Ultimate Guide To German Transportation Vocabulary

View of the Hohenzollern Bridge with ships and boat in Cologne Germany in pink Sunset

Traveling in, around, or through Germany? Then you must get to know German transportation vocabulary! Knowing terms and phrases related to how to get around in the German language will really help make all your travel desires easier.

The German word for transportation is Transport. In fact, a number of German words for transportation sound like they do in English translations, or very similar anyways.

Let’s begin by learning a bit about Germany and why you might want to travel there. Afterward, you can be sure we’ll cover the most important German transportation vocabulary you need to know!

Museum Island in Berlin with boats in the river

Germany – The Basics

Here are some key travel facts about Germany

  • Location: Central Europe
  • Bordering nations: Denmark, Poland, Czechia, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands
  • Capital: Berlin
  • Population: Over 83 million
  • Other Major Cities: Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Düsseldorf
  • Climate: Temperate and marine
  • Weather: between 23°C (73°F) and 26°C (79°F) during the summer and 0°C (32°F) during winter
  • Main transportation mode: Bus or public transport
  • Public transportation system: U-Bahn, S-Bahn
  • Interesting places to visit:
    • Neuschwanstein Castle
    • Berlin Zoological Garden
    • The Black Forest
    • The Rhine
    • The Berlin Wall
    • Brandenburg Gate

In order to visit each of these attractions, you’ll need to know some German language to get around. Let’s get learning!

Train, Ship and car are important german transportation vocabulary

Common Modes Of Transportation In Germany

Even though the majority of people in the larger cities get around on bus or public transport, it’s handy to know familiar and new words related to transportation. Here are some common types of transportation in German.

English WordGerman WordPronunciation
Airplanedas Flugzeug
Bike/bicycledas Fahrrad
Boatdas Boot
Busder Bus
Cardas Auto / der Wagen
Container Shipdas Containerschiff
Cruise Shipdas Kreuzfahrtschiff
Ferrydie Fähre
Helicopterder Hubschrauber
Mopeddas Moped
Motorcycledas Motorrad
On footzu Fuss
Sailboatdas Segelboot
Scooterder Roller
Shipdas Schiff
Streetcardie Straßenbahn
Subway/Metrodie U-Bahn
Taxidas Taxi
Tractorder Traktor
Trainder Zug
Tramdie Straßenbahn
Trolleybusder Oberleitungs-Bus

Places To Get Transportation

It’s important to know the names of the places where you need to catch your bus, plane, or train! So here they are!

English WordGerman WordPronunciation
Airportder Flughafen
Bus station / Bus stopdie Bushaltestelle
Highwaydie Autobahn
Metro Stationdie U-Bahn Station
Metro stopdie U-Bahn-Haltestelle
Road / Streetdie Straße
Train stationder Bahnhof
Tram stopdie Straßenbahnhaltestelle
S-Bahn Stationdie S-Bahn Station
S-Bahn stopdie S-Bahn-Haltestelle

How To Ask About Transportation In German

What do you do if you can’t find the place you need or if you aren’t sure what to do when you get there? Ask! Here are some useful questions to help you get around Germany.

English QuestionGerman QuestionPronunciation
Where is the train station?Wo ist der Bahnhof?
Which train station do I get off at?An welchem ​​Bahnhof steige ich aus?
Where is the nearest metro station?Wo ist die nächste U-Bahn-Haltstelle?
How can I get to the airport?Wie komme ich zum Flughafen?
What’s the quickest way to get to the train station?Wie komme ich am schnellsten zum Bahnhof?
Where is the entrance to the highway?Wo ist die Einfahrt zur Autobahn?
I’ll take my bikeIch nehme das Fahrrad.
Where does the bus leave from?Von wo fährt der Bus ab?
Can I get off at the next station?Kann ich an der nächsten Station aussteigen?
Where is the next bus stop?Wo ist die nächste Bushaltestelle?
Woman with backpack standing at a ticket counter in Germany

Different Kinds Of Transportation Tickets

You can’t go anywhere without a ticket! Make sure you know how to ask for one and understand if people are asking you to show your ticket.

English QuestionGerman QuestionPronunciation
Bus ticketder Busfahrschein
Metro ticketdas U-Bahn-Ticket
One-way streetdie Einbahnstraße
Plane ticketdas Flugzeugticket
Round tripdie Rundfahrt
Ticketdie Fahrkarte
Ticket officeder Fahrkartenschalter
Train ticketdie Fahrkarte
Tram ticketdas Straßenbahnticket

How To Ask About Transportation Tickets In German

English QuestionGerman QuestionPronunciation
How much is the bus ticket?Wie viel kostet das Busticket?
How much for a one-way ticket?Wie viel kostet eine einfache Fahrt?
How much for a round-trip ticket?Wie viel kostet ein Hin- und Rückfahrticket?
Do you have discounts for students?Haben Sie Ermäßigungen für Studenten?
Where can I buy a train ticket?Wo kann ich ein Zugticket kaufen?
Are there any tickets available?Sind noch Tickets erhältlich?
View of TV tower and train arriving at train station Alexanderplatz in Berlin Germany

Public Transport Related Vocabulary In German

Seeing as public transportation is so incredible in Germany, you’ll be using it a lot. Here are some words you can use to help you find and use public transportation in Germany.

English WordGerman WordPronunciation
Passengerder Fahrgast
Public transportationdie öffentlichen Verkehrsmittel
The busder Bus
The platformder Bahnsteig
The stopdie Haltestelle
The subwaydie U-Bahn
The ticketdie Fahrkarte
The timetableder Fahrplan
The trainder Zug
The train stationder Bahnhof
The tramdie Straßenbahn
To catcherwischen / kriegen
To changeumsteigen
To reservereservieren
To standstehen
To validateentwerten
Three cars standing that are main mode of transportation in Germany

Car Related Vocabulary In German

You may find that you’d rather rent a car than take the train or other modes of transport to get around. Here are some useful terms you should know when driving a car.

English WordGerman WordPronunciation
to drivefahren
Driver’s licenseder Führerschein
Fuel/gasdas Benzin
Gas tankder Benzintank
Number plate (license plate)das Kennzeichen
to parkparken
The brakedie Bremse
The bumperdie Stoßstange
The cardas Auto
The doordie Autotür
The driverder Fahrer / die Fahrerin
The engineder Motor
The gas stationdie Tankstelle
The gearsder Gang
The headlightder Scheinwerfer
The pedaldas Pedal
The seatder Sitz
The steering wheeldas Lenkrad
The tiredas Rad
Turn signal (blinker)der Blinker
Windscreendie Windschutzscheibe

Car Related Conversational Phrases In German

English PhraseGerman PhrasePronunciation
Where can I rent a car?Wo kann ich ein Auto mieten?
How much is the car rental?Wie viel kostet die Autovermietung?
The engine has stopped workingDer Motor funktioniert nicht mehr.
The car won’t startDas Auto springt nicht an.
Where’s the nearest gas station?Wo ist die nächste Tankstelle?
What kind of fuel does it use?Welche Art von Kraftstoff wird verwendet?
The car has a flat tireDas Auto hat einen platten Reifen.
Group with six tourists riding a bicycle through Munich Germany

Bicycle-Related Vocabulary In German

After public transport, cycling is the German’s favorite way to get around. Here are the words to help your bicycle around too.

English WordGerman WordPronunciation
Bicycledas Fahrrad
Cyclistder Radfahrer / die Radfahrerin
The pedaldas Pedal
The tireder Reifen
Helmetder Helm
To ridefahren
shadow of a businessman with trolley in front of an Airport window where a plane is flying

Airplane-Related Vocabulary In German

Airplanes are most commonly taken to fly in and out of Germany rather than within it. It’s most likely that you’ll be traveling by train, but just in case, here is vocabulary relating to plane travel.

At The Airport

English WordGerman WordPronunciation
Airportder Flughafen
Arrivaldie Ankunft
Boarding passdie Bordkarte
Check-inder Check-in
Connectiondie Verbindung
Departureder Abflug
Gateder Flugsteig
Gate Numberdie Flugsteignummer
Jet enginedas Flugzeugtriebwerk
Luggagedas Gepäck
One-way ticketdas One-Way-Ticket
Roundtrip ticketdie Hin- und Rückfahrkarte
Seat bookingdie Sitzplatzreservierung
Security checkdie Sicherheitskontrolle
Terminaldas Terminal
Ticketdie Fahrkarte
Transitdie Durchreise

On The Airplane

English WordGerman WordPronunciation
Airplanedas Flugzeug
Aisle seatder Gangplatz
Board / boardingeinsteigen / an Bord gehen
Economy classdie Economyclass
Crewdie Besatzung
Flight attendantder Flugbegleiter / die Flugbegleiterin
Hand luggagedas Handgepäck
Passportder Reisepass
Pilotder Pilot / die Pilotin
Window seatder Fensterplatz

Airplane Travel Related Phrases In German

English PhraseGerman PhrasePronunciation
Is the plane on time?Ist das Flugzeug pünktlich?
How long will the plane be delayed?Wie lange wird das Flugzeug Verspätung haben?
Where is my gate?Wo ist mein Flugsteig?
Which terminal do I go to?Zu welchem Terminal muss ich gehen?
I’d like a window seatIch hätte gerne einen Fensterplatz
I’d like an aisle seatIch möchte einen Gangplatz
Trains in Germany train related vocabulary in German

Train Related Vocabulary In German

You also be likely to take a train while traveling through Germany, especially if you have a Eurorail pass

English WordGerman WordPronunciation
Aisleder Gang
Canceledgestrichen / abgesagt
Platformder Bahnsteig
Seat numberdie Sitznummer
Trainder Zug
Train numberdie Zugnummer
Train stationder Bahnhof
Windowdas Fenster

Train Travel Related Phrases In German

English PhraseGerman PhrasePronunciation
Which platform do I go to?Auf welche Plattform gehe ich?
Where is the seat number (insert number)?Wo ist die Platznummer _ ?
Do I get off here?Steige ich hier aus?
How long will the train ride take?Wie lange dauert die Zugfahrt?
Is there food available on the train?Gibt es Essen im Zug?
Are there washrooms on board?Gibt es Waschräume an Bord?
View of the port in Hamburg were boats and big ships are parking

Sea Or Ship Related Vocabulary In German

Part of Germany borders the ocean, so you might end up on a boat at some point. Just in case you do, here are the German words you’ll need.

English WordGerman WordPronunciation
Anchorder Anker
Boat das bootdas Boot
Bowder Bug
Cabindie Kajüte
Dockdas Dock
Life jacket/ life saving devicedie Rettungsweste / das Rettungsgerät
Lifeboatdas Rettungsboot
Portder Hafen
Sailboatdas Segelboot
Seadas Meer
Shipdas Schiff
Sterndas Heck
Aerial view of the Autobahn the german highway

Traffic And Driving Related Vocabulary In German

Important signal signs with their German meaning and pronunciation are below to help you drive around easier.

English WordGerman WordPronunciation
Green lightdie grüne Ampel
One-way streetdie Einbahnstraße
Red lightdie rote Ampel
Speed limitdas Tempolimit
Stop signdas Stoppschild
Traffic lightdie Ampel
U-turndie Kehrtwende
Yellow lightdie gelbe Ampel

Want To Learn More German?

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