After you have paid your university semester fees, you will receive an envelope with a semester ticket in the mail. When you open the envelope, you have to show your craft skills by gluing your picture on it and putting it together in the form of a little card. And voila, semester ticket ready to go! So now that you have it, what can you do with it?
The semesterticket allows you to use all means of transportation in the city of Bremen at all times during your semester. Whether at night by tram to go to the party or in the morning by bus to go to IGC – no matter when and how, you just hop on and go!
Explore Northern Germany
But that's not all: With the semester ticket you can travel for free not only in Bremen, but also in and around Bremen. Want to visit a museum in Hamburg? Don't worry, the Metronom (train connecting Bremen with Hamburg) will take you there for free. Want to go for dinner in Hannover? Climb a beautiful mountain in the Harz? No problem, you can also go there for free. Thinking of spending a Sunday by the sea? That’s also possible with the semester ticket, just hop on a train in the direction of Cuxhaven and you will have the sea at your feet. Thinking of something more adventurous and want to leave Germany for a few hours? Then you can go for free to Hengelo, a small town in the Netherlands.
Another plus point of the semester ticket: You don't have to stick to certain train connections. If for example you want to stay an extra hour in one destination you just hop on the next one of your choice and don't have to book it in advance. Very important is to always have the semester ticket with you, because if you can't show it at the ticket inspection, you'll have to pay a fine.
Travel beyond the borders
Also, when buying flights either to return home or to visit a country in Europe having the semester ticket helps you a lot. Bremen has an airport, but it is not particularly large. Therefore, you don't have as many possibilities and destinations to travel to as if you fly from Hamburg for example. So, when you book your flight you don't have to worry about the transportation costs to Hamburg or Hannover (approx. 40 euros roundtrip if you don't have the semester ticket). Just remember that you must buy the train ticket that takes you from the main station to the airport (approx. 6 euros roundtrip) as public transport in the cities you visit is not included in your semester ticket.
Unfortunately, as much as we would all like to, not all of Germany is included in the semester ticket. If you want to go to cities like Frankfurt, Munich or Cologne you have to buy the normal ticket with a fixed date and time. What we can give you as a tip: Find out how much the ticket costs in Osnabrück or Hanover, for example, because sometimes you can get it cheaper from there. Then take the “RegioBahn” to that city and board the trains you have booked there.
Last but not least, it is important to note that not all trains are included in your semester ticket. For example, the IC/ICE fast trains are not included – to use them, you must buy a separate ticket. You can find the routes and trains included in the ticket as well as further information here. Don't forget that your ticket is valid for only one semester. You always have to pay the next semester fee a few weeks before the end of the semester so that the ticket arrives at your home in time.
After reading this article you are probably already excited about your journey of discovery with the semester ticket – have fun! :-)