Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof

DB Train Bargains Explained – Länder Tickets, Quer Durchs Land, Dauer Spezial


People often ask us during their Frankfurt on Foot walking tour, how to buy train tickets to visit near-by towns like Idstein, Würzburg, Heidelberg, the Rhine, Büdingen, Gelnhausen, Worms, Marburg, etc., while using Frankfurt as a base city. We hope the information in this post will make your travels easier. If you have questions about these tickets, please send us an email: info@frankfurtonfoot.com
Here is a link that gives excellent advice about the trains of Germany: Getting Around Germany

Riding the trains in Germany is easy, fun and often economical, but trying to work out which bargain ticket to buy, by wading through the DB website can sometimes be confusing. Please note, that when Land is mentioned, this means the Lands (States) of Germany, like Hessen or Bavaria, and not other lands like France or the Netherlands.

Enter all of your information, requests, dates, kind of ticket, destination, etc. and wait until the machine asks for payment. Then you can insert your card into the machine, not before. For local transportation, the ticket machines will need cash, not a credit card. 

* Länder Tickets – These are a fantastic deal if you do not mind riding the slower, regional trains. A plus is that the Regional train routes are usually more scenic than the faster ICE routes. Each Land has a Länder Ticket available but with different prices and sometimes different rules, and you can buy them from the DB ticket machines at the train stations. Large train stations, like the Frankfurt airport or the Hauptbahnhof will sell Länder tickets for all of the Länder. The touch-screen DB ticket machines switch into English and are easy to use, but you can also buy these tickets from the DB counter for an extra 2 euro. Prices range from 23-36 euro depending on the Land you are traveling through, as a beginning price with each additional person being a few euro more, for a total of up to 5 people.  Some Länder will let all of your children or grandchildren be included for free. The DB website will list this. Hessen is not one of them that lets all the children ride free, only up to 3 of your own children under age 6.  The Hessen ticket is valid for 1-5 persons and costs 36 €. In Frankfurt, your Hessen ticket is valid on all forms of transportation, bus, tram, U-bahn & S-bahn.

Hessen Ticket Price in 2019 – 36 €

You can use the Länder Tickets Mon-Fri after 09:00 until 3a.m. and on Sat, Sun, or Holidays the entire day. The Hessen Ticket is 36 €. For many of the Länder, like in Rhineland Pfalz, it is different. In this land, the 1st person pays 24 € and each extra person, up to 4 people, pays another 5 €. Bavaria is similar, 25 € with each extra person an additional 6 €. Check the DB website for the Länder you will be visiting.

Make sure to print all last names of the people using a Hessen ticket on the ticket before getting on the train. If you are traveling through more than one Land, you can purchase tickets for each Land at the same time from the DB ticket machine at the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof and airport and a few other select large cities or at the counter. These tickets are also valid on S-bahns in most cities and local transportation in many. You should check the DB website to get details before you travel.  You cannot use the ICE or IC trains, but the Länder Tickets are valid for travel to some border cities, like Salzburg using a Bayern Länder ticket.

As an example: 5 of you are leaving Frankfurt to go to Munich or Würzburg – Purchase a “Gruppenkarte” from the RMV section of the ticket machine for travel to Kahl (right on the Bavarian border) for 28.90 €, then go to the DB section of the ticket machine and buy your Bayern Laender ticket. You can get on and off your train where ever and when ever you want. Perhaps you have seen a cute town. Get off, explore, have lunch and then continue traveling.  I try to plan my trip on weekdays to leave Frankfurt about 08:30 so that the Laender ticket goes into effect by the time I reach that Land. You can get non-stop trains to Würzburg and to Koblenz from Frankfurt. You do not have to get off the train when it crosses a state border, just stay on it all the way.

* Quer Durchs Land Ticket– (or in English, All Across Germany) can be used weekdays after 09:00 and on weekends at any time. Regional trains, 2nd class only. Buy this from the DB ticket machines just like the other tickets or from the DB counter. Price is 44 € for the 1st person and 8 € for each extra person, for up to 5 people total. Children 14 and under, ride free with their parents or grandparents.

* Dauer Spezial – These tickets for 29 or 39 euro, are great for riding the ICE to Berlin or Paris or Munich, but you really have to catch them far in advance. They go on sale 3 months ahead of time and are only sold in limited amounts. You cannot change the date or time once you get them and if you miss your train, you can’t just take the next one. They are a fabulous bargain if you can get them, just keep your eye on the DB site and plan your vacations well ahead of time.
Deutsche Bahn Special Offers

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