(Almost) All Public Transport for €49 per Month: Germany’s Deutschland-Ticket and How Tourists Can Benefit

Regional Express Train

After the stunning success of the 9-Euro-ticket during the summer of 2022, both German people and their representatives pushed for a long-term continuation of the concept. After a few months of debate and compromise, the German department for transportation presented the successor of the ticket. It will cost €49 instead of €9 per month and is valid in all regional trains, subways, trams and city buses in the entire country within one calendar month.

Characteristics of the Deutschland-Ticket

While its widespread validity is the most important characteristic and true for both versions, the €49-ticket (dubbed Deutschland-Ticket) is much less accessible than the one-time-promotion of 2022. Before we provide you with a link to book it, we want to point out the main differences:

  • You can’t buy the Deutschland-Ticket at the train station: Getting your hands on the 9-Euro-ticket last year was as easy as it gets. You went to the train station, picked a ticket vending machine, selected the ticket, inserted your credit card or €9 in cash and out came your ticket. That is not possible anymore, since the Deutschland-Ticket can only be purchased online. You also need a smartphone to use it, since it comes in the form of a digitally displayed QR-Code. You will also need to set up an account on a provider’s website, which brings us to…
  • The Deutschland-Ticket is a subscription service: In contrast to the 9-Euro-Ticket, which was a one-time purchase, the Deutschland-Ticket is set up as a monthly subscription. It will rebill automatically if you don’t cancel it by the 10th of each month. This also means that if you are travelling with a family of four, you may need to set up four accounts, purchase four subscriptions and cancel each of them in time to avoid paying an additional €196.
  • It’s crucial to book and cancel in time: As mentioned previously, the subscription deadline is the 10th of each month. If you decide to buy the ticket on the 11th of a month or later, your subscription will automatically include the current and following month, raising costs to €98. This drastically lowers its value if you are only visiting the country for 2 weeks, so it is best to plan ahead and cancel in time.

Just like it’s predecessor, the Deutschland-Ticket is not valid on high-speed or long-distance trains (except Rostock – Stralsund in the Northeast and Stuttgart – Singen in Baden-Wurttemberg). We have a guide about long-distance-trains in Germany here.

Getting & Cancelling the Deutschland-Ticket

Now we will focus on how to purchase, cancel and use the ticket most efficiently. The easiest way to get the ticket is directly on Deutsche Bahn’s website:

Deutschlandticket Screenshot

Setting up an account is actually fairly easy. It might be worth to point out that using a fake e-mail address is not advisable, as your ticket will be delivered to said address.

At the time of writing, it seems like Deutsche Bahn is struggling to process orders with foreign credit cards. Using Paypal as a payment option might be the best solution.

Cancelling the ticket is rather straightforward, as well. To assure you, we have compiled an overview here:

How to cancel your Deutschland-Ticket

Time needed: 5 minutes.

How to cancel your Deutschland-Ticket

  1. Log in to your account

    Log in to your account on Deutsche Bahn’s website. Then click on the My bookings overview.
    Cancel Deutschlandticket I

  2. Select your tickets

    In most cases, the Deutschland-Ticket will be your latest (and only) booking. You can access it directly by clicking Details / Cancel booking. If it is not your latest booking, click Show all bookings.Cancel Deutschlandticket II

  3. Optional: Select your booking

    If you have multiple bookings, you will see a list of all active bookings in your account. Select the Deutschland-Ticket by clicking on the pen.
    Cancel Deutschlandticket III

  4. Cancel your subscription

    Hit the cancellation button.

You can find a list of other vendors, here. Some of them even allow you to cancel the subscription at the end of the month. Sadly, most of these sites are only available in German.

Shall I Purchase a Deutschland-Ticket?

Now that we have explained what it is, how to get it and – most importantly – how to get rid of it, let’s have a look at how to use most effectively:

You are Travelling Around Germany for Four Weeks or More

If you have planned an extended trip to Germany and want to visit multiple cities, this tickets makes sense. Public transport in Germany (even in regional networks) is more expensive than in many neighboring countries, and you will save a lot with the ticket. Even if you are travelling across two different months, you will get a decent deal out of it, as long as you are using the ticket to travel from city to city.

Since high-speed and long-distance trains are not included, travelling between cities will cost more time and come with less comfort. Especially long distances get really unattractive:

  • Frankfurt-Munich: ~5:20 hours instead of ~3:40
  • Frankfurt-Düsseldorf: ~4:00 hours instead of ~1:50
  • Hamburg-Stuttgart: ~11:00 hours instead of ~5:50
  • Düsseldorf-Munich: ~10:00 hours instead of ~4:50

There are however several options which allow you to spend only little extra time in trains:

  • Munich-Stuttgart: ~3:00 hours instead of ~2:20
  • Berlin-Hamburg ~4:00 hours instead of ~2:00
  • Hamburg-Bremen: ~1:10 hours instead of ~0:50

Breaking up longer journeys in shorter pieces makes sense. Instead of trying to get from Hamburg to Düsseldorf in one go, you can split your journey up into Hamburg – Bremen – Münster – Düsseldorf. This way, you can visit some of Germany’s most attractive cities and never spend more than two hours in a train. Not having to buy a ticket for local transport in each city you visit comes as an additional benefit.

You are Travelling Around Germany for Two to Four Weeks

Only our second example and we are already in the maybe section. Only if you are visiting multiple cities and most of your travel period lies within the same month, a Deutschland-Ticket will save you money. If your time in Germany is spread almost evenly across two months (say 6 days in July, 8 days in August) you’d have to pay two monthly subscriptions for €98. Buying individual tickets will almost always be cheaper and less hassle.

You are Visiting One or Two German Cities for a Week or Less

Let’s have a look at Germany’s largest cities to determine if a Deutschland-Ticket makes sense:

Berlin: In almost any case, it does not make sense to purchase a Deutschland-Ticket. Getting from the city to the airport and back by train costs €8.00. The city offers a bevy of multi-day tickets that also include discounts to its most popular tourist attractions. The most expensive costs €56, is valid for six days and includes the trip from/to the airport. Other options are even cheaper. While the Baltic Sea (two and a half hour direct trains) might be an option, other places of interest like Dresden are usually more than 3 hours and at least one change of trains away.

Hamburg: Also mostly nope. Getting from the city to the airport and back by train costs €6.60. A weekly ticket to travel within Hamburg costs €29.00 and includes the trips to the airport. Getting a Deutschland-Ticket just for the city is way too expensive. Things look different if you want to visit nearby towns like Bremen or Lübeck. But even then, a Deutschland-Ticket only makes sense if you visit all of these cities within the same month.

Munich: And we’re back to maybe territory. Getting to the airport and back costs a whopping €26.00. Even if you take a bus that is also included in the Deutschland-Ticket, you’d be paying €18.50. However, what makes the Deutschland-Ticket interesting in this case is the opportunity to visit nearby tourist attractions like Schloss Neuschwanstein, Starnberger See or the Zugspitze by train.

Düsseldorf/Cologne: It’s most likely worth it. Both cities are located on the banks of the Rhine river and part of the largest urbanized area in Central Europe. From Dortmund’s football museum to Aachen’s historic old-town and Wuppertal’s Schwebebahn, there are many sights to be reached in less than 90 minutes. Since public transport in the region is fairly pricey (the longest possible ticket is a 2-day-pass, costing €51.10, but serves up to five people), a Deutschland-Ticket makes sense, especially for single travellers.

Since public transport in Munich is more expensive and the city is surrounded by more places of interest than Berlin or Hamburg, the Deutschland-Ticket is worth a closer look. If you visit both Berlin and Hamburg during the same trip (and probably even journey between the two with regional trains), the Deutschland-Ticket is back to being your friend. Having many sights accessible by train or bus nearby makes purchasing the ticket more attractive, as well. Once again, all this is only true if your visit takes place within the same month.

Finding Train Schedules and Prices

As we stated above, the value of a Deutschland-Ticket is very dependent on your personal itinerary. To research train prices and possible connections, you can use the website of Deutsche Bahn. By checking the “local trains only” box, your selection is limited to trains included in the ticket.

Research Deutschlandticket

This will help to both see what trains would cost regularly and if the extended travel times are worth it to you or not. If you are not keen on changing trains, this tool will come in handy.

Bottom Line

In contrast to the €9-ticket, which was a blessing for both Germans and visitors alike, the Deutschland-Ticket is clearly aimed at permanent residents. In many cases, it doesn’t pay off to subscribe to the rather unflexible Deutschland-Ticket for tourists. That doesn’t mean there are no bargains to be made here, especially for longer or spread out stays.

There is no definitive answer whether it pays off or not in general, as it heavily depends on your personal plans: If you are spending one week or two weeks travelling from Frankfurt via Nuremberg to Munich, the subscription will almost certainly save you money. Anyone who visits Berlin for seven days or less should refrain from buying a ticket.

The best advice we have for visitors is doing some research regarding train prices. If it saves you money, purchase the Deutschland-Ticket for the month you need it in advance and cancel the subscription as soon as possible after receiving the QR-Code, so you won’t get billed again.

Cover Picture: © huettenhoelscher (Deposit Photos)

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