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I am very confused at the whole train system. Can someone guide me on what and how to buy?

We are traveling from Munich airport to Cologne and back. What train tickets should I buy for a family of 4? Munich to Cologne to Mainz to Trier to Heidelberg to Stuttgart to Munich again. Within each city what tickets do I buy again? Lastly, can I just buy the tickets at the train stations and on the actual day of departure? Thank you.

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Elementarteilchen
Elementarteilchen

Elementarteilchen

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First of all, you can buy the tickets at the train stations on the actual day of travel. This give you the best flexibility, though it can be also most expensive.

If you know in advance on which day you travel between the cities, and you buy the tickets early, you can save money if you book so called „Sparpreis“ or „Supersparpreis“ tickets. These tickets can be much cheaper, but you book specific trains, and the ticket is only valid in these trains (these tickets usually become more expensive the later you buy them until they are sold out). So if you would be late and miss these trains, these tickets can no longer be used and you would need new ones. These tickets are great to save money if you are able to make concrete plans and schedules for your travel.

If you buy „Flexpreis“ tickets you are not bound to specific trains, you are flexible when you travel (within the day the ticket is valid), but you are still bound to the route. These tickets are more expensive than Sparpreis, but also more flexible. And these are always available (no contingents). Therefore it doesn‘t make sense to buy them early to save money (because you can‘t), so you can just buy them at the station when you are actually traveling.

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Elementarteilchen
Elementarteilchen

Elementarteilchen

Ebene
4
5000 / 5000
Punkte

First of all, you can buy the tickets at the train stations on the actual day of travel. This give you the best flexibility, though it can be also most expensive.

If you know in advance on which day you travel between the cities, and you buy the tickets early, you can save money if you book so called „Sparpreis“ or „Supersparpreis“ tickets. These tickets can be much cheaper, but you book specific trains, and the ticket is only valid in these trains (these tickets usually become more expensive the later you buy them until they are sold out). So if you would be late and miss these trains, these tickets can no longer be used and you would need new ones. These tickets are great to save money if you are able to make concrete plans and schedules for your travel.

If you buy „Flexpreis“ tickets you are not bound to specific trains, you are flexible when you travel (within the day the ticket is valid), but you are still bound to the route. These tickets are more expensive than Sparpreis, but also more flexible. And these are always available (no contingents). Therefore it doesn‘t make sense to buy them early to save money (because you can‘t), so you can just buy them at the station when you are actually traveling.

EinVielfahrer
EinVielfahrer

EinVielfahrer

Ebene
4
5000 / 5000
Punkte

1) if the kids are your own kids and under 15 yo you don't need a ticket for them for the routes between the cities
2) in Germanythere is a separation between long distance trains and regional trains.
3) For regional trains there are often good offers. ("Länderticket"). You may use one between cologne and Mainz, or Maize and Trier or Heidelberg and Stuttgart.
4) Tickets can be bought until few minutes before departure. But sometimes there are special offers if you book earlier (non refundable, non change of train)

you can download the app "Db Navigator" https://www.bahn.com/en/view/booking-information/booking/... which informs you about connections and offers. (Be advised to turn on "regional trains only " if you want to save money and maybe loose some time)

Benutzerin
Benutzerin

Benutzerin

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@EinVielfahrer
Da nirgends steht, wie alt die Kinder sind, finde ich Antwort 1) kritisch...

EinVielfahrer
EinVielfahrer

EinVielfahrer

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@Benutzerin: Danke. Hab's ergänzt. Hatte irgendwie an "kleine Kinder" gedacht...

Leo
Leo

Leo

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Flexible tickets are very expensive. I would recommend to spend one night in Freising (close to the airport) or Munich before you go to Cologne with a cheap (super)saver ticket.

Same on the way back: If the train is late an you miss your plane, you will have to buy new tickets on your own! (There are many questions like this: No, no compensation by DB whatsoever!)

DB
DB

DB

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Team

Hi,

I see Elementarteilchen and EinVielfahrer given you many tips. For a price information you can also contact our Reise-Service: 0049 (0) 180 6 99 66 33 (20 cents per call from a German landline, max. 60 cents per call from a German mobile network; costs for calls from abroad depend on provider) daily from 00:00 to 24:00. /ni

Addition:

The answer from EinVielfahrer is still not quite correct. Without tickets only children under the age of six are allowed to ride. Children from 6-14 years need either a ticket for half the fare or they can travel free of charge with their own parents, but they must be indicated on the ticket. If two parents travel together with two children, a ticket for two adults and two children must be purchased at the time of booking. No fare is charged for the children in this booking, as the booking system assumes that they are children of the family in this case.