Transport in Germany – Comparison of Busses, Planes & Trains
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If you are planning on travelling from or within Germany then you have plenty of options on your hand. Fortunately Germany has both an extensive network of railroad as well as streets and make it one of the best countries in the world to travel around.
When considering travelling further distances also flying might be a very good alternative to trains, cars and busses.
Quite recently Deutsche Bahn (German train company) lost its monopoly on domestic long range travel. That meant that new bus companies, such as
Flixus, where able to offer cheaper alternatives to travelling by train.
Most cities nowadays have a central bus terminal with busses leaving to many other German and other European cities. If you book online in advance you can get some really nice deals on tickets. Travelling by bus is by far the cheapest way to explore Germany.
Only thing to consider is that if you travel for a long time it might get uncomfortable compared to trains (where you can walk around). But fortunately all busses are requiered to take some breaks every couple of hours, which you can use for walking around and stretching.
Travelling by plane – best alternative for long distances
Flying within Germany might be a very good alternative as distances to your destination can easily be around 600-800km e.g. if you want to go from North to South. Instead of spending hours stuck in a bus or car you might consider flying. Compared to Deutsche Bahn this probably even will save you a substantial amount of money, especially if you book well in advance.
For domestic flights make sure to show up around 1h before take-off (more if you need to check-in luggage or if you know that security takes longer). Usually you don’t need ID for domestic flights, but to be on the safe side always carry your ID with you.
Travelling by train – best alternative for convenient travel
Usually travelling by train is the most expensive option available for you. But if you live close to a train station you will get to appreciate the fact that you only need to show up 5 min before departure of your train and you will always arrive in a very central location at your destination (compared to flying, where you need to arrive 1h in advance and most of the time travel for 30min and more to the airport).
The most convenient way is to book your trip online and well in advance. The earlier you book the more likely you are to get one of the cheaper tickets. If you book only one or two days in advance you can count on spending multiple of the price for a long distance bus ticket.
If you are planning on travelling through Germany you should definitely make sure to check out the Top 10 tourist attractions in Germany. Definitely worth a read and a visit!