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Germany - Traveling

Contents extracted from the comprehensive atlas of international trade by Export Entreprises

Entry requirements

Organizing your trip

Means of transport recommended in town

Taxis are very easily available day and night at reasonable rates. You can ask your hotel or restaurant to order a taxi for you. To get a receipt, ask for "eine Quittung, bitte." Drivers can usually speak English. In large cities, the tramway network (Strassenbahn), metros (U-Bahn), the express metro network (S-Bahn) and buses are less expensive alternatives to taxis.

Means of transport recommended in the rest of the country

Choose the ICE (InterCity Express) train between the main cities: Frankfurt - Berlin (4 hours), Frankfurt - Cologne (1 hour 15mn), Berlin - Leipzig (1 hour), Berlin - Hamburg (1 hour 30 mn). On these links, the motorway network, often saturated, cannot compete with the train. Do not hesitate to take the plane for the trips between Munich - Hamburg, Munich - Berlin or Stuttgart - Berlin.
Airlines
Name Type Domestic flights International flights
Lufthansa Major Yes Yes
Airberlin Major Yes Yes
Germanwings Low cost Yes Yes
Easyjet Low cost No Yes

Traveling by yourself

Recommendation: The motorway network (Bundesautobahn) is practical because it is free for cars. There is no speed limit but a lot of maintenance work slows down traffic frequently. Allow extra time to be sure to arrive at your appointment in good time. There is no problem refuelling.
Road maps: Viamichelin
Find an itinerary: Viamichelin

Visiting

Different forms of tourism

Historical: There are many places for tourists to visit:
- historic city centers: Regensburg, Würzburg, Goerlitz;
- museums: Pinakothek in Munich, museum island in Berlin;
- palaces : Sans-Souci at Potsdam, Charlottenburg in Berlin;
- cathedrals : Cologne, Berlin, Aachen;
- the banks of the Elbe;
- the remains of the Berlin wall.
Cultural: Operas, concert halls, theaters, festivals, museums, art galleries, open air cinema.
Nature: Castles, parks and gardens

Near Berlin, at Potsdam, the park of Sans-Souci palace covers nearly 300 hectares. Also worth visiting is the zoological garden (Zoologischer Garten) in Berlin, the park of the palace of Nymphenburg in Munich and the Herrenhausen royal gardens in Hanover.

Nature parks

Altmühltal, Eifel, Saar Hunsrück, Schiefergebirge, the Swabian and Franconian forest, Schwalm-Nette, the Black Forest Center/North, Südeifel, the island of Usedom.

National Parks

Eifel, Kellerwald-Edersee, Lakes of Schleswig-Holstein, Lakes of Hamburg, Lakes of Lower Saxony, Jasmund, Western Pomeranian Bodden Landscape Park, Müritz, Unteres Odertal, Harz, Hainich, Saxony Switzerland, Bavarian forest, Berchtesgaden.

Religious: Aachen, Cologne Cathedral, Berliner Dom.
Beach: Many lakes: Constance, Müritzsee, Chiemsee, Schwerin, Starnberg ; very big rivers: Rhine, Danube, Main, Weser and Elbe; the Baltic and North Sea coasts; the canals in Brandenburg and in Mecklenburg.
Winter sports: The Bavarian Alps, Allgäu, Black Forest, Harz, Thuringe forest, and Saxony are all skiing areas. The highest summit is the Zugspitze 2962 m in the Bavarian Alps.
Outdoor activities: Cycling, walking, canoeing, climbing, rollerblading.
Shopping: The biggest store in Germany is in Berlin: KaDeWe Kaufhaus of the West. Also in Berlin, do not miss Friedrichstrasse. All the large cities in Germany have pedestrian areas which offer a wide choice of stores.
Tourism organizations: German Tourism Board

Living conditions

Health and safety

Health precautions: No vaccination requirements.
For further information on sanitary conditions: German Ministry of Health

Time difference and climate

Map of the time zone: Berlin (GMT+1 in winter, GMT+2 in summer)
Summer time period: Summer time from March (last Sunday) to October (last Sunday)
Climate: The country has a continental climate with wide variations in temperature between the seasons. The northern regions have a milder oceanic type climate. The southern regions have a continental climate with more rain. In the summer, the anticylones bring hot, sunny days, but the nights are cool. In winter, the days are short.

Eating

Food specialties: German culinary specialties vary according to regions:- Wurst (the famous sausages), Schinken (an immense variety of pork meats, about 1 500 kinds); - Brot (the famous German breads, more than 200 kinds); - Sauerkraut : sauerkraut garnished, for example, with ham hock "Eisbein mit Sauerkraut"

Also to be noted the Spätzle (a type of pasta) a specialty of Bade Wurtenberg, Meatballs (a Berlin specialty) and desserts (Apfelstrudel, Stollen, Mohnkuchen - poppyseed cake)

Drinks: Germany is naturally famous for its wide variety of beers. As the world's second producer and first exporter of beers (to about 140 countries) and with 1 800 breweries, it produces about 5 000 different beers. Germans drink little still water and prefer sparkling water. Another favorite drink is Apfelschorle, apple juice diluted with lemonade. Another refreshing drink is Radler, beer diluted with lemonade.
Dietary taboos: There are no dietary restrictions in the country. Nevertheless, a certain number of Germans are vegetarians.

Speaking

Getting some knowledge: Use the travlang website. For a translation service, visit ContexTrans. To take lessons, consult the Goethe Institutes website.
Free translation tools:
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