[Video] Gas prices getting you down? Here’s how to travel by train in Germany
With gas prices rising every day, you might be wondering whether it’s even worth getting your car out on the autobahn these days. Well - there is another great way to travel.
Sign me up for a refresher course on using the train in Germany!
Even before fuel prices skyrocketed across the country, the train has always been my number one way to travel in Europe. Trains are an inexpensive and environmentally-friendly way for you to get wherever you need to go with relatively little stress (more on that below).
Here are my five main reasons to use the train in Germany:
- Trains stations are in every major city (and most “minor” cities)
- There are no security lines
- You can eat and drink on the go (when COVID restrictions allow)
- You can work or relax and not worry about driving
- They have flexible schedules
Taking the train in Germany 101
There are three main ways of purchasing a train ticket in Germany: either a machine in the station, in person at the ticket counter, or online / via an app. No matter where you live in Germany, be on the lookout for special offers such as season tickets, state tickets, and the BahnCard for frequent travellers.
The DB (Deutsche Bahn) app can be a lifesaver, allowing you to look up timetable and price options, map your journey, and show your e-tickets. The app also gives you alternative routes when it recognises an upcoming delay - which is a great segue into some disadvantages of getting the train in Germany.
Here are five things you should beware of when riding the train:
- Taking the train often takes longer than driving
- Train delays and strikes will sometimes cause you to miss your connections
- You can get stranded by bad weather
- You will sometimes face a language barrier
- The train can sometimes be overcrowded
Avoid these common mistakes
You can minimise unpleasant occurrences, however, by keeping in mind these top tips for a successful train ride.
Firstly, always make sure you have your ticket! This sounds basic, but it’s a good idea to take a picture or screenshot of your ticket so you can always produce it when required. This is especially important if you’re travelling with a large group and have multiple tickets, or in case you go into a tunnel and can’t bring up your e-ticket on your phone without mobile data.
If you’re still learning German and keep missing important announcements, you can use the train timetable on your app to prepare for delays.
The video below goes into all of these points in greater detail - enjoy!
Do you like riding the train in Germany? Do you have any top tips? Share them in the comments below!