Travel Information - useful bits and pieces for your trip.

We gathered some information about currency, food, time zone and emergency measures and more for your travel planning.

Travel Information it's good to know

Credit cards

Credit cards are accepted in the bigger stores, in hotels and most restaurants as well as many taxis. Grocers, boutiques, public transport ticket machines and tourist attractions like museums etc. quite often are not equipped with a credit card reader. It is recommendable to have enough cash at hand in case there will be no acceptance. Travellers cheques are not a common mode of payment in Germany. In Europe a debit-card (EC) system is in place which is very widespread. Of credit cards the most widely accepted card is MasterCard, followed by VISA. AMEX and Diners may not be accepted. Credit card acceptance runs at a fairly high cost in Germany so many businesses only accept the EC system.

Currency

The official currency in Germany is EURO (€). 1 Euro consists of 100 cents. There are seven Euro notes (500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 Euro) and eight different coins (2 & 1 Euro, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cent(s)). There is a common Euro design on one face but a different country-specific design on the other, plus numerours anniversary and memorial prints. Thus the coins have become of interest for collectors even. The Euro can be used in other EU states as well, e.g. Estonia, France, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands.

Eat and Drink

Germany is well known for good food. You might find some dishes very hearty and containing too much fat, especially in sauces and brown gravy. In Berlin a speciality is for example "Bulette" - a large meatball served plain with mustard or with potatoes and kraut and gravy or the like - also "Currywurst", a smoked sausage served with a spicy curry-tomato sauce, and pork liver with apples, onions and mashed potatoes. You will also find the typical german specialities such as knuckle of pork, smoked pork or "Sauerbraten" served with sauerkraut or red cabbage and dumplings and gravy. Germans enjoy light cooking as well so you will find some excellent vegetable, pasta or chicken dishes.

The Mecklenburg region has a tradition of fish cooking. Herring, cod and pike-perch are served cooked, grilled, fried or marinated accompanied by fresh vegetables, german hashed browns and sauces (parsley, dill or mustard). Try the "Rollmops" or "Bismarck-Herring" - marinated herring specialities. The fish-market in Warnemuende, only 5 min away from the ship, offers a wide variety of fish specialities. The most traditional meat dish is "Rippenbraten" - a tender pork rib roast stuffed with apples and plums and served with red cabbage, dumplings and brown gravy.

Also do not miss to have a look at the local bakeries and cafés. Germans love cakes, tarts, gateau, waffles and cookies of all kinds and are experts at making them.

Embassies
Australia: I.E. Mrs. Lynette Wood, Wallstrasse 76 - 79, D-10179 Berlin, Tel: +49 (0) 30 880088 -0, www.germany.embassy.gov.au
Canada: Mr. Stéphane Dion, Leipziger Platz 17, D-10117 Berlin, Tel: +49 (0) 30 203120, www.canadainternational.gc.ca
Great Britain: S.E. Mr. Sir Sebastian Wood, KCMG, Wilhelmstrasse 70, D-10117 Berlin, Tel: +49 (0) 30 204570, www.ukingermany.fco.gov.uk
United States: Mr. Richard Grenell, Pariser Platz 2, D-10117 Berlin, Tel: +49 (0) 30 83050, www.usembassy.gov

From outside Germany and from your cell phone please dial +49 and skip the (0). From german telephones please dial 030 ....

Emergency dial

The emergency phone numbers in Germany are 110 for the police and 112 for fire brigade and medical aid. If you use your own US/UK etc. mobile phone please dial +49 110 or +49 112.

Gratuity
Giving a tip is common in Germany but not always expected. In restaurants a tip of 10% would be alright. Gratuity will not be added to your bill automatically as common in other countries. It is at your courtesy.
Holidays 2019
May 1st (labour day), May 30 Ascension Day, June 9-10th Pentecost, October 3 Day of the Reunification ...
Measures and Weights
1 m (meter) = 1.094 yards or 3.28 feet or 39.37 inches. A distance indication 200 m thus equals 218.8 yards.
1 km (kilometer) = 0.621 british or statute miles. A distance of 100 km thus equals 62.1 miles.
1 l (litre) = 2.11 pints (am.) or 0.26 gallons (am). You can say that there is approx. 4 litres in a gallon.
1 kg (kilogram) = 2.204 pounds (avdp.)
1 ha (hectare) = 2.47 acres
Opening Hours
Usual opening hours are 09.00/10.00 am - 08.00 pm for shops from Mon - Sat. Some grocers open 07.00 am - 10.00 pm. On Sunday/Holidays shops are closed with the exception of some souvenir and tourism related shops and all shops in seaside resorts with a special allowance (Bäderregelung). Banks and post offices usually open from 09.00 to 06.00 with some being closed over lunch-time (12.00 - 02.00).
Public Restrooms / WC
Restroom facilities are available in good quantity and quality in most places. A charge of 0,50 Euro is common - in some case as voluntary contribution to the work of the cleaning staff (bowl or plate to leave coins on) in others as slot/coin machines at the entrance of the facility. It is recommendable to keep a few coins handy for those cases.
Smoking / Drinking
The smoking regulations are much stricter in Germany now. Smoking is prohibited on train/bus stations, airports, within all means of public transportation, shops, public buildings and restaurants. There are designated smoking areas in buildings, restaurants and on train stations. There is no restriction to smoking outside unless stated otherwise. The drinking age in Germany is 16 for wines and beers and 18 for liquors.
Souvenirs
Popular souvenirs from Berlin are the Berlin Bears (the symbol of Berlin) in all variations, shirts, books and postcards with Berlin prints and themes. Of course you will also find the typical german souvenir with beer glasses and steins, crafts from the mountain regions such as christmas ornaments and wood carvings. Many of our guests also like to bring home some chocolate and other sweets. You will find excellent chocolate in the grocery stores but can also find hand-made variations for example at Fassbender & Rausch in Berlin or in the "Arko" and "Hussel" shops. From the Mecklenburg area the most popular souvenir is amber, local crafts such as pottery and wood carvings, regional products such as honey, seabuckthorne teas and jellies or wines ("Sanddorn") and maritime items (miniature lighthouses and beachchairs, music etc.).
Time Zone
GMT + 1 (e.g.: Berlin 03.00 pm is New York 09.00 am)
Weather
The warmest months are June, July and August with an average high of 19 - 24 C° (66 - 75 F) and average low of 12 - 14 C° (54 - 57 F). Berlin's built-up area creates a microclimate with heat stored by the city's buildings. Thus temperatures can be up to 4 C° (7 F) higher in the city than in the surroundings. In summer the average monthly precipitation is 58 mm (2.28 inches). The average number of precipitation days is 8 per month.
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