Last week I talked about the Swiss Travel Pass and a few of you expressed interest in hearing about similar types of passes in other countries.
Germay’s rail system is known as DB or Deutsche Bahn. Similar to Switzerland, Germany also has a travel pass for use on DB trains and buses called the German Rail Pass.
The German Rail Pass offers unlimited travel across Germany on both consecutive and non-consecutive days (flexi pass), which is similar to the options offered with the Swiss Travel Pass. What is most intriguing about the German Rail Pass is the ability to use it on select routes outside of Germany such as to Venice or Salzburg. Using this strategy along with others could save you a ton of money in Europe.
Lastly, you should know that the German Rail Pass does not include local buses.
What are the prices?
Consecutive Pass Pricing (travel on consecutive days only)
Flexi Pass Pricing (travel on non-consecutive days)
Where can I find the route map?
The official route map can be found here on PDF page 2.
Can the German Rail Pass be used internationally?
Yes! Certain international routes are offered as German Rail Pass bonus routes (highlighted yellow in the map above) and are included with the cost of the rail pass.
- Milan -> Como -> Chur -> Memmingen -> Munich -> Kufstein -> Innsbruck -> Bolzano -> Trento -> Verona -> Venice
- Hamburg -> Puttgarden -> Copenhagen -> Warnemunde -> Rostock -> Berlin
Who is eligible for the German Rail Pass?
Non-Europeans only are eligible.
Can I buy and print out the German Rail Pass online?
You can buy them both online, however only the Consecutive pass may be printed at home. The Flexi pass will be mailed by postal delivery.
Is the German Rail Pass worth it?
As with the Swiss Travel Pass, this depends on what you plan to do.
Are you going to be traveling within one single state maybe once or twice during your trip? If this is the case I’d say buy your tickets ad-hoc and skip the Rail Pass.
Are you going to travel around Germany for a whole week? The German Rail Pass is worth it in this case. I priced out a single roundtrip in 2nd class from Stuttgart to Heidelberg and it costs EUR 54 for a flexible ticket. The 3-day German Rail Pass costs EUR 200.
Have you ever used the German Rail Pass? What was your experience like?