Travelling around town

Frequently-asked questions – Travelling around town

I have brought my own car with me to Germany. What should I look out for?

Check whether your driving licence is valid in Germany. Driving licences from countries outside Europe are only valid for 6 months in Germany. After that you have to take a German driving test. Your car must be registered at a German vehicle registration centre. And you have to have a vehicle safety inspection carried out by TÜV. TÜV checks the mechanical soundness of your car. If it is roadworthy, you will be given a TÜV sticker for your registration plate. You should also make sure that you are aware of the highway code. You can find more information on this subject under the heading “Mobility” on the “Make it in Germany” website.

How fast am I allowed to drive my car in Germany?

In towns and cities you are allowed to drive at 50 km/h, in some zones this is restricted to just 30 km/h. On the open road you are generally allowed to drive at 60 to 100 km/h. Sometimes there is a speed limit sign on motorways. If there is no speed limit sign on the motorway, you are allowed to drive as fast as you like.

I want to travel by train from Cologne Central Station to Berlin Central Station. Where can I find information about departure times and prices?

You can get information from the ticket offices and machines at the train station. Or you can look on the Deutsche Bahn website. Go to the website. At the top left, under “Information and booking” you will see the “from station/stop or location, street …” box. You enter “COLOGNE” in this box. In the “… to station/stop or location, street” box you enter “Berlin Hbf”. Under that you can type in the date and time you would like to travel. Then click “Search”. You will see a list of connections and prices. You can buy the ticket at the station or online. It is cheaper if you buy it in advance.

As an asylum seeker, do I get a discount when using public transport or visiting museums, for example?

This varies from city to city. Please check with your local city administration, at city hall or at Migration Advice.

How does public transport work? Where can I find a timetable?

Would you like to travel by train? You can purchase a ticket at any Deutsche Bahn machine. The machines are identical throughout Germany and all function the same way. They can be found everywhere at train stations. You must enter your destination at the ticket machine. You then pay for the ticket using either cash or an EC card. You also have a choice between single trips, day tickets or group tickets, for example.

Would you like to travel by bus? Sometimes you can buy a ticket directly from the bus driver. In larger cities you can buy the ticket at a ticket machine at the bus stop or at the train station. Often, there are also ticket machines directly on the bus. However, these mostly only take coins as payment. To discover how this works, you can also have a look at the “Im Bus” episode of our mini-series “Erste Wege in Deutschland” in the “Practice your German” section.

You can find out more about the timetable at train stations or online at

More questions? Contact the advisors at the Youth Migration Services.