Paying for Deutsche Bahn tickets with cash

7/18/2016 8:04:41 AM

Pay at the counter

Every train station except rural stops has a ticket counter, where you can buy tickets for immediate departure or up to 90 days in advance. They take cash and ask no questions (other than your destination and departure date). Larger stations have a dedicated Reisezentrum (travel center), in smaller stations the counter may be hidden in the snacks/newspaper/convenience shop, or there is a travel agency in the station building.

Vending Machines

Called Fahrkartenautomat. They were recently overhauled, all of them should take at least €50 notes, I’m not sure about €100. They can speak Spanish.

On the train

You can buy a ticket for cash onboard on long distance trains, but then there is a surcharge of €7.50 (AFAIK). Warning, this is only possible on long distance (IC, ICE) trains, not on local ones like RE,RB or S-Bahn.


Even if you don’t have a card, you might be able to open a Paypal account, transfer some funds in advance, and book tickets online. You should definitely check out this if you know the exact time when you would travel, since there are substantial discounts available when booking a few weeks in advance, e.g. €49 instead of €114 just for the Frankurt – Zürich leg. You’ll need you passport number for tickets booked online. Note that discounted tickets are not refundable on or after the day of departure.

7/17/2016 2:19:49 PM

In addition to Omega Terus’ answer:

Some of the self-service machines only accept coins, which can be a problem if you didn’t anticipated it and all shops / counters are closed. If possible you can try to buy the ticket early (a day early, few hours early) so you have some time to gather coins if needed.

Source: Own experience, ~ 7 years ago.

7/17/2016 1:17:01 AM

You can buy Deutsche Bahn tickets at a train station with cash, either at the counter (if you are at a manned station within the counter opening hours) or in the self-service machine (at any time). You won’t need any card for that, not even your ID or passport.

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Hello,My name is Aparna Patel,I’m a Travel Blogger and Photographer who travel the world full-time with my hubby.I like to share my travel experience.

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