Public Transportation

kvv (Karlsruhe Verkehrsverbund) is Karlsruhe’s excellent public transportation system.


Timetables for trams and buses are available at kvv information centers at Marktplatz (across from the Rathaus) and outside the main train station. Timetables are located at each tram/bus/train stop. Many stops/stations also have electronic signs indicating which tram/train is next to arrive and when it should arrive.


Riding is on the honor system. When you enter the tram/train be sure to stamp your ticket. If you purchase your ticket in the tram from an automat, there should be a date and time stamped already. On buses you need to show your valid ticket when entering or purchase a ticket from the driver. Occasionally, controllers go through the system and check tickets. If you don't have a ticket, the fine is  €60. If you are a repeat offender, a jail sentence is also possible. The controllers have a "no excuses" policy. They will take down your name and address and you will receive a letter in the mail explaining where to send the fine money. The letter will also tell you where to go or who to talk to if you feel the warning and ticket were not correct.

Purchasing Tickets

The kvv has a number of ways to purchase tickets:

The kvv information centers at Marktplatz and Bahnhof sell tickets.

At many stops, and in many trams and trains, there are ticket buying automats, which accept both coins and paper money. The new red automats accept credit and debit cards for certain purchases.

Tickets may be purchased on-line and printed out at home. This service is only available for day tickets, monthly tickets and Studikarte (for those studying at KIT). You must first register with the system. Information (in German) available here.

Purchase your ticket with your mobile phone. Information in English is available here. If controlled, you must show your phone.

Touch and Travel is an App available here. You must first register with the system. Before you start your journey log into the system to determine your starting point. At your destination, log into the system again to determine your end point. There are "touch points" at all stops - usually near the timetables. Your fare will be automatically calculated and directly deducted from the bank account information you provide when registering. The advantage of this system is that it works across many transportation systems including Deutsche Bahn. For a list of the area of validity, see here. If controlled, you must show your phone.


During the next years, the center of Karlsruhe will continue to be a construction site as a brand new subway is being built — estimated time of completion 2020! In the meantime, be patient and look for signs at the tram/bus stops for any detours and changes in the timetable. In spite of the construction, most of the public transportation continues to work efficiently and without major interruptions — a technological masterpiece in the making!

Maps of the public transportation system are available on the kvv website.