useful German travel phrases

100+ German Travel Phrases And Words To Know Before You Visit Germany PDF

Let me start by saying that you don’t really have to learn German if you are planning to travel to Germany. I believe it’s pretty easy to travel in Germany without speaking German. Not all Germans speak good English, but as a tourist, you probably won’t have problems in tourist spots as the staff usually speaks English and often even other foreign languages like French, Spanish, Italian etc. Maybe if you travel to some less popular tourist places, some basic German skills can be handy.

And if you just want to learn a few basic German greetings and phrases, it will be appreciated by German speakers. Everyone likes it when you make an effort and talk to them in their native language. Besides, the phrases that you need as a tourist are pretty basic, so it can be fun to practice speaking German even if you are a beginner.

You can learn a few useful German phrases before you travel to Germany or just download and print this PDF or save it to your phone and use it whenever you need it during your trip to Germany.

The prases below include:

  • German Greetings and basic expressions
  • Simple questions
  • Basic German phrases for shopping
  • Some phrases for eating out: how to order food in German and ask for special requests( if you are vegetarian, vegan etc) and pay the bill 
  • A short list of German food words (if the restaurant doesn’t have an English menu)

I didn’t include the phases about introducing yourself in German on this list, because I feel you don’t really get to talk to people often as a tourist unless maybe you are traveling alone. But if you want to learn how to introduce yourself in German, check out this post (also downloadable PDF):

How to introduce yourself in German 

All German phrases on this list are in a respectful “Sie” form because this is what you usually have use when you address strangers.

Download 100+ useful German phrases and words for travel PDF

Basic German expressions and greetings

1. Hallo! – Hi!

2. Guten Morgen! – Good Morning!

3. Guten Tag! – Hello!

4. Guten Abend! – Good Evening!

5. Auf Wiedersehen! – Goodbye!

6. Tschüß! –  Bye!

How to say ‘Goodbye’ in German in 20 different ways

7. Schönen Tag noch! – Have a nice day!

8. Schönes Wochenende! – Have a nice weekend!

9. Ja – yes

10. Nein – no

11. Bitte – please/you are welcome

12. Danke – thanks

13. Danke schön – thank you very much

14. Vielen Dank – thanks a lot

15. Entschuldigen Sie – excuse me

16. Entschuldigung – Excuse me/sorry

A few questions that you can use to ask about things and places:

17. Wo finde ich …? – Where can I find …?

18. Wo ist ….? – Where is …?

19. Haben Sie …? – Do you have …?

Basic German vocabulary for shopping

When you are in a store, you might hear a shopping assistant ask you:

20. Kann ich Ihnen helfen?  – Can I help you?

If you just want to look around, you can answer:

21. Danke, ich schaue nur.Thanks, I am just looking.

Or ask some questions if you need help:

22. Wie viel kostet das? – How much is this?

23. Haben Sie das in Größe …?  – Do you have this in a size …?

Everyday German: The Only 10 German Phrases I Use in Daily Life


Phrases for eating out

Here are some useful German phrases that you can use in cafes and restaurants:

24. Einen Tisch für (zwei/drei/vier), bitte.  – A table for (two/three/four), please.

25. Ich habe einen Tisch reserviert.  – I reserved a table.

26. Ich hätte gern … – I would like …

27. Ich möchte … – I would like …

28. Zum Wohl! – Cheers!

29. Prost! – Cheers!

30. Guten Appetit!  – Enjoy your meal!

31. Wo ist die Toilette? – Where is the bathroom?

32. Herren/Männer – men

33. Damen/Frauen – women

These words will help you to understand the menu if the restaurant has the menu only in German language. 

34. die Speisekarte – menu

35. das Essen – food

36. das Gericht(e) – dish(es)

37. das Hauptgericht(e) – main dish(es)

38. das Tagesgericht – the meal of the day

39. die Vorspeise(n) – starter(s)

40. der Nachtisch – dessert

41. das Frühstück – breakfast

42. das Mittagessen – lunch

43. das Abendessen – dinner

44. vegetarisch – vegetarian

45. laktosefrei – lactose-free

46. glutenfrei – gluten-free

47. gebraten – fried

48. gekocht – cooked, boiled

49. das Fleisch – meat

50. das Rindfleisch – beef

51. das Schweinefleisch – pork

52. das Hähnchen – chicken

53. der Fisch – fish

54. der Lachs – salmon

55. das Obst – fruit

56. das Gemüse – vegetables

57. die Kartoffel(n) – potato(s)

58. die Karotte(n) / die Möhre(n) – carrot(s)

59. der Pilz(e) – mushroom(s)

60. die Paprika – bell pepper

61. die Zwiebel(n) – onion(s)

62. die Bohnen – beans

63. die Erbsen – peas

64. die Soße – sauce

65. das Salz – salt

66. die Suppe – soup

67. der Käse – cheese

68. die Wurst – sausage

69. das Getränk(e) – drink(s)

70. alkoholfreialcohol-free

71. der Saft – juice

72. das Wasser – water

73. der Sprudel – sparkling water

74. stilles Wasser – still water

75. die Milch – milk

76. das Bier – beer

77. der Wein – wine

78. der Weißwein – white wine

79. der Rotwein – red wine

80. der Sekt – sparkling wine

81. der Tee – tea

82. der Kaffee – coffee

83. der Zucker – sugar

84. mit – with

85. ohne – without

Special food requests:

86. Ich bin Vegetarier/in.I’m vegetarian.

87. Ich bin Veganer/Veganerin. –  I am vegan.

88. Ist das glutenfrei?  – Is this gluten-free?

89. Haben Sie vegetarisches/veganes Essen?  – Do you have vegetarian/vegan food?

90. Haben Sie vegetarische/vegane Gerichte? – Do you have vegetarian/vegan dishes?

91. Ist das Gericht glutenfrei/vegetarisch/vegan? – Is the dish gluten-free/vegetarian/vegan?

Many restaurants offer food and drinks to take away, so they might ask you:

92. Zum hier essen oder zum mitnehmen? – To eat here or to take away?

93. Zum hier trinken oder zum mitnehmen? – To drink here or to take away?

94. Zum mitnehmen, bitte. – To take away, please.

95. Zum hier trinken/essen. – To drink/eat here.

Paying the bill

When you finish eating and want to pay, you can say:

96. Die Rechnung, bitte.  – The check, please.

97. Kann ich mit Kreditkarte zahlen?Can I pay with credit card?

98. Kann ich bar bezahlen?Can I pay cash?

99. Ich möchte bitte zahlen. – I would like to pay, please.

100. Möchten Sie getrennt oder zusammen zahlen?Do you want to pay together or separately?

101. Zusammen oder getrennt? – All together or separately?

102. Zusammen, bitte. – Together, please.

103. Getrennt, bitte.Separately, please.

How to say “I don’t understand” in German

104. Ich verstehe nicht.  – I don’t understand.

105. Können Sie bitte wiederholen? – Can you repeat please?

106. Sprechen Sie Englisch?  – Do you speak English?

107. Ich spreche nur ein wenig Deutsch.  – I only speak a little German.

108. Ich kann nicht (so gut) Deutsch sprechen.I can’t speak German (very well).

109. Ich spreche kein Deutsch. – I don’t speak German.

100+ German travel phrases and words PDF

I hope these phrases will be useful for your trip and enjoy your time in Germany!

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