Having a knowledge about the travel facilities before you visit a place, gives you confidence to explore new places. Being a student and being strict on budget, you really can't afford to spend much on travelling. However, in Germany there are many ways to travel from place to place within cities and throughout the country. Here you can find some transportation facilities in your budget to go out without any hesitation.
Cycling is considered as an effective and efficient mode of transportation in Germany, you can go out any time you want to, don’t have to worry about finding a parking space every time, getting stuck in traffic or waiting for the next bus. In Germany, in every city, there are specially marked paths reserved for cyclists, called ‘Radwege’. There you can find cycle path on most main roads which is separate to the road.
One very good thing is that you can take your bike onto buses and trains if the buses are not crowded during rush hour, but for this, you have to buy an extra ticket for your bicycle. Some universities offer semester tickets which include free bicycle transport. Here you can find route map site that shows the long-distance cycle routes: www.radweit.de
If you are a student and thinking about Taxis in Germany then it is bit expensive as compared to other transportation because taxis cost between 1.50 and 3 euros per kilometer. They frequently charge a minimum fare of 2.50 to 4 euros, which the passenger has to pay no matter how short the journey is which is the biggest disadvantage for the students.
If you missed the bus at night time, then you can take taxis from taxis stand or you can order uber via the app www.uber.com to pick you up at a certain location.
Buses and local railway
Many of the German citizens prefer bus and railway facility due to low cost and to avoid time delay to get around the town. If you are a student and you are doing some course like master, Ph.d or anything then you don’t have to worry about all the cost because the university will provide you with the semester ticket using which you can travel for free. If there is no semester ticket at your university, public transport companies usually offer students special rates. Here is some general information about transportation facility:
(S-Bahn) - suburban railway: S-Bahn lines are often linked to the national rail network sometimes connect urban centres. S-Bahn is valid for a streetcar or bus also.
(U-Bahn)- underground trains: In Germany U-Bahn are the fastest form of travel in big cities. If you buy a ticket from a bus driver it is also, in general, valid for the U-Bahn.
(Straßenbahn) - trams: You can find a round sign with green H in a yellow circle identifies a Haltestelle, a bus or tram stop. At some stops there may be an electronic sign that indicates the route number and when the next bus or tram will arrive which providing coverage far into the rural areas surrounding cities.
- Always check and verify the local rules and regulations. Sometimes it varies from city to city, like in Berlin, Frankfurt and in Hamburg, you do not have to validate your S-Bahn ticket, because you can’t buy it in advance. The rules for bikes also vary from city to city. Always check and verify the local rules and regulations.
You can’t always buy tickets on trams, every trams doesn’t have ticket machines in each car.
Where and how you can I get the tickets
Tickets are also available (U-Bahn and S-Bahn) at multilingual ticket machines on platforms or at sales points in major stations. Sometimes the machines for local public transport only accept cash (and occasionally only coins). But there are many machines which also accept debit or credit cards. Or you can purchase tickets using your smartphone.
You can also purchase tickets for local public transport from selected kiosks and newspaper stands. If you see the logo of the public transport company in the kiosk window, chances are that they sell tickets there.
Download the VVS or SSB mobile ticket and train schedule app.
Travelling by rail is fast and cheaper in Germany. Here passenger train is divided into two parts long-distance trains (average distance of 288 km), and short-distance trains (21 km on average).
Deutsche Bahn – long-distance trains
Intercity-Express – high-speed train (up to 330 kilometres per hour)
EuroCity – International long-distance trains
Intercity – National long-distance trains
EuroNight – International night trains
Urlaubs Express – National night trains to the Alps and the Baltic Sea during vacation times
Tickets for ICE, Intercity (IC) and Eurocity (EC) trains usually cost more than for the slower Interregio-Express (IRE), Regionalexpress (RE), Regionalbahn (RB) trains and regional trams.
How can I buy a ticket
Railway station counter
Website of the Deutsche Bahn
For those who travel by rail more frequently, it might be a good idea to use BahnCard 25 or BahnCard 50.
Bahn card 25: Travelers get 25 percent off all regular and saver fares. Bahn 25 card for 19 euros that is valid for three months.
Bahn card 50: Travelers receive 50 percent off all regular fare purchases (but not saver fares). This one is the best for the traveller who uses the train several times each month outside of Stuttgart.
Special offers for student
One such offer is the “SchönesWochenende-Ticket” (Good Weekend Ticket), with which up to five people can travel on regional and suburban trains non-stop for an entire day at the weekend. The price ranges from 40 euros (for one person) to 56 euros (for five people). You can travel anywhere in Germany on regional trains for just 44 euros on any one day. You can also take four friends with you for an additional 8 euros per person.
In Germany, Car-pooling is the best option for students if you are in the group and planning to go out. You can find carpooling offers online using the search terms “Mitfahrzentrale” or “Mitfahrgelegenheit”.