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Bicycles on Trains (Germany + Italy)

Old 05-13-22, 02:05 AM
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reredereara
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Bicycles on Trains (Germany + Italy)

Hi there,

partner and I will be partially cycling through parts of Germany and Italy this summer. Due to time constraints we will have to take a few trains and just wanted to make sure this is allowed - I am pretty certain that it is in Germany but not 100% about Italy and wanted to double check.

Cheers,

R
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Old 05-13-22, 01:49 PM
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indyfabz
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There is a gaggle of information about this on line. In general, if and how you can take a bike depends on the particular service.

For example, here are the requirements for taking a bike on certain train services in Germany:

Booking additional components: Taking a bicycle (bahn.de)

And here is a relatively recent piece about the new ICE 4 trains in Germany having space for 8 unboxed bikes:

Deutsche Bahn’s new ICE 4 High Speed Trains include Bicycle Spaces | ECF

When I was in Italy (Bassano del Grappa) for a couple of weeks in 2013 there was at least one regional service that you could simply roll you bike onto.

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Old 05-13-22, 11:46 PM
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You can bring your bike on a decent number of regional trains in Italy, but not on long distance or high speed trains (unless you're able to stuff it in a 110 x 80 cm box or bag).
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Old 05-14-22, 07:35 AM
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On my last tour (2019), I took two trains from Vienna to Bolzano, in northern Italy. I had to buy a separate bicycle ticket (reservation) for €3.50. The train was very crowded and the hook for my bike was 3 cars away from my seat. Maneuvering through 3 crowded train cars carrying 2 panniers wasn't easy. I switched trains in Innsbruck. There was a place to hang bikes here, too, but the stem of my Bike Friday was too long for the hook's position. But, the train wasn't all that crowded and I was allowed to shove the bike against the side of the car where I was sitting.

I have since bought a bag designed to hold a folded Bike Friday. I haven't had the opportunity to use it yet, but figured I would carry it so that the next time (should there be one) I take a train in Europe, I can simply carry the bike onto the train without the hassle of a special ticket or the need for a reservation. We'll see how that goes.
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Old 05-17-22, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by reredereara View Post
Hi there,

partner and I will be partially cycling through parts of Germany and Italy this summer. Due to time constraints we will have to take a few trains and just wanted to make sure this is allowed - I am pretty certain that it is in Germany but not 100% about Italy and wanted to double check.

Cheers,

R
The answer is most likely 'it depends'. there are many variables taking bikes on trains in Europe.

Not sure about Italy and Germany, but my experience in France, Netherlands and Belgium has been:


- Most countries require additional tickets for unfolded bikes. Can vary from 4 to 10 eur each way per bike.
- High speed trains (Thalys, Eurostar, ICE etc) usually do NOT allow bicycles, unless stored away in a box or folded (like on a plane).
- Most 'slow' trains allow bicycles, but space is limited and not guaranteed. Not able to reserve in most cases. You could be refused entry by a conductor if train is too full (although this would be rare).
- In the Netherlands, bicycles are not allowed at peak travel times morning and evening (commuting times).

I would suggest you type in your EXACT route into the Deutsche Bahn website and see which type of train you could/would be taking. (local, regional, high speed, etc etc). Then look up the possibilities and restrictions for each train type. I would imagine DB has this all written out.

Do the same for Italy, but southern European countries tend to have worse online info available, especially in English.

Good luck!
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Old 05-17-22, 03:35 AM
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^^^This^^^

The question asked is akin to “Can I take my bike on trains in the U.S.?” It depends.
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Old 05-19-22, 01:43 PM
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Everywhere I've wanted to go in Italy (which is a lot) there was a Regionale train that got there. Just buy the extra EUR3.50 bike ticket. Never had a problem finding bike space, or (personally) having to be uncomfortably far from the bike.

Regionale trains in Italy are very fast, efficient, and cheap compared to anything in the US (just guessing about OP, no info provided). But just FYI, a Regionale-only trip with bikes from Taranto in the far south (Salatine) to Padua in the north in 2015 took two days, with an overnight stop in Florence, and IIRC six train changes with some lengthy stops between some, and frantic changes with seconds to spare on others. Set your expectations appropriately.

If you're trying to cover huge continental distances in a quick 2-week vacation, it can end up eating up a lot of your cycling days. If it's a summer-long tour, then it can be a great way to bop around from region to region
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