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Germany Travel Guide

Germany, Germany Travel Guide
Germany
Germany, Germany Travel Guide

“Beautiful is everything one looks at with love.”

Christian Morgenstern, German author and poet
Germany, Germany Travel Guide

Top Five Destinations In Germany

  1. Hamburg Is a port city on the banks of the shimmering Elbe River. The town has deep maritime roots but also is a cosmopolitan city with a vibrant nightlife. The canals add to the mystique and make wandering fascinating.
  2. Oktoberfest Occurs throughout Germany, but the best experiences are in Munich. It is the largest Volksfest in the world that draws over 6 million visitors. It is about food, singing, dancing, and of course, beer.
  3. Heidelberg Old City Sitting on the lovely Neckar river is a charming, iconic city with a romantic atmosphere that captures the heart. The old town is a wonder to wander; it has one of Germany’s longest pedestrian areas. Heidelberg Castle has beautiful churches, monuments, rich cultural activities, and is known for its music events.
  4. Berlin and the Brandenburg Gate Built in 1791, Is an iconic monumental structure of sandstone, the Eiffel Tower of Germany. It was once part of the Berlin wall. The city of Berlin is the bustling capital of Germany that has vast ethnic diversity and fascinating history. The museums are world-famous, and there are historic structures throughout. It is home to the Holocaust Memorial.
  5. Neuschwanstein Castle Is a fairy tale we all imagine in our childhood. To add to its magic are the rugged hills it resides in southwest Bavaria. Its dramatic architecture comes with some tragic history with its owner. This was the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle.

Did you know?

Germany Stats

  • Population: 83.8 million
  • Capital City: Berlin
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Government type: Federal Parliamentary Republic
  • Chancellor: Angela Merkel
  • Ethnic groups: German 87.2%, other 12.8%
  • Languages: German (official)
  • Religions: Roman Catholic 27.7%, Protestant 25.5%, Muslim 5.1%, other 5.9%, none 37.8%
  • U.S. State Department Risk Level: 3 due to Covid and Terrorism
  • Terrorist groups: Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps/Qods Force; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sam (2019)
  • GDP 3.846 trillion Ranks #1 Europe
  • The country of Germany has 16 constituent states.
  • Germany has the largest population in Europe.
  • It is one of the largest car producers in the world.
  • Germany is the second most popular ex-pat destination in the world.
  • Nine countries share borders with Germany.
  • The legal drinking age is 16
  • Most highways do not have speed limits.
  • Germany has high levels of employment.
  • Third, the most widely taught language in the world.
  • Public consumption of alcohol is permitted, but NO smoking in public spaces.
  • Major industries include automotive, healthcare, and medical industries, electronics, eco-energy, I.T., machinery, and aviation.
  • Inventions from Germany: Light bulb, calculator, automobile, insulin, the pocket watch, motorcycle, the jet engine, walkman, contact lenses, printing press, clarinet, and electron microscope.
  • Germany has one of the lowest birth rates in the world.
  • Life expectancy is 81 years old.
  • The literacy rate is 99%.

Funs facts

  • Denmark is the world’s biggest consumer of meat per capita.
  • Germany was the first country to adopt daylight savings time in 1916.
  • The capital of Berlin has more bridges than Venice.
  • The popular European drink Fanta originated in Germany.
  • Prison escape is not punishable by law as it is a basic human instinct to be free.
  • A college education is free to all, even international students.
  • Germany is referred to as the land of poets and thinkers.
  • 86% of adults have completed some form of secondary education.
  • Germany is the second-largest beer consumer in Europe. More than 1,200 breweries are producing over 5,000 brands of German beer.
  • Munich Oktoberfest is the world’s biggest folk festival.
  • Germany leads in Climate and Energy policies.
  • It is illegal to run out of gas on the autobahn. Keep your tank fueled!
  • 104 Nobel laureates have been from Germany.
  • Albert Einstein was born in Germany.
  • Football (soccer) is the main sport.
  • The Christmas tree tradition came from Germany.
  • In 2017 Amazon.com accounts for 50% of Germany’s online retail sales.
  • The most popular food is sausage.
  • The Black Forest in Southern Germany is home to the Cuckoo clock.
  • Beethoven was born in the city of Bonn in 1770.
  • Germany surrendered in 1945 during WW2.
  • There are over 20,000 castles in Germany.
  • The first book ever printed came from Germany.
  • Germany shares a rich history with the Holy Roman Empire.
  • Hamburgers came from the city of Hamburg.
  • Chinese checkers were invented in Germany.

Germany Map

Good to know before you go

  • Tipping in Germany is varied. In restaurants, round up to the nearest euro or add a few euros for good service. Cash is the preferred way to leave a tip. In hotels, it is customary to tip the porter and housekeeper. 1-3 euros per bag, and for housekeeping, 3-5 euros per night. If the concierge provides service, you can tip 10-20 euros. Taxi drivers round up to the next euro. Tips are not required, but 5% is customary.
  • Cash is the main form of currency. 74% of payments are in cash, so have plenty! This is unique to Germany compared to other European nations.
  • Overall, the clothing is stylish and well-kept. They typically dress western. Jeans are common. Men and women wear simple dark suits for business. Each region does have its traditional costume.
  • Highways and roadways are known to be excellent. Good signage, and though Germans can drive, they are respectful drivers as a whole. If you go slower, stay to the right.
  • There are lots of traffic cameras and street cameras around. Though, this is not a country that issues speeding tickets much.
  • You can order a beer in Germany with your fingers. A thumb raised is one beer, a thumb and index finger two, and so on.
  • Beer is German life. It is a beer-loving nation.
  • Germany has terrific bread. It plays a cultural role in their lives. There are over 300 varieties.
  • Germany has over 400 zoos, more than any other country on earth. The most famous Zoo Berlin is well worth a visit.
  • German culture is rich in literature, arts, cuisine, and architecture. It has the most cultural activities than any country in the world. Much of the influence comes from their strong Christian values and philosophies. Seek these out when in any city or community.
  • This is a country that plays by the rules. Respect the rules.
  • When crossing streets, do so at the lights and only when green.
  • Know about your transport zone. If crossing a different zone, your ticket must account for that. Ticket checkers will not have sympathy for tourists.
  • Be punctual; timekeeping is important to the German people.
  • This is a nation that strongly encourages recycling.
  • Going to repeat this for emphasis, cash is king. Carry lots.
  • Sunday is a day of rest; you will find stores, shops, supermarkets, and pharmacies closed.
  • Music is classical, romantic to modern. The world’s greatest composers come from Germany: Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, and Handel Schubert. There are music festivals throughout Germany year-round. They draw international guests to their Opera houses.
  • Germany’s strongest trait is they take care of each other.
  • Most Germans speak excellent English but learn the basic words out of respect.
  • It is a very safe country. Crime rates are low, and the law is respected.

Germany Essential Info

U.S. Consular Emergency
The 24-hour number from a U.S. Phone is 1-888-407-4747
Outside of the U.S., 011-202-501-4444

U.S. Embassy Berlin
Clayallee 170
14191 Berlin
Federal Republic of Germany
Phone +49 30 8305-0
Emergency after hours +49 30 8305-0

US Consulate-Multiple in Germany

Frankfurt
Giessener Str. 30
60435 Frankfurt am Main
 +(49) (69) 7535-2100

Munich
Koeniginstrasse 5
80539 Munich
+(49) (89) 2888-575

Hamburg
Alsterufer 27/28
20354 Hamburg
 (040) 411-71-100

Leipzig
Wilhelm-Seyfferth-Str. 4
04107 Leipzig
(0341) 213-84-0

Dusseldorf
Willi – Becker – Allee 10
40227 Duesseldorf
(0211) 788-8927

Emergency Numbers
GENERAL 112
Police 110

Country Code
+49

Time Zone
UTC+1

Driving
Right side

Adaptors
“Standard” Euro plug
Type C or F

Tourism Office
Germany Tourism Office

When to go to Germany

Germany is a top-rated destination for bordering nine E.U. countries as well as international tourists. It is primarily landlocked in western Europe. The country has two major climatic regions: the maritime north and the Continental south. There is a good climate overall, which makes it a year-round destination: peak tourist season, June-August, which can be crowded. The shoulder seasons are spring and fall season.

Summers stay mild, which draws many people there in the summer. It does rain in the summer months, so plan rain gear accordingly. The Winter months are the low season, and some areas could be challenging to get to or closed, but the Christmas markets and festivals draw many visitors. The best time to visit is from April to June and September/October. You will find fewer crowds, lovely weather, and easy access to most sights. Germany is known for its beautiful fall colors and its vibrant spring colors. The Black Forest and Bavarian Forest’s coniferous alpines are spectacular, along with fantastic flora and fauna.

Spring and Fall can still be cool, but a jacket takes care of that. Germany is a more affordable country, especially in peak travel months. Traveling during the non-peak months when the weather is still mild, you will find much better pricing overall.

  • Summer 5-77 °F (12-25 °C)
  • Spring 34-67 °F (1-19 °C)
  • Fall 37-67 °F (3-19 °C)
  • Winter 29-41 °F (-1-5 °C)

Our Favorite German Resources

This resource section contains some Amazon affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Travel Books/Guides

Germany was part of a seven-country trip, so we only used one guide for most countries. Rick Steves has always been our go-to, and Germany was the case as well.

Germany Lonely Planet’s Germany (Country Guide) by Lonely Planet

A passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice, the highlights Germany has to offer, and what hidden discoveries await you. Explore the wonder of Berlin, tour some of the most beautiful castles in Europe, and sail along the gorgeous Rhine – all with your trusted travel companion. Detailed info to plan your visit to this amazing country. Discover this travel guide here.

GermanyGermany Rick Steves Germany 2020 Illustrated 2019 Paperback

We cannot recommend this book enough; it is the perfect German resource. The guide is full of great info and detailed strategic guidance to help you both plan every detail. For history buffs, it provides just the right amount of background to tickle your fancy. With Germany being so rich in castles, it does a nice job describing the best ones to visit. It guides you to authentic experiences in quaint villages, forests, and modern cities. Discover this wonderful travel guide here.

Our Favorite Websites
  1. Germany Tourist Site
2. U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs German Country Info

We cannot encourage you enough to visit this website as you plan and prepare for your trip. This is the U.S. Federal Government addressing the safety, security, travel risk, entry, exit, visa documents mandates, emergency U.S. and Embassy contacts, health, local laws, special circumstances, threats, traveler vulnerabilities, government warnings, and transportation in Germany. This is your best and most reliable resource for all this important info. Check back often before you go, as things can change quickly. Being prepared is essential in all travel, but especially internationally.

Germany International Travel Information (state.gov)

3. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travelers Health Resource

This CDC travel resource provides essential health info for your specific destination. Using their tool, you can determine which vaccines, medications, and health advice recommendations are needed for Germany.

CDC’s Travelers Health Page for Germany

Our Favorite Maps

GermanyGermany Germany National Geographic Map 3312

This is a great map. It’s easy to read with practical road and travel information. Castles were marked as well as all major destinations. Though we default to Google Maps, this came in handy when service was poor or during construction detours. Waterproof, Tear-resistant. Find this essential map here.

Our Favorite Apps

Rome2rio: Trip Planner Trip and Holiday Organizer. Enter any address, landmark, or city in the App will instantly display all your travel options, booking info, accommodation providers, and things to do. Find it on your local App Store.

Rick Steves Audio Europe This App includes a vast library of Rick Steve’s audio content. Get cultural and travel info. Includes self-guided tours of top attractions and historic walks. A must-have. Find it on your local App Store.

Google Translate We use this often to practice proper pronunciations of German words. As we always encourage, learning the basics of greeting and thanking people in the local language is essential. Google Translate was an easy app to use. If needed, you can enter text in English, which will speak back in German to aid in communicating with locals. Furthermore, it came in very handy to translate text into images instantly.

iTranslate Converse Found at your App Store. Turn your phone into a translation device.

Learn German Phrases for Travel. Found at your app store. Easily practice basic phrases needed during travel.

Do you have a favorite German travel resource? Share your favorites in the comments section at the bottom of this page or

© 2024 Wanderers Compass All Rights Reserved

Squaremouth.com

Our favorite travel insurance site!

We could not be stronger advocates of being well-insured—not just for the little stuff but for the big things like medical emergencies. We never leave home without it. Our go-to place is Squaremouth.com. It does a fantastic job with its user-friendly interface and uses top-rated and reputable insurance carriers. They also mediate on your behalf if you have problems.

To empower you as a consumer, we suggest you read our blog post on the importance of travel insurance and how to get the best coverage from top-rated companies for an affordable price.

MedjetAssist

Medical transport back home from anywhere in the world

They are the premier global air medical transport. One caveat to travel insurance is that medical evacuation usually gets you to the closest facility to care for you. Medjet gets you back to the U.S. to the hospital of your choice once you are stable enough to fly. A Medjet membership is only for medical transport. Medjet Horizon offers expanded coverage. They have individual trip policies starting at $99 and annual policies for around $300. Most of their policies limit the age to 74.

To learn more about how Medical Evacuation membership with Medjet Assist works, check out our blog post for a more detailed review.  

Expedia.com and VRBO

Hotels, home rentals, BNBs, flights, and other transportation & tours 

Expedia is a US-based company whose mission is to power global travel for everyone and everywhere. Wanderers Compass focuses on independent travel, and using sites like Expedia makes that possible. Every aspect of travel you need, from airfare, accommodations, rental car, and cruises to activities to do at your destination, can be booked on Expedia.  

Booking.com

Hotels, Home rentals, BNBs, Flights, and other Transportation & Tours 

Booking.com connects millions of travelers to memorable experiences, various transportation options, and incredible places to stay – from homes to hotels and much more. It is one of the world’s largest travel marketplaces for established brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes. It is our preferred booking site.

Viator

The leading marketplace for travel experiences,

Viator believes that making memories is what travel is all about. And with 300,000+ experiences to explore—everything from simple tours to extreme adventures (and all the niche, interesting stuff in between)—making memories that will last a lifetime has never been easier. We use them often during our travels and love their liberal cancellation policy.

Wanderers Compass Amazon Storefront

An excellent source for all travel essentials and guides.

Amazon is one of the most comprehensive online shopping sources in the world. Teams worldwide provide lower prices, better selection, and rapid delivery on behalf of customers. They offer a vast inventory, and their 1.7 million small and medium businesses worldwide selling on Amazon.com offer extensive options to customers.

HYDAWAY

This is not your ordinary drinkware company. The HYDAWAY difference is what their products do when you’re not using them. Practical and portable, HYDAWAY doesn’t take up unnecessary space in your already-packed life or pile up in landfills. We have used their collapsible water bottle, carrying case for the water bottle, and collapsible insulated drink tumbler. They are all lightweight and durable. This is a conservation-focused product you can be proud to buy.

Use our Promo Code. WANCOM15, at checkout for 15% off your Hydaway order

Welcome Pick-ups

A global leader in ground transportation for travelers. They help hundreds of companies worldwide enhance their services and boost their revenue with our 5-star ride experiences and hassle-free automation.

PhotoAiD

Do you feel like you are wasting time visiting an on-site photographer only to be embarrassed by the photo? Would you like control of the final product? Get the perfect VISA or passport photo online with PhotoAID.You often need to apply for official documents such as a passport, ID, and different kinds of licenses or cards. PhotoAiD allows you to take the perfect biometric photo you approve without leaving home.

This article contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

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