Backpacking in Germany – transportation
7 cities in 7 days – how to get around in Germany
I started 2019 with a week-long backpacking trip in Germany. There I saw 7 cities in 7 days: Schwerin, Cologne, Leipzig, Greiz, Erfurt, Berlin and Ludwigslust before flying back home from Hamburg. I have family or friends in all of these places, so I didn´t have to look for accommodation anywhere. However, I still needed to find budget friendly transportation that would allow me most time in each city. Here´s how I did it:
Long-haul bus ride with Flixbus
Bus ride from Schwerin to Cologne. If you are going backpacking in Germany, Flixbus is a fabulous option to get around the country on a budget. For my ticket for this 9.5h ride I only paid $44 and I saw a lot of the country on the way! There is Wifi on each bus and regular breaks allow you to stretch your legs along the way. To read about my New Year´s eve experience in Cologne, read my article about 4 more reasons to travel the world.
From Cologne to Leipzig I took a plane, so the journey took less than an hour. Europe is full of budget airlines and a year after the Air Berlin bankruptcy they now have found ways to cover the market again. In this case I flew Eurowings and learned that they now have Wifi on board as well, and convenient iPad holder to watch movies!
For flights from German airports I check these websites:
Train travel in Germany
For the rest of the trip I chose largely trains or private car. The German train system is very efficient, given how big the country and its train stations are. You will hear Germans complain about delays, but trust me, it´s complaining on a very high level 🙂 On https://www.deutschebahn.com/en you can check train times and buy tickets. Sometimes you can find group tickets and special offers that even make long distances affordable.
I used mostly regional trains that are cheaper and slower. Also, I enjoy seeing a bit more of the countryside this way. That is also what I did to get to Greiz, from where we took a day trip to the Ore Mountains. To read about this winter wonderland, check out my article Winter in Germany.
ICE trains are high speed trains, similar to TGV in France or AVE in Spain – often more expensive but a very efficient and comfortable way to travel. I splurged on a ticket from Erfurt to Berlin on this train. It took only around 1h45min to travel these 260km (160 miles) and there is Wifi on the train 🙂 Just perfect for digital nomads!
Are you planning on going backpacking in Germany? What questions do you have besides how to get around? I´m here to help, just comment below!