Germany Travel Guide
🗝️ Key Facts
💶Currency: Euro €
🕙Time Zone: +1 GMT
📞Phone Code: +49
✈️Best time to visit: May-October
🍴Eat: Currywurst / Bratwurst
🍷Drink: Mulled Wine
🗺️Don't miss: Views from the Fernsehturm (Berlin)
🗺 Menu of Contents:
Germany sits on top of the best destinations in Europe, as it offers a competitive high quality tourism options which can range from historical, cultural and scenic to technologically advanced, modern cities, clean and an organised way of life, just like its people. However, emerging from a troubled 20th-century history, Germany has come a long way since the famous divisions between east and west, to now become one of the most stable and progressive countries in the world.
The country is home to forests, river valleys, mountains, historic towns, and unique culinary experiences. Visitors can also enjoy a diverse range of cultural riches, several truly cosmopolitan cities, a famous beer and wine industry, and 44 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Most foreign visitors to Germany choose to visit vibrant Berlin or cheerful Munich, but there are a wealth of other prime tourist destinations as well. Several themed tourist routes take in the gorgeous countryside featuring notable cultural assets such as Germany's wine routes, historic castles, the famous Black Forest and more.
The capital lies in the east and is home to the Brandenburg Gate, Germany's most iconic landmark. Tourists can stroll past the historic Berlin Wall and admire the world's largest open-air art gallery. To the west sits Cologne Cathedral, a prime example of gothic architecture. The north of the country houses the bridges and canals of Hamburg as well as the resorts of the North Sea. Bavaria and the world's favourite beer festival, Oktoberfest, attract visitors to the south.
For those seeking high culture, Germany abounds with jazz clubs, concert halls and art galleries (such as Berlin's Gemäldegalerie). For a more sobering and poignant experience tourists can visit the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site.
With something to offer everyone, from independent backpackers to discerning older travellers, families and everyone in between, Germany is a sure bet for an unforgettable European holiday.
Germany is one of Europe's favourite destinations and it's to no surprise that it's one of the most accessible destinations from Europe, and in fact, from the world, with very frequent connections by all means of transport. It's possible to reach Germany from every country in the world with only one stop. In fact there are multiple direct destinations, not only from the main cities ( Frankfurt and Munich) but from other secondary cities which get very busy during the summer months and festive periods. (for example Dusseldorf, Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin etc).
Lufthansa is the national airline carrier offering flights to every continent in the world thanks to one of Europe's largest networks. You can fly direct to Germany from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, USA, Canada, Japan, China, Thailand, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia amongst other countries. Additionally it flies to many European destinations making connections simple and easy. To reach secondary cities in Germany Lufthansa, together with its affiliates (Eurowings and Air Dolomiti) provides the best connections to reach your destination of choice. If that wasn't enough, Lufthansa has agreements with the national train company DB (Deutsche Bahn) to transfer by train to smaller cities where there are no flights.
Within Europe you also have the possibility to go with the low cost airlines which operate to many destinations, both business and leisure routes. Popular airlines are easyJet, Ryanair, Eurowings or Wizzair.
Once in the country, travelling in Germany is very easy thanks to a very comprehensive network of rail and roads linking any city and town in the county. Roads are safe, well paved and there are many highways between major cities making driving a good option if you a renting a car. Driving in Germany is considered as one of the safest countries thanks to the good attitude of drivers, well conditioned roads and modern safety equipment used.
When travelling from neighbouring countries to Germany, it's quite often the trains and coaches are a good alternative to the plane. Specially prices are more affordable and the scenery you cross can be very amazing if transiting via Switzerland, Austria or France for example. Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin benefit from these connections from other countries so it's worth checking train and bus companies for prices. (Interrail for trains and Eurolines for busses)
Within Germany, the train has been the favourite mean of transport, the national company, Deutsche Bahn (DB) provides the best network across the country to connect to any city, large or small. Trains are very comfortable, reliable and efficient. However, sometimes the DB can suffer major delays and cancellations due to the large network it operates and have engineering issues. Always plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time if connecting to another mode of transport, like airports.
✔️Tip: When travelling by DB it's recommend you book your tickets online as early as possible, specially if travelling inter-city, as fares are sold on a first come basis online at reasonable fares, but as time gets closer to departure, the DB is very expensive. Expect to pay up to €80 when you could buy the same trip for only €25 one month ahead.
In recent years now it's also possible to travel by coach across Germany, since the monopoly of the DB was broken up. There are many bus companies offering very good fares to travel around the country, and although there are slower, the price difference is definitely worth trying them. The most popular bus companies are Meinfernbus, Flixbus, or IC Bus amongst many more.
Public transport in Germany is very efficient. When in big cities there is no need to stay within the centre as transport networks are cheap and accessible with many services running during the whole night. Each state in Germany operates its own transport system and integrated passes and tickets can be obtained to travel around the whole of the state. These passes combine all modes of transport; Regional Trains, Inter-city trains, ICE (Inter-city Express trains), Trams, U-Bahn (metro) and busses. So when staying for a longer period of time, make sure you check passes which can be an interesting way of discovering the state and other places/cities around. For more information of each transport system refer to the city guides below.
Attention!: Public Transport in Germany is all open, which means you can get on any mode of transport without showing your tickets or going past a barrier. However always remember to have your tickets validated. Before the journey starts tickets must be validated by stamping them at the yellow or red boxes on the platforms, in busses or trams. In case of inspection, a ticket that is not stamped is invalid and therefore you might be fined. In some cities, inspections are very rare, whilst in the bigger metropolis you can except a better control. If you skip buying a ticket and are caught you must pay a higher fare of 60 Euros. Note that ticket inspectors are dressed in plain clothes and normally will not make any exceptions for tourists. Those who get caught have to show an ID, otherwise the police will be called.
❗Attention: Public Transport in Germany is all open, which means you can get on any mode of transport without showing your tickets or going past a barrier. However, always remember to have your tickets validated. Before the journey starts tickets must be validated by stamping them at the yellow or red boxes on the platforms, in busses or trams.
In case of inspection, a ticket that is not stamped is invalid and therefore you might be fined. In some cities, inspections are very rare, whilst in the bigger metropolis you can except a better control. If you skip buying a ticket and are caught you must pay a higher fare of 60 Euros, at least. Note that ticket inspectors are dressed in plain clothes and normally will not make any exceptions for tourists. Those who get caught have to show an ID, otherwise the police will be called.
Germany has a temperate climate throughout the country with warm summers and cold winters. The best time to visit Germany is from May to October when temperatures are pleasant to be out and explore the countryside. However the Summer, July and August can be hot with temperatures reaching as much as 35 °C in some cities! Generally the further north you go the cooler it will be.
Winter's are cold and at times snowy, specially to the east of the country. Winter's temperatures can reach as little as -10 °C, whilst the average is around 5 °C. But Winter's can also be a beautiful time of year to visit during Christmas time with all the Christmas Market open and the cities heavily decorated for the festive season. Also it's worth to note that it can rain a lot during the Autumn, Winter and Spring, so adequate clothing should be taken, specially if you are visiting the countryside.
When it comes to German cuisine, it's hard not to think about sausages and beer. Naturally these are very popular throughout the country, but there is much more to Germany that meets the eye. You will find lot's of infusion between German-Turkish recipes and Asian cuisines. However more traditional foods can be found at every town, you won’t have to look far to find pretzels, sauerkraut or schnitzel. At home, most Germans love meat dishes whilst their favourites on second place are pasta, lasagna and pizza.
Specialities which can be found are: Bratwurst, grilled sausage typically made from a combination of pork, beef and/or veal. Currywurst, is a fast food dish of German origin consisting of steamed, then fried pork sausage typically cut into slices and seasoned with curry ketchup. Eisbein mit sauerkraut: A cured and boiled leg of pork accompanied by mashed potatoes. Schwäbische maultaschen, a large savoury meat-stuffed ravioli from Stuttgart. Butterbrez’n, a soft pretzel sliced in two and slathered with butter. Käsespätzle, hot egg noodles tossed with cheese. Eintopf, a hearty, warming stew made by cooking vegetables, pulses and meat in a broth. Eierpfannkuchen, pancakes commonly served with jam and sprinkled sugar, fruit or cream. Schwarzwälder kirschtorte, black Forest gateau, a cake with layers of chocolate sponge, cherries and whipped cream and lashings of cherry liqueur. Lebkuchen, gingerbread biscuits typically eaten around Christmas. Weihnachtsstollen, is a fruit bread containing dried fruit and often covered with powdered sugar or icing sugar. The bread is usually made with chopped candied fruit and/or dried fruit, nuts and spices, typically eaten at Christmas.
As for drinks: Beer, of course, although the Germans are also into their wines. Beer is very well brewed with distinctive strong flavours.There are literally thousands of varieties of German beer on offer, from Weissbier (a cloudy light-coloured wheat brew) to Kölsch (a top-fermented beer brewed exclusively in the Cologne region) to Altbier (a dark copper coloured pour most popular in Düsseldorf).There are many breweries around the country producing local and national beers. Ebbelwoi, an apple wine from Hessen. Schnapps, clear fruit-flavoured brandies available in hundreds of varieties. Kirschwasser, a colourless cherry-flavoured spirit that originates from the Black Forest region.
Germany has been always a country at the top of the list to visit. In fact it was the first country to have visited since I moved to the United Kingdom to set a new life. Since the beginning it was appealing to visit for it's culture, many history facts, famous cities, landmarks and the gastronomy. It's a destination which can't be seen easily at a simple glance, you need to explore many of it's fascinating cities till you can get a whole picture of Germany.
Over the years I've made friends in this country which always is inviting to go back, revisit cities or see it's natural wonders. People are polite, respectful, punctual and take pride in their work above all. It's not a surprise that after so much work the Germans really know how to enjoy themselves with plenty of places to socialise, go out, and have fun! The food and the drink is really tasty and is something of a culture when visiting Germany to try the local cuisine of the area! Not to mention the beer alone which is one of the tastiest beers I have ever tried! Indeed, Germany has a lot to offer and it's really an amazing country which has so much potential and can be interesting in so many ways. A favourite for me!
(More than 10 times visited)