You are here: Home / Destinations / Germany / All Documents - Germany / Germany - Travel by bus

Germany - Travel by bus

Busses run usually from smaller towns to bigger cities and within the city limits. If you need to make a longer trip, you will have to take the train.

Monthly tickets are valid for the calendar month, and weekly tickets are valid Monday through Sunday. Three-day tickets are available. These are valid until 6am on the 4th day after you stamp the ticket.

Daily tickets also last until 6am the following day.
You can buy single tickets or group tickets "Partnerkarte". Group tickets can be used by up to 5 adults.

Children aged between 6 and 14 count as half an adult, and children under 6 travel free. Prams and pushers for the children are also free, although if you carry a bike on a train (you are not allowed to do so on trams or buses) you will need to stamp a "Streifenkarte" twice for each journey for the bike, or buy a daily bike ticket "Fahrrad-Tageskarte".

If you are just traveling one way, buy a single trip ticket "Einzelfahrkarte". This ticket allows a break in the journey (for example to change trains or to change from tram to bus, etc) but it does not allow return trips or round trips. Discounts: When buying a single ticket, children aged 6-14 purchase a child ticket, "Kinderkarte", and youths aged between 15-20 pay half the adult fare.

Buying tickets

Tickets can be bought from personnel at the larger stations (Hauptbahnhof, Ostbahnhof and most stations along the S-Bahn rainbow that runs through the city), and from bus drivers.

If you would prefer to buy your ticket from a machine rather than a person, coin-operated machines are available at train stations, some tram stops and on trams. Some of the coin-operated machines also take notes, but be careful.

In typical German style the machine will spit out notes it doesn't like (and by spit I really mean spit - be ready to catch them!). Most machines won't accept anything larger than a 10 euro note, particularly if more than 10 euros change has to be given. Coins are often also rejected. Luckily these aren't fired back at you, but fall through to the "change" dispensing window.

Apart from their pickiness about the actual coins and notes they will accept, the normal machines are quite straightforward to use, and some even allow you to choose a different language.

Schwarzfahrer: If you travel without a ticket you are a "Schwarzfahrer" (black traveller). If you are caught, the fine is not substantial (40 euros), but your name does go onto a central registry and you will face a more serious penalty if you are caught more than once. On average, you will encounter ticket inspectors once a month. I have seen them at peak hour, in the middle of the day, Sunday afternoons and on the first U-Bahn of the morning, so they could appear at any time!

Filed under: