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About Germany   

Facts and Figures

Population:  82,057,000.
National Capital: Berlin (3,470,000 pop'n).
Land Area: 357,021 sq. km.
Land Use:  31% of Germany is forest.
Coastline: 2,389 km.
Waterways: 10,000 km
Federal & National Freeways: 633,000 km, toll free.
Cycle Tracks: 40,000 km.
Highest Point:  Zugspitze (2,962m)
Major Cities: Berlin, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Hanover, Munich, Cologne, Hamburg, Stuttgart.
Currency: 1 Euro equals 100 cents.


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German Facts & Figures
German System of Government
Languages in Germany
German Banking & Business Hours
Rail Travel in Germany
Germany's Climate
German Public Holidays
Daylight Saving Time
German VAT and Tipping
German Postal Service
German Telephone Service
Important Telephone Numbers
German Electricity
German National Tourist Office


More about Germany

German System of Government

The Federal Republic of Germany is a democracy with a liberal free market economy, freedom of religion and freedom of the press. Germany is a member of the European Union (EU).

Languages in Germany

German is spoken as the first language by 99% of the German population. English is widely spoken in the main tourist areas.

German Banking & Business Hours

Banking hours, in general, are from 8.30am to 1 pm and 2.30pm to 4pm. (on Thursdays to 6pm). Banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. There are no uniform business hours for the entire Federal Republic of Germany. Shops are generally open for business from 8am to 8pm from Monday to Friday and from 8am to 4pm on Saturdays.

Rail Travel in Germany

German Rail (Deutsche Bahn AG) has a network of 40,000 km of line, 17000 km of which is electrified. There are over 33,000 train services each day in Germany (including 12,000 national services), transporting over 4 million passengers. ICE and IC trains link the major cities at hourly or two-hourly intervals, providing connections with the local services. Many airports, such as Frankfurt, are integrated with this system. The new AlRail Terminal at Frankfurt Airport offers direct connections between ICE and IC/EC connections in all directions every hour.

Germany's Climate

Germany has a typical four season climate, without extremes of temperature. Summer months are generally warm and seldom oppressively hot. The average summer temperature is 18°C.

The average winter temperature is 0°C, with snow falls in the highland areas throughout Germany from December to March. Germany is an attractive travel destination all year round.

Public Holidays

New Year's Day January 1
Epiphany January 6
Good Friday March 25
Easter Sunday & Monday March 27, 28
Labour Day May 1
Ascension Day May 5
Whit Sunday (Pentecost) May 15
Whit Monday May 16
Corpus Christi Day May 26
Unification Day October 3
All Saints' Day Novermber 1
Christmas December 25, 26

Daylight Saving Time

Starts on the last weekend in March. Finishes on the last weekend in October.

German VAT and Tipping

Goods and services are subject to German VAT (MWSt), currently 16% and all prices in Germany are given inclusive of VAT as well as service charges. Extra tipping in Germany is therefore purely voluntary (up to 10% of the total bill) and expresses satisfaction with services received.

German Postal Service

In the larger cities, post offices are usually open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and until noon on Saturday. At major rail stations and airports, they often open longer and even on Sundays. Foreign money orders are paid out in Euros.

German Telephone Service

You can make local and long-distance calls from all post offices and public phone booths. Most phone booths take phone cards which are available at any post office for 6, 14, 25 and 56 EUR.

Important Telephone Numbers

To call Germany:
Dial the Country Code +49, then dial the area code omitting the 0, then dial the local number.

To call Australia: Dial the Country Code +61, then dial the area code omitting the 0, then dial the local number.

German Fire Brigade/Ambulance: 112
German Emergency/Police: 110

German Electricity

The power supply in Germany is currently being changed from 220V to 230V to comply with European standards. This has no effect whatsoever on the vast majority of 220-240V appliances. Plugs are of the 2-pin variety, so an adapter is required.

German National Tourist Office

Level 10, 39-41 York Street Sydney NSW 2000
Email: gnto@germany.org.au
Internet: www.germany-tourism.de
Tel: (02) 8296 0488
Fax: (02) 8296 0487


Map of Germany

Enlarge map

The Scenic Routes of Germany

Castle Route
1,000km, castles and palaces. Mannheim (Elector’s Palace), Heidelberg (Old Town, Castle), Neckarsteinach (Four-Castle Town), Bad Rappenau (Moated Palace), Rothenburg (Historical buildings, Crime & Punishment Museum, Christmas Museum), Nuremberg (Old Town, Kaiserburg Castle), Bamberg (UNESCO, Altenburg Castle), Kulmbach (Plassenburg Castle), Bayreuth (Festival Town, Wagner).

Cheese Route
500km, traditionally-made raw-milk cheeses & dairies. Holtsee (Dairy co-op, Cheese cellar, shops and guided tours), Molfsee (open-air museum), Kiel (Laboe Village, harbour), Glücksburg (moated castle, rosarium, Mencke Planetarium, “artefact” energy infotainment centre), Horst (Dannwisch Cheese Dairy), Bendorf (Lohmühle cheese makers) Plön (Lakes, castle), Oster-Ohrstedt (raw-milk cheese dairy) Ratzeburg (island town surrounded by four lakes).

Fairytale Route
600km, fairytales, myths, legends & culture.
Hanau (Birthplace and memorial to the Brothers Grimm), Steinau (Brothers Grimm House), Schwalmstadt (Little Red Riding Hood country), Schauenburg (Märchenwache arts and exhibition centre), Kassel (Capital of the German Fairytale Route, Brothers Grimm Museum), Hamlyn (The Pied Piper’s town), Hofgeismar (Sleeping Beauty’s castle: Sababurg), Trendelburg (Rapunzel), Polle (Cinderella), Bremen (Town musicians).

Wine Route
85km, wine, culture, nature, relaxation & fun.
Bockenheim (Our Lady of the Grapes, St. Lambert’s Church), Grünstadt (historical monuments), Bad Dürkheim (Giant wine barrel) Wachenheim (Castle) Deidesheim (Parish Church, museum) Neustadt (Half-timbered houses, railway museum, Hambach Castle), Edenboken (Old vintner’s houses), Bad Bergzabern (Palaces, Petronella Spa), Schweigen-Rechtenback (Gateway to the Wine Route).

This a small sample of the many themed scenic roads that
Germany has to offer.