I used to ignore Germany as a travel destination and venture off into the big wide world instead. But after having seen a lot of the latter, I realized that the former is actually quite alluring.
If you have always thought of visiting, wait no longer! Because Germany will never be as affordable again as this summer.
In an effort to shift to more environmentally friendly public transport and to compensate citizens for rising fuel costs, due to the war in Ukraine, the German government has come up with the following radical solution:
In the months of June, July and August 2022, a monthly ticket to use public transport in all of Germany will cost only 9 euros per month.
That’s one ticket, valid for a whole month, for the whole country (which is still quite a huge country, even after losing a bit of territory in the last two world wars).
The ticket will cover all regional trains (which, despite their name often go through several states), all public buses, all trams, metros, and even ferries where those are part of the public transport system. – Not covered are long-distance trains like the ICE bullet train, small touristic train lines, and private buses or ferries. Also not covered is first class, but let me tell you a secret: First class doesn’t get you anywhere one minute faster than second class.
Honestly, apart from Luxembourg, this is probably the best transport deal you are getting anywhere in the world. Actually, considering the difference in size between Luxembourg and Germany, it is the best transport deal in the world, period.
And apart from transport, Germany is very affordable to travel anyway.
There are plenty of friendly Couchsurfing hosts, and it’s perfectly legal to sleep outside, in parks or forests. In some states, like Bavaria, that right even enjoys constitutional protection (see chapter 131 of this article). And yes, that also applies to foreign citizens.
As does the 9-euro ticket. You don’t even need to pre-order or do anything complicated. No, in Germany, the country of efficiency, you simply go to the first ticket-vending machine after entering the country, whether by land, air or sea, and obtain the generous transport voucher.
Even more efficient would have been to make it completely free, of course, but then the police couldn’t arrest people without a ticket any longer, and the prisons would suddenly be very empty. Seriously, for lack of real crime in Germany, there are thousands of people in prison after having taken the subway without a ticket. (And you thought your country has a prison problem. Well, unless you are from Norway. Or the Netherlands. Or the Dominican Republic.)
The only thing to keep in mind: There might be more passengers than usual this summer. So, bring some patience and a big book. And try to travel during the week, not only on weekends, when everyone will want to go to Neuschwanstein or Rothenburg.
I would avoid the tourist hot-spots anyway, because Germany is beautiful almost everywhere. Not having to pre-book any trains or seats, just hop on a train, follow the Rhine or the Neckar river, and get off when you see a beautiful castle (every 4 km) or a beer garden (every 7 km). Or whenever you want.
Enjoy Germany and maybe see you this summer!