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Transports in Germany

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Germany has a developed transport network consisting of buses, trains, airplanes, taxis, etc. Here is an overview...

Traveling from one region to another will definitely be part of your daily routine if you are moving to Germany. The country has an extensive public transport network from which you can choose according to your needs and your budget. Most German cities are well served and have their own public transport network, including trains, subways, trams, buses, taxis, etc. Note that carpooling is as common as car and bike rental across the country.

Airline

If you are on a business trip in Germany, aircraft will probably be the fastest and most convenient means of transport, whether you have to move from one city to another or to neighboring countries. Most German cities such as Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Cologne, etc., have their own airport. You are likely to find several airline companies offering domestic, regional and international flights. Some of these companies also offer reduced rates during particular seasons. Make sure to compare prices first.

 Useful links:

Air Berlin www.airberlin.com
Condor www.condor.com
Fly Germania www.flygermania.de
Lufthansa www.lufthansa.com
Hahn Air www.hahnair.com

Train

You can make long trips across Germany by train, both during the day and night. There are different types of trains in the country and these are managed by the Deutsche Bahn. Among regional and intercity trains, you will find the Regional-Express, S-Bahn, InterCity, etc, which connect the major German cities and regions to one another. The InterCity also makes international routes. Moreover, high-speed trains such as the Railjet, Thalys, ICE, etc., connect major German cities to neighboring countries such as France, Belgium, Austria and Hungary.

Note that German trains are quite punctual and comfortable. You can purchase your tickets at ticket vending machines which are located at train stations. But you will be eligible to monthly or annual discounts if you purchase the Bahn Card, Monatskarte or Jahreskarte. Moreover, the one who is accompanying you will pay only half the ticket price while less than 15 years old children can travel free of charge with their parents.

 Good to know:

Traveling by train or subway without a ticket or Schwarzfahrer is liable to a fine amounting to 30 euros.

In Berlin, you will find not only trains and subway but also tramways which link the various neighborhoods.

 Useful links:

Deutsche Bahn www.bahn.de
Inter Rail www.interrail.eu
Stuttgart Strassenbahnwelt www.ssb-ag.de
S-Bahn www.s-bahn-berlin.de
OAG www.bvg.de

Bus

The bus is also one of the cheapest and most reliable means of transport in Germany. Some companies not only connect the various German cities and villages but also provide longer trips to neighboring countries. You can even travel to French cities such as Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse via Brussels, which is the Belgian capital city.

Note that most German buses are quite regular and comfortable. Regarding tickets, you can purchase these at ticket vending machines which are found at the station. Travel cards will entitle you to discounts.

 Useful links:

Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe www.bvg.de
Bermon Linien Bus www.berlinlinienbus.de
Euro Lines www.eurolines.de

Taxi

You are likely to find taxis in most major German cities. To stop a taxi, you just have to wave to it in the street. But advance booking by phone or on their company's website is also possible. In general, rates are fixed in advance by local transport authorities. Hence, taxis are equipped with a meter. In smaller town, rates can be negotiated with the driver.

 Important:

Germany has set up a safe taxi system for women which is known as the Frauen-Taxi. This system aims at making women feel safe to travel alone at night. The Frauen-Taxi is available as from 21hr and rates are equal to those of buses.

 Useful links:

Taxilo talixo.de
City Funk www.cityfunk.de
Taxi Funk Berlin www.taxifunkberlin.de
Taxi Muenchen www.taxi-muenchen.com
Taxi Frankfurt www.taxi-frankfurt.de

 Good to know:

If you wish to explore Frankfurt in an unusual way, you can also try the "velotaxi" which is some sort of bike-taxi. It is considered to be an Eco-friendly means of transport, ideal for tourists.

Rent a car

If you have a valid driver's license, you can also consider renting a car. You can find car rental agencies all over major German cities as well as in airports. To rent a car, you will have to produce your driver's license, your identity card, as well as a payment card. Make sure also to inquire on road traffic regulations and classification and on speed limits beforehand.

 Useful links:

Rental Cars www.rentalcars.com
EuropCar www.europcar.com
Sixt www.sixt.com
Hertz www.hertz.com
Avis www.avis.com

Carpooling

Carpooling or Mitfahrgelegenheit has become a widespread practice in Germany for a few years in an effort to reduce the effects of environmental pollution. This will also allow you to share the costs with another person. Carpooling agencies are available in most major German cities.

 Useful links:

MFZ www.mfz.de
Mitfahrgelegenheit www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de

Bike

Biking is another practical an Eco-friendly means of transport in Germany like in many big European cities. You are likely to see bikers everywhere in some cities. Moreover, cycling tracks have been specially designed so as to facilitate their access to some regions. If you do not wish to buy a bike, you can still find bike rental agencies in all major cities.

 Useful link:

Bahn - Bike www.bahn.com

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