Tips on Traveling to Germany

Tips on Traveling to Germany
The Federal Republic of Germany is home to more than 80 million people who live on more than 137 thousand square miles of soaring mountains, open plains and mist-swept coasts. The country's natural beauty as well as its vibrant, cosmopolitan cities attract millions of tourists every year. Discover German travel tips that can make your next visit to Deutschland, as it is called locally, a pleasant and enjoyable experience.

Social Protocols

Like in North America, greet others with a handshake. However, though using an individual's first name is typically seen as acceptable in North America, it is perceived as rude in Germany unless you are given permission to do so. Introduce yourself at the start of phone conversations, and always greet others or excuse yourself when entering or leaving a room. Locals wear traditional Western-styled clothing, and streetwear is typically accepted in most locations except for more formal events such as fine dining or live plays.

Transportation Within Germany

The country has a wide network of public transportation, though personal cars are the transportation mode of choice for most residents. If you choose to rent a car, be aware that most major cities such as Berlin have a disproportionately low ratio of parking spaces to cars. In addition, Germany's many toll roads can make driving your own car more expensive than you first perceived. For these reasons, many tourists opt for public transportation. Germany's train system is efficient and a popular method of long-distance travel, including trips to other European Union countries. A bus and tram system is also available in most cities and a quick method of getting around.

Eating Out

Unlike in North America, water is rarely free. Neither are common condiments such as ketchup at fast-food stores. If you choose to eat out, note the differences in restaurant conventions. For example, tips are typically less than the standard 15 percent as they are in the United States, and most restaurants have patrons seat themselves rather than waiting to be seated by a host or hostess.

Article Written By Josh Duvauchelle

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.

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