Mobility and Transport
The local as well as regional and national transport infrastructure is excellent. Whether you want to travel by train, subway, bus, bicycle, airplane or car - the choice is yours!
Public Transport in Bonn
Bonn has a superb public transportation system complete with busses, streetcars and subways. Information on timetables and ticket prices can be obtained at the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg (VRS), the regional transport authority.
Job-Ticket at the University of Bonn
If you are an employee at the University of Bonn, you are eligible to obtain a job ticket ("Großkundenticket"). It allows you to use all public transportation in the region as long and as often as you like at a reasonable monthly fare.
Helpful tip: You can take along one adult passenger, three children (aged between 6 and 14) or a bicycle on weekdays beginning at 7 pm and all day on weekends and holidays. Children under 6 years always travel free of charge.
- You can order a job ticket at the university cash office. Contact person: Mr. Baudson (Phone: +49 (0)228 73-7315)
- Order forms and further information are available through the University's Intranet system
- You have to order the ticket until the 10th day of a month in order to use the ticket starting from the 1st day of the following month
- Employees at the University Hospital can order their job ticket at the hospital service center.
Cycling in Bonn
It is not particularly practical to own a car in Bonn, not least due to a lack of free and available parking space. The easiest and most convenient method of transport when living in the city is a bicycle. It is also worth having one for weekend trips in the surrounding area, especially as bikes can be carried on the Rhine ferries for a very low fee.
Buying a second-hand bike, which can then be sold before departure from Germany, is worth considering. Look at the notice boards for advertisements or go to the bicycle market next to the university's main building (on the Hofgarten side, several times per semester).
Bicycles can be hired here:
Travelling in Germany
When travelling within Germany and to neighbouring countries, three transportation methods come into consideration: trains, cars and busses.
The German railway company has an outstanding railway network and has many attractive offers. Travelling by car (together with others) might be the most affordable way of travelling, yet it is not the fastest way. The bus companies are reliable and offer cheap tickets, yet they can be rather slow. For long distances within Germany it might be worth searching for cheap flight tickets. In some cases, a flight ticket can be cheaper than a train ticket.
Driving a Car
If you would like to be able to drive in Germany, you will need a driving permit. Driving licenses from EU/EEA Member States are unconditionally valid in Germany. You can also drive in Germany with an international driver's license. Driver's licenses from non-European countries (accompanied by an official German translation) become invalid six months after your arrival in Germany. If you plan on staying longer, you will have to apply for a German driving license. Depending on your home country, you may have to retake the driving exam (theoretical and/or practical sections).
You should apply to transfer your driver's license as soon as possible, and at the very latest three months before it becomes invalid.
Any questions you may have about driving a car with a foreign license or transferring your current license will be answered by the Civic Services Office in accordance with the conditions that pertain to citizens from your home country.
- Further information: Citizens Service Center
Bringing Your Own Car
You can bring your car duty-free to Germany as long as you have lived abroad for at least one year, have used your car for at least six months abroad, only plan to use your car for personal reasons and will later return with your car to your home country.
If you plan to stay less than a year in Germany, you will only need an international or foreign Motor Vehicle Admissions Certificate (Kraftfahrzeug-Zulassungsschein) (accompanied with an official German translation!). For longer stays, it will be necessary to register your car in Germany.
To register a car, please consult the Citizens Service Center.
Please bring the following documents:
- Driving license
- Confirmation of registration form ("Meldebestätigung")
- Vehicle registration papers from your home country and your car's old license plates
- Proof of insurance, the so-called "Insurance Coverage Card" (Deckungskarte der Versicherung) or "green insurance card" (Proof of insurance from your native country)
- Certificate from the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt stating that your car was never registered in Germany (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, 24932 Flensburg, Tel.: 0461/316-0)
In addition you will also have to:
- Complete a TÜV examination: Technical examination of your car's roadworthiness
- Complete an emissions test ("Abgassonderuntersuchung/AU")