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Tips for travelling to Germany

Tips for travelling to Germany

Germany is an enchanting country to travel in, steeped in history and culture and an eclectic blend of old-world charm and contemporary style.

Its historic cities, iconic landmarks and sporting culture make this a country that offers something for everyone. In this guide, we'll help you plan your travel to Germany.

Plan inspiring itineraries in this fascinating country, with insights on what to see, do and experience, along with essential things to know before travelling to Germany.

What to see and do when you travel to Germany

Historic cities

Germany boasts a plethora of historic cities, each with its own unique character and charm.

Berlin: Blending a rich - yet divided - history with vibrant contemporary culture, Berlin is home to the iconic Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Wall. It has a diverse arts scene and lively nightlife, with plenty to do and see.

Cologne: Cologne has a picturesque old town, dominated by its towering Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city's cultural scene offers museums, galleries, and theatres, and the lively Rhine River waterfront is perfect for a leisurely stroll.

Dortmund: Dortmund is known for its industrial heritage, but is transforming into a modern, dynamic city. Home to Germany's largest football stadium, Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund boasts peaceful green spaces like Westfalenpark and artistic centre the Dortmunder U.

Dusseldorf: Dusseldorf exudes elegance with stylish boulevards, modern architecture and a flourishing art scene. The Altstadt (old town) features cobblestone streets lined with traditional breweries and cosy cafes, leading to the Rhine River promenade.

Frankfurt: Frankfurt is the financial hub of Germany, with an eclectic mix of skyscrapers and historic landmarks. Cultural treasures include the Städel Museum and the historic Römerberg square. Bustling markets add to Frankfurt's cosmopolitan charm.

Gelsenkirchen: Gelsenkirchen offers unexpected experiences such as the ZOOM Erlebniswelt zoo which immerses visitors in diverse ecosystems. The city's Veltins-Arena stadium is a hub for football fans, while green spaces and cultural attractions offer relaxation and exploration.

Hamburg: Hamburg offers maritime charm with its historic port and scenic waterways. From the iconic Speicherstadt warehouse district, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to the vibrant nightlife of the Reeperbahn, Hamburg has a lot to offer its visitors.

Leipzig: Leipzig has a rich musical heritage as the birthplace of Richard Wagner and home to Bach, Mendelssohn, the Schumanns and Mahler. Leipzig is also famous for the Peaceful Revolution of 1989.

Munich: Munich is the capital of Bavaria, and home to the world-famous Oktoberfest. With historic attractions like the Munich Residence and Nymphenburg Palace, the city offers cultural experiences, culinary delights and views of the majestic Alps.

Stuttgart: Stuttgart, amid rolling vineyards, is a unique blend of automotive heritage, cultural diversity and natural beauty. Visit the Mercedes-Benz Museum and the majestic Stuttgart State Opera, or stroll in the tranquil parks of Rosenstein and Killesberg.

German iconic landmarks

There are many locations all over the country that are well worth a visit. Our attraction tips for travelling to Germany include:

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin: The symbol of German unity and resilience, the Brandenburg Gate once marked the divide between East and West Germany.

Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom), Cologne: With towering spires and Gothic architecture, Cologne Cathedral is one of Germany's most visited landmarks.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria: Perched on top of a hill in the Bavarian Alps, this was the inspiration for Disney's Sleeping Beauty castle.

Karl Marx's house, Trier: The birthplace and childhood home of renowned philosopher and economist Karl Marx, whose revolutionary ideas shaped modern political thought.

Reichstag Building, Berlin: The seat of German Parliament (Bundestag), the Reichstag Building is renowned for its glass dome offering panoramic city views.

Berlin Wall East Side Gallery, Berlin: The Gallery features a 1.3-kilometer section of the Berlin Wall, featuring vibrant murals expressing themes of freedom, hope, and unity.

Heidelberg Castle (Schloss Heidelberg), Heidelberg: Heidelberg Castle gives visitors a glimpse into mediaeval life, as well as panoramic views.

Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg: The world's largest model railway with intricate detail, whimsical landscapes and immersive miniature worlds.

Zugspitze, Bavaria: Germany's highest peak with incredible views of the Bavarian Alps. Accessible by cable car or cogwheel train.
Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam: A masterpiece of Rococo architecture, Sanssouci Palace was the summer residence of Frederick the Great, with lavish interiors and gardens.

World-famous German cuisine

No trip to Germany is complete without indulging in its famous cuisine. From hearty sausages and sauerkraut to crispy schnitzels and creamy Black Forest gateau, there is plenty to please your taste buds.

One of our tips for travelling in Germany is to stop in a cafe for kaffee-kuchen - a social ritual of coffee and cake and, of course, you must sample German beer brewed according to centuries-old traditions.

Visit the vineyards along the Rhine and Moselle rivers to sample Riesling, Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), Eiswein and sparkling Sekt.

Sporting rivalries

Sport, and particularly football, holds a special place in German culture. German fans are famous for their fervour and passion, whether they are cheering on the national team in a packed stadium or soaking up the atmosphere in a local bar.

Experience the thrill of Bundesliga matches firsthand, or immerse yourself in the ambience of international competitions like the Euros, where rivalries ignite.

Handball, skiing, basketball, Formula 1 racing, athletics and cycling also have a big following among the German population

Things to know before travelling to Germany

Currency for Germany

The currency of Germany is the euro, which is made up of 100 cents.

As of March 2024, £1 is worth around €1.15, and €1 is worth around 87p.

How much will I spend travelling in Germany?

It’s a good idea to have a daily budget in mind when travelling, to help keep your spending on track.

To give you an idea of what things might cost on your trip, see the table below. Exact costs will depend on the level of luxury and extravagance you have in mind…

Expense

Estimated Cost

Accommodation

€50-150 per night

Meals

€10-30 per meal

Public Transport (Daily)

€5-15

Museum/Attraction Entry

€5-20

Should I use cards or cash as currency in Germany?

It’s usually a good idea to use a combination of cards and cash as your currency for Germany, for total convenience and security.

Cards:

Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in Germany and contactless payments are supported in most outlets. You can also use your debit card to withdraw cash from ATMs (Geldautomaten).

Make sure your card is compatible with international withdrawals and be aware that there may be transaction and exchange fees.

Cash:

While cards are widely accepted, smaller businesses, street vendors, public transport and taxis tend to prefer cash payments.

Cash is also used for tipping in Germany, particularly in restaurants, for taxis and hotel staff gratuities.

Buy euros with a Travel Money Card

Buy euros with a Travel Money Card

Another great option for spending in euros is our Travelex Money Card.

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Learn More

Travelling around Germany

By train

The S-Bahn “Schnellbahn'' or “Stadtschnellbahn” is a rapid rail system in Germany. It offers frequent services connecting major city centres, suburbs and surrounding regions.

S-Bahn services are known for their reliability and punctuality, although they can be crowded at peak times.

Regional train networks serve less populated areas and smaller towns and there are often flexible ticket options. These trains may operate at slower speeds than high-speed intercity trains,and may be less frequent.

By metro

The U-Bahn is the German metro system in Berlin, Hamburg, Nuremberg and Munich. With frequent services it offers extensive coverage of urban areas.
Similar to the S-Bahn, U-Bahn trains can become crowded in peak hours, but offers a cheap and efficient way to travel in the city.

By tram or bus

For shorter journeys and local commutes, trams (Strassenbahnen) and buses are indispensable. In some places, tram and bus stops are integrated, for flexibility and convenience.

Order your Euros with Travelex

Order your Euros with Travelex

Pick up your euros from us before you head off on your trip to Germany. Have them delivered to your home or collect them from your nearest store.

Germany promises an unforgettable experience - prepare to be enchanted. Gute Reise! (Safe travels!)

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