Opening hours of supermarkets are varying between 7:00 to 9:00 for opening and 20:00 to 22:00 for closing, depending on the chain and location.
Supermarkets and shops are generally closed on Sundays. There are exceptions for bakeries and petrol stations.
Credit cards are widely accepted. MasterCard & Visa dominate within Germany. American Express is accepted in some stores and of course you can use it with the ATM. Furthermore, you can check shop windows and entrance doors for credit card logos to see which cards you can use inside.
The German monetary unit is the Euro (EUR).
You can get cash from any Geldautomat (ATM) at major train stations, airports, large shopping centers and in and outside banks. Within the Eurozone charges for ATM withdrawals and credit card payments include domestic payments and it is possible that you get domestic fees charged.
Electricity / Voltage
Electrical sockets in Germany are one of the two European standard electrical socket types: The “Type C” Europlug and the “Type E” and “Type F” Schuko. The electric current in Germany is 220 volts. Be aware that you may need a travel adapter for certain electric devices.
Gratuities / Tipping
In restaurants in Germany it is common to round up to the next Euro or add a few Euros (5 – 10 % for good service). Generally, you give the gratuity directly to the waiter or you add it to the bill. Most restaurants only accept cash, so make sure you have some with you. Afterwards, you will generally not get a check; the waiter will only tell you how much you owe. Then, you can tell how much you intend to pay when handing over the money. To leave the tip on the table is not common in Germany.
National language: German (Alemannic dialect alongside)
Many locals and business and service employees speak English, particularly the younger ones.
Pay phones are no longer common in Germany and hard to find. The International Direct Dial code for Germany is 49 and the city code for Berlin is 030.
The time zone in Germany is Central European Time (UTC+01:00) and Central European Summer Time (UTC+02:00).
Useful Telephone Numbers
Medical emergency / accident services 112*
Fire Service 112*
Toxic Substance Emergency 19240
*Calls to 112 are free from any telephone (mobile or cellular of fixed-line). The number 112 can be dialed to reach emergency services – medical, fire and police – from anywhere.
Some recommended vaccines for travelling to Germany include Hepatitis A, B and Rabies vaccine. However, in general, it is recommended to consult your doctor concerning appropriate vaccines for Germany.
Some participants may require visas in order to enter Germany. Please consult with the German Embassy or Consulate nearest to you for specific details relating to visas.