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Getting started

The science community in Tübingen has put together a website with detailed up-to-date information about moving to and living in Tübingen.
Here you will find a summary of topics of special interest to our PhD students.

1. Registration in the City of Tübingen

Within one week of arriving in Tübingen, you are required to register at the city office. You will receive a registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung).
Bürgeramt Tübingen 

Schmiedtorstrasse 4
72074 Tübingen
Phone: +49-7071-204-2020
Fax: +49-7071-204-2222 

Office hours: Mon-Fri 7:30-13:00; Tue-Thurs 7:30-18:00

Next, you must apply for a Residency Permit (Aufenthaltsgenehmigung).
 During your first visit, you will be handed forms and be given another appointment to present several additional documents which are presented here:
  • the copy of the registration certificate;
  • documentation of your health insurance (see also "3. Health Insurance");
  • copy of your PhD contract with MPI or FML;
  • a residential address (see also "2. Accomodation");
  • a passport photo 
At the end of your stay in Tübingen, you should inform the Ausländerabteilung. This notification is not a requirement for leaving Germany, but if you should decide to return to Germany in the future, such a notice will save you a lot of time and paperwork.
You can submit this notification by mail even after you have already left.

2. Finding Accommodation

A. Temporary housing
- On campus:
For the first days or weeks you may be able to get a room at the Max Planck Guest House. Reduced rates apply when rooms are rented for more than 2 weeks. If you are interested in reserving a room at the Max Planck Guest House during your search for a permanent place to stay, please get in touch with the information desk at  Max-Planck-Haus (at) or (+49) 07071-601-765.
- Off campus:
Private guest houses or rooms available in Tübingen and surrounding towns are listed at

B. Permanent housing
Locating off-campus housing in Tübingen is a task that may require several weeks.
A good source for finding apartments is the local newspaper “Schwäbisches Tagblatt” that is released every Wednesday and Saturday. 
For shared flats, check

or the University blackboard

Another possibility is to apply for a room in a student housing. For this alternative you have to be enrolled at the University of Tübingen and should contact:
Studentenwerk Tübingen-Hohenheim, Frau Fischer  isabell.fischer[at]

3. Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory in Germany. You must be covered by insurance from your home country or special travel insurance when you are entering Germany with your temporary visa.
You will be able to apply for statutory or private health insurance when you receive your stipend letter or contract. The personnel department has information about many health insurance providers from which you can choose.

4. Finances

It is necessary to open a regular account –Girokonto at a local or online bank. 
Paying with an EC card is widely accepted in Germany. Credit cards are less common, though accepted in some stores. Some regular monthly payments – rent, insurance, telephone bills - can be made through direct money transfer from one bank account to another (also possible online). You can also use your card to recharge your pre-payed mobile phone, or to pay your bus ticket on the bus. Your bank can explain the various services available when you set up your account.

 Most banks in Germany charge for their services (around 5E/month), you can avoid these extra charges by registering as a student in the University. All banks are closed on weekends, however you can always use the ATMs (cash machines) which can be found all over the city and are open 24 hours every day. Using the ATM from a bank different than the one you have your account in, will be charged with a fee (consider this when you choose your bank). You can also encash Travelers' Checks at the main post office –Hauptpostamt which is open on Saturday from 8.00 am to 12.30 pm.

5. German Language Courses

If you want to learn German, then there are a lot of options you can choose from:
A. On campus: 
Vivat Lingua offers German language courses regularly on and off campus. The courses are advertised around the institute. Please contact the PhD Program Coordinator fur further details.
B. Off campus:
- University of Tuebingen: The University offers various courses in German language, including foreign language courses. To participate you will have to take a test that will determine the course most suitable for you. You can find more information here.
- Volkshochschule Tuebingen: This school aims to provide education to every person in the city. The courses are suitable also for employed people, which means that you can find classes that are held in the evening. You can find the website here.
With a certificate verifying regular attendance, you can be reimbursed up to 80% of the course fees.

6. Transportation in Tübingen



  • Driving: Your foreign driver’s license is usually valid for the first 6 months of your stay in Germany. Non-EU licenses have to be converted in due time. 
  • Buses: If you do not have a car don't worry, being a university town, Tuebingen has a very good bus service facilities.  If you are registered at the University you might also consider to get a semester ticket. More information about buying the bus tickets in Tuebingen can be found here (The prices might be a bit higher than mentioned on the website). There is also a webpage and phone application that will allow you to directly purchase bus tickets and check bus schedules: and
  • Taxi: You can also travel late hours with the SAM or –Sammeltaxi– (Tel: 07071/34000). More information can be found here.

7. Weather

German climate is almost as varied as its country but mostly temperate or marine. Extreme temperature lows and highs are rare. Winter temperatures vary from west to east, with about freezing temperatures in the west and well below freezing in eastern Germany.
 Summer temperatures are typically between 20 and 35°C, with more rainfall during the summer. Frequent changes of weather make prognosis difficult.

8. German Post

Tübingen's main post office is located near the railway station at Europaplatz 2. You can also get all of their services online (including printing stamps and shipping labels) at

9. Telephone calls...

can be made from all phone booths. Long distance calls to places outside Germany can be made from phone booths marked by a green sign, and from metered phones in the post office. Reversed charges calls cannot be made from phone boxes. 
There are not many coin operated telephone booths around. Most of them need calling cards which may be bought at Deutsche-Telekom centres, some corner shops and even at the post office. is a practical website that provides prefixes made available by private telecommunication companies. Dialled before a country-code (if calling international) or before the city-code (local calls) makes a considerable difference in the tariffs. 

Pre-paid calling cards can also be bought at telephone shops at some corner shops. You can use these cards to call within Germany as well as internationally from any telephone.
Mobile contracts or prepaid cards can be bought from the following providers:
Vodafone: Neckargasse 1
O2: Neckargasse 11 and Ammergasse 2
Deutsche Telekom: Neckargasse 27 and Marktgasse 8
E-Plus: Am Markt 3

10. Shopping

All shops are closed on Sundays.  However, gas stations are usually open and also provide groceries.
There are some shops near the Institute, which you can find here.

11. German electrical appliances

German electrical appliances operate at a 230 Volt current. Although some radios, electric shavers, etc., may already be adapted for 230 Volts, many foreign (Japanese, American, ...) appliances will need a transformer, not just a converter for the plug! Check your appliance before plugging it in. If it says 100-240 V on it, you can use it. Otherwise, use a transformer.

12. Laundry

There are washing machines provided at the institute for laundry; furthermore, there exist public self-service laundries in the city.

13. Useful links and telephone numbers

Tübingen University:
University library:
City library:
Local Newspaper:
German English online dictionary:
International calling codes & time zones:
German railway enquiry:
Youth hostel, Tübingen:
Information (domestic):  118833
Information (foreign):  118834
Fire and medical emergency:  112
Police:    110 

14. Recicling and waste disposal information

In Tuebingen, waste is separated before being collected. This page explains how to separate and where to dispose waste in the city. 
In order to track waste collection dates, you can access the official page and also download the app here.