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flag Germany Germany: Practical information

In this page: Accommodation | Eating Out | Getting Around | Time and Time Difference | Climate | Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems | Paying | Speaking | Emergency Numbers | Communications

 

Accommodation

Hotels
Short stays comfortable
Eurobookings: Search Hotels in Germany
The German Hotel Association (IHA)
Luxury furnished apartments
Long stays
WG- Gesucht.
Hostel
A few nights
Jugendherberge
Hotel Rules
Prices given are by room and taxes are included in the price. Be careful when professional trade shows are on, as prices go up and reservations are made months in advance! The trade show cities are mainly Frankfurt, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Munich, Berlin, Leipzig.
For Further Information
Hotel reservations
 

Price Indications

Economy Room from 30 to 50 EUR
Medium Price Room from 60 to 110 EUR
Good Quality Room from 120 EUR

Source: Lonely Planet

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Eating Out

Categories of Restaurant
 
  • Fast Food restaurant (Schnellimbiss)
Hot dogs, French fries, currywurst (sliced sausage covered in ketchup and curry), doner kebab and beer.
  • Bakeries and butcheries
Sandwiches and take away meals.
  • Beer gardens (Biergarten)
Spaces especially set up for the consumption of beer and where one can bring own food.
  • Beer hall (Brauhaus) and communalt fixe menu full course meals (Gasthaus)
Traditional.
  • Restaurants
Gourmet dishes, German, Chinese, French, Italian, Turkish, Indian, Spanish and Greek cuisine, etc.
Rules For Eating Out
Leaving a tip of about 5% is recommended. In Berlin it is possible to order late at lunch and at dinner. On the other hand, in other cities be careful of opening/closing times.
 

Price Indications

Economy Meal from 6 to 12 EUR
Medium Price Meal from 15 to 30 EUR
Good Quality Meal from 40 EUR
 
Food Specialties
Examples of German culinary specialties:
- Wurst (sausages)
- Schinken  (pork products, about 1,500 varieties)
- Brot (the famous German bread, more than 200 varieties)
- Eisbein mit Sauerkraut (ham hock with fermented cabbage)
- Apfelstrudel (apple strudel)
- Stollen (fruit bread)
- Mohnkuchen (poppyseed cake)

German culinary specialties vary according to regions, including Bade Wurtenberg’s Spätzle (a type of pasta).
Drinks
Germany is known for its wide variety of beer- producing about 5,000 different brews. As the home to 1,800 breweries, Germany is the world’s second biggest producer and the biggest exporter of beers. A refreshing drink- a Radler, is a beer diluted with lemonade. When it comes to non-alcoholic beverages, Germans prefer sparkling water to still water. Another favourite is Apfelschorle, apple juice diluted with lemonade.
Dietary Restrictions
Generally speaking, there are no dietary restrictions in the country. That being said, there are some Germans that are vegetarian and some that do not partake in certain products due to religious affiliations.
Table Manners
Continental.

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Getting Around

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Recommendation
Taxis are 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 a less expensive alternatives to taxis.

Maps of Urban Networks
Map of the Berlin subway and sample itineraries
Map of the Munich subway
Map of the Hamburg subway
Map of the Frankfurt subway
Maps of other German subways
Urban Transport Agencies
BVG (Berlin)
Taxi Companies
Taxi.de
 

Transportation From Airport to City Centre:


Airport

Distance

Taxi

Bus

Train

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
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

Recommendation
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 transit routes, the motorway network is often saturated and cannot compete with the train.

For longer distance trips, such as Munich - Hamburg, Munich - Berlin or Stuttgart - Berlin, air transit is recommended.

Rail Companies
The Deutsche Bahn website
 

Airlines

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

You Can Consult The EU Air Safety List. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

 
 
 

Travelling By Yourself

Recommendation
The motorway network (Bundesautobahn) is a practical form of transit because it is free for cars. There is no speed limit but a lot of maintenance work slows down traffic frequently, so be sure to allow extra time to arrive at appointments on time. Refuelling is not an issue or concern.
Driver's License
A license obtained in another European country is valid even after a stay beyond one year. Licenses obtained in other countries need to be exchanged for German ones with the  "Führerscheinstelle" after six months of residence in the country.
Conditions For Renting a Vehicle
You must have a driver's license, show a credit card and proof of identity.
Rental Agencies
Avis
Budget
Europcar
Sixt
Tolls or Taxes
German motorways are free. However, trucks over 12 tonnes must pay a tax (LKW-Maut, tarifs).
Road Maps
Viamichelin
Meine Stadt
Find an Itinerary
Viamichelin
Traffic Conditions Online
Adac
Parking Facilities
Hotels have parking lots, and it is also possible to find other parking places in public parking lots. Parking is not free during the daytime.
 

Rules of the Road

Minimum Driving Age
18 years old
Side of the Road For Driving
On the right
Speed Limits
Theoretically, there is no speed limit on the motorway however in practice, there may be limits set due to frequent maintenance work. Be careful not to slow down suddenly as German drivers diligently gear down when slowing! Outside motorways, the maximum authorized speed limit is between 30 and 50 km/hour in towns and between 70 and 100 km/hour outside towns.
Safety Belts
Compulsory for both driver and passengers.
Permitted Amount of Alcohol in the Blood
0.5g. A level alcohol ranging between 0.5g and 0.8g leads to a fine. A higher level leads to criminal prosecution.
National Roads Organizations
Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure

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Time and Time Difference

Current Local Time
It is %T:%M %A In Berlin
Summer Time
Summer time from March (last Sunday) to October (last Sunday)
 

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

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Climate

 
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, while 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

 

Climate

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Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems

System of Measurement Used
Metric
Unit of Measurement of Temperature
Degrees Celsius
 

Use our service Measurement Converter.

 
Electricity
 
  • Voltage
230 V
  • Frequency
50 Hz
Type of Telephone Socket
US RJ-11, German (5 types). Standard TAE (Telekommunikations Anschluß Einheit).
DVD Zoning
Zone 2

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Paying

Domestic Currency
Euro
ISO Code
EUR
To Obtain Domestic Currency
ATMs take most credit cards- they are plentiful and easily accessible, in airports, town centres and throughout the country.
Possible Means of Payment
Cash payments are very widespread, and credit cards are increasingly accepted- although some restaurants will only take cash. Further, some establishments only take the "EC" card (a payment card, issued by German banks, which is not a credit card).

Payment by cheque in shops or restaurants is not possible.

 

To Find a Cash Machine Where You Need, Use the ATM locator

 

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Speaking

Official Language
German.
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
For a translation service, visit DeepL.
To take lessons, consult the Goethe Institute website.
Free Translation Tools
Dico Leo : Translation and pronunciation tool

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Emergency Numbers

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

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Communications

Quality of Communications
The telecommunications network in Germany is excellent. The 4 mobile telephone networks work well everywhere.
Telephone Codes
To Make a Call From Germany, Dial 00
To Make a Call to in Germany, Dial +49
Number of Digits of National Telephone Numbers
City codes (Vorwahl) : 030 Berlin, 040 Hamburg, 089 Munich, 069 Frankfurt, 0221 Cologne, 0211 Düsseldorf. Small towns have a longer code.
The number of digits after the code varies: eight digits in Berlin, far less for small towns.
For mobile phones: 4 figure code + 7 digits.
The code allows you to recognize the operator: T-Mobile: 0151, 0160, 0170, 0171, 0175 / Vodafone: 0152, 0162, 0172, 0173, 0174 / E-Plus: 0157, 0163, 0177, 0178 / O2 : 0159, 0176, 0179
Mobile Telephone Standards
Dual band. Roaming agreements between German operators and foreign operators enables you use your mobile phone everywhere in Germany.
National Mobile Phone Operators
Four operators: T-Mobile, Vodafone, E-Plus, O2.
 

Availability of Internet

Internet Suffix
.de
National Internet Access Providers
T-Online, Arcor, Alice.
Access in Public Places
Excellent in big cities.
WiFi is available in many cafés and restaurants.
Access in Hotels
WiFi is available in most hotels. Sometimes as a free connection, its use is mostly restricted hotel clients. Ask at reception for access codes.

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Latest Update: November 2022