English to German Travel Phrases

You will need a set of English to German Travel Phrases, if you plan to travel to Germany any time soon.

Here you will find all the essential phrases and basic German words used just in Germany, with regional variations.

If you are traveling to Austria, I have compiled a translator and guide for Austrian-German to English words for travelers. A Swiss-German version will follow suit.

English to German Travel Phrases pin image

Disclosure: My wife, an Austrian native, helped me in compiling this list of German travel phrases and words .

📕 What is German in Germany?

People in Germany mainly speak flat German, which is also known as standard German (Standdartdeutsch) or high German (Hochdeutsch).

Efforts were made in the past to uniform the German language in German schools. However, dialects and “German languages” exist in Germany as well.

Some are easier to understand than others, as they are closer related to the flat high German. Austrian-German and Swiss-German are a stark contrast to that, Bavarian German, for example resembles Austrian-German.

So, on your travelers across Germany, you will notice a change of dialects and pronunciations, but the German travel phrases in this guide will cover all your needs!

🗨️ Pronunciation Notes

German is pronounced phonetically. That means, you speak and read the way you write. Spanish, is another phonetic language and it works the same way. You speak as you write, word by word, always the same.

Pronouncing the alphabet in German is different from English. Learn how to pronounce each alphabet in German.

The letter ß is a double ss. It’s a sharp ss, and you just need to pronounce two ss (like a stretched s, snake sound)

Ä is also spelled Ae, Ü is spelled Ue and Ö as Oe.

Germany, just like Austria and Switzerland, has also dialects, but there is less of a difference between the regions.


Some people pronounce the same words differently or have different words in the south vs. the north.

A good example is “Hello”. People in the North will say “Moin” or “Moin Moin”, people in the South say “Servus” or “Grüß Gott”.

🙋 Casual Day to Day Phrases

These are all casual day-to-day sentences used by native German speakers and English to German travel phrases. It also includes greetings and a few vulgar common words (you have to be realistic, Germans cuss like everybody else).

Hello, to greet someoneHallo, Grüß Gott and Servus (the first is formal and the latter casual, more common in the south), Moin or Moin Moin (more common in the North)
Good-byeTschüss, Adieu, Ade (casual), Auf Wiedersehen, auf Wiederschauen (kind of polite, the latter is south eastern), Lebewohl (a goodbye forever or for a longer period of time)
Nonkein, keine, keiner (the one to pick depends on female, male neutral)
Yes and NoJein, when you want to say that something is a yes and a no at the same time.
Thank youDanke, Danke schön, Vielen Dank or Herzlichen Dank (many thanks)
PleaseBitte or Bitte schön
You are welcomeBitte schön or Bitte sehr (Yep, the same word as please), Gern geschehen
Excuse me Entschuldigung or Entschuldige Bitte (normal chat), Entschuldigen Sie bitte or Verzeihen Sie bitte (polite), Sorry (used in cities by younger folks)
My pleasure/GladlyGerne
GoodGut, Jut (a variation used up in the north)
Good morningGuten Morgen
Good day or Good afternoonGuten Tag/ Guten Nachmittag
Good eveningGuten Abend
Good nightGute Nacht
Have a good timeViel Spaß
Enjoy your mealGuten Appetit, some regions use an Guaden or simply Guaden.
Good luckAlles Gute, Viel Glück, Viel Erfolg
I love youIch liebe dich (informal), Ich liebe Sie (for those rare ones sticking to a polite tone)
Happy birthdayAlles Gute zum Geburtstag, Alles Gute zum Burzeltag (a fun version of the first)
Merry ChristmasSchöne Weihnachten, Frohe Weihnachten, Fröhliche Weihnachten
Happy new yearSchönes neues Jahr, Einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr
CheersProst (more common in the south), Prosit (a northern thing), Zum Wohl (can be used as well)
Fuck, Fuck youYou don’t really use that word the same way as you would just say “fuck” to express disdain or surprise in German. People just use the english”Fuck” in that case. Fuck you, on the other hand, has a translation, “Fick dich” or “du kannst mich mal”. 🙂
Shut upHalts Maul, Halt den Mund, Halt die Klappe,
Bless youGesundheit! or Zum Wohl! (to wish good health after sneezing), there is no translation for the southern “Bless y’ll”
Check PleaseDie Rechnung bitte, die Quittung bitte, Kann ich bitte zahlen.
Keep the changeStimmt so.
See you LaterBis später
No ProblemKein Problem

🍺 Food, Restaurants, Hotel, Shopping

A set of Food, Restaurant, Hotel, and Shopping related words to help you on your trip to Germany.

Tip: German Food Lovers will appreciate the Oktoberfest Food Guide or the Austrian German and High German to English Food Translation.

1 quart (liter) beer glassMaß (in Bavaria and Austria),
Mulled WineGlühwein
Shandy (beer and lemonade mix)Alsterwasser (northern Germany), Radler (southern Germany and Austria)
Fruit Juice mixed with Soda or SpriteSchorle (may also refer to an alcoholic Spritzer in some parts of Germany)
PretzelBretzel, Breze (South-Eastern Germany)
Meat CutletSchnitzel, Pork Schnitzel is German, and Veal Schnitzel is the Austrian Wiener Schnitzel
DumplingsKnödel (can be sweet or savory)
PotatoKartoffel, some people in the south might use the Austrian-German Erdäpfel
French FriesPommes or Pommes Frites (the first is pronounced phonetically, the later the French way)
CakeKuchen (a simple cake), Torte (a layered cake)
CookieKeks (south Germany), Plätzchen or Gebäck (north),
Jam or Custard filled DoughnutBerliner, Krapfen (Southern Germany and Austria)
ChickenHähnchen or Hühnerfleisch (food), Huhn or Hühnchen (animal), Hendl (south-eastern Germany and more Austrian-German)
PorkSchwein or Schweinefleisch
BeefRind or Rindfleisch
To be allergicallergisch
Lunch, midday mealMittagsessen, Lunch (city people have picked up the english word), Mittagsbrot (regional)
Dinner, evening meal, supperAbendsessen, Abendbrot (regional), Nachtmahl
MenuSpeisekarte, Menu
Restaurant, InnGaststätte, Gaststube, Gasthof, Lokal, Restaurant, Wirtshaus (more common in the south),
BarTheke, Bar, Ausschank, Schank, Schenke,
Beer garden/hallBiergarten/Bierhalle
Toilet/RestroomsWC, Toiletten,
a NightEine Nacht
AC (Air Conditioning)Klimaanlage (not a common thing in Germany)
HotelHotel, Gasthof (use interchangeably with local restaurant), Herberge, Pension,
Flat, holiday homeWohnung, Ferienwohnung (sometimes shortened as FEWO)
EntranceEingang (for walking)/Einfahrt (for car)
ExitAusgang (for walking)/Ausfahrt (for car)
Shop, Grocery Shop, SupermarketGeschäft, Supermarkt
Cash Counter, Check-out, Register, Pay deskKasse, Theke, Schalter,
Christmas marketWeihnachtsmarkt
LederhosenSouthern (Bavarian) traditional leather pants for men. People wear them at fairs (Yes, nowadays also a few women). Also common in Austria.

DirndlMeans a girl in Bavaria, but it’s also a south german traditional dress. Typically, nowadays only worn at folks festivals and weddings.
Credit CardKreditkarte
Debit CardEC-Karte
CashBar, Bargeld
ATM, Cash MachineBankautmat, Geldautomat, Geldausgabeautomat
Post OfficePost
Tourist InformationTouristeninformation

🚕 Other Useful Words

A mix of essential English to German words. This includes words that you will need in emergency and basic day-to-day words that you might need or come across on your travels.

AmbulanceKrankenwagen, Ambulanz, Rettungswagen
Fire BrigadeFeuerwehr, Löschzug,
HospitalKrankenhaus, Klinik, Hospital, Spital (sometimes used in Southern Germany)
DoctorArzt, Doktor, Medeziner
Above/On Topoben
Down/At the Bottomunten
Hotheiss, heiß
CarefulAchtung! Hab Acht!
StopStopp!, Halt!
City CenterStadtzentrum, Zentrum
Streetcar, TramStraßenbahn, Tram, Bahn
Metro, Tube, subwayU-Bahnsubway
TicketFahrkarte, Ticket
Train StationBahnhof
TrainZug, Bahn
StationStation, Haltestelle
CarAuto, Wagen
Highway, FreewayAutobahn
FriendFreund (can mean platonic friend or male boy friend)
DarlingSchatz, Liebling (used for your lover but also for your beloved child)
Woman, WifeFrau
Man, HusbandMann
GirlMädchen, Mädel (Southern Germany)
BoyJunge, Bub (Southern Germany)
Mobile Phone, Cell PhoneHandy (yep, pronounced just like the English handy)

🧭 Places, Geographical Terms

Most places in Germany have the same name in English, such as Berlin and Hamburg. But some places in English have different names in German, and I’m covering those here.

You will also find basic geographical terms here.

Black ForestSchwarzwald
Rhine (river)Rhein
Danube (river)Donau
USAVereinigten Staaten von Amerika, or just Amerika
Great BritainGroßbritannien

💡 Tips

  • Use please “Bitte” in every sentence when you ask for something. It is considered polite, and it will make your life easier.
  • People still use a polite version of addressing strangers and people they don’t know. It’s mostly apparent with the word “Sie” (not the female she – sie, which is different and written small). Sie is used until the person, or you, offers the You, in German called the “du”. This is also known as “Dutzen” (to address you with the casual you pronoun).
  • Many German cities use Berg (mountain), Burg (fort) or Brücke (bridge) in the cities name, such as Nuremberg or Hamburg or Osnabrück. It’s an indication of the history of the city and/or its location. i.e Nuremberg sits on a small mountain.
  • People in Germany don’t always understand English, especially the older generations. In that case, use some basic German phrases or simple words to make them understand what you want.
  • German language has different variations for the article THE. It can get confusing and that can only be covered in an advanced German lesson, but what you need to know is that there is always a male, female and neutral article. I.e. Der, Die, Das.
English to German Travel Phrases pin picture