sports, cuisine, and culture. It is also popular for its spellbinding countryside tourist spots, from the Rhine River to the Alps Mountain, making it one of the most-visited destinations in Europe.
Known for its extreme climates, Germany has very hot summers and very cold winters. Depending on what time of the year you travel, pack suitably to stay healthy and enjoy your trip. Be it for business or pleasure, here are a few pointers vfor a hassle-free stay in Germany:
Language:While your knowledge of English will help you get around on a short visit to Germany, it may be useful to learn a few conversational phrases of German. Who knows when it might come handy! Remember that the people of Deutschland (Germany) follow a formal culture. They address people using titles of respect such as Herr (Mr.), Frau (Mrs.), and Fräulein (Ms.). Guten Tag is a standard greeting, which means 'Hello' while Danke is 'Thank you'.
Cuisine: Most native dishes will have portions of rice, bread, and meat, as the Germans love a hearty meal! Sausages in different forms (from Bratwurst to Frankfurter) are popular across the country. Beer is also popular among the Germans. While there are many Indian restaurants, especially in the bigger cities, don't miss a chance to taste Sauerbraten (pot roast made of beef, marinated in vinegar with seasonings) and Käsespätzle (egg noodle grated with cheese and fried onion)!
Arts & festivals: Germany is a connoisseur's delight for its types of music, literature, and festivals. Berlin, the capital of Germany hosts the famous Berlin International Film Festival in February each year. Those visiting in September and early October will get a chance to witness the Oktoberfest, one of the most popular German festivities to celebrate Bavarian beer! Don't forget to say Prost (Cheers) before you take a sip!
For book-lovers, Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest trade fair for books, can be enjoyed in October. Also, be a part of one or many of the ongoing music and theatre festivities at any time of the year.
Public transport: Buses (Busse) are the most widely used mode, with bus stations (Busbahnhof) at important points. Trams (Straßenbahn) are the faster alternative by road with dedicated lanes to bypass traffic. Underground and suburban express trains (U-Bahn and S-Bahn) famous for their efficient service, cover nearly 41,000 kms of rail tracks connecting more than 7000 cities and towns. Know more on train routes, schedules, and booking.
Etiquette: Precision, planning, and order are of prime importance to Germans. So much so that it forms a part of their culture. Plan well and be punctual for any business or personal meeting in Germany. Carry chocolates or flowers (preferably yellow roses) as gifts when invited for a meal. Leaving food unfinished on your plate is impolite. Give attention to your attire and dress appropriately (suits or blazers for office and jeans for casual occasions).
Good to Remember! Before planning a trip to Germany, keep in mind that it is one of the 26 European countries (Schengen Group with no border control to facilitate travel) that mandate compulsory travel insurance for safety.
Body language: Germans may come across as unfriendly initially, however they do warm up once you get to know them better. Talking to someone with your hands in your pocket and pointing your index finger to your head is a no-no in Germany. Greetings are exchanged with a firm handshake.
From spezial beer to mouth watering feasts and grand castles to picturesque black forest, Germany has a lot to offer. Getting acquainted and planning accordingly will make your experience more memorable and your stay worthwhile.