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Germany country information

Germany map
Federal Republic of Germany
Area: 357,210 sq km
Population: 82,217,800
Population density: 230 per sq km
Capital: Berlin
Passport & Visa
Passport Required?
British Yes
Australian Yes
Canadian Yes
USA Yes
Other EU 1
Visa Required?
British No/2
Australian No
Canadian No
USA No
Other EU No/2

Passports

Passport valid for length of stay required by all nationals referred to in the chart above except:
1. EU nationals holding a valid national ID card.

Passport Note

Germany is a signatory to the 1995 Schengen Agreement.

Visas

Not required by all nationals referred to in the chart above for the following durations:
(a) nationals of EU countries for an unlimited period;
(b) nationals of Australia, Canada and the USA for stays not exceeding 90 days in a six-month period; stay begins when nationals enter any of the Schengen countries.
Note: Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements.

Visa Note

2. Nationals of EU countries intending to stay for three months or more must register with the German authorities within seven days of arrival.
Getting there

Getting There by Air

The national airline is Lufthansa (LH) (website: www.lufthansa.com ).

Approximate Flight Times

From London to Frankfurt/M is 1 hour 30 minutes, and from New York is 8 hours 30 minutes.

Main Airports

Frankfurt/M (FRA) (Rhein/Main) ( www.airportcity-frankfurt.com ) is Germany's major air transport hub, 13km (8 miles) southwest of the city. To/from the airport: Regular buses connect the airport with the city centre (main railway station). S-Bahn ( www.rmv.de ) rail lines S8 and S9 go to the city's main rail station (Hauptbahnhof) from directly beneath the Terminal 1 arrival hall (journey time - around 15 minutes). S8 also goes directly to Mainz and Wiesbaden (journey time - 40 minutes). Intercity ICE trains also stop at the airport station. Taxis are available around the clock (journey time to city centre - 20-30 minutes). Facilities: Left luggage, medical facilities, duty-free shops, banks, restaurants, bars, conference rooms, post office, tourist information and car hire. Find new shopping mall "Marktplatz" in Terminal 2. 

Berlin-Tegel (TXL) ( www.berlin-airport.de ) is Berlin's international airport, located 8km (5 miles) northwest of the city centre (journey time - 25 minutes). To/from the airport: Buses go to the city every 5 to 10 minutes from 0500-2400. Facilities: Duty-free shop, banks/bureaux de change, left luggage, 24-hour medical facilities, post office, restaurant, bars, tourist information, conference rooms and car hire.

Munich (MUC) (Franz Joseph Strauss) ( www.munich-airport.de ) is 28.5km (18 miles) northeast of the city (journey time - 45 minutes). To/from the airport: Direct links with the S-Bahn S8 and S1 run every 10 minutes from Hauptbahnhof (main railway station) from 0330-0030. The Airport City Bus runs every 20 minutes from 0700-1930 to the Hauptbahnhof and every 30 minutes from 0800-2100; further bus services are available. Coach Oberbayern runs every 10 minutes to the city centre. Facilities: Duty-free shop, left luggage, 24-hour medical facilities, snack bar, restaurants, post office, banks, conference centre, car hire and bars. The airport also has a Visitors' Park, an aircraft simulator, cinema and a play area.
Departure Tax
None.

Getting There by Water

Main ports: Bremen (website: www.keyports.de ), Bremerhaven (website: www.bremen-ports.de ), Hamburg (website: www.hafen-hamburg.de ), Rostock (website: www.rostock-port.de ) and Kiel (website: www.port-of-kiel.de ).

The following shipping lines serve routes to Germany (via other countries) from the UK:
DFDS Seaways (tel: 0871 522 9955, in the UK; website: www.dfds.co.uk ): Newcastle-Amsterdam.
Stena Line (tel: 0870 570 7070, in the UK; website: www.stenaline.com ): Harwich-Hook of Holland, Gothenburg-Kiel.
P&O Ferries (tel: 0870 598 0333, in the UK; website: www.poferries.com ): Dover-Calais, Hull-Rotterdam, Hull-Zeebrugge.
SeaFrance (tel. 0871 663 2546, in the UK; website: www.seafrance.com ): Dover-Calais.
Norfolkline (tel: 0870 870 1020, in the UK; website: www.norfolkline.com ): Dover-Dunkerque.
Superfast Ferries (tel: 0870 234 0870, in the UK; website: www.superfast.com ): Rosyth-Zeebrugge, Helsinki-Rostock.

Ferry connections also exist from Germany to Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, and the Russian Federation.

Getting There by Rail

Germany's rail network is operated by Deutsche Bahn (tel: 11861; website: www.bahn.de ).

Eurostar: If travelling from the UK, Eurostar operates direct high-speed trains from London (St Pancras International) and Ashford International to Paris (Gare du Nord) and to Brussels (Midi/Zuid). It takes 2 hours 15 minutes from London to Paris (via Lille) and 1 hour 51 minutes to Brussels. For further information and reservations, contact Eurostar (tel: 0870 518 6186, in the UK, or +44 1233 617 575, outside the UK; a 5 booking fee applies to telephone bookings; website: www.eurostar.com ); from Brussels, there are direct connections to Cologne and Frankfurt, and onward high speed trains to all major German centres. With opening of the TGV Est line in 2007, journey time between Paris and Frankfurt has been cut to less than four hours.

There are excellent connections between Germany and other main European cities. For more information, contact Deutsche Bahn in the UK (tel: 0871 880 8066; website: www.bahn.co.uk ).
Rail Passes
InterRail: offers unlimited first- or second-class travel in up to 30 European countries for European residents of over six months with two pass options. The Global Pass allows travel for 22 days, one month, five days in 10 days or 10 days in 22 days across all countries. The One-Country Pass offers travel for three, four, six or eight days in one month in any of the countries except Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro. Travel is not allowed in the passenger's country of residence. Travellers under 26 years receive a reduction. Children's tickets are reduced by about 50%. Supplements are required for some high-speed services, seat reservations and couchettes. Discounts are offered on Eurostar and some ferry routes. Available from Rail Europe (website: www.raileurope.co.uk/inter-rail ).

Eurailpass:
offers unlimited first-class train travel in 17 European countries. Tickets are valid for 15 days, 21 days, 1 month, 2 months or 3 months. Available from The Eurail Group (website: www.eurail.com ).

Getting There by Road

Germany is connected to all surrounding countries by a first-class network of motorways and trunk roads.

The Channel Tunnel: Eurotunnel (tel: 0870 535 3535, in the UK; website: www.eurotunnel.com ) runs shuttle trains for all types of vehicles between Folkestone in Kent, and Calais. Vehicles are carried through the tunnel in shuttle trains running between the two terminals. Passenger terminal buildings contain a variety of shops, restaurants, bureaux de change and other amenities. The journey takes about 35 minutes from platform to platform and around 1 hour from motorway to motorway. There are up to four passenger shuttles per hour at peak times, 24 hours per day and services run every day of the year. Passengers pass through customs and immigration before they board, with no further checks on arrival. Tickets may be purchased in advance from the travel agents, or from Eurotunnel Customer Services in France or the UK with a credit card.

Coach: There are numerous and excellent road links with all neighbouring countries. Eurolines (tel: 0870 580 8080, in the UK; website: www.eurolines.com ) runs regular coach services from the UK to Germany. Passes: Travellers can book a 15- or 30-day pass.
Cost of living
Germany: all prices in European Euros (EUR)
drinks and snacks

food: local markets; restaurants; and stores

water (mineral)
water
juice
juice
soft drink (can)
soft drink (bottle)
fruit smoothie

500ml
1.5 litre
1 litre
200ml
300ml
1.5 litre
500ml
0.10
0.19
0.60
0.10+
0.15+
0.30+
0.90

bread loaf-white
bread loaf-whole grain
currant buns
heren (chocolate) cake

750g
750g
6 rolls
350g
0.70
2.50
1.00
0.90
tofu burger
pita pocket with hummus
vegetarian cafe
pizza-takeaway
one serving
one serving
main dish
med
3.00
3.50
6.00-8.00
6.00-8.00
beer-local
wine
330ml
750ml
0.75+
2.50
tea
coffee (cafe / bar)
Nescafe instant
coffee-ground
25 bags
per cup
50g
500g
1.99
2.00
3.00
2.50
rice (white)
pasta
gnocchi - ravioli
eggs
tomato puree

kg
500g
500g
per dozen
150g

2.20
0.40
0.75
2.50
0.50
milk
cream
yoghurt / curd
cheese - hard
cheese - brie
cheese - parmesan
olives
Magnum icecream
1 litre
200ml
500g
kg
300g
350g
100g
each

0.55
0.40
1.50
6.80
0.90
3.00
0.80
1.80

potatoes
onions
tomatoes
green beans
paprika - capsicum
mushrooms - castanje
cucumber
iceberg lettuce
kg
kg
kg
kg
per 3
500g
each
each
1.90
0.80
2.00
2.90
1.50
1.30
0.30
0.35
chips
salted peanuts
cashews
salt sticks - pretzels
sultanas
200g pack
250g
200g
200g
300g
0.70
0.60
1.50
0.40
0.55
apples
oranges
bananas
strawberries in season
kg
kg
kg
500g
2.00
2.30
1.60
1.00
cornflakes
chocolate
museli bars
biscuits-plain
biscuits-cream
375g pack
100g block
6x25g
200g pack
200g pack
2.65
0.35
1.00
0.75
1.00
pineapple (can)
oil (olive)
490g can
750ml
0.80
2.60
peanut paste
jam
honey
350g jar
450g jar
1.40
1.00
 
accommodation personal
budget city hostel
budget city hotel
6-10 per dorm bed
40 double share bathroom

deodorant - roll-on
soap
shampoo
toothbrush
toothpaste
disposable razor
toilet paper

50ml
150g bar
300ml
each
125ml
5 pack
each
2.30
1.20
0.65
1.00
0.65
5.25
tba
eurocamping 1 star
wild camping

15.00+ for 2 persons + tent
illegal but no one really minds for one night. taske trach with you!

internet 1.50 -2.50 per hour

* tba = price to be announced
* July 2010: at time of writing 1.00 USD = 0.79 EUR
all prices have been taken from internet resources such as wikitravel, hostel world, leading supermarket chains, travel blogs, forums and of course our own travel experiences and purchases of everyday products in food markets, bazaars and local shopping facilities. They are only an indication and designed to give you a general impression of the cost of living in Germany. Items are geared towards the budget conscious traveller with an occasional craving for a bit of luxury.

A couple of extra tips:
*
Prices are fixed in shopping stores and supermarkets, however when spending a sizeable amount in one store, or buying in bulk it never hurts to ask for a discount.
*

Even though tipping in Germany is optional, it is often expected in table service establishments if the service is good. On average, between 5 and 10% is acceptable. However, don't feel obliged if you don't wish to tip. When given your bill, it is customary to pay the wait person directly and not leave money on the table. You can leave your small change behind, by saying "Stimmt so" , which translates as "it is okay as it is"

*
Most public toilets charge a fee to use the facilities. For those that don't it is not unusual to leave a voluntary tip for the attendant of 30-50 cents in the saucer on the table at the door.
*
Taxis are regulated and all run with a standard taxi metre. While tipping is not expected it is generally appreciated.
*
Plastic and glass bottles marked with the word Pfand require paying a bottle-deposit when you purchase them. They can be returned via the machines, usually located at the front of the supermarket. Here, you will get a receipt with the amount owing to you, which you present at the cash register when paying for your groceries.

*

You need to take your own shopping bags with you into the supermarkets. Plastic and cloth bags are available, but you have to pay for them.
Accommodation
Food & drink
Bike shops
   
Munchen Trek Bicycle Store
Highlight Towers
Mies-van-der-Rohe-Str. 6
80807 München
Tel. 089 89081600
info@highlightbikestore.com
   
   
   
Climate
climate chart Berlin climate chart Frankfurt
climate chart Hamburg
Road distances
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