This article shall help friends to navigate towards affordable rail travel when in or passing through Germany. The main rail operator in Germany is Deutsche Bahn. Their website www.bahn.de has all the rail connections within Germany and probably also the best overview of any connection in Europe. You can normally also book all tickets from their website. If you can NOT book a ticket there, this may be because you are looking at a local/regional tariff (only available at local ticket machines) or particular international connections (especially to France or Brussels, e.g. TGV or Thalys) which can then be bought at the other international rail operator.
Note: my comments here focus on long-distance travel (usually involving the high-speed ICE trains).
Tickets for intercity connections (NOT local metros etc.) can be bought up to the minute you enter the train at ticket machines, the web or via smartphone (or also on the train but with a heavier extra of more than 10 Euro). The App for finding connections and buying tickets Continue reading