Travel to Germany to visit modern cities, picture-postcard towns and villages, pagan-inspired festivals and romantic castles. It’s a fascinating land to explore any time of year and offers endless things to do. In the summer, visitors head into the mountains for hiking and climbing experiences. In the winter, the Bavarian Alps set the scene for exciting adventures.
Germany’s capital, Berlin, is a thriving modern metropolis and an exciting destination to visit, with a legendary nightlife and numerous historical attractions including the remains of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie and the Brandenburg Gate. Munich, capital of Bavaria, is full of museums, galleries and beautiful churches to explore. In the summer, visitors head into the mountains for hiking and climbing adventures. Frankfurt, the country’s financial hub, is home to one of Europe’s largest stock exchanges as well as a rich selection of museums and nightlife as good as Berlin’s.
Why visit Germany
- German beer is known for being some of the best in the world.
- Berlin’s museums are legendary.
- It’s rich in historical attractions including castles, medieval architecture – and the Berlin Wall.
- It boasts diverse landscapes, from the Bavarian Alps and the Black Forest to the Baltic Sea and the River Rhine.
- Many of its age-old traditions are still alive today – like Oktoberfest!
- The Christmas markets in Germany are magical.
Germans are known for their Gemütlichkeit (warmth and friendliness), and the country is an extension of this. There is plenty to celebrate year-round, a fabulous nightlife, welcoming hotels and resorts, and so much fun to be had while sightseeing, swimming or hiking. Germany is ideal for a family holiday, for friends wanting to have fun together, couples on a romantic getaway, or those who prefer to travel alone. Let Thompsons Holidays arrange your holiday package to Germany.
What to do in Germany
With its diverse landscapes and holiday offerings, rich culture and history, fabulous food and famous beer, Germany is an excellent place for a holiday. Its location in the heart of Europe is a major drawcard, as visitors can holiday here en route to another destination if they wish.
There’s so much to see – tiny traditional villages, the stunning snow-capped mountains in the Bavarian Alps, miles of glorious golden beaches along the coastline and on various islands close by, plus lush forests full of legends of fairies and goblins. Exploring the cities is another adventure – Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne and Frankfurt all have their own unique charms.
Things to do in Germany
- Cycle through Black Forest National Park.
- Go skiing and snowboarding in the Bavarian Alps.
- Step back in time when you explore the walled town of Rothenburg.
- Take the cable car up the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain.
- Discover Schloss Neuschwanstein, a castle built in the 19th century by Mad King Ludwig.
- Visit Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin.
- Explore the Porsche and Mercedes Benz museums in Stuttgart.
- Shop till you drop in traditional Christmas markets.
- Cruise along the Rhine River.
- See some of the countries incredible Doms (cathedrals) including Cologne Dom.
- Be rejuvenated in the spa town of Baden-Baden.
These are just the start of the exciting adventures that await on a trip to Germany with Thompsons Holidays. We can put together all sorts of holiday packages to suit you, from a holiday with the family, to exploring cities with friends, a romantic spa break with your partner, or a gourmet discovery on your own. Book your memorable trip now.
Know before you go...
- Germany is a popular year-round destination with long hot summers and cool winters.
- The best time to visit Germany is in Spring (April and May) and autumn (September and October).
- High season (summer) is June to August; winter is November to March.
- You can fly directly from South Africa to Frankfurt, or into other German cities via any major city in Europe or the Middle East.
- Other destinations in Germany are easily reached by car, train or plane.
- The direct flight duration from South Africa is 10 hours, 55 minutes.
- Major cities in Germany have excellent transport systems as a whole, including the subway, taxis, buses, and trains.
- Towns in outlying areas may have less sophisticated transport infrastructure – it depends where you are going.
- South African passport holders require a Schengen visa to enter Germany.
- Passports should be valid for at least 3 months after travel and have blank pages.
- Germany is on Central European time, one hour behind South Africa during the winter (November to March) and the same time as South Africa in the summer months (last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).
- The official currency is the Euro (€ or EUR).
- Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are prevalent.
- Tipping is an accepted custom. In restaurants, round up to the next Euro. For good service, add 5-10% to the bill.
- German is the official language.
- English is widely spoken.
- The majority of the population is Christian (Catholic and Evangelical).
- It is safe to drink tap water in Germany. Bottled water is readily available.
- Vaccinations – check with your travel clinic before you leave.
What must I pack?
- The weather in Germany varies greatly according to the season you’re travelling and where you’re going, so always check the weather forecast.
- Depending on when and where you visit, be sure to pack comfortable clothing for the times you will spend in transit, whether you are travelling by plane or by coach.
- Some handy items to include: a lightweight raincoat, flip flops and scarf (for the plane or cooler weather).
- Comfortable walking shoes are a must.
- For summer holidays in Germany, don't leave home without sunscreen, hat and sunglasses.
- For flights and public transport, be sure to have hand sanitiser handy. Don't forget a mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Camera (or just use your phone) and charger. Some noise-cancelling earphones will come in handy too.
- Travel adaptor. The Europlug is a flat, two-pole, round-pin domestic AC power plug, rated for voltages up to 250 V and currents up to 2.5 A.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
- Support the local economy by choosing.
- Germany is very environmentally aware, so be mindful of your impact on the environment.
- Respect each other's cultures and customs.
- Always have a map (or app) on hand, especially when travelling at night.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables.
What do I do in an emergency?
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
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