First class train travel in Europe: 5 things to expect on board the Deutsche Bahn ICE, the German high-speed train

First class compartment, German ICE train, Inter City Express, Deutsche Bahn, Germany. Image©sourcingstyle.com

First class compartment, German ICE train, Inter City Express, Deutsche Bahn, Germany. Image©sourcingstyle.com

Some of the most precious moments in my life have been spent in solo travel through Europe on long distance trains. It's my retreat from the world, an almost Zen-like experience when I can be alone like this, silently concentrated on the beauty of the picture-perfect quaint European villages as they roll dreamily past. To make the most of my train-travel, I always book first class in a silent compartment and from my experience if I am not traveling on a weekend, there are only very few passengers in the first class coach and it's usually very quiet.

Recently I was traveling in Germany by the German high-speed train ICE (Inter City Express) and for those of you who want to know more about the Deutsch Bahn first class compartment and service aboard the ICE train, here are some pictures and some information from my very recent visit.

1. The platform

The platforms (called Gleis in German) are divided with alphabets like A, B, C or D. Once you arrive on the platform, you need to check where the first class compartment is going to arrive and board accordingly. You can also find porters there who will help you to put your luggage in the train.

A platform in Germany, Karlsruhe railway station, girl reading a book on the platform, a couple hug and say goodby on the platform. Image©sourcingstyle.com

A platform in Germany, Karlsruhe railway station, girl reading a book on the platform, a couple hug and say goodby on the platform. Image©sourcingstyle.com

Porter/Conductor waiting outside a first class compartment, German ICE train, public smoking areas, train platform, Germany. Image©sourcingstyle.com

Porter/Conductor waiting outside a first class compartment, German ICE train, public smoking areas, train platform, Germany. Image©sourcingstyle.com

2. Inside the train

The seat configuration is 1 and 2 and there is a lot of room inside the compartment to store the luggage. I usually book the last seat on the train so I can keep the heavy suitcases behind my seat. When you are reserving your seat online, you can go to the seat menu to choose your seat. However, if I have not always managed to get the last seat, I have always met some very gracious German men aboard the train to help me with my luggage. :)

First class compartment, German ICE train, Inter City Express, Deutsche Bahn, Germany. Image©sourcingstyle.com

First class compartment, German ICE train, Inter City Express, Deutsche Bahn, Germany. Image©sourcingstyle.com

3. Food and Service

The best part about first class travel is that you can order coffee and food from the comfort of your seat. You can choose from a menu of salads, sandwiches and drinks, and as soon as you are settled in your seat, somebody will come and take your order. My go-to order of course is 'Kaffee mit Milch' (coffee with milk). It always helps to speak a little bit of German or you may want to travel with a small German dictionary, just incase you need help with the order or anything else!

Coffee with milk and still water, Kaffee mit Milch und stilles Wasser, Deutsche Bahn ICE train, Inter City Express, first class compartment, train travel in Germany. Image©sourcingstyle.com

Coffee with milk and still water, Kaffee mit Milch und stilles Wasser, Deutsche Bahn ICE train, Inter City Express, first class compartment, train travel in Germany. Image©sourcingstyle.com

Every now and then, somebody will come along and offer you cookies or chocolates, a complimentary service from the Deutsche Bahn.

Leibniz cookies, snacks on board the German ICE train, Inter City Express, first class compartment, Deutsche Bahn, German rail. Image ©sourcingstyle.com

Leibniz cookies, snacks on board the German ICE train, Inter City Express, first class compartment, Deutsche Bahn, German rail. Image ©sourcingstyle.com

4. Scenic landscapes and Wifi

Even though the trains offer wifi service, this is one time I like to disconnect from the world and just sit back and loose myself in the beauty of the passing landscape and coffee, cookies and drinks. :)

Scenic views from the ICE, Inter City Express, German Rail Service, Deutsche Bahn first class compartment. Image©sourcingstyle.com

Scenic views from the ICE, Inter City Express, German Rail Service, Deutsche Bahn first class compartment. Image©sourcingstyle.com

They also offer you a wide selection of German newspapers; I used mine only to click a picture!

Süddeutsche Zeitung, ICE Train, Inter City Express, German Rail Service, Deutsche Bahn first class compartment. Image©sourcingstyle.com

Süddeutsche Zeitung, ICE Train, Inter City Express, German Rail Service, Deutsche Bahn first class compartment. Image©sourcingstyle.com

5. Comfort of the seats and cleanliness

The seats are very comfortable and the first class compartments boast a high level of cleanliness. Here is a picture of me in the train from my recent visit.

Traveling by Inter City Express, the high speed German rail, Deutsche Bahn, Germany. Image©sourcingstyle.com

Traveling by Inter City Express, the high speed German rail, Deutsche Bahn, Germany. Image©sourcingstyle.com

First class train travel in Germany, Deutsche Bahn, ICE, Inter City Express, German high speed train. Image©sourcingstyle.com

First class train travel in Germany, Deutsche Bahn, ICE, Inter City Express, German high speed train. Image©sourcingstyle.com