Know this essential information on Germany
When to Go
Germany has a temperate climate, with rain all year-round, especially in summer. The cloudy, moderate months of May, June, and September are the best times to go, as there are fewer tourists and the weather is pleasant. Germans head to vacation spots en masse in early July with the beginning of school vacations. Winter sports gear up November to April, skiing high-season is mid-December to March.
Germany has a temperate climate with rain all year round, especially in summer. Winters are very cold, cloudy and often a little humid, with snow. It is recommended to take heavy clothes as well as rain clothes, regardless of when you are planning to go.
Health and Safety
Germany is fairly safe for tourists, however like with all other countries you should be vigilant at all times for common petty thefts and pickpockets. Your health should generally not be at risk in Germany. Germany has excellent hospitals and medical facilities, and most European health facilities are free, but health insurance can be useful. Be careful of overindulgence, as it may cause unwanted diarrhea. Drink plenty water, especially if you are planning on walking and hiking to keep your body hydrated and to prevent heatstroke.
Visas and Passports
Citizens of South Africa require a visa to enter Germany. Citizens of Australia, Canada, the EU, New Zealand, and the US do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days. All visitors requires a passport valid for at least 6 months after the end of your journey to enter Germany and to re-enter their own countries.
Money and Currency
The Euro is the official currency of Germany. Germany has an abundance of ATM machines that accept all major credit cards such as MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club, etc. Most big hotels and restaurants do accept credit cards, whereas smaller stores only accept cash. Tipping is not practiced as liberally in Germany as elsewhere, most Germans just round up the bill. Germans rarely bargain at flea markets or stores and most goods will have a 7 or 16% value added tax included.