Local Time in Germany: Print | E-mail Page

Business Travel

Visa

U.S. citizens do not require a visa to enter Germany. Without a visa, however, they may not stay longer than three months every half-year or take up gainful employment requiring a work permit. If required, citizens may obtain a residence and/or work permit after entry.

For more information, visit the German Embassy site in the U.S.

Travel

Welcome to Germany, the meeting, convention and tourism destination for successful business representatives from around the world. What defines success in business also defines Germany: technology, innovation, flexibility, expertise, efficiency, organization, and mobility. Add the allure of Germany’s brilliant natural beauty, majestic castles and regal palaces, world-class culture and cities steeped in history, and you will come to see why no other destination for business travel even begins to compare. Visit the German National Tourist Board website and discover what attracts two-thirds of the world's top international trade fairs to one place: Germany.

Getting around in Germany

Air

Domestic flights are well developed. All major cities are frequently served from many cities. Frankfurt and Munich are hubs to Lufthansa, Germany's national airline. Flight time is short (about 1 hour) to get anywhere in Germany.

International Airports in Germany (IATA-Code):

SXF - Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld

TXL - Flughafen Berlin-Tegel

DUS - Flughafen Düsseldorf (Rhein-Ruhr)

FRA - Flughafen Frankfurt am Main (Rhein-Main)

HAM - Flughafen Hamburg (Fuhlsbüttel)

HAJ - Flughafen Hannover (Langenhagen)

CGN - Flughafen Köln/Bonn (Konrad Adenauer)

MUC - Flughafen München (Franz-Josef-Strauß)

NUE - Flughafen Nürnberg

STR - Flughafen Stuttgart

National Airports in Germany (IATA-Code):

ZCC - Flugplatz Baden-Baden

BFE - Flugplatz Bielefeld

BRV - Flughafen Bremerhafen

DTM - Flughafen Dortmund (Wickede)

DRS - Flughafen Dresden

FDH - Flughafen Friedrichshafen (Löwenthal)

HHN - Flughafen Hahn (Rheinland)

HOQ - Flughafen Hof

KEL - Flughafen Kiel

LHA - Flughafen Lahr (Schwarzwald)

LEJ - Flughafen Leipzig/Halle (Schkeuditz)

LBC - Flughafen Lübeck

MGL - Flughafen Mönchengladbach

FMO - Flughafen Münster/Osnabrück (Greven)

PAD - Flughafen Paderborn-Lippstadt

SCN - Flughafen Saarbrücken (Ensheim)

SGE - Flughafen Siegerland (Burbach)

Rail

The Deutsche Bahn AG offers a network that will get you almost anywhere in Germany. Rail travel is of no comparison to that in the United States. High-speed trains operate between major cities, making it an efficient alternative to flying, as rail stations are always located in the city center.

Car

Germany's highway - the Autobahn - is famous. They are in excellent condition and very well developed. However, to keep such quality, maintenance is necessary and construction sites are common.

Ferry

From several seaports on the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, you may find your desired ferry connection.

Bus

There is a growing network of affordable long-distance bus routes in Germany. The following website identifies connections of various bus companies incl. booking (German only):  http://www.busliniensuche.de

Additional Information

The German time zone is located within the Central European Time Zone.

To convert U.S. time to German time:

Eastern Standard (EST): +6 hours

Central Standard Time (CST): +7 hours

Mountain Standard Time (MST): +8hours

Pacific Standard Time (PST): +9 hours

Alaska Standard Time (AST): +10 hours

Hawaii Standard Time (HST): +11 hours

Currency

Click here to receive more information about Germany's currency and economy.

Communication

International Calls from the USA

To Germany: 011 + 49 + Area Code (disregard 0) + number

Example - German number 030 83051900: Dial 011 49 30 83051900 from the US.

To U.S.: 001 + Area Code + number

Mobile Phones

In Germany, cell phone coverage is almost 100% - you will always have service! However, frequencies throughout Europe differ from those used in North America. Your service provider can tell you if your phone is compatible with the German / European system and offer you alternatives if it is not. Network frequencies: EGSM 900 / GSM 1800 / GSM 1900

Computers & Internet

Bringing a laptop to Germany is simple: most run on both 110 volts, as in North America, or 230 volts, as found throughout Europe. Although the voltage is universal, you will still need an adapter to plug your computer into an electrical outlet.

While in Germany, the Internet is easily accessible. You can often log on at your hotel, either right from your room or in computer rooms, and at business centers, which offer internet access to guests. If neither is available, ask your hotel about an Internet café – chances are an excellent one is right around the corner!

Electric Current

Germany uses 230V. Therefore, a converter will be needed in order to use American 110V devices.

Climate

The climate is similar to that of the North Eastern U.S. The current weather can be found at: http://www.wunderground.com/global/DL.html.

Money Matters

ATMs/ Banks: ATMs are as easily found in Germany as they are in North America. They are located at bank branches and in shopping, tourist and other busy areas. Major credit and debit cards, along with all other bank cards carrying the PLUS and NYCE symbols, are universally accepted. When located indoors, use your card to gain access if the door is locked.

Credit Cards: Credit cards are commonly accepted in Germany, although they are not always used for everyday expenses. Restaurants, hotels, stores, train stations and other places regularly frequented by tourists will almost always accept them.

Tipping: The bill you receive at a hotel, restaurant, cafe or bar often includes a service charge already. A tip is an indication of your satisfaction – 5% is average, whereas 10% indicates exceptional service. Tip taxi drivers about 5% and porters and others who assist you with baggage one Euro per item.

Hours of Business

Stores in Germany generally open between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Most close between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The regulations vary slightly between the federal states, but are currently being relaxed in most parts of Germany. On Sunday almost all stores are closed, the exceptions being gas stations and convenience stores, which carry some food items, snacks and beverages, newspapers and journals as well as a basic supply of toiletry articles.

Banks and post offices are generally open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; some banks have extended hours on Thursday. Pharmacies open at 8 a.m.

Museums are generally closed on Mondays. Throughout the year, many cities have a “Long Night of the Museums,” where all the city’s museums are open throughout the night.

VAT Refunds & Tax-Free Shopping

Prices for goods and services in Germany always include a 19% value-added tax (VAT). Some or all of the VAT may be refundable for goods purchased at stores displaying the “Tax-Free for Tourists” sign. You will receive a tax-free form upon making a purchase. Before leaving the country and before checking any luggage, present the purchased goods, the tax-free form and your receipt to German customs officials. They will certify the form as proof of legal export.

You may then obtain a cash refund at one of the Tax-Free Shopping Service counters located at all major border crossings, airports, ferry ports and train stations.

Links to interesting pages:

Web page of the German Federal Government

Information about Germany

German places - Get impressions of German travel destinations


Destination GER