From bustling cities packed with sights to expansive forests for a quieter experience – Germany has plenty to offer visitors from abroad.
Lockdown restrictions due to coronavirus are set to be extended for the short term. However, the COVID-19 vaccine rollout will hopefully mean it is not too long until international travel is possible again.
Whether you are heading to Germany for work, a holiday, or to go travelling across Europe, there are some things you should know before visiting.
Know the transport zones
There are over 10,000 towns and cities in Germany, stretching from the North Sea to the Alps. Bigger cities like Berlin and Munich have a single integrated network encompassing the underground, local train lines, buses and trams. Fares are often determined by the tariff zones travelled through, so it is worth familiarising yourself with the local zones. For example, Munich moves from Zone 1 at the centre to Zone 6 on the outskirts, while Berlin goes from Zone A to Zone C as you move further out.
Germany has an impressive national train network but getting around by that method can often be expensive. For that price, though, there are high-quality services offering to take you from the culture of Berlin to the edgy port city of Hamburg or the medieval surroundings of Munich.
Cards and contactless not always a certainty when travelling through Germany. Unless it is otherwise a term of your bank account, you will be charged a non-sterling transaction fee to make purchases or withdraw cash from ATM’s in a foreign currency.
Cash is King in Germany. Although it’s use has declined in recent years, more than half of the payment transactions in the country in 2019 were done with cash. It is therefore a good idea to have cash handy so you don’t get caught short.
In Germany, when you are invited into a home it is appropriate to bring a gift. Preparing a home for visitors can take up quite a significant amount of time, so offering a token of your appreciation is always welcome.
However, if you are visiting on a weekend be sure to plan for your gift and purchase it in advances as shops close early on Saturday and are shut completely Sunday.
You can always send gifts to them prior or after your visit by using a parcel delivery service to send your parcel to Germany with tracking to make sure it reaches them.
When it comes to visiting a friend in Germany, it can be a good idea to ask your host if there is anything they would like you to bring with you.