Once you’ve got your fill of historical and cultural sightseeing, you’ll want to turn your attention to Germany’s gastro scene. Sample world-class cuisine and of course your typical German treats: pretzels, sausages, schnitzels and beer. Wherever you decide to dine, German pubs and restaurants have a wonderful sense of “gastfreundschaft”. This word describes a welcoming feeling of cosiness and that of good people surrounding you. Sounds like a place we’d want to be!
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Top Activities and Tourist Attractions in Germany
- The Black Forest: 160km of forest hikes, lush valleys and incredible view points. The spectacular Black Forest is an attraction not to be missed.
- The Berlin Wall: What once served as a sign of oppression, the Berlin Wall has now been turned into a graffiti-covered statement piece. Visitors can walk up and down the wall admiring the statements various artists have made.
- Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate: This marvel of Neoclassical architecture is adorned by the Quadriga, a four-horse chariot driven by the goddess of victory. A spectacular sight to see.
- The Island of Rügen: This beautiful island can be found in the German Baltic Islands and is accessible via a causeway in Straslund. The perfect attraction for adventure lovers as there is plenty of hikes and wildlife.
- Schloss Neuschwanstein: Said to be the real-life inspiration behind the Walt Disney castle, this fairytale castle is nestled within spectacular mountains on top of a hill. Built for King Ludwig II as a holiday retreat, it is now one of Germany’s top attractions.
- The German Wine Route: Germany may be predominantly known for their beers, but they also have a thriving wine industry. Explore the Deutsche Weinstrasse which runs from Bockenheim to the French border.
Germany is a beautiful country with a rich culture and history. You can get to Germany by flying into one of its major airports, such as Frankfurt Airport (FRA) or Munich Airport (MUC).
The climate in Germany varies depending on the region, but generally speaking, the country has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons.
The best way to get around Germany is by train. The country has an extensive rail network that connects all major cities and towns.
German culture is renowned for its focus on art, music, food, and wine. The country is also home to many world-famous museums and architectural landmarks.
- Visa Information: South African passport holders are required to obtain a Schengen visa to visit Germany for tourism purposes. The Schengen visa allows you to travel to all Schengen Area countries, including Germany, for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Be sure to apply for the visa well in advance of your trip — in South Africa, TLS handles all Schengen Visa applications.
- Plug Types: Germany primarily uses Type C and Type F electrical plugs. Type C plugs have two round pins, while Type F plugs have two round pins with two earth clips on the sides. The standard voltage is 230V, and the frequency is 50Hz. It's recommended to carry suitable adaptors if your devices use different plug types.
- Currency: The official currency of Germany is the Euro (EUR). Currency exchange facilities are readily available at airports, banks, and exchange offices. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in major cities and tourist areas.
- Time Zone: Germany is in the Central European Time (CET) zone during standard time, which is UTC+1. During daylight saving time (Central European Summer Time - CEST), which usually starts on the last Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October, the time zone is UTC+2.
- Languages: The official language of Germany is German. However, English is widely spoken and understood in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants.
- Cuisine: German cuisine offers a variety of hearty dishes, including sausages, schnitzels, and pretzels. Don't forget to try local specialities like bratwurst and sauerkraut. Beer is a significant part of German culture, and there are many beer gardens and breweries to explore.
- Transportation: Germany has an efficient and extensive transportation network, including trains, trams, and buses. The country is known for its Autobahnen (highways) and excellent public transportation systems in cities. The Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) is a popular way to travel between cities.