First steps in Germany

Alone at the airport? What do you do at night at the train or bus station? Here you will find "first aid" against disorientation: addresses and tips for the first night.


Es gibt in Hannover drei Haupt-Ankunftspunkte: Den Flughafen, den Hauptbahnhof und den Busbahnhof.

Hannover Airport has three arrival levels where you can get a coffee or a snack around the clock.

Day and night there are taxis outside the door on the ground floor level. But beware. A taxi ride to the city centre costs approximately 20 to 25 Euro. It is cheaper to take the S-Bahn. You will find the S-Bahn station in the basement of the airport, where you can take the S 5 line to the city centre (main station) in about 20 minutes. You can buy a ticket at the ticket machine on the platform. Please choose a ticket for two zones for the journey to the main station. The S-Bahns run every half hour, but not between 0:00 and 5:00 in the morning.

So if you come in the middle of the night, you will have limited transportation options. The hotels at the airport are very expensive. If you want to save money on hotel or taxi fare, you can easily stay overnight in the airport building and drive into the city the next day.

Visit the airport website.

Hannover Central Station is located directly in the city centre. In the main hall on Ernst-August-Platz is the DB Information service point of Deutsche Bahn, where information is available around the clock on all matters relating to rail travel, long-distance and local train timetables, as well as information about the city and its hotels. The station mission provides information and assistance around the clock to travellers and non-locals and looks after travellers in need of help. It is open 24 hours a day. There you can spend the night in peace with a cup of coffee and nice people and start the next day into the adventure Hannover. The station mission is located at the northwest exit of the main station (direction Raschplatz).

To the station mission

The bus station (Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof = ZOB) is located directly at the northwest exit of the main station (direction Raschplatz).

To the website

Extensive information can be found on the Hotels and Accommodation page of The cheapest hotel rooms currently cost around 40.00 euros.

A cheap alternative to the hotel is the youth hostel in Hannover (you can also book online here). The youth hostel is about 3.5 km from the train station. Take the tram / underground line 3 or 7 (direction Wettbergen / Wallensteinstraße) to the stop "Fischerhof" (you need a ticket for one zone). Afterwards you have to walk for about five minutes. The youth hostel is located at Ferd.-Wilh.-Fricke-Weg 1 (see city map). If you have a youth hostel card from your home country, show it (cards from over 60 countries are valid in the youth hostels of the German Youth Hostel Association).

You can find more information about short-term accommodation and about finding a room or flat later on in the section "Accommodation" on the page "Accommodation search".

First steps

If you have any questions about the formalities and the start of your studies, the International Offices of the universities will be happy to help you:

Here are the 6 most important "first steps" that you should take as soon as possible after your arrival.

You have to register at the Aliens' Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) or the Residents' Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt) within seven days. In doing so, you must declare your place of residence. You have not found a permanent place of residence within this period? Then give your temporary address. You have to re-register accordingly when you move.

If you live directly in the city of Hannover, please contact the Foreigners' Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) of the state capital Hannover.

Under certain circumstances, you can also complete the formalities for obtaining a residence permit here (usually step 6). However, it is necessary to make an appointment for this. If you only want to register, no appointment is necessary.

If you live in a place in the Hannover Region outside the city of Hannover, please contact the Residents' Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt) of your place of residence. You can find the towns in the Hannover Region and links to the respective authorities on under Communities in the Region.

In Germany, (regular) payments are usually made by bank transfer. Not only your semester fee, but also rent, telephone, etc. can be transferred easily by bank transfer. Since people in Germany are increasingly paying without cash, an EC card is an advantage anyway.

Many banks and savings banks offer students (or customers up to a certain age) a free current account. There are banks, savings banks and EC cash machines all over Hannover and all over Germany. Find a bank branch conveniently located for you and open an account there. If the account is free for students only, tell the bank that you are a student and submit a certificate of enrolment as soon as possible. In order to keep the free account, you will then always have to present a current certificate at the beginning of the semester.

In order to open an account, you will need - your passport, - your notification of admission and - a confirmation of registration from the Residents' Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt) or the Aliens' Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde).

You can find further information about payment transactions in Germany on the portal "" of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) on the page Money& Bank Account.

Before enrolling at the university, you must pay the semester fee.

Please do not do this from your home country! Foreign bank transfers are often expensive and time-consuming.

You can pay the amount in cash at a bank for a fee. However, it is advisable to transfer the money from your current account. You will receive the transfer form together with your admission letter or at the International Office of your university.

In order to enrol (register at the university), you must have health insurance. You can find detailed information about this in the section "Before you start studying".

Below you will find links to some health insurance companies. If the health insurance companies provide special information portals for students, we have linked to them.

On the websites you can find out where the offices and/or special service facilities for students of the respective health insurance company are located in Hannover.

The deadlines and the place for enrolment (matriculation) can be found in the notification of admission or can be obtained from the International Office of your university.

Please bring the following documents with you: - Passport - Original transcripts (with translation, if necessary) - Notice of admission - Proof of payment of the semester fee - Proof of health insurance

For your study stay in Germany you need a residence permit. You can get this from the foreigners authority responsible for you in the form of an electronic residence permit in chip card format.

If you live directly in the city of Hannover, please contact the Foreigners' Registration Office of the City of Hannover.

For the visit you need to make an appointment in advance.

If you live in a place in the Hannover region outside the city of Hannover, please contact the Foreigners' Registration Office of the Hannover region.

For the residence permit you need the following documents:

  • Tenancy agreement
  • passport
  • a current biometric photo (passport photo)
  • Certificate of enrolment
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of financing (see page proof of financing)
  • Money for the fees

For the extension of your residence permit, you will also need the following documents from the 4th semester onwards:

  • Current certificates of achievement from the Academic Examinations Office and the faculty (confirmation of which achievements you have made so far and which are still required).
  • Certificate about your individual situation from the responsible faculty.

Further information on the electronic residence permit can be obtained from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

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