Apr 13, 2023Europe, Germany, Train Journeys, Travel Advice0 comments

Since May 1st, 2023 travellers can buy the Deutschlandticket (in English “Germany Ticket”) to use most trains (other than the fast long-distance trains), buses, trams, subways, commuter trains etc. in Germany for one flat fee of €49 per month!

Read on to learn all you need to know about this 49-Euro-Ticket and to see if it would be right for you!

Picture of red train with two levels in Germany

What is the Deutschlandticket?

The Deutschlandticket (German for Germany Ticket) is the successor of the €9 ticket (yeah, it got a lot more expensive) that was offered in the summer of 2022.

The 9-Euro-Ticket was hugely successful – too successful to be truthful. It was so popular that trains were full to the point where the police had to evacuate some trains and basically train stations were a madhouse.

The new Deutschlandticket has the same purpose – cheaper  public transportation to both offset the impact of the current high inflation rate on cost of living and to foster more interest in sustainable transportation.

However, as it isn’t quite as inexpensive it no longer leads to complete pandemonium!

The basic principle is fairly simple: For one flat fee you will get a ticket that will allow you to use almost all trains, buses, subways etc. in Germany other than the really fast trains (IC, EC, ICE). There are some other exceptions but they are fairly minor.

Cobble-stone-street with half-timbered houses in Nuremberg, Germany

How does the Germany Ticket work?

The Deutschlandticket is offered as a subscription only. Similar to Netflix it can be cancelled at the end of each month. This means you CAN buy it for just one month but beware – you have to cancel on time!

The Germany Ticket will for the most part be offered as a digital ticket. You can order it online, download it on your phone, and just show it when the conductor asks for it.

Deutschlandticket – The Good


It will likely save you money

The Deutschlandticket can save you a lot of money and will probably be beneficial for anyone planning to use public transportation in Germany.

Even if you just plan to use buses/subways/trams for three or four days while visiting a larger city, like Berlin and Munich, it should be cheaper than other options.

If you are planning to spend more time travelling and want to explore a bit farther afield (e.g. a trip to the mountains or to Neuschwanstein from Munich) it will save you even more money.

It should be easy – no need to buy tickets constantly

Once you are set up with the Deutschlandticket, you can just hop on any of the included modes of transportation. There will be no need to figure out how much a specific trip costs, no danger of buying the wrong ticket, no need to use one of the ticket vending machines etc.

With the Deutschlandticket you are all set!


Old bridge in Nuremberg reflected in the river and half-timbered houses next to it

Deutschlandticket – The Bad


Well, “Bad” is maybe overstating it a bit but here are some minor (compared to the potential savings) caveats you should be aware of:

The Deutschlandticket is only available as a subscription

I have no idea why, but at this time, the Deutschlandticket is only offered as a subscription, similar to Netflix.

This means that if you only need it when on vacation (or if you do live in Germany but don’t want it every month), you have to make sure to cancel your subscription on time. “On Time” means you have to cancel by the 10th of the month if you do not want to pay for the next month. So for example you have to cancel by March 10 if you do not want to pay for April.

I highly recommend you cancel your subscription right after ordering it (maybe give it a day or two) so you don’t forget (yep, I do always forget to cancel my subscriptions, paying long after I have any interest in them).

Unfortunately, this also means that you have to buy the 49-Euro-Ticket no later than on the 10th of the month if you want to buy only one month. If you order any later you will automatically have missed the cancellation window for the next month. So plan ahead!

This is especially important as €49 may be a low price for what you get but it certainly is not cheap if you won’t be able to use it.

The Germany Ticket is for one person only

In contrast to most other tickets in Germany the Deutschlandticket will not allow you to take kids/bikes/dogs with you for free.

Children under six are free but kids will need their own ticket (no reduced price so also €49) once they turn six. In contrast, with a regular ticket children under 16 are free when travelling with an adult on long-distance train.

So if you are planning to travel with kids it may be worth comparing the price (though likely the Germany Ticket will still come out ahead).

Even worse, there is no similar ticket offered for dogs or bikes. You will have to buy a traditional ticket for the specific ride you are planning on.

The Deutschlandticket is based on the month

The Germany ticket is always valid for one calendar month, e.g. May or August. So if your trip runs for example from May 29 to June 2 you would need two months worth of ticket (a total of €98).

This may still be worth it if you are planning a lot of train trips etc. but your savings will of course be lower and it may even be cheaper to use regular tickets instead.

Crossed out express ICE train

Faster long-distance trains are excluded

As stated above, the Deutschlandticket will be valid on most trains/buses/subways etc. but you may not use it on long distance trains. These are mainly the faster IC/EC/ICE trains connecting larger cities with few stops in between.

It is possible to cover long distances while avoiding these excluded trains but it may not be pleasant:

For example, a train trip from Munich to Berlin using ICE will take about 4.5 to 5 hours and require one train change.

If you want to cover the same distance with the Deutschlandticket it will take somewhere between 9 and 11 hours and require three to five train changes!

However, if you have the time you could break up the journey to discover more of Germany on the way and the Deutschlandticket may be a good option after all!

The Germany Ticket is available in second class only

The Germany Ticket is only available for travelling second class. This isn’t really that problematic as most of the local trains do not even offer any first class compartments. Still, it is something to be aware of and to consider when trying to decide whether the Germany Ticket would be right for you.

Deutschlandticket – The Ugly

Even though there are a couple of aspects listed as “bad” above, most of them are either minor (e.g. no first class ticket available) or easily conquered (just cancel early enough).

However, there is one major hurdle for travellers from overseas (or anyone outside Germany for that matter): Purchasing the Deutschlandticket is tricky!

Only direct debit can be used to purchase it at the main DB website

There is no restriction against buying the 49-Euro-Ticket from overseas per se, but the German Train Agency (DB) only accepts Direct Debit as a payment method for this ticket.

Consequently, you should be able to buy a Germany Ticket as long as you have a SEPA account (i.e. if your bank is in Europe).

What about Non-European visitors?

You may be wondering why I even write about the Deutschlandticket if it isn’t an option for travelers from the US and the rest of the world. I know I hate reading all about some great deal/offer/option only to find out that I am not even eligible for it.

The Deutsche Bahn does accept other payment methods for regular tickets so it all hinges on that subscription model – though Netflix has no problem using my PayPal for my subscription so you think the Deutsche Bahn should be able to figure it out as well.

But there is a little trick you can use to buy the 49-Euro-Ticket even if you do not have a European bank account:

The National Rail Agency of Germany (Deutsche Bahn or DB) is not the only one selling the ticket. As a matter of fact, local transport authorities also sell the same ticket, either via app or online.

Each of these transport authorities uses their own process (though the ticket is the same) and some of them will let you pay with alternate payment methods.

There are constant changes and the ticket and all its conditions are evolving. At this time, one possible way to purchase the 49-Euro-Ticket is via the HVV (Hamburg’s Transport Authority). They sell the Deutschlandticket also via credit card and PayPal – but you have to buy it in the hvv switch App!

All that is to say – buying the Deutschlandticket as an overseas visitor is a bit complicated but possible!

Entrance to Palm Garden in Frankfort with palm trees in front

Is the Deutschlandticket right for you?

In general, the Deutschlandticket should be a good choice if:

  • You will use public transportation for more than just a day or two
  • You plan on exploring larger cities by public transportation
  • You want to make shorter excursions to the countryside
  • You have several days to cover longer distances and don’t mind making some stops on your way
  • You want to remain flexible and not be tied to a specific train

The Deutschlandticket may not be ideal if:

  • Your trip is split over two months
  • You want to cover longer distances without wasting any time
  • You are travelling with children between six and 14 years of age (as they may be free with a regular ticket)

What can I see with the Deutschlandticket?

The possibilities are pretty much endless but to get you started with some ideas I have written a blog post with my top three itineraries for exploring Germany with the Deutschlandticket.

Hi, I am Kitty and I love to travel! Welcome to my blog, where I share all I have learned on my trips - good and bad - to help you have a better, cheaper, and more perfect vacation!


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