,40 Euro in 1st class both railways offer saver fares, starting from 19,90 Euro. These offers are called "Sparpreis Europa" by DB and "First Minute Europe" (Včasná jízdenka Evropa) by CD. These offers have limited availability, usually prices are cheaper the earlier you book, but on this route there are often cheap tickets available also on short notice. Pre booking time for Sparpreis Europa is one day, for First Minute Europe three days.
Travelling on board the EC and IC trains does not require a seat reservation, just hop on the train. In case you book a 1st class ticket from German Railways, a free seat reservation will be included with the ticket. If you are travelling alone a seat reservation is not really necessary, but if you are travelling in a larger group (4+ people) a reservation makes sense, especially during the busy summer season. If you are travelling without a reservation and the train is quite full already have a look at coaches at the front/end of the train which are usually less frequented.
Good to know
All trains call in Berlin at Hauptbahnhof (central station) and Südkreuz. Trains coming from/going to Hamburg also stop at Spandau. In Prague, trains call at Holesovice and Hlavni Nadrazi (central station).
If you have time you could make a short stopover in Dresden along the way: Put your luggage into a locker at the station and visit the historic city centre with monuments such as Frauenkirche or Semperoper. If you want to travel with a saver fare ticket you have to book it through Deutsche Bahn and include a "via" stop in Dresden - this is not possible with First Minute Europe tickets from Czech Railways.
After Dresden the railway line runs along the Elbe/Labe valley into Czech Republic - this is the most scenic part of the route. Have a seat on the left when travelling to Prague to enjoy the scenery. You can also spend some time in the Saxon Switzerland National Park located on both sides of Elbe river. For instance, Königstein Fortress can be reached by local trains (S1) from Dresden.
All EC trains convey a restaurant car. If you happen to travel on a train with Czech restaurant car (on all EC trains except 172/173 which have a Hungarian restaurant car) you can save quite some money when you go there on Czech territory when the "Happy Hour" prices are valid.
Updated: April 2018