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General Tips for Tourists in Germany

general tips for yourists in germany

Germany has emerged as one of the premier countries in which to vacation in Europe in recent years. Germany has a uniquely diverse landscape for a European, containing mountainous regions contrasted with sandy beaches and large, natural untouched forests. Germany’s beautiful landscape and it’s abundance of amazing destinations add to its appeal. The Germans, themselves, are very hospitable and welcoming to visitors to their country, showing that they are proud of their land and the progress they have made in becoming a world player in economics, culture, and tourism.

For some visitors, Germany may be their first exposure to Europe and its small, but apparent differences in their culture. Here are some tips for traveling to and staying in Germany:

• Germany has adopted the Euro for its currency for the ease of trade across its borders. Virtually every financial institution around the world will be able to accommodate currency exchanges, current exchange rates, and will be able to determine if your credit cards and debit cards will be accepted in most places. Credit cards are typically not accepted quite as much as in other countries, particularly the U.S. so planning ahead is a good idea.
• One of the first things travelers will notice when settling into a hotel room in Germany is the different style of electrical outlet. Compared to, say American 110 Volts, Germans much higher 220 Volt outlets put out much more power. There are adapters available, but you would be much better served by bringing along a voltage regulator with an interchangeable adaptor. The extra voltage being sent to your electrical device without regulation can cause major malfunctions. This is particularly true of relatively fragile electronics such as laptops.

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• Speaking of laptops, if you like to stay connected then you will likely want to know how to get online while on vacation in Germany. Many Americans have become accustomed to paying a flat rate for unlimited use of access to the internet, but German ISPs typically charge a per minute rate. Though many hotels do offer Wi-Fi service, they too are typically billed at a daily or weekly rate. Wi-Fi would definitely be the way to go when accessing the web since an adaptor will be needed to plug in. Additionally, it is a good idea to specifically ask about rates and availability at your hotel’s front desk before plugging in – many German hotels’ long distance rates pack a punch!
• If your cell phone provider uses GSM technology, then your phone may work in Germany. If not, then you are probably out of luck. Verizon, Cingular, and T-Mobile have all moved towards GSM technology in recent years in an attempt to satisfy trans-Atlantic needs. Check with your carrier on availability.
• If you are from a major metropolitan area in the U.S. or other country, then you may be familiar with a problem many Germans also face – parking. If you rent a car in Germany, then parking will likely become an issue when visiting the larger cities such as Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg. There are also frequent tolls, narrow streets, one way streets, and no shortage of pedestrians to look out for. Germany’s public transportation system is one of the best in the world and will usually be cheaper than renting a car, so you may want to use the trains whenever possible to avoid some potential stress.

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