To enter Germany you need a passport that is valid for at least fourth months from your date of arrival. For citizens of EU countries a valid identity card is sufficient.
EU citizens do not require a visa. Citizens of all other countries will generally need a visa, with the exception of some countries for which the European Community has abolished the visa requirement. Nationals of those countries do not require a visa for visits to Germany lasting no longer than three months in a six-month period.
Goods from other EU countries do not incur duty as long as you carry them with you and they are intended for your own personal use.
Goods imported into Germany from a non-EU country are duty-free up to a value of €175.00. There are restrictions for specific goods, such as tobacco, alcohol and perfume.
Overall, Germany has a warm, temperate, wet climate with westerly winds. Extreme fluctuations in temperature are rare. Rain falls throughout the year. Mild winters (2ºC to -6ºC) and moderately hot summers (18ºC to 20ºC) are the norm.
Around two thirds of Germany's population are Christian. They are fairly evenly split between Protestants and Catholics, but there are more Protestants in northern Germany, while the South has more Catholics. Germany is also home to around four million Muslims and about 100,000 Jews.
No vaccinations are required for entry into Germany.
However, between spring and autumn there is an increased risk of contracting illnesses caused by ticks, such as Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Ticks are usually found in ground-covering vegetation. The best protection against them is to wear clothing that covers as much of the skin as possible. If you are bitten, you should seek medical attention as a precaution.
The areas of highest risk are Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, as well as certain regions within Hessen, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia. In these areas, TBE vaccinations are recommended for anyone likely to spend a lot of time outdoors.
The main language is German, of course. However, you should be aware that there are many different regional accents and dialects, although High German is understood everywhere.
Many Germans also speak good English, so there should not be any language barriers for foreign visitors.
A fundamental goal of the German National Tourist Guide Association is to uphold and increase the professional standards of tourist guides. The most advanced qualifications are the BVGD Certificate and the new BVGD Certificate DIN EN 15565. The BVGD ID Card and BVGD Certificate Button demonstrate: This is an especially well-trained tourist guide!
Further Information: www.bvgd.org
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