Useful German Phrases and Words for Travelers

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

German travel words phrases.

 

Common German words and phrases

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

GermanEnglish
HalloHello
Guten MorgenGood morning
Guten TagGood afternoon/ Good day
Guten AbendGood evening
Gute NatchGood night
Wie geht’s?How are you
Gut, und du?Good, and you?
Auf WiedersehenGoodbye
TschüssBye
Bis baldSee you soon
jayes
neinno
dankethank you
entschuldigungexcuse me
bitteplease
einen Moment, bitteJust 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.

  • Wo (where)
  • Woher (where from)
  • Wohin (where to)
  • Wann (when)
  • Was (what)
  • Wer (who)
  • Wie (how)
  • Warum (why)

 

In case you need help

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

GermanEnglish
Sprechen Sie Englisch?Do you speak English?
Können Sie das ins Englische übersetzen?Can you translate that into English?
Könnten Sie bitte langsamer sprechen?Could you speak more slowly, please?
Ich verstehe nicht.I don’t understand.
Ich weiß es nicht.I don’t know.
Ich brauche Hilfe.I need help.
Ich brauche die Polizei.I need the police.
Könnten 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
Stadtzentrumcity center
Bankbank
Postpost office
Polizeistationpolice station
Supermarktsupermarket
Tankstellegas station
Bäckereibakery
Krankenhaushospital
Apothekepharmacy
Klinikclinic
Flughafenairport
Bahnhoftrain station
Busbahnhofbus 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.

 

GermanEnglish
einfache Fahrkartesingle ticket
Rückfahrkarteround-trip ticket
Sitzseat
Ich möchte 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-ermäßigung?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
NordNorth
SüdSouth
OstEast
WestWest
nach linksTo the left
nach rechtsTo the right
Geradeausstraight
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 Nähe?Is it nearby?

 

Hotel

These words can be helpful when booking a hotel.

GermanEnglish
Einzelzimmersingle room
Doppelzimmerdouble room
Bettbed
Deckeblanket
Kissenpillow
Betttüchersheets
Schlüsselkey
Klimaanlageair-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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