Understanding your German train ticket

When you purchase German rail tickets Deutsche Bahn (DB), you'll have a choice between a downloadable PDF that you'll need to print before travel, or a mobile ticket that you can display on your phone. Both tickets often include a lot of information written in German. We've created a guide in English to make it easier to understand your tickets. 

Please note that only the lead passenger is listed on German train tickets. Any other passenger information is located under the QR code the ticket inspector will scan. 

A few German train tickets won't look exactly like our samples, but they should be very close. Our translation guide will assist you in finding the information you need.


Your German train ticket

Tickets from Deutsche Bahn are issued by the rail operator with the key information printed in German. Each number corresponds to a note below, which contains helpful information to help you understand your ticket. 

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.
Validity of your ticket (usually one month) and name of 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 the 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

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

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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