Transit in Germany - What are German buses and trains like?

     This has been a fairly requested topic: Transit in Germany! Transit here, even in our smaller city, is as great as we were expecting it to be. Buses & trams within the city are usually timely, and the routes are pretty expansive.

Our local bus/tram routes

    The buses are actually quite nice, and they make it really convenient to buy tickets. Every bus has a ticket machine where you can buy a ticket that is valid for the next hour. Or you can buy tickets at the machines present at "major" stops. These tickets don't expire so you can buy multiple tickets, but you have to 'validate' them when you board the bus in the 'orange stamp boxes' (usually located near the doors). You stick the ticket in, and it stamps a time/date stamp. If this kind of ticket doesn't have one of these time stamps, the ticket is invalid and you could get fined when 'officials' come around to check tickets.

     From our personal experience, they do check for tickets fairly often in our city. You will never be able to tell who the 'officials' are because they don't wear uniforms. They'll be riding the bus like normal passengers, wait for the bus to fill up a bit, and then as the bus is moving, start checking everybody's tickets. Our penalty for not having a valid ticket is €60, but I'm sure that depends on your city. €60 is the price of our monthly bus pass so if you're a forgetful person, I'd say just buy the monthly pass to make things easier.

     As for the trains, pricing depends on the distance you're traveling along with how in advance you plan your trips. You can buy tickets online (Deutsche Bahn) in advance or at the stations, and some smaller regional trains also have ticket machines on board. BUT last minute train tickets can be quite expensive so try to plan in advance. There are other cheaper options (such as FlixBus, 'Europe's Megabus'), but the trains are far spacier and faster. Some of the newer trains even have 'family hubs' for group seating (shown below). And if you're traveling with other people, there are also some decent group rates you can find in every city.

     Is transit pet friendly in Germany? Yes it is! Dogs are allowed on on both the buses/trams and the trains. You just have to buy tickets for your dogs. They're €1.60 on our city buses and the ticket is valid for 6 hours. As for the trains, it'll depend on the size of your pet and where you're going. I've included the info for pets on the Deutsche Bahn in the photo below.

     Is transit handicap friendly in Germany? Yes it is! Every bus/train here seems to have a large area for any possible handicap space needed. They're strict about having certain spots for the handicapped/elderly. If you're sitting in these spots when they're needed, the bus driver WILL tell you to get up so don't be a jerk!

     While we're talking about these spaces on transit, because these large areas are present, transit is also very bike and stroller friendly. The regional trains especially seem to be so. Just look for the open space on trains that are marked for bikes/strollers. There are also usually shelves you can put your large luggage on and overhead shelves at your seat that can fit a carry-on size just fine. Very travel friendly!

Hope this has been helpful! If you have any questions, never hesitate to ask~

*This is simply what I learned from my personal experiences/research. Please always make sure to consult with the proper authorities such as your transit authorities and take this post with a grain of salt.