The Most Useful German Phrases for Travelers and Expats

As you embark on your journey to Germany, mastering basic German phrases will enhance your travel experience and make you feel more at home in this vibrant country.

Whether you’re exploring the historic streets of Munich or savoring traditional dishes in Cologne, being able to communicate in the local language opens doors to cultural immersion and meaningful connections.

In this article, we will delve into the most useful German phrases for travelers and expats, equipping you with essential German greetings, pleasantries, travel vocabulary, and more. Get ready to navigate Germany with confidence and make lasting memories.

Basic German Phrases

These basic German phrases will serve as a solid foundation for your interactions with native German speakers. Especially if you are a tourist or expat looking to make friends in a German-speaking country, knowing some German will make all the difference.


  1. Hallo – Hello
  2. Tschüss– Bye
  3. Auf Wiedersehen – Goodbye
  4. Guten Tag – Good day
  5. Guten Morgen – Good morning
  6. Guten Abend – Good evening
  7. Gute Nacht – Good night
  8. Ich heiße… – My name is…
  9. Mein Name ist… – My name is…
  10. Ich komme aus… – I’m from…
  11. Es freut mich – Nice to meet you
  12. Wie heißt du? – What is your name?
  13. Wie geht es Ihnen? – How are you?
  14. Gut, danke. Wie geht es Ihnen? – Fine, thanks. And you?
  15. Entschuldigung – Excuse me

For more colorful greetings, check out this list of ten funny ways to say “hello” in German.

Basic Manners

  1. Bitte – Please
  2. Danke – Thanks
  3. Tut mir leid – I’m sorry
  4. Ja, bitte– Yes, please
  5. Nein, danke– No, thank you

Useful Everyday Phrases

These additional common German phrases will come in handy in various everyday situations, allowing you to engage in polite conversations and make connections with German speakers.

  1. Wie spät ist es? – What time is it?
  2. Ich möchte bitte… – I would like to… please
  3. Können Sie mir helfen?- Can you help me? (Formal)
  4. Kannst du mir helfen? – Can you help me? (Informal)
  5. Es freut mich, dich kennenzulernen – I’m pleased to meet you
  6. Einen Moment, bitte – One moment, please
  7. Das ist alles, danke – That’s all, thank you
  8. Wie viel kostet das? – How much does this cost?
  9. Ich verstehe nicht – I don’t understand
  10. Wiederholen Sie bitte – Please repeat that

Phrases for Getting Around

These essential phrases will help you navigate transportation options and find your way while exploring Germany.

  1. Wie komme ich zu… – How do I get to…
  2. Wo finde ich den Bahnhof? – Where do I find the train station?
  3. Wo finde ich einen Geldautomaten? – Where do I find a cash machine?
  4. Wo finde ich die Touristeninformation? – Where do I find the tourist information?
  5. Wo finde ich ein Taxi? – Where do I find a taxi?
  6. Wo finde ich eine Toilette? – Where do I find a toilet?
  7. Darf ich bitte vorbei? – Could you let me pass, please?
  8. Wann fährt der nächste Bus? – When is the next bus?
  9. Ich fahre weiter nach… I’m traveling on to…
  10. Ich habe mich verlaufen – I’m lost

Common German Phrases for Eating Out

With these phrases, you’ll be able to confidently place an order in any German-speaking restaurant and communicate your preferences while enjoying the diverse cuisine of Germany.

  1. Ich habe eine Reservierung auf den Namen… – I have a reservation under the name…
  2. Ich hätte gern… – I would like…
  3. …ein Glas Wein – … A glass of wine
  4. …ein Bier – … A beer
  5. …ein Wasser – A water
  6. Die Speisekarte – The menu
  7. Ich bin allergisch gegen… – I am allergic to…
  8. Erdnüsse – Peanuts
  9. Alle Nüsse – All nuts
  10. Schalentiere – Shellfish
  11. Eier – Eggs
  12. Zum Wohl! / Prost! – Cheers!
  13. Guten Appetit – Enjoy your meal
  14. Die Rechnung, bitte – The bill, please
  15. Zahlen – To pay

Before you head to Germany, it’s a great idea to learn more about German cuisine so you can make the most of your time there and sample the traditional delicacies, such as bratwurst (grilled sausage), sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), and pretzels (baked bread in a twisted knot shape).

Handy Phrases for Chatty Tourists

These 5 useful German phrases will come in handy for everyday interactions and help you navigate daily situations in Germany with ease.

  1. Ich bin zum ersten Mal hier – This is my first time here
  2. Bist du von hier? – Are you from here?
  3. Was empfehlen Sie? – What do you recommend?
  4. Nein, hungrig bin ich nicht – No, I am not hungry
  5. Bis zum nächsten Mal – See you next time

Useful German Phrases for Emergencies

Finally, although we hope you are not in an emergency situation, it is always best to be prepared. Below are some common German phrases that will come in handy if you are in an emergency situation.

  1. Hilfe! – Help
  2. Notruf! – Emergency call
  3. Wo ist das Krankenhaus? – Where is the hospital?
  4. Ich brauche einen Arzt – I need a doctor
  5. Rufen Sie die Polizei! – Call the police!
  6. Es gibt einen Unfall – There’s an accident
  7. Ich habe mich verletzt – I’m injured
  8. Wo ist der nächste Feuerlöscher? – Where is the nearest fire extinguisher?
  9. Mein Geldbeutel wurde gestohlen – My wallet was stolen
  10. Ich habe mein Gepäck verloren – I’ve lost my luggage

Why You Should Learn German Travel Phrases

Learning German travel phrases can greatly enhance your travel experience in German-speaking countries. Knowing basic German phrases shows respect and appreciation for the local culture. It opens doors to authentic interactions, making locals more willing to help and guide you.

Learning key phrases like greetings, directions, and ordering food will help you navigate through your trip more smoothly. It minimizes confusion and ensures you can express your needs effectively.

By understanding the language, you gain deeper insights into the local customs, traditions, and way of life. It allows you to connect with the culture on a more meaningful level, enhancing your overall travel experience.

Knowing German travel phrases grants you the independence to explore without relying solely on translation apps or guidebooks. It boosts your confidence to interact with locals and handle unexpected situations.

Learning travel phrases shows your genuine interest in the language and the people. It fosters a sense of appreciation and respect for the country you are visiting, making your travel experience more enriching.

FAQS on German Phrases for Travelers

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to German phrases for travelers and expats.

What are some phrases for expressing opinions in German?

In German, you can use the phrase ich denke… (“I think…”) to express your opinion. Another common phrase is meiner Meinung nach… (“In my opinion…”). Additionally, you can use ich finde… (“I find…”) to share your thoughts and perspectives.

Being able to express your thoughts in German is important for several reasons. It enables effective communication with German speakers, expands your personal and professional opportunities, promotes cultural understanding, and enhances travel experiences

What are the key German phrases when traveling?

When traveling in a German-speaking country, it’s important to know German travel phrases like Entschuldigung (“excuse me”) and können Sie mir helfen? (“can you help me?”) to seek assistance.

Additionally, phrases such as wo ist der Bahnhof? (“where is the train station?”) and wie komme ich zu…? (“how do I get to…?”) are crucial for navigating and finding your way around. Lastly, it’s helpful to be familiar with expressions like danke (“thanks”) and guten Tag (“good day”) to show politeness and engage with locals.

How do Germans express excitement?

Germans express excitement using phrases like das ist fantastisch! (“that’s fantastic!”) or ich bin begeistert! (“I’m thrilled!”). Another common expression is wie toll! (“how great!”) which conveys enthusiasm. Additionally, Germans may exclaim das macht Spaß (“that’s fun”) to show their excitement and enjoyment.

You might see an excited German at a soccer stadium, passionately cheering for their favorite team, or else at Oktoberfest enjoying a beer (or six). Oktoberfest is a traditional Bavarian festival held in Munich, known for its lively atmosphere and ample supplies of beer.

What is a famous German saying?

One famous German saying is alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei which translates to “everything has an end, only the sausage has two.”

This phrase humorously reflects the idea that everything must eventually come to an end. German culture is very sausage-centered, so this phrase mixes a sage truth with a tasty German snack for a comedic result.

Another well-known German saying is Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund, meaning “The early morning has gold in its mouth,” emphasizing the importance of starting the day early and taking advantage of the morning’s potential.

Lastly, kleine Geschenke erhalten die Freundschaft translates to “Small gifts maintain friendship,” emphasizing the value of small gestures in maintaining strong relationships.

Summing Up: The Most Important German Phrases for Travelers and Expats

Congratulations, you are now equipped with the essential German phrases to navigate Germany like a pro.

By mastering basic German expressions, asking for directions, ordering in restaurants, and engaging in conversations about your travels, you’ll find yourself connecting with locals and immersing yourself in the rich German culture.

Remember, practice is key to improving your language skills, so seize every opportunity to speak German during your travels. With these phrases at your disposal, you’re on your way to an unforgettable experience in this beautiful country.