german travel phrases

134 Super Useful and Common German Travel Phrases, Expressions and Vocabulary Words

Planning your big trip to Germany is so exciting—but you’re not done until you’ve brushed up on common German travel phrases.

I know, I know.

You’ve been daydreaming about skiing in Salzburg…

Or you’ve been mask shopping for your Carnival trip to Cologne…

You already know which tents you’ll be visiting during Oktoberfest in Munich

If you’re a savvy traveler, you’ll learn basic German phrases, words and greetings so that you’re less vulnerable as a tourist and get more out of your trip.

We’ve put together a handy phrasebook of German travel phrases and vocabulary, conveniently organized by group. Print it out or keep it on your phone for smooth travels and the trip of a lifetime.

Why You Should Learn German Travel Phrases

  • Even if you can’t have a fluent conversation, native German speakers always appreciate when foreigners put the effort into learning a bit of their language. It shows respect and demonstrates that you truly want to reach out and connect with people while abroad. Update: The previously-linked site discussing the value of learning German for travel is no longer available, but you can view this site that offers similar information
  • You won’t be totally reliant on your German phrasebook. Yes, your Lonely Planet German phrasebook has glossy pages and you love getting the chance to use it—but you want to be able to respond quickly when people speak to you, at a moment’s notice. After learning the German travel phrases below, you’ll only need your German phrasebook in a real pinch.
  • If you can express yourself with some basic German phrases, you are less likely to be taken advantage of by taxi drivers, souvenir shops and waiters!
  • The perception that all German speakers speak English is simply not true. Even in the big German cities you’ll find loads of people that know very little English. You don’t want to have to track down other English speakers every time you have a question or want to make a friend.

If you want to have an edge during your upcoming travels, take a moment to memorize the following German travel phrases. You won’t regret it!

german travel phrases

And, to hear these phrases used in different contexts by native German speakers, try FluentU.

german travel phrases

With interactive captions that give instant definitions, pronunciations and additional usage examples, plus fun quizzes and multimedia flashcards, FluentU is a complete learning package.

german travel phrases

For your romp through Germany, FluentU can give you proper language preparation by allowing authentic exposure and practice with common German expressions that you’ll be itching to use with the local natives. Get the app version of the program and you’ve got the perfect portable study companion that will make your experience abroad all the richer.

Check it out with the free trial, and try to spot these travel phrases in the videos you watch!

134 Super Useful and Common German Travel Phrases, Expressions and Vocabulary Words

Please note that many of these German sentences are in the formal Sie conjugation (the previously-linked website discussing the formal Sie pronoun is no longer available, but you may check out this other web page for similar information).

For your travel purposes, this form should be just fine, although native speakers may opt to use different pronoun forms with you depending on the context. If you’d like to get some pronoun prep, FluentU can help you out and better strengthen your expectations of the kinds of speech patterns used in real-life scenarios.

german travel phrases

Say Hello to My Little Friend: Basic Greetings, Introductions and Goodbyes

You have to start somewhere, right? Below are a few basic German phrases and words to help you when you first meet someone.

Hallo!
Hello!

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. 

Ich komme aus… [den USA/Kanada/Australien/Großbritannien].
I am from… [the USA/Canada/Australia/UK]. 

Wie lange bleiben Sie in [Deutschland/Österreich/der Schweiz]?
How long are you staying in [Germany/Austria/Switzerland]? 

Ich bleibe [eine Woche/zwei Wochen/drei Wochen] hier.
I am staying here for [one week/two weeks/three weeks]. 

Bis später!
See you later! 

Tschüß
Bye!

german travel phrases

OMG, Shopping: Elementary Vocabulary for Buying Stuff

Inevitably you will want to buy your mom (or yourself) something from your trip to Zurich. It’s important to know basic German vocabulary and expressions for shopping so that you’re not completely ripped off.

If you master the following easy expressions, the salesperson might think twice about over-charging you for those Swiss chocolates (the previously-linked website discussing Swiss chocolates is no longer available, but you may visit this page from the House of Switzerland’s website that offers similar information).

Haben Sie Andenken?
Do you have souvenirs? 

Verkaufen Sie…?
Do you sell…?

Wie viel kostet das?
How much is that? 

Ich kann nur X Euro zahlen.
I can only pay X euros. 

Ich habe nur X Euro dabei.
I only have X euros with me. 

Kann ich das für X Euro kaufen?
Can I buy that for X euros? 

Haben Sie etwas Billigeres?
Do you have something cheaper? 

Haben Sie das in einer [kleineren/größeren] Größe?
Do you have that in a [smaller/bigger] size? 

Um wieviel Uhr [öffnet/schließt] das Geschäft?
What time does the shop [open/close]?

Was möchten Sie?
What would you like? 

Was suchen Sie?
What are you looking for?

Darf ich mit Bargeld bezahlen?
May I pay with cash? 

Darf ich mit Kreditkarte bezahlen?
May I pay with credit card?

german travel phrases

Wining and Dining: What to Say at a Restaurant

You eat at least three times a day. Mealtime is the perfect time to show off some of your newly acquired German skills. Impress the waiter (and your new Austrian lady/boy friend) by throwing out some simple German restaurant words, sentences and questions.

Einen Tisch für [zwei/drei/vier], bitte.
A table for [two/three/four], please.

Ich habe einen Tisch reserviert.
I reserved a table.

Kann ich bitte die [Speisekarte/Weinkarte] sehen?
Can I see the [menu/wine list], please? 

Ich hätte gern…
I would like…

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen X und Y?
What’s the difference between X and Y? 

Mit laktosefreier Milch, bitte.
With lactose-free milk, please.

Ist das glutenfrei?
Is that gluten-free?

Haben Sie vegetarisches Essen?
Do you have vegetarian food? 

Ein Glas Wasser, bitte.
A glass of water, please.

[Mit/ohne] Sprudel, bitte.
[Sparkling/not sparkling], please.

Ein Glas Leitungswasser, bitte.
A glass of tap water, please. 

Kellner!/Kellnerin!
Waiter! / Waitress!

Die Rechnung, bitte.
The check, please. 

Frühstück
Breakfast

Mittagessen
Lunch

Abendessen
Dinner

Zum Wohl!
Cheers!

Prost!
Cheers!

Guten Appetit!
Enjoy your meal! 

Salz
Salt 

Pfeffer
Pepper

Zucker
Sugar

Scharf
Spicy 

Süß
Sweet

Sauer
Sour 

Serviette
Napkin 

Teller
Plate 

Gabel
Fork 

Löffel
Spoon

Messer
Knife

Glas
Glass

Tasse
Cup

Noch einmal, bitte!
Another one, please!

Wo ist die Toilette?
Where is the bathroom?

Herren/Männer
Men

Damen/Frauen
Women

Darf ich eine Quittung haben, bitte?
Can I have a receipt, please?

german travel phrases

Toto, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore: Giving and Asking for Directions in German

You’re not Magellan! Being too shy to ask for directions in your hometown might work fine. In a city like Vienna, however, you will get lost eventually. Stop checking Google Maps—just try these useful German words and phrases and that old Viennese lady won’t bite!

Wo?
Where?

Entschuldigung, wo ist…?
Excuse me, where is…?

In welcher Richtung ist X?
In what direction is X?

Ist es in der Nähe?
Is it nearby?

Ist es weit weg?
Is it far away?

Wo ist der [Eingang/Ausgang]?
Where is the [entrance/exit]? 

Bringen Sie mich bitte zu dieser Adresse.
Please bring me to this address. 

Zum Stadtzentrum, bitte.
To the city center, please.   

Zum Bahnhof, bitte.
To the train station, please.

Zum Flughafen, bitte.
To the airport, please. 

Es ist da./Da ist es.
It’s there./There it is. 

Um die Ecke
Around the corner

Nach links
To the left 

Nach rechts
To the right

Geradeaus
Straight ahead 

Oben
Upstairs 

Unten
Downstairs 

Zurück
Back 

Halten Sie bitte hier an.
Please stop here. 

Nord
North 

Süd
South

Ost
East 

West
West 

german travel phrases

Missed Connections: Important Public Transportation Expressions

Unless you’re planning to spend a fortune on taxis in Düsseldorf, you may want to know some basic German vocabulary for the bus and train. If the signs in the station are unclear—which they almost always are, right?—use the following German words and phrases to get you to your destination.

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?

german travel phrases

Room Service Dreams: Vocabulary for Hotel Check-in and Check-out

Though most hotels in big cities have an English-speaking staff, if you go to a remote area of Austria or Germany, you may find yourself in a small inn run by an old couple with no English skills.

Just to be on the safe side, memorize the following useful German phrases and you won’t have to sleep outdoors!

Ich habe eine Reservierung.
I have a reservation. 

Haben Sie noch ein Zimmer frei?
Do you have a free room? 

Können Sie mir ein anderes Hotel empfehlen?
Can you recommend another hotel? 

Ich hätte gern ein Zimmer.
I would like a room. 

Ich bleibe [eine Nacht/zwei Nächte/drei Nächte].
I am staying [one night/two nights/three nights]. 

Ist Frühstück inklusiv?
Is breakfast included? 

Können Sie mich um X Uhr wecken?
Can you wake me up at X o’clock?   

Zimmerdienst
Room service 

Dusche
Shower 

Einzelzimmer
Single room

Klimaanlage
Air conditioning 

Schlüssel
Key 

Um wie viel Uhr muss man auschecken?
What time is check-out?

german travel phrases

Running Around Town: Important City Vocabulary

Want to send your friend a postcard from Basel? Tired of spending money at expensive restaurants in Hamburg? Need to get some cash? No matter where you are in the world, you will eventually have to run an errand.

Below are a couple of places around town you might need to visit during your trip.

Wo ist die Bank?
Where is the bank?   

Ist die Post im Stadtzentrum?
Is the post office in the city center? 

Wo ist der beste Supermarkt?
Where is the best supermarket? 

Wo ist die leckerste Bäckerei?
Where is the tastiest bakery? 

Wo ist die nächste Tankstelle?
Where is the nearest gas station?

Ist der Bahnhof neben dem Fluss?
Is the train station next to the river? 

Ist der Flughafen weit weg?
Is the airport far away?

german travel phrases

Pressing the Panic Button: Emergency German Vocabulary

You will hopefully never need any of the following German phrases. Nevertheless, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Anything can happen while you travel, so memorize the following to avoid any sticky situations that may arise.

Hilfe!
Help!

Ich brauche die Polizei.
I need the police.

Ich habe [meine Tasche/mein Portemonnaie] verloren.
I’ve lost [my bag/my wallet].

Jemand hat meine Tasche genommen.
Someone took my bag.

Wo ist das Krankenhaus?
Where is the hospital?

Wo ist die Apotheke?
Where is the pharmacy?

Mir geht’s schlecht.
I don’t feel well.

Haben Sie Aspirin?
Do you have aspirin? 

Lassen Sie mich in Ruhe.
Leave me alone.

Fassen Sie mich nicht an!
Don’t touch me!

Es ist ein Notfall.
It’s an emergency.

Ich habe mich verlaufen.
I got lost. 

Wie komme ich zur [amerikanischen/kanadischen/australischen/britischen] Botschaft?
How do I get to the [American/Canadian/Australian/British] embassy?

german travel phrases

Just in Case: Saying You Don’t Understand

If you do your homework, you may find that you don’t need the following expressions. However, if you want to be on the safe side, here are some useful expressions for when that Swiss man starts going off in rapid German. 

Ich verstehe nicht.
I don’t understand.

Können Sie das bitte wiederholen?
Can you repeat that please?

Sprechen Sie Englisch?
Do you speak English?

Ich spreche nur ein wenig Deutsch.
I only speak a little German.

Können Sie das ins Englische übersetzen?
Can you translate that into English please?

 

Wow! That felt like a lot of German travel phrases. If you are still new to German language learning, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed—this list does present you with lots of travel expressions and words. However, once you get a grasp of fundamental grammar and vocabulary, it should be no problem at all to commit these basic German phrases to memory. Try practicing some of these phrases out loud to get your pronunciation right before leaving on your travels. If you’re a total procrastinator, take this list of useful German phrases with you to practice on the plane.

Before we part ways, there’s one final German travel phrase you need to know: Gute Reise! Have a good trip!

And One More Thing...

Want to know the key to learning German effectively?

It's using the right content and tools, like FluentU has to offer! Browse hundreds of videos, take endless quizzes and master the German language faster than you've ever imagine!

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Watching a fun video, but having trouble understanding it? FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive subtitles.

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You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don't know, you can add it to a vocabulary list.

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And FluentU isn't just for watching videos. It's a complete platform for learning. It's designed to effectively teach you all the vocabulary from any video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you're on.

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The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you're learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.

If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn German with real-world videos.

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