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Germany

Welcome to the Ultimate Germany Travel Guide!

Germany is the eighth most visited country in the world, and once you visit, it’s easy to see why. It’s home to stunning forests, picturesque Bavarian towns, castles, and modern cities, and it’s renowned for its beer, Christmas markets, the Autobahn, and its pivotal historical significance in the twentieth century. Germany has something for everyone, and this Germany travel guide has everything you need for planning a trip!

Ready to plan your trip? Then here’s your ultimate Germany travel guide!
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Top Places to Visit in Germany

Berlin
Eltz Castle
Hamburg
Hohenzollern Castle
Munich
Neuschwanstein Castle
Nuremberg
Rothenburg
The Rhineland
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Typical Costs When Traveling

Exchange Rate

The currency in Germany is the Euro. Exchange rates are subject to fluctuations, so be sure to check this as your trip approaches. On average, €1 is equal to about £.87 British Pounds, $1.10 U.S. and 7.8 Chinese Yuan.

Accommodation

A hostel or budget hotel room is in the €15-40 a night range (£13-34.75, $16.50-$44, 115-313 Yuan). A mid-range hotel will be around €60–120 a night (£52-104.25, $67-$133, 462-923 Yuan). More luxury hotel rooms will start at €150 a night (£131, $167, 1154 Yuan) and can go up to thousands of dollars a night.

Airbnb prices average around €52 (£45, $58, 400 Yuan) a night.

Food

Food from a street stand or market will be around €5 (£4.25, $5.50, 38.50 Yuan). A quicker casual meal at a cafe will be about €10 (£8.75, $11, 77 Yuan). A multi-course meal at a gourmet restaurant will be between €20-40 (£17.50-35, $22-$44.50, 154-308 Yuan). And a meal in an elegant or top-rated restaurant will start around €75 (£65.25, $83.50, 577 Yuan) and can go up to hundreds of dollars per dish.

For alcohol, include around €3 a drink (£2.60, $3.50, 23 Yuan) for beer and wine into your budget. If you’re going to have several drinks or are with a group, getting bottles or pitchers to share could save you money.

Here Are 10 Must-Try German Foods!
Transportation

Public transportation within a city’s limits will be between €5-7 for a day pass (£4.25-6, $5.50-7.75, 38.50-54 Yuan). Transportation between towns can range from €40-150 (£35-130, $51-103, 358-716 Yuan) depending on where you’re traveling, what class and amenities you want, and how far in advance you book your ticket.

Renting a car will be about €15-25 a day (£13-21.75, $16.50-27.50, 115-192 Yuan), and then you’ll need to pay for tolls, gas, and parking. Please keep in mind that gas can be double or triple the price in the U.S. If you’re planning to be mostly in larger cities, I wouldn’t recommend a car. Parking rules are strict, spaces are scarce, and parking is quite expensive.

Taxi fares are standardized, but they vary from city to city. The base fee will be €2-3 (£1.75-2.60, $2.20-3.30, 15-23 Yuan), then €1-3 (£.87-2.60, $1.10-3.30, 7.50-23 Yuan) per kilometer. Surcharges may apply at night and for larger vehicles or bulky luggage. Some taxis accept cards but be prepared to pay with cash. It’s customary to tip drivers 10% rounded to the nearest euro.

UberTaxi is available in the larger cities, which means you can use the Uber app to order a regular taxi. Lyft doesn’t operate in Germany.

Other Expenses

I’d budget around €45 a day (£40, $50, 346 Yuan) for entrance fees, tours, guides, snacks, tips, and souvenirs.

ATMs are readily accessible in cities, but they’re not as common in smaller towns. Only use larger international bank ATM’s; otherwise, you’ll pay excessive transaction fees. 

Credit cards aren’t commonly accepted in Germany, so you’ll always want to have cash on you. International hotel chains, high-end restaurants, and boutique or department stores usually accept Mastercard and Visa but prepared to pay with cash everywhere else.

Germany travel guide
Tipping

€1 per bag for hotel attendants, and €1-2 per day for hotel room cleaners. As I stated earlier, tip about 10% for taxi rides. And you can tip toilet attendants with whatever loose change you have readily available.

At restaurants, your bill will include a bedienung (service charge). But it’s still customary to tip an additional 5% or 10% unless your service was terrible. And when you’re at a bar, tip 5% rounded to the nearest euro.

Suggested Daily Costs

These budget estimates include eating and drinking out at least once a day and a couple of train rides between cities.

Lower End: €110 a day (£96, $122, 845 Yuan). Midrange: €120-200 a day (£105-174, $134-223, 920-1536 Yuan). Higher End: €250 a day and up (£217, $278, 1920 Yuan).

MONEY SAVING TIPS

1
Free Admission to Museums Most museums have designated days with free entry. So if there's a museum you want to visit, check to see if it has a free admission day, and plan accordingly.
2
Street Food Food from street vendors can still be a hearty, large-portion, full-meal for much cheaper than restaurants.
3
Drink Local Beer Buy local beer brands instead of the more expensive national beer brands.
4
Buy Train Tickets in Advance Book your train tickets between cities and towns as soon as possible. Rates will increase closer to your travel days.

My Must-Have Guide Books

How to Prepare for Germany

Vaccinations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend the following vaccinations: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, and influenza.

Passport Health has additional information on current vaccinations and diseases in Germany, and I recommend visiting their website for the most up-to-date travel requirements.

Visas

For entry, nationals of the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Great Britain will need a passport valid for at least three months beyond your return date. EU nationals will need a valid passport or national identity card for the length of their stay, but it doesn’t have to be valid beyond your trip. All other nationals should have a passport valid for at least three months past their stay.

Most nationals don’t need visas when visiting Germany for less than 90 days. And EU nationals can stay indefinitely without a visa.

The World Travel Guide has more information on Germany’s visa and passport requirements.

iVisa is an incredibly helpful resource for obtaining visas. iVisa makes the usually complicated and confusing process of getting a visa easy by taking care of everything for you. You fill out a simple online application, and then iVisa takes care of everything else.

Etiquette

When greeting someone, shake hands and say Guten Morgen (before noon), Guten Tag (between noon and 6 pm), or Guten Abend (after 6 pm). If you’re speaking German, use the formal Sie (you) with strangers and only switch to the informal du if invited to do so or if you’re addressing a close friend or child.

For toasting with wine, use Zum Wohl, and for toasting with beer, use Prost.

To eat like the locals, hold your fork in the left hand and your knife in the right. And to signal that you’ve finished eating, lay your knife and fork parallel across your plate.

When To Go

Germany’s high tourism season is July and August. January and February are the high seasons for the ski resorts, and Oktoberfest is the high season for Munich. Tourists, lines, traffic, and prices will be at their peak during these times.

Germany’s shoulder seasons are from April – June, and September – October (minus Oktoberfest in Munich). There are fewer tourists, lower prices, and sunny, temperate weather during these months. You’ll see beautiful blooming flowers in the Spring and stunning foliage during the Fall.

The low season is November – March. It’s colder during these months, and most places are open fewer days a week and for shorter hours a day. But travel costs can be more than 50% less during these months.

Because some trails and sites close during the winter months, make sure your top destinations and attractions will be open.

Germany is one of my Best Destinations To Visit In October!
What To Pack

In addition to your usual travel essentials, you’ll want these items in Germany:

Day pack, water bottle, and hiking shoes since you’ll probably be hiking at least one trail or to at least one castle. If you’re doing any long treks, make sure you have any specialized clothing or equipment you might need.

Rain jacket because there’s always a chance of rain. If you’re here in the winter months, you’ll want several warm layers and a waterproof outer layer for rain or sleet or snow.

But even if you’re here in the Summer months, you’ll want a lightweight fleece, sweater, or mid-weight jacket. It can be chilly year-round in the mornings and evenings in the higher elevations.

What To Wear

For the most part, Germans dress simply but fashionably. So, to dress like the locals, pack practical dressy-casual clothes. Long or capri pants, skirts, and dresses for women and long pants for men. You won’t see the locals wearing shorts unless they’re swimming.

Now, you can wear athletic gear, white tennis shoes, or graphic tees, but your appearance will single you out as a tourist. I’ve found that when traveling, it’s usually better to blend in. It’s also respectful to dress as the locals do.

It’s smart to have a layer on hand when you’re visiting churches or other religious sites to be able to cover your shoulders if needed.

Bring your most comfortable shoes! You’ll be walking A LOT, and you’ll spend a lot of time on cobblestone sidewalks or streets.

Have you been to Germany? Comment below with anything you’d add to this Germany travel guide!
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Shop My Germany Essentials
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This Germany travel guide is not a sponsored post, and, as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Some of these links are affiliate links, and, at no cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

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