Interrail France Germany Pass - Travel in Germany

  • 29 November 2023
  • 7 replies
  • 107 views

Hey there,

I would like to travel from Cologne to Paris this Friday with my Interrail France Germany Pass.

I've already read here in the forum that I can't travel directly from Cologne to Paris because the train goes through Belgium and that's not included in my pass. 

I would like to make sure that I have understood everything correctly:

If I take the ICE from Cologne to Frankfurt, from Frankfurt to Karlsruhe and from there to Paris, is that ok? The journey still takes place in one day.

And another question: Do I still have to reserve a seat on the ICE from Karlsruhe? It's a German train, but it goes through France, so I'm not sure.


I'm a bit scared of this, as it says everywhere that you can't travel through your own country with the Interrail France Germany Pass. But I have to do it to get to France at all, don't I?

Thank you very much for your help and best regards!


7 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Yes sure : on two of the pass days you can travel in your own country.

Reservations are mandatory from Karlsruhe : 17€ + 2€ fee on interrail.eu.

I'll have a look if those trains are not sold out. There are multiple alternatives so don't worry.

EDIT : Most trains available but some have only a single seat left. Check availability on sncf-connect.com (but you can't book seats there).

Due to works on the high-speed line to Frankfurt trains are diverted via the Rhine Valley and take about an hour longer. Check times carefully on DB Navigator app and be prepared for delays (= have a good margin before your TGV/ICE to Paris).

Questions welcome.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

If I take the ICE from Cologne to Frankfurt, from Frankfurt to Karlsruhe and from there to Paris, is that ok? The journey still takes place in one day.

That's fine. You can also travel via Luxembourg (2nd class is free of charge there!) or via Saarbrücken.

And another question: Do I still have to reserve a seat on the ICE from Karlsruhe? It's a German train, but it goes through France, so I'm not sure.

You will have to book a reservation. It's a DB train until the border, and after that, it's an SNCF train.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Reservations are mandatory from Karlsruhe : 17€ + 2€ fee on interrail.eu.

The DB ticket office have them for €17 and no fee :)

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Reservations are mandatory from Karlsruhe : 17€ + 2€ fee on interrail.eu.

The DB ticket office have them for €17 and no fee :)

Ah yes true, those trains are still available. Not the case for trains within France though.

Btw do we know if there's still a passholder quota linked to SNCF quota ?

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Reservations are mandatory from Karlsruhe : 17€ + 2€ fee on interrail.eu.

The DB ticket office have them for €17 and no fee :)

Ah yes true, those trains are still available. Not the case for trains within France though.

Btw do we know if there's still a passholder quota linked to SNCF quota ?

I did some tests a while ago and it looks like there's no quota anymore on these trains. SNCF do limit somehow the number of domestic passengers on their international TGVs/ICEs though, which is why you're not seeing availability within France. The same happens with the TGVs to Geneva, and maybe others.

AFAIK, pass holder quotas now only still exist on Eurostar (incl. ex-Thalys) and TGVs to Brussels.

Hey there,

I would like to travel from Cologne to Paris this Friday with my Interrail France Germany Pass.

I've already read here in the forum that I can't travel directly from Cologne to Paris because the train goes through Belgium and that's not included in my pass. 

I would like to make sure that I have understood everything correctly:

If I take the ICE from Cologne to Frankfurt, from Frankfurt to Karlsruhe and from there to Paris, is that ok? The journey still takes place in one day.

And another question: Do I still have to reserve a seat on the ICE from Karlsruhe? It's a German train, but it goes through France, so I'm not sure.

I'm a bit scared of this Archery Pick, as it says everywhere that you can't travel through your own country with the Interrail France Germany Pass. But I have to do it to get to France at all, don't I?

Thank you very much for your help and best regards!

Hello, Your understanding is correct. Since the Interrail France Germany Pass does not cover travel through Belgium, you'll need to find an alternative route. Traveling from Cologne to Paris via Frankfurt and Karlsruhe is a suitable option, as it avoids Belgium. To address your second question, while the train passes through France, you generally do not need a reservation for the ICE within Germany. Reservations are typically required for high-speed and international trains, but within Germany, it's often optional. However, it's recommended to check with the train service or the official Interrail website for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding reservations. It's understandable to feel a bit concerned, but taking the route through Germany is a common practice in such situations. Just ensure you follow the planned itinerary, and you should be able to reach Paris smoothly.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

However, it's recommended to check with the train service or the official Interrail website for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding reservations.

Unfortunately, the Interrail website is certainly not the most reliable information source.

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