Getting Around Germany

By Car, Train, Bus, Or Plane

ICE Train, Germany
••• Michael Pereckas

There are many ways to explore Germany, depending on your itinerary, personal taste, and budget. Find out how you can best travel around the country from renting a car and flying down the Autobahn, to hopping on a plane, to enjoying a relaxing train ride. These are the people that invented the term wanderlust and travel in Germany is proof that it's not always about the destination, sometimes it is the journey.

 

  • 01 of 07
    Cologne Cathedral and Skyline
    ••• Robert Harding/Getty Images

    What’s the fastest way to get from Berlin to Frankfurt? Is it cheaper to take the train or opt for a plane if you want to travel from Munich to Hamburg? Or is it better to rent a car and drive down the Autobahn?

    Our series on how to get from one German city to the next offers all of this info, including which transportation options are fastest and most cost-efficient.

  • 02 of 07
    MadinnHunsrück railway between Boppard and Buchholz
    ••• Hunsrück railway between Boppard Boppard-Buchholz. Madinn

    One of the best ways to discover Germany (and Europe at large) is by train. Deutsche Bahn or "DB", the German railway system, is very well developed and reliable. You can reach almost every city in Germany by train; not to mention that watching the German landscape stream by your window is a very relaxing and comfortable way to travel.

    Our overview on German trains provides vital info to help you travel by train. Also read up on German train tickets and special offers to discover how to get the best deal like the Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket.

  • 03 of 07
    Autobahn
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    GettyImages / Norbert Breuer

     

    Do you want to rent a car and travel on the world-famous German Autobahn? Of course you do. And driving can help you get around with a family or travel at your own speed.

    Driving in Germany is straight-forward, but you need to follow the rules of the road to travel at those high speeds and dispel myths (like there is no speed limit on the Autobahn).

    If you need to rent your wheels, consult our guide renting al car in Germany.

  • 04 of 07
    Germany , Rothenburg City (Romantic Road) , The Plonlein , Siebers Tower (left) and Kobolzell Gate (right)
    ••• CALLE MONTES / Getty Images

    Of course, sometime the trip is an attraction in itself. Hop in the car and make the journey your reward.

    Germany offers many scenic drives that will lead you past quaint villages, medieval castles, and unspoiled countryside. From the Romantic Road to the Castle Road, from the Fairy Tale Road to the German Wine Route, here are the roads best traveled in Germany.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    flixbus
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    GettyImages / Sean Gallup

     

    Not everyone has the budget for train or car rental, and buses can be a inexpensive way to see the country.

    Bus networks are extensive, extending well beyond Germany's borders. They commonly offer vast discounts with little loss in luxury. Brands like Berlin Linien Bus and Flixbus offer comfortable, environmentally friendly, and wifi-connected coaches.

    Sometimes the journey is slightly longer than driving or by train, but the difference is usually slight. Also note that buses are commonly subject to traffic delays on busy travel times like before and after holidays, or heading into the weekend.

  • 06 of 07

    Air Travel in Germany

    Frankfurt airport
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    GettyImages / Kenneth C. Zirkel

    While many international visitors arrive through Frankfurt's International Airport (or less frequently by Munich and Berlin's airports), traveling by plane is actually one of the worst ways to travel through Germany. You miss the wonderful German landscape and it is often far more expensive than the other options. Many flights also stopover in other countries, making flying inconvenient and longer than necessary.

    That said, finding cheap flights is possible. Watch for deals between hubs like Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin. There can also be an element of surprise with deals like EuroWings blind booking.

  • 07 of 07
    Munich train station
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    Bene-Images / GettyImages

     

    Another key element for your travels is speaking a bit of Deutsch. It's true that most Germans speak English, but a little German can go a long way. Speaking German with the sales agent at the ticket counter or your fellow travelers on the train can make travel easier and more enjoyable.

    In our German travel glossary you'll find common German vocabulary and expressions related to all types of travel. Learn how to book your train tickets in German, and get to know essential phrases that you can use on the train, in stations, or at the airport.