Germany

Country Facts

From the high Alps in the South, the Bavarian plain, and the flowing hills of central Germany to the coast of the North and Baltic Sea: it all looks like a miniature train landscape packed with the nicest of old towns, medieval houses, gothic churches and small villages.

Experience the majestic beauty of castles and palaces. Discover the enchanting lowland plains, the extensive ranges of hills and the high peaks, enjoy picturesque drives in the Black Forest or a luxury river cruise on the Rhine. Each German region has its own unique character, with different architectural styles and art treasures, varied cuisine and very distinctive lifestyles.

Historically Germany has been called "the land of poets and thinkers". Well-known German authors include Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. Influential authors of the 20th century include Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht, Hermann Hesse, Heinrich Böll, and Günter Grass. Germany is the birthplace of some of the world's most well-known classical music composers, including Beethoven, Bach, Brahms and Wagner.

  • Capital: Berlin
  • Official Languages: German
  • Government: Federal Parliamentary Republic
  • Currency: Euro
  • Time Zone: +1 GMT. (4 ½ hours behind India) Like most states in Europe, Summer (Daylight-Saving) Time is observed in Germany, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour; so +2 GMT.
  • Telephone Calling Code: 0049

When To Go

Best time to visit: Most people prefer to visit Germany between May and September (high season) with most sunny days and a few showers. Usually, in April and May the weather can be mild and sunny. From November to early March skies tend to be gloomy and the mercury often drops to below freezing.

What To Do

Cuisine:

German cuisine varies from region to region but concentrates on meat dishes. Traditional local specialties can still be enjoyed today in many great country inns, where the variety on the menu reflects the diversity of Germany's natural beauty. From dumplings in Bavaria and Thuringia to fish dishes in the north, visitors can taste German tradition in every mouthful.

That's not to say you need to go without a taste of home while on holiday in Germany. Indian cuisine and vegetarian dishes are on the menu in nearly every large town or city.

Choose from 300 kinds of bread, specialty cheeses, Knodel – dumplings, roast pork from Bavaria and Sauerkraut. Popular German fast foods are Curry Wurst, Bratwurst (sausages), Kabobs. Don't miss the Schwarzwalder Kirshtorte – the original Black forest cake and of course, German beer!

Some of the restaurants where Indian cuisine is available

Please Click Here to view restaurant locations.

Shopping

Chic shopping districts like Königsallee in Düsseldorf and Kaufingerstraße in Munich are just as alluring as fantastic outlets and architecturally outstanding shopping centres. In many cities just taking a stroll through the Old Town turns into a shopping spree. Market squares steeped in tradition offer interesting regional specialties, you will find many magical little shops off the main shopping routes. Whether typically German produce or international fashion at bargain basement prices: the fulfillment of your greatest and smallest desires is first priority when shopping in Germany. In general, almost all German shops are closed on Sundays; exceptions are bakeries, shops at gas stations (open 24/7), or convenient stores in train stations. In bigger cities, look out for little shops called "Spätkauf"; opening hours vary, but they are usually open until 10:00 or 11:00 pm during the week, and on Sunday afternoons.

What to shop:
  • Shop for wood carvings.
  • KPM, Rosenthal and Messian porcelain.
  • Cuckoo clocks.
  • Handcrafted Hummel figurines.
  • Colored Glasswork in Lauscha .
  • Bavarian Folk Costumes.
  • Heidelberg Kiss cakes.
  • The Bremer Klaben is a bread-shaped cake with lots of butter and plenty of raisins.
  • The Pumpernickel, one of the most famous specialties of Westphalia, is a black bread with a delicately sweet taste.
Major shopping areas in:

Baden-Baden: Elegant boutiques, exclusive jewellery, high-class antique stores, and small shops with international brand items, unusual gifts and decorations combine to make Baden-Baden a shopping paradise of the highest order. In the historic colonnades in front of the Kurhaus or the architecturally delightful alleyways of the traffic-free city centre the shopping possibilities are perfect for an enjoyable wander.

Cologne: The Schildergasse one of the most popular shopping streets in the country. Large department stores and famous retail outlets can be found in the neighbouring Hohe Straße and Ehrenstraße. Exclusive designer firms have set up shop on the Mittelstraße and Pfeilstraße. In the Belgian Quarter and in Ehrenfeld small uniquely presented shops offer up unusual fashion items and accessories.

Berlin: Kurfuerstendamm with its large department stores and fine boutiques is one of the best-known shopping streets in Berlin. Friedrichstrasse is also lined with exclusive stores.

Düsseldorf: The elegant Koenigsallee or "Kö" with its fine stores and arcades has acquired a new highlight: the Koe-Bogen building.

Schadowstrasse, one of the top-selling retail strips in the region, the historic old town with its iconic boutiques, and the districts of Flingern and Unterbilk for creative youth fashion.

Hamburg: Giant buildings with world-class presence and brands to back them line the Mönckebergstraße and Spitalerstraße. Hamburg's numerous shopping quarters such as the ABC quarter and the Colonnades are an alluring pull. The luxury zone "Neuer Wall" sports all the well-known top designer brands including Jil Sander, Prada and Mont Blanc.

Hannover: The Ernst-August-Galleria 150 shops, gastronomy and lifestyle can be browsed on three floors whatever the weather. Further shopping facilities present themselves in the Niki-de-Sait-Phalle-Promenade, the Kröpke-Arcade and the Luise Galleria.

Leipzig: Mädler-Passage is the flagship arcade, awaiting the shopper with exclusive boutiques and designer labels. Weekly markets with regional specialities enjoy great popularity, as for example on the Marktplatz on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Nuremberg: One of the oldest and largest pedestrian zones in Europe stretches across Nuremburg's historic Old Town like a triad of fashion, lifestyle and luxury. Visitors to Nuremburg's streets are bound to discover something trendy and unusual, be it traditional or modern.

Munich: From the Weltstadt shopping centre to Munich's traditional businesses and the trendsetter; from the former purveyor to the court, specialist shops run by their owners, right down to international premium labels: nowhere else can the guest find such a variety within such a compact area. Whether in the pedestrian zone, the charming Hackenviertel, the elegant Brienner Quarter or in the luxurious Maximilianstraße. This exquisite selection in a historical setting promises an unforgettable shopping experience.

Frankfurt: Frankfurt am Main offers everything the consumer's heart could desire. The best starting point for shopping in Frankfurt is Die Zeil, Germany's top-selling shopping street. The Frankfurter Fressgass' is the heart and the stomach of Frankfurt City and represents a multitude of shops and delights. Goethestrasse offers a selection of luxurious fashion collections and expensive accessories. Berger Strasse, Schwiezer Strasse and Brueckenstrasse hold numerous boutiques and designer stores with, among other things, a selection of new Frankfurt labels.

Mannheim: Around 2,500 retail outlets make Mannheim a super shopping city. From big flagship shops to the traditional Engelhorn House and high quality furniture shops in the heart of the city. Specialist shops are just waiting to be discovered in narrow arcades: unique jewellery or Mannheim's water tower in chocolate – here everyone's bound to find what they're looking for.

Dresden: International brands, creative young designers, distinguished handicrafts: Dresden boasts the finest addresses for fashion, timepieces and jewellery, footwear, technology and interior. Naturally Tax Free Shopping and options for free shipping are available.

Stuttgart: Stuttgart's city center there is something for everyone! Koenigsstrasse boasts the longest pedestrian zone in Europe, the Bohnen district is for those obsessed with detail, Stiftsstrasse promises extravagance and the Markthalle is for gourmets - the diversity of shopping possibilities in Stuttgart is unmatched anywhere.

Packages

Escorted Tours

The best and easiest way to see the highlights is on an escorted tour, where all your travel, accommodation and sightseeing arrangements are well taken care of. A knowledgeable local guide brings history and culture to life as you travel in the comfort of your deluxe coach.

A world leader in budget travel, Cosmos combines the benefit of escorted travel with a great price. Ideal for practical, value-minded travelers. Vacations include comfortable hotels, breakfast and some meals, sightseeing with local guides and the services of an expert Tour Director.

Unmatched selection, more included features, quality first class hotels, and vast experience make Globus the obvious choice for travelers who want more. The world leader in quality escorted travel, Globus delivers memorable vacation experiences with knowledgeable Tour Directors and local guides.

Attractions

Travel Tips

VISA

www.vfs-germany.co.in


HOW TO GET THERE
By Air

Germany has various international airports and can be accessed from any part of the world, Frankfurt, Munich being the major ones.

In India Germany is well connected as well:


Directly/Non-Stop to Frankfurt (FRA) from

New Delhi – Bangalore – Chennai – Mumbai - Pune
From Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Hyderabad, Kolkata, just one stop


Directly/Non-Stop to Munich (MUC) from

New Delhi - Mumbai


By Train

Germany is very well connected by rail through Rail Europe and Deustche Bahn and can be reached from various parts of Europe. An extensive rail network covering around 35,000km connects major airports with big cities, smaller towns and villages.


There are few cruise companies which operate to Germany though Eurail is preferred by people.


TRAVELLING WITHIN THE COUNTRY
Bus

Buses are the most ubiquitous form of transportation and practically all towns have their own comprehensive network. Buses run at regular intervals and are known to be quite comfortable.


Trams

Trams are a faster mode of travel compared to buses because they have their own track. They have day passes and an additional 10% off is given to people holding German rail pass.


Train

The German rail system is known as the most efficient in Europe with 41000km of track and serving over 7000 towns it is the best in Europe.


Museums

Are generally closed on Mondays.


Self Drive

There are several car rental companies like Europcar and Hertz.


DO'S & DON'TS
  • Germany has a continental climate. However because the city is located near the Alps, it is likely to rain often. Make sure you take your umbrellas along with long sleeved shirts and trousers in summer too.
  • Germany experiences very chilly winter and you need to carry lot of warm clothes to keep yourself warm.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
  • Remember to buy chocolates from the Supermarket and not the duty free, they will cost you way lesser.
  • To save money, buy a local sim rather than using an Indian sim.
  • Follow the traffic signal while crossing the road, or you could get fined heavily for jaywalking!
  • Plan your holiday at a non trade fair time – or you may end up paying twice as much for the same room, or look for accommodation in smaller neighbouring towns and cities to save money.

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