Navigating Germany

Katie Stewart

Major: Sales and Business Marketing in the Haworth College of Business

German Business and Culture

Upon arrival in Germany we were immediately thrown into the hustle and bustle of Berlin.  We stepped out of the airport and were directed to the line of taxis waiting to take us to the hostel.  We found out early on the trip that most taxi drivers do not know any English, so it is easier to show them the address on your phone or know the name of the place you are traveling to.

The first few days we spent a lot of time walking around the city and also doing a bike tour, which helped us all learn where home base was in Berlin.  The later part of the week is when we started to use the public transportation systems like the trams, s-bahn and u-bahn.  The trams are basically buses that run throughout the city on a rail in the streets, these were easiest for us to use because there was a stop right out front of our hostel.  The s-bahn is an above ground train, and the u-bahn runs underground.  We would use these for more long distance travels throughout the city, or to get to other towns such as Potsdam and Paderborn.

blog 3 Berlin Hbf Train Station

After a few times of being on the different types of transportation, we all felt confident enough to start navigating by ourselves.  We knew what stop was home for us, so no matter what we could always find our way.  The first time we split off in a smaller group to use the trains by ourselves was Thursday night on our way to the concert.  Luckily, Dr. Eckert was able to successfully teach us how to use the different systems, as we didn’t have any issues getting to or from where we were going.

When traveling to cities further away, the preferred transportation is the ICE train.  These are the high speed bullet trains that travel around 200 km/hour and can quickly get you from point a to point b in comfort.  Currently, I am sitting on an ICE train headed from Paderborn to Berlin for my last night in Germany.  I am traveling with Irene and Courtney, and luckily we were able to use the train systems, because earlier this week they had announced a strike to last two weeks.  In this case we would have had to take a bus over six hours to get to our hostel in Berlin, but they were able to come to a temporary agreement and end the strike on Thursday.

blog 3 S-bahn Train

Although, it is nice to be able to jump on a bus or train easily in Germany, I cannot wait to get home and be able to drive a car again!  I would never want to drive a car here in Germany though as the laws and signs are so much different! Overall though, traveling throughout Germany has been a breeze, and I feel confident about navigating without help to get to where I need to be!



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