Top tips for travelling within Germany
trivago attracts talents from all around the world (91 different countries to be exact) and for some, arriving in Düsseldorf is their first glimpse of Germany and German life. So what better way to get to know your newly adopted country than to see as much of it as possible?
Even for those with a good knowledge of NRW or the Rhineland, other corners of Germany have a lot to offer – from the mountains in the South to the beaches in the North.
But what is the best way to get around? Here we’ve put together a brief summary of your different options when it comes to travelling across Germany.
Train travel within Germany
Travelling by rail can be one of the most enjoyable ways to get around Germany – but unfortunately it can also be one of the most complicated. Deutsche Bahn offers a variety of different ticket options for trains of different speeds. Though confusing at first, the system is pretty easy to get your head around.
Classes of train in Germany
In Germany there are two main types of train: inter-city (inter-city (IC) and inter-city express (ICE) trains) or regional (regional (RE/RB) and suburban (S) trains). ICE is the fastest tier of train travel, with both ICE and IC stopping only in major cities. This also makes them the most expensive form of travel, requiring specific tickets be bought for your journey. RE and S Bahns stop more frequently in smaller towns and villages and can be taken with almost all tickets, including the Firmenticket or special group offers.
Train tickets and offers in Germany
Actually buying your train ticket is where it gets interesting. The good news is that if you are travelling with a group of up to five, there are lots of options for discounted train travel. Likewise, booking in advance can help you save some Euros. (Unfortunately travelling alone and buying tickets last-minute can be quite expensive.)
If you are travelling by train as a group, the below tickets are your best options:
Schönes Wochenende ticket: as the name suggests, these tickets can only be bought at the weekend and are valid for travel on regional trains (RE/RB or S-Bahn) and local city transport throughout the whole of Germany. Prices start at €44, with additional charges for every extra person included (up to 5). For the same offer during the week, try the Quer-durchs-Land ticket.
Länder/State ticket: these can be bought for any Bundesland (state) in Germany for unlimited same-day travel within said state on regional trains, as well as local city transport. This ticket is ideal for any day trips within NRW. Prices start from €23, with additional charges for every extra person (up to 5).
Bus travel within Germany
Long-distance bus travel is relatively new to Germany, finally becoming legal in early 2013, after Deutsche Bahn’s monopoly on inter-city travel was ended.
While the routes on offer might not quite rival counterparts like MegaBus for their affordability or reliability, long-distance bus travel nevertheless offers a good alternative to train travel.
Travelling to Berlin from Düsseldorf
Of course one of the top destinations for trivagoists when travelling within Germany is Berlin. And the good news is that budget connections to the capital have been increasing over the last few years. Flying is by far the quickest option and with a handy Ryanair sale, can easily be the cheapest, but there are other choices available.
Bugdet airline EasyJet connects both Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn Airports with Berlin-Tegel several times a day, while Ryanair also flies from Cologne to Berlin-Schönefeld – sometimes for as little as €9 each way. Additionally, the slightly more up-market Eurowings flies from both airports to Berlin-Tegel.
ICE train journeys take just over four hours (but the tickets are very pricey). Travelling to Berlin by bus is of course cheaper, but can take up to 10 hours(!!!) with traffic. (I know at least one colleague who would not recommend this option.)
The best airports near Düsseldorf
When it comes to flying, Düsseldorf is well positioned for getting great budget deals. While Düsseldorf airport itself has limited budget flights, there are several other options in close proximity: Cologne/Bonn Airport, Dortmund Airport, Düsseldorf Weeze and Eindhoven, located in the Netherlands.
Cologne/Bonn Airport is easily reached by train in around 40 minutes (with a change at Köln Messe/Deutz). For Dortmund Airport, the quickest option is to get the train to Holzwickede, where you can take a direct shuttle to the airport for around €2.
Weeze and Eindhoven are a little more complicated: Weeze requires either a 90-minute bus from Düsseldorf Hbf or a train journey to Weeze followed by a 20-minute local bus. For Eindhoven, there is a convenient Deutsche Bahn bus service that leaves every two hours and takes around 90 minutes. From there, you can take a local bus to the airport, which takes around 20 minutes.
Do you want to join trivago and explore Germany? Sign up to our Talent Community.
Related posts: 15 Reasons to Move to Düsseldorf