Things To Know When Traveling To Germany – Heading to one of the most popular and amazing destinations in the world? With its rich history, world-class art and culture, spectacular landscapes and cities, Germany is one of the best places to visit on a trip to Europe. But before you dive into all things Bavarian beer and picturesque castles, there are a few things you should know before traveling to Germany. Here’s what you need to know.
It was a month of tender farewells to spring, the days kept getting warmer and longer and summer finally rang. A month of playing with the sweet scent of lilacs and beautiful bold peonies in my studio for styling possibilities and further expanding my throwing skills and experimenting with new color palettes in my china shop.
Things To Know When Traveling To Germany
If there’s one thing to know about Germany, it’s how much the country values structure and order. When traveling in Germany, play by the country’s rules. This includes waiting for the light to turn green before crossing the street, having the correct lights on your bike and being on time. Bonus tip: You should buy and validate your train tickets before boarding or you could be fined at least €60. Ticket inspectors don’t take too kindly to those who simply forgot their confirmation.
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Germany has one of the most modern transportation systems in the world, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel confusing to foreigners. In addition to buying and validating your train tickets in advance, you need to understand the different transportation zones of the cities you’ll be visiting. There are zones for all public transport: bus, tram, metro, train. For example, Berlin has 3 fare zones for public transport. Zone A is for the city center, Zone B extends beyond the center and Zone C includes the outskirts of Berlin. If you have a wrongly zoned ticket, you can get into trouble.
When traveling to Germany, you will need an adapter that is compatible with type C and E/F plugs. These are two pins that are common in continental Europe. Save money instead of buying multiple adapters for your trip to Europe by using the EU Travel Adapter Bundle. This ultra-compact kit comes with two USB charging ports and accepts US plugs.
We may be in the 21st century, but cash is still king in Germany. Many stores, vendors, and restaurants do not have ATMs or require a minimum amount, so having some cash is highly recommended. The best way to get euros is to withdraw them from an ATM once you are in Germany. You get a real exchange rate and less fees than a money changer.
Many Germans speak English, but using German is very important for traveling around the country and showing respect to the locals. Street and shop signs are also written in German, so it’s a good idea to buy a phrasebook or download a language app before your trip.
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Germany is a large country with many spectacular cities and destinations. After visiting major cities like Berlin and Munich, head to lesser-known places like Dresden or Düsseldorf. In addition to its cities, Germany also boasts an impressive natural landscape. Explore the Harz Mountains in the Bavarian Alps for a scenic experience.
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As one of the most sought after holiday destinations on the planet, Germany is an incredible place to see with your own eyes. To blend in with the locals, be sure to keep the following tips in mind.
It is estimated that 56% of the German population can speak English with varying levels of fluency, a relatively high level considering that English is not their official language. However, most fluent speakers live in cities and usually have office jobs, people you may not interact with.
Taking German courses online will make it easier for you to find your way around Germany, not just in rural communities. Learning phrases like “byl kostet das?” (how much does it cost?), “ja/nein” (yes/no) and “danke” (thank you) will help you experience more of Germany.
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Around 60-70% of the German population is Christian, which means that most shops, restaurants and supermarkets will be closed on Sunday. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do anything on Sunday, but you will need to plan your trip with this possible but minor inconvenience in mind.
Museums, parks and breakfast establishments are still open on Sundays, and there are markets that cater to the non-religious population. We recommend going for a walk, exploring some caves, visiting an art gallery or spending the day at an amusement park.
Germany has one of the best transport systems in the world, offering a variety of services from buses and trams to commuter rail and metro. If you don’t want to or can’t drive in Germany, you don’t have to worry about staying in one place.
In order to use the German transport system effectively, you need to know the fare zones for each city (for example A, B and C in Berlin). Germany is also a bike-friendly country, so if you prefer to cycle to your next destination, you can rent a bike for the duration of your trip.
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There are two small cultural differences that Americans are sure to notice when traveling to Germany: Germans like to use money and they like to recycle. Cash is king in Germany. Most stores, shops, bars and restaurants do not have card machines, which can be shocking.
Not only will you have to become more familiar with ATMs, but you’ll also have to get past Germany’s love of recycling. Most grocery stores have a recycling bin where you can drop off bottles and get up to 25 cents back instantly. Too bad the US doesn’t!
It’s never good or fair to stereotype an entire culture of people, so we’re not saying all Germans are weird because they love rules. Nor are we saying that preferring order to chaos is a bad thing, but many Germans prefer organization and stability.
Germany is known for stricter laws and laws than other countries. The amount of over regulation is not only in the law itself, but also in its citizens who pride themselves on being hard workers who are always on time, so it is important that you are on time as well. Get ready for a rollercoaster of feasts, sweets and temptations as you experience exciting German scenery, beautiful cities, romantic palaces and half-timbered cities.
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History can be found in towns where roads were laid long before Columbus set sail, and in castles that tower over centuries-old towns where window boxes are filled with crimson geraniums. Big cities, including Berlin, Munich and Hamburg, dazzle you with a cultural kaleidoscope that ranges from art museums and grand opera houses to seedy cabarets and underground clubs. Wherever you go, the Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque classics sweep the roofs with architectural creations of modern masters.
Berlin’s alternative game, exciting gastronomic scene, tangible history and urban charm never cease to amaze and fascinate. More than a quarter of a century after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German capital has grown without giving up its indie spirit and penchant for creative improvisation. There’s haute cuisine in an old brewery, late-night partying in powerhouses and world-class art in a World War II bunker. Visit the best historical monuments, including the Reichstag, the Brandenburger Tor and Checkpoint Charlie, and then enjoy the cultural heritage in the many museums.
If you’re looking for Alpine clichés, Munich delivers in an elegantly compact package. But the Bavarian metropolis also holds many unexpected trumps under its often blue sky. Folklore and ancient traditions coexist here with elegant BMWs, designer boutiques and high-end industry. The city’s museums display everything from artistic masterpieces to technological treasures to the history of Oktoberfest, while its music and culture scene is second only to those you’ll find in Berlin.
Admire the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle, said to have inspired Walt Disney © Andreas Zerndl / Shutterstock
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Commissioned by the most famous (and eccentric) monarch of the 19th century, King Louis II, Neuschwanstein Castle rises from mysterious alpine forests like an illustration from a storybook. Inside, the ghost continues with rooms and corridors.
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