The range of accommodation is large. From 1st class hotels and spa resorts to farm vacations and campsites, there is something for every budget and taste.
The German hotel classification system rates hotels from 1 to 5 stars:
- 1 Star: Tourist
- 2 Stars: Standard
- 3 Stars: Comfort
- 4 Stars: First Class
- 5 Stars: Luxury
Germany uses the euro (€). Cash can be obtained 24 hours a day from ATM/cash machines. Credit cards are not universally accepted. Expect to pay by cash in smaller shops and restaurants, Christmas markets and other street markets.
- Tourist information centers are open during normal business hours, usually 10am - 4pm, sometimes longer in major centers.
- Shops are generally open from 9 or 10am to 6 or 8pm. Most shops in town and city centers do not close for lunch. Shops are closed on Sundays, although bakeries may open in the morning and cafés/cake shops may open in the afternoon.
- Museums are generally closed on Mondays.
- Banks are generally open from 8:30 or 9am until 4pm; smaller branches close for lunch. On Saturdays and Sundays, all banks are closed. Many banks have a foyer with ATMs/cash machines that can be accessed 24 hours a day.
- Post offices in larger towns and cities are generally open Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm, and on Saturdays until noon. At larger railway stations and airports, the hours are longer and they may also open on Sundays.
Passports and visas
In general, tourist visas are not required for stays of up to 90 days; always check well before traveling. Accompanying children must have their names on their parents’ passports or have their own passport. Further information: German Foreign Office
All European countries use the GSM standard for telecommunication networks. Cell (mobile) phones use the 900 and 1800 "bands." Check with your provider if you are in doubt as to whether or not your phone will work in this network.
To call Germany from abroad: +49 followed by the number (leave out the initial 0).
Germany is on Central European Time (CET). Clocks move forward an hour for summertime (end of March to end of October).