Traveling tips for Germany – what you should know before a trip to Germany

We offer you our in-depth guide, Traveling tips for Germany, to help you on your journey into the heart of Europe. The article is intended to provide you with the necessary information and useful tips to guarantee a hassle-free and enjoyable trip to Germany.

We cover the most important things to think about before traveling to Germany in the first section of our guide. From admission criteria and visa processes to health insurance and financial resources, we have you covered. Along with providing safety advice for a worry-free stay, we also illuminate the cultural practices that characterize German culture and offer an overview of living expenses to help you plan your trip wisely.

As you navigate through the guide, you’ll find a detailed section on finding accommodation in Germany. Whether you’re looking for a private apartment, a shared flat, or student housing, we provide a step-by-step process, along with a list of reliable resources to aid your search. We also touch upon the importance of language proficiency based on your purpose of visit. So, buckle up and get ready to explore Germany with confidence and ease!

What do I need before going to Germany?

Before going to Germany, you need to consider the following:

1. Entry Requirements:

  • Your passport should be issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country.
  • Your passport should be valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave.

2. Visa Requirements:

  • If you’re not a citizen of the EU, you might need a visa to enter Germany. The required documents for a German tourist visa are an application form completed in English or German, a declaration of accuracy of the information, and passport-size photographs.

3. Health Insurance:

  • If you’re planning to study in Germany, you’ll need proof of health insurance.

4. Financial Resources:

  • You’ll need to provide proof of financial resources if you’re planning to study in Germany.

5. Cultural Customs:

  • Germans place a high priority on structure, privacy, and punctuality.
  • Germans are most comfortable when they can organize and compartmentalize their world into controllable units.
  • Time is managed carefully, and calendars, schedules, and agendas must be respected.
  • It is rude to chew gum or keep one’s hands in one’s pockets whilst talking with someone.

6. Safety Tips:

  • Be alert in crowded places.
  • Avoid flashing money or jewelry.
  • Avoid leaving your valuables visible in a car or hotel room.
  • Never leave bags unattended in public places.
  • Avoid carrying large sums of cash around with you.

7. Cost of Living:

  • A family of four estimated monthly costs are 3,478.4$ (3,275.9€) without rent.
  • A single person estimated monthly costs are 1,024.5$ (964.9€) without rent.
  • Cost of living in Germany is, on average, 14.2% lower than in the United States.

How do I find accommodation in Germany?

Finding accommodation in Germany involves several steps:

1. Determine Your Needs: Consider factors such as location, size, budget, and whether you prefer a private apartment or shared housing.

2. Start Your Search: You can use various websites to find housing in Germany. Here are some of them:

Consider looking at these options for long-term, furnished apartments:

For fully furnished rooms, you can look at:

  • Spacest (filter for “You can take up residence”)
  • HousingAnywhere (filter for “Registration possible”)
  • Spotahome (look out for “Registration / Anmeldung” possible in the landlord policies)
  • Homelike (filter for “Certificate of residence”)
  • Wunderflats
  • AirBnB (watch out: most providers on AirBnB do not provide “Anmeldung”)

To find shared flats, visit:

Regarding student housing, you can look into:

  • Studentenwerk Berlin
  • Studentenwerk Munich

3. Prepare Your Documents: When applying for an apartment, you’ll typically need to provide proof of income, a copy of your ID, and sometimes a Schufa credit report.

4. Apply: Once you’ve found a place you like, you’ll need to apply. This usually involves filling out an application form and sometimes attending a viewing.

5. Sign the Lease: If your application is accepted, you’ll then sign the lease. Make sure to read it carefully and understand all the terms before signing.

6. Register Your Address: Once you’ve moved in, you’ll need to register your new address at the local Bürgeramt within 14 days.

How much German should I know before going to Germany?

The level of German you should know before going to Germany can vary depending on your purpose of visit:

1. Tourism:

If you’re visiting as a tourist, you can get by with English in many places, especially in larger cities. However, learning some basic German phrases can enhance your travel experience.

2. Work:

If you’re planning to work in Germany, especially in healthcare, knowledge of the German language is mandatory. You will need an official language certificate from a recognised language centre, such as the Goethe-Institut or a telc-certified institute. Depending on the German federal state, level B1 or B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is required.

3. Study:

If you’re applying for a German-language degree programme in Germany, you must prove that you have the language skills required by the higher education institution in the form of an official certificate.

4. Visa or Residence Permit:

Generally, German language skills at level A1 of the CEFR are required for most people seeking a visa or residence permit in Germany.

What should you know about Germany?

Germany is a fascinating country with a rich history and culture. Here are some key facts you should know about Germany:

  1. Location: Germany is located in central Europe and shares borders with several countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
  2. Population: The population of Germany is approximately 84.7 million (as of 2023), making it the third-largest in Europe.
  3. Capital: The capital of Germany is Berlin, which is a popular destination for expats and international students.
  4. Area: Germany has an area of 357,386 km², making it the 7th biggest country in Europe.
  5. Currency: Germany’s currency is the Euro.
  6. History: Germany became a unified state on January 18th, 1871. East and West Germany were united to form the current Federal Republic of Germany on October 3rd, 1990.
  7. Immigration: Germany is the second most popular destination for expats in the world. In 2023, 1,545,503 people moved to Germany.
  8. Forests: Germany is home to 11.4 million hectares of forests, covering about 33% of its land area, with over 90 billion trees.
  9. Economy: Germany has the biggest economy in the EU, followed by France and Italy.
  10. Automotive Industry: In 2021, about 786,100 people worked in Germany’s automotive industry, which is the biggest in Europe.
  11. Cultural Traditions: Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition in the 16th century. The “Schultüte,” or school cone, is an important part of every German child’s first day of school.
  12. Influential Figures: Germany is the birthplace of influential figures such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Albert Einstein.

Safety tips for travelers

Traveling can be an exciting adventure, but it’s important to stay safe. Here are some safety tips for travelers:

  1. Don’t Wear Flashy Jewelry: Avoid wearing expensive, flashy jewelry, as it can make you an obvious target for robbery.
  2. Drink Responsibly: It’s important to drink responsibly when you’re traveling. Being drunk makes you an easy target for scams, robbery, or worse.
  3. Be Smart About Your Money: Don’t carry large amounts of cash. Use local ATMs and keep your cash and credit cards in two or three different places.
  4. Be Aware of Popular Scams: Research the place you’re visiting to see what the local scammers are up to.
  5. Know the Phone Number for Emergency Services: It’s important to know the local emergency number in the country you’re visiting.
  6. Stay Alert in Crowded Places: Be alert in crowded places and avoid flashing money or jewelry.
  7. Avoid Leaving Valuables Visible: Avoid leaving your valuables visible in a car or hotel room.
  8. Never Leave Bags Unattended: Never leave bags unattended in public places

How much money do you need to travel to Germany?

The cost of traveling to Germany can vary greatly depending on your travel style, the duration of your stay, and the activities you plan to do. Here are some general estimates:

  • Daily Costs: On average, you should plan to spend around €152 ($164) per day on your vacation in Germany. This includes meals, local transportation, and sightseeing.
  • One Week Trip: A one-week trip to Germany usually costs around €1,061 ($1,149) for one person and €2,121 ($2,298) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.
  • Two Week Trip: A two-week trip to Germany on average costs around €2,121 ($2,298) for one person and €4,243 ($4,596) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.
  • One Month Trip: A one-month trip to Germany on average costs around €4,546 ($4,924) for one person and €9,091 ($9,849) for two people

How much bank balance is needed for a German visa?

The bank balance required for a German visa can vary depending on the type of visa and the duration of your stay. Here are some general guidelines:

For a tourist visa, you should have at least €45 to €60 per day for the entire duration of your visit. A minimum of €450 to €600 should be in your bank account if, for instance, you are planning to remain for 10 days.

For individuals seeking employment in Germany, they are generally expected to provide evidence of financial stability. This can include a work contract, proof of regular income, or a blocked bank account with a specific amount, typically around €8,640

What is not allowed through customs in Germany?

When entering Germany, several items are not allowed through customs:

  1. Medicinal products and narcotics
  2. Cash: If you are entering from a non-European Union state, you must notify the competent customs office in writing of any cash to the value of 10,000 or more euros that you are bringing with you
  3. Fireworks: The import of unauthorized fireworks into Germany is prohibited under the provisions of the Explosives Act
  4. Instruments of torture: The import of certain goods for inflicting capital punishment or torture on human beings is regulated by prohibitions on the trade in such items or authorization requirements.
  5. Dangerous dogs
  6. Publications or media likely to harm minors and unconstitutional publications
  7. Cultural assets: There are import bans intended to prevent the unauthorized movement of stolen or illegally acquired works of art across borders
  8. Food and feedstuffs: Food and feedstuffs from non-EU states must be safe, that is, if their import is to be permitted, they must meet the requirements of EU legislation and the criteria laid down by the individual member states
  9. Counterfeiting and piracy: Imitation or counterfeit products are not allowed
  10. Rough diamonds
  11. Textiles
  12. Animals and plants, products containing animal or vegetable substances



How safe is it to travel to Germany?

Germany is considered a safe destination for travelers, boasting low crime rates and a well-developed infrastructure. Exercise normal precautions and remain vigilant in crowded tourist areas.

Do I need a visa to visit Germany?

Travelers from many countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, and EU member states, can enter Germany visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. However, check visa requirements based on your nationality before traveling.

What is the best time to visit Germany?

The best time to visit Germany depends on your preferences. Summer months (June to August) offer pleasant weather and vibrant outdoor festivals, while winter (December to February) transforms the country into a magical winter wonderland, ideal for Christmas markets and skiing.

Can I use credit cards in Germany?

Credit cards are widely accepted in Germany, especially in major cities and tourist areas. However, it’s advisable to carry some cash for smaller transactions and establishments that may not accept cards.

Is tap water safe to drink in Germany?

Yes, tap water in Germany is safe to drink and held to high-quality standards. You can refill your water bottle from public fountains or taps without any concerns.

What should I wear in Germany?

Dress according to the season and activities you have planned. Germans tend to dress casually yet stylishly, so opt for comfortable attire suitable for exploring cities or embarking on outdoor adventures.

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