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Holidays in Germany

Understanding Germany

History

From the Holy Roman Empire to Imperial Germany

The roots of German history and culture date back to the Germanic tribes and after that to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation Since the early middle ages Germany started to split into hundreds of small states It was the Napoleonic wars that started the process of unification, which ended in 1871, when a large number of previously independent German kingdoms united under Prussian leadership to form the German Empire Deutsches Kaiserreich This incarnation of Germany reached eastward all the way to modern day Klaipeda Memel in Lithuania and also encompassed today´s regions of Alsace-Lorraine France, a small portion of eastern Belgium Eupen-Malmédy, a small border region in southern Denmark and over 40% of contemporary Poland The empire ended in 1918 when Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II was forced to abdicate the throne at the time of Germany's defeat in World War I 1914-1918 and was followed by the short-lived ill fated Weimar Republic, which tried in vain to completely establish a liberal, democratic regime Because the young republic was plagued with massive economic problems such as hyperinflation and disgrace for a humiliating defeat in the First World War, strong anti-democratic forces took advantage of the inherent organizational problems of the Weimar Constitution and the Nazis were able to seize power

Hitler and Nazi Germany

The year 1933 witnessed the rise to power of the nationalistic and racist National Socialist German Workers' Nazi Party and its Führer, Adolf Hitler Under the Nazi dictatorship, democratic institutions were dismantled and a police state was installed Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, handicapped people, socialists, communists, unionists and other groups not fitting into the Nazi's vision of a Greater Germany faced persecution, and ultimately murder in concentration camps Europe's Jews and Gypsies were marked for total extermination Hitler's militaristic ambitions to create a new German Empire in Central and Eastern Europe led to war, successively, with Poland, France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States - despite initial dazzling successes, Germany was unable to withstand the attacks of the Allies and Soviets on two fronts in addition to a smaller third front to the south of the alps in Italy

It was "Stunde Null" or zero hour Germany had destroyed itself and much of Europe and only had itself to blame By April of 1945 Germany was in ruins with most major cities bombed to the ground The reputation of Germany as an intellectual land of freedom and high culture Land der Dichter und Denker had been decimated and tarnished for decades to come At the end of the war, by losing 25% of its territory, east of the newly Allied imposed Oder-Neisse frontier with Poland the occupied country was faced with a major refugee crisis with well over 10 million Germans flooding westward into what remained of Germany Following the end of the war at the Potsdam conference the Allies decided the future of Germany's borders and taking a Soviet lead stripped her of the traditional eastern Prussian lands Therefore, German provinces east of the rivers Oder and Neisse like Silesia and Pomerania were entirely cleared of its original population by the Soviets and Polish - most of it an area where there had not been any sizable Polish or even Russian minorities at all Even more refugees came with the massive numbers of ethnic Germans expelled from their ancient eastern European homelands in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia

Post-World War II

After the devastating defeat in World War II 1939-1945, Germany was divided into four sectors, controlled by the French, British, US and Soviet forces United Kingdom and the US decided to merge their sectors, followed by the French Silesia, Pomerania and the southern part of East Prussia came under Polish administration according to the international agreement of the allies With the beginning of the Cold War, the remaining central and western parts of the country were divided into an eastern part under Soviet control, and a western part which was controlled directly by the Western Allies The western part was transformed into the Federal Republic of Germany, a democratic nation with Bonn as the capital, while the Soviet-controlled zone became the communist/authoritarian Soviet style German Democratic Republic GDR Berlin had a special status as it was divided among the Soviets and the West, with the eastern part featuring as the capital of the GDR The western sectors of Berlin, West Berlin was de facto an exclave of the Federal Republic, but formally governed by the Western Allies On August 13, 1961 the Berlin Wall was erected as part of a heavily guarded frontier system of border fortifications As a result hundreds of Germans trying to escape from the communist dictatorship were killed here in the years to come

In the late 1960's a sincere and strong desire to confront the Nazi past came into being Students' protests beginning in 1968 successfully clamoured for a new Germany The society became much more liberal, and the totalitarian past was dealt with more unconcealed than ever before since the foundation of the Federal Republic in 1949 Post-war education had helped put Germany among countries in Europe with the least number of people subscribing to Nazi or fascist/authoritarian ideas Willy Brandt became chancellor in 1969 He made an important contribution towards reconciliation between Germany and the communist states including important peace gestures toward Poland

Reunification and the Berlin Republic

Germany was reunited peacefully in 1990, a year after the fall and collaspe of the GDR's Communist regime and the opening of the iron curtain that separated German families by the barrel of a gun for decades The re-established eastern states joined the Federal Republic on the 3rd of October 1990, a day which is since celebrated as the German National Holiday Tag der Deutschen Einheit Together with the reunification, the last post-war limitations to Germany's sovereignty were removed and the US, UK, France and most importantly, the Soviet Union gave their approval The German parliament, the Bundestag, after controversial much debate, finally agreed to comply with the eastern border of the former GDR, also known as the "Oder-Neisse-Line" thus shaping Germany the way it can be found on Europe's map today

Economy

Germany is an economic powerhouse boasting the largest economy of Europe, and is in spite of its relatively small population the second largest country of the world in matters of exports, compared with the corresponding domestic markets probably even the largest

The financial center of Germany and continental Europe is Frankfurt am Main, and it can also be considered one of the most important air traffic hubs in Europe, with Germany's flag carrier Lufthansa known for being not just a carrier, but rather a prestigious brand, though its glamour has faded somewhat during recent years Frankfurt features an impressive skyline with many high-rise buildings, quite unusual for Central Europe; this circumstance has led to the city being nicknamed "Mainhattan" It is also the home of the European Central Bank ECB, making it the center of the Euro, the supra-national currency used throughout the European Union Frankfurt Rhein-Main International Airport is the largest airport of the country, while the Frankfurt Stock Exchange FSE is the most important stock exchange in Germany

Politics

Germany is a federal republic, consisting of 16 states or federal-states,'Bundesländer' The federal parliament 'Bundestag' is elected every four years in a fairly complicated system, involving both direct and proportional representation A party will be represented in Parliament if it can gather at least 5% of all votes or at least 3 directly won seats The parliament elects the Federal Chancellor 'Bundeskanzler', currently Angela Merkel in its first session, who serves as the head of the government There is no restriction regarding re-election The 'Bundesländer' are represented at the federal level through the Federal Council 'Bundesrat' Many federal laws have to be approved by the council This can lead to situations where Council and Parliament are blocking each other if they are dominated by different parties On the other hand, if both are dominated by the same party with strong party discipline which usually is the case with CDU-CSU-FDP coalitions, its leader has the opportunity to rule rather heavy handedly, the only federal power being allowed to intervene being the Federal Constitutional Court 'Bundesverfassungsgericht'

The formal head of state is the President 'Bundespräsident', who is not involved into day-to-day politics and has mainly ceremonial and representative duties He can also suspend the parliament, but all executive power lies with the chancellor The President of Germany is elected every 5 years by a specially convened national assembly, and is restricted to serving a maximum of two five year terms

The two largest parties are the Christian Democratic Party 'Christlich Demokratische Union CDU' and the Social Democratic Party 'Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands SPD' Due to the proportional voting system, smaller parties can also be represented in parliament Medium-sized parties of relative importance are the Christian Social Party 'Christlich Soziale Union CSU', most important party within Bavaria, a kind of CDU subsidiary, Liberals 'Freie Demokratische Partei FDP', the Green party 'Bündnis 90/Die Grünen' and, since summer 2005, the new Left Party 'Die Linke', most important party in the East, the result of a merger between the Party of Democratic Socialism PDS legal successor of GDR's state party, SED Socialist Unity Party and the Alternative for Work and Social Justice WASG founded by SPD's ex-leader, Oskar Lafontaine, to accommodate SPD's former left wing creating an alternative to Gerhard Schröder's "Agenda 2010" policy There have been some attempts by extreme right-wing parties NPD - National Democratic Party / REP - Republicans to get into parliament, but so far they have failed the 5% requirement except in some State parliaments, currently Saxony and in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania; extreme left-wing parties MLPD - Marxist-Leninist Party / DKP - German Communist Party virtually only have minimal influence on administrative levels below State parliaments

People

Being a federal republic, Germany is very much a decentralised country, which does justice to the cultural differences between the regions Most travelers will perhaps only think of beer, Lederhosen and Oktoberfest when Germany comes to mind, but Germany's famous alpine and beer culture is mostly centered around Bavaria and Munich Here the beer is traditionally served in 1 liter mugs but not in Kneipen pubs and Restaurants The annual Oktoberfest is Europe's most visited festival and the world's largest fair Germany's south-western regions, however, are well known for their wine growing areas eg Rheinhessen and Palatinate and Bad Duerkheim on the 'German wine route' organises the biggest wine festival worldwide with over 600,000 visitors annually

The fall of the wall in 1989 and the subsequent German Reunification are the main events of recent German history Today most Germans as well as their neighbours support the idea of a peaceful reunified Germany and while the eastern regions still suffer from higher unemployment and of brain-drain, the reunification process is overall seen as a success October 3rd is celebrated as the day of "German National Unity" or "Reunification Day"

Cars are a symbol of national pride and social status Certainly manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and Volkswagen VW are world famous for their quality, safety and style This quality is matched by Germany's excellent network of roadways including the renowned Autobahn network, which has many sections without speed limits that attract speed hungry drivers There are actually speed tourists who come to Germany just to rent an exotic sports car and fly down the autobahn! Amazingly for its size Germany is home to the third largest freeway/motorway network in the world Germany also features an extensive network of high speed trains - the InterCityExpress ICE

Most cities have a vibrant gay and lesbian scene, especially Berlin and Cologne The Berlin tourism agency and other tourism organisations have started campaigns to attract gay and lesbian travellers to their cities In fact, some politicians eg the Mayors of Berlin and Hamburg, and the foreign minister and stars in Germany are homo- and bisexuals

Germany was the host of the FIFA World Cup 2006

Electricity

The electricity supply runs at 230V 50Hz Almost all outlets use the Schuko plug, most appliances have a thinner but compatible Europlug Adapters for other plugs are widely available in electronics stores

Talking in Germany

The official language of Germany is German The standard form of German is called "Hochdeutsch" High German This is accent-free or better dialect-free German, the "official" form of the language It is understood by all and spoken by almost all Germans However, every region has its historical dialect, which might pose a challenge sometimes to those who speak even good German and even to native speakers as well This is usually noticeable only in the south and rural areas of the north and east Thus, when traveling in Bavaria, Saxony and Baden, you are stepping foot in places where dialect remains a strong part of the local identity The general rule is that south of the Main River divides north Germany from the south in both language dialects and local culture

All Germans learn English at school, so you should be able to get by with English in most places Many people--especially in the tourism industry and higher educated persons--also speak French, Russian or Spanish, but if you can't speak German, English remains your best bet Even if one member of the staff doesn't speak English, you are likely to find someone who does and is more than willing to help you In the southeastern part of that area, a small Slavic community of 50,000 also speak the Sorbian language, the least spoken modern Slavic language today, but widely protected from near-extinction since 1945

If you address a German with English, always first ask "Do you speak English?" or even better its German translation, "Sprechen Sie Englisch?" as that is considered a sign of politeness

Germans less fluent in the English language often answer questions very briefly one or two words because they feel uncertain how to create a complete English sentence This might sometimes appear impolite but is not at all meant this way Germans less fluent in English also often say "become" instead of "get" because the German word "bekommen" "get" is phonetically so close to "become" Since it's polite to reply "Bitte" if someone thanks you, Germans may literally translate this with "please" instead of "here you are" or "you're welcome" Another source of confusion is that Germans call mobile or cellular phones a "Handy" and many of them regard this as an English word

While Germany uses the 24 hour format for times, people very often use 12 hour times in conversations There is no real suffix like "AM/PM", though you can add "vormittags" before noon and "nachmittags" after noon when it's not clear from the context Another difference is that when saying the time is 7:30, English speakers would say "half past seven" whereas Germans say "halb acht" "half eight" In addition, Germans say two-digit numbers "backwards": instead of "twenty-two" they say "two and twenty" Numbers below 20 are said the same way as in English This becomes especially important when you inquire for prices, although most who speak English with you should use the correct form It is still better to double-check what is really meant

See also German phrasebook

What to do in Germany

Germany offers virtually every activity you can imagine Most Germans are members of a sports club and visit cultural events less often Due to the federal structure every region has its own specific activities In 2010 the city Essen is the european capital of culture Through the year many attractions in Essen will be shown

Nature

Due to its size and location in central Europe, Germany boasts a large variety of different landscapes, offering many activities related to nature, from hiking in the forests to exploring the picturesque islands off the northern coasts!

  • Seacoasts: Germany's north has coasts to the North Sea and the Baltic Sea The landscape, especially along the North Sea shore is very flat, the climate is rough with strong winds and mild, chilly temperatures Due to the south-easterly winds that press water into the German Bight, tidal variations are exceptionally high, creating the "Wattenmeer": Vast areas of the seabed are uncovered twice a day, allowing one to walk from one of the numerous islands to another The North Sea islands just off the coast are very picturesque, although mostly visited by the Germans themselves Most of the north sea islands are free of car traffic and guarantee a silent holiday Out in the German Bight lies the country's only off-shore island, Helgoland Thanks to the strong winds, Wind-Surfing is possible all year round Do not expect Hawaiian temperatures, though
  • Forests: Germans are fanatic about their forests While they are much smaller now than they used to be in medieval times, they are still huge compared to forests in other, especially western and southern European countries and only thinly populated Among others, the Black Forest and the Bayrischer Wald have been declared national heritage and will, over the course of the next centuries, slowly return into a wild state Although Germans love to go for long walks and hikes in these dark and humid woods, there's space enough for everyone to get lost If you take one of the smaller paths you may not meet another person for the rest of the day this in a country of 230 people per square kilometer Especially the more remote areas are of an almost mythical beauty It is no wonder the brothers Grimm could collect all those fairytales among the dark canopies, and a large part of the German poetry circles around trees, fog and those lonely mountain tops Even Goethe sent his Faust to the Brocken for his most fantastic scene Today, wild animals, although abound, are mostly very shy, so you might not get to see many While a few wolves in Saxony and a bear in Bavaria have been sighted, their immigration from Eastern Europe caused quite a stir In the course of events "Bruno" the bear was shot, and while the wolves are under heavy protection local hunters have been suspected of killing them illegally The most dangerous animal in Germany's forests is by far the wild boar, especially sows leading young are nothing to joke about Wild boar are used to humans, since they often plunder trash cans in villages and suburbs and their teeth can rip big wounds If you see one, run
  • Mountains: The centre half of Germany is a patchwork of the so-called "Mittelgebirge": Hilly rural areas where fields and forests intermix with larger cities Many of these hillranges are tourist destinations Most noteably are the Bayrischer Wald Bavarian Forest, the Black Forest, the Harz, the Ore Mountains Erzgebirge and Elbsandstone Mountains In the extreme south, bordering Austria, Germany contains a small portion of the Alps, Central Europe's highest elevation, rising as high as 4000m 12,000 ft above sea level, with the highest summit in Germany being the Zugspitze, at 2962m 9717 ft While only a small part of the Alps lie in Germany, they are famous for their beauty and the unique Bavarian culture A lot of people go there or further south into neighboring Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein for skiing in the winter and hiking and climbing in the summer
  • Lake Constance: Lying along the country's south-western border with Switzerland and Austria, Lake Constance is Germany's largest fresh-water lake The area around the Lake and up the lower Rhine valley has a very mild, amenable climate and fertile grounds, making it the country's most important area for wine and fruit growing
  • The Romantic Road Itinerary: is the most famous scenic route in Germany It starts in Würzburg and ends in Füssen Most important points to visit on the Romantic Street are the cities: Würzburg, Harburg, Donauwörth, Rothenburg ob der Tauber Definitely recommended--the best preserved Medieval city in Germany by far, with its original, complete city walls and no modern construction--if you can stand the crowds of tourists that have taken over the town, see this city Some areas of the old city are less picturesque but very residential in character, including the high street Be aware that the city closes extremely early, and the last triains leave around 20:00, or 8pm, Landsberg am Lech and Augsburg Most notable wider areas are: Taubertal, Nördlinger Ries and Lechrain For cyclists there's a special route available called "Radwanderweg Romantische Straße"
  • Bertha Benz Memorial Route Itinerary: This tourist route follows the tracks of the world's first long-distance journey by automobile in the year 1888, performed by Bertha Benz, the wife of Dr Carl Benz, the inventor of the automobile It starts and ends in Mannheim Important cities along Bertha Benz Memorial Route are: Heidelberg, Wiesloch with the world's first filling station, a pharmacy, Pforzheim, Bretten, Hockenheim and Schwetzingen Important landscapes: Rhine Valley, Odenwald and Black Forest


Sports

Germany is crazy about football soccer to North Americans and the German Football Association DFB 60 is the biggest FA association in the world with 635 million members 8% of the German population in more than 25,000 clubs Every village has a club and the games are the main social event on weekends Participation is strongly encouraged

In the winter many people go skiing in the Alps in Bavaria close to Munich

Almost every middle-size German city has a spa often called "Therme" with swimming pools, water slides, hot tubs, saunas, steam baths, sun roofs etc The sauna areas are coed and people are nude there

Cultural Events

Germany has world class opera houses especially Berlin, Bayreuth, and Munich and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra 61 is known as one of the Top3 orchestras in the world Several theatres in bigger cities play outstanding classical and contemporary plays Germanys prides itself in the wide varierty of cultural events and every city works out a cultural agenda

Musicals

Musicals are popular in Germany Although there are some touring productions from time to time, most shows stay in a specific city for a few years Most shows belong to the company called "Stage Entertainment" The main 'musical cities' are Hamburg, Berlin, Oberhausen, Essen, Stuttgart, Bochum and Cologne

Buying stuff in Germany

Currency

Germany is part of the European Union and the Eurozone; as such it replaced German marks with the euro symbol: € in 2002 If you have marks remaining from previous trips, they can still be exchanged at certain banks: inquire first before you attempt to convert your marks

Do not expect anybody to accept foreign currencies or to be willing to exchange currency An exception are shops and restaurants at airports and also - more rarely - fast-food restaurants at major train stations These will generally accept at least US dollars at a slightly worse exchange rate If you wish to exchange money, you can do so at any bank, where you can also cash in your traveller's cheques Currency exchanges, once a common sight, have all but disappeared since the introduction of the euro Again, international airports and train stations are an exception to this rule Swiss Franc can sometimes be accepted near the Swiss border

While German domestic debit cards and, to a lesser extent, PIN-based Maestro cards enjoy almost universal acceptance, this is not true for credit cards VISA, MasterCard, American Express or foreign debit cards VISA Debit/Electron etc, which are not as widely accepted as in other European countries or the United States

Don't be fooled by seeing card terminals in shops or other people paying with cards - these machines may not necessarily be programmed to accept foreign cards, so it is best to inquire or look out for acceptance decals before shopping or fuelling your car

Hotels, larger retailers, chain gas stations and nationwide companies accept credit cards; supermarkets, discount stores or small independent shops tend not to Some places impose a minimum purchase amount typically 10 euros for card payments Most ATMs will allow you to withdraw money with your credit card or foreign debit card, but you'll need to know your card's PIN for that

Tipping

Unlike in some other countries, service staff is always paid by the hour albeit not always that well A tip is therefore mainly a matter of politeness and shows your appreciation If you didn't appreciate the service eg slow, snippy or indifferent service you may not tip at all

Since the introduction of the Euro, a tip Trinkgeld, lit "drink money" of about 5-10% is customary if you were satisfied with the service Nonetheless, service charge is already included in an item's unit price so what you see is what you pay

Tipping in Germany is usually done by mentioning the total while paying So if eg a waiter tells you the bill amounts to "€1350", just state "15" and he will include a tip of €150

Tipping in other situations unless otherwise indicated:

  • Taxi driver: 5%-10% at least €1
  • Housekeeping: €1-2 per day
  • Carrying luggage: €1 per piece
  • Public toilet attendants: €030-070
  • Delivery Services: 5%-10% at least 1€

Shopping

In common with most other Western European languages but unlike English, in German a comma is used to indicate a decimal For example, 2,99€ is two euros and 99 cents The "€" symbol is not always used and may be placed both in front or after the price A dot is used to "group" numbers, so "1000" would be one thousand

Taxes: Retail prices are reasonable and lower than in northern European countries but the value added tax, VAT, "Umsatzsteuer" official, but even politicians use this rather sparsely or "Mehrwertsteuer" most Germans use this word has been increased to 19% from 2007 onwards and therefore prices will slightly rise Fuel, sparkling wine, spirits and tobacco are subject to even higher taxes, the first of those excise taxes - the "Branntweinsteuer" spirit tax - first being imposed on Nordhäuser Branntwein the ancestor of Nordhäuser Korn in 1507, the certainly most ridiculous of them - the sparkling wine tax - being introduced by Emperor Wilhelm II to finance the Kiel Canal and his war fleet Some German brands of high end goods such as kitchen utensils, stationery, and hiking gear are considerably cheaper than abroad VAT is always included by law in an item's pricetag only exception is for goods that are commercially exported but then duties might apply There exists a reduced VAT of 7% ia for hotels but not for edibles consumed within, edibles certain items considered luxury goods, eg lobster, are exempted from this reduction, print products, public transport short-distance only and admission price for opera or theatre
Supermarkets: Many Germans rather look for prices than for quality when shopping for food As a result, the competition between food discounters which might be the cause of this very specific behaviour is exceptionally fierce in fact, WalMart had to retract from the German market because it failed at competing on price and results in very low food prices compared to other European countries though not compared to North America or the UK - as a general rule, a discount German supermarket will have similar quality compared to a North American discounter, but at mid-range prices The chains "Aldi", "Lidl", "Penny" and "Plus/Netto" are a special type of supermarket don't call it "Supermarkt" - Germans call it "Discounter": Their range of products is limited to the absolute necessities of daily life like vegetables, pasta, UHT-milk, eggs, convenience foods, toiletries etc, sold in rather simple packaging for tightly calculated prices While quality is generally surprisingly high at least in relation to price levels, do not expect delicatessen or local specialties when you go to shop there Many Germans buy their daily needs there and go to the more "standard" supermarket like the chains Rewe, Real, Tengelmann/Kaisers, Globus, Famila or Edeka to get more special treats These however, are few in number, often far outside of town, and don't offer the selection of a Sainsbury's, Tesco, or Wal-Mart, but their personnel is trained to be especially helpful and friendly Don't blame discounter personnel for being somewhat harsh; although they are paid slightly better than usual, they have to cope with a grim working atmosphere and a significantly higher workload than colleagues in "standard" supermarkets and therefore are certainly not amused about being disturbed in getting their work done Beside those major chains, Turkish supermarkets which can be found in townships with predominantly Turkish population can be a worthwhile alternative since they combine the characteristics of discounters low price levels but limited assortment with those of "standard" supermarkets Turkish specialties and usually friendly personnel
Similarly it applies to clothes; although competition on this market is not that fierce and quality varies, cheap clothing of sufficient quality might be bought at C&A, but don't expect designer clothes though During the end-of-season sales you should also compare prices of conventional stores since they may be even cheaper than the discounters H&M sells cheap, stylish clothing, but with notoriously awful quality
You can find supermarkets and certain other stores only major chains at kaufdade 62
Be prepared to bag your own groceries and goods as well as provide your own shopping bags for doing so While most stores provide plastic as well as canvas shopping bags at the checkout, you are charged for them The Germans think it is more environmentally-friendly to re-use bags rather than get a new one each time It's a good reminder to also keep a euro coin handy for the buggys/shopping carts They all require a euro to use the cart but you get it back once your shopping is done
If you are looking for organic products, your best bet is to visit a "Bioladen" or "Biosupermarkt" Bio- generally means organic There are also many farmers selling their products directly "Hofladen", most of them organized in the "Bioland" cooperative They offer reasonable food at reasonable prices
Factory Outlets: Germany has only about 6 Factory Outlet Centers, but approximately up to 1000 Factory Outlets called "Fabrikverkauf"
Local Products: You can find local food products not necessarily organic in most places at the farmer's market "Wochenmarkt" or simply "Markt", usually once or twice a week While you your chances on finding english-speaking sellers there may be somewhat reduced, it's nevertheless quite fun to shop there and mostly you will get fresh and good quality food for reasonable prices Most winemakers sell their products either directly or in "Winzergenossenschaften" winemaker cooperatives These wines are almost always superior to the ones produced by German wine brands Quality signs are "VdP" "Verband deutscher Prädikatsweingüter", symbolized by an eagle and "Ecovin" German organic winemaker cooperative Wines made of the most typical German wine varieties are usually marked with "Classic"
Souvenirs: German honey is a good souvenir, but only "Echter Deutscher Honig" is a guarantee for reasonable quality Along the German coasts, smoked eel is quite a common delicacy and a typical souvenir
Recycling: Germany has an elaborate and confusing beverage container deposit "Pfand" system Reusable bottles, glass and plastic, usually cost between 8 and 25 cents Pfand per bottle depending on size and material Additional Pfand is due for special carrying baskets matching the bottle measures The Pfand can be cashed in at any store which sells bottles Plastic bottles and cans usually cost 25 Cents Pfand, if not they are marked as pfandfrei Exempt from Pfand are liquors and plastic boxes usually containing juice There are also a few other instances where Pfand is due, for example for standardized gas containers Pfand on glasses, bottles and dishware is also common at discotheques, self-service bars or public events, but usually not at a students' cafeteria
Cigarettes are easily available in most kiosks, supermarkets and newsagents Cigarette machines are often dotted around towns and cities be aware you will need an EU driving licence or a debit card with an electronic chip to "unlock" the machine As of July 2009, a pack of 17 costs around €420 and a pack of 24 costs around €570 The legal age to smoke in Germany is 18 Many Germans buy paper and tobacco separately as this is cheaper

Opening hours

Due to a federal reform, opening hours are set by the states, therefore opening hours vary from state to state Some states like Berlin, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein have no more strict opening hours from Monday to Saturday however, you will rarely find 24 hours shops other than at petrol stations Sunday and national holidays including some obscure ones is normally closed for shops everywhere in Germany, including pharmacies However single pharmacies remain open for emergencies Information can be obtained here 63 Shops are allowed to open on Sundays on special occasions called "Verkaufsoffener Sonntag", information on open Sundays may be found here 64 or here 65 Every german city uses that days except Munich

As a rule of thumb:

  • Supermarkets: 8 or 9AM – 8PM
  • big supermarkets 8AM - 10PM
  • Shopping centers and large department stores: 10AM - 8PM
  • Department stores in small cities: 10AM - 7PM
  • Small and medium shops: 9 or 10AM – 630PM in big cities sometimes to 8PM
  • Petrol stations: in cities and along the "Autobahn" usually 24h a day
  • Restaurants: 1130AM – 11 or 12AMmidnight, sometimes longer, many closed during afternoon

Small shops are often closed from 1 to 3PM If necessary in many big cities you will find a few sometimes more expensive supermarkets with longer opening hours often near the main station Bakeries usually offer service on Sunday mornings business hours vary as well Also most petrol stations have a small shopping area

In some parts of Germany like Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf and the Ruhr area there are cornershops called "Kiosk", "Trinkhalle" drinking hall or "Büdchen" little hut that offer newspapers, drinks and at least basic food supplies These shops are often run by Arab or Turkish immigrants and are, depending on the area, open till late night

Basic supplies can usually be bought around the clock at gas stations Gas station owners work around opening hour restrictions by running 7-Eleven style mini marts on their gas station property Be aware that prices are usually quite high Another exception to this law are supermarkets located in touristy areas Towns designated as a Kurort health resort are allowed to have their stores open all week during tourist season Just ask a local for those well-kept secret stores

Food and eating in Germany

German food usually sticks to its roots and a typical dish will consist of meat with some form of potatoes and gravy, accompanied by vegetables or salad The modern German cuisine has been influenced by other European countries such as Italy and France to become a bit lighter Dishes show a great local diversity and it might be interesting to discover those Since most bigger employers have a canteen for their employees, you will find few sandwich shops and takeaways and eating out culture in Germany is dominated by the Gasthaus/Gasthof and Restaurants to have proper food Putting places to eat in 6 categories gives you a hint about the budget/taste Starting from the lower end, these are:

Imbiss

'Schnellimbiss' means quick snack, and is what you will see on the sign of German stalls and small shops that sell primarily sausage Wurst and fries Pommes Frites Sausages will include Bratwurst, which is fried and usually a boiled pork sausage A very German variant is Currywurst: sausage chopped up and covered in spiced ketchup, dusted with curry powder Beer and often harder liquor are available in most

'Döner Kebab' is Turkish lamb or chicken stuffed into bread, similar to Greek Gyros and Arab Schawarma Even though considered Turkish, it's actually a speciality which originated in Germany According to its legend, it was invented by Turkish immigrants in West-Berlin during the 1970s In fact, the 'Döner' is Germany's most beloved fast food The sales numbers of 'Döner' exceed those of McDonald's and Burger King products by far

Nevertheless, fast food giants like McDonald's, Burger King and Pizza Hut are in most towns Nordsee is a German seafood chain, they offer 'Rollmops' - soussed herrings - and many other fish and seafood snacks However, many independent seafood snack-bars most common along the German shores offer slightly better and slightly cheaper seafood

Bakeries and butchers

Germans have no tradition for sandwich shops but you will find that bakeries / butchers sell quite nice take away food and are serious competition for the fast food chains Even the smallest bakeries will sell many sorts of bread or rolls, most of them darker for example, using wholemeal or more rye flour than the white bread popular around the world and definitely worth a try Even if they don't already have it prepared, almost all butchers will prepare a sandwich for you if you ask Some butchers even prepare meals for you This butcher 'imbiss' is mainly popular in southern Germany, and the quality and freshness of food is usually high

Biergarten

Here you will get the obvious drink In traditional beergardens in Bavaria it is possible to bring your own food if you buy drinks Most places will cater simple meals A very good place for beer and bavarian food is the Biergarten of "Kloster Andechs" close to the Ammersee round 40km south of Munich

Brauhaus

Microbreweries sell their products straight to the customer and sometimes you will find some nice food there as well

Gasthof/Gasthaus

Probably 50% of all eating out places fall into this group They are mainly family-run businesses that have been owned for generations comparable to taverns/pubs in the UK You can go there simply for a drink, or to try German food often with a local flavor Food quality differs significantly from place to place but the staff will usually give you an indication of the standard; regulations require restaurant owners to indicate certain possibly harmful ingredients eg glutamates/MSG by footnotes - a menu containing lots of such footnotes usually indicates low quality; if a cheap "Gasthaus" / restaurant is overcrowded with Germans or Asians, this indicates at least sufficient quality unless the crowd is caused by an organized coach excursion

Restaurant

Germany has a wide range of flavors eg German, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Polish, Indian, Italian, French, Spanish, Greek, Turkish and almost all styles of the world are represented

Turkish cuisine in Germany ranges from simple "Döner" shops to mostly family-run restaurants offering a wide variation of usually very cheap in relation to German price levels Turkish home cooking

You will rarely find restaurants catering for special needs within Germany eg kosher restaurants are common only in cities with a notable Jewish population like Berlin, although most restaurants will prepare special meals or variants for you if they are neither relying on convenience foods only nor too fancy Most restaurants have at least some vegetarian meals For muslims it is recommended to stick to Turkish/Arabic restaurants At some Turkish or Arab food stalls vegetarians might find falafel and baba ganoush to suit their tastes For not-so-strict Jews the halal Turkish food stalls are also the best option for meat dishes

In most restaurants in Germany you can choose your own table You can make reservations recommended for larger groups and haute cuisine on Saturday nights and these are marked by reservation cards "Reserviert" In expensive restaurants in larger cities you will be expected to make reservations and will be seated by the staff who will not allow you to choose your table

Restaurants in commercial areas often offer weekday lunch specials These are cheap starting at €5, sometimes including a beverage options and a good way to sample local food Specials tend to rotate on a daily or weekly basis, especially when fresh ingredients like fish are involved

Many restaurants offers all-you-can-eat-buffets where you pay around 10 euros and can eat as much as you want Drinks are not included in this price

Table manners

At very formal events and in high-end restaurants, a few deviations of German customs from western standards should be noted:

  • It is considered bad manners to eat with your elbows resting on the table Keep only your wrists on the table
  • When moving the fork to your mouth, the curved end should point upwards not downwards as in Great Britain
  • When eating soup or other food from your spoon, hold it with the tip towards your mouth not parallel to your lips as in, again, Great Britain Spoons used to stir beverages, eg coffee, should not be put in the mouth at all
  • If you have to leave the table, it is fine to put your napkin which should have rested, folded once along the center, on your lap until then on the table, to the left of your plate, in an elegant little pile -- unless it looks really dirty, in which case you might want to leave it on your chair

Typical dishes

Rinderroulade mit Rotkraut und Knödeln: this dish is quite unique to Germany Very thin sliced beef rolled around a piece of bacon and pickled cucumber until it looks like a mini barrel 5cm diameter flavoured with tiny pieces of onion, German mustard, ground black pepper and salt The meat is quick-fried and is then left to cook slowly for an hour, meanwhile red cabbage and potato dumplings are prepared and then the meat is removed from the frying pan and gravy is prepared in the frying pan Knödel, Rotkraut and Rouladen are served together with the gravy in one dish

Schnitzel mit Pommes frites: there are probably as many different variations of Schnitzel as there are restaurants in Germany They have in common a thin slice of pork often covered in egg and bread crumbs that is fried for a short period of time and it is often served with fries that's the Pommes frites part Variations of this are usually served with different types of gravy: such as Zigeunerschnitzel, Zwiebelschnitzel, Holzfäller Schnitzel and Wiener Schnitzel as the name suggests, an Austrian dish – the genuine article must be veal instead of pork, which is why most restaurants offer a Schnitzel Wiener Art, or Viennese-style schnitzel which is allowed to be pork In the south you can often get Spätzle pasta that Swabia is famous for instead of fries with it Spätzle are egg noodles typical of south Germany – most restaurants make them fresh It is very common to find Schnitzel on the menu of a German restaurant, it might even be the most common dish in German restaurants

Rehrücken mit Spätzle: Germany has maintained huge forests such as the famous Black Forest, Bayrischer Wald and Odenwald In and around these areas you can enjoy the best game in Germany Rehrücken means venison tenderloin and it is often served with freshly made noodles such as Spätzle and a very nice gravy based on a dry red wine

Wurst “sausage”: there is no country in the world with a greater variety of sausages than Germany and it would take a while to mention them all “Bratwurst“ is fried, other varieties such as the Bavarian “Weißwurst“ are boiled Here is the shortlist version: “Rote” beef sausage, “Frankfurter Wurst” boiled pork sausage made in the Frankfurt style, “Pfälzer Bratwurst” sausage made in Palatine style , “Nürnberger Bratwurst” Nuremberg sausage – the smallest of all of them, but a serious contender for the best tasting German sausage, “grobe Bratwurst”, Landjäger, Thüringer Bratwurst, Currywurst, Weißwurst this could go on till tomorrow If you spot a sausage on a menu this is often a good and sometimes the only choice Often served with mashed potato, fries or potato salad

Koenigsberger Klopse: Literally "meatballs from Koenigsberg", this is a typical dish in and around Berlin The meatballs are made out of minced pork and are cooked and served in a white sauce with capers and rice or potatoes

Matjesbrötchen: Soussed herring or "roll mops" in a bread roll, typical street snack

Local specialities

Starting from the north of Germany going south you will find a tremendous variety of food and each region sticks to it origins The coastal regions are fond of seafood and famous dishes include “Finkenwerder Scholle”, going south to the region of Cologne you will find Sauerbraten a roast marinated in vinegar, if made really traditionally it's from horse meat

Labskaus although strictly speaking not a German invention is a dish from the north and the opinions about this dish are divided, some love it, others hate it It is a mash of potato, beetroot juice and cured meat decorated with rollmops and/or young herring and/or a fried egg and/or sour cucumber and/or beetroot slices on top The north is also famous for its lamb dishes, the best type of lamb probably being "Rudenlamm" lamb from Ruden, a small island in the Baltic Sea; only a few restaurants in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania serve this, the second best type being "Salzwiesenlamm" salt meadow lamb The Lueneburger Heide Lueneburg Heath is famous not only for its heath but also for its Heidschnucken, a special breed of sheep Be aware that a lot of restaurants import their lamb from New Zealand though because it is cheaper Crabs and mussels are also quite common along the German coasts, especially in North Frisia

A specialty of Hamburg is "Aalsuppe" which - despite the name in this case "Aal" means "everything", not "eel" - originally contained almost everything - except eel today many restaurants include eel within this soup, because the name led tourists into confusion At the coast there's a variety of fish dishes Beware: if a restaurant offers "Edelfischplatte", the fish may be not fresh and even this is quite ironical of poor quality Therefore, it is strongly recommended that, for eating fish, you visit specialised or quality restaurants only A fast-food style restaurant chain serving quality fish and other seafood at low prices all over Germany is "Nordsee", though you will rarely find authentic specialties there

Pfälzer Saumagen: known for a long time in Palatinate, but difficult to find outside of this area The dish became well known to the general public in Germany as then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s favorite dish, especially when this was enjoyed by him and the Russian president Mikhail Gorbatchev on a State visit in Germany in Deidesheim Pictures of the feast are shown in the restaurant “ Deidesheimer Hof” in Deidesheim Literally this is pig stomach filled with a mash of potato and meat, cooked for 2-3 hours and then cut in thick slices often served with sauerkraut

Swabia is famous for Spätzle a kind of noodle, "Maultaschen" noodles stuffed with spinach and mince meat, but lots of variations, even veggie ones, exist

In Bavaria this may be Schweinshaxe mit Knödeln pork's leg with knödel, a form of potato dumplings, "Leberkäs/Fleischkäse mit Kartoffelsalat" kind of meat pie and potato salad, "Nürnberger Bratwurst" probably smallest sausage in Germany, Weißwurst white sausages and "Obatzda" a spicy mix of several milk products

The south is also famous for its nice tarts such as the "Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte" tart with lots of cream and spirit made from cherries

A delicacy in Saxony is Eierschecke, a cake made of eggs and cream similar to cheese cake

A specialty of the East is "Soljanka" originating from Ukraine, but probably the most common dish in the GDR, a sour soup containing vegetables and usually some kind of meat or sausages

Seasonal specialities

White “Spargel” asparagus floods the restaurants in April/June all over Germany and it is delicious especially in and around Baden-Baden and the small town of Schwetzingen "The Spargel Capital", near Heidelberg, in an area north and north-east of Hannover Lower Saxon Asparagus Route", as well as in the area southwest of Berlin, especially in the town Beelitz and along the Lower Rhine, especially "Walbecker Spargel" Walbeck is a suburb of Geldern Many vegetables can be found all around the year and the are often imported from far away Whereas asparagus can be found only for 2 months from mid April to mid June and is best enjoyed freshly after harvest it stays nice for a couple of hours or till next day The asparagus is treated very carefully and it is harvested before it ever is exposed to daylight and only then it remains white When exposed to daylight it changes its color to a green and it might taste bitter Therefore, white asparagus is considered to be better by most Germans

The standard Spargel meal is the spargel stalks, hollandaise sauce, boiled potatoes, and some form of meat The most common meat is ham, smoked preferred; however you will find it teamed with schnitzel fried breaded pork, turkey, beef, or whatever is available in the kitchen

White asparagus soup: one of the hundreds of different recipes that can be found with white asparagus is soup Often it is made with cream and has some of the thinner asparagus pieces

Lebkuchen: Germany has many nice Christmas biscuits and gingerbread The best known are produced in and around Nuremberg

Stollen is a kind of plaited bun during the Advent season and yuletide Original Stollen is produced only in Dresden, Saxony, however you can buy Stollen everywhere in Germany although Dresdner Stollen is reputed to be the best and - due to the low salaries in Eastern Germany - comparatively cheap

Around St Martin's day, roasted ducks and geese "Martinsgans" are quite common in German restaurants, usually served with "Rotkraut" red cabbage and "Knödeln" potato dumplings

Miscellaneous

Germans are very fond of their bread, which they make in many variations This is the food that Germans tend to miss most when away from home Most people like their bread relatively dark and dense and scorn the soft loaves sold in other countries Bakeries will rarely provide less than twenty different sorts of bread and it's worth trying a few of them In fact, many Germans buy their lunch or small snacks in bakeries instead of takeaways or the like Prices for a loaf of bread will range from 050 € to 4 €, depending on the size real specialties might cost more

Vegetarian

Most restaurants have one or two vegetarian dishes, but there aren't many places which are particularly aimed at vegetarian or vegan customers, except some places in big cities like Berlin If the menu does not contain vegetarian dishes, do not hesitate to ask for Vegetarian restaurant guides can be found at 66 german or 67 VEBU restaurant list, the restaurants are not necessarily vegetarian in general Be aware when ordering to ask whether the dish is suitable for vegetarians, as chicken stock and bacon cubes are a commonly "undeclared" ingredient on German menues

However, there are usually organic food shops "Bioladen", "Naturkostladen" or "Reformhaus" in every city, providing vegetarian bread, breadspreads, cheese, icecream, vegan cream topping, tofu and seitan The diversity and quality of the products is great and you will find shop assistants that can answer special nutritional questions profoundly

Allergy & Celiac Sufferers

When shopping for foods, the package labeling in Germany is generally reliable All food products must be properly labeled including additives and preservatives Be on the look out for "Weizen" wheat, "Mehl" flour or "Malz" malt and "Stärke" starch Be extra cautious for foods with "Geschmacksverstärker" ie flavour enhancers that may have gluten as ingredients

  • Reformhaus 68 - a 3000 strong network of health food stores in Germany and Austria that has dedicated gluten-free sections stocked with pasta, breads and treats Reformhaus stores are usually found in the lower level of shopping centres ie PotsdamerArkaden, etc
  • DM Stores 69 - the CWS/Shopper's Drug Mart equivalent in Germany has dedicated wheat and gluten free sections
  • Alnatura 70 - natural foods store with a large dedicated gluten-free section

Smoking

The German federal-states started banning smoking in public places and areas in early 2007, however the laws vary from state to state Smoking is generally banned in all restaurants and cafes Some places may provide separate smoking areas but it is best to esquire when booking A loophole in these laws allows clubs and bars to advertise as a "Raucherclub" or "smoker's club", and therefore allow patrons to smoke, though sometimes charging an entrance fee These establishments are often smoke-filled and extremely unpleasant Savvy travelers ought to avoid them Otherwise smokers should be prepared to step outside if they still want to light up Smoking is banned on all forms of public transport including on railway platforms except in designated smoking areas, which are clearly marked with the word "Raucherbereich" smoking area The laws are strictly enforced

Drinking in Germany

Legal drinking age is 18 for spirits drinks containing distilled alcohol and 16 for everything else eg beer and wine

Beer

For centuries, beer-making in Bavaria has been governed by the Reinheitsgebot purity law that was made national policy with the unification of Germany in 1871, which states that German beer may be made only from hops, malt, yeast and water The Reinheitsgebot has come down with the European integration, but German breweries still have to stick to it since for them, national law applies

The domestic beer market is not dominated by one or a only a few big breweries Even though there are some big players, the regional diversity is enormous, and there are over 1200 breweries with most of them serving only local markets Usually bars and restaurants serve the local varieties that differ from town to town When sitting in a German Kneipe, a local beer is always a option, and often the only option

Specialities include Weizenbier or Weissbier in Bavaria, a refreshing top-fermented beer which is popular in the south, Alt, a kind of dark ale that is especially popular in and around Düsseldorf, and Kölsch, a special beer brewed in Cologne "Pils", the German name for pilsner is a light-gold colored beer that is extremely popular in Germany There are also seasonal beers, which are made only at different times of the year such as Bockbier in winter and Maibock in May, both containing a greater quantity of alcohol, sometimes double that of a normal Vollbier Beer is usually served in 200 or 300ml glasses in the northern part or 500ml in the South In Biergartens in Bavaria, 500ml is a small beer "Halbe" and a liter is normal "Maß" pronounced "Mahss" Except for in Irish pubs, pints or pitchers are uncommon For Germans, a lot of foam is both a sign of freshness and quality; thus, beer is always served with a lot of head All glasses have volume marks for the critical souls Additionally, Germans are not afraid to mix beer with other drinks though the older generation may disagree Beer is commonly mixed with carbonated lemonade usually at 1:1 ratio and called a "Radler" or cyclist so named because it is commonly associated with a refreshing drink a cyclist might enjoy in spring or summer during a cycling excursion or "Alsterwasser"/"Alster" after the river in Hamburg in the north; "Cocktails" of Pilsener/Altbier and soft drinks like Fanta, a "Colaweizen" cola and dark wheat beer is another combination that can be found

Pubs are open in Germany until 2 in the morning or later Food is generally available until midnight Germans typically go out after 8PM popular places already fill up at 6PM

Cider

Undisputed capital of "Apfelwein" cider in Germany is Frankfurt Locals love their cider and it is very popular around here There are even special bars "Apfelweinkneipe" that will serve only "Apfelwein" and some gastronomic specialities Cider is often served in a special jug called "Bembel" The taste is slightly different from Ciders in other countries and tends to be quite refreshing In autumn when apples are turned into cider you might find "Frischer Most" or "Süßer" signposted at some places That is the first product in the chain of "Apfelwein" production; one glass of it is nice, but after two or three glasses you will have a problem unless you enjoy spending lots of time on the toilet In the Saarland and surrounding regions "Apfelwein" is called "Viez" It varies here from "Suesser Viez" sweet, to "Viez Fein-Herb" medium sweet to "Alter Saerkower" sour The Viez capital of that region is Merzig During winter it is also quite common to drink hot cider along with some cloves and sugar It is considered an efficent measure against an upcoming cold

Coffee

Germans drink lots of coffee Currently, the port of Hamburg is the world's busiest place for coffee trading Coffee is always freshly made from ground coffee or beans - no instant However, persons coming from countries with a great coffee tradition like Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Greece or Austria might find the coffee that is served in normal restaurants a bit boring A German specialty, originating from North Frisia but nowadays also common in East Frisia, is "Pharisäer", a mixture of coffee and a spirit, usually rum, with a thick cream top A variation of this is "Tote Tante" dead aunt, with coffee replaced by hot chocolate

Over the past few years, American coffee house chain Starbucks has expanded into Germany, but mostly you will encounter "Cafés" which usually offer a large selection of cakes to go along with the coffee

Glühwein

Visiting Germany in December? Then go and see one of the famous Christmas markets 71 the most famous taking place in Nuremberg, Dresden, Leipzig, Münster and Aachen and this is the place where you find Glühwein mulled wine, a spiced wine served very hot to comfort you in the cold of winter

Spirits

“Kirschwasser” literally means cherry water; it certainly tastes of cherry but on the other hand it is not regular drinking water There is a long lasting tradition in making spirits in Baden, and “Kirschwasser” is probably the flagship product and it might encourage you to taste other specialities such as Himbeergeist from raspberry, Schlehenfeuer flavored with sloe berries, Williamchrist pear and Apfelkorn apple

“Enzian” Bavarians like their beer as well their Enzian A spirit high in alcohol that is best as a digestive after a hefty meal

"Korn", made of grain, is probably the most common spirit in Germany Its main production centre Berentzen 72 lies in Haselünne, where tours and tastings can be arranged in the distilleries The town is located near the river Ems in northwest Germany; for rail service to Haselünne very sparse see Eisenbahnfreunde Hasetal 73

In North Frisia, "Köm" caraway spirit, either pure or mixed with tea "Teepunsch", tea punch, is very popular

"Eiergrog" is a hot mixture of egg liquor and rum

Tea

Tea is also very popular, and a large choice is readily available The region of East Frisia in particular has a long tea tradition, and is probably the only place in Germany where tea is more popular than coffee The East Frisian tea ceremony consists of black tea served in a flat porcelain cup with special rock sugar Kluntje that is put in the cup before pouring the tea Cream is added afterwards, but is not stirred into the tea

Wine

Germans are just as passionate about their wines as they are about their beer The similarities don't stop here, both products are often produced by small companies and the best wines are consumed locally and only the remaining ones are exported The production of wine has a 2000 year old history in Germany as learned from the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Trier, but of course this was a roman settlement at this time Sunshine is the limiting factor for the production of wines in Germany and therefore the wine production is limited to the south White wine plays a main role in the wine production, but some areas produce red wines Ahr, Baden Württemberg White wines are produced from Riesling, Kerner and Müller-Thurgau grapes there are a lot more, but to name them all would be too much, and produce generally fresh and fruity wines German wines can be rich in acid and are quite refreshing It is generally accepted that Riesling grapes produce the best German wines, but they demand a lot of sunshine and they grow best in very exposed areas such the Mosel, Rheingau, Bergstrasse, Kaiserstuhl and Pfalz

The best way to learn about wines is go to the place where they are grown and taste them on the spot This is called "Weinprobe" and is generally free of charge though in touristic areas you have to pay a small fee Good wines usually go together with good food and therefore it is well worth it to visit some of those places

Another nice opportunity to get a taste of local wine is the so-called Straußenwirtschaft, Besenwirtschaft or Heckenwirtschaft These are little "pubs" or gardens where a wine-producer sells his own wine, normally with little meals such as sandwiches or cheese and ham Normally, they are open only in summer and autumn, and not longer than 4 months a year due to legal regulations As they are sometimes located in the vineyards or in some backstreets, they are not always easy to find, so you best ask a local for the next or best Straußenwirtschaft he knows

Wine producing areas are:

Ahr Ahr is the paradise of German red wines Half of the production is dedicated to red wines and it is densely populated with “Gaststätten” and “Strausswirten” A saying goes: Who visited the Ahr and remembers that he was there, hasn’t actually been there

Baden 74 With approx 15,500 hectare of wine yards and a production of 1 mn hectolitre Baden is Germany’s third biggest wine growing area It's the most southern German wine growing area and is Germany’s only member of the European Wine Category B together with the famous French areas Alsace, Champagne and Loire Baden is more than 400 km long and is split into nine regional groups: Tauberfranken, Badische Bergstraße, Kraichgau, Ortenau, Breisgau, Kaiserstuhl, Tuniberg, Markgräflerland and Bodensee The Kaiserstuhl and the Markgräflerland are the most famous areas for wine from Baden One of the largest wine cooperatives is the Badischer Winzerkeller 75 in Breisach English site

Franken: Franconia is in the northern part of Bavaria and you can find there very nice wines Some wines produced in Franconia are sold in a special bottle called "Bocksbeutel"

Hessische Bergstrasse: located on the slopes of the Rhine valley it is a quiet small wine producing area and wines are usually consumed within the area in and around Heppenheim

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer: the steepest vineyards in Germany can be seen when driving in the Mosel valley from Koblenz to Trier

Pfalz: biggest wine producing area in Germany Has some excellent wines to taste and a lot of nice villages embedded in vineyards Tasting wine in Deidesheim is a good idea and several prime producer of German wine are all located on the main road Want to see the biggest wine barrel in the world then go to Bad Dürkheim

Rheingau: is the smallest wine producing area, but it produces the highest rated Riesling wines in Germany Visit Wiesbaden and make a trip on the Rhine to Rüdesheim

Rheinhessen too is especially famous for its Riesling

Sachsen: One of the smallest wine regions in Germany, nestled along the Elbe River near Dresden and Meissen

Württemberg As it was mentioned before, here the rule, that the wine production is consumed by the locals, strictly applies The wine consumption is twice as high as in the rest of Germany, regardless of whether it's red or the white wine The specialty of the region is the red wine called Trollinger and it can be quite nice by German standards

Saale-Unstrut: located in the state Saxonia-Anhalt at the banks of the rivers Saale and Unstrut it is most northern wine area in Europe

Accommodation in Germany

Germany provides almost all options for accommodation, including hotels, B&B's, hostels, and camping You might also consider staying with members of a hospitality exchange network

Hotels

Most international hotel chains have franchises in the major German cities, and a large variety of local hotels exist All hotels in Germany are ranked by stars 1 to 5 stars The rankings are made independently and are therefore reliable The rate always includes VAT, is usually per room and includes in most places breakfast Prices vary significantly by city Munich and Frankfurt are most expensive A cheap and convenient way to stay are Ibis Hotels 76, usually located near major railway stations For people who travel by car, Etap 77 hotels located at the outskirts of cities near autobahns offer rates that can compete with hostel prices; though those hotels are not necessarily better and they lack the individuality hostels are renowned for

B&Bs

B&Bs "Pensionen" or "Fremdenzimmer" usually provide less comfort than hotels for cheaper prices The advantage is that you are likely to meet Germans and get a touch of the German way of living A sign saying "zimmer frei" indicates a B&B with a room available

Hostels

Hostels provide simple, budget accommodation primarily in shared rooms They are good places to get to know other travellers In Germany, as in many countries, two flavors exist: international youth hostels and independent hostels

International Youth Hostels "Jugendherbergen" are owned and run by the association "Deutsches Jugendherbergswerk" DJH, which is part of the Hostelling International HI network There are more than 600 hostels spread all over Germany in big and small cities as well as in the country side Not only individual travellers are guests but also school classes and other youth groups To sleep there, you have to be or become a member in a youth hostel organisation belonging the HI network 78 Detailed information about this and each of their hostels can be found on the DJH's 79 Generally, this entails simply filling out a card and payng a few extra Euro per night In general, the advantage of these places is that they tend to serve a buffet style breakfast for no additional charge, though this is not an absolute rule However, the quality is often below that of private hostels, and many do not provide a good opportunity for socializing

Privately run independent hostels are starting to be an attractive alternative for a similar price More than 60 already exist in Germany, getting more and more every year They are located in bigger cities, especially in Berlin, Munich, Dresden, and Hamburg Only few are in the country side Sometimes run by former travellers, hostels refrain from having strict rules Especially small ones are frequently places where you can feel at home Many are known for their vibrant, party atmosphere and can be an excellent way to meet other travelers There is no need to be a member in some organisation to sleep there About half of the hostels have organized themselves in a "Backpacker Network" 80, which provides a list of their members hostels A website which lists almost every independent hostel in Germany is Gomio 81 Of course, international room booking agencies such as Hostelworld and Hostelbookers are also good resources, and give travelers the ability to leave reviews

Camping

There are countless campsites in Germany They vary significantly in the infrastructure and standard The ADAC, the German automobile club, offers an excellent guide for most German camping groups If you are member of your national motorclub assistance and guides are free or at substantial reduced prices

Some travellers just put up their tents somewhere in the country side In Germany this is illegal, unless you have the landowner's permission Practically however nobody cares as long as you are discreet, stay for one night only and take your trash with you Be aware of hunting ranges and military practise grounds or you could be in significant danger of being shot

Working in Germany

While the official unemployment rate in Germany is at around 8% realistic figures might be much higher since only registered unemployment is counted and many German part-time workers are desperately wishing to work full-time, there are jobs for those with the right qualifications or connections Non-EU foreigners wishing to work in Germany should make sure they secure the proper permits Since this can mean extended acts of distinctly German bureaucracy especially for non-EU citizens, it is likely not a good method to help your travelling budget

Non-EU students are permitted to work on their residence permits, but there is a limitation of 90 full more than four hours worked days per year or 180 half days under 4 hours worked without special authorization Working through one's university, though, does not require a special permit

Illicit work is rather common in Germany about 41% of the German GDP and virtually the only way to avoid the German bureaucracy Being caught, however, can mean time in jail, and you are liable to your employer to almost the same extent as if you worked legally

If you want to stay in Germany for an extended period of time, but do not speak German, your best bets are large multinational companies in the banking, tourism or high-tech industries Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich and of course Hamburg and Berlin are likely the best places to start looking A good knowledge of German is usually expected, but not always a prerequisite English speakers who are certified teachers in their home countries might be able to secure work at American or British international schools English teaching without these qualifications is not lucrative in Germany

During the asparagus season April to June farmers are usually looking for temporary workers, but this means really hard work and miserable pay The main advantage of these jobs is that knowledge of German shall not be required

Applying for a job in Germany is different from many other countries As in nearly every country there are some peculiarities that every applicant should know

Cities in Germany

aachen  aalen  abensberg  achern  achim  adendorf  aerzen  ahaus  ahlen  ahrensburg  aichach  ainring  aken  albstadt  aldenhoven  alfeld  alfter  alpen  alsdorf  alsfeld  altdorf  altena  altenburg  altenholz  altenstadt  altensteig  altotting  altusried  alzenau  alzey  amberg  andernach  angermunde  anklam  annaberg-buchholz  anrochte  ansbach  apen  apolda  arnsberg  arnstadt  aschaffenburg  ascheberg  aschersleben  asperg  attendorn  aue  auerbach  augsburg  augustdorf  aurich  babenhausen  backnang  bad aibling  bad bentheim  bad berleburg  bad bevensen  bad bramstedt  bad camberg  bad doberan  bad driburg  bad durkheim  bad durrenberg  bad durrheim  bad ems  baden-baden  bad essen  bad frankenhausen  bad freienwalde  bad gandersheim  bad harzburg  bad hersfeld  bad homburg  bad iburg  bad kissingen  bad kreuznach  bad krozingen  bad laasphe  bad laer  bad langensalza  bad lauterberg  bad liebenwerda  bad liebenzell  bad lippspringe  bad mergentheim  bad munder  bad munstereifel  bad nauheim  bad nenndorf  bad neuenahr-ahrweiler  bad neustadt  bad oeynhausen  bad oldesloe  bad orb  bad pyrmont  bad rappenau  bad reichenhall  bad sachsa  bad sackingen  bad salzdetfurth  bad salzuflen  bad salzungen  bad sassendorf  bad schwalbach  bad schwartau  bad segeberg  bad soden  bad soden-salmunster  bad sooden-allendorf  bad tolz  bad urach  bad vilbel  bad waldsee  bad wildbad  bad wildungen  bad windsheim  bad worishofen  bad wurzach  bad zwischenahn  baesweiler  baiersbronn  balingen  balve  bamberg  bargteheide  barmstedt  barntrup  barsbuttel  barsinghausen  barth  bassum  baunatal  bautzen  bayreuth  bebra  beckingen  beckum  bedburg  beeskow  belm  bendorf  bensheim  bergen  bergen  bergheim  bergisch gladbach  bergkamen  bergneustadt  berlin  bernau  bernburg  besigheim  bestwig  betzdorf  beverungen  bexbach  biberach  biblis  biedenkopf  bielefeld  bietigheim-bissingen  billerbeck  bingen  birkenau  birkenfeld  bischofsheim  bischofswerda  bissendorf  bitburg  bitterfeld  blankenburg  blaubeuren  blieskastel  blomberg  blumberg  bobenheim-roxheim  bobingen  boblingen  bocholt  bochum  bockenem  bogen  bohl-iggelheim  bohmte  boizenburg  bonen  bonn  bopfingen  boppard  borgentreich  borken  borken  borna  bornheim  bottrop  bovenden  brackenheim  brake  brakel  bramsche  brandenburg  brand-erbisdorf  braunfels  breisach  bremen  bremerhaven  bremervorde  bretten  bretzfeld  brilon  bruchkobel  bruchsal  bruckmuhl  bruggen  bruhl  bruhl  brunsbuttel  brunswick  buchen  buchloe  buckeburg  budelsdorf  budingen  buhl  bunde  burbach  buren  burg  burgdorf  burghausen  burgkirchen  burglengenfeld  burgstadt  burgthann  burladingen  burscheid  burstadt  buttelborn  butzbach  butzow  buxtehude  cadolzburg  calbe  calw  castrop-rauxel  celle  cham  chemnitz  clausthal-zellerfeld  cleves  cloppenburg  coburg  coesfeld  cologne  coswig  coswig  cottbus  crailsheim  cremlingen  crimmitschau  cuxhaven  dachau  damme  dannenberg  darmstadt  dassel  datteln  deggendorf  delbruck  delitzsch  delmenhorst  demmin  denkendorf  denzlingen  dessau  detmold  dettingen  dieburg  diedorf  diepholz  dietzenbach  diez  dillenburg  dillingen  dillingen  dingolfing  dinkelsbuhl  dinklage  dinslaken  ditzingen  dobeln  donaueschingen  donauworth  donzdorf  dorfen  dormagen  dornstadt  dorsten  dortmund  dorverden  dossenheim  dreieich  drensteinfurt  dresden  drochtersen  drolshagen  duderstadt  duisburg  dulmen  duren  durmersheim  dusseldorf  eberbach  ebersbach  ebersbach  ebersberg  eberswalde  eching  eckernforde  edemissen  edewecht  edingen-neckarhausen  egelsbach  eggenfelden  eggenstein-leopoldshafen  ehingen  eichenau  eichenzell  eichstatt  eilenburg  einbeck  eisenach  eisenberg  eisenberg  eisenhuttenstadt  eislingen  eitorf  ellwangen  elmshorn  elsdorf  elsfleth  elsterwerda  eltville  elze  emden  emmendingen  emmerich  emsdetten  engelskirchen  engen  enger  eningen  ennepetal  ennigerloh  eppelborn  eppelheim  eppingen  eppstein  erbach  erbach  erding  erftstadt  erfurt  ergolding  erkelenz  erkner  erkrath  erlangen  erlenbach  erlensee  erwitte  eschborn  eschwege  eschweiler  espelkamp  essenbach  essen  esslingen  ettenheim  ettlingen  euskirchen  eutin  falkensee  falkenstein  fallingbostel  feldkirchen-westerham  fellbach  felsberg  feucht  feuchtwangen  filderstadt  finnentrop  finsterwalde  flensburg  floha  florsheim  forchheim  forst  frankenberg  frankenberg  frankenthal  frankfurt  frankfurt  frechen  freiberg  freiberg  freiburg  freilassing  freising  freital  freudenberg  freudenstadt  frickenhausen  friedberg  friedberg  friedeburg  friedland  friedrichsdorf  friedrichshafen  friedrichsthal  friesenheim  friesoythe  fritzlar  frondenberg  fuldabruck  fulda  fuldatal  furstenfeldbruck  furstenwalde  furth  furth im wald  furtwangen  fussen  gaggenau  gaildorf  gaimersheim  ganderkesee  gangelt  garbsen  garching  gardelegen  garmisch-partenkirchen  garrel  gartringen  gauting  geeste  geesthacht  gehrden  geilenkirchen  geisenheim  geldern  gelnhausen  gelsenkirchen  gemunden  gengenbach  genthin  georgsmarienhutte  gera  geretsried  gerlingen  germering  germersheim  gernsbach  gernsheim  gerstetten  gersthofen  gescher  geseke  gevelsberg  giengen  gifhorn  gilching  ginsheim-gustavsburg  gladbeck  gladenbach  glauchau  glinde  gluckstadt  goch  goldbach  goppingen  gorlitz  goslar  gotha  gottingen  gottmadingen  graben-neudorf  grafelfing  grafenau  grafenhainichen  grafing  grefrath  greifswald  greiz  grenzach-wyhlen  grevenbroich  greven  grevesmuhlen  griesheim  grimma  grimmen  grobenzell  groditz  gronau  grunberg  grunstadt  grunwald  guben  gummersbach  gundelfingen  gunzburg  gunzenhausen  gustrow  gutersloh  haan  haar  hagen  hagen  hagenow  haiger  haigerloch  hainichen  halberstadt  haldensleben  halle  halle  halstenbek  haltern  halver  hamburg  hameln  hammelburg  hamm  hamminkeln  hanau  hannoversch munden  hanover  haren  harrislee  harsewinkel  harsum  hasbergen  haselunne  hatten  hattersheim  hattingen  hauzenberg  havixbeck  hechingen  heddesheim  heide  heidelberg  heidenau  heidenheim  heilbad heiligenstadt  heilbronn  heiligenhafen  heiligenhaus  heinsberg  helmbrechts  helmstedt  hemer  hemmingen  hemsbach  hennef  hennigsdorf  henstedt-ulzburg  heppenheim  herborn  herbrechtingen  herdecke  herford  hermsdorf  herne  herrenberg  hersbruck  herten  herxheim  herzberg  herzberg  herzogenaurach  herzogenrath  hessisch lichtenau  hessisch oldendorf  hettstedt  heubach  heusenstamm  heusweiler  hiddenhausen  hilchenbach  hildburghausen  hilden  hildesheim  hille  hilpoltstein  hilter  hirschaid  hochheim  hochstadt  hochst  hockenheim  hofgeismar  hofheim  hof  hohen neuendorf  hohenstein-ernstthal  hohr-grenzhausen  holzgerlingen  holzkirchen  holzminden  holzwickede  homberg  homburg  horb  horstel  hosbach  hovelhof  hoxter  hoyerswerda  huckelhoven  huckeswagen  hude  hullhorst  hunfeld  hungen  hunxe  hurth  husum  ibbenburen  idar-oberstein  idstein  ihlow  illertissen  illingen  ilmenau  ilsede  immenstadt  ingelheim  ingolstadt  iserlohn  ismaning  isny  isselburg  issum  itzehoe  jena  jever  jork  juchen  julich  juterbog  kaarst  kaiserslautern  kalkar  kall  kaltenkirchen  kamen  kamenz  kamp-lintfort  kappeln  karben  karlsfeld  karlsruhe  karlstadt  kassel  kaufbeuren  kaufungen  kehl  kelheim  kelkheim  kelsterbach  kempen  kempten  kerpen  ketsch  kevelaer  kiel  kierspe  kirchen  kirchhain  kirchheim  kirchheim  kirchhundem  kirchlengern  kirchlinteln  kirchzarten  kirkel  kirn  kissing  kitzingen  kleinblittersdorf  kleinmachnow  klingenthal  koblenz  kolbermoor  kolkwitz  kongen  konigslutter  konigstein  konigswinter  konigs wusterhausen  konstanz  korbach  korb  korntal-munchingen  kornwestheim  korschenbroich  kothen  krefeld  kreuzau  kreuztal  kriftel  kronach  kronberg  kronshagen  krumbach  kulmbach  kummersbruck  kunzell  kunzelsau  kurten  kyritz  laatzen  ladenburg  lage  lahnstein  lahr  lahstedt  laichingen  lampertheim  landau  landau  landsberg  landshut  langelsheim  langenau  langenfeld  langenhagen  langen  langen  langenselbold  langenzenn  langerwehe  langgons  langwedel  lappersdorf  laubach  lauchhammer  lauda-konigshofen  lauenburg  lauffen  lauf  lauingen  laupheim  lauterbach  lebach  leer  lehre  lehrte  leichlingen  leimen  leinefelde  leinfelden-echterdingen  leipzig  lemgo  lengede  lengerich  lenggries  lennestadt  leonberg  leopoldshohe  leuna  leutenbach  leutkirch  leverkusen  lich  lichtenau  lichtenfels  lichtenstein  liebenburg  lilienthal  limbach-oberfrohna  limburgerhof  limburg  lindau  lindenberg  lindlar  lingen  linkenheim-hochstetten  linnich  lippstadt  lobau  lohfelden  lohmar  lohne  lohne  lohr  lollar  loningen  lorch  lorrach  lorsch  losheim  lotte  loxstedt  lubbecke  lubbenau  lubben  lubeck  luchow  luckenwalde  ludenscheid  ludinghausen  ludwigsburg  ludwigsfelde  ludwigshafen  ludwigslust  lugau  lugde  luneburg  lunen  magdeburg  mainburg  maintal  mainz  maisach  malchin  malente  malsch  manching  mannheim  marbach  marburg  marienberg  marienheide  markdorf  markgroningen  markkleeberg  marktheidenfeld  marktoberdorf  marktredwitz  markt schwaben  marl  marpingen  marsberg  maxhutte-haidhof  mayen  mechernich  meckenbeuren  meckenheim  meerane  meerbusch  meinerzhagen  meiningen  meitingen  melle  melsungen  memmingen  menden  mengen  meppen  merchweiler  mering  merseburg  merzig  meschede  mettingen  mettlach  mettmann  metzingen  meuselwitz  michelstadt  miesbach  miltenberg  mindelheim  minden  mittweida  moers  moglingen  mohnesee  molln  mombris  monchengladbach  monheim  monschau  montabaur  moosburg  morbach  morfelden-walldorf  morlenbach  morsbach  mosbach  mossingen  much  muhlacker  muhldorf  muhlhausen  muhlheim  mulheim-karlich  mulheim  mullheim  munchberg  munich  munsingen  munster  munster  munster  murnau  murrhardt  mutterstadt  nagold  naila  nalbach  nauen  naumburg  neckargemund  neckarsulm  netphen  nettetal  neu-anspach  neubiberg  neubrandenburg  neuenburg  neuenhagen  neuenkirchen  neuenrade  neufahrn  neuhausen  neuhof  neumunster  neunkirchen  neunkirchen  neuruppin  neustadt  neustadt  neustadt  neustadt  neustadt  neustrelitz  neutraubling  neu-ulm  neuwied  neu wulmstorf  nidda  nidderau  nideggen  niederkassel  niederkruchten  niedernhausen  niederzier  niefern-oschelbronn  nienburg  niesky  nohfelden  nordenham  norden  norderstedt  nordhausen  nordhorn  nordlingen  nordstemmen  northeim  norvenich  nottuln  numbrecht  nuremberg  nurtingen  oberasbach  oberhaching  oberhausen  oberhausen-rheinhausen  oberkirch  oberndorf  obernkirchen  ober-ramstadt  oberstdorf  obertshausen  oberursel  ochsenfurt  ochtrup  odenthal  oelde  oer-erkenschwick  oerlinghausen  offenbach  offenburg  oftersheim  ohringen  olbernhau  olching  oldenburg  olfen  olpe  olsberg  oranienburg  oschatz  oschersleben  osnabruck  osterburg  ostercappeln  osterhofen  osterholz-scharmbeck  ostfildern  ostringen  ottersberg  ottobrunn  ottweiler  overath  oyten  paderborn  papenburg  parchim  pasewalk  passau  pattensen  pegnitz  peine  peiting  penzberg  perleberg  petersberg  petershagen  pfarrkirchen  pforzheim  pfullendorf  pfullingen  pfungstadt  philippsburg  pinneberg  pirmasens  pirna  planegg  plankstadt  plattling  plauen  plettenberg  plochingen  plon  pluderhausen  pocking  poing  porta westfalica  potsdam  preetz  premnitz  prenzlau  prien  pritzwalk  puchheim  pulheim  puttlingen  quakenbruck  quedlinburg  querfurt  quickborn  quierschied  radeberg  radebeul  radevormwald  radolfzell  raesfeld  rahden  rastatt  rastede  ratekau  rathenow  ratingen  ratisbon  ratzeburg  raubling  raunheim  ravensburg  recke  recklinghausen  rees  regen  regenstauf  rehau  rehburg-loccum  rehlingen-siersburg  reichenbach  reinbek  reinheim  reiskirchen  rellingen  remagen  remscheid  rendsburg  renningen  reutlingen  rheda-wiedenbruck  rhede  rheinau  rheinbach  rheinberg  rheine  rheinfelden  ribnitz-damgarten  riedlingen  riegelsberg  rielasingen-worblingen  riesa  rietberg  rinteln  ritterhude  rodenbach  rodental  rodgau  roding  rommerskirchen  ronnenberg  rosbach  rosdorf  rosendahl  rosenheim  rosrath  rostock  rotenburg  rotenburg  rothenbach  roth  rottenburg  rottweil  rudersberg  rudersdorf  rudesheim  rudolstadt  runkel  russelsheim  rutesheim  ruthen  saalfeld  saarbrucken  saarlouis  saarwellingen  salzgitter  salzhemmendorf  salzkotten  salzwedel  sandhausen  sangerhausen  sankt augustin  sankt georgen  sankt ingbert  sankt leon-rot  sankt wendel  sarstedt  sassenberg  schalksmuhle  scharbeutz  schenefeld  schermbeck  schieder-schwalenberg  schiffdorf  schifferstadt  schiffweiler  schkeuditz  schleiden  schleswig  schlitz  schluchtern  schmalkalden  schmallenberg  schmelz  schmolln  schneeberg  schneverdingen  schonaich  schonebeck  schoneiche  schongau  schoningen  schopfheim  schorndorf  schortens  schotten  schramberg  schriesheim  schrobenhausen  schuttorf  schwabach  schwabisch gmund  schwabisch hall  schwabmunchen  schwaigern  schwalbach  schwalbach  schwalmstadt  schwalmtal  schwandorf  schwanewede  schwarzenbach  schwarzenbek  schwarzenberg  schwedt  schweinfurt  schwelm  schwerin  schwerte  schwetzingen  schwieberdingen  sebnitz  seeheim-jugenheim  seelze  seesen  seevetal  sehnde  selb  seligenstadt  selm  sendenhorst  senden  senden  senftenberg  siegburg  siegen  sigmaringen  simbach  simmerath  sindelfingen  singen  sinsheim  sinzheim  sinzig  soest  solingen  solms  soltau  sommerda  sondershausen  sonneberg  sonthofen  sontra  spaichingen  spenge  spiesen-elversberg  spremberg  springe  sprockhovel  stade  stadtallendorf  stadtbergen  stadthagen  stadtlohn  starnberg  steinau  steinbach  steinen  steinfurt  steinhagen  steinheim  steinheim  stein  stelle  stendal  stephanskirchen  stockach  stockelsdorf  stolberg  stollberg  straelen  stralsund  straubing  strausberg  stuhr  stuttgart  suhl  sulingen  sulzbach-rosenberg  sulzbach  sulz  sundern  syke  tamm  tangermunde  tauberbischofsheim  taucha  taufkirchen  taunusstein  tecklenburg  telgte  teltow  templin  teningen  teterow  tettnang  thale  thalheim  tholey  timmendorfer strand  tirschenreuth  titisee-neustadt  toging  tonisvorst  torgau  torgelow  tornesch  tostedt  traunreut  traunstein  trebur  treuchtlingen  trier  troisdorf  trossingen  trostberg  tubingen  tuttlingen  tutzing  twistringen  ubach-palenberg  uberherrn  uberlingen  ubstadt-weiher  ueckermunde  uelzen  uetersen  uetze  uhingen  ulm  unna  unterhaching  usingen  uslar  vaihingen  vallendar  varel  vaterstetten  vechelde  vechta  velbert  velen  vellmar  velten  verden  verl  versmold  vienenburg  viernheim  viersen  villingen-schwenningen  vilsbiburg  vilshofen  visselhovede  vlotho  voerde  vohringen  volkach  volklingen  vreden  wachtberg  wachtersbach  wadern  wadersloh  wadgassen  waghausel  wahlstedt  waiblingen  waldbrol  waldheim  waldkirchen  waldkirch  waldkraiburg  wald-michelbach  waldshut-tiengen  walldorf  walldurn  wallenhorst  wallerfangen  walsrode  waltershausen  waltrop  warburg  wardenburg  warendorf  waren  warstein  wassenberg  wasserburg  wedel  weener  weeze  wegberg  wehr  weida  weiden  weilburg  weil der stadt  weilerswist  weilheim  weil im schonbuch  weilmunster  weimar  weingarten  weinheim  weinsberg  weiterstadt  welver  welzheim  wendelstein  wenden  wendlingen  wennigsen  werdau  werder  werdohl  werl  wermelskirchen  wernau  werneck  wernigerode  wertheim  werther  wesel  wesseling  westerkappeln  westerland  westerstede  wetter  wetter  wetzlar  wickede  wiefelstede  wiehl  wiesbaden  wiesloch  wiesmoor  wildberg  wildeshausen  wilhelmshaven  willich  wilnsdorf  winnenden  winterberg  wipperfurth  wismar  wittenberge  witten  wittingen  wittlich  wittmund  wittstock  witzenhausen  wolfenbuttel  wolfen  wolfhagen  wolfratshausen  wolfsburg  wolgast  wolmirstedt  wolnzach  worms  worpswede  worth  wulfrath  wunsiedel  wunstorf  wuppertal  wurselen  wurzburg  wurzen  xanten  zehdenick  zeitz  zella-mehlis  zerbst  zetel  zeulenroda  zeven  zirndorf  zittau  zschopau  zulpich  zweibrucken  zwickau  zwiesel  zwonitz  

What do you think about Germany?

How expensive is Germany?
(1 EUR = 1.17 USD)
Meal in inexpensive restaurant8.85 EUR
3-course meal in restaurant (for 2)44.4 EUR
McDonalds meal6.39 EUR
Local beer (0.5 draft)3.32 EUR
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 2.82 EUR
Cappuccino2.43 EUR
Pepsi/Coke (0.33 bottle)1.84 EUR
Water (0.33 bottle)1.83 EUR
Milk (1l)0.85 EUR
Fresh bread (500g)1.34 EUR
White Rice (1kg)1.63 EUR
Eggs (12) 1.95 EUR
Local Cheese (1kg) 8.78 EUR
Chicken Breast (1kg) 6.54 EUR
Apples (1kg) 2.12 EUR
Oranges (1kg) 2.4 EUR
Tomato (1kg) 2.48 EUR
Potato (1kg) 1.52 EUR
Lettuce (1 head) 0.89 EUR
Water (1.5l)0.4 EUR
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 5.54 EUR
Domestic Beer (0.5 bottle)0.91 EUR
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 1.1 EUR
Cigarettes4.69 EUR
One way local bus ticket2.76 EUR
Monthly pass for bus61.54 EUR
Taxi start3.14 EUR
Taxi 1km1.88 EUR
Taxi 1hour waiting24.75 EUR
Gasoline (1 liter) 1.69 EUR
Utilities for a "normal" apartment199.69 EUR
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 16.04 EUR
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 504.45 EUR
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 390.32 EUR
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 815.09 EUR
TripAround.org, your travel companion

We all like to travel. I created Triparound.org for you and me and others like us, people who are always looking for somewhere to travel. Be it a country you've never been to before, or a country you've visited for seven times already. Create your travel profile and share your travel updates with friends, find the perfect cheap flight tickets and book the cheapest hotels around the world. In case of any problems, just drop me a line!

Where to start?

The best place to start, obviously, would be to create register (for free) and create your own traveller profile and start sharing your travel updates with friends. And of course, any time you start thinking of going travelling, use Triparound.org to search for flights, cheap hotels and rooms as well as things to do while travelling.

Disclosure

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