Life in Greifswald from A to Z

Life in Greifswald from A to Z


The university and Hanseatic town is located in the northeast of Germany, near to the Baltic Sea coast and the border to Poland.


... by Plane

Greifswald does not have its own airport, but it is not far from large airports such as Hamburg, Berlin or Szczecin (Poland). These airports offer domestic and international flights.


... by Train

Arriving by train is a comfortable way of getting to Greifswald. Greifswald has two train stations: the Südbahnhof in the southern part of the town, close to the new campus and the Hauptbahnhof, from which you can quickly get to the University buildings in the town centre. Both train stations are on the Stralsund-Berlin line and can thus be reached with both the Inter-City and the regional express trains with a direct connection from Berlin.

Deutsche Bahn


... by Car

Greifswald can be reached easily via the Baltic Sea motorway A20.

From the direction of Berlin, exit the A20 at junction 27 towards Gützkow and take the B96 to Greifswald.

If you’re travelling from the direction of Hamburg, take the exit at junction 25 towards Greifswald.


... by Bus

You can also get to Greifswald by long distance coach. You can find offers online.

There are five bus lines in Greifswald. A one-way ticket, valid for 60 minutes, costs € 2.00, and for children under 14, € 1.45. There are also reduced rate family tickets or tickets valid for an entire day, week, month, semester or year (as of 04/2015).


... by Ferry

Those travelling from Scandinavia, i.e. Sweden and Denmark, can arrive at the ports of Rostock and Sassnitz (Rügen). You can then continue your journey to Greifswald by car or train.

Bank Account

EU citizens do not need to open a German bank account, your home bank account will be sufficient for your stay in Germany. Non EU citizens will need to open a German bank account.

Required documents:

  • Registration certificate from the Resident Registration Office

  • Residence permit

  • Passport

  • Rental agreement where appropriate

Before opening an account, it is wise to contact the bank in which you would like to open an account to arrange an appointment.

Bicycle Town Greifswald

One of the most popular ways of getting around Greifswald, is by bike. There are several well established bike lanes and roads.

Bicycles can be bought new from specialist bike shops, or second-hand from different sources. If buying a bicycle, please make sure that the bicycle conforms to the Road Traffic Act (StVO), i.e. lights, reflectors and other safety features must be fitted and in working order. Greifswald’s police carries out safety checks for bicycles regularly, violations can be punished with a fine. As a cyclist, it is also important to comply with the traffic regulations. As applies for car drivers, jumping traffic lights, turning off wrong, drink riding and lots more are all punishable. Additionally, there are certain roads (motorways and pedestrian zones) on which cycling is not allowed.

Furthermore, you should invest in a good bike lock to secure your bike.  Even though there is no law stating you have to wear a helmet, it makes sense to wear a helmet, particularly for cyclists with little or no practice.

We have accumulated a few ideas where you can buy a cheap bike, rent a bike or repair one here:

Cafés und Bars

As a student town and tourism destination, Greifswald offers lots of different cafés and bars for everyone’s taste and budget. The majority can be found in the town centre or the fishing village Wieck. On average, a cup of coffee costs € 1.50. Please note that lots of the smaller shops and cafés only accept cash.

Driving License

In Germany, you need a valid driving license to be able to drive a car, lorry or motorcycle.

Driving licenses attained in EU and EEA countries are also valid in Germany. If you attained your driving license outside the EU or EEA, it is only valid for the first six months of your stay. If you want to drive in Germany thereafter, you will need to attain a German driving license.  Please contact the driving license authority of the Hanseatic town of Greifswald for further information.

More information about the validity of international driving licenses in Germany can be found here: further information

email Address and Connection to the University Network

After enrolling, students receive their study documents per post. These contain the Student ID Card and certificate of enrolment, but also the access details to the University network (username and password). This gives you access to your personal student email account, the University information system (“HIS”) and to further online services at the University.

PhD candidates are able to apply for a University email address before arriving in Greifswald. Ms. Held from the University Computer Centre is responsible for the allocation of email addresses (

Fish Rolls

Various different types of the traditional northern German snack are on offer in Greifswald. Whether classic with sour pickled herring, with salmon or battered. Every visitor should try at least one of these during a visit to our region.

Monuments and Surrounding Area

The region surrounding Greifswald is perfect for lots of different day trips, e.g. to the islands of Rügen or Usedom, or a visit to the abbey ruins in Eldena. The Museum Harbour in the town is also a popular meeting place for the Greifswalders.


After arriving in Greifswald, you will need cash (in Euros) for various tasks.

It is not possible to exchange foreign money into Euros in Greifswald without a bank account. However, you can exchange foreign currencies into Euros at money exchanges in all of the large airports and train stations in Germany.

Additionally, you can withdraw money using a credit card at nearly any ATM. You are informed about the possible costs of withdrawing money before the money is paid out. Please also ask your bank in your home country who issued you the credit card.

Public Holidays

On public holidays, shops like supermarkets, clothes shops and shopping centres are closed.

Liability Insurance

In Germany, everyone is liable for any damages made to third parties. Parents are liable for their children.

Therefore, it is common and very sensible to take out a private (family) liability insurance scheme, to insure yourself against claims which might arise from accidental damage.

If you already have liability insurance in your home country, you should check whether the insurance covers you during your stay in Greifswald.

International Events und Community

Greifswald boasts various international cultural events and community offers.

The most up-to-date information concerning events which are organised by the University’s international institutions, can be found online at “”.

Lots of the events are organised by the International Office itself, the Local Erasmus Initiative (LEI), the Alfried Krupp Institute of Advanced Studies and also by the University’s own institutes.

Annual Events

There are lots of cultural events in Greifswald throughout the year. Nordischer Klang in spring, the Bach Week in early summer, the International Students’ Festival GriStuF and of course the Christmas Market in winter are just some of the highlights. Greifswald's cultural calendar [de]  offers an overview of the events.

Health Insurance

If you want to study or work in Germany, you will need health insurance - you will not be able to enrol at a German university without it. You can find further information on health insurance on the German Academic Exchange Service’s website.

Culture and Leisure

Greifswald’s culture is fed mainly by the productive mix of student and town life. For example, alongside traditional establishments like museums and galleries, there are also alternative art societies like the Polly Faber, alongside a large town theatre ensemble with ballet, musical theatre and actors, there is also the StuThe, the student theatre with improvisation groups and regular performances; and an actor as barkeeper in Café Koeppen, who regularly transforms his café into a stage.

There is a literature centre where important writers can be seen and also a student writers’ association, the GUstAv.

A town with seemingly unlimited possibilities for enjoying culture or for getting actively involved yourself.

You can always find current information on up and coming cultural events at or in the Tourist Information Office in the Town Hall.

The German theatre landscape is part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. We are very proud of our public performance establishments.

Annual events in Greifswald and the surrounding area invite you to come along:

Living Costs

The following list states the monthly costs that are likely to occur during a period of study at the University of Greifswald and can be used as a reference for your budget planning. However, please note that the costs stated are only guideline costs and that these may vary according to your personal needs.

Purpose & Monthly Costs (guideline values)

Room in a hall of Residence (including heating, electricity & water) € 200
Food and drink € 160
Clothes € 50
Health insurance (not applicable for EU citizens) € 80
Study documents € 50
Telephone and internet € 55
Leisure and sport € 50
Total € 645
+ Semester Fee (once per term) € 76
Mensa (Cafeteria) and Snack Bar

Greifswald has two Mensas: One Mensa is in the town centre, am Schießwall 1-4.  It also has a snack bar. The second Mensa is on the New Campus, am Bertolt-Beitz-Platz. There is also a snack bar in the Mensa building and in the University Hospital on the other side of the square.

Night Life

Apart from various bars which are often open into the early hours of the morning, there are several clubs and discos in Greifswald. The student nightclubs, Kiste, Mensaclub, Geographenkeller and Geologenkeller (and the C9 - currently without a permanent location) are at the heart of the nightlife venues. These offer parties with different themes and mottos on various days of the week.


Baltic Sea

The position right next to the Baltic Sea has fashioned the town substantially in several aspects of its history.

This can also be seen in the University’s diverse partnerships with universities from the Baltic Sea Region.

Public Transport

There are three bus lines [de] which interconnect parts of the town. However, you will often be faster by bike.

Greifswald is connected to the surrounding area through various bus and train lines (see “arriving”). If you want to get to know the region by train, regional day tickets for the Usedomer Bäderbahn and the regional trains from Deutsche Bahn are worth it.


Germany is a secular state. However, many of the social conventions and customs are based on the long Christian tradition.

Greifswald has a wide range of religious communities. You can find a list of these communities here.

Once a month, the protestant Johannesgemeinde offers a church service in English.


The University of Greifswald has a wide range of sport activities on offer.

You also have the possibility of joining private sports clubs to play e.g. football, volleyball and lots more or you can join one of Greifswald’s fitness studios. 


There are lots of beaches near Greifswald. The most popular beaches are the Strandbad Eldena (with entrance fee) and the Bodden beach in the seaside resort of Lubmin. Lots of locals and tourists spend there spare time here. Furthermore, the beaches of the local islands of Rügen and Usedom are popular destinations for a weekend or day trip. Most seaside resorts charge daily spa taxes of € 2.00 - € 3.00 in the high season and € 0.50 - € 1.50 in the low season.


The Indigenous Animals Zoo in Greifswald is a lovingly set out park on the edge of the town centre. It is a perfect meeting place for families and has a lot to offer including the various native species, a large playground, a zoo school, a petting zoo and a café.


University Library

The University Library Greifswald (UB Greifswald) is one of Germany’s oldest university libraries. The library is in possession of approximately 3.1 million volumes. The inventory is cross-disciplinary. Subjects which are not taught at the University can also be found here.

The University Library has several separate locations.

University Library

X-mas and Advent

Greifswald is especially festive during Advent. The town centre, lots of restaurants, shops and the University are adorned with Christmas decorations. The Christmas Market opens in the town centre, offering festive snacks and drinks, arts and crafts and fun fair stalls for its visitors, all week from 10.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m.