Travel in Germany

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Here are the most popular means of travel between cities in Germany.

  • by train: fastest on short- & mid-distance, cheap if bought early
  • by bus & car:
    • car rental: expensive but most flexible
    • rideshares: cheap but reliability varies
    • long-distance buses: cheapest but slowest
  • by plane: most expensive but fastest for distances over ~400km

By Train[edit]

  • The vast majority of trains are operated by Deutsche Bahn, Germany's national railway company.
    • You can travel all their trains for 1, 2 or 3 months with a "flat rate" ticket:
  • Their biggest private competitor is Flixtrain.

Fast trains (ICE, IC, EC)[edit]

  • These long-distance trains by Deutsche Bahn connect all larger Germany cities with frequent connections.
  • Find a connection with their Connection search[1].
  • Get the best price with their Best price finder[1].
    • Ticket prices start from €17.90, even for very long connections.
    • A calendar view of best prices for a connection gives you (inofficial).
  • With a Bahncard[1], you can get a 25% or 50% discount on nearly any ticket.
    • A Bahncard 25 costs €56,90, a Bahncard 50 €234 per year (2nd class).
    • There is a 3-month trial version (Probe-Bahncard) for €17.90 / €72,90.


  • Flixtrain is a brand of Flixbus, Germany's biggest operator of long-distance buses.
  • Their network connects many cities, but trains run only 1 to 4 times a day
  • Prices are very cheap, starting from €3.
  • Trips can be booked together with Flixbus busses, so you can get one ticket for the whole trip (bus & train).
  • The Flixtrain connection search[1] shows both Flixtrain and Flixbus connections.

Regional trains (IRE, RE, RB, S-Bahn)[edit]

  • Regional/local trains are mostly operated by Deutsche Bahn.
  • They connect close cities or cross / go around big cities.
    • It is possible (but slow) to travel long distances by using many regional trains in a row.
  • There are day passes (Länderticket) valid in all regional transport in one ore even multiple German federal states, often also reaching into neighbouring states.

By Bus & Car[edit]

Long-Distance Bus[edit]

  • Germany has a dense network of several long-distance busses (Fernbus).
  • Buses are mostly reliable but often slower than trains.
  • The main operator in Germany is Flixbus[1].
  • Busradar is a search engine for many bus connections in Germany (and Europe).


  • At organized ride shares (Mitfahrgelegenheit), people who travel by their passenger offer their free seats to other travelers.
  • Prices are similar to those for long-distance buses.
  • BlaBlaCar[1] is the most popular ride-sharing platform.


  • Hitchhiking is popular in Germany.
  • Hitchwiki gives more tips and lists convenient spots to start a hitchhike.

Car Rental[edit]

  • Car rental for traveling between cities is rather unpopular in Germany. It is mostly done when moving to a new place, and a van is needed.
  • The biggest rental companies are Sixt[1] and Europcar[1].

By Plane[edit]

  • Because of Germany's fast train network, plane travel within Germany only makes sense for very long distances, e.g. Hamburg-Munich.
  • Find all flight connections with Google Flights.


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