Saturday, 5 May 2012

How to Schwarzfahren – A Guide to Train Travel in Germany Without Paying

Firstly, as a disclaimer I would like to say I do not encourage anyone to get on a train in Germany without paying,  if you choose to do so I take no responsibility for what happens to you.

 As a warning now I will tell you that if you get caught on a train in Germany without a ticket you will be fined 40€ or double the train fare (whatever is more) and the fine increases the longer you don’t pay it.

That being said, if I WERE to give it a go …. I probably would follow these guidelines.

Do have your excuse ready. READ MORE>>


  1. great advice! i can second all of this, and add just for reference that the same goes in Vienna, Austria, other than that the fine is €70. Also, Vienna at night is not a good place to 'schwarzfahren', the ticket inspectors don't believe a word of what you say if you appear drunk and they can get very angry at you!

  2. Thanks for the tips Jenny :) German ticket inspectors come in 2 camps if you're drunk either they think you are hilarious and let you off or they think you are a prick. (more often the latter it has to be said. x

  3. Pretty good tips, but as a German expat I was surprised to learn that on many of now privatised train routes, it's company policy to not sell any tickets on the train - I've actually seen tourists kicked out of the train in the middle of nowhere (the area where I'm from has one of those horrible Ryanair airports that have no real transport links but the tiny train station 3 miles away where the ticket machine NEVER works).

    1. Oh no! It has been nearly a YEAR since I lived in Germany so I guess I'm a little out of date. Which Ryanair airport did you live near? I was a regular of Frankfurt Hahn but that has pretty good bus links to Trier, Koln, Frankfurt etc.

  4. Good tips and nice read :)