When traveling to a new country, it’s always good to learn a bit about local customs. Traveling to Germany, you will have chance to visit spectacular sceneries such as the jagged Alps, flower-filled meadows, rolling hills of forests and farms, and mighty rivers, castles and churches. Germany is a fabulous place to travel, but there are a few things you need to know before you arrive to make your trip as marvelous and smooth as possible.
Respect the rules
Germans like to play by the rules, and when you’re on their turf, so should you. Always wait for the traffic light to go green before crossing the road. If you’re planning to ride a bicycle (and you should) you always need to have a back and front light for safety reasons.
Being on time for social and business appointments is part of the German etiquette. They will not accepted thing as being ‘fashionably late’ .
Cash is king
Many small business vendors, bars and restaurants don’t have card machines. If they do, some only accept German cards. Have your euros ready, or familiarise yourself with the ATMs in your area that charge the least interest when you draw. Always have cash on your person. You don’t want to be walking countless blocks and wasting time searching for a place to draw money, only to be charged a heck of a fee for doing so at some obscure cash machine.
Different from many countries in the world, smoking in Germany is generally allowed. You may see people smoking in bar or restaurants. It is allowed here, therefore, don’t surprised when a person smoking near you in a restaurant.
There is a special things that everywhere in Germany, shops, supermarkets and pharmacies are closed on Sundays, so make sure you have all you need before Sunday rolls around. Cafés and restaurants, however, are normally open all weekend.
No matter where you are in Germany, you’re bound to find a street with a place to eat. Note that in smaller towns, you’ll probably only find sausage and meat on the menu, while bigger cities like Berlin have a thriving vegetarian and vegan culture.
While Berlin is full of the world’s languages, from Spanish to Arabic, and most people speak English, that is not how it goes in the rest of the country, so it’s a good idea to have command of some basic phrases to help you feel not entirely lost. Remember, all road signs, shop signs and businesses are written in German, so get to know your staples like pharmacy (Apotheke) and the police station (Polizeistation).
Travelling around Germany
Germany is known for its fast efficient transport and popular high-speed trains that zip around the country. However, this is also the most expensive option, If you’re on a budget, opt for the slower, intercity trains going for half the price, or the even more cost-effective overnight bus. Booking tickets in advance also ensure better fares so it helps to know your schedule.