For members


How will Germany’s €9 monthly travel ticket work?

Transport providers across Germany are getting ready to introduce a heavily reduced travel ticket. Here's how the plan is progressing.

A ticket machine next to a tram in Heidelberg.
A ticket machine next to a tram in Heidelberg. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Uwe Anspach

What is the €9 ticket?

The €9 monthly travel ticket was introduced as part of the coalition government’s financial relief package aimed at easing the cost of living and energy crisis.

It’s also hoped that it will lure people in Germany away from their cars, which would be a helpful step in the battle against climate change. 

Transport providers say the ticket will be easy to get and will also benefit people who have monthly or yearly subscriptions – known as an Abo in Germany.

When will the ticket be available and how will it work?

Sales of the ticket are scheduled to start by June, and the promotional period will run from June 1st to August 31st 2022. 

“The Nine Euro Ticket will be offered for the months of June, July and August at a price of €9 per month,” says Munich’s MVV, the transit authority for the Bavarian capital. “Those who buy the Nine Euro Ticket in all three months will therefore pay €27.”

READ ALSO: Germany’s €9 monthly travel ticket to be available from June

The ticket is valid for one calendar month. It will be available through various channels, including at ticket machines and at the counter or as a mobile phone ticket.

According to MVV Managing Director Bernd Rosenbusch, transport companies across the country are currently in the process of programming their vending machines to include the offer. 

Berlin transport operator BVG said pre-sale tickets for the special offer will be on sale soon. 

Where is the €9 ticket valid? What can I use it for?

The ticket will be valid on local and regional transport throughout Germany. This means that if you buy a €9 ticket in Nuremberg, Augsburg or Munich, it will include the regional trains of the Deutsche Bahn and local providers. This means that the routes Munich – Nuremberg – Munich, for example, can be reached with direct regional train connections.

You can also use the ticket in other parts of Germany on the local transport system there. 

A ticket machine on a bus in Munich.

A ticket machine on a bus in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The MVV says: “Included (in the ticket) are scheduled buses, trams, the U-Bahn, the S-Bahn and regional trains (2nd class).”

However, the €9 monthly pass is not valid on long-distance travel – for example on ICE, IC or EC trains. So you can’t use it to travel across the country unless there is a regional service.

Otherwise, the respective conditions of carriage apply. If, for example, your travel card includes a bike ticket, you can continue to take your bike with you free of charge. Others will still need a bicycle ticket.

What about people with a monthly or yearly pass?

Many people – and companies – in Germany pay a ‘subscription’ fee on a yearly or monthly basis because it is cheaper in the long run for those who use local transport often. 

These customers will not be penalised. However, transport authorities can decide individually on how to deal with this situation. 

In Munich regular customers who already have a weekly, monthly or yearly ticket and have the regular price debited from their account will automatically pay only €9 for each of the three months. So their travel pass will count as a €9 ticket for these three months.

READ ALSO: What we know so far about Germany’s €9 monthly travel ticket plans

The MVV said no one has to cancel their subscription to get the ticket. All conditions continue to apply, except for the price, which is then, MVV boss Rosenbusch told BR24, “incredibly cheap”.

According to Berlin’s BVG, “during the promotion period, the price for you as a subscriber will be reduced to €9 per month for the three months”.

However, it is still unclear exactly when subscribers who have already paid will receive their refund.

Will students with a ‘Semesterticket’ benefit?

Yes, they will. The situation looks likely to be the same as for people with subscriptions, which means it will be down to local transport companies to decide how to issue refunds.

It may be worth checking with student advice centres at universities to get updates on this nearer the time. 

Are there any disadvantages?

This is a hugely attractive offer that many people are expected to take advantage of. It will also benefit people visiting Germany such as tourists. 

As it is such a great deal, transport providers have warned that travel services could be much busier this summer. Particularly because it would be difficult for companies to introduce more trains, buses and trams at short notice and for a temporary period.

For that reason “there may also be overcrowding on some routes,” according to the MVV.

It’s worth keeping in mind that a lot of public transport in Germany doesn’t have air conditioning installed… so it may get sweatier than usual if it’s a hot summer.

Transport users at Berlin's Alexanderplatz on February 11th 2021.

Transport users at Berlin’s Alexanderplatz on February 11th 2021. Services are likely to be busier this summer due to the reduced ticket offer. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Soeder

Is the ticket definitely going ahead?

It has been approved by the coalition government, but it still has to go through the wider Bundestag – and the Bundesrat, which represents the federal states.

That is expected to happen on May 19th and 20th so that the monthly ticket can start on June 1st.

However, the financing of the ticket and for public transport providers has not yet been fully clarified.

According to a draft bill from the Transport Ministry, the federal government wants to increase funds for the states to finance local transport by €3.7 billion this year. Part of this money will be used to help with Covid-related costs and €2.5 billion is earmarked for the reduced ticket.

But there is some dispute over whether the government should help transport providers more due to the huge increase in energy costs. 

The government says, however, that companies will benefit from the planned temporary reduction of the energy tax on fuel. 

The MVV’s Rosenbuch said he didn’t think the offer would be blocked by the states. 

“I am sure that a compromise can be found,” he said.

Meanwhile, several details still haven’t been worked out.

A spokesman from VBB, a transport association run by public transport providers in Berlin and Brandenburg, told The Local that there was still some work needed at the federal level, and urged customers to have patience. 

“As the VBB, we will come to an agreement with the states of Berlin and Brandenburg and all transport companies in the network in order to discuss the concrete framework conditions for implementation as soon as they are more concrete. This especially concerns the treatment of existing customers/subscribers.

“We would like to ask all passengers and customers to wait for our active communication and thank you in advance for your patience.”

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For members


Nine of the best day trips from Frankfurt with the €9 ticket

If you want to explore the area around Frankfurt this summer, there are plenty of destinations you can reach in under two hours. 

Nine of the best day trips from Frankfurt with the €9 ticket

Germany’s €9 monthly ticket, which launched in June, is also available throughout the whole of July and August. It can be used on all local transport across the country, as well as on regional trains. 

If you’re based in Frankfurt, or heading there on holiday, these destinations can all be reached on regional transport in under two hours, making them an ideal day or weekend getaway. 

READ ALSO: €9 for 90: Everything you need to know about Germany’s cheap travel deal

1. Heidelberg

People sit in front of the Old Bridge at the Neckar river in Heidelberg.

People sit in front of the Old Bridge at the Neckar river in Heidelberg. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Uwe Anspach

With its arched Old Bridge and castle on the hill, it’s no wonder Heidelberg is known as one of Germany’s most romantic destinations. The castle, which dates back to the 13th century, was even immortalised by English romantic painter William Turner in a famous painting from the mid-19th century. 

Stroll the winding gothic streets, pay a visit to Germany’s oldest university and visit have a coffee in the historic centre which still bears witness to the medieval layout of the city.

To get to Heidelberg, take the RB68 direct from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof to Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof in 1 hour and 40 minutes.

READ ALSO: Is Frankfurt a good place for foreigners to live?

2. Hessenpark

Historic half-timbered houses and an old fountain in the market square of Hessenpark, a popular excursion destination in the Taunus region.

Historic half-timbered houses and an old fountain in the market square of Hessenpark, a popular excursion destination in the Taunus region. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Arne Dedert

Take a step back in time in this fascinating open-air museum. With over 100 reconstructed historic buildings across 160 acres, the park gives visitors a close-up look at 400 years of rural life in Hesse. 

Amongst the highlights are the market place which boasts buildings from the whole state of Hesse; a 15th-century church and an austere school room from the turn of the 20th century.

With lively demonstrations of crafts and agriculture, exhibitions, colourful markets, the museum theatre and themed tours, a trip to Hessenpark makes a great day out for all of the family. 

To get there, take the RB15 from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof to Wehrheim Bahnhof and from there, hop on the 63 bus to Neu-Anspach-Anspach Hessenpark. In total it should take you 1 hour and 15 minutes.

3. Darmstadt

A man walks through the Mathildenhöhe UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A man walks through the Mathildenhöhe UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Frank Rumpenhorst

A day trip to Darmstadt is a must for art and architecture lovers, as Hessen’s fourth-biggest metropolis is home to some particularly interesting cultural sights. 

The former artists’ colony on Mathildenhöhe, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, is one of the most important Art Nouveau sights in Germany and the Wedding Tower and the wacky ‘Waldspirale’ (forest spiral) are well worth a visit.

Also on Mathildenhöhe is the richly decorated Russian Chapel where one of the sisters of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig married Nicholas II, the last Russian Tsar. 

You need only half an hour to reach Darmstadt, with a direct ride on the S3 from Frankfurt (Main) South station.

READ ALSO: Less traffic, more ticket sales: How the €9 ticket is impacting Germany 

4. Königstein (Taunus)

The Königstein castle ruins are a landmark of the Hochtaunus town and are among the largest castle ruins in Germany.

The Königstein castle ruins are a landmark. They are among the largest castle ruins in Germany. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Andreas Arnold

At an altitude of around 300 metres on the wooded slopes of the Taunus lies the health spa town of Königstein. 

Königstein has been a climatic health resort since 1935, thanks to the purity of the air in the region and is home to various health clinics. 

Daytrippers can soak up the tranquillity in the parks or in the picturesque city centre.

The ruins of Königstein Castle, which date back to the first half of the 12th century, are also well worth a visit. 

There are several routes to get you to Königstein from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof in under 50 minutes, the fastest being the S5 to Oberursel, followed by the X26 bus to Königstein.

5. Wiesbaden

The Kurpark in Wiesbaden.

The gorgeous Kurpark in Wiesbaden. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Hannes P Albert

​​Nestled in a beautiful valley between the Rhine and the mountains of the Taunus lies Hesse’s capital Wiesbaden. 

There are plenty of things to see on a day trip to the city, including the English-style landscaped garden of the Kurpark, the neo-Gothic Market Church on Schlossplatz and the Hessian State Museum.

Those who fancy trying their luck should pay a visit to the Casino Wiesbaden – one of Germany’s oldest casinos in the former wine salon of the Kurhaus. 

Wiesbaden is also known for its thermal baths and no trip is complete without a hot tub and sauna visit. 

READ ALSO: Weekend Wanderlust – Getting my feet wet in. Wiesbaden

You only need around 50 minutes to reach Wiesbaden from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof with the S1 or S9 to Wiesbaden central station.

6. Felsenmeer

Hundreds of visitors climb over the rocks of the Felsenmeer , which is a popular attraction in the Odenwald.

Hundreds of visitors climb over the rocks of the Felsenmeer , which is a popular attraction in the Odenwald. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

Around 60 kilometres south of Frankfurt is a true natural wonder that will delight nature lovers of all ages. 

The Felsenmeer, which literally translates as ‘rock sea’ is a mass of boulders across Felsberg in Oldenwald. The rocks are hundreds of millions of years old, and at the information centre at the foot of the hill, you’ll find all the geological, historical and practical information you need to make the most of a hike through the sea of rocks. 

At the top of the hill, you can reward your exertions with a tasty snack at the kiosk on the summit. 

A trip to the Felsenmeer will take you around an hour and 40 minutes with the RB82 from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof to Reinheim Bahnhof, followed by the M02 bus to Reichenbach, Felsenmeer.

7. Limburg (Lahn)

A view of the Lahn river and the cathedral in Limburg.

A view of the Lahn river and the cathedral in Limburg. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Frey

A visit to Limburg in the west of Hesse, is a bit like travelling back in time to the Middle Ages. There are dreamy castles, palaces, charming half-timbered houses and ancient legends swirling around the city’s cobbled streets.

A particularly visit-worthy ancient relic is the imposing St. Lubentius Basilica. Perched on an outcrop of limestone rocks on the west bank of the Lahn river, it was the region’s most important church until the 13th century.

You can reach Limburg in just over an hour with the RE20 from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof.

8. Mainz

A glass of wine stands on a table near the cathedral in Mainz during the Johannisnacht festival in 2019 held in honour of Johannes Gutenberg.

A glass of wine stands on a table near the cathedral in Mainz during the Johannisnacht festival in 2019 held in honour of Johannes Gutenberg. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Andreas Arnold

A short train ride away from Frankfurt, you’ll find the city of Mainz on the Rhine River. Known as Germany’s wine capital, there’s plenty to explore in the cobblestone streets of the Altstadt. Mainz has a steep history after being founded by the Romans.

For more than 1,000 years, the city’s skyline has been dominated by the cathedral.

We’d also recommend checking out the the Gutenberg Museum – one of the oldest museums of printing in the world. And of course, make sure to visit a little wine bar – known as a Weinstube.

Get to Mainz by taking the RE4 from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof.  It takes just over 30 minutes. 

READ ALSO: Nine of the best day trips from Munich with the €9 ticket

9. Walldorfer See

People enjoy a dip in the Badesee Walldorf.

People enjoy a dip in the Badesee Walldorf. Photo: picture alliance / Daniel Reinhardt/dpa

What better way to cool off this summer than to head to a lake? The beautiful Walldorfer See, south of Frankfurt, is known for being a little less busy and calmer than the nearby Langener See, which is the biggest lake in the region. 

On the southern shore at the entrance is the large sandy beach which has a snack bar, toilets, plus a beach volleyball and barbecue area. You can also explore the forest around. 

Keep in mind that the lake is near the airport so you will also see some planes overhead (which might be fun, especially if you have kids with you!). 

Get there on the S7 or RE70 from Frankfurt Haubtbahnof, and then jump off at Walldorf (Hess), and get the the 67 or 68 bus in the direction of Frankfurt airport to Mörfelden-Walldorf-Egerländer Straße. It’s then an 18 minute walk to the Badestelle Walldorfer See.

With reporting by Rachel Loxton