6 cheap ways to travel around Germany

photo cred: Deutsche Bahn AG

Living in Germany is extremely affordable, and with good planning, traveling around the country can be just as easy and cheap! Last year when I was in Germany, I traveled to Aachen, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Munich, and Tübingen with a German Rail Pass.

This year, I’ve lived here since the end of August, and have travelled to Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart, Freiburg, Weinheim, Bad Kreuznach, and of course, Heidelberg many times. Next weekend I’ll be in Bonn and there’s trips to Münster and Konstanz planed in the future. Needless to say, I’ve definitely travelled around Germany a lot more than even Canada!

Of course, with so much traveling within a country, it’s good to look for deals and cheap options. Luckily, I have a few to share!

Bahncard 25 & Bahncard 50

If you plan on living in Germany for at least 4 months, these Bahncards for the Deutsche Bahn are great. The Bahncard 50 lets you save 50% off the regular price of the train fares, and is valid for a year. My favourite is the Bahncard 25 though, because in addition to 25% off the regular fare, you can also save 25% off the special fares (which the Bahncard 50 does not have savings for). As long as you book at least three days in advance, you can get some amazing deals!

Look out for the Europa-Spezial

Deutsche Bahn is not only great for traveling within Germany, but to other countries as well. The website offers specials from Germany to cities such as Paris, Rome, Zürich, Prague and more for as little as 29 euros! I was lucky to score one way tickets from Mannheim to Amsterdam for 33 euros, and have found some to Copenhagen for 35 euros, which I’ll use to visit a friend there sometime early next year.

Schönes Wochenende Ticket

The Schönes Wochenende ticket offered by the Deutsche Bahn is great for traveling with a group of people during the weekend. It costs 40 euros, and allows for unlimited traveling within the country on the regional trains and public transportation until 3 am the next day. The pass can also be used amongst up to 5 people. When I went to Oktobferfest with three of my  friends, we each ended up only paying 10 euros to get to Munich!

Länder Ticket

The Länder ticket allows for unlimited travel on the regional trains and local transportation in a certain state. It’s valid for one day, until 3am the next day. If you’re travelling with a group of people, the tickets can be super cheap. The prices vary between different states, but on average, if you travel with at least two people, you end up paying only around 10 euros each. For example, me and Tania travelled from Mannheim to Freiburg and back for only 12 euros each!

German Wings

I’ve never travelled with German Wings yet, but I’ve heard some good things about them. Their most interesting offer is their blind bookings, where they choose your destination for you – it could be anywhere in Germany, or the UK, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Czech and more, for just 33 euros one way.

Mitfahrgelegenheit.de

I haven’t tried this either, but a bunch of my friends have, and it’s quite popular around Germany. It’s basically a car pooling site, and you can search up your current destination to where you’d like to go, and see who’s also heading that way, who can give you a ride for a small fee. You can definitely save a lot of money traveling this way. For example, rides from Mannheim to Berlin costs around 25 euros, whereas if you took the train, tickets are easily 100 euros or more!

Now with all these cheap travel options, there’s no excuse not to travel around Germany! Happy travels!

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9 Comments

  1. November 26, 2012 / 4:40 pm

    Wow, blind bookings sounds crazy-awesome! hah. Great tips, I found it very easy to travel around as well.

    And It’s probably because you need to go a lot further between places to travel around Canada! 😛

    • Michelle
      Author
      November 26, 2012 / 10:10 pm

      Yea I’m excited to try out the blind booking sometime soon! And you’re right! It takes 6 hours to get from Toronto to Montreal by train. In Europe, in 6 hours you can be in a totally different country! 🙂

  2. November 27, 2012 / 10:45 am

    Renting a car is always a good option too if you’re traveling with a group. Rental fees are low and if everyone splits gas, it is often the cheapest way to get around!

    • Michelle
      Author
      December 3, 2012 / 11:31 am

      That’s a really good idea! I’ve never thought about doing that!

  3. Helen
    April 24, 2013 / 7:08 am

    Hi everybody,

    a good article Michelle:) I am German, so of course sent a lot of time contemplating and experimenting on cheap travelling inside Germany;) I have recently written an article about my top ten cheapest ways of travelling in Germany – and just updated it this April 2013. For example there are now a few independant train services that are much cheaper and a last-minute train ticket option that funnily hardly anyone knows about… Check my post out and share the infos! http://wastelessproject.hubpages.com/hub/The-8-cheapest-ways-to-travel-inside-Germany

  4. Gwen
    November 4, 2014 / 7:11 pm

    How would you suggest 2 people travel around Europe and Germany? i have looked at several options but having much trouble figuring it all out. My husband and I are planning on a 16 day trip to Germany but want to see as much as possible such as Paris, London, Austria, Poland and whatever else.
    What would you suggest? car rental or ICE train??

    • Michelle
      Author
      November 13, 2014 / 6:30 pm

      Hi Gwen!

      For longer distances you could fly with Ryanair…they have flights across Europe at very low prices. If you’re travelling within Germany, I would highly recommend taking coach buses (meinfernbus.de or flixbus.de). They extensively cover Germany, and the bus trips are nice, hassle free, and usually less than half of what you pay by train! (eg. it’s about 20 euros from Berlin to Munich or Munich to Vienna)

      The ICE trains are good for certain routes that are offered as special deals across Europe, such as from Germany to Paris or Amsterdam.

  5. corne
    December 17, 2014 / 7:25 pm

    Hi Michelle,my twindaughters now 16 are now in Germany for school exchange from South Africa.The last 4 days of their stay by their host families they can go on private tour.With what can they travel from Obernburg or Frankfurt to Venice?They have to travel early by 6 or 8 o clock from Frankfurtor Obernburg,so in Venice they can have 3 or 4 hours to see all of it and then back to Frankfurt or Obernburg the evening 9 o clock to sleep by the host family.What would you suggest will be the cheapest?Will the car pooling site be the best?I will appreciate a lot if you can help me.
    Regards Corne

    • Michelle
      Author
      December 22, 2014 / 7:40 pm

      I would suggest flying actually…you should check Ryanair! Car or bus to Venice would take forever. Ryanair lots of cheap flights from Germany to Venice that are about 15-20 euros! In fact, I’m flying there in a couple of weeks! 🙂 Hope that helps and that your daughters are enjoying Germany!!

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