Germany Without A Car
Getting AroundLiving

How to Get Around Germany Without A Car

By on October 24th, 2016

Unlike other countries around the world, there aren’t many cities in Germany which will require you to own a car. There are many alternative options to getting around Germany without owning your own car.

There are also many cheaper options to get around Germany without a car, so it’s definitely worth reading into so that you can pick your favorite way to explore the country and get from point A to B without owning a vehicle.

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Carpooling

This is my favorite way to get around Europe. If you don’t mind being a little bit social and perhaps learning a little bit of German along the way, this is a fast (usually) and affordable option to travel. You’ll often find the prices are cheaper than a bus or train and since you’re not getting off at every stop along the way, you’ll make it to your destination a lot quicker.

Here are a few carpooling sites I use (feel free to add any you like using to the comments section below):

 

Car Rentals

If I have family and friends visiting, I’m always more inclined to purchase a rental car than I am to take a train or a bus. If you’ve got 4-5 people for the ride and a few destinations you would like to stop off at along the way, a rental car is a great option.

There are quite a few car rental shops around the area, I typically end up going with Buchbinder simply because it’s often the cheapest, but there are others such as Sixt, Europcar, Hertz and Avis that are worth checking out as well.

If you want to know a little secret, I’d just head over to MietwagenCheck, they compare all the prices for you so that you don’t have to bounce between sites.

 

Buses

Buses are often one of the cheaper modes of public transportation across Germany (and bordering countries). If you don’t mind the longer ride, then it’s definitely worth checking out one of the bigger/cheaper companies around the country such as:

  • FlixBus (*Note: Meinfernbus and FlixBus have partnered up and are no longer two separate entities)
  • Postbus
  • Eurolines

Better yet, if you really want to find the cheapest price there is on the day of your travel, head to busliniensuche… kind of like the booking.com of the bus industry. Busliniensuche compares all the bus options heading to your destination (and even includes BlaBlaCar options too).

 

Trains

The Deutsche Bahn is the national train service in Germany. While they certainly have their fair share of expensive train tickets, there are tons of opportunities to snag some cheaper deals if you book online in advance.

Head to L’tur and you’ll notice they have a bahn section that offers train tickets for as low at 17 Euro. This is where I go to find the cheapest train tickets (though sometimes you have to wait until one week before your departure to book a cheap ticket).

Do you have any other tips for finding cheap train tickets in Germany? Please write your suggestions in the comments section below! 

 

Planes

Perhaps that sounds a little ridiculous if you’re just driving a few hours, but if you’re planning on traveling from Düsseldorf to Munich for the weekend, perhaps you might want to consider taking that plane after all?

The Düsseldorf Airport is one of the top 5 largest airports in Germany which means you have ample opportunity to get out and explore what Europe has to offer. Take a look at the airports Airlines List to check out which airlines are currently departing from the Düsseldorf Airport.

 

Public Transportation

Depending on how far you’re headed, you might be able to get around using just the local public transport. Here in Düsseldorf, we use the Rheinbahn public transport which includes streetcars, the underground line, and all public buses. There are also alternative tickets that can be purchased if you’re hoping to visit a city nearby with the S-Bahn.


Do you have other suggestions on how to get around Germany without a car? Do you have any questions about living #LifeInDüsseldorf? Feel free to send us an email with your questions at hello@lifeinduesseldorf.com. If you have tips you’d like to share with others, we’re also accepting guest posts which include the author’s name, bio and photo. 

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4 Comments
  1. Reply

    Judson L Moore

    July 14, 2017

    Great advice! And so much easier to get around Germany than the USA without a car. I lived for 3 years without a car in the USA before coming to Germany and that was really challenging! Short distances could be solved with similar services such as are available here (car2go, public transit, bike, etc..) but longer distances were much more challenging. I wish that BlaBlaCar was popular in the USA! For anyone who is interested, check out my advice for living in the USA without a car: https://www.judsonlmoore.com/living-without-a-car-in-america/

    • Reply

      Jenna Davis

      July 23, 2017

      100% agree! I’m so thankful to have such a great system here in Germany. I had a car back in Canada (but didn’t want one… because it’s a money pit), so it’s nice to finally be able to get around easily even without a car!

  2. Reply

    Abdu Esharif

    July 14, 2017

    According to my experience with billiger-mietwagen.de, they are very cheap but when you have any problem with the booking they can’t help you at all because they are just a passenger! I booked one car through the website and they withdrew the amount from my account but never got confirmation email! It was a Friday night and on Monday when I called they couldn’t help and they asked me to call directly Europcar!!
    I end up paying for the booking without getting the car !!

    My advice to book in advance ” minimum 48 hours” otherwise it’s matter of luck!

    • Reply

      Jenna Davis

      July 23, 2017

      Oh no! I’m so sorry you had to experience that with Billiger Mietwagen. I guess a good tip for travellers might be to use the billiger-mietwagen.de website to compare prices and then book directly through the transportation provider to avoid any battles dealing with second parties!

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