Germany is a country that has been popular for centuries. This popularity stems from the unique culture and history, as well as the beautiful countryside and architecture. It’s also one of the most visited countries in Europe with over 80 million international visitors each year.
German culture is very different from American culture, so it can be hard to break into their society if you don’t know what to do or where to go. We have gathered some tips for traveling in Germany so you can avoid any pitfalls and make your trip enjoyable.
Table of Contents
- How should I prepare for a trip to Germany?
- Top Tips for Traveling to Germany
- 1) Make sure you learn some basic phrases before arriving
- 2) Be aware of the cultural norms
- 3) Try out the local food
- 4) Take time to explore the countryside
- 5) Visit a beer garden
- 6) Attend a festival
- 7) Ride the train
- 8) Visit a castle or castles
- 9) See a city
- 10) Shop till you drop
- Things to Know Before Visiting Germany
- German Restaurants and Bars
- German Grocery Stores
- Store Closing Hours
- Public Phones
- Miscellaneous Facts
- Internet Cafes
- Public Transportation
- German Culture
- Popular Types of Tourist Attractions in Germany
- Beer Halls
- Bike Tours
- Christmas Markets
- World-Class Museums
- Historical Sights
- Hiking Trails
- What should I avoid doing in Germany?
- Is the food in Germany cheap?
- Is it safe to visit Germany?
- How should I prepare for a trip to Germany?
How should I prepare for a trip to Germany?
Make sure to carry good sneakers as the time is long to walk. I suggest taking some sunglasses and sunscreen. Bring your swimsuits so you are able to use the pools in your room if they’re available.
If you’re planning on traveling to Germany, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind in order to make the most of your trip.
First and foremost, make sure you’re well-prepared. That means packing the right clothes and supplies, and doing your research beforehand so you know what to expect.
To start, it’s always important to pack appropriately for the weather. Germany can be quite chilly, even in the summertime, so be sure to bring a coat, hat, and gloves if you’re visiting during the colder months. Additionally, Germany is a very walkable country, so come prepared with good sneakers or walking shoes.
One of the best things about traveling to Germany is that there’s always something new to see and do. With a history spanning over 2,000 years, Germany is home to some of the world’s most famous landmarks and attractions.
Whether you’re interested in visiting ancient cathedrals and castles or checking out the latest museums and amusement parks, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest.
In addition to sightseeing, Germany is also a great place for outdoor activities. From hiking and biking in the countryside to swimming and skiing in the mountains, there’s something for everyone.
And don’t forget about the country’s delicious food – be sure to try some of the local specialties while you’re there! All in all, Germany is a great place to visit, and with these travel tips in mind, you’re sure to have an amazing trip.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your German adventure today.
Top Tips for Traveling to Germany
Here are some of our favorite tips for visiting Germany so you can make the most of your experience.
1) Make sure you learn some basic phrases before arriving
Germans are known for being direct, which means they won’t beat around the bush when speaking with others. The best way to avoid an embarrassing situation is by learning a few basic phrases and words before arriving.
Some basic German phrases to know are “Hello,” “Thank you,” “Please,” and “I don’t understand.”
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2) Be aware of the cultural norms
Germans have very different ways of doing things, so it is important to be aware of the cultural norms before traveling.
For example, in Germany it is considered very impolite to be late, so make sure you arrive at your meeting or dinner on time. Make sure you understand German punctuality and the importance of structure.
Additionally, Germans are known for being honest and straightforward, so don’t be surprised if they tell you that your outfit looks silly or that your idea isn’t very good.
3) Try out the local food
German food is world-famous for a reason! From bratwurst and sauerkraut to apple strudel and Black Forest cake, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The good thing is that generally speaking is that you’ll find cheap food regardless of whether it’s luxury German food or German street food.
Be sure to try out some of the local dishes while you’re in Germany, you won’t regret it!
4) Take time to explore the countryside
Be sure to take some time to explore the countryside while you’re in Germany, you won’t regret it!
5) Visit a beer garden
Germans love their beer, and what better way to experience German culture than by visiting a traditional beer garden? These gardens are popular spots for locals and travelers alike, so be sure to check one out while you’re in Germany.
6) Attend a festival
Germany is home to some of the world’s most famous festivals, such as Oktoberfest and the Christmas markets. There are many other festivals in Germany that are worth visiting. One of the most famous is the Carnival of Cologne, which takes place in February. The festival is a 5-day celebration that includes parades, parties, and a beauty contest.
Another popular festival is the Berlin Beer Festival, which takes place every August. The festival features more than 300 different types of beer from around the world. Be sure to attend at least one festival while you’re in Germany, you won’t regret it. It’s truly a must-do when you visit Germany.
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7) Ride the train
The German railway system is one of the best in the world, so be sure to take a ride on the train while you’re in the country. You’ll get to see some amazing scenery and you’ll be able to get around quickly and easily.
You will also save money along the way since train transportation is very affordable within the country. Consider getting a rail pass to save even more and ride as much as you want for a single cost.
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8) Visit a castle or castles
Germany is home to some of the most beautiful castles in the world, so be sure to visit at least once while you’re in the country. From the imposing Neuschwanstein Castle (the Disney castle was modeled after this) to the fairytale-like Hohensalzburg Castle, there is something for everyone.
There are over 20,000 castles in Germany, so there is no shortage of options when it comes to choosing one to visit.
Whether you’re looking for a fairytale-like castle or an imposing medieval fortress, you’ll be able to find it in Germany. Be sure to add at least one castle visit to your itinerary while you’re in the country.
9) See a city
Germany is home to some of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world. There are a ton of great big cities as well as small towns with that historic charm to explore.
From the lively city of Berlin to the charming city of Dresden, there is something for everyone. Be sure to visit at least one vibrant city while you’re in Germany.
10) Shop till you drop
Germany is home to some of the best shopping in the world and is a perennially underrated shopping destination. From high-end designer stores to traditional German markets, you’ll be able to find something for everyone. Be sure to do some shopping while you’re in Germany, you won’t regret it.
These are some travel tips for your Germany trip, but there are plenty of other considerations to keep in mind. Let’s break them down by restaurants, shopping, and speaking the language.
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Things to Know Before Visiting Germany
German Restaurants and Bars
You do not get water for free, you have to pay for it. If you order water you will get carbonated water. In most restaurants, you can request tap water and they may or may not charge you but it is most likely straight from the sink.
In some American fast-food restaurants (i.e. McDonald’s) you must pay for ketchup as well. Be aware that the menus at most fast-food restaurants in Germany are not exactly the same. You may also notice that a sandwich that you recognize from back home may taste a little different or it could be smaller.
When you enter a restaurant you will not be seated, just walk right in and pick the table of your choice!– the tip should be much smaller than you would give in the States (this is because the waiters/waitresses get paid more than in the states).
A tip of two or three EUR would be considered a good tip for very good service.
German Grocery Stores
If you shop for groceries in Germany you will notice the supermarkets have all of their large rolling carts outside in a designated area and they are locked to one another. In order to utilize a cart, you must place one EUR in the cart itself, you will see the slot on the handle.
Upon leaving the grocery store you latch the cart back to the other carts and pull the device out where you placed the coin, now you can retrieve your coin.
When you have all of the groceries you want, proceed to the check-out counter. You will have to purchase plastic bags to put the groceries in or you can take one in yourself. If you decide to purchase one they are usually visible at the counter and normally only cost a few cents.
If there is a long line do not put all of your groceries in the bag, put them back into the cart and bag them away from the line.
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Store Closing Hours
On Sunday everything is closed except for some restaurants, bars, gas stations, and shops at the main train station and bigger airports. Some bigger stores are realizing that they can make much more money if they open on Sunday so they are doing just that, but I would not rely on it.
During the week shops in bigger cities close at 8 PM at the latest. You may see shops in smaller cities closing even earlier.
Public phones are very rare in Germany. If you find one you will notice that they only take telephone cards. You can buy a telephone card in different shops like “T-Punkt”, “Telekom”, “Post”, and “Vodafone” or you can go to an internet cafe.
“Bad” in front of a towns name does not mean that the people of the city is bad for example, “Bad Homburg”, Bad in front of a towns name normally means that the town is designated as a healthy location normally with very clean air and water and that there is a health resort or Spa.
I’ve personally purchased tickets to Frankfurt for under $500. However, the time of the year can obviously impact ticket prices and they are always fluctuating and pricing has gone up over the years.
Purchasing travel insurance will also be beneficial for unexpected emergencies or accidents.
Electrical sockets in Germany are CEE 7/4 (Type F). You will need an adaptor to use U.S. appliances in Germany.
If you don’t have a laptop or tablet and find yourself in need of internet access, there are plenty of places where you can go to get online. The most common place would be an internet cafe. In most cases, you can purchase an internet access card for a set time period (usually an hour, two hours, or a day).
These cards can be purchased at most convenience stores and kiosks. The price for an hour of internet access will typically range from 2-5 EUR.
In Germany, the public transportation system is very efficient and comprehensive. There are different types of transportation that you can use, depending on your needs. The most common form of public transportation is the train. In most cases, the train will be the fastest and most efficient way to get around a city. Train stations are available in most cities.
You can purchase tickets for individual trips or for a day pass. With a day pass, you can use the train and the bus as much as you want for a specific time period (e.g., from 9 AM to 3 PM).
Day passes range from 5-9 EUR depending on where you purchase them from. You can obtain your ticket either from a machine at the train stations or at a ticket office.
Another common form of public transport is the bus. Buses are typically used to get to and from the train station and the airport. In most cases, you will not need to purchase a separate ticket for the bus; your train ticket will also be valid for the bus.
In Germany, punctuality is highly valued. When you are meeting someone, it is considered very rude to be late. If you are running late, be sure to let the other person know as soon as possible. Germans also have a reputation for being efficient and organized. Things tend to run on schedule and there is usually little waiting time.
Germans are not loud or overly talkative, especially in public. It is considered rude to be noisy or disruptive at restaurants, cafes, or shops. Be sure to mind your volume when you are out and about.
Germans do not appreciate it very much if people try too hard; meaning that it is better not to show off your skills unless they are actually needed.
For example, many Germans are not impressed by your knowledge of the language if you are a foreigner and they will see it as trying too hard to speak German. Save your German skills for when you actually need them.
When you are visiting someone’s home, be sure to take off your shoes. Most Germans keep their homes very clean and tidy and it is considered rude to walk around in your stocking feet or shoes.
Tipping is not customary in Germany and you will likely not need to tip for most services so you’ll save money. If you do decide to tip, a gratuity of 5-10% is considered generous.
Popular Types of Tourist Attractions in Germany
City Tours in major cities like Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich offer a wide variety of things to see and do. However, there are a few popular types of tourist destinations that can be found across Germany.
There are many castles in Germany that you can visit. If you’re interested, you can plan your trip around the castles as some of them are only open during certain months of the year. Most visited castles are open from March to October and a few remain open throughout the winter as well. Prices vary depending on which castle you want to visit but usually range from 5-10 EUR per person.
In Germany, beer halls and beer gardens are popular places to eat, drink, and socialize. There is often live entertainment and food available for purchase. For example, the Hofbräuhaus in Munich is one of the most popular German beer halls.
Be aware that during busy times, there may be lines to get into the beer hall, but it will move quickly. The Hofbräuhaus opens at 10:00 AM on weekdays and 9:00 AM on weekends.
If you’re an avid biker, then Germany may be the perfect place for you to visit. There are many bike trails and tours throughout the country that can help get you started exploring new places! For example, Ironbridge Gorge offers half-day biking tours where participants will enjoy scenic views of the countryside.
Germany is famous for its Christmas markets, which can be found in most major cities. The markets are open from late November to December and offer a variety of food, drinks, and gift items. They are typically very crowded, so be prepared to do a bit of pushing and shoving if you want to make it through the Christmas Market.
If you’re a fan of museums, then Germany has plenty to offer. The country is home to some of the world’s most renowned museums and admission fees typically range from 5-15 EUR per person.
Like many other countries in Europe, Germany has an extensive history. Visiting historical sights is a great way to learn more about the country’s rich culture and tradition. Some popular historical sites include the World War II Vorbunker/Führerbunker -Berlin, Berlin Wall (which now hosts guided tours), and the Neuschwanstein Castle in southern Bavaria.
Like the bikers, hikers will find many trails to explore all across Germany. The country is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe and provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Some popular hiking trails can be found in the Berchtesgaden National Park, Black Forest, the Bavarian Alps, and around crystal clear lakes like Lake Constance.
These are just a few things you can do while visiting Germany but there are a lot more like amazing food, the best deals in most shops, art and music scene.
In conclusion, if you are going to visit Germany just make sure to use common sense and obey local laws like the speed limit when driving. And don’t forget your travel essentials and make sure to enjoy your trip to Germany.
What should I avoid doing in Germany?
Some things that you should avoid doing or bringing into the country are any Nazi symbols, weapons, and drug-related items. It is also not advised to walk around at night alone in big cities.
Is the food in Germany cheap?
Food in Germany can be cheap or expensive, depending on what you order. If you want to save money you can eat at a fast-food restaurant, your meal will likely be less than 10 EUR. However, if you go to a sit-down restaurant, you could spend upwards of 30 EUR per person.
Is it safe to visit Germany?
Among European countries, Germany is considered to be one of the safest to visit. However, just like any other destination, it is always important to use common sense and be aware of your surroundings.
How should I prepare for a trip to Germany?
To best prepare for your trip to Germany, it is important to do some research on the places you plan to visit. Make sure to read up on the history and culture of the areas you will be traveling to, as this will help you better understand the people and their traditions.
Additionally, it is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with travel essentials like travel insurance and health insurance that will be useful while traveling.