Bus & coach travel in Germany

Germany has an extensive domestic bus network although most travellers stick with the  convenient rail network unless they want to get to smaller towns, particularly in the Bavarian Alps and along the Romantic Road. However coach travel has recently become a popular alternative to the train with services to destinations throughout Germany and to other cities in Europe.

Prior to 2013, long distance coach services (anything longer than 50km) was prohibited unless it could be proven that it did not compete with DB’s rail network and during this time coach travel in Germany was restricted to international routes, short regional services and intercity routes in and out of Berlin. However on 1 January 2013, this law was repealed leading to a more competitive market for domestic travel within Germany and the launch of many long distance bus operators that are often a much cheaper alternative to rail travel.

German long distance coach services include: ADAC Postbus, Berlin Linien Bus, city2city, Dein Bus, FlixBus, Mein Fernbus and München–Stuttgart Express.

ADAC Postbus

ADAC Postbus operates on the following routes:

  • Munich–Dortmund via Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Essen
  • Bonn–Berlin via Cologne, Düsseldorf, Essen, Dortmund and Hannover
  • Bremen–Berlin via Hamburg
  • Berlin–Leipzig via Dresden
  • Munich–Frankfurt via Nuremberg and Würzburg
  • Wuppertal–Hamburg via Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Hannover
  • Stuttgart–Leipzig via Frankfurt
  • Munich–Berlin via Nuremberg and Leipzig

Berlin Linien Bus

Berlin Linien Bus operates coach services to over 300 destinations within Germany plus several international destinations in over 10 countries. Routes include Cologne–Berlin (via Essen, Dortmund and Hannover), Berlin–Hamburg, Munich–Hamburg and Frankfurt–Berlin. The most frequent routes are those to and from Berlin.

Domestic travel within Germany starts at €9 and international services start at €22.

city2city

City2city operate a network of intercity routes within Germany with tickets starting at €8. Routes on the city2city network include:

  • Munich–Frankfurt via Stuttgart
  • Frankfurt–Duisburg via Dortmund and Essen
  • Düsseldorf–Frankfurt via Cologne
  • Cologne–Hamburg via Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Munster and Bremen
  • Cologne–Hamburg via Dortmund and Hannover

Dein Bus

Dein Bus have a national network although it offers more extensive services in southern and western Germany. Dein Bus also operate international services to Maastricht (from Cologne and Aachen) and to Prague and Pilsen (from Munich). Fares start at €5 and coaches feature free Wi-Fi.

The Dein Bus route network includes:

  • Hamburg–Leipzig
  • Munich–Frankfurt via Stuttgart and Frankfurt
  • Heidelberg–Cologne via Mannheim and Bonn
  • Aachen–Marburg via Cologne
  • Trier–Friburg via Saarbrücken
  • Saarbrüken–Frankfurt

Flibco

Flibco operate primarily as a shuttle bus serving budget airports in Belgium and Germany and they operate from Frankfurt to Metz with stops en route at Hahn Airport and Luxembourg. From Luxembourg it is possible to transfer to coaches to destinations in Belgium, France and Portugal.

FlixBus

FlixBus operate a national network connecting most towns and cities throughout Germany plus a handful of international routes to Groningen (from Bremen), Pilsen and Prague (from Munich), Salzburg, Linz and Vienna (from Munich), Zurich (from Munich) and Strasbourg (from Heidelberg). Coaches are equipped with Wi-Fi wireless internet and promotional prices start as low as €1.

FlixBus routes include:

  • Berlin–Dresden
  • Berlin–Stuttgart via Nuremberg
  • Berlin–Münster via Hannover and Osnabrück
  • Frankfurt–Dresden
  • Karlsruhe–Hamburg via Mannheim, Frankfurt and Hannover
  • Berlin–Düsseldorf via Hannover, Münster and Essen
  • Berlin–Hamburg
  • Cologne–Hamburg via Düsseldorf and Bremen
  • Munich–Frankfurt via Nuremberg and Würzburg
  • Munich–Frankfurt via Stuttgart, Karlsruhe and Mannheim
  • Munich–Freiburg

Mein Fernbus

Mein Fernbus operate a national coach network that serves around 120 destinations within Germany plus international routes to Innsbruck (from Munich), Luxembourg (from Frankfurt) and Zurich (from Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich). The main hubs are Berlin, Frankfurt and Karlsruhe.

Mein Fernbus coach next to DB ICE train (Photo: Huff1980/Wikipedia)

Mein Fernbus coach next to DB ICE train (Photo: Huff1980/Wikipedia)

Mein Fernbus routes include:

  • Berlin–Kiel via Hamburg
  • Berlin–Chemnitz via Dresden
  • Berlin–Leipzig
  • Berlin–Münster via Hannover
  • Berlin–Bremen
  • Berlin–Dortmund
  • Berlin–Bonn via Cologne
  • Berlin–Frankfurt
  • Berlin–Saarbrücken via Frankfurt
  • Berlin–Heidelberg via Frankfurt
  • Berlin–Freiburg via Karlsruhe and Würzburg
  • Berlin–Zurich via Nuremberg and Munich
  • Frankfurt–Hamburg via Hannover
  • Frankfurt–Bremen via Hannover
  • Konstanz–Dortmund via Freiburg, Cologne and Düsseldorf
  • Munich–Essen via Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Cologne and Düsseldorf
  • Nuremberg–Heidelberg
  • Munich–Saarbrücken via Stuttgart and Karlsruhe
  • Munich–Freiburg

München–Stuttgart Express

München–Stuttgart Express run coaches linking Munich and Stuttgart with stops en route at Augsburg and Günzburg. Fares start at €9.

The meta-booking engine Bus Linien Suche lets you search multiple coach operators for travel within Germany.

International coach services

Germany is well connected with international coach services to most European countries.

Many of the above domestic coach operators run international services in addition to Eurolines, Busabout and Megabus coach services.

Eurolines have international coach services from many cities throughout Germany including Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Heidelberg, Mannheim, Munich and Stuttgart. You can use a Eurolines Pass to travel to Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart.

Megabus operate international coach services connecting Cologne to Brussels, Ghent and London with onward connections to destinations throughout the UK.

Busabout stops in Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart.

Bus stations

Central bus stations (busbahnhof) are usually located near the main train station (hauptbahnhof) in most larger towns and cities. However big cities such as Berlin and Hamburg have large dedicated coach terminals called Zentralen Omnibus-Bahnhof (ZOB).

Hamburg-St Georg ZOB coach terminal

Hamburg-St Georg ZOB coach terminal (Photo: Lorenz Teschner/Wikipedia)