Faced with the dual motivation of the climate crisis and the need to drastically reduce its dependence on Russian natural gas, Germany announced earlier this week a ambitious new public transport project. For three months from June, all transport across the country will cost just €9 (£7.70, $9.60) per month. Ridiculous, we know.
Which means a super-cheap train trip through Germany should be on everyone’s bucket list this summer. But where should you go? Well, that’s why we’re here.
Now there are obviously some terms and conditions regarding the €9 pass. The bottom line is that it does not apply to all trains – it is only valid on Deutsche Bahn routes operated by Regional Bahn (RB), Regional Express (RE), S-bahn and U- well. In other words, this does not apply to high-speed routes like the Inter City Express (ICE).
But fear not, there are still many, many trains included in the pass. So, within those limits, here are five train trips that you should definitely have on your to-do list over the next few months.
Berlin U-1: Friedrichshain to Charlottenburg
Not all U-bahns are underground: take Berlin‘s majestic U-1, for example. Take this beautiful line between Friedrichshain and Charlottenburg and it will take you over the River Spree via the iconic double-decker Oberbaum Bridge and then take you across Kreuzberg on the overhead line. Needless to say, this is one of the most beautiful and scenic train routes in Berlin.
Black Forest Railway
Winding through the towering pines of the Black Forest, this majestic road passes through mighty rock formations, green hills and picturesque hamlets. It stretches between Offenburg and Hornberg, eventually opening up to the vast turquoise waters of Lake Constance.
Western Rhine Railway
Take you from Cologne to Mainz via the beautiful city of Koblenz, this line follows the Rhine past vineyards and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the Rhine Gorge). Be careful though, because many Cologne-Mainz connections are managed by ICE. An RE service – which is included in the €9 pass – runs per hour.
Hamburg to Sylt
A long, thin island jutting out into the North Sea, Sylt is known for its long beaches and windswept dunes. It is accessible from Hamburg via the RE6, which takes just over three hours and offers a particularly beautiful and desolate journey on the causeway that connects Sylt to the German mainland.
Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Explore rural Bavaria and the peaceful Alpine foothills on the Munich to the Garmisch-Partenkirchen line, which takes an hour and 20 minutes to get from one of Germany’s largest cities to the Austrian border. The RB6 departs from Munich Hauptbahnhof and passes Lake Starnberg and Murnauer Moos (the largest marsh area in Central Europe) before ending at the hiking – and, in winter, skiing – destination Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Have you seen that a The new Paris-Berlin high-speed train will be launched next year?