Germany Travel Guide
Best Time to Visit Germany
- April to mid-June can be unpredictable weather wise, especially in the northern cities, but you’ll be rewarded with fewer tourists, discounted rates and the first good days of summer.
- Mid-June to August is peak tourist season, when the weather is at its best. The cities will be busy though, and both airfares and accommodation will be at their highest price points of the year.
- September and October offer great opportunities for the budget conscious and September into early October is characterised by warm weather and diminishing crowds. The second half of October usually brings wetter weather along with fabulous autumn colours and better deals on rooms and airfare, unless you’re visiting during Oktoberfest which is considered high season.
- November to March brings winter to Germany with short and dreary cold days, with freezing rain and snow in some places, especially in the south and east. This is the quietest time of year in the country and you’ll likely to find rock-bottom prices and have the streets to yourself.
- Pack layers for shoulder season trips and be prepared for all weathers, even in one day!
- Comfy shoes or boots with non-slip soles will help you negotiate cobbled streets safely.
- Sun protection, sunglasses and a cap or hat are a must in summer, when it will be warm enough for a t-shirt and shorts.
- Winter visitors should bring a waterproof quilted coat, warm layers and sturdy boots.
German City Destinations
The main language spoken in Germany is German. English is widely spoken, especially in cities.
To enter Germany, a valid passport with at least six months remaining is required. You may also need a visa to visit Germany and non-EU nationals may be required to show proof of funds and a return ticket.
German healthcare is not free to visitors unless there is a reciprocal arrangement on place. Where this is the case, emergency costs will be covered but ongoing medical costs and repatriation are not covered even if you are EU traveler with a valid EHIC card. We recommend taking out travel and medical insurance for your trip.
The currency in Germany is the Euro € and cents.
ATM’s which accept foreign cards are widely available in all cities and towns.
All major credit cards are widely accepted but you should still carry some cash.
Plugs in Italy are type C and F. The standard voltage is 230V, and the standard frequency is 50Hz. We recommend using a universal adapter with surge protection.
Some city municipalities provide free wifi zones which you have to register to use. Most hotels now provide free wifi. All of Germany’s cities and towns have good 4g coverage with 5g available in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt ad Cologne. Rent a travel hotspot with built in SIM for your trip and stay connected wherever you travel in Germany.
Tipping taxi drivers, waiting and hotel staff 10% is customary in Germany.
Germany is a very safe country in which to travel, with crime rates that are low by international standards. Though crimes against travellers rarely occur rarely, you should still take all the usual precautions and be aware of your surroundings at all times. In an emergency, the number for police, fire and ambulance is 112.
Intro to Germany
Germany is often misundertood and overlooked by travellers, but this beautiful country in the heart of Europe has so much to offer. With a handful of truly stunning cities, medieval towns and fairytale castles at every turn, and landscapes that will take your breath away, Germany is a country well worth visiting.
With land borders shared with nine other European countries, German has a varied and eclectic culture which is reflected in its dynamic. Forward thinking, creative and efficient, the urban landscape is exciting and refreshing, fuelled by a culture that brings world-class art museums, high-brow opera, cheeky cabaret and underground clubs.
Things to Know About Germany
- It’s customary to keep yourself to yourself and talk quietly when using public transport.
Getting to Germany
Germany is well-connected by air with direct international flights arriving into Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt and other top German cities. The Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt serves Berlin and opened in October 2020, replacing the numerous small airpots which previously handled Berlin’s air traffic.
Getting to Germany by train is easy from the rest of Europe, with numerous rail links into the country. Once in Germany, Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) high-speed ICE trains are easily the best way to travel between cities across the country – Berlin to Munich for example will take around four hours. Germany’s ICE trains travel at up to 186 mph from city centre to city centre, and if you pre-book online you can find some really good deals.
If you’re visiting from the rest of Europe, German’s fantastic autobahn network will carry you into and around the country with ease. With it’s nine land borders shared with Denmark in the north, Poland and the Czech Republic in the east, Switzerland and Austria in the south, France in the southwest and Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands in the west, Germany is the most accessible country in continental Europe.
Recommended Trip Resources
Germany’s capital city Berlin dates back to the 13th century. Reminders of the city’s recent turbulent history include its Holocaust memorial and the Berlin Wall’s graffitied remains. This is an eclectic and vibrant city that will appeal to the young at heart – expect street art, contemporary architecture and world-class museums with a sense of forward motion wherever you go.
Cologne (Koln) is a 2,000-year-old city which spans the mighty Rhine river in western Germany. Vibrant and alive, the city is home to the instantly recognisable twin filigree spires of Cologne cathedral, a landmark of High Gothic architecture. With a strong museum offer and reconstructed old town, Cologne is a city worth visiting.
A very modern city, Düsseldorf is known for its fashion industry and art scene. Divided by the Rhine River, with its Altstadt (Old Town) on the east bank and modern commercial areas to the west, you can shop up a storm on streets such as Konigsallee and Schadowstrasse before bar-hopping your way around the Altstadt.
Hamburg is Germany’s second city, sited on the river Elbe with access to the North Sea. Bursting with life, this cool city is home to cutting-edge architecture and rich Hanseatic history. Add to that classy cocktail bars, dance-all-night clubs and some seriously good restaurants and you’ve got a city which knows how to have a good time.
Much overlooked, Hanover (Hannover) is a city with a wealth of museums, theatre, live music and other cultural events. The wonderfully Baroque Herrenhäuser Gärten, Lake Maschsee and the Eilenriede, Europe’s largest urban forest, give Hanover an open feel which belies the ugly post-war architecture.
Leipzig is Saxony’s coolest city, a playground for young creatives who have been pushed out of the gentrified and unaffordable German capital. It’s also a city of enormous history, especially for music lovers due to its intrinsic connection to the lives and work of Bach, Mendelssohn and Wagner.
Münster, sometimes called Munester, is an historic city full of cobbled streets, medieval buildings and Gothic churches. A thriving and culturally important German city, the central Prinzipalmarkt is famed for its elegant gabled houses with their distinctive shapes, the Gothic Rathaus and medieval St. Lamberti Church, on whose spire the corpses of three Anabaptists were displayed, after they were executed for leading the Münster Rebellion in 1536.
Stuttgart, capital of southwest Germany’s Baden-Württemberg state, is known as a manufacturing hub. Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have their headquarters and museums here. The city is filled with green spaces, which wrap around its center alongside a mix of modern and medieval architecture, much of which is right in the middle of town.