Germany Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Berlin tourist information, Germany food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Berlin. Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Germany Travel Guide

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Full country name: Federal Republic of Germany
Population: 357,022 sq km
Population: 82.28 million (July 2010 est.)
Capital City: Berlin
Language: German
Religion: Protestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, unaffiliated or other 28.3%
Government: Federal Republic, EU Member
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +1 (Central European Time)
Dialling Code: 49
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric

Money & Costs:
Currency: Euro
Average yearly salary: USD 34,100

Budget: €4-8
Mid-range: €8-16
High: €16-30
Top: €30+
Budget: €16-40
Mid-range: €40-85
High: €85-220
Top: €220+

If you've got some sort of rail pass and restrict yourself to cheap takeaways or prepare your own food, it's possible to get by on less than €50 a day. Those with bigger budgets, wishing to eat at mid-range restaurants most days, travel freely by public transport and stay in mid-range hotels should count on dropping at least €100 a day. At restaurants, the service charge is always included in bills and tipping isn't compulsory, though it is appreciated. Germans are used to rounding up prices as tips. Taxi drivers expect a small tip of around 10%.

Geography: Germany is located in Central Europe and is bordered by Austria, Belgium , Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland & Switzerland. Major cities include Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Bremen, Hanover, Frankfurt, Nuremburg, Stuttgart and Dusseldorf.  At the southern end of Germany are the Alps, the highest mountain range in Europe. In central Germany are the Harz mountains. Germany also has many rolling plains which make good farm land. The Rhine River, in the western part of Germany, is a main waterway for transporting goods from northern ports.

Climate: Temperate throughout the country with warm summers and cold winters, but prolonged periods of frost or snow are rare. Rain falls throughout the year.

Recommended clothing: Regular clothes with light- to medium-weights in summer, medium- to heavyweights in winter. Waterproofs are needed throughout the year.

Social conventions: Guten Appetit should be said to other people before starting to eat; the reply should be Gleichfalls. Visitors should utter a greeting such as Guten Tag before accosting somebody; leaving without saying Auf Wiedersehen or Tschüss can also cause offense. Flowers should be given in uneven number. Smoking is prohibited on public transport, in bars, restaurants and in most public buildings.

Health: Tick-borne encephalitis is present in forested areas, therefore vaccination is advisable. Rabies is present, and you should look out for Tollwut signs. Medical treatment facilities are of a high quality throughout the country, however, medical travel insurance is still recommended.

Food & Drink: Germany is famous for its heavy, but delicious dishes. Potatoes, meet and dumplings are the most popular ingredients of German cooking. Typical dishes include Roast pork with dumplings from Bavaria, Rheinischer Sauerbraten (beef marinated in red wine vinegar, served with dumplings), Himmel un Äd - ribs and sauerkraut. Though the traditional dishes of Germany may make it seem the worst place to a healthy diet, there are plenty places that offer of modern cuisine, known as neue Küche. Italians and Turks own many restaurants, where they offer their own culinary traditions, whereas German chefs go to Switzerland, France or Italy, and return to Germany with continental experience. German beer is unequaled for its variety and quality. The world's oldest brewery is located in Bavaria. The most popular type of bear is Pils, and it is also produced in Berlin, the Ruhr, Hamburg, Stuttgart, and Hesse. Altbier, a very early product of the brewer's art, can be found throughout Germany.

Public Holidays:
Jan 1
New Year's Day
Jan 6* Epiphany
varies between Mar 22 & Apr 25 Easter Monday
May 1 Labour Day
May 5 Ascension
May 16 Whit Monday
Jun 10* Corpus Christi
Aug 15* Assumption
Oct 3 Day of Unity
Oct 31* Day of Reformation
Nov 1* All Saint's Day
Dec 25-26 Christmas

*Epiphany, Corpus Christi, Assumption, Day of Reformation and All Saint's Day are not observed in all areas.

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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