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soc.culture.german FAQ (posted monthly) part 5/6

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 )
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Archive-name: german-faq/part5
Last modified: 2001-09-02
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Version: 2001-09

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
     This is part 5 of the ASCII version of the FAQ list for
     soc.culture.german. Find the WWW version at
     <>. The FAQ is posted on
     the first of every month.

                     Table of Contents for Part  5

  18. Broadcasting Media

     18.1 German TV and Radio homepages
     18.2 Deutsche Welle
        18.2.1 Satellite TV
        18.2.2 (Shortwave) Radio
     18.3 Regional German Radio Stations via Shortwave
     18.4 TV via Satellite
        18.4.1 Europe
        18.4.2 German TV in Europe / ASTRA
        18.4.3 North/South America
        18.4.4 North America, Caribbean Sea
        18.4.5 Europlus
     18.5 Swiss Radio; Radio Austria (Shortwave)
        18.5.1 Page comments

  19. German zip codes (Postleitzahlen, PLZ)

     19.1 Finding PLZ's on the Net
        19.1.1 WWW
        19.1.2 ftp
        19.1.3 Mail Server
        19.1.4 Telephone
        19.1.5 don't know at all
     19.2 The Old Zip-Code System
     19.3 The New Zip-Code System
        19.3.1 Page comments

  20. (Public) Transportation in Germany

     20.1 Public transport on the Internet
     20.2 Railways
        20.2.1 Deutsche Bahn AG
        20.2.2 Which Train to Use
        20.2.3 Ticket Prices
        20.2.4 International Addresses for Railway Travelers
        20.2.5 Timetables; Travel Information
        20.2.6 The Poor Man's Version of the Kursbuch
        20.2.7 Fly and Ride (a Train)
        20.2.8 Trains and Bicycles
     20.3 Country-Wide/Continent-Wide Bus Travel  like Greyhound?
     20.4 Regional Hiking Service (
     20.5 You Mean I *Can* Get Around on My Bicycle?
     20.6 Buying a Car for Short Period instead of EuRail?
        20.6.1 Page comments

  21. Cars and Driving in Germany

     21.1 How much is Gasoline in Germany?
     21.2 What's the typical Mileage of Cars on German Streets?
        21.2.1 Page comments

  22. Tourism

     22.1 Tourism Hot Line
     22.2 On-Line -- German Cities Info
     22.3 Monuments to Visit
     22.4 Youth hostels
     22.5 Sights to See in the Cities
        22.5.1 Page comments

  18.  Broadcasting Media

  18.1.  German TV and Radio homepages

  Radio in Germany is predominantly FM radio, hardly ever AM. An index
  of German language radio stations broadcasting on the internet can be
  found here <>. Most stations
  have their own webpages by now:

  o  ARD <>. The regional TV stations like Bayern 3 or
     SWR 3 are reachable from the ARD page

  o  ZDF <>

  o  Bayerischer      Rundfunk <>

  o  Radio      Hundert,6 (Berlin)

  o  RTL <> and RTL2 <>

  o  SAT1 <>

  o  SWR3 <>. They also provide web broadcasts

  o  VH-1derland <>

  o  Westdeutscher Rundfunk <>

  Current TV Programming (Videotext, etc.)  TV Today
  <> and TV Movie <> provide
  an overview over current programs.

  18.2.  Deutsche Welle

  Deutsche Welle <> produces programs geared to
  viewers and listeners abroad. They broadcast worldwide in a variety of
  languages <>, both TV and shortwave
  radio. This service is there not so much for Germans in Germany, but
  for those people abroad (not only Germans) who would like to keep in
  touch with Germany. Shortwave fans can get up-to-date frequencies
  <> for the German
  programs. There is also an email list that provides this information.
  See this page <> for

  Radio Deutsche Welle gladly sends out a monthly magazine with
  times/frequencies and stories on broadcasts. If you would like to
  subscribe (for free) contact them at:

     Deutsche Welle
        Oeffentlichkeitsarbeit, 50588 Koeln, Germany, tel +49(221)389-0
        fax 49-221-389-4155

     Deutsche Welle
        Studio Washington P.O.B. 50641 Washington, DC 20091-0641 USA tel
        +1(202)393-7427 fax +1(202)393-7434 1995-12

     Deutsche Welle
        190 000 Sankt Petersburg Glawpotschtamt Abonentnyj jaschtschik
        596 Nemezkaja Wolna Russia

  18.2.1.  Satellite TV

  Deutsche Welle Nachrichten, News from Germany (not only about
  Germany). DW-TV Berlin is on-line; their email address is and they also provide their WWW server.
  <> 1998-03

  The whole Deutsche Welle Program is available as Audio-on-Demand (as
  well as the entire program live. You can go to
  <> 1998-04

  In North America, there are three major rebroadcaster of DW-tv:

     IC (International Channel)
        a commericial service from Los Angeles  which emphasizes Asian
        programming.  It broadcasts one hour of DW-tv on weekdays 15:00
        Eastern, 14:00 Central, 12:00 noon Pacific.

     ME/U (Mind-Extension University)
        a Denver-based educational network broadcasts on cable at 5:00PM
        ET, three blocks of 30 minutes: German-English-Spanish. Ask you

        (Satellite Communications for Learning Association)" SCOLA
        devotes a greater portion of its schedule to DW-tv than the
        other two rebroadcasters. Affiliated with Creighton
        University, has monthly schedules for all the DW-tv, ORF and SBC
        programs it broadcasts on each of its channels: 1998-04


  18.2.2.  (Shortwave) Radio

  Usually Radio Deutsche Welle comes in loud and clear.

  o  6075 ( 0:00- 6:00)

  o  6085 ( 4:00- 6:00)

  o  6100 ( 0:00- 6:00)

  o  9700 ( 4:00- 6:00)

  o  9730 (22:00- 2:00)

  o  9735 ( 2:00- 4:00)

  o  11795 ( 0:00- 4:00)

  o  11810 ( 4:00- 8:00)

  o  13780 (22:00- 2:00)

  o  13790 (14:00-16:00)

  o  15270 ( 0:00- 2:00)

  o  17715 (12:00-19:00)

  o  17860 (18:00- 0:00)

     All times are UTC.  1994-2

  18.3.  Regional German Radio Stations via Shortwave

  Here are shortwave frequencies for some of Germany's regional
  programs. The stations are nationally operated and mostly serve one of
  the federal states.

     SWF 3 (Suedwestfunk)
        7265 kHz. Serves  Rheinland-Pfalz and parts of Baden-

        Suedwestfunk, Postfach 820, 76485 Baden-Baden

     Sender Freies Berlin & Radio Bremen
        6190 kHz

        Radio Bremen, Heinrich-Hertz-Str. 13, 28211 Bremen

        Sender Freies Berlin, Masurenallee 8-14, 14057 Berlin

     RIAS Berlin (100 kW)
        6005 kHz

        RIAS has gone together with Deutschlandfunk to become
        Deutschland-Radio.  There are two stations now; the one that
        used to be RIAS has become DS-Kultur  1994-9

        Deutschland-Radio, Hans-Rosenthal-Platz, 10825 Berlin, tel

     Sueddeutscher Rundfunk
        6030 kHz. Serves Baden-Wuerttemberg (20  kW)

        Sueddeutscher Rundfunk, Neckarstr. 230, 70190 Stuttgart

     Bayerischer Rundfunk (100 kW)
        6085 kHz

        Bayerischer Rundfunk, Rundfunkplatz 1, 80335 Muenchen
  Consult the World Radio and TV Handbook for a complete listing of all
  shortwave stations. The book is updated annually and can be found in
  many libraries.

  18.4.  TV via Satellite

  18.4.1.  Europe

  EUTELSAT II-F1 <> (13 deg.
  East) Transponder 27, 11,163 GHz, vert. pol, 15-05 UTC, PAL., sound:
  6.65 MHz

  This is a low power satellite; Deutsche Welle broadcasts not for
  Germans in Germany and so it broadcasts not on the hot bird ASTRA
  satellite (see below)

  18.4.2.  German TV in Europe / ASTRA

  There is a hot bird ASTRA TV satellite
  <>  with nearly all German
  TV programs (public or commercial) but not with Deutsche Welle on it.
  An equipment to get all these German TV programs is much cheaper in
  many areas than an equipment to get Deutsche Welle. For most of Europe
  a 70cm dish will be sufficient. With a 200cm dish you should expect
  good reception from Northern Africa to Spitzbergen. A second hot bird
  is planned to be launched in 1996. Ask local Germans or your satellite
  dish dealer for ASTRA service. 1994-2

  18.4.3.  North/South America

  INTELSAT-K (21.4 deg. West), Transponder H7, 11,605 GHz, North
  America: hor. pol., South America: vert. pol., Min. Dish Diameter:
  1.3m or 4ft

  Deutsche Welle TV:

  16-06 UTC, NTSC-M Sound: 6.8 MHz

  Deutsche Welle radio:

  German Program (stereo):   a: 7.38/7.56 Mhz Foreign Language Programs:
  b: 7.74 Mhz

  18.4.4.  North America, Caribbean Sea

  SATCOM C-4 (135 deg. West) Transponder 5V, 3,8 GHz, pol. vert.,

  Deutsche Welle TV

  16-06 UTC, NTSC-M Sound: 6.8 MHz

  Deutsche Welle radio

  German Program (stereo):   a: 7.38/7.56 Mhz Foreign Language Programs:
  b: 7.74 Mhz

  A two and a half hour TV program (English and German) is broadcast
  between 20:00 and 22:30 UTC via the following satellites:

  o  SPACENET II  (69' West)   - Transponder 2   - for North-America

  o  INTELSAT 601 (27.5' West) - Transponder 21  - for Europe and Africa

  o  INTELSAT 505 (66' East)   - Transponder 38  - for Europe, Africa
     and Asia

  o  INTELSAT 508 (180' East)  - Transponder 14  - for East Asia,
     Australia and New Zealand


  18.4.5.  Europlus

  Europlus an inexpensive satellite reception system designed to receive
  live European broadcasting. That broadcasting is mainly German and
  Italian but in the next two years, it is expected to carry several
  other languages, as well.

  Programming is available as video, radio and teletext to all areas of
  the United States (East of the Mississippi), Central and South America
  by the use of spot beams.

  The German programming currently consists of Deutsche Welle, ZDF and
  3SAT. There are also numerous radio broadcasts and the news teletext
  is a 24 hour service. The Italian programming consists mainly of RAI
  (radio & TV) and SWF3. All functions of the system such as changing
  channels, changing languages, audio, video, radio, teletext, volume
  and text control are handily accomplished with a 6 button remote
  control for simplicity. There are currently no subscription charges
  and none are anticipated for at least a year, when they are expected
  to run @ US$10 per month or US$100 per year, per language received.
  The costs of buying the hardware run around US$900.

  Good Shephard Marketing, a division of: Atlanta Antenna, Inc., PO Box
  76247, Atlanta, GA 30328 Cliff Shephard, Compuserve 73667.1502, fax
  +1(404)843-1465 1994-10

  18.5.  Swiss Radio; Radio Austria (Shortwave)

  For Information about Switzerland you might want to listen to
  Schweizer Radio International: Swiss Radio International, PO Box
  CH-3000, Bern 15, Switzerland

  For Austria: Radio Austria, A-1136, Vienna, Austria

  18.5.1.  Page comments

  View/add comments


  German zip codes (Postleitzahlen, PLZ)

  Every German household should have an immensely impressive and
  voluminous book somewhere:  the official Postleitzahlenbuch. If your
  household doesn't, you should contact your nearest post office and ask
  them if they'd like to give you one. While you're waiting for all the
  red tape to clear use one of the methods listed below to look up a

  19.1.  Finding PLZ's on the Net

  19.1.1.  WWW

  Straight from the horse's mouth: the search engine of the German
  postal service <> (English  version
  <>). The quantum
  server <> lets you search not only for
  PLZ's but also for phone numbers, bank routing numbers (BLZ) and
  similar information about Germany.  If both of those servers don't
  satisfy your fancy, try NADS' server

  19.1.2.  ftp

  You can retrieve the original databases from various sites: PLZ data
  at U Stuttgart <ftp://info2.rus.uni-> or PLZ data at U         Muenster
  <> (I can't figure out the  of
  the files provided there, though) 1999-08

  19.1.3.  Mail Server

  Arthur Teschler's server gives you not only the PLZ's but also
  information about municipal government, about topological maps for the
  area, and more.  See `Internet/Search Engines' for more. 1996-02
  Send email:

            Subject: _GEO_ 1st line: INFO

  19.1.4.  Telephone

  Directory services such as 11880 can tell you zip codes, too. Be
  careful though since directory services can be extremely expensive,
  like 2 DM per minute, depending on which one you call.  There is
  competition in this area, too. 1999-11

  19.1.5.  don't know at all

  The old 4 digit zip codes should still work. (Even letters with no zip
  code at all should -in principle- make it through.) No  guarantee,
  though! Letters will definitely take longer compared to those that use
  the new code -- if they arrive at all. Some people have already lost
  mail because of this.  1994-3

  19.2.  The Old Zip-Code System

  Up until July of 1993, zip codes consisted of one letter, a dash and
  four digits. The letter was a W for former West Germany and an O for
  East Germany.


                    O-1155 Berlin
                    W-1000 Berlin 33

  Many bigger cities in the West had a number following the city name to
  differentiate further.

  If you have an old address with a four digit zip code, you should try
  and get the new zip code. Your love letter addressed with the old zip
  code, or without any zip code, will still be delivered, but might take
  a long long time; and who knows if your love can wait for so many

  19.3.  The New Zip-Code System

  In July of 1993, all zip codes were changed to a new system: the new
  zip codes consist of 5 digits only. They designate areas of cities
  down to individual carrier routes. Post office boxes (Postfach) in
  most cities now have their own Postleitzahl as have large companies
  <>  that receive more than
  1000 letters a day. It seems that the Postleitzahlen for large
  companies were initially kept secret, for reasons that are entirely
  beyond me.

  The German Mail service <> distributed a
  big book containing all  new zip codes for each German household in
  May 1993. But this book neither contained PO boxes nor the big
  companies' zip codes...

  To find the Postleitzahl for an address, you usually need the name of
  the city and the street address, including house number, since longer
  streets are often split into several zip codes. In some large cities
  there might even be two different streets with the same name; in this
  case, the old zip code together with the post office designator after
  the city name can be a tremendous help in figuring out the new zip

  If you absolutely can't figure out the new zip code of an address, you
  can use whatever address you have. The Deutsche Post
  <> is usually pretty good at figuring out
  where you wanted to send your letter, but they will take their time
  delivering to incomplete addresses.  1999-08

  19.3.1.  Page comments

  View/add comments


  (Public) Transportation in Germany

  This section discusses some aspects of moving around in Germany.
  Public transportation is in general very good and readily available.
  If you are visiting any major cities, you do not need (or want) any
  other way of moving around than the public transport. Trams and buses
  usually run frequently and often deep into the night, making even a
  bar crawl by tram possible. Cross-country trains are very convenient,
  the connections are by and large reliable, although they can be
  pricey. For a cheap alternative, check out the `Mitfahrzentralen'.

  20.1.  Public transport on the Internet

  The trains across Germany are run by the Deutsche Bahn    AG
  <>. Select International Guests
  on their website to get information in English. The  website also
  provides timetable    information
  <>: you only need to provide from
  where to where you are travelling together with the times and dates
  and, voila, get a list of all possible connectons. You can buy tickets
  online or at any train station near you.

  The Austrian rail company  Oesterreichische Bundesbahn maintains a
  similar service <>.

  Many providers of public transport within cities/regions also have
  websites by now. The sites usually provide timetable and ticket price
  information, rules for bicycle transport etc. Some sites:

     Verkehrsverbund        Rhein-Ruhr-Wupper <>
        Services the Ruhrgebiet, roughly the area between Duisburg and
        Dortmund. Such wonderful cities as Bochum, Essen and Castrop-
        Rauxel are located in this area.

     Verkehrsverbund        Rhein-Neckar <>
        Services Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Heidelberg and vicinity.

     Karlsruher        Verkehrsverbund <>
        Services Karlsruhe and vicinity. One of the best in Germany.

     Elektronische        Fahrplanauskunft <>
        (English <>) of BayernInfo
        <> gives complete timetable information
        for public transport in Bavaria: You can get timetable
        information to go from one bus stop in one town to a tram stop
        in another regardless of which service company/companies are
        providing the transport.



  Trains play a special role in Germany (and in Europe in general.)  In
  terms of traffic they have top priority. They have right of way before
  any other vehicle. There are lots of tunnels and bridges for trains
  and therefore they don't have to stop anywhere between railway
  stations and can go at rather high speeds... 120km/h (75mph) for
  regular trains, up to 250km/h (155mph) for the high speed trains.


  o  former Western:

  o  31,443 km total

  o  4,022 km non government owned

  o  27,421 km government owned

  o  12,491 km double track

  o  11,501 km electrified

  o  former Eastern:

  o  14,025 km total

  o  3,830 km double track

  o  3,475 km electrified On a typical day an average of about 32,000
     trains are scheduled.

  The railroad system in Germany has been privatized in recent years.
  The former government-owned Deutsche Bundesbahn is now called Deutsche
  Bahn AG and organized like any big German corporation, although its
  majority stockholder is still the German government. Private and
  foreign companies are now free to operate on the German railroad net.

  20.2.1.  Deutsche Bahn AG

  Deutsche Bundesbahn (former Western) and Deutsche Reichsbahn (former
  Eastern) joined to become Deutsche Bahn AG. Despite unification there
  are still price differences between East and West!

  The Deutsche Bahn AG is forced to split into several branches (and
  later into several companies):

     Fernverkehr (Long-distance travel)
        runs all ICE, EC, IC, EN, IR and D trains.

     Nahverkehr (Short-distance travel)
        runs all the other  trains.

     Personenbahnhoefe (Railway stations)
        runs the railways stations for all railway companies; rents
        shops in railway stations. (Remember: It is forbidden by German
        law to open shops in the evening and on Sundays. But it is legal
        to sell goods to passengers in airports and railway stations...)

        Big freight service

        Small freight service

        Track network. Sells the right to travel to  railroad companies

        Repairs the tracks etc.

  Luckily, as a passenger on the Deutsche Bahn, you don't need to know
  any of this; you can even forget about the fact that some trains are
  run by Deutsche Bahn or some other small rail company.  Except for
  some special, mostly tourist--only rail companies, you just buy your
  ticket from the ticket counter or machine in your favorite train
  station and enjoy the ride. 1999-07
  20.2.2.  Which Train to Use

  For the last couple years the Deutsche (Bundes-/)Bahn has been
  implementing a new philosophy in train travel. One very obvious sign
  of its modernization are the new cars, which have defined new colors
  outside and better seats inside. As this modernization is not quite
  completed, frequently mixed trains of old and new cars can be seen.

  All modern trains have special color codes:

  o  red-white     = High speed trains (ICE, EC, IC)

  o  blue-white    = long distance trains (IR, Talgo)

  o  green-white   = regional trains (CB, RB, RE)

  o  orange-white  = urban train (S)

  It is a good idea to use these if possible. Foreign cars are also
  nice. Check the label outside! Only the silver cars (Silberlinge) are
  really bad.

  Most trains have some cars where smoking is allowed... There are also
  first class cars in most trains. You don't really need reservation in
  most trains. If you found no seat you can ride without a seat or, if
  you think the train is to full, take another train an hour later...
  There is no reservation possible for any short-distance trains.

  Brief overview:

  Long-distance trains

        InterCityExpress; the German high speed train. These trains are
        integrated in the IC network, but have higher prices than other
        IC. Ticket prices depend on ICE speed and the speed of other
        trains at the same distance.

        Cisalpino; a high speed train that can, contrary to the ICE, run
        on more conventional tracks, since it leans into curves. The CIS
        is sometimes called a Pendolino. Tickets are also more expensive
        than those for the usual trains.

     EC EuroCity; an international high quality train. In Germany  most
        EC's are integrated in the IC net.

     IC InterCity; a national high quality train. Nearly all IC's run in
        the IC net. On most lines there is one IC every hour.

        InterCityNight; a high quality night train; more silent rolling,
        leans into curves, you can sleep in even after  arrival.

     EN EuroNight; a night train, there were only 4 such trains in

        CityNightLine; high quality night train, rather expensive.

     NZ Nachtzug; high quality night train. Reservations necessary,
        special fares, but not necessarily more expensive than other

     IR Interregio; similar to IC. The IR net is much longer and  IR's
        stop at more stations IC's. On most lines there is one IR every
        other hour.

     D  Schnellzug; a long-distance train which is not good enough  to
        be qualified as ICE, EC, IC, EN, IR. In May 1994 most of them
        will get modernized and become InterRegios. Some night trains or
        trains with foreign destinations will remain D trains.

  Short-distance trains

     RE RegionalExpress; an E-train with modern cars, runs periodically.
        Stop only at major stations.

     RB RegionalBahn; a local train with qualified good rolling
        material. Stops at every station.

     SE StadtExpress; a local train with modern cars, runs periodically.

     CB CityBahn; a local train with qualified good rolling material,
        runs periodically.

     S  S-Bahn; an urban train in areas like Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt,


  The following train types are now history...discontinued!

     E  Eilzug; a semi-fast train. Some of these trains are as fast as
        IC, others are slower and stop at every station.  Eilzuege have
        been completely replaced by the RE.

        RegionalSchnellBahn; a semi-fast train; replaced by the  RE.

     (no letter marking)
        Nahverkehrszug; local train.

  20.2.3.  Ticket Prices

     2nd class
        0.272 DM/km

     1st class
        150 percent of 2nd class price

        is a little more in 2nd and 1st class.
  There are special short-distance prices in many areas.  In that case
  the ticket includes local bus and subway, but you can use all short-
  distance trains with a railroad ticket like Interail etc or a long-
  distance train ticket.

  There are lots of special fares which can make travelling by train
  much cheaper. The most important are:

        up to 5 years free, from 6 to 11 years half price.

        If two ore more people are travelling together, only the first
        person pays the full fare, the others only half the fare. This
        ticket isn't available for very short distances.

        Several long-distance return tickets for a fixed price.  Only
        for journeys which include a week-end and not valid on certain
        days. Ask if  a Sparpreis is possible when buying long-distance

        For 35 DM up to 5 persons can travel one whole day as much as
        they want - but only on Saturdays and Sundays and only in RE,
        SE, RB, and S trains. These trains are rather slow and often
        full - but it is by far the cheapest way to get around and
        explore the closer environs of wherever you are.

        Valid for one year. You pay half fare for all standard tickets.
        Costs 230 DM for 2nd class, cheaper for people under 22 or over
        60, students, and families. Spouses/partners of BahnCard holders
        can get their own BahnCard for 110 DM.


  20.2.4.  International Addresses for Railway Travelers

        Thomas Cook Limited, Ground Floor, 257 Collins Street, Melbourne
        VIC 2000, tel (03) 6502442, fax (03) 6507050

        German Rail/DER Tours, 904 The East Mail, Etobicoke, ONT. M93
        6K2, tel +1(416)695-1209, fax +1(416)695-1210


        DER Travel Service, Germany
           Rail Sales, 18 Conduit Street, London W1Y 7PE, tel 071-499
           0577 / 0578

        German Rail Distribution
           18 Chertsey Road, Woking, Surrey GU21 5AB

           Travel Planner: A 38-page guide to services and fares to and
           within in Germany.

        Continental Rail Agents Consortium (CRAC)
           424 Chester Road, Little Sutton, Cheshire L98 RB, 051-339

           A group of retail travel agents throughout the country
           offering a specialist service for the continental rail

        German Tourist Office
           Nightingale House, 65 Curzon Street, London W 1Y, 7PE.
           071-495 3990

        German Rail/DER Tours, 11933 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
        90025, tel +1(310)479-41140, fax +1(310)479-2239


  Timetables; Travel Information

  The Deutsche Bahn changes their timetables twice a year, usually at
  the end of May and at the end of September. The changes are in general
  only slight, and the times for most trains are unaffected by this.

  There are many timetables you can buy or get for free in Germany.
  Prices will not be a real problem for travelers, but weight may be a
  concern, unless you are interested in transporting just timetables...

     Kursbuch Gesamtausgabe
        25 DM; 3000 g  All trains in Germany, no subways, no busses.

        10 DM; 800 g A selection of long-distance trains in Europe
        outside Germany.

        7 DM; 800 g All long-distance trains in Germany.

        7 DM; 800 g (each) 12 books with timetables including busses.

        5 DM; 300 g (each) 30 books with all trains and all federal bus.
        (But no local bus etc!)

        X DM; 300 g Trains from big towns to other big towns.

     Staedteverbindungen von ... und nach ...
        0 DM; 150 g 160 booklets about trains from the 160 most
        important stations to 60 even more most important stations ;-)
        Available only at local railway stations.

     Streckenfahrplan Strecke ...
        0 DM; 10 g Specialized table of all trains on just one line;
        hundreds of these papers exist. Available only at local railway
        stations. At some place also available for street cars and/or

     Oertlicher Fahrplan
        X DM; X g In all towns you can buy local timetables with all the
        local bus and subway and local trains and all trains from the
        main local station. Buy it if you plan on staying any longer
        than just a few hours in an area.

  There is an FAQ <> (in German) about
  local  timetables and travel information. You can call the travel
  information service of the Bahn at 01805 - 99 66 33, a toll free

  Additionally, electronic timetables for MSDOS/Windows are available.
  There are two versions:

     Elektronische Staedteverbindungen
        comes on 3HD floppies, requires 7MB of hard disk space, 80386,
        2MB RAM; includes 1000 Stations, 24000 Trains, covers about 90%
        of all inquiries, DM 29,80

        Kursbuch (ISBN 3-932045-31-9) " comes on CD-ROM, requires 80386,
        4MB RAM;

        includes all trains in Germany, and her neighbor countries;
        other Euopean countries are listed with those trains relevant to
        travelling to/from Germany.
        You can opt to search the complete timetables of the Rhein-Main-
        Verkehrsverbundes (that's a very large local integrated network
        of trains, busses, subways and other public transportation

        Price of the CD-ROM is DM 30. 1996-12

  They can be ordered at Deutsche Bahn AG, Postfach 1157, 53821 Trois-
  dorf 1994-6

  20.2.6.  The Poor Man's Version of the Kursbuch

  The German Kursbuch exists on CD-ROM; but even without it one still
  gets along quite well, following these simple basic rules:

  o  The service in the West is better than in the East.

  o  You can rely on the backbone of the ICE/EC/IC/IR inner net with
     trains running at least every other hour, usually every one! (In
     some highly frequented areas three times an hour.)

  o  Some ICE/EC/IC/IR may also connect to less important cities (outer

  o  They always run at the same minute after the hour and they are very

  o  On more than 90 percent of the railway lines there are more than
     just a few trains every day. Almost certainly there is a service of
     at least one train every other hour, usually there's better

  o  Missed a train? You may or may not be well-advised to take the very
     next. On many lines there are different trains stopping not at the
     same stations. (Typically one train may stop at many stations and
     an hour later the next train stops at fewer stations and the next
     train after that one stops again *everywhere*... Because of this
     mixed service it is good advice to check if using a short-distance
     train is an option when you missed a long-distance train. Check
     first!  Many short-distance trains stop at rural stations and wait
     to let a long-distance train pass. In that case it would be better
     to wait for the faster long-distance train...

  o  Short-distance service is somewhat limited on Saturdays and Sundays
     and public holidays (no rush hour back-up trains; usual trains run
     less frequently.) Nevertheless, nearly all long-distance trains
     usually do run on these days. Check before traveling on less
     important lines on weekends!  1994-2

  20.2.7.  Fly and Ride (a Train)

  Airports with railway stations near or under the terminals:

  o  Duesseldorf: S-trains to Duesseldorf und Duisburg and other towns
     in the area.

  o  Frankfurt: S-trains to Frankfurt, Mainz and Wiesbaden and other
     towns in the area. IC/EC Service to many German towns.

  o  Stuttgart: S-trains to Stuttgart and other towns in the area.

  o  Muenchen: S-trains to Muenchen. It is a good advice for  travelers
     to the North to check the bus shuttle via Freising Be ready to have
     German coins. It is not legal to enter an S-train without a valid
     ticket. So you might want to use the ticket vending machines. Other
     airports can be reached by local public transport. Taxis cost a lot
     in all areas and may also be time consuming in some areas. 1994-2

  20.2.8.  Trains and Bicycles

  Transporting your bike on a train costs you 6 DM for distances below
  100 km and 12 DM for longer distances. Reservation for your bike is
  absolutely a good idea in IR and IC trains.   These have special
  carriages for bicycles. Watch for the bike symbol outside. Short-
  distance trains might have a special bike compartment. If not, put it
  in the room where the doors are. Some trains have a special   carriage
  at the front, instead of a locomotive (which sits at the back   then).
  These carriages almost invariably have bike accomodation.   Sometimes
  you find special small-freight carriages at the end of trains.   Put
  your bike in these. Enter them through the passenger entry (you can
  ignore the notice telling you it's forbidden usually) and open the
  extra-  wide doors from the inside. Now bring your bike in.  Very
  easy! In bigger cities local trains bike transport might be forbidden
  during   rush hours, but you can bring your bike even in the

  In tourist areas it is possible to rent bikes at railway stations or
  from private. 1999-11


  Country-Wide/Continent-Wide Bus Travel    like Greyhound?

  There is no national or private bus company like greyhound. There are,
  nevertheless, a few lines run by the European railroads or private
  companies. Some of the lines you can find in the Kursbuch. On many
  lines there is only one bus every day or even week. Some airport bus
  lines have real service. A return ticket Hamburg-Paris costs about DM

  In towns with many foreign workers there might also be some bus
  services to the South, but you have to be a local to know about it.


  Regional Hiking Service ( Mitfahrzentralen )

  Though hitch-hiking is not commonly encouraged, it's still a fairly
  common way of getting around in the summer time. There is no promise
  that it's more or less dangerous in Germany than in other parts of the
  world. You'll have to weigh up the risk and inconvenience yourself. If
  you're not in a rush, have a sense of adventure, and want or need to
  save money, it may be an option for you. If safety and comfort are
  your priorities it's probably much better to use the widespread
  network of ride sharing agencies (the so-called Mitfahrzentralen) to
  find a ride -- Organized hitch-hiking so to speak.

  Based on the idea that single drivers and hikers just need some place
  where they can meet, these centers charge hikers a small fee for a
  successful match.  Drivers don't get charged, because these centers
  live on their offers. The service bureaus usually note down the names,
  addresses, phone numbers and license plate numbers of the involved
  parties -- adding a lot of safety to the relationship, not just

  The general procedure is:

  o  You call them and say what you want

  o  They tell you what they've got, with an option to reserve a ride

  o  You show up, pay the (modest) fee and get the name, phone # and
     license # of the driver and the meeting time and place, plus a copy
     of the insurance that is included in the fee.

  o  You show up at the rendezvous and pay the driver your share of the
     gas costs after he brought you to your destination. In the office
     they will tell you how much the driver may charge at maximum.  All
     in all, you pay about 1/3 to 1/2 of the train fare.  1994-5

  Quite a number of the Mitfahrzentralen are connected by the so-called
  Citynetz. The general phone number for all member centers of  the
  Citynetz is 19444.

  Your requests are handled on a computer network ...  return/continuing
  trip requests can automatically be forwarded; you may pay by
  Bankeinzug(only from German accounts) examples of price totals
  (including fee; VAT; gas share)

  o  Cologne - Paris     DM 46

  o  Munich - Frankfurt  DM 41

  o  Berlin Duesseldorf  DM 51 from a brochure 3/94

  There is also an internet address for the Mitfahrzentrale
  <> at the  university of

  20.5.  You Mean I *Can* Get Around on My Bicycle?

  You may or may not be used to cycling at home - in Germany cycling is
  definitely worth considering: for your daily commuting, for short-
  distance errands, for pastime, or for longer vacation tours.  Bring
  along your bicycle, or buy one in Germany. Prices range from under 100
  DM on the fleamarket to several thousand DM.

  Cycling conditions in the cities vary between comfortable (Muenster)
  and horrible. Ask your German colleagues for advice.

  Cycling is probably more regulated in Germany than in your country -
  which has both advantages and disadvantages. It's a good idea to know
  about German traffic rules regarding cycling and the required
  equipment of your bicycle. As a minimum, your bike has to have a white
  light at the front, a red light at the back, yellow reflectors in the
  wheels, a bell and mudguards.

  The Allgemeine Deutsche    Fahrradclub <> provides
  a wealth of information around cycling in Germany.

  See also: `Trains and    Bicycles' and the newsgroup de.rec.fahrrad
  (see `The    Internet') with their very informative FAQ list
  <> (a
  second source. <>)

  20.6.  Buying a Car for Short Period instead of EuRail?

  Summary of a thread from Fall 1993.

  The overall tone of the responses was pessimistic. In particular:

  o  Registration and insurance are difficult to arrange for foreigners
     without residency

  o  Gas is expensive

  o  Parking can be a hassle.

     Here are selected parts of the responses:

       Driving in Germany is not cheap! A tank of  gas that would
       cost you about US$12 ( 20 DM) in the USA would cost you
       about US$50 there ( 80 DM) in Germany (Assuming a rate of
       1.60 DM per US$1.)

       If you don't buy a car from a dealer you do not pay vat any-
       way. For that kind of money DM 2000-2500, US$ 1200-1500
       don't bother about shipping it to the States. It would be so
       old that it  wouldn't have a catalytic converter.

       Your Insurance will be astronomical just  because you're a
       foreigner.  ... You've also got to pay property taxes  on
       the car. That means you must have an address in Germany
       where you are  angemeldet residency.  There also may be some
       legal hang-ups against buying a car if you're just using it
       to travel. In addition to these thoughts, the buying process
       is also quite different. You can't just walk into a car
       dealer and come out with a car -- like you can in America.
       There's quite a bit of paper work that needs to be done
       before you can even test drive the car. You'll have to come
       back a couple of days later to do that and then afterwards
       you can negotiate the  transaction.

       Primarily central parts of the cities are closed for cars.

       Parking can be a hassle.

       To my knowledge, you have to be resident of  the Fed. Rep.
       of Germany in order to register a car.  ...  re-selling the
       car can be quite a hassle.  There are times (not particular
       seasons, though) when the market is not really in favor for
       sellers. ... Renting a car might be worth considering.

       It should be no problem to get a car which is still running
       for this price. Make sure it has some state inspection time
       left, otherwise it will not be registered. ... You will need
       insurance, of course. This is based on the hp of the car.
       For 40 hp it will be about 100 DM per month. You must also
       pay car tax, this is based on  the cc of the engine. For 1
       liter is it about DM 200 per year. You get a refund, if you
       sell the car earlier for the unused time.

       I personally would not recommend buying a very cheap car,
       because it will likely break down.

       I would look for a really cheap car (<1000  DM), which will
       last for the time you are in Germany.

       Q: Are there Mercedes diesels from the 70s that are reason-
       ably  priced? A: They are about DM 2000-6000 US$ 1200-4000
       ... maybe more if in very good shape.

       I lived in Germany for over a year and one of the nicer
       things  ... about living there is the fact that you don't
       need a  car.

  Addendum: In July/94 the insurance market became more liberal
  (following an EU guide-line.) Whatever the consequences are -- it's
  very likely more diverse now and less transparent to the customers.

  20.6.1.  Page comments

  View/add comments


  Cars and Driving in Germany

  This section discusses some general topics on cars. For questions
  regarding moving to or from Germany and taking your car along, pleas
  look at the `Moving' chapter.

  Additional information can be found on the websites of one of the
  German car clubs, like the ADAC <>, the VCD
  <>, the AVD <> or the
  ACE <>.

  21.1.  How much is Gasoline in Germany?

  Go to Benzinpreis <> for the latest
  information on gas prices in Germany. You need it. Gas prices in
  Germany move almost as fast and in the same direction as stock
  markets. To give you an idea, in of early 2000 the various kinds of
  gas cost:

       Diesel                                    DM 1,45/Liter Ben-
       zin bleifrei     91 octane unleaded    DM 1,83/Liter Super
       bleifrei      95 octane unleaded    DM 1,88/Liter Super plus
       bleifrei 98 octane unleaded    DM 1,92/Liter

  These are among the highest in Europe, and about 3x of what you might
  find in the USA.

  21.2.  What's the typical Mileage of Cars on German Streets?

  Actually, kilometerage would be more accurate. Consumption is measured
  in liters per 100 kilometers, which will cause transatlantic
  Nonmetrics (i.e., US Americans) some headache, since consumption there
  is measured in miles per gallon.  To get a first, rough estimate of
  miles per gallon, divide 250 by the number of liters per 100 km. For
  example, a car using 7 l / 100 km gets a little less than 36 miles per

  According to this article (in German) <http://www.rheydt-> the fleet
  consumption of all new vehicles sold in Germany in 1998 was 7.7 l/100
  km, while in 1988 it had been 8.7 l / 100 km. This means that the
  average consumption in city traffic is about 10 l / 100 km. The
  relatively high fuel consumption is mainly due to the popularity of
  large and heavy vehicles, especially all the nice and fast Mercedes
  Benz, Audis and BMW.

  There are very fuel efficient cars on the German market, though.  The
  hottest of them right now (early 2000) is the Volkswagen Lupo, dupped
  the "three liter car", because it supposedly needs less than three
  liters / 100 km.

  An annual  kilometerage of 12,000km/year is considered typical (less
  than the 10,000 mi/year average in the US; possibly because Europe is
  smaller;-)  If you estimate costs for gas at around 1.60 DM per liter
  times 12,000 km times 6 liters/100km, you end up with some 1150,- DM
  per year.

  21.2.1.  Page comments

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  22.  Tourism

  22.1.  Tourism Hot Line

  The Deutsche Fremdenverkehrsverband (DFV) has  created a network of
  information hot lines to connect to local touristic bureaus, using
  always the same telephone number. In most cities you can now get
  information by calling (possibly the area code and then) 19433.1996-1

  22.2.  On-Line -- German Cities Info

  Any major German city has its own webpage, usually maintained by the
  city administration. These pages often contain links to a lot of
  resources that you will find interesting if you are going to visit
  there. The websites are usually located at where
  cityname is the name of the city in question in its German spelling.
  Examples: Duesseldorf <>, Heidelberg
  <>, Karlsruhe <>,
  Koeln <>, Mainz <>, Mannheim
  <>, Muenchen <>, etc.

  Excite <> maintains a list
  <> with information
  about most German cities.

  22.3.  Monuments to Visit

  For a rather conventional description see Scharf, Helmut: Kleine
  Kunstgeschichte des Deutschen Denkmals. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche
  Buchgesellschaft (1984)  ISBN 3-534-09548-0.

       It's a short history of monument-building and -art in Ger-
       many, covering early middle ages to almost present.

  o  The Voelkerschlachtdenkmal in Leipzig, or Monument to  the Battle
     of Nations, commemorating the victory over Napoleon in 1813 by the
     Russians and their German allies.

  o  Niederwalddenkmal near Ruedesheim; Emperor Wilhelm I 1871 - 1888

  o  Kyffhaeuserdenkmal east of the Harz-mountains

  o  Bismarckdenkmal in Hamburg

  o  Denkmal am Deutschen Eck in Koblenz/Rhine

  o  Kaiser-Wilhelm-Monument at the Porta Westfalica, Westphalia; on the
     slope of the Wiehengebirge, overlooking the river Weser valley.

  o  Hermanns-Denkmal, South of Detmold; built in the last century to
     commemorate the victory of the germanic chieftain Arminius (aka
     Hermann) over 3 roman legions in the year 9 A.C.

  o  Walhalla near Regensburg; resembles an ancient greek temple
     overlooking the river Danube; it contains busts of a number of
     famous Germans.

  22.4.  Youth hostels

  For budget-conscious travellers, Youth Hostels offer some of the
  cheapest accomodations available. Some of the Youth Hostels in Germany
  are located in stunningly beautiful parts of town: for example, the
  Youth Hostel in Nuernberg is in the Burg (castle), dab-smack in the
  center of town, in a medieval building.

  The Deutsches    Jugendherbergswerk <> runs almost
  all Youth Hostels in Germany.  It's mailing addresses can be  found at
  this    website <>

  22.5.  Sights to See in the Cities


     o  Paulskirche (assembly of first German parliament)

     o  Art Museum

        Staatsgalerie (Modern Art)

        Zwinger (Art)

  22.5.1.  Page comments

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