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Border hopping with Germany’s 9-euro ticket

Practical Info

The Polish station at Krzewina Zgorzelecka is one of the places to which Germany’s 9-euro ticket is valid (photo © hidden europe).

The Polish station at Krzewina Zgorzelecka is one of the places to which Germany’s 9-euro ticket is valid (photo © hidden europe).

Germany has a wonderful travel deal this summer with its 9-euro ticket. This ticket is valid for a full calendar month on all regional trains and city transport. You can criss-cross Germany at will, discover rural byways and explore distant cities. What an opportunity! 

You can buy this ticket for the months of June, July and August. So a modest investment of just €27 (ie. €9 for each calendar month), buys a summer-long freedom to roam. The €9 ticket is valid for travel in second class only. 

The ticket can be used on the great majority of German trains. It’s only the fastest services which are excluded. The services not covered by the €9 tickets are: 

  • High-speed trains like ICE and ECE services
  • All IC and EC trains
  • Faster services run by foreign operators like TGV, Railjet and Thalys trains
  • Selected overnight services such as Euronight and Nightjet trains
  • Private operators’ longer-distance services such as Flixtrain

Work round those exceptions and you can explore Germany from its Baltic shores to the Bavarian Alps. The €9 ticket is truly an invitation to wander and not just within Germany’s borders. With a €9 ticket to hand, it’s perfectly possible to travel by train or bus into all nine countries that border onto Germany without having to pay a cent extra. 

Here’s our sample list of cross-border excursions which are there for the taking. None of these journeys require advance reservation. Just hop on and ride. Our list is certainly not exhaustive, but just gives some examples of what’s possible. 

All services listed are run by trains except where clearly indicated otherwise. 

Switzerland

The €9 ticket can be used on 

  • Wiesentalbahn (S-Bahn S6) trains to both Basel Badischer Bahnhof and to Basel SBB station
  • DB Regio IRE trains from Waldshut to Schaffhausen
  • DB Regio IRE trains from Singen to Schaffhausen

Austria

The €9 ticket can be used on 

  • BRB trains to Salzburg Hauptbahnhof
  • ÖBB S-Bahn trains between Freilassing and Salzburg
  • BRB trains to Kufstein in the Inn Valley
  • DB Regio RB60 trains from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Reutte in Tirol
  • DB Regio S7 trains from Pfronten-Steinach to Reutte in Tirol

Czech Republic

The €9 ticket can be used on 

  • Trilex trains from Dresden and Zittau to Hrádek nad Nisou
  • Trilex trains from Zittau to Varnsdorf

Poland

The €9 ticket can be used on 

  • ODEG trains from Zittau to Krzewina Zgorzelecka
  • ODEG trains from Görlitz to Krzewina Zgorzelecka
  • DB Regio RB23 Usedom Railway trains to Swinoujscie Centrum

There are also two cross-border rail routes from Germany into Poland where a 'zero-tariff' applies. So holders of the €9 ticket can, just like anyone else, ride those trains for free. The two routes are, firstly, the new Polregio weekend service from Guben to Gubin (introduced in June 2022) and, secondly, the Neisse Viaduct line from Görlitz to Zgorzelec. On the latter route, the zero fare applies to Trilex and KD trains. We do not know if it applies to Polregio trains between Görlitz and Zgorzelec.   

Denmark

The €9 ticket can be used on 

  • NEG RB66 trains from Niebüll to Tønder

Luxembourg

The €9 ticket can be used on 

  • CfL and DB Regio RE11 and RB83 trains from Trier to Luxembourg

As public transport is free in Luxembourg, passengers may continue beyond Luxembourg Ville to anywhere in the Grand Duchy without any need to purchase an additional ticket.

Netherlands

It took a while to identify any regional trains from Germany into the Netherlands where the €9 ticket is definitely valid. The only one we have found is

  • Eurobahn's RB61 rail route from Bad Bentheim to Oldenzaal and Hengelo

We do know that the €9 ticket is also accepted on some cross-border bus routes into the Netherlands. Examples include local buses on route 22 and 33 from Aachen to Vaals. The ticket is also accepted on bus route 34 to Kerkrade.

Belgium

We have not yet found any regional trains from Germany directly into Belgium where the €9 ticket is valid. But it is definitely accepted on some cross-border bus routes. Examples include local buses on route 24 from Aachen to Kelmis. 

It is however still possible to reach Athus in Belgium by train from Germany without needing any additional ticket beyond the €9 ticket. Public transport is completely free in Luxembourg and the €9 ticket can be used across the border from Germany into Luxembourg. And beyond, as there is a single Belgian railway station which is covered by Luxembourg’s zero tariff scheme – and that is Athus. 

France

The €9 ticket can be used on 

  • Saarbahn services from Saarbrücken to Sarrguemines
  • Vlexx trains from Koblenz and Mainz to Wissembourg in Alsace (these services only run on Sundays). There are unconfirmed reports that the €9 ticket may also be accepted on the regular DB Regio trains to and from Wissembourg. These trains run hourly, seven days a week. 

It is possible to reach two railway stations in France’s Lorraine region by train from Germany without needing any additional ticket beyond the €9 ticket. Public transport is completely free in Luxembourg and the €9 ticket can be used across the border from Germany into Luxembourg. There are two French railway stations which are covered by Luxembourg’s zero tariff scheme. They are Audun-le-Tiche and Volmerange-les-Mines.

Copyright © Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries. All rights reserved.
hidden europe
About The Authors

Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries

Nicky and Susanne manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers and the authors of the book Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide. The 17th edition of that book will be published in mid-April 2022. You'll find a list of outlets that sell the book on this website.

3 Comments

si, 2 August 2022

Used the Saarbahn to Sarreguimenes, FR in July 2022. The light rail is right outside the Saarbrucken main station! Thanks for this guidance and helping me explore!

Saul, 10 July 2022

You can also get the RB51 from dortmund to Enschede NL & RB64 from Münster to Enschede

Angus Proud, 19 June 2022

The €9 ticket looks a wonderful idea and we'll certainly be using it whilst in Germany next month. What I hadn't explored until now was the possibility of using it on journey from Nürnberg to Domažlice, to begin your Bohemian Byways route. Thanks for the tip.

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