The nine-euro ticket is coming. Questions are still open, but are supposed to be available starting June 1st. The cheap bus and train ticket is available for three months and is valid nationwide. So if you buy your ticket in Frankfurt, you can also travel on regional trains in Bavaria or Lower Saxony. Only ICE and IC are excluded. And this is how vacation works with the cheap ticket:
On the Rhine and Lake Constance
In 2021, you can still travel from Badischer Bahnhof in Basel to Ulm in just over three hours without having to change trains. Now you must change the train in Friedrichshafen. Lovers of the train will beat this, because the road in the far south of the republic offers a wonderful landscape cinema: the wild Rhine with waterfalls near Schaffhausen, Lake Constance with an alpine backdrop and beautiful top Swabia, blessed with Baroque buildings. At the end of the nearly 300 kilometer journey, you are greeted by Ulm Minster, the world’s tallest church tower.
Information on Hochrheinbahn: www.bahn.de
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through the black forest
From Karlsruhe in Baden to Lake Constance and back: this has been possible with the Black Forest Railway for more than 150 years. Hardly any bridges, many tunnels – this was the goal pursued by builder Robert Gerwig, who literally “pasted” the road to the mountain. The two end rings, covering an elevation difference of about 400 meters between Hornberg and Sumerau, are brilliant. An engineering trick that makes this possible: The linear distance of eleven kilometers between cities has been extended to 26 kilometers of railway line. The journey from Karlsruhe to Konstanz takes three hours.
More information on the Black Forest Railway: www.schwarzwald.com/sehenswertes/schwarzwaldbahn.html
By train to Allgäu
Off to Bavaria: The Free State has many beautiful regional train lines, such as the route from Freilassing to Berchtesgaden with the national park. Or the Mittenwaldbahn, which runs through the Karwendel Mountains. Also beautiful: the road from Munich to Füssen. The BRB departs once an hour in the direction of Königsschlösser. In the Bavarian capital, the Alpine peaks are still vaguely visible on the horizon, but they dominate the landscape with every kilometer. The trip takes almost two hours on a real postcard, and in the end you are at a loss to choose: hike in Lechweg or visit “Kini” in Neuschwanstein. More information about the Bavarian Regiobahn: www.brb.de
Now on the horizon
It connects the Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse states and is – since it has not been fundamentally modernized in large parts – a relic of the early days of the railway age: the Lahn Valley Railway between Niederlinstein and Wetzlar, the concrete part of which has been designated a cultural monument. The very winding and attractive track with its historic tunnels does not allow for higher speeds, which is why it takes about 90 minutes to travel the approximately 90 km track. But the traveler always sees the tributary of the meandering Rhine. The route is popular with cyclists, because Lahntalradweg has a railway connection.
Information on the Lahn Valley Railway: www.daslahntal.de/aktiv-draussen/mit-bus-und-bahn-unterwegs
Along the Moselle River
It doesn’t have to be the Middle Rhine Valley, with its castles, that delight rail lovers. Little sister Moselle is no less beautiful. The road to the right of the Moselle, on which the train operated until the 1960s, now serves as a bike path, but the Regional Express Line operates at frequent intervals to the left of the Moselle. Steep vineyards, charming wine villages and an ornamental meandering river await passengers on the 90-minute journey from Koblenz to Trier. It is worth getting off in Bullay to detour to Traben-Trarbach on the Moselle Wine Railway (13 km).
Information on the Mosel Railway: www.moselbahn.de and www.moselwein-bahn.de
A gem in Vogtland
A 140-year tradition: The Elstertalbahn has 30 stations and the most bridge station in Europe and is a loyal companion to the Weißen Elster. Between its source near the Bohemian Cheb and the town of Otto Dix in Gera in Thuringia, the river presents itself as a natural area with rare flora and fauna. The landscape is perfect for hiking or biking. Part of the “Thuringia Trail” runs through the floodplains of the Weißen Elster River. Along the 140-kilometre route, there are countless historical and cultural attractions such as Greiz’s Lower Castle, or St. The more than 1,000-year-old Vitus in Wunschendorf or the Elstertal Bridge, built of twelve million bricks.
Information about Elstertalbahn: https://vogtlandauskunft.de/elstertalbahn
In the Elbe Sandstone Mountains
Admittedly, the journey from Dresden to Bad Schandau only takes 44 minutes, but the route through Saxon Switzerland is certainly one of the most beautiful in Germany. Paths nest against the Elbe River; Beautiful villages lie on both banks. Behind it is an exotic rock tower from the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, which inspired painters such as Caspar David Friedrich. If you want to extend the short trip by S-Bahn into a full-day excursion, go from Bad Schandau to Schrammsteinen and take the Weißen Flotte to Dresden. From there a regional express goes to the Bayerischer Hof.
Information on trains to the Sandston Elbe: www.dvb.de
From the Alps to the Coast
North Sea or Baltic Sea? That is the question when you choose Hamburg as your starting point for a nine-euro trip. Syltexpress from Altona to Westerland should be well known. But the beaches of the Baltic Sea can also be reached by regional train. The Hanse-Express line, which runs every two hours, makes it possible to do this in the direction of Rostock. Along the way are gems like the Boizenburg on the River Elbe with its many small bridges or the stately Schwerin Castle. If you want to continue to Rügen, change trains at Rostock. However, it usually only takes a few minutes for the next express regional flight to depart for Germany’s largest island.
Information about Hanse Express: https://regional.bahn.de/regionen/meckpomm/service/strecken/hanse-express
“Super Lines” of Brandenburg
Regional trains are actually designed for medium distances – whatever the term may mean. But the famous “super lines” of Brandenburg are not satisfied with short distances, sometimes they cover several hundred kilometers. Every two hours, for example, there is a direct connection from Lutherstadt Wittenberg to Stralsund – there are 342 kilometers between the two cities. The double-decker coaches at RE 2 cover the 367 kilometers on their way from Cottbus to Wismar, passing places like Lübbenau in Spreewald or Wittenberg, the gateway to Elpetalau, but also real capitals like Berlin.
Information on renewable energy lines in Brandenburg: www.odeg.de