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Travel to Germany

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Facts
Location
Northern central Europe – 51°00’N, 9°00’E.
Population
Estimated at 82 million.
Time
GMT +1. Between the end of March and the end of October, German time is GMT +2 (same as SA).
Languages
German, but English is widely understood.
Currency
Euro.
Major cities
Berlin (capital), Bremen, Cologne, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig, Munich, Nürnberg and Stuttgart.
Weather
Spring/summer is from April to September, and autumn/winter from October to March. The country has a summer rainfall, with snow most common in December, January and February.
Drive
On the right.
Water
Good-quality tap-water available.
Food
You’re spoilt for choice in Germany when it comes to traditional fare – try schweinebraten (pork roast); goulasch (beef and pork stew); eisbein (pork knuckles); Wiener schnitzel (crumbed veal fillet); and kochfisch (steamed fish fillet) for a true taste of Germany.

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Germany Travel Information

Germany is renowned as one of the most scenic countries in Europe. In this country, with its rich historical heritage, there’s no shortage of fascinating places to visit, not to mention its abundant natural attractions and cheerful beer festivals. The country is alive with culture, and you can enjoy everything from the ancient Rhenish Carnival, complete with traditional dance, food and drink, to classical music and opera festivals. If you plan to visit in December, be sure to pop in at one of the many Christmas markets. You’ll not only pick up some fantastic, original gifts, but also get to taste authentic German gluhwein and other festive treats in a truly romantic setting.

 

Visas

South Africans need a visa to visit Germany, which costs around R630. Contact the German Embassy on 012 427 8900 for more information.

 

Airports

All major German cities have airports, and domestic flights between cities are relatively inexpensive. Most major airlines fly between South Africa and Germany, with Lufthansa and SAA offering direct flights from Munich and Frankfurt to Johannesburg.

 

Getting around

Germany is known for its efficient public transport system, including an extensive bus network, tram system and subway network, which operates between the major cities. Rail offers an enjoyable and inexpensive way to see the country, with the fastest train – ICE – servicing not only major cities, but also the neighbouring countries of Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Self-drive options are also popular, with an abundance of car rental agencies and 11 000km of interlinking highways.

Must-see German attractions
 

must-see Romantic Road: a picturesque country road between the River Main and the Alps.
must-see Neuschwanstein Castle: Germany’s famous ‘Sleeping Beauty Castle’.
must-see Dachau Concentration Camp.
must-see The Black Forest: a mecca for hiking and other outdoor activities.
must-see Cologne Cathedral: the biggest of its kind in the country.
must-see Bavaria: the annual Oktoberfest beer festival is a must.
must-see Berlin Wall Museum.
must-see Frankenstein Castle.
must-see Lake Constance.

Lost in translation - helpful German words and phrases

Good morning:

Guten morgen
Good evening: Guten abend
Please: Bitte
Thank you: Danke
Where is the toilet? Wo ist die toilette?
Train station: Der bahnhof
Airport: Der flughafen
Yes: Ja
No: Nein
My name is …: Ich heisse …
I am South African: Ich bin Sudafrikaner







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