Getting around in Germany
Passports and visas
Foreigners need a valid passport or passport replacement documents to enter Germany. A valid identity card is sufficient for nationals of most West-European states. As a rule children require their own travel documents. Citizens of certain countries require a visa to enter Germany. German diplomatic missions (embassies and consulates) provide more information.
Germany is served by more than 100 international airlines. The global route network links 21 international airports in Germany with all regions of the world. The largest airports are in Frankfurt am Main, Munich and Düsseldorf. All airports have good links to the respective transport network.
Germany has an extensive rail network of a good 33,440 kilometres of track. Long-distance and local transport systems are well coordinated and offer good connections. Every day there are more than 240 direct connections from Germany to around 150 European cities.
Deutsche Bahn AG hotline
Tel.: +49 18 06 99 66 33
Long-distance coaches are likewise a good way to travel around Germany. There are now more than 280 long-distance bus lines. Inter-city options are particularly numerous, with coaches serving every major German city. There are even stops for long-distance coaches in some towns with less than 10,000 inhabitants.
For information on connections:
Germany has an ultra-modern road network. Over 700 service stations, petrol stations, motels and snack stands are open around the clock on the approx. 13,000 kilometre-long motorway network. The following unleaded fuel types are available at petrol stations: Super (95 octane), Super E10 (95 octane), Super Plus (98 octane), and diesel. There is no speed limit on German motorways, unless speed limit signs dictate otherwise, but a general recommended speed of 130km/h is in place. In built-up areas the speed limit is 50km/h, and outside such areas 100km/h. There are no motorway tolls. It is compulsory to wear seat belts and children under 150 cm in height must use child seats. Emergency or breakdown services can be requested using SOS telephones found along the motorways. The major automobile clubs (ADAC, AvD) provide information for car tourists.
The Federal government is pushing ahead with the expansion of electromobility. It is promoting the widespread installation of charging stations and the use of electric vehicles in public fleets, for example in ministry car pools. The Federal government introduced a buyer’s premium in the form of the “environmental bonus”. The German Platform for Electric Mobility predicts that by 2022 there will be around one million electric vehicles on the road in Germany.
In the past few years, many German cities have set up “environmental zones”. These can only be accessed by vehicles whose exhaust emission is below a certain limit. Visitors must display the relevant green, yellow, or red sticker in their vehicle.
ADAC breakdown service
Tel.: +49 18 02 22 22 22
AvD emergency phone
Tel.: +49 80 09 90 99 09
All categories of accommodation are available, from private rooms to holiday homes to luxury hotels. Standards are set and are monitored also in the lower price classes. Tourism associations and tourist offices provide special accommodation directories.
Around 450 youth hostels in Germany are open to members of every youth hostel association belonging to Hostelling International. An international membership card is available for a fee.
German Youth Hostel Association
Tel.: +49 52 31 74 010
Money and currency
Legal tender is the Euro (1 Euro = 100 cents). Cash is available around the clock from cash machines using an EC card or international credit card; all major credit cards are accepted. Stated prices are inclusive of charges. All major credit cards are accepted. Digitally payments rather than in cash are widely accepted throughout Germany.
Emergency phone numbers
Tel.: 110 for emergency services: police
Tel.: 112 for emergency services: fire and ambulance services
The time zone in Germany is Central European Time (CET). The clocks go forward by one hour between late March and late October (summer time).
The voltage is 230 volts.