Learning German - Basic Travel Phrases For Sightseeing, Money Exchange and Disabilities

By Finn Orfano

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.

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.

Sightseeing

Organized tours, trains, buses, coaches and taxis run regularly and frequently in Germany. Taxis are white and have a meter running, Germany 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)

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!

Disabled

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?

Crutch - Kruecke (f)

I am disabled - Ich bin behindert

blind - blind

deaf - taub

dumb - stumm

amputated - amputiert

Can I sit please - Kann ich bitte sitzen

Seat - Sitzplatz (m)

Seat for disabled - Behindertenplatz (m)

Blanket - Decke (f)

Pillow - Kissen (n)

Foot rest - Fusstuetze (f)

Head rest - Kopfstuetze (f)

paralyzed - gelaehmt

Pronunciation

For online help pronouncing German words, try LEO, a German translator with pronunciation. Just type in the word you want to hear, and click on the speaker.