Travel tips: Germany

Heading away from home? We’ve gathered some tips to make sure your trip is the smoothest it can be.

About Germany

Germany (German: Deutschland), constitutionally the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, is a country in Central and Western Europe. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands to the west.

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population.

Using your debit and credit card

Do I need cash in Germany, or can I use my card everywhere?

Many places take cards, however plenty of shops still require cash. Make sure you always carry some on you.

Please be aware some POS terminals only accept German Girocards/EC-karte.

What currency do they use here?

The currency here is Euros! The symbol is € or EUR.

Which ATM’s can I use for free?

Free withdrawals at these ATMs.

  • Deutsche Bank
  • Commerzbank
  • Postbank
  • ReiseBank
  • Hypovereinsbank
  • Targobank
  • ING Germany
  • Volksbank

Possible additional fee’s for withdrawals at these ATM’s.

  • Sparkasse 
  • Euronet

If I want cash, how much should I take out of an ATM?

€ 150 should be enough for a few days.

Staying connected

Can I roam, or should I get a local SIM?

All EU mobile plans should let you roam for free.

If you don’t have an EU plan, you can learn about your local SIM card options here.

Useful things to know

How does tipping work?

In Germany it is typical to round up the total, usually by about 5-10% ending in a round Euro amount.

This works by telling the waiter how much you’d like to pay.

For example, if your total was €15,80 you might tell the waiter “€17 euros” and then pay that amount with cash or card.

How much does a 0.5L beer cost?

€ 2,00

How much does an average meal cost?

€ 15,00

What’s the emergency number?

112

What type of plug do they use?

This one! It’s the standard European plug.

What side of the road do they drive on?

They drive on the right side of the road here.

How do I navigate my way around?

Google and Apple Maps both work well in Germany.

Otherwise, we recommend Rome2Rio as the best way to find out how to get anywhere. It even tells you the cost of each option.

Any other good tips?

  • Transport tickets in Germany often have to be validated before you can travel. Remember to find a “punch in” machine to stamp your paper ticket before boarding. In some cases, you “punch in” once you board a tram or bus.

If you’ve been to Germany share your experience! The following would be really useful for others to know:

  • Which ATMs are free to use? 
  • What card should I use and where?
  • Any other info you think may be useful.

Share your experience with us in the comments below! 

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