Explore Europe: Travelling by train and bicycle

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If you don't want to miss your bike on holiday or simply want to be mobile and flexible while travelling, you can take your bike on the train of most railway companies in Europe.

You can find out here which regulations apply to take your bike with you in some selected EU countries.


  • Bicycle transport is regulated differently from one railway company to another.
  • For most long-distance trains, a bicycle ticket combined with a space reservation is required.
  • On local trains you do not need a reservation. However, in many cases it is forbidden to take bicycles with you during rush hours.
  • Alternatively, you can send the bike ahead with the train's luggage service or with the help of a transport company.
  • Folding bicycles can be taken on board free of charge when folded.

How does the transport of bicycles on trains work?

This is regulated differently from one railway company to another. Deutsche Bahn, for example, allows you to take your bike on long-distance and local trains.

On the other hand, with Eurostar or the ÖBB Nightjet night train, you can only take your bike with you on selected routes.

Can I take my bike on any train?

No, you cannot take your bicycle on every train. Deutsche Bahn, for example, makes a distinction between local and long-distance trains.


Bicycle transport on long-distance trains with Deutsche Bahn

Bicycles can be taken on long-distance trains operated by Deutsche Bahn on Intercity, Eurocity and some ICE routes

In addition, you need a bicycle ticket and a space reservation. Only one bicycle can be transported per passenger.

If bicycle transport is allowed on the train, you can order the bicycle ticket directly while booking your ticket online.

Travelling with a bicycle on local trains

Bicycles are allowed on local DB trains in the “Interregio-Express”, the “Regional-Express”, the “Regionalbahn” and in some “S-Bahn” trains.

A reservation is not necessary. The prices and regulations of the individual federal states can be found on the website of Deutsche Bahn AG.

In addition, sometimes special time slots apply for taking the bicycle with, which are regulated differently depending on the rate. Bicycle transport is often prohibited during peak times.

How do I send a bicycle by train?

How do I send a bicycle by train?

If you do not want to carry your bicycle with you, you can send it with the Deutsche Bahn luggage service within Germany and to Austria.

Requirement: the bicycle must be packaged appropriately for transport.

Ship the bicycle with a transporter

You can also use a transport company and ship your bike to your holiday destination. To prepare the bike for shipment, remove the front wheel, saddle and pedals.

Put the parts in bubble wrap or a bag thus the bike will not damaged during transport.

Checklist: Tips for a relaxed train journey with your bike

  • Book your bike ticket in time, as there are only a limited number of bicycle places.
  • Avoid peak times, it will be easier to get a bicycle slot on the train.
  • Try to book through connections in order to avoid to load and unload your bike the bike all the time.
  • Depending on their size, folding bicycles can be taken along as hand luggage free of charge.
  • Find out whether there are lifts at the station (Deutsche Bahn AG offers this via the Bahn app).
  • Be sure to plan enough time to change trains.

Travelling across Europe by train and bike: tickets, prices & regulations

Bicycle transport on SNCB

Bicycles are free of charge until 31 December 2020. From 1 January 2021, the cost of taking a bicycle on board will be € 4 for a single journey.

Folding bicycles can be carried free of charge.

In addition to your ticket, you always need the bicycle surcharge.

The ticket is available online, at the railway counter or from ticket machines.

Ask the train attendant at the platform where the bicycle compartment is located and whether there are sufficient spaces available.

Bicycles are not allowed on board for tour groups.


  • SNCB only has a limited number of bicycle spaces on its trains.
  • If all the bicycle spaces are occupied, you will have to wait for the next train.
  • Avoid travelling by train at peak times.
  • If trains are overcrowded, the conductor may refuse to let you take your bike with due to the lack of space.
  • Bicycles are not allowed at the following stations: Brussels-Central, Brussels-Chapelle & Brussels-Congrès.

DSB: Travelling by train and bicycle

The prices and regulations for taking bicycles on board vary depending on the train class.

Cargo bikes, trailers or anything similar are not allowed on the train.

On long-distance and regional trains, you must buy an additional ticket for the bicycle. For InterCity and InterCityLyn you can reserve an additional seat and parking space.

In the period from 01 May to 31 August, bicycle transport on InterCity and InterCityLyn is only possible combined with a reservation.

Bicycle tickets are available at all stations from the DSB ticket machine or at the railway counter as well as at the 7-Eleven shops.

You may transport your bicycle free of charge in S-Bahn trains.


  • If a replacement bus is used on your rail connection, you cannot take your bicycle with you for this part of the journey.
  • You are not allowed to take your bicycle with you on rail journeys from Rødby to Germany.
  • If you travel by InterCity to Flensburg or Hamburg, you can take your bicycle with you. However, a reservation is required.

DB: Travelling by train and bicycle

Carrying bicycles on long-distance trains

In order to take bicycles with you on long-distance trains (ICE, IC and EC), you must also purchase a bicycle ticket and reserve a space.

Reservation is mandatory as the number of spaces is limited.

Bicycles with a wheel diameter not exceeding 16 inches (approx. 41 centimetres) can be taken along free of charge.

Tandem bicycles and similar are not possible on all long-distance trains for capacity reasons.


Carrying bicycles on local trains

Bicycles can be carried on local trains (IRE, RE and S-Bahn) without a reservation.

The prices and regulations for taking bicycles vary depending on the federal state. Therefore, we recommend buying a day ticket for bicycles that is valid throughout Germany.

Avoid travelling during rush hour and peak hours, as the number of parking spaces is limited.

Bicycle transport for group tours of more than 5 people should be registered in advance at the railway company for capacity reasons.

Bicycle transport on SNCF

Long-distance transport

Some TGVs and Intercity trains have bicycle spaces requiring reservations. The cost is 10 Euros.

If there are no more free spaces on the train, you may only take your bicycle dismantled (folded or with wheels removed) in a carrier bag.

Positive side effect: This means that you do not have to pay any additional costs for taking your bike with you.


Local transport (TER)

You can take your bike free of charge on local transport (TER), depending on the space available.

Bicycle transport in the Paris region is only free at certain times due to commuter traffic:

  • Monday to Friday: before 6.30 am, between 9.30 am and 4.30 pm and after 7.30 pm.
  • On Saturdays, Sundays & public holidays.
  • Bicycles are not allowed on Paris Transilien trains (suburban trains) during rush hours, regardless of the day or time.
  • Folding bicycles can be taken free of charge at any time.


Bicycle transport on Thalys trains

Only a limited number of bicycles are carried on Thalys trains. If you would like to take your bicycle on board of a Thalys, you need to be at the platform 30 minutes prior to departure.

To be carried on board, both wheels must be dismantled and packed together with the frame in a suitable manner for transportation (maximum 135 x 85 x 30 cm).

Packed bicycles that exceed the specified dimensions will not be taken along.

Folding bicycles that do not exceed the maximum dimensions of 75 x 53 x 30 cm when folded are considered as carry-on baggage. 

Trenitalia: Regulations on the transport of bicycles in Italy

International long-distance trains

You can take your bicycle on some international long-distance trains in a dedicated compartment or on bicycle spaces.

The fee for taking a bicycle on board is € 12 and can only be paid on board of the train.


National trains

On national trains, it is permitted to transport one folded or dismantled bicycle per person in a transport bag. The maximum size allowed is 80 x 110 x 40 cm.


Transport of bicycles on regional trains

Entire bicycles can only be transported on regional trains if the trains are marked with an appropriate pictogram.

An additional bicycle ticket up to € 3.50 must be purchased, depending on the region.

Folding bikes or dismantledbikes in a transport bag can be taken along free of charge.

Free transport of bicycles on CFL

Bicycles can be taken along free of charge on train journeys within Luxembourg. The number of bicycle spaces varies depending on the class of train.

You can recognise the bicycle compartment by the green marked access doors.

Charges may apply for the international network.

Prior to starting your journey, please contact the CFL Customer Service for information regarding transport conditions and fares.

Netherlands: Travelling by train with your bicycle

You may only take your bicycle with you outside of peak hours and in combination with a valid train and Off-Peak bicycle ticket.

Prior booking is not required, but is recommended by the railway company due to the limited number of spaces.

When is it allowed to transport bicycles?

  • Monday to Friday between 0am to 6.30 am, from 9 am to 4 pm & from 6.30 pm,
  • all day on weekends and public holidays.
  • You may take your bike on the train during peak hours in the summer months of July and August.
  • Bicycles may only be carried if there is sufficient space for them in the train.
  • Bicycles may not be transported on Dutch Railways buses.
  • Prior registration does not entitle you to take your bicycle with you.
  • Trailers and other similar items are not permitted.
  • Folding bicycles may be taken along free of charge at any time (even during rush hours). The folding bike must be folded prior to boarding.

Bicycle transport in ÖBB trains

You can take your bicycle with you on most long-distance and local trains of ÖBB.

To take your bicycle with you within Austria, you need an additional bicycle ticket.

The cost is 10 percent of a 2nd class ticket for the booked route, but at least 2 Euros.

For international routes, you need to reserve a bicycle parking space in addition to your train ticket and buy the Biking International Ticket which costs 12 Euros.

PKP Intercity: Travelling by train and bicycle

Bicycles may only be transported on certain trains. Therefore, check prior to starting your journey whether your train offers such a possibility.

You also need a bicycle ticketto take your bicycle with you. The cost is 9.10 złoty (around 2 euros).

If you did not buy a bicycle ticket at the ticket machine, you must inform the conductor about the bicycle transport prior to entering the train.

The additional ticket can also be purchased on the train. However, a handling fee of 10 złoty (around 2.20 Euros) will be charged in addition to the regular price.

On TLK and IC trains, you may only park your bicycle in designated compartments. These are usually located in the first or last wagon.

On Express Intercity (EIC) and Express Intercity Premium (EIP) trains, you can exclusively leave your bike in the designated areas of 2nd class.

SBB: Travelling with your bike

With the “SBB-Velobillet”, bicycles can be transported on most trains and postbuses in Switzerland. Prerequisite: there are sufficient free bicycle parking spaces available.

Postbuses can only carry a limited number of bicycles. Therefore, you must reserve the parking spaces in advance on some Postbus lines.

In the period from 21.03. to 31.10. you must reserve a parking space for journeys on designated InterCity trains (IC).

This applies, among others, to the IC 5 from St. Gallen to Lausanne, the IC 51 from Basel to Biel and trains travelling through the Gotthard Base Tunnel.

On Zurich's S-Bahn trains, you can only take your bike with you from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm and from 7 pm to 6 am.

On Saturdays and Sundays, you can take your bike with you at any time of day.

Bicycle transport on Czech Railways

You may only transport your bicycle on the train if the train is marked with an appropriate bicycle symbol and there are sufficient spaces available.

Czech Railways considers your bicycle as special luggage, so you have to buy an additional ticket.

Tandem bicycles cannot be transported.

The cost of taking bicycles and store them in the luggage wagon depends on the distance travelled.

Child trailers are carried free of charge. However, they must be uncoupled from the bicycle during the journey.


Bicycle transport in the luggage carriage

When travelling in a train marked with a suitcase, you must leave your bicycle in the luggage carriage.

Advantage: the train staff will help you load your bike and supervise it during the journey. When you get off or change trains, you can collect the bicycle from the train staff.


Booking: Seat and bicycle parking space

For a trouble-free journey, you can usually reserve a parking space for your bicycle and a seat in 2nd class 60 days in advance (trains with the bicycle or luggage symbol).

For trains that are additionally marked with a frame around the bicycle or suitcase symbol, a reservation is compulsory.


Bicycle transport in regions close to the border

There are usually favourable regional offers for journeys in regions close to the border, for example:

  • Elbe-Labe-Ticket

National Rail: Different regulations for bicycle transport

Folding bicycles can be taken along free of charge by all operators.

However, the regulations on taking bicycles on board vary considerably depending on the railway company and the route.

Here you will find an overview about the regulations on bicycle transport of each respective transport company.

The free tool PlusBike is helpful for planning your trip.

It provides information on the following topics:

  • Bicycle parking at the station
  • Bicycle rental
  • Regulations on bicycle transport on the respective train
  • Overview and regulations on parking space reservations for bicycles

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.