Budget Travel for students

For other secrets of budget travel

Buy Train Tickets in Germany in Advance

Tickets are sold at sparpreise (discount prices) from 3 months to 3 days prior to the travel date. Discounts can be up to 63 percent. Outside of those times, or once all the discount tickets are sold, tickets are sold at normalpreis (standard fare).

For this lower price, there are a few restrictions. For example, they are zugbindung which means you must take the train printed on your ticket; it is not flexible.

Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket (Happy Weekend Ticket)

With the Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket, the weekend is all yours—you can take the train as often as you like within one weekend (Saturday or Sunday and is valid from midnight up to 3 am the following morning), anywhere in Germany, and on any regional (RB, IRE, RE) and S-Bahn train (no high-speed Intercity Express). The ticket costs 44 euros plus just 6 euro per person for up to 5 people. 

To give a little perspective, you can ride from Munich to Berlin on this ticket with 4 of your friends. It is crazy cheap but will cost you in time. This journey is usually only 4.5 hours but can stretch to 12 hours on regional trains. Plan your time versus money accordingly.

Länder Ticket (State Ticket)

Every federal state in Germany offers a Länderticket, which allows you to explore their Bundesland by train for one whole day. Travel anywhere within Bavaria or Saxony or BerlinBrandenburg.

With only one pass, you can travel with up to five people and explore a German state of your choice on a shoestring budget starting at 23 euros plus 6 euros per additional traveler up to five people.

Group Travel

Group saver fares allow groups to travel within Germany for as little as 19.90 euros per person. Groups can range from 6 to 30 people in size and tickets are available up to 12 months in advance. There is also a group saver fare Europe that offers travel to more countries in Europe.

German Rail Pass

With the German Rail Pass, you can travel on all trains on the German Railway including the Intercity Express (also known as ICE) for 5 to 15 days within the period of one month. The German Rail Pass is available for both first and second class travel (as well as youth options) and for consecutive days or flexible.

Prices start at 145 euros for 2 consecutive days up to 280 euros for 7 days within a month.

An important note: This offer only applies to people withpermanent residence outside Europe, Turkey, and Russia. If you are European and live outside Europe you must have left more than 6 months ago (indicated by the stamp in your passport).


The German Railway offers frequent train travelers the chance to buy a card that offers discounts on every train journey. There are three different options:

  • Bahncard 25 – This card provides a 25 percent discount on flexpreis (flexible fares) and sparpreis for one year. The card costs just 62 Euros for second class.
  • Bahncard 50 – This card provides a 50 percent discount on Flexpreis and 25 percent discount on sparpreise within Germany. The card costs 255 Euros for second class. Students, senior citizens, and children only pay half the purchase price. 
  • Bahncard 100 – For the constant traveler, this card provides all-inclusive travel for one year. The card costs 695.52 euros for private customers.

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