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GERMANY: Getting Around

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While it may not be cheap, getting around Germany is spectacularly quick and easy. Barely a square kilometre of the country is untouched by an unfailingly reliable public transport system, and it's a simple matter to jump from train to bus on the integrated network. Driving is also a straightforward affair on what's probably the best road network on the continent. Costs can be offset by various discounts and passes available to visitors.

By far the best means of public transport in Germany is the train. The rail network , operated by the privatized national company Deutsche Bahn (DB; www.bahn.de ) - formed in 1994 from the union of the old West and East Germany. Use your Germany cell phone rental to reserve train tickets easily.

At such rare times as you have to forsake the trains for buses , you'll find no decline in the standard of efficiency. Most buses are run in association with DB and are known as Bahnbusse.

Travelling by boat is another option, though more for relaxation than covering large distances. All along the major rivers, and in particular the Rhine and Mosel , there are innumerable local boats, use your international cell phone rental to get more information in Germany.

Municipal public transport
Municipal public transport in most German cities (though western Berlin and Hamburg are notable exceptions) is still centred on trams . Increasingly, these are sleek modern vehicles capable of moving at a fair speed between stops.

While domestic flights are numerous and quick between the major cities, they are also expensive. Single fares are available in business class only, and are far more expensive than the cheapest returns. Use your Germany cell phone rental to reserve airline tickets.

Driving and vehicle rental
Foreigners may drive in Germany for one year with a national or international driving licence (for more than a year you must have a German licence). Use your international cell phone rental to rent a car.

Cyclists are well catered for in Germany - at least in comparison with the UK, US or Australia - though sensibly they're banned from the Autobahnen .

Walking and hiking
The German countryside is laced with colour-coded hiking trails , most of which are suitable for a Sunday afternoon stroll, though many trails are actually sections of much longer hikes.

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