Compact Guide

Local Transport

What is part of a local transport system? 0:03

A local transport system includes buses and trains . Larger cities also generally have an underground railway or trams available.

Trains in a local transport system are called S-trains (commuter trains) and regional trains. IC and ICE – white-grey trains with a red stripe – are not part of a local transport system. They belong to long-distance transport.

Buying tickets 00:36

You must have a valid ticket with you for each trip.

There are several kinds of tickets to choose from: If you only are travelling one way, you should buy a single fare ticket. If you would like to be mobile for an entire month, you should buy a monthly ticket. Depending on the city and transport system, there are various ticket offers.

You can buy a ticket from: 01:05

Ticket machines ; for example, at train stations or at underground stops, or in person at a customer centre. You can also buy tickets on the bus sold by the driver. There are ticket machines on many trams. TIP: Find out what ticket you need before your trip and buy it ahead of time.  

Validating tickets 01:34

Many tickets must be validated before the trip has begun. This is identifiable by a blank space on the side Icon: Ticket - freie Fläche. There are ticket validators at stations, as well as on buses and trams. TIP: If you are not sure what kind of ticket you need for your journey, ask the employees at the customer centre. They will gladly help you.  

Beginning your trip 02:05

Bus stops are marked by this sign: Icon: Baushaltestelle (H)
Entrances to underground stops are marked by this sign: Icon: Zugang U-Bahn (U)
The Icon: S-Bahn-Haltestelle (S) stands for an S-train stop.

Do not walk on any train tracks. This is dangerous and can be punishable by law.

Tram tracks can be crossed at certain points. But be careful ––– trams are fairly quiet and take a long time to brake!

Entering and exiting is only possible at appropriate stops. Trains, the underground and trams stop at each planned station. IMPORTANT: Pay attention when entering and exiting. Smartphones or listening to music can be distracting and cause accidents.

Entering 03:03

Stand well clear of the track or approaching buses or trams.

Wait to enter until all exiting passengers have fully exited. If no seats are available and you must stand, be sure to hold on tight during the trip.

Exiting 03:27

Bus passengers can press a “STOP” button to inform the driver that they would like to exit at the next bus stop. Wait until the bus or train has come to a complete stop. Sometimes it takes a few seconds before the doors will open.

Pay careful attention to your children and yourself.

Local transport overall is a safe and environmentally friendly way to travel.

Long-distance transport 03:58

If you want to take a longer journey, long-distance trains or coach buses are available. You can buy tickets online at, or the train station.
Travel schedules and connections can be found on the smartphone app “DB Navigator” or “Busliniensuche” (“Bus route search”).

Mini German Lesson

Wie komme ich bitte zum Bahnhof? [How do I get to the train station, please?]

Entschuldigung. Wissen Sie, wo der Bus abfährt? [Excuse me. Do you know where the bus departs?]

Kennen Sie den Weg zur U-Bahn? [Do you know the way to the underground station?]

Könnten Sie mir bitte mit dem Kinderwagen helfen? [Could you please help me with the pram?]