The Quer-durchs-Land Ticket is a day ticket allowing for unlimited travel on all regional trains of Deutsche Bahn in Germany. Small groups save the most.
The cheap Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket is one of Deutsche Bahn’s greatest savings deals. The ticket is valid for solo travelers or small groups of up to five traveling together using only local and regional trains in Germany. It may be used on weekdays from 9 am until 3 am the following day, or all day weekends. It is a great deal for saving on railway fares in Germany, especially when traveling only short distances or visiting sights in towns without high-speed trains. The Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket has a base fare of €44 for the first traveler with each additional traveler up to five adding €8. It is best bought online from German Railways or at station vending machines. On weekends, the similar Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket is better value while a Länder Ticket is best when traveling in a single German state.
Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket works great in German but is harder to translate into English. Literally it means “across through the country”. It tries to convey the message that is valid throughout Germany and that it is not necessary to take the shortest, fastest or most-direct route while traveling. In English, it is now referred to as the less poetic but easier to understand Day Ticket for Germany.
Save with the Cheap Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket
The Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket is remarkably cheap and thus not surprisingly comes with special travel restrictions. The most important include:
- The Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket may only be used on weekdays after 9 am (weekends and national holidays from midnight) and is valid up to 3 am the following morning. (On weekends, the Schönes Wochenende Ticket is a better deal.)
- The Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket may only be used on local regional trains with the letters IRE, RE, RB, or S in the train name. It is also valid on most private railways which operate on regular routes, i.e. not special holiday or excursion routes.
- The Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket is only available for travel in second class.
- The Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket is available for solo travelers or for a group of up to five passengers traveling together. The group composition may not be altered and names have to be entered on the ticket prior to commencement of the journey. (Group members may join at later stations / get off earlier but the correct names must be entered before the first journey starts.)
- Own children (or grand children) up to 14 years old may travel for free with a parent(s) or grandparent (s) on a single or two-person Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket. Other children must be counted as separate passengers and the free own children rule is no longer applicable if more than two paying travelers are counted. (Children under 6 years always travel for free on German trains.)
Cheap Schönes-Wochenende and Quer-Durchs-Land vs Cheaper Länder-Tickets
The Schönes-Wochenende-Tickets, Quer-Durchs-Land-Tickets and Länder-Tickets are Deutsche Bahn’s saving tickets for travel on local trains only. The tickets have a lot in common but there are important differences too:
- Länder-Tickets have geographical restrictions while the Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket and Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket are valid throughout Germany.
- The Quer-durchs-Land Tickets are usually not valid on city buses, trams, and U-Bahn trains while the Schönes Wochenende and Länder-Tickets are generally accepted.
- Länder-Tickets and Quer-durchs-Land Tickets are available all week while Schönes-Wochenende-Tickets can only be used on Saturday and Sunday.
- Länder-Tickets are also available in first class versions while the Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket and Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket are limited to second class.
- A few states have even cheaper Länder-Tickets Nacht for night travel.
- Most metropolitan areas, and some rural regions, have even cheaper tickets covering the specific geographical area.
Buying the Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket
The Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket, when bought online or from ticket machines, is €44 for the first passenger and then add €8 for each additional traveler up to a maximum of five (€76). Additional passengers cannot be added after purchase and names must be entered in ink before the first journey commences.
At station ticket counters, German train tickets are usually €2 more expensive. Train tickets generally cannot be bought on Germany local trains – failure to buy a ticket prior to boarding will result in heavy fines per person.
In many areas, bicycles are transported for free on trains. In others, each bicycle requires a €5 Fahrradticket (Bicycle Ticket), which allow unlimited transportation on all local trains for the day.
Small dogs travel for free if inside a transportation container, otherwise a dog counts as a person. Dogs do not qualify for free travel under the “own children” rule and must be counted as a passenger, enter Hund (dog) rather than the name of the animal on the ticket.
During the week, the Quer-durchs-Land Tickets offer great savings over regular train fares provided only local trains are used. On weekends, the Schönes Wochenende Tickets are better value while Länder-Tickets provide even bigger savings any day for travel in smaller areas. Deutsche Bahn has numerous further discount fares available on high-speed, long-distance trains as well while non-resident can also get great value out of the German Rail Pass.