Germany has good transportation options and a well-developed local public transit system. You can go practically anywhere in the country by bus or train. Many cities are also connected by long-distance cycling routes.
To move about within Göttingen, it is best to walk, cycle or take the bus.
Deutsche Bahn connects large as well as small cities (local, regional and long distance). If you travel by train frequently, it might be worth buying a BahnCard. The BahnCard 25 saves you 25 percent of the fare, and with the BahnCard 50 you save half. There are also weekly or monthly options, regional options (e.g. Niedersachsenticket), discounts for groups and early booking as well as other offers (e.g. day ticket for Germany – Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket).
Always be sure to travel with a valid ticket (it will be checked on the train) and be sure to buy your ticket before boarding the train. Tickets are available online, at the ticket office or from the ticket machines at the station. Seat reservations are not essential, but are recommended on public holidays.
Employees of the University of Göttingen can receive a company subscription (Firmen-Abo) at a reduced price and use the entire VSN local public transit network.
Local public transit (ÖPNV) in Göttingen: the city bus
In Göttingen, the Göttinger Verkehrsbetriebe (GöVB) operate 13 bus lines and 8 additional night bus lines. Tickets can be bought from the bus driver, in some shops and tobacconists (advance booking offices) or at the GöVB Customer Centre (Groner Straße 40).
- Route map
- Route map – night buses
- Overview of the route network
- Electronic timetable information Transit Association of Lower Saxony (VSN)
- Advance booking offices for tickets
Local public transit (ÖPNV) in the region of Süd-Niedersachsen: Regional bus & Regional train
Regional public transit is organized by the Verkehrsverbund Süd-Niedersachsen (VSN) – an association of 11 bus companies and 4 rail companies. The area covered by the VSN includes the districts of Göttingen, Northeim, Holzminden and the city of Göttingen. In total, more than 4000 stops are served on over 3100 kilometres of route.
Taxis in Germany are rather expensive. Most people only use taxis in special situations, for instance, when travelling at night or if you have a lot of luggage. Taxis will charge a basic fee, plus additional charges for distance travelled and time spent waiting in traffic. All taxis are equipped with a taxi meter that runs for the entire journey. In the city, there are taxi stands where you can take a taxi. In Göttingen, you will find taxi stands at the main train station and in the city centre at the Markt. Please always go to the frontmost car in the queue. Alternatively, you can call a taxi company and order a taxi. It is not common to hail a cab on the street in Göttingen, although it is done in larger cities.
An alternative to local and long-distance public transit is ride-sharing. Private individuals offer car rides online to find fellow travellers and carpool. The passengers pay a fare that they agree on with the driver beforehand. The ride-sharing websites only act as an intermediary, and do not guarantee the quality of the ride. After the ride, the passengers can rate the driver using a rating system. The best-known ride-sharing service is Blablacar.
The German traffic infrastructure is very well-developed. Renting a car is an alternative if you appreciate the advantages of a private vehicle but only need it for a short while or want to avoid the running costs and responsibility of owning a vehicle.Driving licence
If you have a valid foreign driving licence, you may drive vehicles in Germany for the categories for which your licence is issued. Restrictions and conditions of your foreign driving licence also apply in Germany. If you have held a driving licence for less than two years, the probationary period regulations apply to you in Germany.
You must always carry your driving licence with you when driving. Depending on the country of issue and residence, different rules apply regarding recognition of your driving licence in Germany:
Driving licences from EU/EEA countries
- Valid without restriction
Driving licences from other countries
If you have one of the following driving licences and are resident in Germany, it is valid for six months after entry:
- International driving licence (no translation required)
- Driving licence from Andorra, Hong Kong, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, Switzerland, Senegal (no translation needed)
- German translation of driving licence. The translation can be done by a sworn translator, a German mission (embassy or consulate) abroad, or an internationally recognised automobile club.
After six months, your foreign driving licence must be converted into a German driving licence at the Göttingen driving licence office (Führerscheinstelle Göttingen). This may mean that you have to take the oral and written test again. Prerequisites for this are an eye test and a valid first aid course. Your foreign driving licence cannot be changed after six months. Make sure that you make your appointment in a timely fashion.
Car-sharing is a model of car rental for short and spontaneous trips in the city (business area) where you only pay for the distance driven and the time used. You can rent the car at any time at various pre-determined locations and park it there again. The car sharing providers have different rate models. Typically, you can create a user account via an app, for example, see where a vehicle is available and then reserve it. Car-sharing is mainly offered in larger cities.
Car rental companies offer vehicles for rental, usually for an entire day or longer. You can also use the vehicle outside of the city. Restrictions may apply for trips across country borders. You usually pay a basic fee depending on the duration of use, plus a fee for the distance driven, plus petrol. When renting and returning the car, you are restricted to the pick-up and drop-off – if you have so arranged it – locations of the rental company and their hours of operation.
Cycling is very popular in Germany, especially for travelling short distances (e.g. within the city or between nearby towns). Especially when the weather is nice, you will see many cyclists. Many streets have well-developed cycle paths, which make it easy to cycle safely. Göttingen is a cycle friendly city, with many cycle paths, bicycle boulevards (Fahrradstraßen) and a bike freeway (Radschnellweg). Make sure to ride with lights on when it is dark! This is the law and is regularly checked by the police in cities. Be sure to observe all traffic laws. You will be ticketed for travelling against traffic on a one-way street, for instance. We also recommend wearing a bicycle helmet.Bicycle rental in Göttingen
Thanks to its central location, Göttingen has good connections to the following airports, which can be reached relatively quickly by train, bus or car: Frankfurt am Main, Hannover, Hamburg, Berlin, Paderborn-Lippstadt, Kassel-Calden and Leipzig-Halle.
Air travel causes more pollution than any other means of transportation. Choose your means of transport consciously or opt for compensation of the resulting CO2 emissions, e.g. with Atmosfair.
The International Office
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