Learning German - Basic Travel Phrases For Sightseeing, Money Exchange and Disabilities
written by: Finn Orfano
• edited by: Tricia Goss
• updated: 6/29/2014
You want to know about interesting places, you need some cash, or you require travel assistance. Learn how to express your needs in German with short sentences and phrases.
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Quick Phrases for Travel
Here are a helpful few phrases for that long stopover in a German speaking nation, or an overnight stay before you fly to your actual destination. Print out the article, tuck it in your carry on bag, and be prepared.
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Organized tours, trains, buses, coaches and taxis run regularly and frequently in Germany. Taxis are white and have a meter running, which starts at a set price.
How far is it to...? - Wie weit ist es nach....
Can I walk? - Kann ich laufen?
Are you free? - Sind Sie frei?
No, occupied. - Nein, besetzt.
Can you wait? - Koennen Sie warten?
Timetable - Fahrplan (m)
Exit - Ausgang (m)
Entry - Eingang(m)
Train - Zug or Bahn (m)
Train station - Bahnhof (m)
Return ticket - Rueckfahrkarte (f)
Return - Hin und Zurueck
Do I have to change? - Muss ich umsteigen?
Window seat - Fensterplatz (m)
Aisle seat - Gangplatz (m)
Waiting Room - Wartesaal (m)
Remark: If you are really in a pinch at a train station, you can turn to a charity called "Bahnhofsmission". They have an office at every major train station.
What is worth visiting? - Was ist sehenswert?
Where is...? - Wo ist...?
A cinema - ein Kino
A museum - ein Museum
Sightseeing Tour - Stadtrundfahrt (f)
Map - Plan (m)
Remark: many expressions related to sightseeing are used in English in Germany. Words like: sightseeing tour, tourist, tour, discount, daytrip or ticket will be perfectly understood.
Discount for children - Kinderermaessigung (difficult to pronounce but if you see the word you know what it means)
Opening times - Oeffnungszeiten (f)
Open - offen
Closed - geschlossen
Tour guide - Fremdenfuehrer (m)
Bank holiday - Feiertag (m)
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Post Office, Bank, Money Exchange
Post offices and letter boxes are yellow. Stamps are available at the post office but also at every shop which sells postcards.
Letter - Brief (m)
Registered Post - Einschreiben (n)
Postcard - Postkarte (f)
Parcel - Packet (n)
Stamps - Briefmarken (f)
Air Mail - Luftpost (f)
Urgent Delivery - Eilzustellung (f)
Remark: Money can be changed at banks, post offices and hotels. Rates in hotels are not so good.
Signature - Unterschrift (f)
Passport - Pass (m)
Driving License - Fueherschein (m)
Remark: Your driving license is not recognized as sufficient identification in Germany. You have to show your passport. Depending on nationality you may need an international driving license to rent a car.
I would like to change money - Ich moechte Geld wechseln
Money - Geld (n)
Coins - Muenzen (f)
Bills - Scheine (f)
small - klein
big - gross
Transfer - Ueberweisung (f)
ATM - Geldautomat (m)
The ATM has swallowed my card! - Der Automat hat meine Karte geschluckt!
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Bigger cities have access ramps and facilities for wheelchair drivers and special parking. But not all buses and trains 'bend at the knee'.
Wheelchair access - Rollstuhlzugang (m)
Wheelchair - Rollstuhl (m)
Ramp - Rampe (f)
Can you help me push, please? - Koennen Sie mir bitte schieben helfen?
Is there wheelchair access? - Gibt es Rollstuhlzugang?