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Useful words to learn in German for travel

learn german for travel

Asking for directions is the first thing you’ll notice when stepping into a new environment.

Luckily, there are many useful words to learn in German for travel, food, directions, and filling in your forms.

So if you’re traveling to a German-speaking country, it’s best to check our travel tips starting from learning the local German language.

A few things to know when you’re traveling while in Germany

German is quite similar to English, making it simple for native English speakers to adjust to German.

However, there are some combinations that need extra effort in terms of pronunciation.

You must purchase the correct ticket for the place to which you are traveling.

Moving out from a city center usually means entering a new zone.

If you are unsure, always consult the station’s zonal maps.

Most booths, businesses, shops, pubs, and restaurants do not take credit cards, and they are not as extensively accepted as in other nations.

Germany is one of the world’s most cash-intensive advanced economies.

Before you start out to visit the nation, familiarize yourself with the ATMs so that you have enough euros in your wallet.

If you can communicate in basic German, you will be less likely to be exploited by taxi drivers, souvenir stores, and waiters!

Even if you can’t have a conversation in flawless German, local German speakers usually appreciate it when outsiders make an attempt to learn a little of their language.

It exhibits respect and reflects your genuine desire to reach out and connect with people while overseas.

Tips when learning new German words and phrases

Try not to get discouraged by what you usually hear. Many students say that when you learn German, you’ll be in a tougher situation.

Some learners are intimidated by the many conjugation forms of German and its gender forms for male, female, and neutral words.

You might have heard that many people focus on verb conjugations so much that they forget how important speaking skills are.

Though if you’re familiar with the Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian, etc.), you’ll know how easy it is to create a table to memorize the rules on the endings.

It’s not bad to use an app to learn and study German while on the go. At best, listen to Spotify German podcasts or audio lessons while catching your train or bus.

Also, try to practice speaking and reading what you see or hear from people you meet.

Learn the directions, how to read maps, how to save yourself from spending too much, and also look for communities that learn German as a beginner.

Quick review on pronunciations:

For the vowel sounds and pronunciations, check these examples…

ei fine
ie dean
ö Worm without the ‘r’
ü Tea with rounded lips
ä pet
eu / äu toy

For the consonant sounds and pronunciations, learn how to say…

sch  shoal
sp shp
st sht
ß  loss
z hats

Basic German phrases to learn

As soon as you learn any language, the usual phrases you’ll have to know are greetings, goodbyes, how to withdraw money, how to go to one place from another, and places to eat.

It’s important to show formality if you’re greeting a person for the first time.

Here are some basic German phrases that you should use while traveling in Germany.



Guten Morgen!

Good Morning!

Guten Tag!

Good day!

Guten Abend!

Good Evening!

Ich heiße…

My name is…

Wie heißen Sie?

What is your name?

Wie geht’s?

How are you?

Mir geht’s gut.

I’m doing well.

Mir geht’s nicht gut.

I’m not doing well.

Germans and small talk

Typically, Germans are not fond of small talk. As many Germans are fond of precision, punctuality, and straight-to-the-point conversations.

In Germany, for example, it might take months or even years to form a bond with your coworkers – but once formed, that friendship is frequently deep, intimate, and long-lasting.

However, small talk like saying “how are you“, exists in Germany. It’s just that Germans don’t like it when you’re only filling in for boredom.

They would rather have strong, deep communication with a person that they know they can trust.

So if you’re really talking more than the usual “how is the weather”, be intent and establish a long-lasting friendship with German native speakers around you.

German travel phrases when riding a train or bus

Traveling in Germany is a must as there are many regions to discover. You should also know how to say please and thank you after purchasing your ticket to show respect and formality.

Wo ist die Bushaltestelle?

Where is the bus stop?

Wo ist die U-Bahn?

Where is the underground train (subway/metro)?

Wie viel kostet eine Fahrkarte nach X?

How much is a ticket to X?

Fährt dieser Zug nach…?

Does this train go to…?

Wohin fährt dieser Bus?

To where does this bus go?

Darf ich bitte einen Stadtplan haben?

May I have a city map please?

Darf ich bitte einen U-Bahnplan haben?

May I have a underground train map, please?

Können Sie mir das auf der Karte zeigen?

Can you show me on the map?

Muss ich umsteigen?

Do I have to change?

Other slang and modern German phrases

Keine Eile! (No Hurry!)

We’ve all been in a situation where someone at a hotel, restaurant, or shop wants to serve you but is suddenly swamped with demands.

They may speak English, but they’ve hit a linguistic stumbling block as they sheepishly attempt to rapidly convey that you need to wait on for a bit.

In similar instances, I’ve always found that a cheerful, “No rush!” works great.

Keine Eile!” you’ll exclaim in German.

Assi (Cool)

Assi is an abbreviation for asozial, which means “chav” or “bruv” in British English.

Although it doesn’t exactly create the same picture, you can certainly equate this to hillbilly or people who live in trailers in American English.

An Assi is someone who is ignorant, unemployed, and from a low-income neighborhood, who spends their evenings drinking or using drugs.

This is not my view, but that is what people mean when they say it.

Assi can also be used to denote something that is of poor quality or unappealing.

Auf Jeden Fall (In any case)

This is a frequent phrase that means “in every instance” or “in no circumstance,” and it simply means “for sure!”

You may also use the phrase “auf keinen Fall” to signify “absolutely not.” 

Check out these useful apps that you can use when traveling in Germany.

We’re updating our articles regularly so if you want to know more about Germany, then stay tuned for our other posts.

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