Germany Basic Information
The main language in Germany is German, although there are many different dialects and accents. Fortunately, many Germans speak excellent English. Just be aware, in conversations with locals do not mistake common German bluntness or straightforwardness for rudeness and remember punctuality is important here.
As Germany is one of the Schengen Convention countries, Australian passport holders going to Germany on holiday for less than a total of 90 days within a 180-day period do not need a visa to enter the country. Make sure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia. Please be aware that this information is only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact your local Embassy or Consulate of Germany.
Germany is part of the European Union and uses the Euro as currency. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and the Euro changes constantly, so keep an eye on the exchange rate and purchase Euros when the rate is at its best. For safe spending while overseas, consider using a credit or debit card.
First and foremost, frequent a beer hall or brewery like Hofbräuhaus in Munich; you’re in Germany after all. Cure a hangover with a currywurst (curried sausage) or the döner (like a flat kebab) in Berlin. Save the heavy eating for Munich, home of the hearty and meat-based Bavarian cuisine. Faves include knödel (dumplings), spätzle (Swabian pasta), sauerkraut and roast pork knuckle. Don’t expect too many salads there other than kartoffelsalat (potato salad). Kaffee und küchen (coffee and cake) is practically an institution in Germany so be sure to sample a carefully crafted sweet concoction from a café on your holiday.
Berlin has something to suit all tastes from beer halls to playhouses like Insomnia where an open mind and a kinky outfit are key and dance clubs don’t kick off until after 1am. Munich’s vibe is also good, with loads of clubbing districts including Haidhausen and gay precinct Ludwigvorstadt-Isarvorstadtt. Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Cologne have night charm too, especially Hamburg with its infamous red light district known as the Reeperbahn.
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