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Useful German Phrases and Words for Travelers

You may hear that everybody in Germany, or Austria/ Switzerland, speaks English. It was not what I experienced, to be honest. On your trip to Germany, you may find some people don’t speak any English at all. Like I did.

So, before you pack your bag and get on the plane, learn some basic German first! Knowing ein bisschen Deutsch (a little German) is useful.

The practical German phrases and words will be handy on your trip to Germany, so save them on your phone or print them out for a pleasant trip.

Common German words and phrases

Here are some useful German phrases, including greetings, how to say yes/ no, and more.

GermanEnglish
Hallo Hello
Guten Morgen Good morning
Guten Tag Good afternoon/ Good day
Guten Abend Good evening
Gute Natch Good night
Wie geht’s? How are you
Gut, und du? Good, and you?
Auf Wiedersehen Goodbye
Tschuss Bye
Bis bald See you soon
ja yes
nein no
danke thank you
entschuldigung excuse me
bitte please
einen Moment, bitte Just a moment, please

German Words for Questions

To ask basic questions in German, you’ll need to remember some new vocabulary. These are German question words you can use.

In case you need help

Here are some useful phrases and expressions in case you don’t understand or need help on your trip.

For emergencies, call 112 for the fire brigade/ambulance and 110 for the police.

GermanEnglish
Sprechen Sie Englisch? Do you speak English?
Konnen Sie das ins Englische ubersetzen? Can you translate that into English?
Konnten Sie bitte langsamer sprechen? Could you speak more slowly, please?
Ich verstehe nicht. I don’t understand.
Ich weib es nicht. I don’t know.
Ich brauche Hilfe. I need help.
Ich brauche die Polizei. I need the police.
Konnten Sie mir bitte helfen? Can you please help me?
Ich habe mich verlaufen. I’m lost.

Important location vocabulary in German

Here are some places you may need to visit on your trip.

GermanEnglish
Stadtzentrum city center
Bank bank
Post post office
Polizeistation police station
Supermarkt supermarket
Tankstelle gas station
Backerei bakery
Krankenhaus hospital
Apotheke pharmacy
Klinik clinic
Flughafen airport
Bahnhof train station
Busbahnhof bus station

Buying tickets and getting around Germany

These words and phrases are useful if you need to buy transportation tickets or use transportation.

Read my Public transportation guide to know how to get around Germany. To get train tickets, check Deutsch Bahn.

GermanEnglish
einfache Fahrkarte single ticket
Ruckfahrkarte round-trip ticket
Sitz seat
Ich mochte ein Ticket reservieren. I would like to reserve a ticket.
Wie viel kostet das Ticket? How much does the ticket cost?
Gibt es eine Studenten-ermabigung? Is there a discount for students?
Wann kommen wir in … an? When do we arrive in …?

Asking for direction

How to ask for direction in German?

“Wo” is where in German, and you can use the phrase: Wo ist…? to ask for the location of a place.

GermanEnglish
Nord North
Sud South
Ost East
West West
nach links To the left
nach rechts To the right
Geradeaus straight
Wo ist…? Where is…?
In welcher Richtung ist…? In what direction is…?
Zum Stadtzentrum, bitte. To the city center, please.
Zum Flughafen, bitte. To the airport, please.
Ist es weit? Is it far?
Ist es in der Nahe? Is it nearby?

Hotel

These words can be helpful when booking a hotel.

GermanEnglish
Einzelzimmer single room
Doppelzimmer double room
Bett bed
Decke blanket
Kissen pillow
Betttucher sheets
Schlussel key
Klimaanlage air-conditioning

Tips for learning German

If you’re still new to the German language, you may feel overwhelmed at first. I recommend using Quizlet for flashcards. You can learn and test your vocabulary with Quizlet so it’ll be handy for your travel.

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