Salzburg – Frankfurt by DB Intercity 

Autumn 2021. In theory we could travel to other continents, but destinations we had in mind such as Japan or the United Kingdom were impossible to plan ahead. Instead we organised a rail trip to Eastern Europe, travelling to Berlin, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Karlovy Vary, Pilsen, Bratislava, Poprad, Vienna, Linz and Salzburg. By travelling to Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Austria, we explore an area which was in the (not too distant) past bonded together by the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and by Austria-Hungary.

DB Intercity.

Every adventure comes to an end. After a wonderful stay in Salzburg, helped by a fairytale lodging at Hotel Sacher, we returned home. Not with the relatively novel Nightjet to Brussels as we had a bad experience in 2020, but by day train.

When you think of train travel across Germany, you think of their iconic white Deutsche Banh‘s ICE high-speed EMU’s. Rightly so. But DB Fernverkehr (long-distance traffic) aso runs ‘classic’ intercity locomotive-hauled push-pull train. I got such a train in 2020 as a replacement


IC1290 from Salzburg Main Station to Frankfurt Main Station is always such a train. 

DB Intercity trains are usually seven to eleven coaches long, depending on the route. There are one or two first class coaches – one compartment coach, and one open on longer trains. Restaurant cars were fazed out by 2014 but there are bistro cars, which also provides half a coach of first-class accommodation. Most of the second class coaches are open, but with some compartments, and some ex-Interregio coaches. Cycle space is provided by the driving trailer, but these are not used on all routes, so there are some non-driving coaches with space for bicycles.

Our IC1290 did have a bistro. We sat in a first class compartment. Most of the the time we were alone. After Augsburg a third person joined. But there’s enough room to for yourself, you legs and and to lose stuff. As I did. Painful and expensive. So yes, even experienced train personnel forgets belongings on trains. 


Intercity trains stop quite often so the ride is long. Our ride was over five hours. DB seats can be quite firm, even in first class. You do get catering service at your seat, but it’s not included in the price. 

Many stops, changes of direction. It’s part of the journey. Travel as in the olden days, but obviously way more comfortable. 

There’s something romantic about push-pull train winding through the scenery. It’s up to you if you want to sit down for such a time. 

The romance was over in Frankfurt. We hopped on ICE14 to be in Brussels as quickly as possible. There is nothing romantic about ICE’s.

Our experiences with Deutsche Bahn

2021 Rail Tour of Imperial Europe

  1. POTSDAM 2021 | Schloss Sanssouci.
  2. 1945 Potsdam Conference’s Cecilienhof Palace.
  3. Potsdam 2021.
  4. REVIEW | InterContinental Berlin.
  5. BERLIN 2021 | Pergamon, ‘Das Panorama’.
  6. BERLIN 2021 | Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace.
  7. BERLIN 2021 | The Bundestag in the Reichstag.
  8. Berlin 2021.
  9. By train from Berlin to Gdansk via Szczecin.
  10. Stopover in Szczecin.
  11. REVIEW | Restauracja Ritz in Gdańsk.
  12. REVIEW | Holiday Inn Gdansk.
  13. GDAŃSK | Museum of the Second World War.
  14. GDAŃSK | European Solidarity Centre or Europejskie Centrum Solidarności.
  15. A walk through Gdańsk.
  16. Gdańsk 2021.
  17. POLAND | PKP Intercity Gdansk to Wroclaw via Warsaw.
  18. Wrocław Museum of Architecture.
  19. The Dwarfs of Wrocław.
  20. Wrocław.
  21. Poland 2021.
  22. By train from Wroclaw to Karlovy Vary.
  23. Karlovy Vary.
  24. REVIEW | Hotel Imperial Karlovy Vary.
  25. Czechia’s Great Spa Town of Europe Františkovy Lázně.
  26. CZECHIA | Pilsen Historical Underground Tunnels.
  27. CZECHIA | Pilsner Urquell Brewery Tour.
  28. CZECHIA | Pilsen.
  29. CZECHIA 2021 | Cheb and its castle.
  30. Hotel room for one.
  31. By train from Karlovy Vary to Prague via Pilsen.
  32. Czechia 2021.
  33. RegioJet from Prague to Bratislava.
  34. Bratislava Castle.
  35. REVIEW | Crowne Plaza Bratislava.
  36. Bratislava on a rainy Monday.
  37. ZSSK Fast Train Tatran from Bratislava to Strba.
  38. The Tatra rack and electric Railway from Strba via Strbske Pleso to Poprad tatry.
  39. SLOVAKIA | AquaCity Poprad.
  40. REVIEW | Hotel Seasons AquaCity Poprad.
  41. Slovakia 2021.
  42. Poprad – Bratislava – Vienna with ZSSK’s intercity train.
  43. VIENNA | Restaurant Steirereck.
  44. REVIEW | InterContinental Wien.
  45. VIENNA | Luxury Sisi’s in Schönbrunn Palace.
  46. The Hofburg in Vienna.
  47. Vienna’s Furniture Museum.
  48. Vienna 2021.
  49. Pöstlingberg & Grottenbahn in Linz.
  50. REVIEW | Motel One Linz.
  51. Linz.
  52. AUSTRIA | ÖBB RailJet from Linz to Salzburg.
  53. BAVARIA | Lokwelt – Locomotive World in Freilassing.
  54. REVIEW | Hotel Sacher Salzburg.
  55. SALZBURG | Mirabell Palace and the Mozart Residence.
  56. SALZBURG | Hohensalzburg Fortress.
  57. Salzburg Cathedral + Salzburg Residenz = DomQuartier museums.
  58. SALZBURG | Formula 1 cars and the Flying Bulls at Red Bull’s Hangar-7.
  59. AUSTRIA | Salzburg 2021.
  60. Austria 2021.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. elvira797mx says:

    Great post! Thank’s Timothy.
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timothy says:

      Thank you Elvira! Have a great week as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. elvira797mx says:

        Always a pleasure, Timothy.
        You as well!

        Liked by 1 person

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