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Germany

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELLING TO GERMANY 
 
SEASONAL HIGHLIGHTS
June to August – Summer 
September to October – Autumn 
November to March – Winter
April to May – Spring
Germany is a popular year-round destination with long hot summers and cool winters which brings snow to higher ground.  Temperatures and climatic conditions vary from one side of Germany to the other and travellers should be prepared for all weather conditions.
 
WHAT TO PACK
As you plan what to wear in Europe, keep in mind that the trick is to pack and wear layers. We suggest layering like this: tank top or t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, jersey and then jacket.  Always pack something to protect yourself against rain showers.  
 
RETAIL HOURS
Typical shopping hours. Mondays - Saturdays: 9:00 am to 5:30pm, or 10:00 am to 8:00 pm/10:00 pm. Sundays: - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, or 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, or 12 noon to 6:00 pm. Sunday shopping has become more popular, and most but not all shops in towns and cities are open for business.
 
MONEY MATTERS
Germany is a member of the European Union with the Euro being the official currency.

Currency: Euro (EUR). EUR1 = 100 Cents. 
Credit Cards are widely available and ATM’s are very prevalent.
 
DRINKING WATER
The tap water in Germany is generally safe to drink — but Germans usually don't drink it, and restaurants definitely won't serve you a free glass of tap water. The only water you can get in a restaurant will be bottled with carbonation or without carbonation.
 
TIPPING / PORTERAGE  
Porters Euro 1 to Euro 3 per bag
Housekeepers Euro 3 to Euro 5 per night
Concierge Euro 10 to Euro 20 
Doormen Euro 2 to Euro 3 if they hail you a taxi.
Taxi Drivers 10% of the fare. 
In restaurants round up to the next Euro (5% to 10% for good service)
Tour Guides are tipped 10% of the cost of the tour per person.
 
TRAVEL RESPONSIBILITY 
Learn a few words of the local language so you know what’s considered polite in terms of eating, greeting and local values.
Appropriate behaviours by travellers helps ensure local communities continue to be hospital and friendly.
Respect other people’s cultures and avoid imposing your beliefs.
Adhere to the hotel’s water or energy conservation policies.
Buy locally made crafts and support local skills. 
 
GENERAL INFORMATION 
German is the official language.  English is widely spoken. 
South African passport holders require a Schengen Visa.
Germany is on Central European time. They are 1 hour behind S.A during their winter months (November to March) and are on the same time as S.A during their summer months (last Sunday in March to the Last Saturday in October)
For Germany there are two associated plug types, types C and F. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type F is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. 
Germany operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
 
WHAT THINGS COST
Meal Inexpensive Restaurant : Euro 8 to Euro 14
Meal for 2 people, Midrange Restaurant 3 Course: Euro 30 to Euro 60
McMeal at McDonalds (or equivalent): Euro 6 to Euro 8
Domestic Beer (0.5 Lt Draught) : Euro 3 to Euro 4
Imported Beer (0.33 Lt Bottle) : Euro 2.50 to Euro 4
Cappuccino (Regular) : Euro 2 to Euro 3 
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 Lt Bottle) : Euro 1.15 to Euro 3
Water (0.33 Lt Bottle) : Euro 1 to Euro 2.50
 
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS 
A lot of public restrooms will charge you a small fee to use them, so just keep some change on hand to pay the fee.
Lock valuables away while travelling and always be vigilant of your belongings. Never leave them unattended.
Always be aware of pick pockets irrespective of where you are in the world.


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