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Date: 06/11/2015

German Travel FAQs

Early light in Hamburg Centre by Angela Scheefeld
Image Credit

Are you planning a trip to Germany this year? Whether you are staying in a mountain lodge and planning a hiking adventure or you are exploring the cultural delights of cities such as Berlin and Munich, we have the answers to all your travel FAQs.

When is the best time to visit?

The tourist season in Germany runs from May to October, when long sunny days mean temperatures range from 20ºC to 30ºC on average. Winter is a popular time for winter sports enthusiasts and you will find a range of festivals happening throughout the spring and summer months, including the Fasching carnival in spring, summer's beer gardens and, of course, the Munich Oktoberfest in late September.  

What currency do I need?

Germany's currency is the euro (€) and you will find seven notes are available (€5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500) and eight coins (€0.01, €0.02, €0.05, €0.10, €0.20, €0.50, €1 and €2). You can easily obtain euros at your bank or any currency exchange bureau in the UK; however, we recommend avoiding the airport bureaus, which often charge higher rates.  

Should I tip?

Restaurants in Germany always include the service charge (bedienung) on your bill; however, if the service is good, it is customary to add 5% or 10% on top. In hotels, tip around €1 per bag and if possible leave a couple of euros a day for the room cleaners. Bar staff usually expect a 5% tip, while in a cab it is customary to tip around 10%.  

Do I need a visa to visit Germany?

If you are an EU national, you only need your passport or national ID card to enter Germany, even if you are planning on staying for longer than six months. If you are visiting from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Poland, Switzerland or Israel, you will need a valid passport for stays of up to 90 days. For longer stays you will need to apply for a visa well in advance of travel.  

Where are the best places to visit?

Whilst Berlin and Munich always draw their fair share of the crowds, don't forget about cities such as Hamburg, Dresden and Frankfurt, and take some time out to enjoy some more rural holiday spots the country has to offer.

Western Pomerania on the Baltic Coast is a relaxing spot that attracts German holidaymakers in their droves during the summer months, who come for the white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and leafy resorts.