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Transport in Germany

Getting There
The majority of continental and international flight to Germany arrive in either Berlin, Frankfurt or Munich but Hamburg also has an international airport. Lufthansa, the country’s national airline, operate most flights in and out of the country, but American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, KLM, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, British Airways, British Midland and Aer Lingus also have direct flights into Germany. If you are flying from Australia, Qantas flies from both Melbourne and Sydney to Frankfurt. Lufthansa no longer flies to these destinations but they do offer cheap fares in conjunction with Qantas.

The other alternative when entering Germany is to take the train. This is common among backpackers holding the Eurailpass which allows them to travel to the country from various cities throughout Europe. For example, British Rail runs four trains a day from London and several trains depart Paris daily. Other countries with train connections with Germany include Austria, Italy, Holland, Denmark, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

The final and slowest option is by bus with Eurolines from all major European cities. While the buses are equipped with toilets and reclining seats and do stop for regular breaks, the distances they cover are vast and can take days to complete. The service is reasonable, however, and you do get to see lots of countryside but it is a long haul.

Getting Around
The train service in Germany, GermanRail (DER Rail) is renowned for its comfort and punctuality and is easily the best way to get around the country. Twenty thousand intercity trains offer express services every hour between most of the bigger and medium sized cities and they are among the fastest trains on the continent reaching speeds of up to one hundred and sixty five miles per hour.

The other option for travel within the country is by bus. This too is an extensive and efficient service and is operated by Bahnbus who also own the railway. Therefore many of the services are there to complement the rail service so when you have a slow period of rail service, the bus is there to take you to your destination. Both services offer numerous fares and ticket passes so ask about these at the station before purchasing your ticket.

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