Everything you need to know about Germany. This is a brief summary of the most important facts, covering everything from airports and visa info, to weather.
Germany's major airports, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Düsseldorf and Hamburg, ensure the country is well connected both nationally and internationally. Find the connection that best suits your needs with airlines such as Lufthansa or Air Berlin.
The euro has been legal tender in Europe since the beginning of 2002. One euro equals 100 cents. It is no longer necessary to change money or convert various European currencies' exchange rates if you are traveling either within or to countries within the euro zone. The euro and foreign currency and other forms of payment can be brought into and taken out of Germany without restriction.
Opening hours are determined by the individual banks, and can vary greatly although no branches stay open later than 6pm and on Saturdays and Sundays all banks are closed. Many banks have a foyer with ATMs which can be accessed 24 hours a day.
Modern cash machines accept a variety of German and international debit and credit cards. The airports and major railway stations have electronic currency changing machines which can be used to exchange foreign currency for euros. Credit cards are not universally accepted, particularly in smaller outlets.
The main language is German, of course. However, you should be aware that there are many different regional accents and dialects, although High German is understood everywhere. Many Germans also speak good English, so there should not be any language barriers for foreign visitors.
Hospitals in Germany include university medical centers offering the very highest level of care, public-sector and church-owned hospitals and hospitals belonging to private networks.
Besides caring for German residents, some hospitals also have a specifically international focus and have established additional services for patients from abroad.
To maintain this high standard of quality in the long term, numerous medical and scientific institutes are involved in quality assurance in the healthcare sector. Quality assurance is required by law in hospitals and doctor's surgeries, which are also obliged to implement (internal) quality-management processes. Doctors have to undergo regular CPD training and must be able to prove that they have done so.
There is generally no need to tip in Germany, as service is included in the bill, although it is widely considered appropriate. In restaurants a tip of between 5 and 10 percent of the bill is recommended. When you pay, you round up the bill to include a tip. Tips are never left on the table in Germany. Ten percent is recommended for taxi drivers. In hotels, it is conventional to tip the bell boy one euro per bag, and the room cleaner one to two euros per day.
Traveling By Train
Thanks to Germany’s extensive rail network with excellent international connections, you will be sure to arrive comfortably at your chosen destination with Deutsche Bahn (German Railways).
Traveling By Car
When travelling by car it should be noted that many German towns and cities have designated low emission zones, in which only vehicles meeting certain emission standards and bearing a colour-coded sticker are permitted to enter.
There are no tolls levied on passenger cars in Germany.
Car Rentals in Germany
Exploring Germany is easy with a rental car. You can find suitable rental vehicles for example at Avis or Sixt.
Traveling By Plane
Germany's three major airports Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf ensure the country is well connected both nationally and internationally. Find the connection that best suits your needs with airlines such as Lufthansa or Air Berlin.
Traveling By Bus
With numerous routes and stops, Germany's largest intercity bus service, MeinFernbus, not only connects domestic towns and cities, but also provides an international route network for travelling to Germany.
EU citizens do not require a visa. Citizens of all other countries will generally need a visa, with the exception of some countries for which the European Community has abolished the visa requirement. Nationals of those countries do not require a visa for visits to Germany lasting no longer than three months in a six-month period.
Overall, Germany has a warm, temperate, wet climate with westerly winds. Extreme fluctuations in temperature are rare. Rain falls throughout the year. Mild winters (2ºC to -6ºC) and moderately hot summers (18ºC to 20ºC) are the norm.