Useful facts to help you plan your visit to Germany
- Public Holidays
- Weights & Measures
- Money, Banks etc.
- Useful Telephone Numbers
Music festivals are big in Germany, Bach in March (bit early) Wagner in Bayreuth in July, lots of stuff in Autumn, including the Oktoberfest, but most Bavarian towns and villages have some kind of beer festival and they’re smaller scale and more enjoyable. Christmas fairs are great but you’re unlikely to be there.
I did a search on a few events at the German Tourist Board website and came up with 146 events between April and October, and I didn’t check everything!
|New Year’s Day||01.01||01.01||01.01||Neujahr|
|Ascension Day||17.05||09.05||29.05||Christi Himmelfahrt|
|Ascension of the Virgin Mary***||15.08||15.08||15.08||Maria Himmelfahrt|
|Day of German Unity||03.10||03.10||03.10||Tag der dt Einheit|
|Day of Reformation****||31.10||31.10||31.10||Reformationstag|
|All Saints Day*****||01.11||01.11||01.11||Allerheiligen|
|Repentance Day (only Saxony)||21.11||20.11||19.11||Buß- und Bettag|
|Christmas Eve||24.12||24.12||24.12||Heilig Abend ab 12 Uhr|
|Christmas Day||25.12||25.12||25.12||1. Weihnachtsfeiertag|
|Boxing Day||26.12||26.12||26.12||2. Weihnachtsfeiertag|
The holidays marked with an asterisk are only observed in these areas:
* Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt
** Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland
*** Saarland and catholic areas of Bavaria
**** Bradenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia
***** Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine Westphalia, Saarland, catholic areas of Thuringia.
Although not an official holiday many shops and businesses are also closed on Carnival Rose Monday (Cologne and Rhine region), Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
EU citizens can enter on an official identity card. Americans, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and Japanese just need a valid passport (no visa). Unless you’re a citizen of a developing country, you can probably stay up to three months.
The cost of medical care – come with insurance
GMT/UTC +1 (+2 in summer)
Current German time
220V, 50Hz, 2-pin (round) plug
Metric (same as France)
The Euro (€)
Check out our Euro Guide (with pictures)
- As of January 1, 2002, the euro (€) replaced the national currency of 12 countries within the European Union, including Germany. You can exchange currency at any bank branch (hours are listed below). Automatic cash machines can be found in most commercial centres.
- Bank Opening Hours
Banking hours in Germany are usually from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Throughout the rest of Germany, banks are usually open from 10am to 1pm, and 3pm to 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Banks often close earlier the day before a public holiday.
- Currency exchange
Currency exchange can be carried out at all bank branches and Post Offices. Bureaux de change can also be found in large department stores, railway stations, airports and near to tourist sites. Please note: although the exchange rate is fixed, commission rates are not. By law these must be clearly displayed.
Check out the current Euro exchange rate with your currency here (close the new window to return): TRAVELSIGNPOSTS CURRENCY CONVERTER
- Police 110
- Fire Brigade 112
- Ambulance 112
- Operator (0180) 2001033
- National Directory Enquiries 11833
- National Directory Enquiries (in English) 11837
- International Directory Enquiries 11834
- National Rail Enquiries 01 80 59 96 633
- Lost Property (Rail) (0180) 5 99 05 99
Lost Credit Cards/Travelers’ Cheques
- American Express (069) 97 97 10 00
- Diner’s Club (05921) 86 12 34
- EC and Bank Cards (069) 74 09 87
- Mastercard 0800-819-1040
- VISA Europe 0800-811-8440
Other Germany pages:
Travel to Germany: a Europe Tour that’s a lot more than Beer, Lederhosen and