How do I use the German Rail Pass?

First you must activate your German Rail Pass at a train station in Germany. A railway official will fill in the first and last date of validity on your pass. Before boarding the first train of each day, you should write the travel date with pen on the calendar on your pass.

Then you can just hop on the train. Note that advance a seat reservation is required or recommended for some trains.

On each travel day, you can take as many trains as you wish. A travel day of your German Rail Pass lasts 24 hours, from midnight to midnight (from 00:00 to 24:00 hours).  If you board an overnight train that departs after 7pm and arrives after 4 am, then only the following counts as a travel day.

Your Pass comes with some bonuses. If you use a free benefit, you need to use a travel day of your Pass. Reduction bonuses can be used anytime within the validity period of your Pass.

More details:
Download & print the German Rail Pass flyer (PDF, you will get a printed version with your order).