Українська Русский English
Rest in UkraineArticles for tourists

Public transport in Germany

2019-03-16 | views: 303

general information

Public transport in Germany is at the forefront of development in Europe. Even in the smallest German city, there is a regular bus service, and larger settlements have a versatile system of ground and underground public transport, allowing you to move freely without using a car or taxi.

Routes and public transport timetables in German cities can be obtained free of charge at tourist offices or downloaded from the local transit agency website. They are also often included in local printed guides.

City buses

Buses (Omnibus) are the most common form of public transport in German cities. Bus stops in Germany are marked with a green “H” symbol (Haltestelle) and can be equipped with a special display showing the time of arrival of the routes in real time. The bus traffic interval can be reduced at “peak hours” and increase in the early morning and late evening.

In many cities in Germany, there are nightly buses. In the central cities of many German regions, there are routes of "tourist" buses covering the most interesting sights along the historical center.


Tramways (Trambahn) are laid in most large and medium cities of Germany. Particularly extensive system of tram have settlements in the eastern regions of the country and in Bavaria. In some German cities, tram lines in the historic center can go underground.

Trams in Germany run strictly on schedule, with an interval of about 20-30 minutes. The tram stops, as well as the bus, are marked with a green letter “H” and are equipped with a display showing the waiting time for each route.

City Railways

Many large and developed cities of Germany (Berlin, Hamburg, Hannover, Cologne) have similar in name and purpose systems of light urban and suburban trains, one of which is called S-Bahn, and the other - Stadtbahn.

S-Bahn operates on the basis of railway lines (managed by Deutsche Bahn), as a ground version of the metro, with possible continuation in the suburbs and nearby cities. Stadtbahn was created on the basis of the tram tracks, as a faster deputy tram routes serving the city center and surrounding areas. Some sections of the city’s electric subway route, as well as the subway, pass underground.

In contrast to the subway, the cars of urban trains of different routes can arrive on the same platform, and the main difference from suburban regional trains is a much smaller distance between stops. Trains Stadtbahn get the right to preferential movement on the tram routes, which significantly reduces travel time.

The names of the routes Stadtbahn begin with the letter "U", S-Bahn - with the letter "S" and are displayed on the scoreboard at the beginning of the cars and on the station information board. Platforms of S-Bahn trains are denoted by signs with the letter "S", and Stadtbahn - signs with the letter "U" with the added inscription "Stadtbahn".

Doors in German train cars do not open automatically at the bus stop - to do this, press the special button located on them after it turns green.


The largest German cities have their own underground lines (U-Bahn or Untergrundbahn), running mainly through the central regions. The metro (in conjunction with the city's electric trains) in cities such as Berlin and Munich forms the basis of the public transport system.

The entrance to the metro in Germany is marked with the letter “U”.

Other public transport

The following types of public transport are also found in various regions of Germany:

Zahnradbahn - jagged railways used in highland areas of the country

Seilbahn - cable cars or cable cars

Schwebebahn - suspended railways, the oldest of which is located in Dresden

H-Bahn / Hochbahn - Overground monorail trains

R-Bahn - suburban regional trains

Tickets and prices

In each city or region of Germany, the public transport system is governed by regional transport operators or “tariff unions” (Verkehrsverbund), which regulate fares and fares.

Tariffs for public transport services in Germany are based on the zonal system. Regions of the country are divided into tariff zones (Tarifzonen) usually grouped around major population centers.

Travel by public transport in Germany is paid by the system - “one ticket - one zone”. Those. There is a single ticket for all types of transport (of different types), which operates within the same zone. Crossing each of the tariff zones, you need to buy a new ticket, or a ticket that operates in several zones at once (a better option for regular trips).

In general, a trip to small and medium distances in the cities of Germany will cost 1-4 €.

Where to buy tickets

 Tickets and tickets for public transport in Germany can be purchased:

At the office or on the website of the regional transport operator (for example - the Berlin company BVG)

In ticket machines installed at most of the stops and platforms (payment in cash and with a German credit card)

In ticket machines installed inside transport (payment only with a German credit card)

Directly from the driver (bus, tram), its cost depends on the end point of the trip

At the subway ticket office

Ticket machines are usually provided with detailed instructions, however, there are also old-style cars, where all the functionality is only in German. Important items of the automaton “menu” to be filled in are: ticket type, four-digit “destination” code (Fahrziel), and the passenger's age category - “adult” (Erwachsene) or “child” (Kind).

In order not to understand the confusing settings of the automatic cash register, you can

ask to buy a day ticket located next to the machine

a German, turning to him with the phrase in English: "Please, you can buy a ticket for a day."

Tickets start from the moment of composting in special devices (Entwerter) installed at the entrance to the vehicle (bus, tram) or to the station (subway); without this, the ticket is considered not valid. A ticket purchased directly from the driver is not necessary to compost. Tickets are shown to the driver at the entrance, and checked tickets can be checked by the controllers (Fahrkartenkontrolleur) directly in the transport. A fine for ticketless travel in Germany is € 30-50.

For early booking the cost of tickets can be significantly reduced.

Types of tickets

All tickets and public transport in Germany are divided into several main types:

A single ticket is a regular ticket (Einzelfahrausweis), which allows you to use all types of public transport for 2 hours (within 1 zone). The cheapest one-off tickets - Kurzstreckekarte are designed to travel over short distances (4 nearest stops for a bus, tram or 1 stop for a train).

Group ticket - multi-ticket (Mehrfahrtenkarte, Streifenkarte) can be used by 3-10 passengers 1 time for 1 hour. There is a group ticket for the whole day, designed for 5 people.

Ticket for 1 day - a day ticket (Tageskarte) is valid within one zone, until 4 am the next day.

Ticket for 1 week - valid for a calendar week, until 4 am on the first day of the next week.

Ticket for 1 month - valid for a calendar month, until 12:00 of the first day of the next month. Another type of monthly ticket is a transport subscription, which can be purchased at the office of the regional transport operator.

Annual ticket - valid for 1 adult or 3 children. It is suitable for a long stay in the country.

The cost of children's tickets (up to 13 years) in Germany is much lower than the adult. Preschoolers drive for free. Students in Germany have the opportunity to purchase a special ticket for 6 months, at the cost of a regular monthly ticket.


Both international (Eurail Pass, InterRail for S-Bahn trains) and national (WelcomeCard, CityTourCard) travel tickets are well suited for paying for public transport in Germany, making it possible to save a lot on regular trips.

http: //