Though Ulm is in Baden-Württembergit is just across the border (Donau River) from Bavaria and is thus reachable with that state's Bayern Ticket. This ticket allows single travelers all day access to all but ICE and IC trains within Bavaria for €21. Even better, groups of up to five people can do the same for only €29! The easiest and quickest route is via Augsburg which doesn't involve changing trains and only takes two hours. Going via Memmingen takes about 45 minutes longer and you must change twice. We didn't plan so well on our return trip and got stuck doing the latter which was no fun at night and after two big meals and two brewery visits!
When traveling around Bavaria, your Bayern Ticket generally includes local transport and we assumed this to be the case in Ulm as well so we did not pay for tram tickets from Ulm's main station to Söflingen, where Zur Krone is located. We did not get checked and we were prepared to explain our dilemma over buying a ticket we did not think we needed. Tram tickets are €1.90 each way, a bit steep for less than a 2.5km walk. It was not a particularly scenic route though and if time is a factor, it's well worth paying for the tram. There is a group ticket for €6.20 which is good for up to 5 people for a whole day. This would come in handy for going to the brewery in Neu-Ulm which we walked to as we did not have any bus information. This is about 2.5km in the opposite direction from the station as Zur Krone so you are looking at over 5km from one to the other. Once home, I checked buses and Bus 80 goes from Neu-Ulm train station to Schlössle in Offenhausen (a small suburb next to Neu-Ulm proper). So, if you are in a group, it is well worth shelling out the six Euro for the pass and avoiding a few long tedious treks. It's not much fun walking back to Neu-Ulm station from Offenhausen at night after eating a big meal and drinking a few brews.
Ulm is situated at the crossroads of the A8 motorway (connecting the principal cities of southern Germany, Stuttgart and Munich), and the A7 motorway (one of the motorways running from northern to southern Europe).
It has rather convenient and cheap parking in the centre. We have never had any problems neither in traffic nor in parking at the stadium and in the Altstadt.
You can watch my 7 min 06 sec HD Video Ulm by car in 2009 HD out of my Youtube channel.
You can watch my high resolution photo of Ulm on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 48° 23' 55.71" N 9° 59' 28.65" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Ulm panorama from Munster 3.
When we came to Ulm I've written in my notes 2943 km – the distance on the speedometer of our car which we overcame from Moscow.
But when we came to the Minster square we saw the sign with distances to other well-known cities in the world. We found Moscow and discovered that it is situated 2050 km from Ulm in direct line. So our way from Moscow to Ulm was about 900 km longer…
Ulm lies just off the A8 Autobahn between Stuttgart and Munich. It's one of Germany's most heavily used routes, with frequent delays as a result of roadworks, accidents and the sheer volume of traffic, with cars and trucks from every country in Europe - and beyond - jostling for position on the road. It's a route that old Cliffie now tries to avoid wherever possible when driving to Bavaria or Austria.
During the construction of the Neue Mitte, the new museum and office buildings in the heart of town, a new parking garage was built underneath Neue Straße. This garage, opened in 2006, can well be called the Most Beautiful Parking Garage in Germany.
The walls are decorated with photos of old Ulm and the blue sky. Pedestrians walk on a (painted) red carpet. Behind windows you'll spot excavations of old cellar walls etc.
The garage is huge and provides space for hundreds, if not thousands of cars in closest vicinity to the town centre and the Münster church. Of course it isn't free, but I don't remember the exact fees.
I found this website which has a map of parking lots around Ulm.
Very useful for determining what route to take for a trip to the cathedral.
According to the website, parking is .60 Eurso for 30 minutes.
Ulm is located on the main transport lines of railway and Autobahn, and even is a transport hub.
By Car and Train
Ulm is one of only two ICE stops (Augsburg is the other one) between Stuttgart and Munich. Here you get connections to the trains to Lake Constance (Bodensee), specifically Friedrichshafen, and to the north to Aalen and Crailsheim – where again you can connect to the trains to Nürnberg and further north-east.
The railway station is in the city centre. It is a five minutes walk in a pedestrian street (Hirschstraße) to the cathedral.
You also have a Autobahn clover-leaf intersection outside Ulm, with A8 (Stuttgart – Munich) as the main road in east-west direction, and A7 (Würzburg – Füssen/Lindau) north-south.
The main Autobahn exits are Ulm-West and Ulm-Ost. The Autobahn coming from the south automatically leads into the city (B 10) if you do not choose to bypass Ulm on a stretch of the Munich Autobahn at the intersection Hittistetten.
Travelling by Motorhome
If you arrive by motorhome you can park and dispose of your dump at a carpark near the fair grounds and its main building named Donauhalle. To get there you best leave the Autobahn at the exit Ulm-Ost and follow the signs to the Ulm/Stadtmitte (B 19), then turn left into a suburb named Böfingen. A street named Böfinger Steige meanders some kilometres down the hill towards the Danube. At the very end turn right into Böfinger Straße. This automatically becomes Wielandstraße. The address of the carpark is Wielandstraße 74. From this carpark it is just a two minutes walk to the tramway stop of Donaustadion (which is the city’s main sports ground and stadium). It is also an easy 15 to 20 minutes walk to the centre, and if you carry on walking straight ahead you can stroll along the river. The nicest walk would be to turn left into Stadionstraße at the tramway stop, walk down this road. At the end of the road you are on the banks of the Danube and turn right to the city centre.
The closest airports are Stuttgart and Munich, the nearest budget airlines airports are Friedrichshafen, Memmingen and Augsburg.
For airport transfers at unkind hours I have used a shuttle service named Sommerer door-to-door shuttles several times, and it still exists:
On the Ulm tourist website they also list UlmBus but I have not made any personal experience with that. It seems it is good value if you travel in a bigger group, as the prices they give on their website are for the whole van or bus:
If you are travelling alone or with one companion and they (also Sommerer) have no other passengers on the day you are better off if you use the train or a rental car, or stay near the airport if you have a very early flight.
Costs - an example for airport transfer to Stuttgart for a single person (two people):
With Sommerer you would pay 110 Euro (for one and for two people).
For the train you would pay 24 Euro (48 Euro for two) on the ICE plus 3.20 Euro (6.40) for the local train (S-Bahn) from Stuttgart station to the airport, so 30.40 Euro in total. On a fast regional train it would cost you 16.70 Euro (33.40) plus 3.20 Euro (6.40) for the S-Bahn to the airport, a total of 19.90 Euro (39.80). If you buy the Baden-Württemberg-Ticket (up to 5 people) for 28 Euro, this includes transport on the local train to the airport. (A single ticket would cost 19 Euro, so it is about the same as the second example. Note: Travel is only allowed on regional trains, not on ICE and IC.)
The train trip from Ulm to Friedrichshafen airport would cost you 17.80 resp. 23 Euro. So if you are two or more, get a Baden-Württemberg ticket for the trip.
For transfers from Munich airport you can travel on a Bayern-Ticket. This includes Ulm as a final destination outside Bavaria.
Photo 2 shows the main entrance of the railway station and the escalator and stairs of the underpass to the city.
Trams in Ulm are pretty good although its a crush getting on them at rush hour, so its best to buy a ticket at a machine before you get on the tram. The card you want is a "DING" card, and the weekly is a good bet if you're going to in town for a few days.
The tram route maps are enormous PDF files, available here: http://www.ding.eu/karten-und-plaene/ulmneu-ulm.html
(Google translate is your friend).
I'd suggest printing them out on A3 before you leave if possible.
I think that the easest way to come to Ulm from Stuttgart is by train. You can purchase the Baden-Württemberg -Ticket for 23 Euros and share with five other people. Some tickets purchased at the automats are cheaper than bought at the ticket window. The Baden-Wüttenberg-Ticket is 2 Euros cheaper if you purchase at the automat.
Ulm lies at Germany's longest autobahn A7 (Flensburg-Kempten) and on A8 (Stuttgart-Munich). In the city you easily find parking possiblities. Fees are moderate (€1.00 / hour).