Eltz Castle, Wierschem, Germany
Eltz Castle, Wierschem, Germany

Wierschem

Eltz Castle is a medieval castle nestled in the hills above the Moselle between Koblenz and Trier, Germany. It is still owned by a branch of the same family that lived there in the 12th century, thirty-three generations ago.
Photo by Cederic Vandenberghe

GERMANY

Europe

Germany Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Berlin

Location:

Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark

Currency:

euros (EUR)

Area:

357,022 sq km

Population:

79,903,481 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

German (official); note - Danish, Frisian, Sorbian, and Romani are official minority languages; Low German, Danish, North Frisian, Sater Frisian, Lower Sorbian, Upper Sorbian, and Romani are recognized as regional languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

Religion:

Roman Catholic 27.1%, Protestant 24.9%, Muslim 5.2%, Orthodox 2%, other Christian 1%, other 1%, none 38.8% (2019 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC+1

Tel Code:

+49

Weather

Climate in Germany

Germany has a temperate seasonal climate, with warm summers and cool winters. The country is located in Central Europe, and its climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and the Eurasian landmass. The warmest months are June, July, and August, with temperatures typically ranging from 20-25°C (68-77°F). The coldest months are December, January, and February, with temperatures typically ranging from -5 to 0°C (23-32°F).

Best time to visit Germany

The best time to visit Germany depends on what you want to do during your trip. If you want to experience the country's famous Oktoberfest, then September and October are the best months to visit. The festival takes place in Munich and attracts millions of visitors each year. If you prefer milder weather, then May, June, and September are also good months to visit. These months offer comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds. If you want to see the Christmas markets, December is a great time to visit.

In general, the best time to visit Germany is from May to September, as the weather is generally mild and pleasant, and many festivals and events take place during this time. However, it's always good idea to check the weather forecast and plan your trip accordingly.

Transportation

Public Transportation

Germany has an extensive and efficient public transportation system, which includes trains, buses, and trams. The country's rail network is particularly extensive, with connections to cities and towns across the country. The Deutsche Bahn (DB) is the national railway company, and it offers a variety of ticket options, including single tickets, day tickets, and rail passes.

Cars

If you prefer to have more flexibility and freedom, renting a car is a great option. Germany has an extensive network of highways and roads, which makes it easy to travel between cities and towns. You can rent a car from major car rental companies such as Avis, Europcar, or Hertz. Keep in mind that driving in Germany requires a valid driver's license and a good understanding of the road rules.

Bikes

Germany is a great country for cycling, with well-maintained bike lanes and bike paths throughout the country. Bike rental is widely available in most cities, and many hotels and hostels offer bikes for rent. Bikes can be a great way to get around cities and towns, and they're also a great way to explore the country's beautiful countryside.

Taxis and ride-sharing

Taxis and ride-sharing services such as Uber are widely available in Germany, and they can be a convenient way to get around. However, prices can vary depending on the city, and in some cases, it can be more expensive than public transportation. Keep in mind that some cities have specific regulations, so it's always good to check before you ride.

Accommodation

Hotels

Germany offers a wide variety of hotels, from budget-friendly options to luxurious five-star properties. Many of the major cities, such as Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt, have a large selection of hotels to choose from. You can find everything from budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses to high-end resorts and boutique hotels.

Vacation rentals

Another popular option for accommodation in Germany is vacation rentals. These can include apartments, houses, and even castles. Vacation rentals are a great option for groups or families traveling together, as they often offer more space and privacy than hotels. Websites such as Airbnb and Booking.com have a wide variety of vacation rentals to choose from in Germany.

Camping

Germany is home to thousands of camping sites, ranging from small, family-run campsites to large, modern holiday parks. Many campsites offer a variety of amenities, including showers, toilets, and electric hook-ups. Some sites also offer rental accommodations such as RVs, tents, or cabins. Camping can be a great way to experience the beautiful nature in Germany, particularly for those who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Germany Open
Test
Not required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Germany is a country rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. From exploring the charming medieval towns and cities to taking in the stunning landscapes, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this diverse country. Here are the top 10 things you won't want to miss on your trip to Germany:

      1. Explore Berlin

      Germany's capital, Berlin, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with a rich history and culture. Take a stroll through the city center and admire the historic landmarks, such as the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Berlin Wall.

      2. Visit the Neuschwanstein Castle

      The Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most famous castles in the world and is located in the beautiful Bavarian Alps. This 19th-century palace was built by King Ludwig II and is a fairy tale-like castle which inspired Disney's Sleeping Beauty castle.

      3. Walk along the Rhine River

      The Rhine River is one of Germany's most famous landmarks, and a walk along its banks offers stunning views of the river and the surrounding countryside. Along the way, you'll pass charming towns and villages, as well as many of the Rhine's famous castles and ruins.

      4. Experience Oktoberfest

      Oktoberfest is the world's largest fair and takes place annually in Munich. It's a must-attend event for anyone interested in German culture and tradition, offering a chance to sample traditional German food and drink and to experience the country's famous beer culture.

      5. Visit the city of Heidelberg

      Heidelberg is a charming medieval city located in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The city is known for its picturesque old town, the Heidelberg Castle and the old bridge over the Neckar river.

      6. Explore the Black Forest

      The Black Forest is a beautiful mountain range located in the southwestern part of Germany. It's known for its picturesque landscapes, traditional villages, and its famous cuckoo clocks. It's a great place for hiking, skiing, and enjoying the outdoors.

      7. Visit the city of Frankfurt

      Frankfurt is a bustling metropolis and financial hub, known for its impressive skyline and the iconic Main Tower. The city also offers a diverse cultural scene, with many museums and galleries to explore, as well as a thriving food and nightlife scene.

      8. Take a Road Trip along the Romantic Road

      The Romantic Road is a picturesque route that takes in some of Germany's most beautiful towns and villages, such as Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Dinkelsbühl, and Augsburg. Along the way, visitors can admire the region's rich history and traditional architecture.

      9. Visit the city of Dresden

      Dresden is a city with a rich history and culture, known for its stunning baroque architecture and the famous Zwinger Palace. The city also has a vibrant arts scene, and is home to several world-class museums and galleries.

      10. Visit the city of Munich

      Munich is the capital of the state of Bavaria and a city known for its rich cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the city's famous Marienplatz, the Frauenkirche, and the Hofbräuhaus brewery. Munich is also a great base for exploring the nearby Bavarian Alps and the famous castles of King Ludwig II.

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