Say you go to a Deutsche Bahn ticket machine and go to the from/to part button.

How is the price calculated for single tickets and day tickets?

For example:

Königs Wusterhausen to Tropical Islands is the same price as Zeesen to Brand Tropical Islands. Though, it seems that Wildau to Brand Tropical Islands is more expensive than to Königs Wusterhausen.

What is going on here?

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not about traveling.
    – Neusser
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 9:53
  • 8
    @Neusser I would argue that understanding fare structures of travel tickets (so that travel cost decisions can be optimized) are on topic. Commented May 13, 2018 at 15:06

2 Answers 2


Regional offerings are run under request by the state and often as part of regional organisations run by involved cities, who have a say on the fare. Only long-distance travel (starting at 100km) is done by fully DB on their own rules.

In this case the stations are in the area of the Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg (VBB; Public Transport association of Berlin and Brandenburg) Inside this association there is a quite complex pricing system, as in the one end it covers densely populated areas like the city of Berlin as well as hardly populated areas further away from Berlin.

For full details there is a 79 page brochure with all sorts of tickets: http://images.vbb.de/assets/downloads/file/1564472.pdf (German only, apaprently) and a summary in English on http://www.vbb.de/en/article/tickets-and-fares/ticket-fares/ticket-fares/5649.html

The gist is "In rural areas the price is the result of driven kilometres. For more information please ask the hotline."

For your ride the Fare calculator on http://fahrinfo.vbb.de/bin/query.exe/en?application=TARIFFONLY& calculates "Between 25 and 35 km" as price category between Köngis Wusterhausen and Tropical Islands and "Between 35 and 45 km" for Wildau to Tropical Islands, which seems plausible since routes from Wildau seem to go via Königs Wusterhausen and looking at the map distance from Königs to Tropical is about 30-35km.


DB has a rather complicated scheme involving:

  • Distance of travel, with some rounding so different routes may be in the same price bracket.
  • Type of train. If only part of the route uses the faster train, the entire ticket may be surcharged.
  • Regional pricing schemes involving DB and bus and tram operators.
  • Time of pre-booking.

I think the only practical choice is to accept what they're calculating, and to try out various options on the ticket machine or their web site -- without ICE, without ICE and IC, and so on.

In some cases the slower train can save significant money for an only slightly longer trip, because connections match better, in other cases the slower train is just aggravation to save a little money.

  • 2
    And there actually are cases where, of two train connections, one is faster and cheaper, while the other is both slower and more expensive.
    – chirlu
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 19:56

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