Important! The 9 Euro ticket offer has ended as of 31 August 2022. However, there are still great deals on regional trains available, particularly if you’re travelling within a single Bundesland. I will update this post with some of the best options shortly.
Deutsche Bahn has introduced a 9 Euro monthly train ticket this summer, and it’s a great excuse to explore some new regions around Germany. You don’t have to be a resident to buy the 9 Euro ticket, and it’s available for June, July, and August 2022 only. I know you’ve probably heard about slow travel, and this ticket offer is a great way to try it out. As a local German resident, I’m here to help you understand how get this fantastic-value ticket, what it’s really good for, and make a few suggestions for some scenic routes that will make good use of it.
Things to know about your 9 Euro ticket
Each ticket is valid for the calendar month. So if you buy a June ticket on 29 June, it is only valid for two days. You can’t take your bike with you, and the specific local transport authority will have rules on whether you need a ticket for your dog or not. Children under 6 are free and don’t need a ticket, but 6 and over need their own ticket in their own name. These tickets are only available for June, July, and August in 2022, and judging by the political response to the funding, it’s unlikely to be extended!
These tickets are valid for city buses and trams, S-bahn trains, and regional services throughout Germany. They are NOT valid for IC or ICE trains, or FlixBus or trains. There are no seat reservations possible with this ticket because these services rarely offer seat reservations anyway. Click here to buy your 9 Euro ticket in English now.
What your 9 Euro ticket is not
It’s important to understand what this ticket is, and is not. This is not a cheap ticket to go anywhere in Germany quickly, or a way around the more expensive intercity (IC) and intercity express (ICE) tickets. For instance, from Heidelberg to Stuttgart, I can take a direct IC train that takes 40 minutes, but it costs somewhere around 20€ each way depending on how far in advance I’ve purchased it. If I go strictly on regional trains, I will have to change trains once or twice, and it will take me an hour and a half. Think of these regional trains as a way of exploring the countryside, like your own choose-your-own adventure sightseeing tour. The different routes I’ve listed below have lovely views along the way, which is the best way to use this limited-time ticket offer.
How can I buy the 9 Euro ticket?
You can buy it online from the English Deutsche Bahn site here. Keep in mind each person you’re buying for will need to have their name on their ticket, including children 6 and over. You can only buy one ticket at a time, for some reason, so be patient and keep at it!
In person at a machine
Head to the ticket machine in any train station, and you will be able to change the language to English (look for ‘Sprache’ and some flags) and then buy your 9 Euro ticket. Again, you will need to fill in the names for each person’s ticket, and the ticket inspectors do check against your ID occasionally.
In person at a Deutsche Bahn Reiseshop
You can go to a window or the little train travel agent they have in some of the bigger stations, if you would like to speak to someone personally.
Be ready for some very busy trains and stay flexible
For trips to and from big centres like Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg, it’s going to be very busy, particularly around public holidays. There are no reservations possible on regional trains, so it’s first-come, first-served. Be aware you might have to be flexible with your route if it turns out everyone had the same idea you did when you get to the station, or even wait for the next train. It’s well worth approaching your journey with patience and flexibility, nothing about regional train travel is quick even when you’re paying regular price!
What are some fun, scenic trips to take with my 9 Euro ticket?
There are so many! As I said above, think of these trips as a relaxing sightseeing journey, because they are not the quickest way to get anywhere! Pick up some snacks and drinks, and relax in a window seat as you watch the beautiful countryside roll by.
I’m working on this list throughout the summer, so feel free to come back and check for new ideas. Join my mailing list to be notified when I update this list.
Experience the castles on the Middle Rhine
Take the RB 26 from Mainz to Koblenz which runs right alongside the river, and marvel at the castles on the cliff tops and the cute villages along the way. Hop off for a nice coffee and cake at any point, all the small towns on this route are also on the Rhine ferry route, so they are well prepared for quick tourist pit stops. The trip is about an hour and a half one way, but you could continue beyond Koblenz if you like. The beauty of the 9-Euro ticket is you could get off at every town and explore if you felt like it! Two stops along this route that make a lovely break are Bacharach and St Goar (pictured above).
Wind your way through the Black Forest
Take the RE 2 from Baden-Baden to Konstanz on the Bodensee for a picturesque trip through the Black Forest. The train route goes back and forth over the river Kinzig, and you’ll get little glimpses of cute towns in the valleys, and old farmhouses perched above green pastures. This trip takes just under three hours. Both Baden-Baden and Konstanz make excellent day trips, so you could expand this into a weekend adventure. Be sure to check out the incredible Bronze Age open-air museum just outside Konstanz.
Mini spa holiday from Munich
Rachel suggests taking the hour-long journey on the BRB RB57 from Munich down to Tegernsee for a real holiday day out. You can visit the Monte Mare spa for some proper sauna time, or go on one of the many hikes around the lake. The journey itself is very picturesque, but the big draw here is getting out of the city for the day. Rachel tells me it feels like a world away! If a full-on spa day or a hike isn’t your thing, maybe just have some coffee and cake, and then rent a boat to enjoy being on the water for a few hours.
Visit Passau on the Austrian border
From Munich, you can take the RE 3 down to Passau. A town on the Austrian border at the confluence of three rivers, Passau has a picture-perfect old town for a good afternoon wander. Check out the 13th-century fortress on the hill above the town and the museum inside, as well, and marvel at this city that’s been a centre of trade since Roman times. Sometimes it’s called the ‘Venice of Bavaria’! Another great suggestion from Munich-local Rachel.
Head up the North Coast to Kiel
From Hamburg, hop on the RE7 or RE70 to Kiel, for an adventure along the coast. Check out the maritime museum, walk along the harbour and put your toes in the sand at the Falckensteinerstrand, and enjoy some proper fresh fish while breathing in the sea air. This trip is just over an hour.