Things to Know Before Visiting Germany

If you’re planning a trip to Germany, there are a few things you should know before you go. From geography and weather to visa and travel requirements, this guide will help you prepare for your journey and make the most of your experience in Germany.

Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about currency and payment methods, culture and customs, transportation, food and drink, attractions and activities, accommodation, and safety and emergency information to help you plan a successful trip to Germany.

Geography and Weather

Germany is located in central Europe and shares borders with Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The country has a diverse landscape, with everything from forests and mountains to rivers and coastline.

The weather in Germany varies by season and region. The summers are generally warm and sunny, while the winters are cold with snow in many areas. It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before your trip so you can pack accordingly. Also, keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to bring layers and be prepared for any weather conditions.

Visa and Travel Requirements

Traveling to Germany is an exciting adventure that requires a little bit of planning ahead. If you are a citizen of the European Union or Switzerland, you won’t need a visa to enter Germany. However, if you are from a different country, you may need to apply for a Schengen visa before your trip. Make sure to check the specific visa requirements for your country well in advance of your travel date, as processing times may vary.

In addition to a visa, you may also need to provide other documentation when entering Germany, such as proof of sufficient funds and health insurance. It’s important to research and understand all of the travel requirements before your trip to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.

Language and Communication

Germany has a rich history and culture, which is reflected in its language. While German is the official language, many Germans also speak English, so communication shouldn’t be a major problem for English speakers. However, it’s always a good idea to learn some basic German phrases before your trip, as this will not only make your interactions with locals more enjoyable, but it will also make navigating around the country much easier.

In addition, it’s important to be aware of the cultural differences that may affect communication. Germans tend to be very direct and straightforward in their communication style, which may come across as blunt or rude to those from other cultures. Additionally, they may not be as effusive or outwardly expressive as people from other countries, so it’s important to pay attention to nonverbal cues and body language to understand the context of a conversation. By keeping these factors in mind, you can ensure that your communication in Germany is smooth and effective.

Currency and Payment Methods

Germany’s official currency is the Euro (€), which is divided into 100 cents. Visitors can exchange their currency for Euros at banks and exchange offices, which are widely available in tourist areas. Credit cards are widely accepted in Germany, especially Visa and MasterCard. American Express is accepted at some establishments but not as widely as the other two. It’s always a good idea to have cash on hand, as some smaller businesses may only accept cash payments. ATMs (automated teller machines) are widely available in Germany, and most accept major international credit and debit cards. However, it’s a good idea to check with your bank about any fees for using ATMs overseas. Travelers checks are not widely accepted in Germany, so it’s best to bring cash or credit/debit cards.

When paying with cash, it’s important to note that Germans prefer exact change, so it’s a good idea to have some small denominations on hand. It’s also common to round up the total amount to the nearest euro when paying in cash. When paying with a credit or debit card, you may be asked to enter a PIN (Personal Identification Number), so it’s a good idea to memorize your PIN before your trip or set up a new one with your bank.

Overall, it’s easy to access and use money in Germany, whether you prefer cash or credit cards. Just be sure to check with your bank about any fees for using your card overseas and to have some cash on hand for smaller businesses that may not accept credit cards.

Culture and Customs

Germany is a country rich in history and culture. It has many traditions that are deeply rooted in its society and customs. When visiting Germany, it’s important to be aware of the local customs and practices to ensure that you have a pleasant and respectful experience.

One of the most notable customs in Germany is the importance of punctuality. Germans value timeliness and expect others to do the same. It’s considered rude to be late to appointments or meetings, so it’s important to plan accordingly and arrive on time.

Another aspect of German culture is their love for beer. Beer is an integral part of German culture, and it’s often enjoyed in social settings with friends and family. It’s important to note that there are specific customs and traditions associated with drinking beer in Germany, such as toasting before each sip and using specific glasses for certain types of beer.

When it comes to etiquette, Germans are generally quite formal in their interactions. They prefer to use titles and last names until a relationship has been established. It’s also important to greet others with a handshake, and to make direct eye contact during conversations.

Overall, understanding the culture and customs of Germany can greatly enhance your travel experience. By respecting local traditions and customs, you can show your appreciation for the country’s history and society.


Getting around Germany is easy thanks to its extensive transportation network. Whether you prefer to travel by car, train, or bus, there are plenty of options available to suit your needs.

Car Rental

If you’re planning to rent a car in Germany, there are a few things you should know. First, you’ll need to have a valid driver’s license from your home country. Second, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old (some rental companies require drivers to be 25 or older). Finally, be aware that many German cities have strict emissions regulations, so you’ll want to make sure your rental car meets these standards before you hit the road.

Train Travel

Germany’s train network is extensive and efficient, making it a popular choice for travelers. The national rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, offers a range of ticket options, from single-trip tickets to multi-day passes. If you’re traveling with a group, consider purchasing a group ticket for additional savings. Keep in mind that trains can get crowded during peak travel times, so it’s a good idea to book your tickets in advance whenever possible.

Bus Travel

Long-distance buses have become increasingly popular in Germany in recent years, thanks in part to the rise of low-cost carriers. Companies like Flixbus and MeinFernbus offer routes across the country at prices that are often lower than train tickets. However, keep in mind that bus travel can be slower than train travel, especially on routes with multiple stops.

No matter which mode of transportation you choose, be sure to plan your routes in advance and account for potential delays. With a little bit of preparation, you’ll be able to navigate Germany’s transportation network with ease.

Food and Drink

If you’re a foodie, Germany is definitely a great destination to explore. German cuisine is hearty and delicious, with a variety of dishes to satisfy any palate. One of the most popular dishes is schnitzel, which is a breaded and fried meat cutlet. Another must-try is currywurst, which is a sausage smothered in curry sauce. For something sweet, try a traditional German cake such as Black Forest cake or apple strudel.

When it comes to drinks, beer is definitely king in Germany. There are over 1,500 breweries in the country, and each region has its own unique style of beer. Be sure to try a traditional German beer, such as pilsner or wheat beer, while you’re in Germany. If you’re not a beer drinker, you can try some of the country’s famous wines, such as Riesling or Pinot Noir.

While dining out in Germany, it’s important to know that tipping is customary. In general, a tip of 10-15% is expected, though you can always leave more if you had exceptional service. Also, keep in mind that many restaurants in Germany only accept cash, so it’s always a good idea to have some Euros on hand.

Attractions and Activities

If you’re planning a trip to Germany, you’re in for a treat. This beautiful country has so much to offer in terms of attractions and activities. From historic sites to stunning landscapes, there’s something for everyone.

If you’re interested in history, Germany has plenty of museums and landmarks to explore. The Berlin Wall is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in the Cold War era, while the Neuschwanstein Castle is a fairytale-like palace that attracts visitors from around the world.

Germany is also known for its stunning natural scenery. The Black Forest, the Bavarian Alps, and the Rhine River are just a few examples of the breathtaking landscapes you can explore while in the country.

If you’re looking for more active pursuits, Germany has plenty of options. Hiking, biking, and skiing are popular activities in the Alps, while surfing and windsurfing can be enjoyed on the country’s northern coast.

And of course, no trip to Germany would be complete without experiencing the country’s famous beer culture. From traditional breweries to trendy beer gardens, there’s no shortage of places to enjoy a cold brew and some local cuisine.


If you’re planning a trip to Germany, it’s important to consider your accommodation options. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly hostel or a luxurious hotel, Germany has plenty of options to suit every budget and preference.


Germany has a wide range of hotels, from budget-friendly options to high-end luxury hotels. Some of the most popular hotel chains in Germany include:

  • Marriott
  • Hilton
  • Intercontinental
  • Radisson

If you’re looking for a more unique experience, consider staying in a castle or a historic building that has been converted into a hotel. These types of accommodations can be found throughout the country and offer a truly one-of-a-kind experience.


If you’re traveling on a budget, hostels are a great option for accommodation. Germany has many hostels located throughout the country, and they can range from basic dormitory-style rooms to private rooms with en-suite bathrooms.

Short-term Rentals

Another popular option for accommodation in Germany is short-term rentals. Websites such as Airbnb and HomeAway offer a wide range of apartments and houses for rent throughout the country. This option is often a good choice for families or groups who want more space and privacy than a hotel or hostel can offer.


For nature lovers, camping can be a great way to experience Germany’s beautiful scenery. There are many campgrounds located throughout the country, ranging from basic tent sites to fully-equipped RV parks.

Whichever type of accommodation you choose, be sure to book in advance, especially during peak travel season. With a little research, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay during your trip to Germany.

Safety and Emergency Information

When you’re traveling to a new country, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for any potential safety or emergency situations that may arise. Here are a few things to keep in mind when visiting Germany:

  • Germany is generally a safe country to visit, with a low crime rate compared to other European countries. However, it’s always important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
  • In case of an emergency, dial 112 to reach the police, fire department, or ambulance services.
  • Germany has a well-established healthcare system, with many hospitals and clinics available throughout the country. Make sure you have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies before you arrive.
  • If you plan to drive in Germany, make sure you’re familiar with the traffic laws and have a valid driver’s license. In case of an accident, call the police and your insurance company immediately.
  • Germany experiences natural disasters such as flooding and severe weather. Be sure to monitor local weather reports and follow the advice of local authorities in case of any emergency situations.
  • Be cautious of pickpockets and petty theft in crowded tourist areas or public transportation. Keep your belongings secure and be aware of your surroundings.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can help ensure that your trip to Germany is safe and enjoyable.

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