Understanding your German train ticket

Because the tickets are issued by the German rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, the tickets include information in German. We've created a guide in English to help you understand your tickets and translate key terms.


Is my ticket for all passengers?

The most common question we receive about Deutsche Bahn tickets is from customers asking if their ticket is valid for all passengers. The answer, simply, is yes. But the important thing to know is that Erwachsener means adult in German. And on mobile tickets, the abbreviation 'Erw' stands for Erwachsener

So '2 Erwachsener' or 'Erw 2' mean the ticket is valid for 2 adults. In the examples below, the tickets are valid for 2 adults. 

In some cases, only the lead passenger's name appears German train tickets. All others passenger names are contained in the QR code the ticket inspector will scan.

Your German train ticket

Tickets from Deutsche Bahn, the German rail operator, contain key information in German. Each number corresponds to a note, which contains helpful information to help you understand your ticket.

Some tickets don't look exactly like our translated examples. But should be very similar. Our guide will help you to find the information you need. 

Your German train ticket translated

Here’s the same DB ticket translated into English. 

Translation notes

Please print your ticket on plain A4 paper.
Train and fare info, including type of train (i.e., IC [InterCity]), travel class, fare type, number of passengers and validity dates. 
Please do not bend the bar code.
Payment summary: includes product price, seat reservation cost (if applicable) and VAT.
The validity of your ticket (usually one month) and the name of the passenger who must present ID. If you have purchased a seat reservation with your ticket, it may only be valid on the service specified in your “service and reservation details” section (see 6 below). Name of the passenger who must show identification with the ticket. This ID can be a passport, government-issued ID, or Bahn Card. This section also shows your Deutsche Bahn booking number.
Service and reservation details. If you have purchased a reservation your ticket will be valid on the trains specified here. You will also find your coach (Wg) and seat (Pl) numbers for your train/s in this section. Some tickets, for example, "Normalpreis" tickets, have optional reservations so you may be permitted to travel on other services on the specified route. You should always refer to the specific fare conditions of your ticket.
Information about the terms and conditions associated with using your ticket. Please note that for exchanges and refunds you should contact Loco2, who will process amendments/cancellations with Deutsche Bahn on your behalf. 

The ticket inspector will use this information to cross-reference your ticket with your ID card.

As of 1 October 2016, the passenger listed on the ticket must show a passport, government-issued ID or Bahn Card. See Buying a German train ticket for somebody else if you are purchasing a ticket for someone else to travel on. 

Your mobile German train ticket

Your mobile ticket will include all of the information above; simply scroll down below the scannable QR code. Your train, carriage and seat numbers are located at the bottom of the mobile ticket. Please see our Help article  Using mobile tickets for more information. 

Important information before you travel

Glossary of useful terms

Some useful German rail words translated (A-Z)

Auftragsnummer: order number

Bahn: usually refers to the railway, also means train.

Betrag: amount

Datum: date

Einfache Fahrt: one-way

Erwachsener: adult (on mobile tickets, 'Erw' is used as an abbreviation of Erwachsener)

Fahrkarte: ticket

Fenster: window

Gang: aisle (i.e. gangway)

Gleis: platform

Großraum: open-planned

Gültig ab: valid from

Gütigkeit: validity

Halt: stop

Hinfahrt: outbound

Hin und Rückfahrt: outbound and inbound (return)

Hinweise: hints/pointers

Kind/kinder: child/children

Kreditkartenzahlung: credit card payment

Nach: to

Platz: space (refers to your seat №)

Positionen: positions

Preis: price

Reservierung: reservation/booking

Rückkehr: return

Sitzplätze: seat numbers

Von: from

Wagen: coach (on mobile tickets, 'Wg' is used as an abbreviation of Wagen)

Zahlungsoptionen: payment options

Zeit: time

Zertifikat: certificate

Zug: train. There are different types of train, e.g. Schnellzug, fast train and Nachtzug – night train.

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