All IC Bus routes of Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) were canceled at the end of 2020 with Flixbus or trains now the best alternatives.
Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) canceled all its intercity IC bus routes at the end of 2020 with no plans to resume these long-distance bus services. As a result, passengers will have to use either regular trains or alternative long-distance bus operators such as Flixbus.
German Railways Suspended IC Bus Services
At the end of 2020, German Railways canceled all its IC bus services with no plans to resume intercity bus routes in the near future. For around a decade, Deutsche Bahn (DB) operated several IC Bus routes mostly from Germany to neighboring countries on routes where regular train services were slow due to indirect routings.
In the final months of operation, IC Buses mostly run between Bavaria and Czech cities as well as Munich and Zurich but railways are increasingly competitive as new lines are connected. Alternative companies such as Flixbus and Student Agency also offer strong competition on Czech routes and continue to provide cheap intercity bus travel between Germany and Prague.
The IC Buses of German Railways provided several useful routes and operated similarly to the regular Deutsche Bahn train services with similar child discounts and Bahncard savings. However, for many travelers prices were often higher than those of Flixbus which expanded from its German base to a huge pan-European service with plans for other continents too.
Cheapest Intercity Bus Travel in Germany
The German Railways website remains one of the best to research timetables for all European train travel while Trainline often has an option to include intercity bus services when searching train routes. Flixbus is by far the largest long-distance, intercity bus operator in Germany and Europe. Flixbus ticket prices are often very competitive, especially for travelers able and willing to take journeys at odd hours.
Flixbus is often the cheapest way to travel between cities in Germany and to neighboring countries. Berlin is usually the most popular Flixbus destination in Europe followed by Paris, Brussels (lots of connection services from here), and Prague. It also has a reputation for continuing operations when railways are on strike.