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General Information About Rail Travel in Germany
The railway network in Germany is one of the most expansive in the world, with even rural areas being easily reachable by train. Apart from Deutsche Bahn - the biggest operator - there are also roughly 300 further companies that run services primarily on regional lines and in urban areas. Long-distance routes are often travelled on the high-speed-trains of the Deutsche Bahn (ICE). They are certainly the most comfortable option, but are quite a bit more expensive than the short-distance services. Among these are the IC, which usually stops at most of the same stations as the ICE, the RegionalExpress (RE), the Regionalbahn (RB) as well as the S-Bahn. There are often special offers available on these routes, valid across certain regions (Ländertickets) or over the weekend (Wochenendtickets). It is also possible to get ongoing reductions on the cost of a ticket at rates of 25%, 50% or 100% through the purchase of a BahnCard.
General Information About Bus Travel in Germany
Since the start of 2013, intercity coaches are being used more and more. The biggest advantage they have is that the price is very low compared to flights and trains – when booked enough in advance it can even be below €10 in some cases. Usually the journey takes longer than by car or by train (especially when compared to the ICE), but when the coach doesn't get caught up in traffic the difference is usually reasonable, given the gulf in price. As a result of the rapidly increasing demand the network of routes is currently quite comprehensive, even many smaller towns are on the route network. Intercity coaches traverse the most popular routes multiple times daily, in some cases even throughout the night. The largest operators include MeinFernbus, Flixbus, ADAC-Postbus and BerlinLinienBus.
General Information About Flights in Germany
Additionally Germany is very well connected to the international passenger air travel network. German air traffic accounts for roughly 180 million passengers each year. Among the multitude of airlines operating in Germany, Lufthansa is the most utilised, with roughly 103 million passengers every year. Coming in after them are Air Berlin and TUIfly. Use of domestic flights within Germany's borders has been shrinking, however. Munich and Frankfurt am Main are the most important airports in the country and are international hubs, whilst for domestic flights Berlin-Tegel, Düsseldorf and Hamburg are also significant.
Travelling to Berlin by Train
Reaching Berlin by train is easy from all directions. Berlin Hauptbahnhof is Europe's biggest interchange station and is right in the centre of Berlin. Other important stations in Berlin include Berlin-Ostbahnhof, Berlin-Gesundbrunnen, Berlin-Südkreuz and Berlin-Spandau.
Travelling to Berlin by Bus
The central omnibus station in Berlin is used exclusively by intercity coaches and its 35 platforms make it one of the biggest in Germany. The ZOB is near to the trade exhibition grounds and is well connected to the local public transport network in Berlin.
Flying to Berlin
There are two airports in Berlin. In the south-east of Berlin is Berlin-Schönefeld Airport (SXF) and in the north-west there is Berlin-Tegel Airport (TXL). Both can easily be reached via public transport. More information can be found here. Berlin-Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport (BER) is still in the process of being built.
Travelling to Hamburg by Train
There are 5 main-line railway stations in Hamburg. Hamburg Hauptbahnhof is the largest one in the Hanseatic city and is located in the centre. Hamburg-Altona is an important transport hub in Hamburg, given that many train routes begin as well as terminate there. Other important stations are Hamburg-Dammtor, Hamburg-Harburg and Hamburg-Bergedorf.
Travelling to Hamburg by Bus
Hamburg ZOB is the central bus station for intercity coach travel in the Hanseatic city and is directly adjacent to the main train station. There are also a number of local buses that depart from the ZOB.
Flying to Hamburg
Hamburg Airport is to the north of the city centre, and is serviced by most airlines. The airport is well connected to the city by bus as well as by the new S-Bahn service.
Travelling to Munich by Train
Munich Hauptbahnhof is the largest main-line train station in the city and is located in the city centre. The two other main-line stations are Munich-Pasing in the west and Munich-Ost in the east. Both of these provide good connections for travellers to other lines.
Travelling to Munich by Bus
Munich ZOB (central bus station) is located right in the city centre, by Hackerbrücke station - just along from Munich Hauptbahnhof – and is the departure and arrival point for all intercity coaches.
Flying to Munich
Munich Airport is one of the busiest airports in Germany and thanks to its central location is an important transport hub for travellers from all across Europe. It is roughly 28km to the north-east of Munich and is connected to the city centre by two S-Bahn lines.
Travelling to Cologne by Train
Cologne Hauptbahnhof is located in the centre of the city, directly next to Cologne Cathedral. Along with Cologne Messe/Deutz station it forms the most important interchange point in the city.
Travelling to Cologne by Bus
Cologne ZOB (central bus station) is located directly below and to the side of Cologne Hauptbahnhof on Breslauer Platz.
Flying to Cologne
Cologne Bonn Airport is roughly 15km from Cologne city centre and 16km from the centre of Bonn. It is easily reachable from the city by buses and trains – in the centre of the airport is the ICE-station Cologne Bonn Airport.
Travelling to Frankfurt am Main by Train
Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof is the most important hub for train travel in Germany. Apart from the Hauptbahnhof there are three other main-line stations in Frankfurt: Frankfurt Südbahnhof, Frankfurt Westbahnhof and Frankfurt Flughafen-Fernbahnhof.
Travelling to Frankfurt am Main by bus
Frankfurt ZOB (central bus station) is directly next to the airport and is very well connected to the local transport network.
Flying to Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main Airport is Germany's largest commercial airport and is the third largest in Europe in terms of passenger numbers. The airport is located approximately 12km to the south-west of Frankfurt city centre and has two stations that link it to the German rail network.