Useful information : When to go, Getting around...
When to go
Germany’s weather can best be described as unpredictable, whatever the time of year. That said, the most reliable period in terms of climate is from May to October. At this time, the weather is mild, even hot in the summer. Very heavy rainstorms can however occur. Whatever the case, it is the peak season for hiking in the Black Forest. On May 1, make a beeline for Berlin and its immense street festival, Myfest. In August, suited to swimming in the lakes, the mood is more sedate at the Bayreuth Richard Wagner Festival. In October, the tourist season comes to a boisterous close at Munich, during the Oktoberfest, the most popular beer festival.
The period from November to April, often windy, cold or snowy depending on the region, is not ideal to explore Germany, unless you ski, in which case, head to the Alps. One exception however, the month of December, whose numerous Christmas markets make it well worth the trouble of defying the cold. The markets of Hamburg, Nuremberg and Dresden are the most famous.
Formalities and useful addresses
Official Tourism Board of Germany – www.germany.travel
Money and budget
Banks are open Mon-Fri 8.30am-1pm and 2.30-4pm (till 5.30pm on Thursdays).
The major international credit cards are accepted in almost every hotel or restaurant. However, in many small retail businesses, or for purchases under €15 (£12), paying in cash remains the only option.
Health and safety
Current is 220V so American travellers will need an AC adapter. The sockets are of the European type.
January 6 – Epiphany (only in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Saxony-Anhalt)
June 7 – Corpus Christi (only in Baden-Wurtemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland)
August 15 – Assumption of Mary (only in Saarland and Catholic areas of Bavaria)
October 3 – National Day
October 31 – Reformation Day (only in Saxony, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia)
November 1– All Saint’s Day (only in Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland)
November 21 – Repentance Day (only in Saxony)
December 25 and 26.
The post offices (yellow) are open Mon-Fri 8am-6pm and Saturdays 8am-12pm.
Germany has no lack of international airports.
Two in Berlin – Tegel to the northwest, and Schönefeld, to the southwest. www.berlin-airport.de