Germany has a pretty efficient public transportation system, but sometimes, you may want to opt for a more private means of getting around. In this case, taxis, ride-sharing services, and car-sharing are excellent options. Whether you are traveling from a small town on the countryside to a big city like Hamburg, or you need to navigate Berlin without your own car, there are several transportation alternatives! Below are some tips and information to help you navigate these services in Germany:
Tips for Using Taxis in Germany
In Germany, taxis can be identified by their beige color and the rooftop sign with the word ‘Taxi’ in black lettering. Taxis can be hailed on the streets, at taxi stands, or can be booked through apps where you can easily put in your destination and pay without having to worry as much about language barriers. Most everyone is familiar with using a taxi service for transportation, but here are some tips to keep in mind when taking a taxi in Germany:
Always check the meter: The meter is a legal requirement, and it should be turned on as soon as you get in the taxi. The base fare varies between cities, but overall you should be prepared to pay more than you would for ride-sharing or public transportation.
Know your destinations and routes: Familiarize yourself with your destination and the route that the taxi driver should take before getting in the taxi. Taxis in Germany are known for taking the quickest and most direct route, but some may try to take longer routes to increase the fare.
Tip responsibly: Tipping is not compulsory in Germany, but it is customary to round up to the nearest euro or leave a 10% tip. If you receive exceptional service, you may want to tip more.
Bigger groups can book larger taxis: If you’re traveling with a larger group, you can book a larger taxi in Germany, which can accommodate up to seven passengers. These taxis are usually more expensive, but you can split the cost between the group.
Apps for Ordering a Taxi Ride
Booking a taxi through an app in Germany is relatively easy and convenient. Some of the popular taxi-hailing apps include:
FreeNow: This Free taxi booking app enables you to find and book taxis in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Stuttgart. It allows you to see the driver’s name, car model, and license plate number before your ride. You can also track your taxi in real-time.
Taxi.de: focuses on the transportation service of commuters in Germany. It is not only distributed in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and other large cities but is available almost everywhere in Germany.
Ride-sharing in Germany
In Germany, ride-sharing services have gained popularity in recent years due to their affordability and convenience. Ride-sharing in Germany means that you share a ride with other passengers who are traveling in the same direction. Here are some tips to keep in mind when using ride-sharing services in Germany.
Choose the right service: MOIA, and BlaBlaCar are just a few examples. MOIA is an on-demand shuttle service that operates in Hamburg. BlaBlaCar is an extremely affordable way to travel, as it connects drivers with passengers traveling between cities.
Book in advance: Unlike taxis, ride-sharing transportation services often require booking in advance. Make sure you plan your trip accordingly to allow sufficient time for booking and pick-up.
Be punctual: Since you are sharing a ride with other passengers, it’s essential to be on time to avoid causing delays for other passengers.
Follow safety precautions: Always check the driver’s credentials and reviews before booking. It’s also essential to be careful when sharing personal information, especially when communicating with the driver through the app.
Car Sharing & Scooter Sharing
Miles and Sixt are car-sharing transportation services that allow users to rent a car, van, or scooter for a few hours or days and pay for the usage per minute. You can also use Felyx and Emmy scooter sharing if you want to enjoy a beautiful day. In bigger cities, you will often find them parked in high-traffic areas similar to how you find e-scooters and rental bikes, but you can also order a car to any location using Miles or Sixt. There are other transportation services available depending on where you are. If you have questions, you can ask a local for help.
Make sure to sign up: Before using a car or scooter sharing, you have to sign up and verify your identity. This process can take some time, so make sure to plan ahead.
Check the availability: Before heading to the car-sharing station, check the availability of cars in the station through the company apps to ensure there are cars or scooters available.
Follow the rules: Always follow the rules and regulations of the car-sharing service. Ensure you return the car on time, keep the car clean, and fill up the gas tank when needed.
When you might need to get somewhere faster than by train, bus, or walking—taxis, ride-sharing services, and car-sharing are excellent alternative eco-friendly transportation options in Germany. Always ensure to check the appropriate services, use apps for the booking and follow the safety precautions. By following these tips, you can enjoy a safe and hassle-free ride in Germany.