How to Get Around Germany

By | May 13, 2022


Traveling by plane

Lufthansa (LH) is the best-known domestic German airline. Eurowings (EW) connects numerous German cities. In summer, connections are offered by on-demand flight services with fixed departure times to Helgoland, Sylt and some East Frisian islands such as Usedom. Air Hamburg (HH) flies from Hamburg to Helgoland, Sylt and Juist. In the summer months, Eurowings (EW) fly from Stuttgart and Easyjet (U2) from Berlin to Sylt. In addition, taxi flight services between all commercial airports are available on request. Lufthansa flies from Frankfurt and Munich to Westerland (Sylt).

Traveling by car/bus

Germany is a country in Europe according to zipcodesexplorer. Germany has a state-of-the-art motorway network of over 12,000 km. The entire road network covers around 630,000 km. Unleaded petrol is available at every gas station. Over 700 service areas, petrol stations, motels and kiosks are open 24 hours a day along the motorway. In Germany there is a relatively dense network of charging stations for e-cars. The hydrogen filling station network is constantly being expanded, and H2.Live offers an up-to-date overview of the locations.

Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic


Condition of the roads

A telephone information service with current information on traffic jams, road conditions, construction sites, etc. is available on the toll-free number 0800 510 11 12 Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Exact information about gas stations, service areas and motels on the motorways can be found via Autobahn Tank & Rast GmbH & Co. Automobile clubs: The General German Automobile Club (ADAC) from Munich and the Frankfurt Automobile Club of Germany (AvD) have information desks at the most important border crossings as well as offices and agencies in all major cities. Technical assistance is provided to members of affiliated foreign automobile clubs. Maps and guidebooks can be purchased from the organizations’ offices. Snow chains can also be hired. The ADAC Reiseruf notifies motorists in emergencies with radio announcements. Road traffic reports are broadcast year-round on all stations. There is also the Auto and Reiseclub Deutschland (ARCD) and the Auto Club Europa (ACE).

Car rental

Companies such as Avis, Europa Service, Hertz, Sixt and Budget rent vehicles for a minimum period of 24 hours. Booking offices are available at all airports, in cities and at many train stations. The prices depend on the type of car. In the larger cities you can also rent a car with a driver. A car can be provided at the airport, train station or hotel on request. Several airlines (including Lufthansa) offer “Fly & Drive”.


Taxis are available everywhere. Waiting fees and other surcharges will apply. All taxis are metered. You can call a taxi anywhere in Germany on the number 22456. More information at


Bicycles and scooters can be rented from numerous rental companies.


Eurolines and Flixbus connect the German cities with each other.


The traffic signs are adapted to the international signs. – Children under the age of 12 and up to a height of 150 cm must be secured in suitable child seats (usually booster seats for larger children). – Seat belts are compulsory in the front and back seats. – A safety vest must be carried in the car. – The use of a hand-held mobile or car phone while driving is prohibited; however, the use of hands-free devices is permitted. – The nationality sign of the home country must be attached to foreign motor vehicles. – It is advisable to always ensure that the tank is full. If you are stranded on the motorway with an empty tank, you can be towed away and fined for a fee. – Warning triangle and first aid kit must be carried. – Alcohol limit: 0.5 ‰. – Alcohol limit for novice drivers: 0.0 ‰. (There is a ban on alcohol during the two-year probationary period and up to the age of 21). – There is a situational obligation to wear winter tires, ie summer tires are not permitted in wintry road conditions (snow, slush, frost or black ice). The winter tire requirement is not linked to a specific start and end date. – Drivers are advised to drive with dipped headlights outside of built-up areas, even during the day. – Motorcycles must drive with dipped headlights on during the day. – Helmets are compulsory for motorcyclists. Maximum speeds: Inside built-up areas: 50 km/h, outside built-up areas: 100 km/h; Recommended speed on motorways and expressways: 130 km/h, but no general speed limit. For cars with trailers (e.g. caravans) and mobile homes (3.5-7.5 t), the maximum speed on roads and motorways is 100 km/h. Regional speed limits are signposted.

Roadside Assistance

The breakdown service of the General German Automobile Club (ADAC) provides around-the-clock assistance throughout Germany. The Auto Club Europa (ACE) and the General German Motorsport Association (ADMV) also help with breakdowns. The ADAC breakdown service can be reached nationwide from the landline on the toll-free number 0180 222 22 22, for cell phones without an area code on 22 22 22. You can reach the ADAC emergency number on Tel. 089 76 76 76. The ADAC also maintains a helicopter emergency service, which can be reached by dialing 112. The costs are usually covered by health insurance companies. Emergency telephones are available on motorways. When calling, the “road patrol assistance” should be explicitly requested.


National or international driving license and national or international registration are valid for one year. For citizens of EU and EFTA countries, the license plate number is valid as proof of insurance. Nevertheless, EU and EFTA citizens are recommended to take their international motor insurance card with them in order to be able to enjoy full insurance cover in the event of damage. Otherwise, the statutory minimum liability insurance coverage applies. In addition, the international motor insurance card can make it easier to record accidents.

Traveling in the city

Public transport: Trams, underground and suburban trains as well as suburban trains operate in the major cities. Daily and collective tickets can be purchased in advance. In many large cities, you can buy the tickets you need from ticket machines before boarding public transport. A lot of public transport is conductorless. However, there are regular ticket checks. Passengers without a valid ticket usually have to pay a fine immediately. Car: The centers of numerous cities, such as Berlin, Dortmund, Frankfurt am Main, Hanover, Cologne, Leipzig, Mannheim, Munich, Stuttgart and Tübingen are so-called environmental zones. Only cars with a sticker showing that they are allowed to enter the environmental zones that the car does not exceed a certain emission of pollutants and fine substances. In Stuttgart, there is also a driving ban for diesel vehicles with the Euro 4 emissions standard and older. Berlin Berlin’s local transport system is excellent and includes an extensive bus, underground and S-Bahn network, which is served by the regional trains of Deutsche Bahn AG, the trams in the eastern part of the city and the ferries of the Berliner Verkehrs-Betriebe (BVG) and the Ost- Berliner Stern and Kreisschifffahrt (on scheduled services) is added. With the day ticket (valid until 3 a.m. the following day) you can make as many trips as you like on the entire bus, underground and S-Bahn network as well as the BVG ship line. Excluded are the BVG excursion bus lines. After validation, the WelcomeCard is valid for 48 or 72 hours or 4, 5 or 6 days. During this period, you can make as many journeys as you like with all public transport within the Berlin fare zone. In addition, numerous discount offers for cultural, sporting and tourist attractions in Berlin and Potsdam are included. With the CityTourCard, all local public transport in the Berlin AB fare zone can be used. In addition, the card enables discounts of up to 30% at the top 10 sights in Berlin. The card is available in three versions: for 48 hours, 72 hours or 4, 5 or 6 days. It is available from BVG and S-Bahn Berlin sales counters and machines. With the BVG small group ticket, up to 5 people can use public transport in the tariff zones AB, BC or ABC from validation until 3 a.m. the following day. With the regular bus lines 100 and 200 you can take a city tour from the Zoo station through the entire city center past all the important sights to the Prenzlauer Berg district. Further information at the information points of the BVG.

Locally on the way by train

The route network of Deutsche Bahn covers approx. 34,000 km. These include numerous high-speed routes for high-speed traffic. High-speed trains such as the ICE, Thalys and TGV operate in Germany. InterCityExpress, InterCity, EuroCity and local transport lines are largely coordinated with each other in terms of arrival and departure times. The InterCity network serves over 50 cities with hourly InterCity trains. XXL ICEs run on the Hamburg – Bremen – Dortmund – Cologne – Frankfurt Airport – Mannheim – Stuttgart – Munich route. And on the route Hamburg – Hanover – Kassel – Frankfurt am Main – Mannheim – Karlsruhe and on to Switzerland. The ICE Sprinters run non-stop, in both directions, from Frankfurt to Berlin, Hanover, Hamburg, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart and from Hamburg to Cologne, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen. The Nightjet night trains operate on the following routes, among others: Amsterdam – Utrecht – Duisburg – Düsseldorf – Cologne – Bonn – Koblenz – Mainz – Frankfurt – Nuremberg – Regensburg – Passau – Wels – Linz/Donau – St. Polten – Vienna Vienna – Breclav – Ostrava – Bohumin – Chalupki – Raciborz – Opole Glowne – Brzeg – Wroclaw Glowny – Legnica – Lubin Gorniczy – Glogow – Zielona Gora – Rzepin – Frankfurt(Oder) – Berlin Hbf – Berlin-Charlottenburg Hamburg – Hanover – Göttingen – Würzburg – Nuremberg – Regensburg – Passau – Wels – Linz/Donau – Amstetten – St. Pölten – Vienna Hamburg – Bremen – Hanover – Göttingen – Frankfurt (Main) – Mannheim – Karlsruhe – Baden-Baden – Freiburg (Breisgau) – Basel Basel – Zurich Hamburg – Hanover – Göttingen – Würzburg – Nuremberg – Augsburg – Munich – Rosenheim – Kufstein – Worgl – Jenbach – Innsbruck Train4you operates the holiday express car train on the Hamburg – Munich route. The BahnTouristikExpress car train serves the Hamburg – Lörrach route. FlixTrain connects Hamburg and Berlin with Cologne and Stuttgart with Berlin via Darmstadt, Kassel, Frankfurt and Hanover, among others. In addition, the FlixTrain runs from Hamburg via Berlin to Leipzig and from Kiel to Hamburg, Berlin and Leipzig, among others. Locomore long-distance trains run, among other things, on the routes from Hamburg to Cologne and from Berlin to Stuttgart. North and Baltic Sea Coast: In summer, IC trains run from the west, south and east of Germany to the North Sea islands of Föhr and Amrum. There are ICE connections to the Baltic Sea resort of Binz from Munich, Nuremberg, Leipzig and Berlin. From Munich to Westerland (Sylt). From Frankfurt am Main to Norddeich Mole. From Dresden via Berlin to Binz on Rügen. There are IC connections to Züssow from North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony, Berlin, Munich and Hamburg, where there is a connection to the Usedomer Bäderbahn. There is a connection to Burg auf Fehmarn with the IC train from Cologne, Dortmund and Bremen. There are IC connections on the Dresden – Berlin – Rostock route all year round. There is also the IC line Cologne-Norddeich Mole (ferry to Norderney and Juist) or to Emden outer harbor to the ferry terminal to Borkum. The Rail & Fly ticket is used by a large number of airlines and airlines. Tour operators and includes the train journey to/from the respective airport. The Alpen-Sylt-Night Express connects Constance on Lake Constance with Sylt. Catering: All ICE/EC/IC trains and many express trains in domestic and international long-distance traffic offer train restaurants, buffet cars or a mobile minibar. Sleeping Cars: Many sleeping cars in international traffic are equipped with showers and air conditioning. Bed reservations should be made in advance. Some trains have couchette cars. When reserving a seat in EC, IC and ICE trains, you should state whether you want to sit in the open-plan or compartment car. Small children’s compartments with toys and changing tables are available on ICEs (can be reserved in advance when booking). Bicycles can be taken on IC and EC trains, but not on ICE trains. You need a bicycle ticket and a parking space reservation for each bike. Parking spaces must be reserved at least one day before departure. Bike rental: ‘Call a Bike’ bikes are available 24/7 in many cities. To use it, you register as a customer once at at a terminal or with the Call a Bike app free of charge. Rental cars are available at the train station at all ICE stops and in many other cities. In many cities, car rental companies have their own rental car station right at the train station, or the DB travel center offers a rental car service. Mountain railways: In the most well-known mountain regions, you can use cable cars, chair lifts or cog railways. North Sea islands: DB also offers a connection to the car-free North Sea island of Wangerooge.

rail passes

The most important fare offers and saver tickets for German domestic rail transport are listed below. BahnCard: There are three different BahnCard offers: the BahnCard 25 offers a 25% discount on the normal price, the BahnCard 50 offers a 50% discount and the BahnCard 100 allows you to use all DB trains as you wish. Further information about the BahnCard offers is available from the DB hotline (phone 0180 699 66 33, around the clock). With the Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket, single travelers and up to four other people can travel throughout Germany with a surcharge and interrupt the journey and change trains as often as they like. The offer is valid for one day from 09.00-03.00. 00 a.m. the following day for any number of journeys in 2nd class on all regional trains and S-Bahn trains of the DB and other participating railways. Validity begins at midnight on national public holidays. Group&Save: In local transport for groups of 6 or more people. You get a 50% discount on the flexible price. Tickets are available from machines for groups of up to 20 people. A seat reservation is not possible. State ticket (e.g. Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria or Saxony ticket): Valid for up to 5 people traveling together for one day on local trains operated by DB (IRE, RE, RB and S-Bahn) and participating non-federal railways. The state tickets are often also valid in buses and trains of the transport associations within a federal state and often even in neighboring regions in local transport. Country tickets are valid Mon-Fri from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. the following day (all day on public holidays), as well as Saturdays or Sundays from 12 a.m. to 3 a.m. the following day. Detailed information on saver fares as well as combi/family/frequent traveler/group tickets are available from the DB information centers at the train stations and on the Deutsche Bahn website. The Interrail One Country Pass is also valid in Germany for 3, 4, 5, 6 or 8 days within 1 month. There are discounts for young people (12-27 years) and seniors (over 60 years). Up to 2 children (4-11 years) travel free when accompanied by an adult. With the Interrail Global Pass you can also travel to Germany. The same discounts apply as for the Interrail One Country Pass (see above).

Note on the train journey

Travel agencies and tourist offices provide detailed information about routes, timetables, fares and discounts. DB service numbers Fares and schedules, BahnCard and DB services: (030) 297 0 (available 24/7) Lost property service: (030) 586020909 Passenger rights service centre: (030) 586020920 Mobility service centre: (030) 65212888 – (barrier-free travel ) Regulations at the railway: Giro cards are not accepted on Deutsche Bahn trains. If you have to buy a ticket (afterwards), you can only pay in cash or with a credit card. Customers are reimbursed 25% of the fare for delays of at least 60 minutes on long-distance journeys.

Traveling by ship

Ship traffic on rivers, lakes and on the coast in scheduled traffic: (a) on the Danube, Elbe, Main, Moselle, Neckar, Oder, Rhine, Saale and Weser; (b) from the Baltic Sea ports along the Baltic Sea coast and to the Baltic Sea islands; (c) seaside resort service from Bremerhaven, Cuxhaven, Hamburg, Wilhelmshaven and other locations on the North Sea coast to the Frisian Islands and Helgoland; (d) on the Ammersee, Bodensee, Chiemsee, Königssee, Rursee, Starnberger See as well as on the Wannsee and the Müggelsee in Berlin. Car ferries run regularly between various ports on the Baltic Sea coast at home and abroad. In addition, special trips are offered on all navigable waterways. The Köln-Düsseldorfer offers various boat tours on the Rhine, Main and Moselle. Stern- und Kreisschifffahrt GmbH and Reederei Riedel GmbH offer scheduled and excursion trips in and around Berlin. The Sächsische Dampfschifffahrt GmbH offers steamer trips on the Elbe. CroisiEurope’s paddle wheel ships travel on the Elbe from Berlin via Potsdam, Magdeburg, Wittenberg, Meissen, Dresden and Leitmeritz to Prague. With the Neckar-Käpt’n from Berta Epple GmbH it’s off to the Neckar and with the Flotte Weser GmbH to the Weser. If you want to explore the Danube by ship, contact Donauschifffahrt Wurm & Köck. Lüftner Cruises offers various cruises on the Rhine, Main, Moselle and Danube as well as themed and winter cruises on the Danube and Rhine.

How to Get Around Germany