Beyond Tübingen

At a glance

Although Tübingen is a small city in the countryside, it is easy to travel to anywhere in Germany and Europe. This page summarizes the most common travel options.

You are here: Life in Tübingen Daily Life Getting Around Beyond Tübingen STR Airport

 Although Tübingen is a small city in the countryside, it is easy to travel to anywhere in Germany and Europe. Here we have summarized the most common travel options:

PLANE

Stuttgart airport

Stuttgart International Airport (IATA Code: STR) is only 35 km away and offers direct connections to more than 10 national and 50 international airports. The bus terminal at Stuttgart airport is also a major hub for long-distance buses.

There are several ways to get to Stuttgart airport:

By Car

On a good day or very early in the morning, it takes only about 30 minutes to drive from Tübingen to Stuttgart airport via B27. However, during peak traffic (Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.) it can take up to 2 hours. Stuttgart airport offers many different parking options, most within walking distance.

By Taxi

Many different taxi companies offer rides to Stuttgart airport. While rates vary, the average is about 65 EUR one way.

By Bus

One of the most convenient ways to get to Stuttgart airport is by bus. The Airport Sprinter (Bus number 828, in German only) takes about 50 minutes (taking a more round-about route to avoid potential traffic jams on the B27 highway) and leaves Tübingen's main bus terminal at Europaplatz (at the main train station) once every hour on weekdays and once every two hours on weekends. On weekdays, the bus runs between 4:20 a.m. and 11:30 p.m., weekends between 5:15 a.m. and 10:20 p.m. The bus makes several stops within Tübingen. You can buy your ticket from the driver. Current prices are 7.15 EUR one way, less for BahnCard holders. University student tickets (Semestertickets) are only valid part of the way; you have to buy an additional ticket from Dettenhausen to the airport.

Bus times for the Airport Sprinter can be called up from the English-language naldo website. Simply enter "Stuttgart airport" as your destination. In the search window it will later show "Echterdingen Airport/Fair". As your starting point, you can either enter a bus stop close to your home or the central bus station "Tübingen, Hbf."

By Train

To get to Stuttgart airport by train, you have to get to Stuttgart's main train station (see below on how to get there) and then take the commuter train (S-Bahn). Lines S2 and S3 will take you nonstop from Stuttgart's main train station to the airport in about half an hour. In peak hours, the connection is available every 10 minutes, on weekends only every 30 minutes. The ticket costs 4 EUR.

Frankfurt airport

Frankfurt International Airport (IATA Code: FRA), a major international hub, is located about 240 km from Tübingen. Here are some to the travel options to get there:

By Car

It takes about 2.5-3 hours to drive from Tübingen to Frankfurt Airport via Autobahn A8 (to Karlsruhe), A5 and/or A67 or via A8 (to Stuttgart), A81 (to Heilbronn), A6 (to Walldorf) and the A5/A67. Traffic can be quite congested on these highways, so check the traffic news and plan accordingly. Many different parking options are available at Frankfurt airport. Note: from the cheaper parking lots it may take up to 45 minute on a shuttle bus to get to the airport.

By Train

The train is a convenient and fast way to get to Frankfurt airport. You first have to get to Stuttgart, which will take about one hour, but from there it takes only another 1.5-2 hours to get directly to Frankfurt airport. You can find your connection on the website of Deutsche Bahn.

By Bus

A cheaper, but more time-consuming mode of transport are the long-distance busses. Tickets start at 13 EUR. For details see Long-Distance Bus.

TRAIN

The German passenger railroad system Deutsche Bahn offers rather reliable and affordable transportation from Tübingen to almost anywhere in Germany and even most of Europe.

For long-distance travel, travel times can often rival driving. From Tübingen, the slowest part is the connection to Stuttgart or Horb train stations, where you have connections to high-speed ICE trains. It may take you an hour to get to Stuttgart, but from there you can be in Hamburg in 5.5 hours.

You can purchase tickets online, at ticket machines at the train station, at the service center at the train station (lines may be quite long) or from the free DB Navigator app for your smartphone. Regular open one-way tickets are usually quite expensive, however special rates are available if you travel on weekends, book a specific train at least three days in advance, travel with a companion, want to travel throughout the region, etc. It is often worth following up the savings fares displayed on the website or trying different settings (such as remove the check mark next to "Fast connection preferred"). Another option to keep in mind is the BahnCard, a discount card which for a flat fee offers 25% or 50% off any train travel within a year.

LONG-DISTANCE BUS, or FERNBUS

From Tübingen

Generally, long distance buses are usually cheaper but much slower than trains. Long-distance bus service is also available stopping in Tübingen's main bus terminal at Europaplatz, located right outside the main train station. Tickets must be booked ahead of time, usually online. The prices are significantly cheaper if you book several days ahead of time. You are always guaranteed a seat, because tickets are only sold until the bus is full. If all seats are taken, you may need to wait several hours or a whole day for the next bus.

At present, Flixbus is the only long-distance bus company providing direct service from Tübingen, offering trips to multiple German and international destinations. For example, it may take you only 19 EUR and a little over 9 hours to get to Berlin.

A much larger selection is available from major hubs such as the Stuttgart airport.

meta search engines

Many meta search engines are available which will show several options including different bus lines, car-sharing services such as BlaBla Car, or trains, and often you can set your language and currency preferences as well. Two examples are CheckMyBus and BusRadar, and English-language apps for your smart phone are also available. Just search your app store with the keyword "Fernbus."

SHARED CAR RIDES

Among university students, shared rides are a popular way to travel. Usually, the ride is cheap, a bit more flexible than train or bus, and you get a chance to get to know other people. Rather than taking a chance hitchhiking, you can browse many different websites offering private shared car rides. The websites vary dramatically in the amount of information they provide about the driver and the route, the procedures and amount of personal information you need to submit. In addition to a contribution to the driver's costs, you sometimes pay a minimal service fee to the company.

How to find shared-ride clearinghouses? You can enter "Mitfahrgelegenheit" (shared ride) in your search engine, call up consumer websites listing and comparing shared-ride websites such as vergleich.org or the computer magazine Chip, or use a metasearch engine such as Fahrtfinder.net (all sites in German). Enter your starting point ("Start" or "von") and destination ("Ziel" or "nach") and the date on which you want to travel. Some websites can be set to English at the bottom of the page.

PLANNING AN OUTING? SAVER DAY FARES FOR PUBLICTRANSPORTATION

Special day tickets are available for trips beyond Tübingen, all over the State of Baden-Württemberg or even all over Germany. Depending on the type, they are available from the ticket vending machine on the bus, at sales points or online from the Deutsche Bahn. Tickets can be purchased for an individual or for groups of up to six persons. Children often ride free. Examples include:

MetropolTagesTicket: day pass for nine transport associations around Stuttgart, including Tübingen.

Baden-Württemberg Ticket: day pass for regional trains and most buses all over the State of Baden-Württemberg. Unlimited travel for one day from 9 a.m. until 4 a.m. the following day or starting at midnight on weekends and holidays.

Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket: day pass for unlimited trips in regional trains throughout Germany on the day of your choice Monday to Friday, from 9 am until 3 am on the following day. On the weekend and on national public holidays, all day until 3 am on the following day.

Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket: day pass for unlimited trips in regional trains throughout Germany and some neighboring regions on Saturday or Sunday, all day until 3 am on the following day.

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