This guide to “buying tickets” shows you the less obvious aspects of booking tickets on Deutsche BahnNational rail operator websiteon a computer
However, DB has recently made changes to ticket sales so that rail pass users can no longer book bunks and cabins online with DB.
Booking tickets for day trips in Germany:
If you just want to make reservations (because you have an InterRail or Eurail pass) or if you are booking international travel on day OR night trains, use the content menu to jump straight to the relevant information.
1. Choose a language:
Selection of a usage language on the DB website
9 European language options are available; all images are taken from the English version) and in the DB the names of places and stations are translated.
2. Be careful when choosing a channel:
You can usually select specific stations, for example. "Frankfurt (Main) Hbf), etc. This is especially useful if the start or end point of your entire trip is near a specific station.
Frankfurt (Main) Hbf is the only station in central Frankfurt (Main) where ICE trains arrive.
Notice that when you type “F” the options to select appear.
However, choosing cities may be the best option if you are heading to or from city centers and using public transport to complete or start your trip.
Do this and the search results will capture a wider range of trips.
In the example below, however, we deliberately chose COLONY...
...because it is a city with two different stations from which some ICE trains depart (Colonia Hbf) and some move away from others (Colonia Messe Deutz)
Berlin, Cologne/Cologne, Hamburg and Munich/Munich are cities that have more than one station served by express trains (EC, IC and ICE).
If you are traveling to/from these cities, don't think that Hauptbahnhof is the best station for your trip.
Use Google Maps to find the specific start/end points of your trip; It may be closer or have easier connections to one of the other train stations in these cities.
3. The most important selection options on the homepage
Choosing the traveler's age on the DB website
Before clicking the red "Search" button, note two other important criteria on the database homepage
- Surrounded by yellow; DB now offers certain types of tickets that can only be reserved and used by people between the ages of 15 and 26. So it might be a good idea to read the options here.
- Surrounded by greenery; If you know you want to travel first class, you can select it here.
(Why using the "other options" might be a good idea):
Using additional search options when booking tickets on the DB website
The five particularly useful resources on this page that we bring to your attention are:
1. Add scale:
If you book the more expensive Flexi or Flexi Plus tickets, you can add a stopover to your journey and add it here.
2. Show faster connections:
Normally, if you leave this option pre-selected, your travel search results will ONLY show travel options that include express travel.EISÖFORTrains for everyone or virtually* the entire trip.
But if you turn it off, chances are you'll ALSO see slower travel options, meaning you'll spend most of your trip on it.RegionTrains; These travel options often mean more connections too.
However, these slower rides are usually cheaper. So if your main criterion is to travel for the lowest possible price, be proactive and uncheck the box.
*= On some routes the fastest option may be a combination of ICE train for most of the route + Regio orZugTrain to complete an end-to-end journey.
3. Transfer duration:
Keep this in mind when changing trains within Germany; especially if you are taking a rare train like an overnight train or an international train.
Express trains in Germany are not particularly punctual, but the DB reservation service understandably assumes they are punctual.
If you don't change the 'Connection duration', the travel options you see include direct trains with 0 connections, if that's an option, PLUS any end-to-end journey where connection times between trains exceed 3 to 10 minutes.
This means that for some or most of the travel options presented to you, you have less than 15 minutes to transfer between trains.
10- to 15-minute connections between ICE trains are a common feature of the German rail schedule, which is often arranged to alternate direct trains and times when faster travel means a relatively quick connection. .
If you book end to end travel in DB, i.e. H. changing trains at a German station, you don't need to buy another one if a train delay causes you to miss the second train you booked a ticket for. .
However, if you have a specific train ticket, you will need to reissue it free of charge or for a fee, which likely involves a visit to a travel centre.
However, if improving the chance of a hassle-free trip is more important to you than getting to your destination in the shortest possible time, then increase this “transfer duration”.
This allows you to identify and make targeted travel options, giving you more time for the transfer.
Please note, however, that in cases where the regular schedule calls for a 10-15 minute connection between ICE trains, most connection options will appear if you increase the connection time to "at least 30 minutes". , will be one hour slower.
4. Transportation of bicycles:
If you're traveling on a non-folding bike, check this box and your travel search results should only show travel options, including trains you can take with a non-folding bike.
Please note, however, that in most cases only folding bikes can be taken alongtrenes ICEminus the newICE trains 4as ICE 4 trains are equipped with bike racks.
5. Show our best prices:
By selecting it, you can see the price range that will be available on the travel date you have chosen; However, you can also access this function from the search results.
4. Selecting a specific departure/route:
There are six less obvious characteristics of travel search results that are worth paying attention to:
1.In this example shown above, the search result was displayed because Köln/Köln, a city name, was selected as the "from" destination; watch the twoandersStations where each journey begins; (1) Cologne/Duetz Exhibition Center and (2) Cologne Central Station.
2.Note this too
- one straight move = 0 changes
- an indirect move - 1 (or more) changes
3.As you'll see below, you can get useful information by clicking on the "View Details" links.
4.By clicking on this green euro icon, you can see the cheapest prices available at different times of the day; This is also a shortcut to view all travel options and their respective prices on the selected travel date.
5.You can see which type of train is used for each specific departure.
6.Watch out for these exclamation marks, they indicate that something extraordinary is about to happen in this departure, including a change in departure time, route or stopovers.
Sometimes the information says that the trip you are looking for is not available for that particular departure, but you can still book a ticket on the DB website.
Checking program details
The three things that stood out are:
1.DB has made a major change to the website design, click here to select a ticket type; Not only is it relevant here, but the image above was a bit cluttered with additional notes and icons.
2.Another useful piece of information is the numbers of the platforms where the train departs from.
3.DB has now added the option to also extend connection time between trains at this stage of the booking process; So if you think that time is not enough, you can customize it and access alternative outputs.
Guidance for direct trains:
Note that DB does NOT have a "Only direct trains" feature, so trips with train changes are often included in your trip results, even if you leave "Prefer fast connections" enabled.
But on some routes with comparatively few direct trains, direct trains might not be visible in the first results you see.
So if you can't see them, you may need to use the Previous and Next buttons to find them.
(when it comes to the cheapest price):
Find the best prices when booking train tickets with DB
If the price of the trip is more important to you than the specific arrival or departure times, you can use the best price tool.
DB divides the day into five periods and shows the cheapest departure in each of them, you can click on the respective fares shown in the top bar to instantly access the departures for which fares are available.
5. Selection of a ticket type
Selecting a ticket type when booking a train journey on the DB website
If you click on the red 'Select offer' button for the selected journey/departure, you will be taken to this page which will offer all available ticket types for that journey.
The main terms and conditions and prices for each ticket type are listed, this example is for 2nd class tickets as it was selected in stage 1 on the home page.
To switch to 1st class tickets at this time, you can check the box under the 1st class heading in options.
(Booking with the Bahn Card):
Buy a Bahncard during a travel search
DB sells a variety of BahnCards which entitle the cardholder to a range of discounts.
The ability to buy these train tickets is built into the ticket booking purchase path, so we've told you this before, but by default you don't want to add a ticket to your booking.
However, if you are going to be making multiple trips within Germany over an extended period of time (i.e. using rail passes is not an option), then the record is in favor of purchasing a BahnCard. as a cost of acquiring the card, it will be offset against your future discounts. Note that this page also explains at the bottom how much you would save on this trip if you had one of these cards.
In this example, if you buy a 3-month pass, the ticket price would drop to just €7.90.
6. Reservation with or without registration:
Book without a customer account on the DB website
As you can see, you don't need to register with the DB when booking tickets.
If you are making a one-time trip to or within Germany, it can be concluded that the benefit of speeding up future bookings by registering as a new customer is redundant.
However, a less obvious benefit of signing up is that when you do, you'll receive text messages about the status of your trip.
When you get a text message in your hotel room that your train is 30 minutes late, you know you have more time to get to the station, etc.
7. Choose a delivery option:
Choosing a ticket delivery option when booking with DB
If you choose to book a digital ticket, which as you can see in the screenshot above is the default, you will receive an email confirmation.
So you can;
- Open the email on your phone and save the attachment as a PDF on your phone. You can show your phone to the train conductor; What they need to see is the square barcode.
- Print the ticket and take it with you.
- Download the DB Navigator app, once you've signed up your reservations will be included in the app.
It is not possible to obtain a code and enter a ticket machine to collect your ticket when booking online with DB, you must choose one of the delivery options.
Or you can select the Order and Receive button; and choose to pay the costs associated with shipping the Tickets to you.
Reservations and seat selection:
Bookings are possible at DB when traveling with EC, EC/IC, IC or ICETrain traffic in Germanyand from/to Germany; although the process differs depending on whether you are traveling 1st or 2nd class or wish to make optional reservations when using Eurail and InterRail Passes.
Adding the optional booking when booking 2nd class tickets
You can also add a seat reservation in the bottom half of the delivery options page when booking second class tickets.
What was highlighted with the yellow circle in the images above is that you need to be proactive and check this box to add the reservation.
A green circle shows the €4 cost to add a 2nd class seat reservation on ICE, EC and IC trains.
After checking the box, you can select specific options you prefer, whether you want to reserve a seat, including whether you want to travel in a compartment or a "quiet zone".
If you book a combination of adult and child tickets, family compartments are available. if they are still available.
Note that the price above the continue button has increased as it now includes the cost of the booking.
Make a reservation when booking 1st class tickets
The bottom half of the Delivery Options page allows you to select your seating preferences when booking first class tickets.
The process is slightly different from booking 2nd class tickets as booking 1st class with DB automatically includes a seat reservation.
What was highlighted above is
- Surrounded by yellow; The seat reservation field has been preselected, so all you need to do is select your seat preferences.
- Surrounded by greenery; The cost is €0 because seat reservation is free when booking 1st class tickets.
Reservation of reservations other than ticket reservations
If you have already booked a 2nd class ticket and wish to book now, or are traveling on a 1st or 2nd class rail pass and would like to make an optional booking, you can proceed directly to the booking screens to book.
On the database homepage/screen, enter the information in the journey search field as if you were purchasing a ticket, but instead of clicking on 'Search', click on 'Seat only (no ticket).
Note that 2nd class is the default. If you have a 1st class rail pass and would like to make a 1st class booking, you can also click on the 1st class button.
In travel search results, you can simply click the red book buttons as the next step on the path to purchase; For travel within Germany, there are no fare differences between train types, so reservations on ICE trains cost the same as on IC trains.
After clicking the red button, you will find yourself on the same sort of seat selection page where standby tickets are directed. However, if you have a premium InterRail Pass, the price shown is €5.30.
Access and Use of Seat Maps
Once you have selected your seat preferences, a quirk of booking with DB is that when you see a row of three green boxes (marked 1) you are given the option to select a specific seat (marked 2).
If one of your preferences is not available, you will see a red circle, so you will have to go back to the previous screen and uncheck it or select another one, although you can access the seat map if you have already explored all the options on the previous page. pre-selected as "All".
After clicking "Select a seat" you will be presented with a seating plan. However, what you see depends on the type of train used for your journey and whether you choose to travel 1st or 2nd class.
We've turned this into something of a rainbow, but what's in the spotlight are many of the common features that you'll see across all seating plans.
the yellow circle = the default seat the DB has chosen for you, but you can change this by clicking on a different seat number
green circle = light gray seats are not available
the purple circles: you can infer that you don't want to sit in this car, so you can see which seats are available in other cars by clicking on these arrows
the blue circles = are tables, so if you want to sit at a table, point to the seats on either side
Also circled in red is that this particular car also has compartments for seats, the black lines indicate the walls and door openings.
Yes, oneEIS 1ÖEIS 4If the train is being used for the selected trip, you may also see a direction arrow.
A seat's direction is indicated by the darker gray outline lines on either side of the seat number, if to the left of the number the seat faces forward.
Booking international day trips:
DB has made some changes to the online sale of international train tickets.
However, what hasn't changed is how you start a search for the journey you want to take using steps 1-4 above.
What's new is that on the search results page (Step 5), the step where you select the specific departure you wish to travel on, you will now see a 'Give Choice' button OR a 'Set Price' button.
If you see the "Offer a choice" button, booking travel is no different* from booking a ticket to travel within Germany; So, you can follow the same steps as in step 5 above.
*although booking periods can be less than 6 months in advance.
Siga a rota Get Price:
If you see a Set Price button and click it, you will be taken to a different booking path and due to these differences please follow the steps outlined below.
1. Choose an output:
Before clicking on the "Set price" button to select the desired departure, it is recommended to click on the "View details" buttons highlighted in red.
If the journey involves a transfer*, this is an important opportunity to check the arrival and departure times of each train for each individual travel option, so you can see how much time you have to transfer between trains.
*You will also be directed via this booking method if you wish to travel directly to or from Germany by Thalys train.
Once you click "Calculate Price", the DB groups each individual travel option consistently.
It automatically selects the optimal trains to take and you cannot select other trains to complete the journey.
However, you can control which points of sale and connections DB offers by clicking on "Set price".
We prefer to allow at least 30 minutes to connect and up to two hours to connect to an infrequent train on international journeys that involve changing trains if this is the only way to reach our final destination.
Therefore, we recommend that you use the above-mentioned additional options in DB to set a minimum time between trains that is comfortable for you with the "Transfer Duration" tool.
We recommend minimizing the pressure when making connections rather than minimizing the total end-to-end travel time.
DB does not inform that connections are not guaranteed for all travel options.
If the connection is outside of Germany, the connecting train will definitely not wait IF the train you are traveling on is running late.
2. Enter customer data:
The two main things to look out for on this screen are:
(1) Circled in green: Before clicking Set Price, you must enter the date of birth of all travelers to be included in a booking.
(2) circled in yellow - you do NOT need a discount card to make a reservation. So if you don't have a train map etc you can skip this.
Clicking 'set price' will take you to the next step in the booking process OR you will see red text stating that DB does not sell the trip you selected online but the text you see does the phone number where you you can make a reservation.
After researching dozens of trips, it doesn't seem possible to book online for:
- Trips where a Thalys train leaves Germany and then changes to another train,
- Travel options from Germany to Austria or Hungary with a stopover in the Czech Republic/Czech Republic (there are direct trains from Germany to Austria and Hungary),
- connecting trips in Poland,
- Traveling on an overnight train from Germany AND subsequent connections to a final destination,
- Journeys in which a company other than the national operator provides the necessary train for the journey.
3 Choose a ticket type #1:
Please follow the pricing table when booking international train tickets with DB
The most important thing to keep in mind at this stage of booking is that you usually have the option to choose between different ticket types, but you should proactively research the key terms and conditions and use each ticket type by clicking the 'i' button; surrounded by yellow.
Do that and you will see this screen; or a similar screen.
Although the T&Cs relating to exchanges refer to decisions made prior to the date of travel to request refunds or rebook tickets on alternative departures; what they do not mean is the exchange during the trip that may be necessary in case of missed connections.
You can almost certainly do this, even if you book the "cannot be changed" type of ticket. As far as SMTJ is aware, DB does not sell trips that require ticket rescheduling in case of cancellations or delays
In a green circle is the possibility to see more information about the types of tickets that are available specifically for each train; Click on it to discover additional information such as
...information about seat reservations.
What the SMTJ highlighted with the blue circle two images above is that DB did not automatically pre-select the cheapest option for the Italian train in this case, but assumed that paying just an extra €4 for premium class travel represents the best value for money. benefit. Value for money on this trip; and to be fair it's a good price!
4. Consultation and Reservation:
Check booking details for international tours at DB
You will then be taken to a ticket confirmation screen, and at this stage it is a good idea to pay special attention to your seat reservation information.
This varies from trip to trip, but some of the most common features have been highlighted.
- Surrounded by yellow; An unchecked box means reservations are optional on that specific train used for that leg of the journey. If you want to add the optional reservation to your reservation, check it
- Surrounded by blue; This is the price for adding the optional booking
- Surrounded by greenery; Reservations are mandatory on this particular train, so the box has been pre-checked to indicate that the required seat reservation is included in the reservation.
- circled purple; The cost is €0 as the reservation is included when booking tickets.
- Surrounded by orange; You can see preference options for the type of seat you want to travel in.
Booking night tours:
DB has also made significant changes to the booking route for night trains.
When searching for overnight train travel to or from Germany, you will see a "Find price" button; and so follow the same first two steps to book a day trip via the Find Price booking path.
This means that in step two you need to add the dates of birth for all travelers in your group.
Choosing your accommodation
When you click on “Find Price” on this Date of Birth screen, you will see a screen similar to the one below.
DB has recently simplified this process as you will see that the option to travel with one seat is pre-selected by default, but the other available accommodation options and the total cost of the ticket; are also displayed.
Although the use of the word"Bed" indicates that this option is a bunk bed, but the use of "bed" indicates a sleeping cabin.
Although worth paying attention to are:
- Surrounded by blue; the cheapest ticket type available is the standard ticket, but it's worth checking the terms and conditions for the different ticket types.
- Surrounded by yellow; These links are for the booking conditions for each type of accommodation.
- Surrounded by greenery; Click on it to learn more about the facilities that will be available on board.
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