Germany was the first country we went to in our Euro trip back in 2017. As it was our first trip on our own (and my first time in Germany), there were some hiccups especially when it came to transportation. But in hindsight, I saw it as a good “training” for the next 30 days I spent travelling in Greece, Italy and Estonia.
Just like in its fellow European countries, public transportation in Germany is excellent. It is easy to go from one place to another at any time you want. And you will usually use and connect with more than one type of these trains for your journeys.
- Long-distance trains – there are IC (Intercity), ICE (Intercity Express), ICE-Sprinter and EC (Eurocity). Check Deutsche Bahn’s website for schedules and tickets.
- Regional trains and metro – there are IRE (Interregio-Express), RE (Regional-Express), RB (Regionalbahn) and S-Bahn (suburban). Sometimes you may also need to “mix” your journey with U-Bahn (subway).
- Buses, trams and taxis
We bought our train tickets at the station. It was a bit confusing for us at first since there were different fares for different zones. You could buy single trip tickets, multiple/stripe tickets (cheaper than the single tickets and to be used one at a time depending on your destination), single and group day tickets. The most expensive one is of course the single trip ticket! The other easier option is to just buy them online.
- We were mostly in the touristy areas (in Frankfurt and Heidelberg), so people we went to spoke English.
- On some occasions, Google Translator became our saviour. 😁
Cash or Cards?
- I always prepared some cash in case our cards did not work (but they always did) and some coins to buy the public transport tickets.
- Visa and Mastercard are accepted in most places here.
Obviously I needed a Schengen Visa which I got from the German Embassy in Jakarta. The whole process was pretty fast (around 3 working days and without delay).