Time Zone: GMT+1/UTC
Tipping: Service and VAT is included in prices in restaurants and bars in Germany. However it is typical to round up the amount, usually by adding 5-10% and ensuring the amount ends in a full euro.
Located in the middle of Europe and home to over 80 million people, you cannot fail to be mesmorised when you visit Germany on a coach tour. There are very few countries in the world that has had such an impact as Germany has from its historical legacy that borders between the horrific and great to the mightiness of its innovation. You'll discover on your tour that Germany bought to the rest of the world the car, aspirin and MP3 technology. This magnificent country is also the birthplace of many famous people including Martin Luther, Albert Einstein, Beethoven and the Grimm Brothers, as you walk around Germany you will see reminders of this.
Germany is always a popular destination for visitors and its scenery is one of the highlights. Admire the awesome jagged peaks of the Bavarian Alps before coming across quaint villages filled with traditional half-timbered German architecture. Stroll through picturesque pastures where cows usually roam and graze. Marvel at the power of mighty rivers as they cut through romantic valleys, explore fairy-tale forests and sample local wines from vineyards located on steep inclines.
Experience the awesomeness of The Rhine with a relaxing river cruise taking you passed ancient towns and villages where fairy-tale castles fill the landscape. There's history on every corner of Germany where streets were designed before Christopher Columbus set sail. National traditions still reign supreme particularly in Black Forest Germany where since 1750 the ladies wear hats adorned with pom-poms, red for unmarried girls and black for those that are.
In addition to local traditions, Germany is also home to a variety of vibrant cities with Berlin being the most famous and overflowing with great museums, galleries and amazing historical landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate,Checkpoint Charlie and the Reichstag. Venture a little further and you'll come across the grand buildings of Dresden, the beautiful Cathedral in Cologne, sample delicious marzipan creations of Lübeck or explore the famous walled medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Time your Germany visit to coincide with Oktoberfest inMunich where you can sample famed local beers in boisterous beer halls. Or wait till the festive season where you can experience the traditional continental Christmas Markets of Koblenz, Rüdesheim, and Cochem (among others) where you can find that elusive Christmas gift. Just don't wait too long till you make your return visit!
Germany tour packages typically include; return coach travel or flights, hotel accommodation in a good standard hotel, meals and a variety of included or optional excursions so you can really see the best of the resort you're visiting. The board basis can vary between Bed and Breakfast to Half Board where evening meals are included. Whatever meals are included, make sure you leave enough room so you can sample local delicacies, that will leave you wanting more.
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Germany, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Health and Travel Insurance
When visiting Germany you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. It is not a substitute for travel insurance or medical cover, however it does entitle you to state provided medical treatment should it become necessary during your trip. Any treatment which is provided is on the same conditions as German nationals. The EHIC does not cover on-going medical treatment, medical repatriation or non-urgent treatment and so you must make sure you have the correct travel insurance and access to funds which will cover the cost of any treatment and repatriation on medical grounds.
Should you require emergency medical assistance during your visit, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. In the event you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you must contact your insurance company or your medical assistance provider immediately.
Crime levels in Germany are quite similar to those in the UK so common sense prevails. Be sure to take sensible precautions to avoid bag-snatching, mugging and pick pocketing. Always be particularly vigilant at railway stations, airports and Christmas markets. Never leave your valuables unattended. In the event your passport has been stolen, you need to go to the nearest police station and ask for a police report.
When staying for up to three months your passport must be valid for the proposed entire duration of your stay; you don't need an additional period of validity beyond this.
UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted when entering into Germany and also for airside transit and when leaving Germany.
British Citizens do not require a visa to enter Germany. However, if you hold a different type of British nationality it is advisable to check entry requirements with the German Embassy.
Any other nationality looking to visit Germany must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
For further information about Germany you can check out the official tourist board website at germany.travel
There is such a varied landscape of things to do and places to visit whilst in Germany that you will quite possibly need to plan a return trip to fit it all in. Here are a few ideas to get the ball of inspiration rolling for you:
As Germany's capital city, Berlin has a wealth of attractions and things to do for visitors.Situated in north eastern Germany, this fascinating city is filled with history and intrigue. Among the many things to visit is the Brandenburg Gate, the Fernsehturm, which is one of the tallest structures in Europe and also Schloss Charlottenburg with is one of the largest remaining Palaces in Berlin.
The Black Forest
Situated in the south west of Germany, the Black Forest plays host to thousands of visitors each year. Popular destinations include Freiburg, Lake Titisee and Schluchsee and also the Triberg Waterfalls, which are extremely famous in Germany. Another must do when in the Black Forest is to visit the Open Air Museum, which shows the life of the farmers who lived in the region in the decades before.
The Rhine Valley
Famous for its breath-taking scenery and wine production, the Rhine Valley is a great place to visit when in Germany. With towns such as Boppard, which holds panoramic views of the River Rhine, to Rüdesheim and nearby Heidelberg. Boasting the oldest university in Germany (and possibly one of the finest!) this town oozes history, the Castle remains an iconic attraction for visitors too.
This city is an inspiring mix of history and architecture which is bound to leave any visitors in awe. There is plenty to keep visitors occupied with the lots of attractions and places to visit. The Bayerische Staatsoper Opera House is a spectacular venue in which to see an opera or ballet (though tickets can be hard to come by)! Germany is also the home of BMW so be sure to drop by the BMW Museum showcasing the development of this world famous brand.