Traveling in Germany

Airplane: Most large and many smaller German cities have their own airports. Airlines offer numerous domestic German flights. These include, for example, Lufthansa – it has the densest route network -, Air Berlin, Cirrus Air and Germanwings. Even the major airlines offer domestic German flights too oftencheap Prices.

Ship: bordering the Baltic Sea and North Sea and provided with a multitude of smaller and larger lakes and rivers, Germany offers numerous opportunities to move within the country by ship or boat. It’s an important mode of Transport between the mainland and the East Frisian Islands in Lower Saxony, the North Frisian Islands and Heligoland in Schleswig-Holstein and the islands of Poel, Rügen and Hiddensee in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Numerous ships and also operate along the Rhine, Elbe and DanubeFerries. There are also ferry connections across many lakes, the largest of which include Chiemsee, Starnberger See – both in Bavaria – and Lake Constance in Baden-Württemberg.

Rail: the German rail system is often referred to as the most efficient in Europe. With around 41,000 kilometers, it is the largest route network in Europe and connects more than 7,000 cities and municipalities. A wide range of services and ticket options are available to travelers.
Most of the trains are operated by Deutsche Bahn (DB). However, there are also private lines, such as the Lausitzbahn in Saxony or the Bavarian Oberlandbahn in Bavaria.
The Deutsche Bahn website provides detailed information on connections, travel times, prices and the option of booking tickets. Many train stations have a travel center. The staff there provides information about departure times, helps plan travel routes and sells tickets. At smaller stations there are often only ticket machines. There are lockers for temporary luggage storage at many train stations.
Train tickets are usually quite expensive. However, there are always special rates and discounts that can be asked for. There are also special inexpensive country tickets or the so-called weekend ticket. Several people can travel with one ticket, but it is not valid for all trains and only at certain times.

Automobile: German roads are excellent and driving cars and motorcycles in the country can be great fun. The approximately 11,000 kilometers of motorway network is supplemented by an extensive network of federal highways and smaller country roads. There is no toll for cars on public roads.
There are petrol stations, toilets and restaurants about 40 to 80 kilometers away on every motorway. Many are open around the clock. Between the large rest areas there are often smaller ones with picnic tables and benches and toilets. Emergency telephones are located on the motorways at a distance of two kilometers.
Seat belts are compulsory when driving in Germany. Children up to four years of age need a child seat and then up to twelve years of age a seat cushion. Motorcyclists must wear a helmet. The use of handheld cell phones while driving is prohibited.

Rental cars
If you want to rent a car in Germany, you must be at least 25 years old and have a valid driver’s license and, if necessary, a credit card. Some car rental companies also give a vehicle to drivers between the ages of 21 and 24, but for an additional fee.
All major car rental companies, for example Avis, Budget, Europcar or Hertz, have branches at airports and major train stations. However, smaller local agencies often offer better prices. So it’s worth asking there too.

In Germany you need liability insurance for your vehicle. If you rent a vehicle, you should make sure that the rental car package includes adequate liability insurance.

buses are the most common form of public transport and almost all cities have their own extensive bus network. Buses run at regular intervals. However, operations are often severely restricted in the late evening hours and on the weekends. Only a few cities operate night buses along the most popular routes. In some cities the bus routes are supplemented by tram routes. These are usually a bit faster.
Single and day tickets are mostly available from bus and tram drivers. There are also tickets at many kiosks and special traffic offices. In the cities there is usually a large central bus station (Zentraler Busbahnhof or Omnibusbahnhof / ZOB), close to or directly at the main train station.
In some rural or heavily forested regions, buses are sometimes the only means of public transport, for example in some parts of the Harz Mountains, the Bavarian Forest or the Alpine foothills. Different bus companies operate in different areas, each with their own tariffs and timetables.

The German Touring, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, which has Europabus individual traveler on three tours in Germany. The most popular route – the Romantic Road – runs between Würzburg and Füssen and is offered from April to October.
There are numerous castles and palaces along the second route, the so-called Castle Road. It runs from Mannheim to Nuremberg. Intermediate stations are, for example, Heidelberg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Ansbach. The tour is available from May to September.
On the other hand, the Strasbourg-Reutlingen route is on the timetable all year round. The route leads through the Black Forest and cities such as Freudenstadt and Tübingen.
Tickets for all tours can be purchased either by phone or online. They are available for the entire tour or for individual sections of the route. There are discounts, among other things, for holders of a Eurail or German Rail Pass.

Local transport / subway: most cities have efficient and punctual local transport. Big cities like Berlin or Munich have an integrated transport network with buses, trams, underground and S-Bahn. U- and S-Bahn trains are faster and cover larger areas than buses and trams. S-Bahn trains are connected to the national rail network and in some cases connect urban centers with one another. Information on the route network and departure times is available on the platforms and at the ticket office.

Bicycle: Cycling is very popular in Germany. There are special cycle paths in many cities. In many cities and municipalities you can rent bicycles at special rental stations.
There is no compulsory helmet for cyclists. However, bicycles must be equipped with a white front light and a red rear light. The wheels and pedals need reflectors.

Traveling in Germany