"Welcome to GERMANY" Germany by Leipzig
Germany Travel Guide: 56,159 reviews and 164,445 photos
POPULATION DENSITY: 229.8 per km²
SIZE: 357,021 km² (137,847 mi²)
ADJACENT COUNTRIES: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland
HIGHEST POINT: Zugspitze (2,962 m) (9,718ft)
forests and woodland:31%
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: The Federal Republic of Germany is a democracy with a liberal free-market economy and is a member of the European Union (EU)
HEAD OF STATE: President Johannes Rau since 1999
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT: Chancellor Gerhard Schröder since 1998
CAPITAL: Berlin (3.5 million inhabitants)
MONEY: The unit of German currency is the Euro. Symbol of the Euro is €
16 STATES: Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia
LANGUAGE: German. English is widely spoken and French is also spoken, particularly in the Saarland. Particulary in the New Federal States Russian is also spoken. In the north of Schleswig-Holstein, Danish is spoken by the Danish minority and taught in schools. In Brandenburg and Saxony, Sorbic is spoken by the ethnic minority called the Sorbs. Regional dialects often differ markedly from standard German.
NATIONAL HOLIDAY: Day of Unity, 3 October
ELECTRICITY: 220 Volts AC, 50Hz. European-style round two-pin plugs are in use
TIME: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October)
TIMETABLES: German timetables use the 24-hour system
STAYING HEALTHY: German medical facilities are among the best in the world.
Note : Medical and hospital services aren't free, so be sure that you have appropriate insurance coverage before you travel
TELEPHONE: National and international calls can be made from coin- or card-operated telephone booths. Very cheap calling rates apply Mon-Fri 1800-0800 and all day Saturday and Sunday.
MOBILE PHONE: GSM 900 and 1800 networks cover the whole country
Note: It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile telephone while driving.
POST: Stamps are available from hotels, at stationer's shops and post offices
TELEGRAM: can be sent from all post offices
VISAS: EU citizens can enter on an official identity card. Americans, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and Japanese just need a valid passport (no visa). Unless you're a citizen of a developing country, you can probably stay up to three months.
TAXES: Germany imposes a tax on most goods and services known as a value-added tax (VAT), or in German, "Mehrwertsteuer (MWSt)". Nearly everything is taxed at 16%.
WATER: Tap water is safe to drink in all German towns and cities.
NATURAL HAZARDS: often: flooding along rivers in spring, avalanches in the Alps, storms in the north and mountains; sometimes: forest fires in the east; hardly ever: tornadoes, blizzards, earthquakes along the Rhine and in south Saxony (less than 4.0 magnitude!!)
DRUG LAWS: Penalties for illegal drug possession in Germany are severe. You could go to jail!
EMERGENCIES: Throughout Germany the emergency number for police is 110 ; for fire or to call an ambulance, dial 112 .
I know most Tourists visit the south of Germany, like Munich, Fuessen (Neuschwanstein Castle), Rothenburg, Heidelberg and so on! Well, that's okay but I think there's much more. On this page under "off-the-beaten-path" I chiefly present a little bit about the East of Germany, including the states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Berlin, Brandenburg, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt, and Saxony. I know there are a lot of places I didn't mention. Those tips are made of my personal experience and I cannot recommend places I haven't seen.
Enjoy! And if you have any questions feel free to ask!
You may have already noticed I am a fan of architecture.I know sometimes it is not easy to find out what style a certain building has. In my general tips I give you some hints of the pertaining characteristic. The periods refer to Germany and may differ in other European countries.
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