So, I heard that there are some on going strikes in trains in Berlin. I would need a train from Berlin on the 21st of June. Even though its still a long time, I cannot help but worry about the availability of trains during that time.

Is it a good idea to book a train ticket in advance?

  • 1
    The bus question is a completely separate issue, you should ask it separately.
    – Relaxed
    May 18, 2015 at 7:24
  • 3
    Could you post to where you want to get? During the last strikes, there were always still ~50% of the long-distance trains running, and you may want to get to a place that was always served well during the last strikes. For example, the trains between Berlin and Cologne (calling at Hannover, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, etc.) were running as usual.
    – DCTLib
    May 18, 2015 at 7:43
  • @DCTLib: From OP's earlier question, Göttingen is likely the destination. :-) This is also served very well because it is on the major lines to Frankfurt, Munich etc.
    – chirlu
    May 18, 2015 at 9:45

3 Answers 3


Nationwide strikes have become more common in the last couple of years but they seldom last that long. Last week's strike was the last one in a series but with 8 days it was the longest in many years.

Also, I have travelled during strikes. It's a bit more difficult because you have to be prepared for delays, crowded trains, and impromptu announcements in German but some trains are still running.

Furthermore, if your train is cancelled because of a strike, you can get your money back even with otherwise non-refundable discount fares. So waiting to buy later would be more expensive no matter what and it always make sense to buy in advance.

Incidentally, most alternatives (long-distance bus, car hire) have a similar price structure so it's best to make your decision as soon as possible. If you are willing to choose one of them right now, then go for it but if you are still considering the train, don't wait for the last minute to buy a ticket.


It is unpredictable if there will be a strike on June 21st. However, based on experience from past strikes, I wouldn't worry too much if you are somewhat flexible regarding either departure or arrival.

Not all train drivers participate in the strike, and the affected train operator (Deutsche Bahn) has managed each time to publish a reduced timetable ahead of time that was then followed reliably. If the train that you booked originally is not running, you can switch to a later or earlier train without additional costs and will make it to your destination anyway. Alternatively, you may cancel your ticket for a full refund.


Pre-booked tickets can be significantly cheaper. And I mean significantly. I got some tickets for about a third of the normal price. So what if there is a strike - you still want to travel, best case you travel a bit later, worst case you get your money back. Booking later wouldn't help.

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