Discovery Germany travel guide

Germany, known during the Renaissance as ‘the land of poets and thinkers’, has had a significant cultural impact on the Western world.

It’s a popular destination that presents travellers with storybook scenery, famous historical sites, good food and trendy places to party. The deep forests, rivers and mountain ranges provide wide-ranging activities for adventurers, and the romantic vineyards and beaches in the north are ideal for a laid-back European getaway.

Germany shares a border with 9 European countries — Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the  Netherlands. Germany is on Central European Time (CET) UTC+1 but also participates in daylight savings known as ‘Summer Time’, which is UTC+2.

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Emergency Numbers Emergency dial 112
Police dial 110
 
Main Ethnic Groups 88.2% Germans
8.4% Europeans
3.4% Turks
 
Main Religion 70% Christian Religion
4% Islam
1% Judaism and Buddhism
 
Geographic Facts Capital and Largest City: Berlin (3.6 million people)  
  • Germans are known for their organisation, time management and serious nature. Overall, most customs are similar to those in other Western countries, but here’s a few tips to help win over the locals:

  • Punctuality is highly regarded, so make sure you’re always on time for appointments.
  • Germans are environmentally conscious so remember to throw your can of softdrink into the correct recycling container or you might get some disapproving looks.
  • It’s polite to greet everyone when you enter shops, especially smaller outlets, so practice saying “Guten Tag”.
  • Don’t walk in the bike lane — the Germans expect rules to be followed and this lane is strictly for bikes only.
  • Guten Morgen = Good Morning
  • Danke = Thank you
  • Bitte = Please
  • Nein = No
  • Entschuldigen Sie = Excuse
Spring is a lively time to visit Germany. After the cold winter, the country comes alive with Spring fairs and Easter celebrations, and it’s also less busy than in Summer months. If you are after a party, however, visit in late September as this is when the annual Oktoberfest celebration is held in Munich.
Germany has four main seasons throughout the year which match well with its beautiful scenery. Summer temperatures can be wonderful but they don’t last for very long. Temperatures below are averages for Berlin:
Summer
Jun to Aug
12° / 21°
Autumn
Sep to Nov
6° / 13°
Winter
Dec to Feb
-7° / -4°
Spring
Mar to May
4° / 13°
Germany has excellent public transport. Big cities have buses, trams, underground and overground trains. There are also bicycles, which are popular with the locals, and electric cars that can be hired directly from charging stations on the street. Between cities there is an extensive network of trains, planes and even boats to get you from A to B.
Dialing code +49


 
Visas - A visa is not required for tourists up to 90 days
Language is German.



The drinking age in Germany is 16 for wine & beer and 18 for spirits.
Currency Euro 
(CAD$1 = €0.67) 
*average rate, 2017-2019.
Tipping - Service and VAT are included in the menu price. However, it is typical to "round up" the amount to some more-or-less round figure. Nevertheless, the 5-10% rule of  thumb still applies and try to tip in cash.
Drive on the right side of the road.

 
Electrical / device: 230V - Type C and Type F plug
  • The most unmanned vehicles in flight at once — 100 drones flew in formation over Hamburg with an LED light show to the sounds of Beethoven.
  • The largest audience at a 3-D film screening is 6,819 people, achieved at the German première of Men in Black 3 at O2 World in Berlin.
National icons are the Black Eagle, Brandenburg Gate and Lederhosen.
DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all information as of the date of publishing, Allianz Global Assistance does not accept liability for any errors or omissions. Allianz Global Assistance strongly recommends seeking the guidance of a professional travel agent/agency for further information on a specific destination. On your next trip, whether to another province or country, ensure you have travel insurance as it may assist you in cases of unforeseen medical emergencies and other types of mishaps that can happen while you travel. Travel insurance does not cover everything, please always refer to the policy document for full terms and conditions, including limitations and exclusions. Allianz Global Assistance is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc. and AZGA Insurance Agency Canada Ltd. Photography Credits: Anton Gvozdikov, Shutterstock.com.
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