Useful facts for travel to Germany

Useful facts to help you plan your visit to Germany


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!


German Public Holidays

Holiday201220132014German name
New Year’s Day01.0101.0101.01Neujahr
Good Friday22.0429.0318.04Karfreitag
Easter Monday09.0401.0421.04Ostermontag
Labour Day01.0501.0501.05Maifeiertag
Ascension Day17.0509.0529.05Christi Himmelfahrt
Whit Monday28.0520.0509.06Pfingsmontag
Corpus Christi**07.0630.0519.06Fronleichnam
Ascension of the Virgin Mary***15.0815.0815.08Maria Himmelfahrt
Day of German Unity03.1003.1003.10Tag der dt Einheit
Day of Reformation****31.1031.1031.10Reformationstag
All Saints Day*****01.1101.1101.11Allerheiligen
Repentance Day (only Saxony)21.1120.1119.11Buß- und Bettag
Christmas Eve24.1224.1224.12Heilig Abend ab 12 Uhr
Christmas Day25.1225.1225.121. Weihnachtsfeiertag
Boxing Day26.1226.1226.122. 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.

Health risks:

The cost of medical care – come with insurance


GMT/UTC +1 (+2 in summer)
Current German time



220V, 50Hz, 2-pin (round) plug 2-pin plug (round)

Weights & measures:

Metric (same as France)

Metric Weights and Measures and their equivalents

Clothing and shoe sizes conversion: US, UK, Europe

Euro banknotes


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


Useful telephone numbers :

  • 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 American Express (069) 97 97 10 00
  • Diners ClubDiner’s Club (05921) 86 12 34
  • EC Card EC and Bank Cards (069) 74 09 87
  • Euro/MastercardMastercard 0800-819-1040
  • VisaVISA Europe 0800-811-8440

Other Germany pages:

Travel to Germany: a Europe Tour that’s a lot more than Beer, Lederhosen and
Cuckoo Clocks!

Tour Routes in Germany

When to travel to Germany for your tour: weather and seasons

Book your sightseeing tours or day-trips in Germany online

Book your hotel in Germany online


Kaiser Wilhelm’s Monument