Rail deal of the century: unlimited travel throughout Germany for 25p per day

‘There and back for €9 really is a dream ticket’ – Nicky Gardner, co-author, Europe by Rail

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Wednesday 25 May 2022 20:46 BST
Nearly free: Regional Express train at Appenweier station in southwestern Germany
Nearly free: Regional Express train at Appenweier station in southwestern Germany (Simon Calder)

The best transport deal in history for any major European country is now on sale.

Deutsche Bahn (DB), which runs most trains in Germany, has launched a ticket costing €9 (£7.70) that gives a full month of travel in June, July or August. The average cost per day is just 25p.

“Regional Express” trains – which typically link towns and cities on runs of 50-100 miles – are covered. So are all local services, including S-Bahn and U-Bahn metro trains, as well as trams and buses.

Unlike the UK’s half-price promotion in March, there is no limit to the number of tickets and no restrictions on journeys – except that Intercity expresses classed as IC, ICE and EuroCity are not included. Even so, any two stations within Germany can be connected with the deal.

Travellers can buy the €9 ticket for each of the three summer months.

Passengers travelling more than around 50 miles will be able to save money with a single journey. The standard regional fare from the city of Bremen, for example, is €9.10.

The move, which is being supported by the German government, is aimed at luring local travellers back to the railway – but it is equally open to international visitors.

The ticket can be bought by British travellers on a smartphone through the DB Navigator app, once they have registered.

Prospective traveller must input a “dummy” journey (eg Konstanz-Baden Baden) for 1 June, or any date that month. The timings/fares it generates should offer the €9 ticket automatically. There is no need to adhere to the trip for which a quote was sought.

Nicky Gardner, co-author of Europe by Rail, said: “Germany has many wonderful long regional train journeys, often on routes through mountain regions, along the Baltic coast, or though scenic forest landscapes.

With the €9 ticket, I’ll certainly be heading down to my local station in Berlin from where there are direct regional trains to the Unesco listed city of Stralsund on Germany’s Baltic coast. It’s a three-hour journey.

“There and back for €9 really is a dream ticket. And one could in fact do it every day for a month (not that I would!) for a total outlay of just €9.”

Masks must currently be worn on German trains.

In 2020, neighbouring Luxembourg became the first country in the world to offer free public transport nationwide.

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