Using public transportation in a foreign country can be stressful and intimidating. But don't worry, we've got your back! Public transportation in German-speaking countries is convenient, safe, and easy to use. You should definitely take advantage of it while traveling!

The phrases we've collected for you here will help you easily navigate public transportation systems in German. Have a look at them and get ready for your next trip!

Essential Phrases

   
 
   
 
Wo ist die nächste U-Bahn-Station?
 
Where is the nearest subway station?
 
Wann fährt der nächste Bus nach Berlin?
 
When is the next bus to Berlin?
 
Wann kommt die U-Bahn?
 
What time does the subway come?
 
Wie oft halten die Busse hier?
 
How frequently do the buses stop here?
 
Der Bus fährt alle 30 Minuten ab.
 
The bus leaves every 30 minutes.
 
Um wie viel Uhr fährt die letzte U-Bahn?
 
What time does the last subway leave?
 
Wo kann ich ein Ticket kaufen?
 
Where can I buy a ticket?
 
Wie viel kostet ein Ticket?
 
How much does a ticket cost?
 
Gibt es Gruppentarife?
 
Is there a group rate?
 
Ich brauche einen Einzelfahrschein.
 
I need a one-way ticket.
 
Wo muss ich umsteigen, um nach München zu gelangen?
 
Where should I change trains to get to Munich?
 
Fährt dieser Bus nach Hamburg?
 
Does this bus go to Hamburg?
 
Wo muss ich aussteigen, wenn ich ins Stadion will?
 
Where do I have to get off if I want to go to the stadium?
 
Gibt es eine Karte mit Informationen zur U-Bahn in der Nähe?
 
Is there a subway map nearby?
 
Der Bus ist viel schneller.
 
The bus is much faster.
 
Der Zug ist immer pünktlich.
 
The train is always on time.
 
 
Wo ist die nächste U-Bahn-Station?
By using the sentence pattern Wo ist der nächste + ORT? you can ask for directions to the nearest bus stop, train station, or metro. You could do the same thing with the sentence pattern Gibt es in der Nähe einen + ORT?. For example, you could ask something like Gibt es in der Nähe eine U-Bahn-Station?. In response someone might say something like: Wenn Sie die nächste Straße rechts hinuntergehen, finden Sie eine U-Bahnstation.
Wie oft halten die Busse hier?
Ask questions using the sentence pattern Wie oft halten + VERKEHRSMITTEL + hier? to find out how often a train, subway, etc comes to a station or stop. Here is another example of this pattern: Wie oft halten Züge hier?. A response to this might look something like: Etwa alle zehn Minuten hält hier einer an.
Um wie viel Uhr fährt die letzte U-Bahn?
This is a must-know phrase! Use it when you're unsure when the last bus, subway, or train leaves. If you miss it, you'll be stuck where you're at and need to find a new way back home or to your hotel. An answer to this question might look something like this: Die letzte U-Bahn geht um Mitternacht.
Gibt es Gruppentarife?
One other way you could ask this question is to ask: Gibt es einen Gruppenpreis?. It's a good idea to find out if there are group prices for tickets when you are traveling with more than one person. Group tickets are usually cheaper than buying lots of single tickets for everyone. An example response to these questions is: Ja, es gibt ein Gruppenticket, das für eine Gruppe von fünf Personen gültig ist.
Ich brauche einen Einzelfahrschein
When taking public transportation in Germany it's important to know which ticket you want to buy so that you don't end up paying more than you need to. There are lots of different kinds of tickets in Germany. For example an Einzelfahrschein is a one-way ticket, a Rückfahrschein is for round trips, and a Tagesticket is a ticket that is valid for 24 hours. If you are unsure which ticket you need, don't be afraid to ask for help. Employees can help you with ticket machines or direct you to where you can buy tickets. For example, like this: Sie können Tickets am Ticketschalter kaufen.

Answers to the Most Common Questions

What are the most essential phrases that I need to know when talking about public transportation in German?
  • Wo ist die nächste U-Bahn-Station?
    Where is the nearest subway station?
  • Wann fährt der nächste Bus nach Berlin?
    When is the next bus to Berlin?
  • Wann kommt die U-Bahn?
    What time does the subway come?
  • Wie viel kostet ein Ticket?
    How much does a ticket cost?
  • Wie oft halten die Busse hier?
    How frequently do the buses stop here?
  • Um wie viel Uhr fährt die letzte U-Bahn?
    What time does the last subway leave?
  • Wo muss ich umsteigen, um nach München zu gelangen?
    Where should I change trains to get to Munich?
How do I find out how often public transportation comes?
Ask questions using the sentence pattern Wie oft halten + VERKEHRSMITTEL + hier? to find out how often a train, subway, etc comes to a station or stop.
  • Wie oft halten die Busse hier? (How frequently do the buses stop here?)
  • Wie oft halten die Züge hier? (How frequently do the trains stop here?)
  • Wie oft halten die Straßenbahnen hier? (How frequently do the trams stop here?)
What kinds of public transportation are normally used in German-speaking countries?
German-speaking countries are know for having highly developed public transportation systems that are easy to use. Major cities are usually connected by train, and once inside a city it's common to find taxis, buses, trams, and subways. Outside of major cities there are fewer public transportation options, but trains and buses are still common even in smaller towns and villages.
How expensive is it to use public transportation?
Ticket prices can vary a lot depending on where and when you buy your ticket, especially if you are traveling by train. It's important to buy train tickets as early as possible, as they are usually much cheaper if you buy them weeks or even months before your actual trip. Ticket prices for trains and buses are much more stable when in cities, though prices can vary by city.
How can I find out where public transportation stations are?
Here are two different ways to ask if there is public transportation close to you:

Wo ist der nächste + ORT?
  • Wo ist die nächste U-Bahn-Station? (Where is the nearest subway station?)
  • Wo ist die nächste Bushaltestelle? (Where is the nearest bus station?)
  • Wo ist der nächste Taxistand? (Where is the nearest taxi stop?)

Gibt es in der Nähe einen + ORT?
  • Gibt es in der Nähe eine U-Bahn-Station? (Is there a subway station nearby?)
  • Gibt es in der Nähe eine Bushaltestelle? (Is there a bus stop nearby?)
  • Gibt es in der Nähe einen Bahnhof? (Is there a train station nearby?)