Germany is divided into 16 federal states (Länder), which have the character of countries with limited sovereignty. Germany shares its borders with: Denmark on the North, Poland and Czech Republic on the East, Austria and Switzerland on the South, in the Southwest with France and Luxembourg and on the Northwest with Belgium and the Netherlands.
82,665,600 inhabitants in year 2017 (ranked 16th)
357,168 km2 (ranked 62nd)
As Germany is part of the EU (EUR, €) the country adopted the Euro as the official currency. The VAT (Value added Tax) in Germany is 19% on goods and services. In restaurants and bars, it is common to leave 10% Tip. The value of the Euro as well as the VAT can be subject to fluctuations. Therefore, if you are a non-European citizen, it is always recommended to keep an eye on the exchange rates in case you plan to change currencies.
In Germany, there is a temperate climate with cold, cloudy and wet winters and summers. In the South of the country there is a warm and dry wind, which causes sudden rises of warm temperatures in the area of its affect, in the mountains. Most of Germany is in a warm temperate zone. In the north there is an oceanic climate with year-round rainfall. Winters are relatively mild and summers are quite warm. East of the country can have cold winters and hot summers, this is the impact of the continental climate. In the center and South of Germany both continental and oceanic climate are mixed together which creates mild winters and cool summers, nonetheless the temperatures can cross +30°C. The warmest spot in Germany is in the South-west in Deutsche Weinstraße and Oberrheinische Tiefebene. Summers there can be very worm for a long period. Sometimes the minimum temperature does not go below +20° C, which is a rare phenomenon in the rest of the country.
The best months for visiting Berlin are from May to September. The weather is nice and pleasing – the temperature oscillating around 20°C. In April and October the climate is correct, sometimes the weather can be above 20°C, the level of rainfall is about 50mm/month. Unpleasant weather is starting in November, the temperatures drop and you can expect a little bit above 9°C with 63mm of rainfall per month.
The best time for travelling to Hamburg is between April and October, the temperature is above 14°C. The best months for swimming are between July and September. The biggest amount of the rainfall is between May and August and also in December. July and August are the warmest months. In November the weather gets worst, with a maximum temperature of 9°C and the rainfall level in this month is around 70mm. December, January, February and March are cold. The coldest month during the winter is February. When comparing with the Centre and East of the country, Hamburg’s winters are not so cold, which is due to not a big distance to the coast. Nevertheless, some people can find it cold, when the average temperature during this months is between 2-9°C.
In Munich on the average the months with the best weather are June, July and August. The temperature is above 20°C. Between April and June the weather is warm, with rainfall of about 234mm per month. The weather in September and October is similar to the early spring months with the temperature oscillating around 15°C and level of the rainfalls about 94mm during those months. In November the early winter arrives, the maximum temperature in this month is 10°C. Between December and March the weather is the worst possible. December brings about 146mm of rainfalls and very often thermometers show temperatures below 0°C. The coldest month is February.
The best time to visit Germany
The really touristic and busy period in Germany starts in Spring. Despite the cities such as i.e. Berlin, Dortmund, Hannover, Hamburg, München which already have a lot to offer for the tourists, the natural monuments of this country also can surprise you with its picturesque views. While being in Germany you shouldn’t miss places such as Obersee, Rakotzbrücke, Schrecksee, Jasmund National Park, Helgoland Island, and many, many others. Although the winters in Germany can be frosty, this time is also good to visit this country considering the climatic atmosphere with Christmas markets, especially the ones in Nürnberg and Münich. After the winter holidays you can head to the mountains to enjoy the time in the ski resorts to enjoy winter time full of atractions. The most popular ski resorts are: Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bawarian Alps, Allgäu, Sauerland Winterberg Skiliftkarussell.
Tourist Seasons in Germany:
- Low Season: October, November, December, January, February
- High Season in Germany: March, April, May, September
- Very high Season in Germany: June, July, August
Time zones are always measured in a difference to UTC, i.e. the “Universal Time Coordinated”. In Germany there is only one single time zone with UTC + 1 and UTC +2 in the summer.
Phone and Internet
Since 2017, there are no more roaming charges in Europe. With the introduction of the “Roam-Like-At-Home-Principle” you can surf at home prices throughout the EU. Hereby, the new roaming rules apply to both contract and prepaid rates. Restrictions apply to users who use mobile data, surf or text more than 90 days in other EU countries, and not just on occasional trips. If you are planning to move to Germany for a longer period of time it is reasonable. In this case you can easily purchase a German SIM card from one of the main providers (Vodafone, O2, T-mobile).
For international calls:
– From the UK to Germany: 00 + 49 + city code + number of the correspondent.
– From Germany to the UK: 00 + 44 + number of the correspondent.
The emergency dial is 112 (no area code needed). This number can always be reached, even with a mobile without a German SIM card. The number for emergencies can be reached from pay phones, without a phone card nor money. Even in the case of your phone being locked or showing “no network available” the number can be reached anytime.
The Hotspots in Germany which you cannot miss
Discover all the must-see Travel destinations in Germany
Entry Requirements for Germany
The country is a Member State of the Schengen Area. Therefore, all citizens of the EU, the Nordic Passport Union, Switzerland and Liechtenstein can enter and stay in Germany without any Visa. It is however, mandatory to travel with either a valid national identification card or passport. The document should be valid for the whole duration of the stay in Germany. For non-EU and non-EEA citizens, a Visa is required when entering or passing through Germany (transit). Non-European have the possibility to enter Germany for a duration of 90 days if they have a Schengen Visa (valid for 6 months). After the 90 days, the non-EU citizen would have to wait for 6 months to be able to enter Germany again.
Tel: +49 (0) 30 204 570
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website informs travelers about possible dangerous areas. Moreover, it offers advice in terms of security and the formalities of entry and stay.
Stay tuned about exhibitions, concerts and events, local restaurants and transportation and start feeling like a local in no time through these helpful and free apps: DB Navigator, Deutsche Bahn, Listen German, Monument Tracker, Komoot. The festivals, concerts, must see and unique events not to be missed in Germany.
Join Facebook groups of travelers and expats in Germany.