Prepare for feasts, treats, and temptations as you take in Germany’s beautiful scenery and fascinating cities, culture and romantic palaces. Germany is blessed with diverse and beautiful natural landscapes — from the dune-covered coast to the North down to the lush green forests,
river valleys, vineyards of the center and of course the splendor of the Alps in the South.
The glamour and grit of Berlin are great for fans of vibrant culture, edgy architecture, and fabulous food. If you’re an art enthusiast, treat your eyes to some world-class art in a WW2 bunker. If you’re looking for Alpine flavor, Munich is the place to visit. The Bavarian capital also
has plenty of cheerful beer gardens and open spaces to while away a sunny day. The 19th century Romantics found beauty in Germany’s oldest University town, Heidelberg. Generations of students have attended lectures, sung with beer steins in their hands and carved their names
onto tavern tables. In mist, snow or shine, the deep dark Black forest is breathtaking. If it’s back to nature moments you’re after, then this slice of South Western Germany is the place to go. The country has something for everyone! Below is a list of important tips and tricks for your visit to Germany.
1. Never travel cashless
You’d expect Germany, a leading manufacturer of automobiles and technology, to support the credit card trend, however, this is not the case. Paying with cards is not a widespread or popular method of payment as it is in other countries. Generally, cards are exclusively used in big
shopping centers and it can be problematic if you don’t have enough cash on you. On an afternoon/evening out in the town, anything between a 100-300 euros should be enough to cover meal, transport and miscellaneous costs. Additionally, it’s also good to have coins or spare change on you as public restrooms will charge you!
2. Download the DBE App for transport
The DBE or Deutsche Bahn app is used to access trains across Germany. This app not only allows you to look up train times and train ticket prices for the Deutsche Bahn trains but it also enables you to access regional transport. In a particular city or town, you would be able to look
up the local bus/tram system. This is an extremely helpful application to download as it shows you different transportation options and you can make a choice depending on your budget.
3. Sundays are Siesta Days
This is a tradition of sorts across several parts of the world as it is in Germany. Sundays are considered to be ‘off days’ or days of rest — keep in mind that most retail/grocery stores and malls are shut on this day. Restaurants and other eateries are usually open, however, if you have
any last minute shopping to do, take care of it before Sunday!
4. Carry a Rich Moisturiser
The water in Germany is very different from the water anywhere else — it is quite harsh and can be an irritant for people with sensitive skin. Invest in a good face as well as a body lotion to keep your skin from drying out, cracking and bleeding. If you are visiting during wintertime when its
snowing and the area is very dry and crisp, a good lotion is essential. Save yourself the hassle and moisturize regularly to keep your skin healthy.
5. Invest in Warm Clothes
Once again, this is especially for tourists who are looking to visit during the winter or spring months. It is essential to have a good coat and winter thermals to protect yourself from the harsh cold. However, if you’ve layered yourself properly, you’ll be fine and the snow can be dealt with. If
you’re going on an exchange or visiting for a longer period, try and buy your winter wear from Germany itself, as they are made for and specifically tailored to the kind of weather you’d experience there.
6. Fernbusse — Long Distance Buses
There are a few companies in Germany that offer long-distance bus services — Flixbus and Postbus are a few examples. These buses provide tourists with extremely cheap travel across different cities in Germany. You travel time takes longer than it does with a bullet train, however, the latter can be quite expensive. Save yourself some money by booking with these long-distance buses and travel across the country!
7. Be Punctual
Germans are extremely punctual and you can expect the same from their public transport. If you have plans for the day and want to get a fair bit of sight-seeing done, remember to be on time for your train/bus/tram. Being a few minutes early also works in your favor. On the other hand, if you
have plans with a German friend, don’t expect them to stick around, past the time of meeting.
8. Don’t Walk in the Bike Lanes
In Germany, there are designated bike lanes that have been made exclusively for cyclists to use. Walking down these lanes are definitely frowned upon and there is a very strict rule against doing so. Watch where you’re walking and be mindful of where the bike track is, otherwise you may get
hit by a bike or be abused by a passerby. Don’t cut your trip short with broken bones.
9. Learn basic German
It is wrong to assume that everyone you meet in a foreign country will be speaking fluent English. After all, every country has its own native language and it is important to pick up some basics in the German language. If you visit bigger cities like Munich and Berlin, your chances of meeting
fluent English speakers are definitely higher — however — it is recommended that you learn enough German to get by on your trip.
10. Be polite
When conversing with Germans who are outside of your friend or family circle, be polite without being overly friendly — hold your distance. In Germany, strangers address each other formally and whether you speak the language or not, always address the other person formally until
you’re invited to do otherwise. Using someone’s first name is also unacceptable, always refer to people as Mr./Mrs./Ms. Save yourself from offensiveness and have an easy trip!