Germany ranks as the sixth-most visited country in Europe. In 2019, it was reported that over 37 million travelers visited the central European nation. There are a lot of reasons to visit Germany this year and there is something for everyone in its many great tourist destinations. From modern, high-tech urban areas to traditional towns with bundles of charm, Germany is one of the most unique travel destinations available.
If you plan to book a holiday to Germany this year, there are a few things you should know before purchasing your plane ticket. Here are a few German travel tips for your trip to “Das Land der Dichter und Denker”.
Germany Travel Tips: Things to do
Germany is an extremely diverse country and there is lots of different things to choose from. Here are our tips to enjoy Germany at the fullest.
Visit a National Park
Germany has some amazing cities such as Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, and Koln. If you have got your fill of big-city life, then head to one of Germany’s 13 national parks. The country’s top parks include the Saxon Switzerland National Park, Lower Oder Valley National Park, and the brilliant Black Forest National Park.
Get an Autobahn Adrenaline Rush
German cars are some of the best in the world. The country takes its car technology seriously with famous brands such as BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz all being German brands. Germany loves its automobiles and there are over 200 car-related museums and attractions to explore, so let out your inner petrol-head. Important to know: overtaking is only allowed on the left lane and if there are speed limits, the German’s take those seriously. Speeding can lead to serious legal consequences.
Cash is still king
Although many shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants in Germany accept credit card, cash is still widely used, especially by a certain generation of people. There are some dining options that will only take cash payments. Not even COVID-19 seems to have changed Germany’s love for bank notes and coins.
Go to Oktoberfest
Despite its name, Oktoberfest takes place during much of September each year. Oktoberfest is one of the most popular events in the entire country. The festival is held in Bavaria and runs for around 18 days. It averages around 6 million visitors each year.
Respect Germany’s Quiet Time
Germany has laws in place designating specific times as “quiet”. You cannot play loud music, vacuum or drill on Sundays. Quiet hours are also recognized at 1PM to 3PM on weekdays and from 10PM to 7AM each night. If you break the rules, a public order officer will visit your residence.
Germany Travel Tips: Things to avoid
Germans love rules. They love them so much that there is even a book written about it. In the funny book ‘German men sit down to pee and other insights into German Culture‘ it is extensively described how Germans seem to follow just for the sake of following those rules. But when you are in the country, it is best to know and follow these rules as it can get you into serious trouble if you don’t.
Germany is renowned for being organized with mild-mannered residences. You will notice this when crossing the street as Germans queue to cross at a stop light at a pedestrian walkway. Jaywalking can result in a €5 fine. It doesn’t sound like much, but the embarrassment of being nabbed by the police is worth a lot more.
Recyling the Wrong Material
Germans are passionate about preserving the Earth. You will notice this around many cities and towns as solar panels are placed on many buildings. When it comes to recycling, Germans are ahead of the curve as they attempt to recycle a variety of materials to reduce the waste in landfills. Compared to North American and the UK, however, Germany uses different colors to represent its recycling bins. Ensure you read the signs before tossing your rubbish into the nearest recycling bin.
Throwing Away Empty Bottles
To reduce waste, Germany instituted the Pfand-system. When a person buys a glass-bottle, plastic-bottle, or aluminum-canned drink, an additional charge is put on the purchases of up to 25 cents. Once you finish the drink, you can return the bottle or can to the nearest shop and the money will be returned to you.
Don’t Use the Airport Currency Exchange
Airport currency exchanges can be convenient, but ATMs make it easy to withdraw cash instead of exchanging fiat currencies. Airport currency exchanges often charge more money in fees than cash machines do around German towns.
Don’t Ride Public Transport Without Tickets
Many of Germany’s metro stations do not have turnstiles, allowing you to walk right to the train. While you can get on a metro without a ticket, this is unwise a staff regularly check for valid tickets. You can be fined around €60 for not having a ticket.
German Travel Tips: Items to bring with you
There are certain items that you need to bring with you when you travel to a foreign country. This is our list of essential items that you should bring with you when you visit Germany. Some of the links in this article are affiliate links on which we could earn a commission.
You will need to pack an electric adaptor capable of working with German power sockets if you plan to charge your devices. The electric plugs in Germany are different to those found in North American and the United Kingdom. To charge up your mobile phone, tablet, computer, or other electronic devices, you must pack an electric adaptor that works in German plugs. Don’t buy a cheap adaptor as many low-price options may fry your devices once plugged into a German outlet.
USB power banks are more common than ever and you are likely to spot them being used when walking around an airport. You should make a USB power bank an essential part of luggage. There is nothing worse than your smartphone losing battery as you explore a German city. It is a common problem that travelers experience, exploring all day long, taking pictures of tourist attractions, but unable to return to their accommodation due to having no battery left to access directions. A USB power bank can be a life-saver when on holiday.
There was a time when backpackers carried a number of books with them as they ventured around Germany. Books take up space and weigh you down when traveling. A Kindle is one of the best devices you can pack for a trip to Germany. Not only can you take hundreds of books with you on your vacation, but you can download more books when you are finished with the ones you have already read. A Kindle weighs around 6.7 ounces compared to the average paperback book which can weigh up to 15.6 ounces.
Travel Packing Cubes
Regardless of the type of luggage you prefer – backpack or suitcase – travel cubes can help you organize your clothing and other items simply and efficiently. Travel Cubes can be filled with clothing and placed nearly inside your luggage. Once you arrive at your German destination, you can remove the travel cubes and know exactly where your important items are located.