There is a religious freedom in Germany, which is written into the constitution. About a third of Germany's population are Catholic or Protestant. Religion is stronger in Western Germany, especially Catholic Bavaria.
German is spoken by over 100 million people world-wide, mainly in Germany. Regional dialects are still alive and well, especially in Cologne and Bavaria.
Area (sq. km):
357,021 square meters
GMT +1 ( GMT +2 from 29 March to 26 Sept)
The weather in Germany tends to be pleasant in summer (around 28 degrees), Spring and Autumn can still be fairly pleasant (18-25 degrees), winter can plunge well below zero degrees. However, the weather can be unpredictable, with significant changes even within the same day, so its worth packing layers and being prepared with waterproofs and sunglasses.
Germany is at its best time in spring and autumn, weather-wise. Peak season is July and August, when many German citizens go on holidays to beach resorts in the rest of Europe, businesses close, including museums and restaurants during this period.
Airports Germany is not short of airports. Frankfurt is the main gateway, followed by Dusseldorf, Munich, Hamburg, Cologne/Bonn and Berlin's two airports - Tegel and Schonefeld. The budget airline Ryanair flies into Frankfurt-Hann. For the Peregrine self guided Paussau to Vienna Cycle, its best to fly into Munich airport. Almost 90 airlines fly into Munich’s international airport. The trip to the central train station takes about 40 mins. Trains leave every 20 mins, EUR 10 one way. They run from 4am until 1am. The Lufthansa Airport Bus travels to the main train station every 20 mins and costs EUR 10.50 one way. A taxi from Munich airport to the Alstadt (old city centre) costs around EUR 60.
Public pay phones work with Deutsche Telekom (DT) phonecards, which are available in EUR 5,10 or 20 denominations from DT stores, newsagents, post offices, and tourist offices. For long distance calls prepaid calling cards offer more competitive rates. You can find these in newsagents.
The electricity supply is standard throughout Europe, at 220 volts, and appliances requiring 240 volts will all work normally. Most European countries use plugs with two round pins. A set of adaptor plugs is recommended.
If you are looking for an authentic meal then you are probably best looking for a Gaststatte, a relaxed and more local place to eat with a large menu, daily specials and a beer garden. Alternatively you could head for a Weinkeller or Bierkeller (cellars serving wine or beer) which cook up light meals to accompany wine or beer.
The Germans get around by car, bicycle, train (including the amazing trains) and taxi. On our tours we use the power of the leg, either walking or cycling. For longer journeys we use road vehicles.
Even in the time of a globalised world there are still some unique things you can buy in Germany. Beer mugs are the classic souvenir; other classic Germany products are marzipan, spicy cookies and cuckoo clocks. Traditional products include Bavarian outfits and lederhosen!
Visa: Visas are currently not required for Australian, New Zealand, US, Canadian or UK/EU passport holders wishing to visit Germany.
One of the best way to learn about a country's culture is a good book: -Im Western Nichts Neues (All Quiet on the Western Front; 1929) Erich Maria Remarque - Kindheitsmuster (Patterns of Childhood; 1976) Christa Wolf -Grimms Marchen (Grimm's Fairy Tales; 1812) - Der Vorleser (The Reader; 2002) Bernhard Schlink