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Which foreign countries can you visit with Germany’s €9 ticket?

A number of Germany's regional trains and buses travel across the border to places like Switzerland and the Netherlands. We look at how you can use the €9 ticket to get there.

Salzburg, Austria
The beautiful Austrian city of Salzburg, which y. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/Österreich Werbung | G.Breitegger

Germany shares a border with eight hugely diverse European countries, from Denmark in the far north to Austria and Switzerland in the south.

With so many cities and towns lying close to these land borders, it’s not unusual to see people commuting across them each day to go to work or even just to the shops. To cater to this crowd (and the summer holidaymakers), there are numerous cross-border trains and bus services that run between Germany and its neighbouring countries. 

The question that’s been confusing many is whether Germany’s €9 monthly travel ticket will be valid on these services after they cross the border into a different country. After all, the ticket is only meant to be valid on regional and local services, rather than long distance trains. 

READ ALSO: How to explore Germany by train with the €9 ticket

Incredibly enough, it is possible to visit some foreign countries using the bargain travel deal – and you can make it to some surprising destinations.

Here are the places you can visit using Germany’s €9 ticket this summer.


Reutte, Austria

The mountain rope-bridge in the Tirolian region of Reutte. Photo: picture alliance / dpa-tmn | Marktgemeinde Reutte

The charming mountains and lakes of Austria are just a stone’s throw from Bavaria, and it takes hardly any time at all to reach them with the Bavarian Regional Rail (BRB).

If you’d like to visit one of Austria’s most beautiful cities this summer, you’ll be pleased to know that the €9 ticket is valid all the way from Freilassing to Salzburg, the picturesque birthplace of Mozart. For this route, you can either take a BRB train or an S3 train run by Austrian Rail (ÖBB). The popular Tirolian hiking regions of Vils, Reutte und Ehrwald can also be reached with the €9 ticket while travelling from Pfronton-Steinach to Griesen (near Garmisch-Patenkirchen). 

Here are the routes that the €9 ticket is valid for:

  • BRB: Freilassing – Salzburg
  • BRB: Kiefersfelden – Kufstein
  • ÖBB (S3): Freilassing – Salzburg
  • DB Regio AG: Pfronten-Steinach – Vils – Reutte (Tirol) – Ehrwald – Griesen


From Aachen in North Rhine-Westphalia, it doesn’t take long to hop across the border into Belgium to the small municipality of Kelmis. Kelmis isn’t all that interesting in itself (though it does have an old castle that’s worth a visit). But you’ll be well placed to travel on from there to Liege (in 45 minutes) or Brussels (in one hour and 45 minutes). Of course, you’ll have to buy a new ticket for this last stretch of the journey in Belgium.

  • ASEAG (23): Aachen Bus Station − Preusweg − Kelmis

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


If you’d like to spend some time in France this summer, the Alsace Express and the Wine Route Express will both take you over the border from Rhineland-Palatinate to the pretty town of Wissembourg with the €9 ticket. Though the Alsace region is arguably the most ‘German’ part of France, it also represents a fascinating meeting place for the two countries’ cultures, histories and languages – and is certainly worth a visit at least once.

If you find yourself in Saarland, you can also reach a number of locations in France with the €9 ticket on the Saarbahn, including Carling, Creutzwald and Saargemünd.

  • Alsace Express: Mainz – Wissembourg
  • Wine Route/Weinstraßen-Express: Koblenz – Wissembourg
  • Saarbahn (S1): Saarbrücken – Saargemünd
  • Saarbahn (MS2): Saarloius – Creutzwald
  • Saarbahn (184): Bous – Carling


Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City, the quaint capital of Luxembourg. Photo: picture alliance / dpa-tmn | Bernd F. Meier

For those in the Rhineland-Palatinate area, hopping across the border into beautiful Luxembourg is also covered by the €9 ticket. The good news is, public transport within Luxembourg is completely free – so once you’re across the border, you’ll be travelling for nothing anyway.

  • VRT Bus 410: Bitburg – Luxembourg
  • VRT Bus 455: Bitburg – Vianden
  • VRT Bus 460: Gerolstein – Clervaux
  • VRT trains to Luxembourg

The Netherlands

OK, it’s not exactly Amsterdam, but there are a number of little towns dotted along near the border with North Rhine-Westphalia that you can reach with the €9 ticket, including Vaals and Kerkrade. In most cases, you’ll need to rely on the Aachen Transport Association trains to get you there, though there are some buses running between Germany and the Netherlands too. 

  • ASEAG (25): Stolberg Mühlener Bahnhof – Vaals
  • ASEAG (33): Fuchserde − Vaals
  • ASEAG (34): Diepenbenden – Kerkrade
  • WestVerkehr Bus (SB3): Geilenkirchen – Sittard
  • Arriva Bus (350): Aachen – Vaals

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


Unfortunately the range of options to travel to with the €9 ticket in Poland are limited, but if you fancy a break on the Baltic coast, you can hop over from Usedom in Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania to Swinemünde in Poland at no extra charge. Unfortunately, to get to Szczecin, you’ll have to switch to a regular ticket after the last stop in Germany on the train.  

  • DB Regio AG: Züssow – Świnoujście Centrum (Swinemünde Zentrum)


Basel city centre

The picturesque Swiss city of Basel, which you can visit with the €9 ticket. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/KEYSTONE | Georgios Kefalas

The words ‘Switzerland’ and ‘cheap’ don’t normally go together, but if you’ve bought a €9 ticket, you can at least reach one or two destinations in Switzerland on a budget.

The first and most obvious of these is Basel, a charming medieval city nestled close to the borders of both France and Germany. Basel is a popular place to visit for a short city break and is also not far from the Euro Airport, which due to its location serves three different cities in three different countries. You can reach Basel with the €9 ticket on both Swiss and German-run services, as well as some more rural Swiss destinations along the train route from Erzingen to Biesingen in Baden-Württemberg. 

  • SBB: Zell im Wiesenthal – Lörrach – Basel Bad. Bf
  • DB Regio AG: Weil am Rhein – Basel Bad. Bf
  • DB Regio AG: Erzingen (Baden) – Trasadingen – Schaffhausen – Thayngen – Bietingen

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

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IN PICTURES: German workers down tools in unprecedented strike action

In a rare show of combined force, Germany's service-sector union Verdi teamed up with rail sector union EVG in a nationwide day of industrial action on Monday. Here's how the morning unfolded.

IN PICTURES: German workers down tools in unprecedented strike action

Though strikes are far from uncommon in Germany, Monday’s ‘mega strike’ – which paralysed bus and train services across the country – was an extraordinary move on the part of two unions. 

It came after months of public-sector walk-outs that had affected everything from Kitas and hospitals in Berlin to administration and air traffic in Munich. However, until March 27th, most strikes had been taking place on a more scattered and localised level – and Deutsche Bahn had generally stayed in service amid multiple local transport strikes.

This time around a coordinated effort between services union Verdi and rail union EVG means that both Deutsche Bahn and local transport are disrupted across the nation.

Pictures emerged early on Monday morning of train stations standing eerily empty ahead of the strike.

Halle Hauptbahnhof

An empty platform at Halle Hauptbahnhof. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Hendrik Schmidt

Almost all long-distance and local train services were out of action on Monday thanks to the Deutsche Bahn walk-out, leading to extraordinary scenes like this one at Mainz Hauptbahnhof – a station that normally caters to around 60,000 passengers each day.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What to expect during Monday’s ‘mega strike’ in Germany

Mainz station during strike

Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Jörg Halisch

However, some people pointed out that the communication from Germany’s state-owned rail operator wasn’t quite as clear as it could have been.

Tweeting from Berlin’s famous Zoologischer Garten station, journalist Jörn Hasselmann noticed misleading info on trains that weren’t supposed to be running.

“The @DB_Bahn manages to cause confusion even when there are no trains,” he wrote. “Apparently it is not that easy to switch off ALL the monitors.”

Aside from Deutsche Bahn services, a number of workers from regional transport operators also took part in the ‘mega strike’ on Monday.

These included workers from Transdev, AKN, Osthannoversche Eisenbahnen, erixx, vlexx, eurobahn, and the Länderbahn – meaning that local U-Bahn, bus and tram services in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Saxony were all affected.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How to get compensation for delayed or cancelled trains in Germany

In Cologne, which has been wracked by industrial action in recent weeks, commuters were once again left short of options. 

Cologne local transport during strikes

Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Roberto Pfeil

And it wasn’t just people taking short-haul journeys that faced headaches on Monday morning: aviation workers were also taking part in Monday’s strike, leading to flight cancellations across the board.

A passenger checks the departures board at Munich Airport on Monday

A passenger checks the departures board at Munich Airport on Monday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Angelika Warmuth

With passengers warned to stay away and rebook their flights, most airports remained all but empty on Monday.

A cleaner at Düsseldorf Airport on Monday.

A cleaner at Düsseldorf Airport on Monday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Reichwein

READ ALSO: What are your rights in Germany if a flight is delayed or cancelled?

The major day of action was timed to coincide with the start of three-day negotiations between the services union Verdi and government employers over public-sector pay.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) was among the senior ministers taking part in the talks, which are aimed at resolving a fierce dispute over wages.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser Verdi

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) arrives at negotiations in Potsdam. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Carsten Koall

Shortly before the negotiations kicked off, Verdi tweeted images of demos taking place outside of Potsdam’s Congress Hotel.

One protester held a sign saying: “Soon to be working 24/7 – still can’t afford my rent”.

Verdi is negotiating on behalf of some 2.5 million public sector workers, including those in childcare, health, transport and local administration.

To help cope with inflation, the union is demanding 10.5 percent more pay or a minimum of €500 extra per month for workers. 

Workers Verdi strike Potsdam

Workers from various sectors gather at a demo outside the Congress Hotel in Potsdam. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Carsten Koall

Police workers strike Monday

Police bang a drum outside the Congress Hotel on Monday as part of a demonstration for higher wages. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Carsten Koall

Social media was filled with messages of solidarity and support, with one commenter posting a graph depicting the real-term cut in pay that workers have suffered over the previous two years.

There were also demonstrations by rail union EVG members at train stations across the country.

EVG strike demo Duisburg

Demonstrators from the EVG rail union gather in front of Duisburg Hauptbahnhof on Monday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Reichwein

EVG is demanding a 12 percent pay rise for its workers to compensate for the spiralling cost of living.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Why are there so many strikes in Germany right now?