NOTE: All IC Bus routes of Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) were canceled at the end of 2020 with Flixbus often offering the best alternatives. Otherwise, regular trains also cover the routes but railway journeys are often slower and with multiple transfers.
The IC Bus of German Railways is a cheap alternative to Deutsche Bahn trains for traveling from Berlin to Kopenhagen / København in Denmark via Rostock. The daily IC Bus covers the journey in 7h30 – around the same time that trains take but usually at a far lower ticket price. On the IC Bus, seat reservations are included while wifi is free – wifi is still unavailable on most trains.
By IC Bus from Berlin to Copenhagen
The IC Bus is a long-distance, intercity bus service run by German Railways (Deutsche Bahn), usually on routes not conveniently covered by regular trains. From March 2015, the IC bus is available daily on the Berlin to Copenhagen via Rostock route. The IC bus crosses the Baltic Sea on a ferry ride of around two hours, during which time all passengers have to get off the bus – more pleasant during the day than night crossing.
Currently, the bus departs daily from Berlin Südkreuz at 14:15 to arrive in Rostock at 16:45 and at Copenhagen main train station at 21:50. Passenger can join the bus in Rostock at 17:25.
The journey from Copenhagen to Berlin is overnight. The IC Bus departs from København at 22:30 to arrive in Rostock at 03:40 and at Berlin Südkreuz at 06:15. Passengers may join the IC Bus in Rostock at 03:45.
Trains provide an alternative to the IC Bus but are generally much more expensive. Deutsche Bahn usually has one direct ICE train from Berlin to Copenhagen but a transfer, usually in Hamburg, is required on most journeys. Traveling time is around 7 hours.
Buying Tickets for the IC Bus from Berlin to Copenhagen
As the IC Bus is operated by German Railways, the bus tickets may be bought from any outlet selling Deutsche Bahn tickets. Buying online from Deutsche Bahn is generally the easiest and cheapest.
Ticket prices for the IC Bus between Berlin and Copenhagen can be as cheap as €29 one-way. Berlin to Rostock is as cheap as €9 and Rostock to Copenhagen only €19. Discount fares for the train is around €80 one-way with full-fare tickets on the train are around €140 vs. €90 for the bus.
All German Railways discounts, including BahnCard savings, may be applied to both the IC Bus and trains. Return trips may give discounts – look for the Europa-Spezial fares.
Children 14 years old and younger travel for free with parents but the child’s name must be entered on the adult ticket at time of reservation. This family-friendly policy is applicable on both the bus and trains.
Seat reservations are compulsory on the IC Bus but included for free in the ticket price. Similarly, IC Bus passengers enjoy free wifi on the bus – something still unheard of on trains. The bus also has one electric outlet for each two seats.
Stops Used by the IC Bus
The IC Bus departs and arrives in Berlin at Berlin-Südkreuz station, which is on the S-Bahn ring to the south of Berlin’s center. The stop is at Hildegard-Knef-Platz to the northwest of the S-Bahn train station. For many travelers to Berlin, this may not be the most obvious stop but the Südkreuz is very easily reached on public transportation, especially by S-Bahn train.
In Copenhagen, the IC Bus stops more conveniently directly at the main train station at København Ingerslevsgade to the southwest of the station main entrance.
The Rostock stop of the IC Bus is at the ferry terminal – Rostock Seehafen Fähre stop. Bus 49 provides transportation to downtown Rostock and bus 45 to Lütten Klein S-Bahn station on the western side of the Warnow River. However, for the early morning arrival from Copenhagen, public transportation is not really an option.