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flag Germany Germany: Travelling

In this page: Entry Requirements | Organizing Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources


Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Consult the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (Auswärtiges Amt)
Diplomatic Representations
Consult the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs website
IATA Travel Center

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Organizing Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Taxis are very easily available day and night at reasonable rates. You can ask your hotel or restaurant to order a taxi for you. To get a receipt, ask for "eine Quittung, bitte." Drivers can usually speak English. In large cities, the tramway network (Strassenbahn), metros (U-Bahn), the express metro network (S-Bahn) and buses are less expensive alternatives to taxis.
Maps of Urban Networks
Map of the Berlin subway and simulation of itineraries
Map of the Munich subway
Map of the Hamburg subway
Map of the Frankfurt subway
Maps of other German subways

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Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Essen - Mülheim (ESS) (in German)
7 km / 4 miles of Essen, 5 km / 3 miles of Mülhein, 24 km / 15 miles of Dusseldorf - Available to Essen - -
Berlin - Schönefeld (SXF) 16 km / 10 miles EUR 30-35 / 25-40 EUR 2.80 EUR 2.80 Available
Berlin - Tegel (TXL) 9 km / 6 miles EUR 15 / 20-30 min EUR 2.1 / 20 min - Available
Berlin - Tempelhof (THF) 5 km / 3 miles EUR 15-20 / 20 mimnutes EUR 2.2 / 30 min - Available
Stuttgart - Echterdingen (STR) 10 km / 6 miles EUR 22-28 / 20-30 min Available EUR 3 / 27 min Available
Hamburg Intl (HAM) 10 km / 6 miles EUR 20-25 / 20-30 min EUR 5 / 15-25 min - Available
Munich (MUC) 30 km / 19 miles EUR 55-65 / 35-45 min EUR 9.5 / 40 min EUR 8.8 / 45 min Available
Frankfurt - Main (FRA) 9 km / 6 miles EUR 20-30 / 20-30 min Available EUR 3.30 / 12 min Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Choose the ICE (InterCity Express) train between the main cities: Frankfurt - Berlin (4 hours), Frankfurt - Cologne (1 hour 15mn), Berlin - Leipzig (1 hour), Berlin - Hamburg (1 hour 30 mn). On these links, the motorway network, often saturated, cannot compete with the train. Do not hesitate to take the plane for the trips between Munich - Hamburg, Munich - Berlin or Stuttgart - Berlin.
Rail Companies
The Deutsche Bahn website

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Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Lufthansa Major Yes Yes
Airberlin Major Yes Yes
Germanwings Low cost Yes Yes
Easyjet Low cost No Yes

You Can Consult the List of Airlines Banned Within the EU. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Traveling By Yourself

The motorway network (Bundesautobahn) is practical because it is free for cars. There is no speed limit but a lot of maintenance work slows down traffic frequently. Allow extra time to be sure to arrive at your appointment in good time. There is no problem refuelling.
Road Maps
Meine Stadt
Find an Itinerary

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Different Forms of Tourism

There are many places for tourists to visit:
- historic city centers: Regensburg, Würzburg, Goerlitz;
- museums: Pinakothek in Munich, museum island in Berlin;
- palaces : Sans-Souci at Potsdam, Charlottenburg in Berlin;
- cathedrals : Cologne, Berlin, Aachen;
- the banks of the Elbe;
- the remains of the Berlin wall.
Operas, concert halls, theaters, festivals, museums, art galleries, open air cinema.
Castles, parks and gardens

Near Berlin, at Potsdam, the park of Sans-Souci palace covers nearly 300 hectares. Also worth visiting is the zoological garden (Zoologischer Garten) in Berlin, the park of the palace of Nymphenburg in Munich and the Herrenhausen royal gardens in Hanover.

Nature parks

Altmühltal, Eifel, Saar Hunsrück, Schiefergebirge, the Swabian and Franconian forest, Schwalm-Nette, the Black Forest Center/North, Südeifel, the island of Usedom.

National Parks

Eifel, Kellerwald-Edersee, Lakes of Schleswig-Holstein, Lakes of Hamburg, Lakes of Lower Saxony, Jasmund, Western Pomeranian Bodden Landscape Park, Müritz, Unteres Odertal, Harz, Hainich, Saxony Switzerland, Bavarian forest, Berchtesgaden.

Aachen, Cologne Cathedral, Berliner Dom.
Aquatic parks, health resorts and spas.
Many lakes: Constance, Müritzsee, Chiemsee, Schwerin, Starnberg ; very big rivers: Rhine, Danube, Main, Weser and Elbe; the Baltic and North Sea coasts; the canals in Brandenburg and in Mecklenburg.
Winter Sports
The Bavarian Alps, Allgäu, Black Forest, Harz, Thuringe forest, and Saxony are all skiing areas. The highest summit is the Zugspitze 2962 m in the Bavarian Alps.
Outdoor Activities
Cycling, walking, canoeing, climbing, rollerblading.
The biggest store in Germany is in Berlin: KaDeWe Kaufhaus of the West. Also in Berlin, do not miss Friedrichstrasse. All the large cities in Germany have pedestrian areas which offer a wide choice of stores.
Tourism Organizations
German Tourism Board

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
No vaccination requirements.
International Hospitals
In general you can communicate in English in German hospitals (in Berlin, for example, the university hospital La Charité).
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
German Ministry of Health
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
The Current Travel Warnings of the US State Department
The advice of the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Emergency Numbers

Police 110
Fire services and assistance 112
Credit card loss 116 116

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Berlin (GMT+1 in winter, GMT+2 in summer)
Summer Time Period
Summer time from March (last Sunday) to October (last Sunday)

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
The country has a continental climate with wide variations in temperature between the seasons. The northern regions have a milder oceanic type climate. The southern regions have a continental climate with more rain. In the summer, the anticylones bring hot, sunny days, but the nights are cool. In winter, the days are short.
For Further Information
German Meteorological Agency (Deutscher Wetterdienst)

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



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Food Specialties
German culinary specialties vary according to regions:- Wurst (the famous sausages), Schinken (an immense variety of pork meats, about 1 500 kinds); - Brot (the famous German breads, more than 200 kinds); - Sauerkraut : sauerkraut garnished, for example, with ham hock "Eisbein mit Sauerkraut"

Also to be noted the Spätzle (a type of pasta) a specialty of Bade Wurtenberg, Meatballs (a Berlin specialty) and desserts (Apfelstrudel, Stollen, Mohnkuchen - poppyseed cake)

Germany is naturally famous for its wide variety of beers. As the world's second producer and first exporter of beers (to about 140 countries) and with 1 800 breweries, it produces about 5 000 different beers. Germans drink little still water and prefer sparkling water. Another favorite drink is Apfelschorle, apple juice diluted with lemonade. Another refreshing drink is Radler, beer diluted with lemonade.
Dietary Restrictions
There are no dietary restrictions in the country. Nevertheless, a certain number of Germans are vegetarians.

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Domestic Currency
ISO Code
To Obtain Domestic Currency
ATMs take most credit cards. In addition, there are plenty of them and easily accessible, in airports, town centers and all over the country.
Possible Means of Payment
Cash payments are very widespread, and credit cards are increasingly accepted although some restaurants will only take cash.  Likewise, some restaurants only take the "EC" card (a payment card, issued by German banks, which is not a credit card). Moreover, payment by cheque in shops or restaurants is not possible.

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Official Language
Other Languages Spoken
Most Germans have a very good knowledge of English. Quite a few of them speak French. Additionally, though less frequently, Italian, Spanish and Russian are also spoken.
Business Language
The business languages are German and English.
Getting Some Knowledge
Use the travlang website. For a translation service, visit ContexTrans. To take lessons, consult the Goethe Institutes website.
Free Translation Tools
Dico Leo : Translation and pronunciation.

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Useful Resources

To Find an Accommodation
Eurobookings: Search Hotels in Germany.

The German Hotel Association (IHA).
WG- Gesucht.
Hotel reservation
To Find an Apartment
Short term furnished apartment agency

Immobilien scout 24 - private individuals' adverts
Adverts of the regional newspaper Berliner Zeitung
Adverts of the regional newspaper Tagesspiegel
Adverts of the national newspaper FAZ
To Find a Job
Job scout
National Daily FAZ

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Last Updates: December 2014