Travel Tips Germany

By | May 29, 2023

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There is an impressive nature near the fairy tale city, the big vibrant city next to the hills of potatoes and meat 😉 In my opinion, it is an almost perfect place.

Travel Tips Germany

However that I wish I was aware of before I decided to travel to Germany (and um, you know, eventually move there).

Germany Travel Tips: Getting Around

Having learned most of these things the hard way, I bravely decided to compile my best tips for you – important things to keep in mind when traveling in Germany!

Much of my experience was in Bavaria, where I live, and no, not all of these tips apply

But I have traveled quite a bit across the country as well and found that much of this holds true.

Anyway, enough yapping – grab a beer and notepad – it’s time to travel Germany through these 17 important tips!

Taking The Train Through Germany With My Two Year Old Son: Travel Tips From On The Road. Creativelena

TIP: If you are still researching your trip to Germany, here are some recommendations. I always use Omio to compare/book transport options in Europe. It’s a free site that compares planes, trains and buses all at once and ranks them by price, convenience, etc. AlsoHotelsCombined offers a similar price check for hotels if you still need a place to stay 🙂

You might expect Germany, the producer of supercars and epic technology to be on board with the whole credit card trend, but this is simply not the case.

So, if you plan to escape/travel to Germany for a while, make sure you have plenty of cash on you.

BONUS TIP: Coins are also good to win. Carry at least a few changes with you at all times, especially if you have a weak bladder because…

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Free public toilets are rare, meaning you’ll usually have to cough up 50 cents or more to pee at train stations, bus stops, malls and even McDonalds (yeah, for real!)

NOTE: Often these places with pay restrooms will give you a coupon to use on a future purchase, so if you need to go, go to the restroom first before buying your McNuggets.

Even restaurants and clubs are not immune to this, which is why I say you should bring change with you.

Often bathrooms at busy restaurants/clubs/events will have an attendant to keep it clean. In these cases, a tip is not required, but much is expected, sooo unless you like to get greedy side-eye, bring some change with you.

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In many parts of Germany, Sunday is a day off, which means that most shops (supermarkets, retail stores, malls, etc.) will be closed. Many restaurants will still be open, but if you’re hoping to run any errands or do any shopping, plan around their Sunday closings…….or you know, starve. It’s cool.

Germans are crazy punctual. And for the most part, so is public transport (at least in Munich, anyway!)

This means you should always go to your bus, tram and train with a few minutes early, otherwise it will mercilessly leave without you.

Likewise, when you’re making plans with a German, don’t expect to always get the 30 minute buffer you get in North America, where you both text “on my way! sorry! traffic is bad!” back and forth until one of you dies. no,

Germany Regions Map

Sometimes I like to pretend it’s because I’m a radiant goddess, but then the sensitive part of me realizes it’s just a cultural thing.

If you think you’re being judged by that grumpy grandma two seats away, let’s be honest: you probably are.

We even have a special word for the older judges – Oma and Opa-Polizei, (aka grandma/grandpa police) who are sure to throw shade at you for even the smallest of offences.

Once, an old woman stopped a friend of mine and yelled at him because he didn’t like his lederhosen. It’s just a way of life. Learn to laugh at it and move on. On that note…

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In fact, public transport is often strangely quiet, and if you do not keep it down, your English voice will surely pierce through the calm and tear through the whole fabric of German social welfare.

Ironically, for those who hate small talk and being loud in public transport, the Germans are strangely down and naked.

Like, you want to go to the park in the summer time? You will likely see someone naked.

Once upon a time, I tried to have a peaceful picnic by the river in Munich’s English Garden (one of the largest city parks in the world). Eating my pretzel was difficult as an old man ran naked, wild and free across the river from me, occasionally bathing himself and flaunting his body like he was Ryan Gosling on steroids.

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PS: In many saunas, wellness spas, etc., nudity is not only expected, but required. This is another lesson I learned the hard way. *cough*

If you decide to travel Germany by train, be sure to take advantage of all the amazing discounts!

Germans LOVE to reward you for having friends, so group tickets will often save you a lot of money.

As an example, in Munich a one-way bus ticket is 2.80, whereas a 3-day group ticket for unlimited travel for up to 5 people is less than 30! That’s only 6 euros per person, for 3 days

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Likewise, look into special regional train tickets that get cheaper the more friends you bring. In Bavaria, we call this a “Bayern ticket”, but I know other states have them too. For us, you pay 25 euros for the first person, then 7 additional euros for each extra person you get on, which means big savings if you get up to 5 (the maximum) on the same ticket. It is also valid for unlimited train travel in this region, which means

One of the biggest shocks for North Americans traveling to Germany is that in restaurants, a) water is not free and b) sparkling, sparkling water is usually what you get by default.

This excites me because I would literally carbonate everything if I could, but I know a lot of people hate carbonated water (ugh,

So make sure you clarify if you want steady or brilliant. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about paying for it though (unless you have your own sneaky water bottle with you).

Germany Travel Tips

PS: Buying bottled water at the grocery store will be the most confusing thing in the world (and a major source of anxiety).

Some are considered “natural” with gas, some are without, some use blue for sparkling water, others use green…. They are even categorized by

It is carbonated (eg Medium), and I just about lost it when once, I saw a teal bottle that said “EXTRA STILL” on it.

Carbonated water. Nothing is safe, sir. Enjoy your Russian roulette of hydration. [Sorry for the rambling, I’m just passionate about this topic]

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I always joke with my friends that I could stop anyone on the street here in Germany and they would probably speak English well, but as soon as I enter any bureaucratic environment (eg to get my visa classified, open an account bank, etc. ), I left flailing in broken German.

Fair enough though – after all, remember that you are in a foreign country so you shouldn’t expect people to automatically talk

Language That’s why it’s useful to brush up on some basic German phrases, although you shouldn’t worry too much because there are usually at least.

Cycling culture is very big here, especially in Munich where I live. Trust me when I say that you have

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Get a real taste of travel in Germany until you have stared death in the face while accidentally taking down a bike lane.

There is not often a clear division between the path for bicycles / for people, and they tend to exist side by side really.

And get that sweet adrenaline rush. Here’s your best survival tip: check if you’re out of the bike lane!

So sure, maybe I’m exaggerating but I’ve literally never met a group of people so collectively and vocally against jaywalking.

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Once I saw a guy in the suburbs who was always waiting for the light to change before crossing, despite not having a single car or witness in sight (besides me, still a’lurkin).

Especially when there are kids around, parents get really mad at you for setting a bad example (which is fair enough), so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

There are few things more terrifying than an old German woman yelling at him from across the street. Well, apart from trying to choose the right water in the supermarket that is.

This is a very lame game that won’t make sense unless you speak German, but the Germans are really into recycling and the term “Pfand” essentially refers to a refundable deposit that you pay on things like cans, bottles and even glasses/cups in . beer garden and Christmas market.

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It acts as an incentive for you to return these items for your money back.