Advisor for international doctoral candidates and researchers

Inger Zychla

+49 (0)441 798-2740

Linda Book

+49 (0)441 798-2156

Service for international researchers

Christiane Rochner

+49 (0)441 798-4594

Face-to-face office hours:

On demand

Our team of tutors for international doctoral candidates offers help and support with all general questions and about life in Oldenburg. The tutor team can be reached at

Getting around in Oldenburg

There are many options to explore Oldenburg and its surroundings by public transport or by bicycle. Also, carpooling and car sharing have become popular among locals. In case you come to Oldenburg by car or would prefer to purchase a vehicle here, we provide some information on that as well.

Public transport

Germany has a dense and modern public transport network. Most travel destinations can be easily reached by railway, bus, tram or underground train.

Deutsche Bahn operates the main railway network throughout Germany with long, medium and short-distance services. Tickets can be purchased at ticket machines, at ticket counters, or online at You can save a lot of money by taking advantage of special offers, e.g. Saver Fare (Sparpreis) for advance bookings, several BahnCards (rail cards) that include discounts of 25, 50, or 100 % on the regular price (especially for frequent business travellers), regional day tickets such as the Niedersachsen-Ticket (Lower Saxony-Ticket) that give you one day of unlimited rail travel across Germany on weekends or unlimited travel throughout Lower Saxony on any day for up to 5 persons, i.e. the more people, the lower the price. For last-minute getaways we recommend comparing prices online for example at LTUR (in German), which provide a limited amount of cheap rail tickets for Deutsche Bahn.

Intercity buses operate throughout Germany and connect many larger cities. Intercity bus services are less expensive than rail travel. Many providers offer a seat guarantee and free WiFi (aka WLAN). Some intercity bus services also operate in Oldenburg and Bremen. Tickets can be purchased online or, in some cases, on the bus.

The Oldenburg bus network (VWG) covers the entire city, the outskirts and the surrounding areas. It has a service office at Lappan (bus stop of the same name) in the city. Another sales point is located at ZOB (Zentraler Omnibus-Bahnhof), at the northern exit of the central station. Tickets can be purchased at the service office, at the sales point, at ticket machines located at certain bus stops, or on the bus.

Taxis are rather expensive in Germany and generally used only when absolutely necessary. The total price is made up of a basic fee plus mileage. Tipping etiquette for taxi rides includes rounding up to an even number.


As everything in Oldenburg is within easy reach, cycling is possibly the best (and most popular) mode of transport in the city. It is also an effective and eco-friendly alternative to public transport or taxis. Cycling can even be a faster way of getting around than taking the bus, as Oldenburg offers an unusally extensive network of safe cycle paths and designated cycle lanes on roads and cycle routes in its surrounding areas, and land flatness is luckily a typical feature of the land in Northern Germany. You may be avle to hire a bike from your host, or you can hire one at the University's Do-It-Yourself bicycle repair shop (6 € per week, 20 € per month), which also offers free assistance with repairs and inexpensive spare parts. If you would like to purchase a second hand bicycle, check the advertisements in the Nordwest Zeitung (NWZ) every Tuesday and Saturday, try ebay, go to a local bicycle dealer, or ask the staff at the DIY bicycle repair shop.

Carpooling and car sharing


If you prefer to travel by car rather than by public transport, carpooling may be a great option. Car owners register online with a car sharing network such as Blablacar (also operating in Germany) and offer empty seats in their cars to people travelling the same route as they do. As a passenger you pay the driver in advance or upon departure. The amount you pay will be agreed between you and the driver, but is usually based on mileage. Please note that terms and conditions are agreed solely between the driver and the passenger, so you use carpooling servives at your own risk. The networks assume no liability.

Car sharing

Car sharing is a smart way to get around and a great addition to bus, railway, bicycle, and cars. You join a car-sharing company or club and apply for membership. You can choose the vehicle according to your own requirements, e.g. for a few hours in the city, a trip over the weekend or a long journey. Rental rates include a monthly rate or a charge for single trips based on the duration and mileage of your journey.

Your private vehicle

Many visiting scientists and researchers come to Germany by car or purchase one upon arrival. Temporary stays of up to 6 months do not entail much bureaucracy; your driving licence, car registration plates, car documents, car tax and car insurance remain valid in Germany for that period (as your car remains registered in your country of residence), though your documents may need to be translated. However, if you stay here for more than 6 months or change your place of residence there are a few things you need to be aware of.

EU/EEA citizens

In January 2013 a new European driving licence was introduced as a standardised alternative to the various driving licence models in EU member states with their different categories and validity periods. All driving licences issued in an EU member state remain valid in Germany even upon change of residence.

Citizens of other countries

If you change your place of residence, or stay in Germany for more than 6 months, you need to exchange your national driving licence for a German one. After six months your national driving licence will lose its validity in Germany. If you stay here for only 7-12 months, the validity may be extended by the local vehicle registration authority, but this requires proof of residence duration (e.g. an employment contract, scholarship). Please note that some foreign nationals need to take a full or partial driving test (theory and/or practical) due to different procedures and requirements for passing a driving test in their home country. We recommend that you contact the local authorities ahead of your arrival.

If you have obtained an international driving licence, it is only valid in combination with your national driving licence, so make sure you always carry both documents when driving. Please also note that international driving licences are valid for only three years.

Car registration

If you change your place of residence, you need to register your car at the local vehicle registration office and get a German registration plate. If you are staying in Germany for less than 12 months you will not be required to get a German licence plate. In Oldenburg, you need to go to the Bürgerbüro Nord, which you can also contact for further information, for example on motor vehicle tax. You need to provide valid proof of car insurance coverage, including third party liability car insurance, as well as a valid certificate confirming that your car passed the test for vehicle safety, roadworthiness, and exhaust emissions (you may need a Certificate of Conformity).

Information on car purchase, validity of driving licences in EU countries and more at:

(Changed: 19 Jan 2024)  | 
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