German Phrases for Tourists

Instructor: Jens Bargmann

Jens is a native German and has taught adults both in Germany and in the United States. He holds a doctorate in Philosophy/Ethics.

In this lesson we will learn phrases that will come in handy as a tourist in Germany or any other German-speaking country like Austria or parts of Switzerland. With this lesson under your belt, your trip will go much more smoothly.

Traveling in Germany

Okay, here is a fact about being a tourist in Germany. When you speak to someone over there in German with an American or British accent, chances are they will respond in English. Starting in 5th grade, English is mandatory in pretty much all German schools. And Germans love to practice their English. On the one hand, that's convenient for you, but on the other hand, you may want to practice your German! Let's first look at some words a tourist might use. Next, we'll put them into sentences then look at an example conversation.

Translation: There is much to see in Germany.
Boy looking ahead

Tourist Vocabulary

Vocabulary Pronunciation Translation
der Tourist dehr too-RIST the tourist (male)
die Touristin dee too-RIST-in the tourist (female)
die Reise dee RI-zah the trip
der Flug dehr floog the flight
die Kreuzfahrt dee KROYTS-faht the sea cruise
die Eisenbahn dee I-zen-bahn the train
der Flughafen dehr FLOOG-hah-fenn the airport
der Hafen dehr HAH-fenn the port
der Bahnhof dehr BAHN-hohf the train station
der Koffer dehr KOFF-fehr the suitcase
der Rucksack dehr Rook-suck the backpack
die Karte dee KAR-teh the map
die Postkarte dee POST-kar-teh the postcard
die Briefmarke dee BRIEF-mahr-keh the postage stamp
die Toilette dee toh-LETT-teh the restroom
das Museum dass moo-ZEH-oom the museum
die Sehenswürdigkeit dee ZEH-hence-weur-dig-kyet the tourist attraction
der Arzt dehr ahrtst the physician
das Krankenhaus dass KRUNG-ken-houss the hospital
das Geld dass gellt the money

Example Sentences

  • Ich bin ein Tourist aus Amerika. (I am a tourist from America.)
  • Mein Flug dauerte acht Stunden. (My flight took eight hours.)
  • Wo kann ich Postkarten kaufen? (Where can I buy postcards?)
  • Wie komme ich zum Flughafen? (How do I get to the airport?)
  • Mein Koffer ist sehr schwer. (My suitcase is very heavy.)
  • Wo sind die Sehenswürdigkeiten? (Where are the tourist attractions?)
  • Hast du meinen Rucksack gesehen? (Have you seen my backpack?)
  • Das war eine schöne Reise. (That was a beautiful trip.)

Example Conversation

Let's say you and your friend Marcy are backpacking through northern Germany and have arrived in the medieval city of Lübeck near the Baltic sea. You have just stepped off the train and are discussing what to do next.

The Holsten Gate, a famous northern German landmark

You: Das war eine kurze Reise. Die Eisenbahn war sehr schnell. (That was a short trip. The train was very fast.)

Marcy: Ja. Und das ist ein schöner Bahnhof! (Yes. And this is a beautiful train station.)

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