In Germany there are different ways to travel. You can go by bus, train, car sharing, or you can rent a car, depending on your destination, the time of your booking or your luck . Always check for offers.
Trains in Germany are one of the fastest but generally the most expensive way to get around if you buy your tickets immediately before departure., However, there are some ways to get cheaper fares.
Get a BahnCard 25, which gives you 25% off of the regular price. (There is also a BahnCard 50 for a 50% discount. This one is more for frequent travellers )IMPORTANT: You need to terminate your Bahncard contract at least 6 weeks before the expiry date indicated on the card.Otherwise, it will be extended for another year automatically. .
Book your tickets at least 3 days in advance for cheaper prices! You will also get a 25% discount with the Bahncard 25 on top of the already discounted price.
Get a discounted student BahnCard.
Get a “Baden-Wüttenberg-Ticket” if you are travelling in a group of not more than five people. This is the cheapest way to travel around Baden-Wüttenberg as a group. There are similar tickets for other Bundesländer as well. IMPORTANT: Tickets are valid for a day and can be used from 9am weekdays and midnight on weekends. NOT VALID on express trains, such as ICE, IC and EC (most of these trains are white).
There is also a Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket which runs on similar conditions and allows you to travel through all of Germany during a weekend day.
There is an expanding number of bus connections for travelling distances in Germany. In addition to domestic routes, there is a fast network of international busses. It is an cheap but long (and sometimes painful) way of travelling. Expect traffic jams and many stops along the route. This is the best option if you have time and want to save money. Please note that busses mostly stop in only in big cities, unlike trains. It is best to book bus tickets in advance, as the price rises with the demand. Train fares, on the other hand, rise with time.
In Heidelberg, the long-distance bus stop is found in front of the McDonalds at the main station
Websites to compare/ search:
The most commonly used bus company is meinfernbus/flixbus. You’ll get a few Euros off your first travel with the company if you present your ESN card.
3. Car sharing
A popular way of getting around in Germany is carsharing. Several websites help to find drivers/ fellow passengers.
4. Renting a Car
If your travel with your friends you might consider hiring a car. The services have special deals for the weekend and you normally get new high quality cars. Enjoy your ride on german motorways (Autobahn) without speed limit!
Please note that there are additional charges (which may be very high) if you are under 23 years old!
There are several airports around Heidelberg. Fraport in Frankfurt is the biggest, but cheap airlines like Ryanair normally land at Frankfurt Hahn (Which is not close to Frankfurt!), Stuttgart or Karlsruhe. There are airportshuttles from the main station.
Frankfurt Hahn: Frankfurt Hahn Express leaves several times a day from the main station. It costs 20€ one way or 36 € return, and you don’t need to book in advance
Frankfurt Airport: There is a shuttle service which leaves from a parking lot next to Crowne Plaza and only costs 12.50 € if you book more than 8 weeks in advance. www.transcontinental-group.com/de/frankfurt-airport-shuttles
If you want a fast connection, , there is a good ICE express train between Heidelberg/Mannheim and Frankfurt M Flughafen