Germany is one of the countries with the best infrastructure in the world. Around 830,000 kilometres of road (including 13,000 kilometres of motorway), 38,400 kilometres of rail and 23 major airports as well as regular modernisation projects ensure excellent transport links throughout the country.

Young couple waiting with their bicycles in front of a yellow tram.

Although Germany is considered a country of car drivers, most cities boast an extensive public transport network with buses, trams, underground trains and rapid transit systems. In large cities, the underground and rapid transit trains are the quickest and most efficient mode of transport. Moreover, intercity trains run at very frequent intervals, especially between bigger cities.

There is also an extensive network of cycle paths, particularly in university cities. Major cities such as Hamburg and Berlin have several hundred kilometres of cycle lanes, encouraging the use of bicycles as a means of transport. Public bike rental services and e-scooters are also available for anyone to use for a small charge in many cities. Electric bicycles, known as pedelecs, are all the rage these days.

The same can be said about motorised on-demand services such as ride hailing. International companies (like the famous one starting with a U) as well as regional alternatives offer a car ride via app. In more rural areas, shuttles that only run on demand (often called Rufbus or Taxibus in German) are part of public transport. In the cities especially, many providers of public transport integrated offers on e-scooters, pedelecs and ride hailing services into their apps so you can find multiple options to get from A to B as fast as possible.

Ride sharing (Mitfahrgelegenheit) and long-distance buses (Fernbus) are quite common options for travelling to more distant destinations – apart from the also excellent railway, of course.

If you need a car occasionally, there is the option of car sharing schemes offered in around 935 German cities and municipalities. An interactive city map [German] on the website of the German CarSharing Association (Bundesverband CarSharing) shows you where those cars can be found.

Good to know

As a rule, you can find timetables and information about connections and ticket prices online. Weekly or monthly passes quickly pay for themselves as an alternative to purchasing individual tickets – or buying a car. Your employer may even offer you a reduced-price “job ticket” for travelling by bus and train.

Since May 2023, you can travel by regional public transport in all of Germany with the subscription-based “Deutschlandticket”, which will cost you 49 euros per month.

City-centre parking spaces are rare and expensive, especially in major cities and urban areas. You can expect traffic jams during rush hours. Normally, it is quicker and cheaper to travel around the city by bus, train or bike.

Driving licences from any country of the European Economic Area (EEA) are valid in Germany. Those from other countries are valid for only a limited period: citizens of non-EEA countries will need to obtain a German driving licence within six months at the latest.