Germany as a Travel Destination

Did you know that for the majority of the 20th century, Germany has led the world in Nobel Prizes focusing in the area of: medicine, physics, chemistry and physiology? Germany, a self-governing nation today, existed as an amalgamation of states, generally throughout world history.

Overview of German History

Many would begin Germany’s history with the rise and fall of the notorious Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler.

Under Nazi control, they would seize other nations including: Poland, Belgium, the Balkans, Denmark, Greece, France, Luxemburg, and Netherlands.

In what later became known as The Holocaust, the Hitler’s Third Reich regime would commit horrific crimes of genocide, creating policies to vanquish many rebels and minorities. Millions of people have fallen victims to the Nazis regime during this period. This includes over six million Jews, some minority groups; and people of political and religious resistance.

Victory in Europe Day, also known as V-E Day or VE Day would be the ruin of Hitler’s Third Reich. In 1945 the Nazi armed forces surrendered, and in 1945, Hitler committed suicide.

In 1961 the Berlin Wall was built. Its main aim was to prevent East Germans from emigration to the neighbor West Germany. However, by the late 1980’s, there were radical political changes; civil unrest grew over the separation and within weeks, the fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification.

Today, Germany is a thriving country and top tourist destination; full of history, diversity, culture, art, and entertainment.

Climate

During the spring months – April and May, Germany’s climate can be a bit erratic. You may get sunlit skies and balmy temperatures, or you could encounter warm, wet and chilly conditions. May is a picturesque month as flowers bloom and much greenery is seen throughout the country.

During the summer months – June through September, moisture is at its highest levels. Be prepared for rain, and perhaps midday thunderstorms, particularly in July and August. Extremely hot weather is unusual though warmer temperatures are more common in southern Germany.

During the autumn months – October and November, this season is still subject to bright days and humid temperatures.

In November though, the days will become perceptibly shorter. Climate is more often than not, misty, foggy and cool with grey skies.

During the winter months – December through March, winters are quite placid, on the other hand, temperatures my fall well below zero, particularly at night. It’s typically cooler in eastern and southern Germany and warmer in the north and Rhine regions. Snow generally crops up in December, January and February. The Bavarian Forest collects the majority of snowfall.

Your Visa to Germany

A “German” visa does not exist anymore. Germany has joined other countries in Europe, and collectively, they’ve created the Schengen Visa.

If you are a European Union (EU) citizen, you are not required to obtain a visa to enter Germany. As a general rule, all people from countries that are not a part of the EU require a Schengen visa to enter Germany. There are some exceptions, though.

For example, if you and you are from one of the “non-visa” countries countries for which the European Union has abolished the visa procedure.

Such countries include but are not limited to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, and the United States.

Be sure to contact your local consulate for any updates or changes on visa requirements to Germany.

What Type of Currency Should You Use While Visiting Germany

The official currency of Germany is the Euro. If you need to exchange currency, many exchange desks are located at any airport and most train stations in larger cities and towns. All banks within Germany exchange currency and if you prefer to use your ATM or major credit card (Visa), most ATM’s are multilingual and will accept them.

The Language

The official language of Germany is standard German. Learning ANY new language can always be a challenge. If you are visiting Germany and you’re not familiar with the language, it’s almost essential, from a tourist standpoint and for your safety, that you learn some basic words and phrases to get you by. If you are concerned about not knowing the language, it’s suggested that you take a quick lesson online or purchase a how-to handbook prior to your trip.

Traveling to Germany

Flying can be the least expensive way to enter Germany – much cheaper if you book early. When you travel to Germany there are high chances that you will arrive at one of these airports: Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf, Berlin-Tegel, Cologne, Hamburg and Stuttgart. Most major airlines fly into Germany. Always research and compare rates so that you are offered the best deal possible.

Cities to Visit While in Germany

Germany is filled with so much culture, charm and entertainment, it’s always best to know what cities to visit first – getting the most out of your trip.

Berlin – Germany’s largest city offering many restaurants, art galleries, nightlife and bars.

Munich – the largest city in the federal state of Germany, borders Austria. Seek out the Bavarian culture and one of the most popular festivals in the world – Oktoberfest.

Cologne – Germany’s oldest city is rustic with photogenic medieval and Roman features and Belgian-style chocolate shops.

Frankfurt – the fifth largest city in Germany; the financial centre of Germany and home to the world’s busiest airports.

Hamburg – best known for the Beatles hang out prior to their fame – this part of Hamburg filled with brothels and sex shops (be warned, locals can be a bit hostile if you are there ‘just for the look’.) Other parts of Hamburg offer a great fish market, Museum of Hamburg History, St. Michaelis Church and boat tours.

Dusseldorf – amazing architecture, art and nightlife.

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