Germany Travel Guide

Germany is often misunderstood 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.

Find out everything you need to know before you visit Germany, including trip highlights, travel tips, road trip guides and city itineraries, with our Germany visitor’s guide.

Intro to Germany

With land borders shared amongst nine other European countries, German has a varied and eclectic culture. From the industrial heartland of Europe to the wealthy cities of the North and the mountains and lakes of Bavaria in the south, Germany has a lot to offer the visitor.

Nested amongst the landscape are medieval towns, fairytale castles, meandering rivers and stunning mountain regions. With world-class wine-producing regions, outstanding driving roads and a fascinating modern history to explore, this country has something for everyone.

Forward-thinking, creative and efficient, the urban landscape is reflective of the country’s emerging culture and brings world-class art museums, high-brow opera, street art and underground clubs together in an eclectic and energising mix.

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 the 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 find rock-bottom prices and have the streets to yourself.

Germany Travel Tips

  • The main language spoken in Germany is German. English is widely spoken, especially in cities.
  • CEST – Central European Summer Time.
  • To enter Germany, a valid passport with at least three 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 in place. Where this is the case, emergency costs will be covered but ongoing medical costs and repatriation are not covered even if you are an 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.  
  • ATMs which accept foreign cards are widely available in all cities and towns.
  • Credit cards are widely accepted, with Visa and Mastercard being the most common.
  • Plugs in Germany are type C and F. The standard voltage is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50Hz. We recommend using a universal adapter with surge protection like this one.
  • 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. Find the best EU SIM card for your trip here.
  • 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 travelers 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. 

Germany Packing Tips

  • Pack warm layers for shoulder season and winter trips and be prepared for all weathers, even in one day!
  • Winter visitors should bring a quilted-down puffer coat, warm layers and sturdy boots.
  • A warm hat, scarf, gloves and thermals will also be needed for the colder months.
  • 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.
  • Make sure to bring a waterproof jacket, or showerproof top, even in summer.
  • If you’re visiting towns and cities, make sure to pack trainers or comfy walking shoes to help you negotiate Germany’s cobbled streets.
  • Technical gear that washes easily and dries quickly is a great option if you’re road tripping or moving about a lot.
  • Don’t forget an easy-to-manage day bag, such as a rucksack or day sack.

Germany Highlights

Germany Road Trips

Motorhome Germany Resources

Things to Know About Germany

  • Germans place a high priority on structure, privacy, and punctuality. The German people embrace the values of thriftiness and hard work; life in Germany is well-organized and Germans are usually very compliant with the rules. Although this may sound constraining, it means that everything works as it should; life is peaceful, the environment clean and you know what to expect when to expect it and how to deal with it.
  • In Germany, it is considered rude to stand too close to another person; one to two meters would be a good distance. This unwritten rule applies to people you know and also strangers, for example when you are queuing in a shop. Do not gesticulate too much when talking, this invades personal space even more.
  • Public transport in Germany will be on time, every time. Do not allow yourself to run late or you will miss your bus or train. It’s customary to keep yourself to yourself and talk quietly when using public transport.
  • Jaywalking (crossing the road where there is no crossing or where the lights are not green) is illegal in Germany and whilst unlikely, you may get fined if caught.
  • Shops and many bars and restaurants do not open on Sundays, even in tourist destinations. 
  • Germany is very open about their war history and younger people especially, are happy to discuss how it has affected their recent history. Using the Nazi salute, shouting “heil Hitler” and displaying the swastika or other symbols of the Third Reich is a criminal offense, punishable by up to five years in prison.
  • Do not be disrespectful at concentration camps or Jewish memorials by taking selfies or climbing on memorial stones or buildings. Such places should be visited if possible; they do not always make for the most comfortable of tourist attractions but nevertheless, the holocaust and its victims should not be forgotten.
Germany

Germany Travel Resources

Getting There

Fly into one of 36 international airports across Germany.

Driving

Drive from the UK and Europe or hire a car in the country.

Need a Visa?

Some countries need a visa to visit Germany – find out if you need one here.

Travel Insurance

Cover medical expenses, delays and lost luggage.

Hotels & Places to Stay

Hotels, guesthouses, AirBnBs, hostels and homestays.

Tours & Activities

Find city guides, historic sites, guided tours and activities.

Essential Travel Products for Your Germany Trip

iBlock Universal Adaptor

Lonely Planet Germany Guide

Berghaus Nula Long Jacket

Under Armour Coldgear

Ultra Lightweight Backpack

Eastpack Springer Bum Bag

Gonex Wheeled Duffel Bag

GolocalMe G4 WiFi Hotspot

Essential Oils Hand Sanitiser

Collapsible Water Bottle

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