Germany

Country Information

Germany is one of the historic jewels of Europe. Located in central Europe, Germany is bordered by the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark and the North and Baltic Seas. Its land spans more than 350,000 square miles. Germany is steeped in history. From the early rise of the Roman Empire in the 10th century to its division and subsequent reunification during the 1900s. For better or for worse, world history is filled with German influence. 

Language

Naturally, the predominant language spoken in Germany is German. However, the area also has several native minority languages that are recognized including Danish, Romany, Frisian, Sorbian and Dutch. Additionally, many Germans learn English as a second language during their schooling.

Religion

About 64% of the country follows Christianity making it the predominant religious denomination in Germany with about 52 million followers. Next to Christianity about 5% of the country follows the Islamic faith with about 4 million followers. Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism are also practiced in small percentages.

Climate

Germany has what is known as a temperate seasonal climate. This means that although the seasons do change, the changes between the seasons are very mild. Additionally, much of Germany is covered by forests and woodlands.

In the north and north west regions of Germany the climate is oceanic and marked by rain year round with heavier periods occurring in the summer. In the eastern region the temperatures are more dramatic between seasons. Winters can be cold and moist and summers warm and dry.  It is important to note that generally, periods of frost or snow are rare. Typically, the coldest it gets is the mid to upper 30 degrees Fahrenheit and the warmest would be around the upper 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, on occasion there are exceptions to those numbers.  

Clothing 

When traveling to Germany the clothing you pack would depend largely upon the season in which you are visiting. In the summer months you would pack mostly light weight clothing with some mid-weight for evenings and occasional cooler days. In the winter you would pack mostly mid-weight clothing with some heavy weight clothing for the occasional cold day.

Mobile Phones

The country code for Germany is 49. Many cellphone companies have coverage in Germany, and for most the signal coverage is fine. However, it is important to note that it is illegal to drive while using a hand held mobile device in Germany.

Getting Online & Checking E-mail

 Germany has plenty of access to the Internet for travelers. There are many Internet cafes located in the cities. Additionally, most of the hotels offer Internet access. The cost may be included in your room rate or carry an additional fee.

Emergency Telephone Numbers

  • Police Station: 110
  • Fire or Ambulance: 112
  • U.S. Embassy in Germany: (030) 832-9233
  • Emergency: (030)8305-0

Activities in Germany

Advisory

Please be advised that you may not be able to participate in certain activities after receiving your medical treatment. For instance, some of the hiking and skiing may be off limits, along with riding rides at one of Germany’s many theme parks. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the appropriate activities in which you can participate.

Exploring Germany

Its historical significance lends Germany to many wonderful sight seeing opportunities. There is the Pergamon Museum in the capital city of Berlin. The museum is home to a fine collection of antiquities and a fascinating collection of Near East and Islamic Art. It is also strategically located on Museum Island near numerous other museums and galleries. 

You may also consider taking a walk through history at Charlottenburg Palace. Located on the east side of the capital city of Berlin, it is the largest surviving palace in the capital. The palace was built in the late 1600s for the wife of King Friedrich l.

Many also enjoy a trip on one of Germany’s historic railways. A trip by steam train through the Saxony Mountains, Harz Mountains or along the coast of Mecklenburg-Lower Pomerania is not to be missed. You can relax enjoy the atmosphere and take in the views. 

Oktoberfest

Anything we have to celebrate Oktoberfest in the United States pales in comparison to the real thing. The two week festival that takes place in late September attracts more than 6 million visitors to the capital of Bavaria, Munich each year. Entry to the festival is free and visitors can enjoy beer, rides, music and shopping among many other attractions.

Shopping

There is plenty of shopping for visitors to take advantage of in Germany. The majority of shops in Germany are only open from 6 A.M. to 8 P.M. Monday through Saturday. However, there are some exceptions to this. For instance, shops in the airport are open 7 days a week. 

There are many handicrafts for visitors to pick up while shopping. Notable favorites would include cuckoo clocks, wood carved toys, musical instruments and Bavarian Loden cloth. Precision equipment is also quite popular among shoppers in Germany including cameras and binoculars along with fine goods like porcelain, handmade crystal, leather goods, silver and Solingen knives.

Nightlife and the Arts

During the summer enjoy an evening fireworks display during the Rhien in Flammen. This can be enjoyed on a dinner cruise or at one of the many festivals that takes place. The major cities in Germany along with the larger towns and cities in the West have a variety of bars, nightclubs and restaurants for all tastes. Many also enjoy taking in a show at a theatre or the opera. The National Theatre in Munich is a great choice. 

Spas

There are more than 300 health resorts and spas in Germany to choose from when you are looking for a little pampering. They offer a wide variety of traditional and alternative treatments for visitors to choose from. Notable spas would include Baden-Baden in the south-west, and in Stuttgart, the Bad Duerrheim, is very well known.