Five Quick Facts About Travelling In Germany
- Germany is a safe country to travel in with a low crime rate and laws that are strictly enforced.
- 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
- English is widely spoken across Germany making travel easy. As always it is polite to learn a few basic works of the language.
- 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.
- 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.
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|
Germany has an excellent internal transport system with many options to get around the country.
Cheap flights can be found linking most of the major cities in Germany.
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.
There are 4 different types of trains in Germany
- IRE (InterRegioExpress). The same as RE, but goes between two regions (Bundesland).
- RE (Regional-Express). Semi-express trains, skips some stations. On many routes, this is the highest available train category.
- RB (Regional-Bahn). Stops everywhere except that it may skip some S-Bahn stops.
- S-Bahn. Commuter network for a city or metropolitan area but can travel fairly long distances.
There are a few ways you can buy tickets for train travel in Germany
- At a vending machine at the train station. The machines are in multiple languages – touch the British flag icon for English.
- At a ticket booth at the train station.
- On the train from the conductor – which is usually more expensive.
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
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
1 x pair walking or hiking shoes.
1 x pair slip on flats
1 x pair flip flops (great for hostel showers)
Shampoo & Conditioner
Bar of Soap
Brush / Comb
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.
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
1 x padlock
1 x headlight or torch
1 x Swiss knife
1 x medical kit