Moving – How to get to Germany
What is the best way to get to Germany? Well, that depends on where you are coming from and what means of transport are available to you.
For a visit you can certainly fly, and many airlines serve Frankfurt am Main. For other cities you may not be able to get a direct flight so it’s worth looking into travelling by train from Frankfurt or flying on using a local carrier.
Important! Frankfurt has two airports – Frankfurt International is close to the city itself and is on the public transport system. Frankfurt Hahn is 124km (approx. 2 hrs drive) from the city, so bear this in mind if you fly there.
Coming to Germany by car has one big advantage: you are not limited to one suitcase to bring everything that you will need on what may well be a long stay. Remember to tell your insurance that you are going abroad and ask for a Green Card!
There are several ways to cross the English Channel – and if you live in the south of the country then you will more than likely want to cross at Dover/Calais or via the Eurotunnel.
For most of Germany you will then head for Dunkirk/Veurne and travel through Belgium on the E40, crossing into Germany at Aachen. From Cologne (Köln) motorways go in all directions. Only if you are travelling very far south (eg. Freiburg, Munich) is it worth considering crossing northern France and entering at Strasburg – so try a routeplaner like Google Maps to see which is the best way to drive.
Remember that you will be driving on the right and will need to divert your headlights! Check with your motoring organisation for the latest advice on the countries that you will be going to or through.
If you need to buy petrol, check the octane level at the pump. Different countries give different names to the same thing, eg. 4 star unleaded (95 octane) is called “Super” in Germany but “Euro95″ in Belgium.
Of course, you can travel through the Eurotunnel by train. With the EuroStar you can reach Paris and take a train from there to southern Germany, but for most destinations you will want to travel to Brussels and from then on to Cologne (Köln), e.g. with the THALYS.
From Cologne, high-speed trains (ICE) will take you to most parts of Germany.
Where to stay
If you are coming to visit, eg. for an interview, then you will need somewhere to stay. Many hotels can be found online in Expedia, but you may prefer to search for smaller hotels in the town that you are visiting and book by phone or fax.
If you are looking for personal tips on where to stay, try asking the forum.