Germany has an extensive public transportation system and unsurprisingly Bavaria has one of the best in the country. Besides being far-reaching, it is easy to use and very economical, especially if traveling in groups. This piece will focus on traveling in Bavaria, but there are comparable tickets in all regions and if traveling from other regions to Bavaria in search of breweries, there are specific tickets that are perfectly suited for that, as well. I can’t emphasize enough how useful their website www.bahn.de is. It’s available in nine languages as I write and I imagine Russian can’t be far behind. It’s easy to navigate and switch languages. They also produce a great App available on both Android and Apple that mimics the website well and seems to run very smoothly. If traveling from outside Bavaria, check out the site, particularly the Quer-Durchs-Land Ticket or if traveling on the weekend, the Schönes-Wochende Ticket.
Since Beer Wanderers is focused on Bavarian beer, food and hiking trails, I’ll share some tips on its regional ticket: The Bavaria Ticket (Bayern Ticket). This is a great way to get around the state but you have to keep in mind the rules of the ticket and make sure it fits your needs. As of my writing in spring of 2018, it costs 23 EUR for one person. You can add additional people to the ticket for a mere 3 EUR per person so you can readily see that traveling in groups has big advantages. There is a cap of 5 people on any one ticket so groups of five are perfect. One important rule to keep in mind is you can only use Regional trains. Essentially, stay away from any train that has IC or ICE in its name. When in doubt, buy your ticket at the station and tell them what you want. They will make sure you take the right train. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a very flexible ticket as aside from not using IC or ICE trains, you take trains at non-set times. To make matters even better, you can do it for an unlimited number of times for the validity of the ticket. How long is that? Monday-Friday, it’s from 9:00 am until 3:00 am of the following day. On weekends and holidays, it’s from 12:00 am until 3:00 am the following day. If traveling round trip from say Munich to Nürnberg, it’s definitely the way to go.
You can buy tickets at larger stations from agents but that’s not necessary as ticket machines are anywhere you’re getting the train. You can switch the language on those, just like the website and they’re easy to use. You can pay with cash or card. If you wan’t to do it from home, you can purchase e-tickets on their website, as well as with their handy App.
No matter how you purchase, do it before the trip and if you have a paper ticket, you need to put the name of each passenger on the lines provided.
Trains between big cities are generally frequent and even those plying less popular routes run often enough. If there’s a train, it’s going to run more often than buses servicing out of the way villages.
If you think the Bayern Ticket sounds good already, the real bonus when beer wandering is you can also use the equally extensive bus network of Bavaria and in Franconia, this is often the only way to get to small villages. More about that in my how bus from brewery A to brewery B.