Our blog posts may include affiliate links. These affiliate links don't cost you anything, but we might earn a few Euros if you decide to purchase something from one of our recommended website partners. Thank you for your support to help keep this platform up and running!

Unlike in 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.

Here’s how you can get around Germany without a car

 

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:

 

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 (especially smaller towns like Monschau, Harz, and the Mosel Valley), a rental car is a great option.

There are quite a few car rental shops around the area. 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. You’ll find your cheapest options here.

 

Buses

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

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.

If you love taking the train, don’t mind an older locomotive, and want cheaper prices, FlixTrain is your go-to option. FlixTrain offers a smaller connection/network, but can be a much cheaper option than Deutsche Bahn. I personally love the FlixTrain since their network is super practical and their train routes are pretty much just as fast as the Deutsche Bahn trains (sometimes faster since there are fewer stops).

Planning on exploring outside of Germany? If you’d like to visit other countries and have a fixed schedule in mind, then buying a ticket with Interrail is your cheapest option. You pick the ticket you’d like to buy (i.e. 7 days train travel within 1 month, etc.) and you get access to almost all the trains in Europe. You can hop on, and the ticket checker will stamp your card so you know how many rides you have left.


 

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 airport’s Airlines List to check out which airlines are currently departing from the Düsseldorf Airport. We often fly with EuroWings as they typically have much cheaper prices than some of the other flights.

TIP: If you have a car and are planning on taking a flight anyway, there are more than 13 different airport parking venues around the airport you should consider.

 

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.

Decided you’d like to buy a car afterall?! Here are the top sites for finding used cars in Düsseldorf

New to Germany? Join our Welcome Program! Want to join our author team? Send us an emailJoin our Life in Düsseldorf | Expats & Locals Community group and register for our newsletter (packed with the hottest events, seasonal activities, upcoming job opportunities and more)!