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    Good to know

    More than stock market and airport

    Germany’s economic capital is so much more than a financial hub, a place to pass through before flying off to more exotic climes. Those who choose to stick around this fascinating city will be rewarded with world-class culture, excellent local food and wine, and picturesque parks.

    Climb up the Main Tower for endless views of the rolling countryside beyond the city limits, sip on apfelwein in Sachsenhausen, or stroll around the modern art museum and you’ll see why Frankfurt has rightly earned a reputation as one of Germany’s most vibrant and dynamic cities.

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    Top 10 sights in Frankfurt

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    Sehenswürdigkeiten Frankfurt, Lufthansa, travelguide, Travel Guide

    Goethe-Haus & Goethe-Museum

    Großer Hirschgraben 23-25
    60311 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Tel: (069) 138 800
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat 1000-1800
    Sun 1000-1730

    The one-time home of Frankfurt’s most famous son, author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Although it was destroyed during WWII, the restored house and museum are a faithful recreation of the original, with an impressive library and collection of local art.

    Palmengarten

    Siesmayerstraße 61
    60323 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Tel: (069) 2123 3939
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-1800 (Feb-Oct)
    0900-1600 (Nov-Jan)

    A beautiful palm garden, this pleasant green space is home to glasshouses, hundreds of different tree species and a pretty boating lake. The place to be if you want a breather from city life for a few hours.

    Römerberg

    Römerberg
    60311 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Show on map

    Frankfurt’s main square is the city’s central hub. Peer up at the beautiful Church of St Nicholas, marvel at the reconstructed half-timbered houses and take in the Rathaus Römer, Frankfurt’s town hall since 1405.

    Städel Museum

    Schaumainkai 63
    60596 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Tel: (069) 605 0980
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tues-Wed and Sat-Sun 1000-1800
    Thurs-Fri 1000-2100

    One of Europe’s very best art galleries. The Städel houses classic German art by the likes of Holbein and Beckmann and old masters such as Rembrandt and Botticelli. Its modern art wing, reopened in 2011, is full of classic works by everyone from Klee to Chagall.

    Frankfurt Zoo

    Bernhard-Grzimek-Allee 1
    60316 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Tel: (069) 2123 3735
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-1900 (Apr-Oct)
    0900-1700 (Nov-Mar)

    Second only to Berlin in terms of size, this is one of Germany’s best zoos. Its breadth of species is impressive, but it’s the Grzimek Haus, with artificial darkness for observing nocturnal animals, which makes it an essential visit.

    Senckenberg Natural History Museum

    Senckenberganlage 25
    60325 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Tel: (069) 75420
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Tues and Thurs-Fri 0900-1700
    Wed 0900-2000
    Sun 0900-1800

    With the largest exhibition of dinosaurs in Europe, this excellent museum is a must for anyone travelling with kids fascinated by prehistory. There’s also a huge array of stuffed birds and evening tours for those who want to delve deeper into German natural history.

    Historical Museum

    Fahrtor 2
    60311 Frankfurt Main
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tues and Thurs-Sun 1000-1700
    Wed 1000-2100

    This beautiful Römerberg building tells the fascinating history of Frankfurt. The museum was completely revamped in 2012 and houses a stunning 12th-century palace chapel. The museum café serves up some excellent apfelwein, even offering details on its history and tradition.

    Museum of Modern Art

    Domstraße 10
    60311 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Tel: (069) 2123 0447
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tues and Thurs-Sun 1000-1800
    Wed 1000-2000

    Housing a peerless collection of post-war work, Frankfurt’s Museum Of Modern Art is one of Europe’s hottest cultural institutions. Once you’re done drinking in pieces from the likes of Joseph Beuys and Roy Lichtenstein, take some time to have a proper look at the exterior of this amazing building. It’s like nothing else in Frankfurt.

    Jewish Museum

    Untermainkai 14-15
    60311 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Tel: (069) 2123 5000
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tues and Thurs-Sun 1000-1700
    Wed 1000-2000

    Found in the Rothschild Palais, this impressive museum looks at how the second largest Jewish population in Germany faired in Frankfurt from the 12th to 20th century. Often harrowing, but always vital, the story of the Jews in this city is something all visitors will find interesting.

    Cathedral Of St Bartholomew

    Domplatz 14
    60311 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Tel: (069) 297 0320
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Sat-Thurs 0900-2000
    Fri 1300-2000 (cathedral)
    Tues-Fri 1000-1700
    Sat-Sun 1100-1700 (museum)

    Germany’s emperors were crowned in this magnificent, sandstone cathedral, between 1562 and 1792. Although much of it was destroyed during the war, some original facades remain. Clamber up the tower for some truly wonderful views of the city.

    Good to know

    Country Information

    Country overview

    Still misunderstood by many, Germany stands as one of the most endlessly engaging countries on the continent. Anyone expecting a homogenous nation conforming to rigid Teutonic stereotypes is in for a shock. As a travel destination it’s somewhere with huge personality, notable for a clutch of truly lovable cities, culture served up in hefty portions and rural scenery so heart-melting you’ll be left bemused why some people still think of the place as lacking allure.

    It’s the country’s urban highlights that tend to draw the attention first. Berlin is the very definition of a dynamic city, having forged a goodtime reputation for ground-breaking creativity while still keeping sight of it’s past. Elsewhere, the likes of Cologne, Munich and Hamburg are rich in historical buildings, eyes-to-the-future nightlife and excellent gastronomy.

    Geography

    Germany borders Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland. The northwest has a coastline on the North Sea while the Baltic coastline in the northeast stretches from the Danish to the Polish border.

    The country is divided into 16 states (Bundesländer) and has an exceedingly varied landscape. In what was once known as West Germany, the Rhine, Bavaria and the Black Forest stand as the three most famous features, while in the east, the country is lake-studded with undulating lowlands.

    River basins extend over a large percentage of the region, and some of Europe’s most prominent rivers flow through the country. These include the Elbe, the Danube and the Rhine.

    The highest point in the country is the 2,962m (9,718ft) peak of Zugspitze Mountain in the Bavarian Alps. Cable cars run to the summit – it can also be climbed.

    General Information

    Key facts

    Population: 81.147.265

    Population Density (per sq km): 227

    Capital: Berlin.

    Language

    German is the official language. Regional dialects often differ markedly from standard German. Minority languages include Danish and Sorbic, while some English and French is also spoken.

    Currency

    Euro (EUR; symbol €) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.

    Electricity

    230 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style round two-pin plugs are in use.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 0800-1600 (many close earlier on Fridays).

    Public holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2014-December 2015 period.
    Note: Regional observation only.

    2014

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2014
    Epiphany: 06. January 2014
    Good Friday: 18. April 2014
    Easter Monday: 21. April 2014
    Labour Day: 01. May 2014
    Ascension Day: 29. May 2014
    Whit Monday: 09. June 2014
    Corpus Christi: 19. June 2014
    Assumption: 15. August 2014
    Day of German Unity: 03. October 2014
    Day of Reformation: 25. October 2014
    All Saints’ Day: 01. November 2014
    Repentance Day: 19. November 2014
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2014

    2015

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2015
    Epiphany: 06. January 2015
    Good Friday: 03. April 2015
    Easter Monday: 06. April 2015
    Labour Day: 01. May 2015
    Ascension Day: 14. May 2015
    Whit Monday: 25. May 2015
    Corpus Christi: 04. June 2015
    Assumption: 15. August 2015
    Day of German Unity: 03. October 2015
    Day of Reformation: 31. October 2015
    All Saints’ Day: 01. November 2015
    Repentance Day: 18. November 2015
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2015

    Good to know

    Getting around

    Public Transport

    Frankfurt is served by a highly efficient train (S-Bahn) and underground (U-Bahn) network, run by the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (www.rmv.de). There is also a mainline train station, served by high-speed ICE trains, as well as 42 bus lines operating across the city. Services run from 4am until 2am daily. Tourists should look out for the Frankfurt Card for discount travel.

    Taxis

    Frankfurt’s instantly recognisable cream-coloured cabs can be easily hailed in town, with plenty of taxi ranks at key sights such as Römerberg and Kaiserstraße. Tips of around 5% are expected. For those who want a more leisurely ride, Velotaxis are also available.

    Enjoy

    Nightlife in Frankfurt

    ListMap

    Frankfurt definitely knows how to let its hair down after a long day at the office.

    Cocktail bars, super clubs and relaxed pubs can be found everywhere, so whether you want a quiet beer or a big night out, you won’t struggle to find the right place for you.

    Die Rote Bar

    Mainkai 7
    60311 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Show on map

    A riverside cocktail joint that you’ll need to sweet talk your way into. Well worth it for the excellent array of drinks.

    APT Apartment

    Hanauer Landstraße 190
    60314 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Show on map

    A legendary club on Hanauer Landstraße. Funk, house and acid jazz played by world-renowned DJs.

    Silbergold

    Heiligkreuzgaße 22
    60313 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Show on map

    This is the closest you’ll find to a super club in Frankfurt. Big crowds and big beats.

    Club 101

    Taunustor 2-4
    60311 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Show on map

    On the 25th floor of the Japan Centre in the business district. Great views from the dance floor.

    Jazzkeller

    Kleine Bockenheimerstraße 18A
    60313 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Show on map

    The heart of the live jazz scene in Frankfurt, Jazzkeller attracts big names to its small basement space.

    Enjoy

    Restaurants in Frankfurt

    ListMap

    Thanks to an internationally diverse crowd flocking to Frankfurt to do business, the city’s restaurant scene is buzzing. Whether you want Michelin-starred cuisine or a jug of apfelwein and a

    plate of sauerkraut, Frankfurt delivers. Foodies will not struggle to find something to please their demanding palates.

    Oosten – Realwirtschaft am Main

    Mayfarthstraße 4
    60314 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Tel.: +49 69 94 94 25 68 14
    Show on map

    Trendy bar, café and beer garden at the historical Ruhrorter Werft shipyard site with an unbeatable view of the Main River and the Frankfurt skyline. It was opened in 2012 by Thomas Klüber, who previously caused a sensation with the Walden in the city’s old town.

    Tiger-Gourmetrestaurant

    Heiligkreuzgasse 20
    60313 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Tel. +49 69 9200220
    Show on map

    At this gourmet eatery in the Tigerpalast variety theater, Andreas Kolik serves the signature “aroma food” for which he garnered his second Michelin star in 2013.

    Schreiber-Heynes Proletariat

    Abtsgäßchen 8
    Frankfurt
    Germany
    Tel. +49 69 67734300

    Show on map

    Brown stucco, bright red floorboards, and abbey pews from Gotha: This young offshoot of the traditional Schreiber-Heyne apple wine tavern looks an impressive blend of rustic and modern.

    Kleinmarkthalle

    Hasengasse 5-7
    60314 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Show on map

    This bustling indoor market celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2014. Here, you can grab the local staple Weck, Worscht un Woi (bread roll, sausage and wine) to eat on the go – but also any number of delicious specialties from all over the world.

    Der Fette Bulle

    Kaiser Str.73
    60329 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Tel.: +49 69 90757004
    Show on map

    This recently opened burger joint close to the central train station is popular with a trendy young clientele. Definitely worth a taste: the fries made from sweet potatoes or with rosemary and thyme.

    Discover

    Calendar of events

    Museumsuferfest (Museum Embankment Festival)

    29 – 31 August 2014
    Website

    Venue: Museum Embankment.

    Frankfurt’s Museumsuferfest is a celebration of the city’s many museums and one of Europe’s largest cultural events. The festival attracts some 3 million visitors each year as both sides of the River Main are packed with arts and crafts stalls, music and theatre from around the world.

    Rheingau Weinmarkt (Rheingau Wine Market)

    3 – 12 September 2014
    Website

    Venue: Grosse Bockenheimer Strasse and Opernplatz.

    At the Rheingau Weinmarkt, it is all about culinary delights. In Freßgass, a lovely district in the city centre filled with restaurants, hip bars, rustic taverns and delicatessen stores, once a year Rheingau vintners present their specialty wines. More than 600 wines and sparkling wines from the Rheingau region can be tasted, ranging from the fine wines to light summer wines and the dominant Rheingau Riesling.

    Race for the Cure

    28 September 2014
    Website

    Venue: Sachsenhausen and riverbanks.

    Annual charity marathon along the banks of the Main, aimed at raising money for the German breast cancer awareness campaign. Around 6,000 runners take part each year.

    BMW Frankfurt Marathon

    26 October 2014
    Website

    Venue: The marathon begins at Frankfurt Messe.

    First held in 1981, the Frankfurt Marathon is the oldest marathon in Germany. Starting from Frankfurt Trade Centre and finishing in Hohenstaufenstrasse, the event has a carnival spirit with around 100 parties taking place alongside the course and bands playing. There’s also a Mini Marathon from kilometre 38 (Platz der Republik) to the festival hall, the official finish area. After the race, all competitors are invited to attend the post-race Pasta Party to relax and celebrate their achievement.

    Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market)

    26 November – 22 December 2014
    Website

    Venue: Römerberg.

    One of Germany’s biggest traditional Christmas markets, Frankfurt’s Weihnachtsmarkt runs for a month in the lead up to the holiday period. Hundreds of elaborate stands offer all manner of gifts, decorations and food and drink amid the historic buildings of the Römerberg and Paulsplatz.

    Spring Dippemess

    27 March – 19 April 2015

    Venue: Festplatz.

    A traditional folk festival dating back to the 14th century, Spring Dippemess began as a medieval market for domestic items such as pottery. While it still features a market today, it also offers a fairground, firework displays and other family-oriented attractions too.

    Wäldchestag (Forest Day)

    10 – 13 June 2015

    Venue: Stadtwald (city forest, Am Oberforsthaus).

    Wäldchestag is Frankfurt’s very own folk festival. This event has been taking place for centuries and features a combination of funfair, live music concerts and a variety of food and drink stalls – notably Frankfurt’s distinctive apple wine. On the days of the festival, Frankfurters traditionally leave their work at midday to head for the forest for the celebrations.

    Opernplatzfest

    25 June – 4 July 2015
    Website

    Venue: Opernplatz, Frankfurt city centre.

    The Opera Square Festival is a celebration of food and culture, featuring stage productions, music and a mouth-watering array of international gastronomic delights. Expect Frankfurt’s Opernplatz to come alive with everything from jazz to pop music.

    Mainfest (Main Festival)

    1 – 4 August 2015
    Website

    Venue: Römerberg and Mainkai (Main Quay).

    At the height of summer the Römerberg old town and the banks of the river Main are transformed into a huge festival site for four days. What began as an event for fishermen and boatmen as a thanksgiving for the river and its riches, now attracts thousands of visitors from far and near for wine, fairground rides, fireworks and many other attractions.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Enjoy

    Hotels in Frankfurt

    ListMap

    Frankfurt’s hotel scene stretches from glamorous, five-star city centre spots to cosy, locally run pensions. Being a business-minded town, options are plentiful and all budgets are well

    catered for. If you want top-end luxury or a place to crash after a day’s sightseeing, you won’t struggle to find somewhere decent.

    Roomers

    Gutleutstraße 85
    60329 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    A swanky design hotel with plush rooms and an excellent spa, luxury fiends will love this spot.

    Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof

    Am Kaiserplatz
    60311 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    This grand old hotel has recently been refurbished, with hundreds of luxury rooms and first-class facilities.

    mk|hotel Frankfurt

    Kaiserstraße 63
    60329 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Modern accommodation that won’t break the bank. Rooms are simple, but comfortable.

    Hotel Residence

    Allerheiligenstraße 28
    60313 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Comfortable business hotel with cosy local touches and a superb city centre location.

    Hotel Elbe

    Elbestraße 34
    60329 Frankfurt
    Germany
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    A sharp, modern bed and breakfast, a short walk from Römerberg and other key sights.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Thursday, 27.11.2014 23:00

    overcast

    temperature


    4°C


    39°F

    wind direction

    wind speed

    4.375 mph

    humidity

    93%

    7 days forecast

    Friday

    28.11.2014

    8°C / 3°C

    46°F / 37°F

    Saturday

    29.11.2014

    7°C / 2°C

    45°F / 36°F

    Sunday

    30.11.2014

    6°C / 2°C

    43°F / 36°F

    Monday

    01.12.2014

    5°C / 1°C

    41°F / 34°F

    Tuesday

    02.12.2014

    4°C / -1°C

    39°F / 30°F

    Wednesday

    03.12.2014

    6°C / -1°C

    43°F / 30°F

    Thursday

    04.12.2014

    6°C / 2°C

    43°F / 36°F

    Climate and best time to visit Frankfurt

    Frankfurt truly comes into its own in the summer. Temperatures aren’t overbearing, making it perfect for sitting outside and watching the world go by. This is the best time of year to take a river cruise and see the sights at a more leisurely pace. This being Germany, Christmas is also a great time to come and indulge in some glühwein and wander around the huge festive market which sets up in the main square, the Römerberg. Winter can be cold and brutal though, so remember to wrap up warm if you do decide to head over at this time of year.

    Climate & best time to visit Germany

    As with most European countries, Germany is a year-round destination but not especially dependable weather-wise. In general terms though, it’s temperate throughout the country with warm summers and cold winters – prolonged periods of frost or snow are rare. Rain falls throughout the year, with much of Germany experiencing its maximum rainfall over the high summer months. Unpredictability, then, is a major factor. The average January daytime temperature is 3°C (38°F) and in July is 22°C (72°F). Extremes commonly reach -10°C (5°F) in winter and 35°C (95°F) in the summer months.

    While Munich might be considerably further south than Berlin, the fact that the Bavarian capital sits at a much higher altitude means the two cities have broadly comparable summers. The highest annual temperatures tend to be in the southwest, where there’s almost a Mediterranean feel to the landscape at times. Unsurprisingly, this is where much of Germany’s wine is grown.

    May through to September are the most popular months in terms of tourist numbers, and certainly hold the most appeal for visitors aiming to spend significant periods of time outdoors. However, the spring and autumn shoulder seasons also hold real attraction for those who want the promise of decent(ish) weather without the tourist levels. The winter holidays are also a big draw in their way, due in no small part to their attendant Christmas markets. Peak season for ski areas is from December through to the end of March.

    Away from the mountains, January through to April will appeal to those who enjoy the benefits of uncrowded attractions, although be aware that cities like Berlin rarely witness "slow" periods at any time of year. Prices tend to be slightly higher over the summer months. One other thing to bear in mind is that hotel rates can increase when large trade shows are in town (potentially a problem in Frankfurt, for example).

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    14 °C

    57.2 °F

    -21 °C

    -5.8 °F

    17 °C

    62.6 °F

    -19 °C

    -2.2 °F

    24 °C

    75.2 °F

    -13 °C

    8.6 °F

    29 °C

    84.2 °F

    -7 °C

    19.4 °F

    31 °C

    87.8 °F

    -2 °C

    28.4 °F

    34 °C

    93.2 °F

    0 °C

    32 °F

    37 °C

    98.6 °F

    2 °C

    35.6 °F

    36 °C

    96.8 °F

    2 °C

    35.6 °F

    32 °C

    89.6 °F

    0 °C

    32 °F

    28 °C

    82.4 °F

    -5 °C

    23 °F

    18 °C

    64.4 °F

    -11 °C

    12.2 °F

    16 °C

    60.8 °F

    -17 °C

    1.4 °F

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    44 mm

    40 mm

    51 mm

    52 mm

    61 mm

    70 mm

    63 mm

    65 mm

    48 mm

    51 mm

    59 mm

    54 mm

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    1 h

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    5 h

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    7 h

    7 h

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    5 h

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    1 h

    1 h

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    86 %

    80 %

    75 %

    69 %

    69 %

    69 %

    68 %

    71 %

    77 %

    83 %

    86 %

    86 %

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ depositdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan14 °C-21 °C3 °C-2 °C86 %44 mm101.3 h
    Feb17 °C-19 °C5 °C-1 °C80 %40 mm82.7 h
    Mar24 °C-13 °C9 °C0 °C75 %51 mm103.8 h
    Apr29 °C-7 °C14 °C3 °C69 %52 mm105.4 h
    May31 °C-2 °C19 °C7 °C69 %61 mm106.7 h
    Jun34 °C0 °C22 °C11 °C69 %70 mm107.0 h
    Jul37 °C2 °C24 °C13 °C68 %63 mm97.2 h
    Aug36 °C2 °C23 °C12 °C71 %65 mm96.6 h
    Sep32 °C0 °C20 °C9 °C77 %48 mm75.3 h
    Oct28 °C-5 °C14 °C5 °C83 %51 mm83.3 h
    Nov18 °C-11 °C7 °C1 °C86 %59 mm101.6 h
    Dec16 °C-17 °C4 °C-1 °C86 %54 mm101.2 h
    year37 °C-21 °C14 °C5 °C77 %658 mm1114.3 h
    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing Code: +49

    Telephone

    Local and international calls can be made from phone boxes in towns and cities. These usually accept both coins and pre-paid cards (available at post offices and other outlets). In larger cities, you’ll often be able to make international calls from internet cafes too.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with many international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good. It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile telephone while driving. If you’re going to be in Germany for a long period of time, consider obtaining a local SIM card.

    Internet

    Internet is readily available; there are many Internet cafes all over the country. Large Internet access centres exist in most main cities. Most hotels also provide facilities, either included in the room rate or charged separately.

    Enjoy

    Shopping in Frankfurt

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Frankfurt’s international reputation means it’s every inch a shopper’s paradise. Gift hunters will find trinkets on Römerberg, with antiques found in the streets around the cathedral. Food lovers should head to Große Bockenheimer Straße for delis and wine merchants.

    Markets

    Sachsenhausen’s Saturday flea market, held every other week, is a great place to rummage for bargain vintage clothing and cool presents for friends back home. If you’re a foodie, the Konstablerwache square produce market, held on Thursdays and Saturdays, will leave your tummy rumbling.

    Shopping Centres

    Wander down Zeil, the main shopping street which runs from Hauptwache to Konstablerwache, to shop for major brands. If you’d rather do it all under one roof, NordWestZentrum and Schillerpassage are both excellent malls. Both are perfect days out for the shopaholic.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Handshaking is customary, and it is considered rude to address people by their first name unless invited to do so. Normal courtesies should be observed. Before eating, it is normal to say “guten Appetit” to the other people at the table to which the correct reply is “danke, gleichfalls” (“Thank you, the same to you”). If you’ve been invited to eat at a German house, it is customary to present the hostess with unwrapped flowers (according to tradition, you should always give an uneven number, and it is worth noting that red roses are exclusively a lover’s gift).

    In shops and other businesses, courtesy dictates that visitors should utter a greeting such as “guten tag”

    (or “grüss gott” in Bavaria) before saying what it is that they want; to leave without saying “auf wiedersehen” or “tschüss” can also cause offence.

    Similarly, when making a telephone call, asking for the person you want to speak to without stating first who you are is impolite. Casual wear is widely acceptable, but more formal dress is required for some restaurants, the opera, theatre, casinos and important social functions. Smoking is prohibited where notified and on public transport and in most public buildings.

    Good to know

    Health

    Main emergency number: 112

    Food & Drink

    There’s nothing to mark out German produce as particularly risky to general health (although it has a partly founded reputation for being fatty). Tap water is safe to drink.

    Other Risks

    Tick-borne encephalitis is present in forested areas of southern Germany; vaccination is advisable. Rabies is present; look out for ‘Tollwut’ signs. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered.

    During the summer months, sunburn can be a problem. The southwest generally draws the highest temperatures. The usual precautions apply: use a generous amount of sunscreen and be sensible about how long you spend in direct sunlight. Be aware that a breezy day can sometimes mask high temperatures.

    If walking over a long distance in warm weather, it’s advisable to drink – and carry – plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing, including a sun hat. Blisters can be another problem for hikers. These can often occur if new walking shoes are being worn across a long distance. Ideally footwear should be worn in before the trip.

    As a counterpoint to the balminess of the summer, German winters can be fairly severe. This is generally truer the further east you travel. If you’re arriving during the coldest months of the year, ensure you have adequate clothing. At any time of year, in fact, temperatures can be unpredictable – even in July and August, it makes sense to have a sweater (and maybe a brolly too) to hand.

    Other health problems that inexperienced travellers might reasonably encounter are the various knock-on effects of too much alcohol consumption. The risk, unsurprisingly, is particularly prevalent among those attending Munich’s Oktoberfest. Be aware that some beer’s ABV levels can be 6 or 7%, so should be treated with respect.

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