Travelling on a EuroCity train

At a glance

  • Regional train
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Italy
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Poland


EuroCity (EC) is the name used for international cross-border day train connections between Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Switzerland, as well as Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Denmark. Eurocity trains include a wide variety of operators and trains. Most of these trains rely on slightly retro carriages and speed is not a hallmark of these services. At their best, EuroCity trains are stylish and sedate.

You’ll come across EuroCity services on major international routes to, from or through Berlin, Budapest, Hamburg, Munich, Prague, Verona, Vienna, Warsaw, Zagreb and Zurich. It is essentially a brand promoted by the railways of central Europe, with most trains managed by cooperation between two or more national rail operators.

For cross-border night trains on EuroCity routes, read our guide on Euronight trains.

Practical information

©ÖBB / Harald Eisenberger

Before you board

There are no check-in or customs procedures before boarding EuroCity trains. However, ticket control and passport checks may take place once onboard international services.


EuroCity trains are comfortable, with plenty of legroom and adequate space for luggage.

On most EuroCity services, the crew will come through the train offering cold and hot drinks, sandwiches and cold snacks.

Most EuroCity services provide food and drink options, often a buffet car and many offer full-meal services in an onboard restaurant. There is a lot of variability, however. EuroCity trains from Zurich to Cologne via the Rhine Valley, for example, have an excellent restaurant car, yet some EuroCity trains from Slovenia to Austria may have no refreshment facilities at all.

Booking and printing options

EuroCity tickets are open for bookings 180 days in advance.

Seat reservations are not always compulsory on EuroCity trains, but it is better to reserve a seat when travelling on busier, more popular routes.

Get the lowest prices on EuroCity by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell out quickly.

Opt for off-peak EuroCity trains when you have to travel at short notice. Off-peak EuroCity trains are more affordable than ones that run mornings and evenings, Fridays and Sundays or during popular holidays.

Classes of service

Frecciabianca First Class

EuroCity trains provide two classes of service: Standard Class and First Class.

Eurocity First Class

First Class EuroCity services are comfortable, air conditioned and provide electrical sockets at seats. Whether seating is arranged in compartments or open-plan trains depends on the carriages used on the specific train. First Class passengers on EuroCity trains generally have access to their premium lounges at major stations.

Eurocity Standard Class

The accommodation offered on EuroCity trains in Standard Class depends on the specific country and rail operator(s) providing the service, but most EuroCity trains have air conditioning and spacious seating in Standard Class. Luggage racks are available at the end of each carriage. Electrical sockets are not always available in Standard Class.

Child and youth passengers

The definition of "Child" and "Youth" varies by country and operator. This is why we ask for the age of young passengers.

Sometimes children below a certain age can travel without a seat for free. If you want to guarantee a seat for child passengers, enter '6' as the age of the child.

Read more about child and youth passenger ages. See also youth discounts and railcards.