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Germany

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Welcome to Germany

Germany

Germany
Continent:  Europe
Capital: Berlin
Population: 82,175,700 (2015 estimate) 
Dialing Code: 49
Currency: Euro (€) (EUR)
Time zone: CET (UTC+1)
Official language: German

 

 

 

Germany is the largest country in Central Europe and is one of the most influential nations in the world.  This Country is known around the world for its precision engineering and high- tech products and is admired by visitors from all over the world for its old-world charm and "Gemütlichkeit" (coziness). 

It includes 16 constituent states with a largely temporal seasonal climate and about 82 million inhabitants. Germany's capital and largest metropolis is Berlin. Other major cities include Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Düsseldorf.

Rich in history Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the German Revolution of 1918–1919, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic. The establishment of the national socialist dictatorship in 1933 led to World War II and a genocide. After a period of Allied occupation, two German states were founded: the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic. In 1990, the country was reunified

Germany was a founding member of the European Union in 1993. It is part of the Schengen Area, and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G8, the G20, and the OECD. The national military expenditure is the 9th highest in the world. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential artists, philosophers, musicians, sportspeople, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, and inventors.

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

Often misunderstood by many, Germany is one of the most charming countries in the world. As a destination, it offers a mix of lovely cities, culture and rural culture in unhealthy doses. The country occupies a prime position which helps to promote its beautiful countryside.

From sky scraping peaks in the Balvarian Alps to the picture perfect castles of the Rhine and moors of the Mecklenburg Lake District. If you’re visiting for hiking, cycling, cars or skiing, you’re in for the time of your life.

A lot of people think about beer when they think of Germany but there is more to see and do.The Romantic road is a good place to start. It is a famous scenic route with picturesque castles and villages. The walled city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber has a beautiful medieval centre that has been seeming untouched.

Germany’s laid back atmosphere will help you meet a lot of party and fun loving people.  Find adventure in the Balvarian Alps or indulge your intellect at the Weimar. Few parts of Germany’s countryside are as storied as the Black Forest: a dense, green mountain range in the southwest. Hiking is the best way to explore the photogenic beauty and sky-high peaks. Germany's love affair with football reaches its pinnacle at the Allianz Arena, home of Bayern Munich. Snare a ticket and watch one of the continent’s top teams in action.

Business

Germany is an economic powerhouse with the largest economy in Europe. Despite its relatively small population, it holds sway as the second largest country in the world in terms of exports.

Businesspeople are expected to dress smartly; both men and women are expected to wear suits and men should also wear a tie. English is spoken by many businesspeople, but it is an advantage to have a working knowledge of German, or an interpreter.

Appointments should be made well in advance, particularly in the summer and may be suggested slightly earlier in the day than is often the custom in the UK. Once made, appointment times should be strictly adhered to.

Always use formal titles such as Herr Doktor or Frau Doktor when addressing business contacts and use 'Sie' for 'you'; never assume that first names can be used, this can offend.

Climate

Most of Germany has a temperate seasonal climate dominated by humid westerly winds & is a year-round destination

May through to September are the most popular months in terms of tourist numbers, and certainly hold the most appeal for visitors aiming to spend significant periods of time outdoors. However, the spring and autumn shoulder seasons also hold real attraction for those who want the promise of decent(ish) weather without the tourist levels.

 Dress according to season with light- to medium weight in summer, medium- to heavyweights in winter. If you’re intending to visit the mountains – and particularly if you’re planning a long-distance hike – it’s best to take waterproof gear and extra layers with you, no matter what the time of year.

Communications

Local and international calls can be made from phone boxes in towns and cities. Roaming agreements exist with many international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good. It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile telephone while driving.

Wi-Fi is widely available, often for free in hotels, restaurants, on public transport, airports, train stations and in city centres of bigger cities. Stamps are available from hotels, slot machines and post offices.
Each of the country's 16 regions regulates its own private and public broadcasting, and operates public TV and radio services.

Customs

Handshaking is customary, and it is considered rude to address people by their first name unless invited to do so. Normal courtesies should be observed. Before eating, it is normal to say "guten appetit" to the other people at the table to which the correct reply is "danke, gleichfalls" (“Thank you, the same to you”). If you’ve been invited to eat at a German house, it is customary to present the hostess with unwrapped flowers (according to tradition, you should always give an uneven number, and it is worth noting that red roses are exclusively a lover's gift).

In shops and other businesses, courtesy dictates that visitors should utter a greeting such as "guten tag" (or "grüss gott" in Bavaria) before saying what it is that they want; to leave without saying "auf wiedersehen" or "tschüss" can also cause offence.
 

Duty Free

If you are travelling from within the EU, there is no limit on the amount or value of goods you may import, providing your goods are for personal consumption. Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:
• 800 cigarettes, 400 cigarillos, 200 cigars, 1kg of tobacco.
• 10L of spirits over 22%, 20L of alcoholic beverages less than 22%, 60L of sparkling wine and 110L of beer.
In Germany, there is no limit on the amount of non-sparkling wine you can import from other EU countries for personal consumption.
If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Germany by travellers with a minimum age of 17 years without incurring customs duty:

• 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 4L of wine and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% volume or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume.
• Other goods up to the value of €430 for air and sea travellers and €300 for other travellers (reduced to €175 for children under 15).

Banned imports:
Unauthorised firearms and ammunition, unapproved fireworks, unconstitutional literature, pornography which is violent or involves children, any food considered a health hazard, narcotics, dangerous dogs, endangered species and counterfeit goods.
 

Electricity

The power 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. 

Getting Around

German transportation runs with German efficiency, and getting around the country is a snap — although you'll need to pay top price for top speed. The most popular options by far are to rent a car, or take the train. If the train is too expensive for you, travelling by arranged ride-sharing is often a viable alternative in Germany.

Health

Germany has the world’s oldest universal healthcare system and caters well for its population with a health insurance plan. The overall standards of healthcare in Germany are, in most cases, excellent. Hospitals and surgeries are well equipped and staff are proficient. In pharmacies, over-the-counter advice is given and standard medicines are sold. In major cities, you’ll usually find at least one 24-hour pharmacy. Elsewhere, most stay open until 1830 on weekdays, opening on Saturday mornings but remaining closed on Sundays. Many pharmacists speak English. 

Language

German is the official language. Regional dialects often differ markedly from standard German. Minority languages include Danish and Sorbic, while English is widely spoken by a large part of the population. 

Money

Germany has the euro (€) as its sole currency along with 24 other countries that use this common European money. Euro (EUR; symbol €) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5

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 most banks, 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.

Passport Visa

Germany is a member of the Schengen Agreement.

There are no border controls between countries that have signed and implemented this treaty - the European Union (except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

For Visa requirements  please contact the local embassy to check visa requirements for Germany.

Safety

Germany is a very safe country. Crimes rates are low and the rule of law is strictly enforced. Prostitution (including brothels and non-exploitative pimping) is a legal business in Germany and is a common sight (especially in cities like Berlin and Hamburg).
The nationwide emergency number for the police, fire and rescue services is 112

Tipping

Unlike in some other countries, service staff are 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 (e.g. slow, snippy or indifferent service) you may not tip at all and it will be accepted by the staff. The same applies when it is clear that you are on a business trip, and that you get reimbursed only for your expenses indicated on the bill, but not for tips

Tipping in other situations (unless otherwise indicated):

Taxi driver: 5% (at least €1)
Housekeeping: €1-2 per day
Carrying luggage: €1 per piece
Public toilet attendants: €0.10-0.50
Delivery Services: 5%-10% (at least €1)

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