Germany Travel Guide

Explore Germany

Germany Travel Guide A Vagabond Life

Germany Travel Guide

Germany is the largest country in Central Europe. Germany is made up of 16 states, with each state having its own distinct and unique culture and traditions. 

Germany is one of the most influential European nations culturally, and one of the world’s main economic powers.

Germany Travel Guides
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Freiburg Germany Travel Guide
Top 5 Things To See & Do Germany
Black Forest
The Black Forest is a beautiful area in western Germany with mountain ranges and stunning views. The area is popular with tourists and hikers in the summer months.
Bavaria
Bavaria home to the world famous Neuschwanstein Castle, and Germany's best skiing and snowboarding resorts. Endless hiking and mountain biking and drop dead stunning scenery.
Harz Mountains
The Harz Mountains are a pretty low mountain range in central Germany. Once famous for its silver mines the area is home top a number of scenic towns including Wernigerode, Quedlinburg and Goslar.
Romantic Road
The Romantic Road is a 400+KM route in southern Germany that travels between Würzburg and Füssen passing through ancient villages and by medieval castles showcasing historic Germany.
Lake Constance
Lake Constance is a beautiful lake in central Germany that is popular for water sports and attracts many visitors every year.
Need To Know - Germany Travel Guide

Five Quick Facts About Travelling In Germany

  1. Germany is a safe country to travel in with a low crime rate and laws that are strictly enforced.
  2. Germany has an excellent transport system with high speed rail taking the visitor to every corner of the country. See Getting Around Tab for  more information
  3. English is widely spoken across Germany making travel easy. As always it is polite to learn a few basic works of the language.
  4. Germany is not a particularly cheap country to travel in however by travelling off -season, staying in guest houses or similar and eating in local restaurants you can easily have a cost effective German holiday.
  5. Health in Germany is good so by exercising a normal hygiene regime, staying away from stray animals and eating well the risk to health while travelling in Germany is low (although always have travel insurance just in case).

Germany is a great place to travel to at any time of the year. Here is a guide to the different seasons and times of year.

High Season (July & August)

European summer and when most Europeans take their holidays means long lines at main attractions and busy roads. There are loads of festivals across Germany throughout the summer.  Book ahead for accommodation as places get booked out early. The weather is usually warm to hot with mild nights.

Shoulder Season (April to June & September / October)

Spring and Autumn see milder weather and less crowds. Spring flowers are abundant in the fields and villages and in the later months the tress are in their full Autumn colours.

Low Season (November to March)

A busy time for the ski resorts with the rest of the country being quieter with no queues or crowds. The weather is cold with both snow and rain, a great time to visit theatres and museums.

German Currency

The currency in Germany is the Euro which is the currency of the 24 other EU member states plus Andorra, Kosovo, Monarco, Montenegro, San Marino and the Vatican.

ATMs can be found throughout Germany. It is advisable to always carry a small amount of cash as no all eftpos maching accept foreign cards.

German Visa Policy

Germany is part of the Schengen Area Visa Policy.

Nationals / Citizens from Schengen States have right of movement and entry without a visa but will need a passport as proof of identity.

The policy applies to the Schengen Area which is 22 E.U member states and 4 non E.U states which are part of the EFTA – Iceland, Liechenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia and Romania are not part of the Schengen Area but have visa policies based on Schengen acquis.

Schengen Visa Policy Map

 Schengen Area
 Other EU member states outside the Schengen Area but bound by the same visa policy and legally obliged to join the Area when they meet the criteria, and special territories of Schengen member states (freedom of movement in the Schengen Area)
 Members of the EU single market with independent visa policies (freedom of movement in the Schengen Area)
 Visa-free access to the Schengen states for short stays, usually 90 days in any 180-day period (
 Visa required to enter the Schengen states, and to transit some Schengen states in some circumstance
  Visa required to transit any Schengen state
 Travel documents not accepted

Schengen Area Map

 Member state
 Countries de facto participating
 Members of the EU legally obliged to join the Schengen area, but not yet members

Source: Wikipedia

Germany has an excellent internal transport system with many options to get around the country.

Plane

Cheap flights can be found linking most of the major cities in Germany.

Train

The most popular way of travelling around the country Germany has a fast and very efficient rail network.

Most long-distance and many regional trains are operated by Deutsche Bahn which operates an excellent website in multiple languages.

Long Distance Trains

Major German cities are connected by Deutsche Bahn Intercity Express (DBICE) which travels up to 300 KMS.

Other European cities are connected by either DB-ICE or EuroRail trains.

Bookings are not mandatory but are recommended especially when travelling in the busy summer months.

Regional Trains

There are 4 different types of trains in Germany

  1. IRE (InterRegioExpress). The same as RE, but goes between two regions (Bundesland).
  2. RE (Regional-Express). Semi-express trains, skips some stations. On many routes, this is the highest available train category.
  3. RB (Regional-Bahn). Stops everywhere except that it may skip some S-Bahn stops.
  4. S-Bahn. Commuter network for a city or metropolitan area but can travel fairly long distances.

Buying Tickets

There are a few ways you can buy tickets for train travel in Germany

  1. On-line
  2. At a vending machine at the train station. The machines are in multiple languages – touch the British flag icon for English.
  3. At a ticket booth at the train station.
  4. On the train from the conductor – which is usually more expensive.

Bus

Long Distance Bus Travel

Generally cheaper but slower way to travel around Europe there are several different bus companies travelling the long distance routes.

  • FliXBUS Connects most towns and cities in Germany, in addition to providing international services travelling to/from multiple countries.
  • BerlinLinienBus A company owned by DB, this bus mainly travel to/from Berlin
  • Onebus.de Privately held company operating two routes across Germany
  • EuroLines / Touring Offers ong haul connections (eg England, Spain etc). as well as domestic bus routes.
  • Megabus now offers a sizeable domestic network in Germany in addition to its international services.

Regional / Town Buses

Buses run between towns and villages and are quick and convenient. Simply head to the local bus station to find out times / routes and buy tickets.

 

 

What To Pack In Germany

What to pack for Germany is very dependent on when you will be travelling to the country and where you will be going. Summers are warm to hot but if travelling to the mountains a jacket or coat is advisable.

Winters are cold especially in the mountains so cold-weather gear will be needed.

It’s all about layering which allows you to add or loses clothing as needed

Packing List

Clothing

1 pair jeans – I know they are heavy and take ages to dry but I wear them constantly and find them comfortable
1 pair black travel type pants – Black pants are little smarter than jeans so good if going somewhere a little dressier. Mine is the lightweight fabric in the style of jean,
2 x pair of shorts. 1 denim and one lightweight travel fabric
2 x singlets – good for layering and sleeping in
4 x short sleeve cotton shirts, lightweight and breathable
1 x long sleeve sloppy joe.
1 x zip-up shell jacket
1 x lightweight raincoat – packable version that packs down into a small bag.
5 x socks
5 x underpants
2 x bras

Shoes

1 x pair walking or hiking shoes.
1 x pair slip on flats
1 x pair flip flops (great for hostel showers)

Toiletries
Shampoo & Conditioner
Bar of Soap
Deodorant
Razor
Tweezers
Brush / Comb
Hair Ties

Electronics

1 x Earbud headphones.Light and small,
1 x IPad
1 x 6S iPhone
Charging leads for above
2 x USB
1 x power bank
1 x Cable organiser which keeps everything tidy
1 x 14” laptop – we run a business so this is essential for us.

Photography

This year I have left behind my DSLR and lenses to travel only with a GoPro and a LUMIX TZ80. At the end of the day it came down to weight when travelling a long way and having to carry a pack – so let’s see how we go….

1 x GoPro Hero 5
2 x Spare GoPro Batteries
1 x LUMIX TZ80
Spare micro SD Cards

Other Stuff

1 x padlock
1 x headlight or torch
1 x Swiss knife
1 x medical kit
Ziplock bags

Germany Travel Stories
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World Destination Guide 

There are 195 countries in the world stretching across seven continents – so there is an awful lot to see.Where to begin? Many people are inspired by a movie they have seen or a story they have heard, or a desire to see the land of their ancestors. 

Use the drop-down on the right to explore the world.

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