Public Transport in Dusseldorf: Buying Tickets and Using Trams

Updated on February 7, 2024  

public transport in dusseldorf

Be it trains, buses or trams, public transport in Düsseldorf can get you anywhere you want affordably and conveniently.

It's so easy to travel around Düsseldorf that it's known as the "15-minute city" — almost everything important can be reached within 15 minutes!

So here is your ultimate guide on taking public transport in Düsseldorf, where we explain your best options, the best journey-mapping apps, how to purchase bus or tram tickets, and more! 👇

How To Navigate Public Transport In Dusseldorf

Types Of Public Transport in Dusseldorf: Trams, Buses, U-Bahn, S-Bahn

In Düsseldorf you can ride the public transport system and often get to your destination quicker than walking or driving! 

Here are the types of public transport you'll find in this city:


The U-Bahn, also known as untergrundbahn, are city trains that connect different spots within city limits.

They typically make more frequent stops and are similar to metro trains. These stations are identifiable by signs featuring a white 'U' on a blue background.


With the S-Bahn, traveling to nearby places is easy and fast. These are trains that usually connect cities with their suburbs or nearby towns in some cases.

They cover a larger area than U-Bahns and have stations spaced farther apart. S-Bahns mostly run on the surface, but they can also go underground, especially within city limits. 


These tramways run on rails alongside regular roads and make multiple stops within the city center. Think of them as something between a bus and a U-Bahn. 


Buses go everywhere in the city, and as especially helpful when you're in the suburbs or are planning to minimize walking on foot.

Night Express

During Friday and Saturday nights, as well as before public holidays, you can count on the Night Express (NachtExpress) departing from the main station. While most public transportation winds down shortly after midnight, these services keep rolling from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m., ensuring night owls can get safely from the party zones to the main train station and beyond.

Regional Trains

If you want to explore even further to nearby suburbs or cities like Cologne, regional trains (RE, RB) are perfect for these long-distance trips.


Purchasing Tickets And Fares: Single Tickets, Day Tickets, Weekly, And Monthly Passes

In Düsseldorf, fares are calculated based on short trips and fare zones.

Short Trip Ticket

A short trip ticket, or Kurzstrecken-Ticket, lets you travel up to three stations or 1.5 km for 20 minutes after it's activated. It's only for direct trips and can be used on buses, trams, and the U-Bahn, but not on regional or S-Bahn trains!

Fare Zones

Apart from short-trip tickets, most public transport tickets in Düsseldorf are priced according to the zone you're traveling in.

There are a few main fare categories, and most tourists who only plan to travel within the city will only need to buy tickets for zone A3.

Tickets for Occasional Rides

There are several ticket types available, but there are only a few that tourists usually get. Single Tickets (EinzelTicket) are best if you're just making one trip. If you plan on traveling more in one day, there's the 24-hour Ticket (24-StundenTicket).

🚨 TIP: Get the Düsseldorf tourist card to en­joy free unlimited public transport rides and discounts on tourist attractions!


For those who plan to travel for a week, the Weekly Pass is a good choice as it helps you save a little more money.

You can also choose from other options like the 4 trip ticket (4erTicket), which is good for four journeys, or the 10erTicket for ten trips.

Want to travel all month? Get the 30-day pass called Ticket1000 or opt for the same pass but start before 9.00 a.m. for a bigger discount.

Whether you get the Düsseldorf tourist card or a transport pass, they make regular travel cheaper than buying single tickets each time.

Lastly, kids under six years old ride for free, always!

Where to Buy Public Transport Ticket in Dusseldorf

Buying your public transport tickets in Dusseldorf is a breeze. Wherever you turn, there's probably somewhere you can get your tickets from. 

The best places are the ticket machines at train stations; they are easy to spot and use.

If you need to speak to someone, there are five customer service centers scattered around the city, such as at Main station or Heinrich-Heine-Allee station.

Otherwise, you can get tickets from kiosks and lottery ticket offices too.

Another convenient way is downloading the Rheinbahn app or redy app on your phone, where you can plan your journey, then buy tickets before you hop on a tram or bus.

Lastly, bus drivers can also sell you a ticket on the bus! How convenient is that?

Best Savings!


Only Visiting For A Day or Two?

Then consider the DüsseldorfCard (24 or 48 hours) — you'll enjoy free unlimited public transport rides & attractive deals across the city.

For example, get cheaper or even free entry to museums, & save money on city tours.

It's hands down the best deal for tourists.

➡️ Read more about the DusseldorfCard here!

Frequency And Operational Hours

In Düsseldorf, buses, trams, U-Bahn, S-Bahn, and regional trains (RE, RB) usually run from 9 a.m. until midnight.

Most trains go every 5-10 minutes. However, as you head out to the suburbs, especially in the evenings or on weekends, you might wait 20 to 30 minutes between trains.


On the other hand, buses might be less frequent. You could wait anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour for the next one. So they're also not the best choice when you're in a rush because they're affected by traffic and can be unpredictable, especially on weekends.

But keep in mind that different lines might have their own schedules, so it's always good to double-check!

Ticket Prices

Ticket prices in the city mainly vary depending on the number of zones you travel through. A single ticket for one zone costs about €2.90, while a day ticket covering all zones is approximately €9.

The great thing about using public transportation in Düsseldorf is that your tickets work for all types of travel. With just one ticket, you can change between buses, U-Bahn, S-Bahn, and trams without having to buy another ticket or pay more.

However, if you plan to make multiple trips across several days, it may be more cost-effective to purchase a weekly or monthly pass for unlimited travel within your specified zones.

👉 For tourists, there's also the option of the DüsseldorfCard, which provides 24- or 48-hour free access to public transport and discounts at various attractions in the city 😊

Validating Your Tickets

Before boarding, you must validate your ticket to avoid getting fined. When using trams or buses, look for the red or yellow validation machines on platforms or inside the vehicle. Simply insert your ticket into the machine, and it will be stamped with the date and time!

But tickets purchased from ticket machines on board trains and buses are valid from the time of purchase and do not require validation.

Benefits Of Using Public Transport In Dusseldorf


Compared to renting a car or taking a private taxi, you save a lot more by using public transport. Sometimes public transport is so efficient, you might get to your destinations at the same time (or faster) than if you took a car!

Ticket prices are budget-friendly too, especially when considering the convenience and coverage of the network.


Environmentally Friendly

Using public transportation in Düsseldorf reduces the number of cars on the road, which helps decrease air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. [1]

By choosing trams, buses, or bikes over private vehicles, you are actively participating in creating a more sustainable and eco-friendly world!

Avoid Traffic Congestion And Parking Hassles

You can dodge traffic congestion, and parking headaches too. It's no secret that parking fees can be steep in the city too. With a well-connected tram, bus, S-Bahn and U-Bahn system, getting around the city is more stress-free than ever.

Explore The City With Ease

You can effortlessly visit popular landmarks like the Rhine Tower, MedienHafen, and Königsallee via public transport, without having to walk very far.

Even attractions in the outskirts, like Schloss Benrath, are easily reached using the well-connected metro system, no matter where in Düsseldorf you're staying.

When you're ready to venture further from central Düsseldorf, regional trains are available for seamless travel to neighboring towns and cities.


Tips For Efficiently Using Public Transport

Checking Schedules And Routes

Plan your journey in Düsseldorf by checking tram and bus schedules beforehand using the Rheinbahn app — that's the best way to get updated on arrival times or delays.

Even at the station or tram stop, I'll watch the digital displays for real-time updates, just to make sure my rides are on track.

However, consider avoiding rush hour to dodge the crowds, especially during peak times.

Using Maps And Apps

There are many great transport apps available from both Rheinbahn and other local authorities to help you plan your journeys and make it convenient to purchase tickets.

You can also get free maps from tourist information offices, or download them for easy access.

These resources are handy for finding the best routes, stops, and connections!

Watching For Pickpockets

Even though Düsseldorf is generally safe, pickpockets, especially in crowded areas like trams and buses, are not unheard of.

Keep an eye on your belongings, particularly in tourist spots and during rush hour times when it gets busy, especially in places such as tram stations and inside the tram itself.

Be cautious of anyone invading your personal space or causing distractions; these could be tactics used by pickpockets to steal from you. In fact, use secure bags and wallets that are not easily accessible to others.

Trust your instincts and report any suspicious behavior to the authorities immediately if you feel threatened!

Being Aware Of Rush Hour Times

Rush hours in Düsseldorf are usually early morning and late afternoon during weekdays.

Planning your travel outside these peak times can save you from long waiting lines and packed buses or trains.

Conclusion: Dusseldorf's Public Transport

Düsseldorf is known as the "15-minute city", thanks to its superb public transport system. 

It's convenient, cost-effective and easy to navigate even for non-German speakers!

How to Take Public Transport in Dusseldorf:

Here are the steps to take public transport in Düsseldorf:

1. Choose your mode of transport: Bus? Tram? U-Bahn? Using the Rheinbahn app can help you plan your journey with the most effective route, based on time and date.

2. Purchase a ticket: You can buy tickets at ticket machines located at most stops and stations, kiosks or through the Rheinbahn app. Tickets are also available for purchase on trams and buses.

Ticket costs are defined by zones, and the zones are defined by bright color-codes, so it's easy to understand which ticket to buy.

👋 If you have a DüsseldorfCard, then you don't have to fuss over ticket prices, because your card includes unlimited free travel on all means of public transport.

3. Validate your ticket: Before boarding, you must validate your ticket at one of the machines located on the platform or inside the vehicle.

4. Board the vehicle: Wait for your bus, tram, or train at the designated stop or station. Trains and buses regularly go at least every 20 minutes until the very late evening and then thin out to 30 to 40 minutes.

During rush hours, most of the trains go every 5 minutes and most buses every 10 minutes.

5. Get off at your destination: Listen for announcements or watch for signs indicating your stop. In the city center, you can reach almost any place within a couple of minutes.

6. Repeat steps 2-5 as needed: If you need to transfer to a bus, make sure to show your ticket to the driver when you board.

7. Consider other modes of transport: If you prefer, you can also use bicycles, carpool services, or walking to get around Düsseldorf.

You might also like: Is there Uber in Düsseldorf?


1: Why Traveling By Train Is Environmentally Friendly | Save A Train, retrieved from

About the Author

Stephan Drescher, founder of, is a German travel expert and insider, providing trusted tips and advice for a perfect trip to Germany. Born & bred German.