GERMANY SOLO TRAVEL GUIDE
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO! GERMANY TRAVEL GUIDE 2023
PLAN AND BOOK YOUR SOLO TRAVEL IN GERMANY
- GERMANY: DID YOU KNOW?
- GERMANY TRAVEL PLANNING
- GERMANY TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS
- GERMANY TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
- CITY GUIDES & ITINERARIES
- HOW TO BOOK GERMANY TRAVEL
- GERMANY ECO-TRAVEL IDEAS
- GERMANY TRAVEL SAFETY
- GERMANY BUDGET TRAVEL TIPS
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WILLKOMMEN IN DEUTSCHLAND!
Hi! I’m Gwen, and my passion is using my 27+ years of global travel and sustainability knowledge and experience to help the solo over 50’s be and stay adventurous through solo travel with their eco-friendly, responsible travel foot forward. Here is my guide to solo travel in Germany, all from my Germany solo travel, so you can book and realize your solo trip to Germany. What are you waiting for?
GERMANY: DID YOU KNOW?
Germany – one of the most densely populated countries that borders 9 countries, Germany is the largest national economy in Europe (if not the world) and a leader in climate and energy policies.
Germany is also home to 51 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Romantic Road, over 2100 castles and 1,500 different beers, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, approximately 20,000 castles, Oktoberfest, the Autobahn, wine, a free university system (even for non-Germans), over 300 kinds of bread and1,000 kinds of sausages, sauerkraut, the largest train station in Europe, the most zoos in the world, and world class cities like its capital, Berlin, and Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart and Frankfurt.
Languages in Germany
The official language is German (of course), called Deutschland.
Germany has been known as the country of poets and thinkers and has been shaped by major intellectual and popular European currents. For centuries Germany has influenced the world with its literature, science, music, cinema, philosophy, art and architectural contributions. They continue to hold traditional celebrations and festivals, like Oktoberfest and Day of German Unity, as well as the religious celebrations of Christmas and Easter.
In the 21stcentury, Germany has been considered one of the world’s highest respected nations and recognized for having a positive influence. Germany’s modern, advanced society promotes gender equality, disability rights and is socially and legally tolerant towards homosexuals.
Today’s German government, and much of its society, acknowledge immigrants from diverse cultural backgrounds. About 60% of the German population identify as Christian being almost equally distributed between the Roman Catholic and Protestant affiliations.
German cuisine can vary by region, but beef, chicken and pork are predominant in all dishes – pork being the most popular and served mostly in sausage form. However, since Germany is bordered by many countries, it has also adopted those surrounding, international dishes.
Popular Activities in Germany
Germans are very active. Many work out weekly and participate in popular activities like jogging, cycling, ice hockey, tennis and skating, to name a few. Germany has also contributed to some of the most successful contenders in both the winter and summer Olympic Games.
Spectator sports are also very popular. Association football (soccer) is the most popular with Germany having more football fan clubs than anywhere else in the world. Germany is also one of the leading motorsports countries in the world.
In addition to sports, you may find Germans also participating in clubs like civic, bowling, and singing. In fact, over 23 million Germans belong to at least one form of social or sporting club.
Germans also like to socialize in bars and restaurants amongst friends over food and beer as well as spend time at home with their families.
Best Wine Tasting Tours in Germany
GERMANY TRAVEL PLANNING
Germany uses the Euro (€). Exchange rates are usually favorable for Europeans but could fluctuate in the other direction. Check throughout your travel planning phase on any exchange rate changes.
Tipping in Germany
Traveling in a new country is easier when you know the country’s tipping etiquette in advance as each country has its own rules. That said, country rules and norms can shift, so here is an international tipping resource for over 70 countries to use as a general guideline that I have found is constantly updated.
What’s not on there is how to tip a concierge, beauty salons or spas, travel or tour guides, etc. For these extras, it is acceptable to tip 10% at minimum. Remember, tipping is for good service only.
Additionally, you should always tip in the local currency (if tipping in cash), and do not be offended if your tip is refused as it may not be the norm. I feel it’s always better to offer a tip for good service than not, unless I know it will be considered offensive, like in Japan.
It’s a complete bummer to spend time and money on the holiday of a lifetime only to show up at a key attraction, or try to access travel or banking resources, only to find them closed due to a national or local holiday.
Therefore, a key activity to do in your early Germany vacation planning stage is to know the local and national holidays in Germany.
GERMANY TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS
Travel Documents for Germany
From the U.S., you will need a valid passport with an expiration date greater than 6 months from your return date to the U.S. It is advised to always check the U.S. State Department in advance of traveling to Germany for pertinent, up-to-date Germany travel advisories and information. If you are not from the U.S., please check your government’s website.
At this time (January 2023), a travel visa is not required for U.S. citizens who travel in Germany 90 days or less and within a 180-day period. However, in November 2023 it is expected that the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETAIS) will go into effect that is designed to strengthen European borders and streamline entry. At that time, a printed ETAIS visa waiver (the “ETAIS”) will be required to enter the Schengen Area for tourist, business or transit purposes of 90 days or less. You will be able to apply online for the ETAIS visa waiver, which will also require a fee (amount unknown). Requirements for an ETAIS are available now. Watch for ETAIS updates if you are planning to solo travel to Germany in late 2023.
If you are not from the U.S., please check if your country is on the ETAIS list indicating whether you are required to obtain an ETAIS or a Schengen Visa.
Choose from Top Travel Document Holders
Vaccinations for Germany
There are normally no vaccinations required for Germany travel. The U.S. State Department provides up-to-date required vaccination information for traveling to Germany. It is advised to always check for any Germany travel restrictions and required vaccinations during your planning stage and again before you leave.
If you are not from the U.S., please check your government’s website.
GERMANY TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
Electronics for Germany
Want to use your 110V electronics while traveling around Germany? Germany’s voltage is 230V, and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. If you do not already have electronics (hair dryer, clippers, curling iron, etc.) made for Germany’s voltage, you will need to bring a voltage converter to use your electronics. Below are top-rated power converters for you to compare and buy.
Choose the Converter That’s Right For You
Most smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras and similar electronics don’t require a converter (double-check your device(s) before you leave home), but you will still need a plug adapter.
Traveling to Germany, Type C and F adapters will fit Germany’s electronic outlets. I recommend bringing at least one of each adapter type accepted. I do not recommend using those single adapters for 100+ countries. They have been known to break and/or cause a power short.
Be prepared before you visit Germany. Bring a solid, reliable, and grounded power adapter to safely charge your electronics in Germany. Below are top-rated U.S. (Type A and B) to Germany power adapter options, from the only brand I travel with, for you to compare and buy.
Choose the Germany Adapter That’s Right for You
Type C Adapters
Type E/F Adapters
If you are going to another country in addition to your trip to Germany, check this international travel adapter guide to make sure you’re prepared.
Cyber Security While Traveling
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CITY GUIDES & ITINERARIES
Use my solo travel guides, itineraries, travel tips, day trip ideas, and recommended things to do in these top German destinations, all from my travel in Germany, to plan your best solo travel in Germany.
The more I travel in Germany, the more that gets added to this Germany Travel Guide. Keep checking back.
FREE Munich Itinerary Download
Download the 4 Day Munich Itinerary PDF WITH clickable links for your travel devices.
Best First Time in Munich Things to Do
Best Day Trips from Munich
Füssen & Castles
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Best Romantic Road Tours
2 Week Itinerary with Germany
FREE 2 Week Itinerary Download
Download the Germany & Austria Itinerary PDF WITH clickable links for your travel devices.
It has been many years since I was in the following German destinations. I hope to revisit these destinations in Germany. Until then, here are my recommended things to do in Germany (from what I’ve already enjoyed or would do when I revisit).
Best First Time in Berlin Things to Do
Best First Time in Frankfurt Things to Do
HOW TO BOOK GERMANY TRAVEL
It’s important to book the top three travel necessities early: flights, accommodations and ground transportation.
No travel Germany guide would be complete without the booking tools below. These, along with fun Germany things to do and ecotourism ideas, will allow you to realize your solo trip to Germany.
Cheap Flights to Germany
With the ever-growing demand for airline tickets to Germany, flights book quicker these days. Find cheap flights to Germany now.
Don’t Wait to Book Your Flight to Germany
Places to Stay in Germany
Second in importance to buying airline tickets to Germany is finding the best place to stay in Germany for your solo travel in Germany. Develop your Germany travel itinerary now and find the best accommodations in Germany to knock one more item off your Germany travel planning list.
Find the Best Solo Travel Accommodations in Germany
Getting Around Germany
Germany has Bolt, Uber, Carpoolworld, and other possible regional ridesharing services and apps (research in advance if they are in your destination area).
There are also taxis, of course, and you can easily find a rental car if that better suits your Germany solo travel itinerary.
Find the Best Deals on Germany Rental Cars
Germany also part of Europe’s incredible bus and train network, so getting around and booking transportation is easy.
Things to Do in Germany
Here are some more of the top things to do in Germany to book for your Germany solo trip.
Best Germany Beer and Brewery Tours
Best Germany Food Tours
GERMANY ECO-TRAVEL IDEAS
There are ways to reduce your eco and carbon footprint through air travel, accommodations, tours, and activities in Germany. To help avoid greenwashing businesses, here are some eco-friendly or sustainable travel (also called responsible travel) tips and resources, you can use to book your travel.
Air Travel Tips
Skyscanner provides a ‘Greener flights’ filter highlighting flights that emit less CO2.
Purchase carbon offsets through your airline or through a third party, like MyClimate.org, Carbonfund.org, or terrapass. Carbon offsetting allows you to buy a certificate to reduce carbon emissions, a major contributor to climate change, which in turn contribute community projects across countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The best eco-friendly forms of ground transportation in Germany are public transportation, walking, or renting a bicycle or electric scooter. They are also apt to cost less than other ground transportation.
Explore Germany Bike and Electric Scooter Rentals
Try to avoid renting a car in Germany by using the amazingly convenient and inexpensive buses and/or trains.
When booking a rideshare in Germany, select the Bolt Green or Uber Green options instead of a traditional rideshare, or use Carpoolworld, to support the use of electric cars and carpooling for cleaner transportation in Germany.
Bolt and Lime also have electric scooters to rent in Germany for faster and cleaner commuting. Search Bolt and Lime for select city availability.
Look for accommodations with the following self and third-party assessed certifications when you book:
Green Globe – Green Globe certifies hotels, resorts, conference centers, transportation, attractions, tour operators, and other tourism businesses globally on sustainable operations and management. Look for Germany and other European Green Global members.
Green Key Global is an internationally recognized environmental certification for the lodging and meetings industries, including hotels and hostels, campsites and holiday parks, restaurants and attractions in 65 countries. Search for Green Key awarded sites.
Living Building Challenge – if you want to stay in a true, sustainable building, find one certified by the Living Building Challenge. LBC’s certification directory shows all project types globally. Hopefully they will put in a filter soon to allow searching by hotels or hospitality type.
LEED Certified – the USGBC’s LEED Certified label on buildings, like many of the Marriott’s hotels, are those that have verifiably employed multiple and varying green building strategies to improve human and environmental health. Search the LEED directory for Germany certifications.
Green Lodging Program – Audubon International has an environmental stewardship certification through third-party verification. Search its certified members directory.
GSTC Certified – the Global Sustainable Tourism Council provides global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, as well as international accreditation for sustainable tourism Certification Bodies. Booking sites that offer GSTC certified sustainable are bookdifferent, EcoHotels, and Transat.
Another way to find an establishments implementing eco-friendly or sustainable practices, certified or not, is through Booking.com in which you’ll need to find and review each establishment’s ‘Sustainable Initiatives’ within the booking process. Starting 2022, however, you’ll be able to filter searches for accommodations with the Travel Sustainable badge.
Find Your Travel Sustainable Stay in Germany
Eco-Friendly Things To Do
Germany has ecotourism ideas available to explore for your next vacation.
Search Green Global and Green Key awarded members for eco-friendly activity providers in Germany. Some may also have the GSTC Certified logo.
Top Eco-Friendly Activities in Germany
There are more ways to do your part for the planet in your responsible travel, like bringing sustainable and eco-friendly products to protect Germany’s environment.
There are more ways to do your part for the planet in your responsible travel. Read my 10 Easy Eco-Travel Tips and view my suggested Eco Travel Resources to learn more.
GERMANY TRAVEL SAFETY
Before You Go
Always consult your government’s Germany travel advisory for your Germany travel destination in the beginning travel planning phase and up to your departure date.
Buy Germany travel insurance and international medical insurance for your solo travel in Germany to protect yourself and cover for emergencies.
Safety in Germany
Germany is one of the safest countries to visit. Crimes are low and crimes towards tourists considered low as well.
If you are in a larger city, like Berlin, just be careful at night when streets could possibly be more dangerous, especially in areas that are not well traveled. There could be instances of pickpocketing, which could happen in most places to be honest.
Beyond that, there is nothing I can recall from Germany making it any more of a “safety concern” than traveling in my own home country, so my standard tips for solo and female solo travelers are:
- always carry photo ID with you; if you don’t want your passport on you at all times, at least carry a copy of it.
- always be “street wise”.
- always be aware of your surroundings, especially if you feel the need to imbibe or feel the need to “let loose” – you’re on vacation so have fun!
- never leave your food or drink unattended.
- keep your belongs on your person, or at least in your view in close proximity, at all times.
- be open to meeting and talking with new people – that is where a lot of the travel experience lies – but be careful on how you divulge personal information.
- research places in advance, if possible, so you know what to expect (i.e., “have a familiar view” – I like to Google the street view of new addresses I’m going to first).
- if something, someone or someplace makes you feel uncomfortable, go with your gut – leave.
GERMANY BUDGET TRAVEL TIPS
Best Time to Visit Germany
Like other countries in Europe, Germany’s high, tourist season, and most expensive time, is the summer (late June to August). Crowds are not as heavy in the late Spring (April to early June) and Fall (September and October), the weather is still nice and prices in these months are lower. Plus, the spring and autumn times may offer great festivals like the Carnival of Cultures, Berlin Festival of Lights or Octoberfest.
The least expensive time to go to Germany would be November to March. Keep in mind, however, if you are going to a ski or winter sport area – prices could be high and you may want to book in advance. For overall best weather and prices, try booking well in advance for Spring or Autumn.
Staying in hostels could save you a lot of money on accommodations in Germany, especially if you stay in a dorm-style room. Save more money by booking well in advance.
Many Germany hostels also offer private rooms, which I choose from time to time. Private rooms in hostels could possibly be cheaper than hotels in Germany – it depends on where you stay and how far in advance you reserve.
Don’t overlook exploring hostels in Germany if you’re on a budget.
Reserve Your Germany Hostel
Best Time to Book Travel
Ready to book your solo travel in Germany? The sooner you book your reservations, the more you’re likely to save money and get the best flight, accommodation, and rental car choices and deals.
Don’t miss out and find the best Germany flight deals. The best time to book travel is now. Bundling flight, hotel and/or transportation reservations may even save you more money on your trip to Germany.
Do You Know What Germany Flights and Hotels Cost? Check to See
I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Hamburg, Berlin (while they were still dismantling the Berlin Wall – I have a piece of it), and Munich, as well as some of the Romantic Road towns: Dinkelsbühl, Füssen, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and Hohenschwangau where the Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles are located.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber and the Neuschwanstein Castle may look familiar to you from the film, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but that would not be the reason to visit them. Both Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles were home to the Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria and are fascinating to visit – a definite must if you are on the southern Romantic Road, which resides in the Bavarian area and is just hands-down gorgeous. “Picturesque” would be the appropriate word. The towns are quaint, the countryside is epic, and there is much history in the area.
I thought Munich’s city center and Marienplatz were beautiful. There seemed to be musicians playing on many of the streets which added to its ambience. While there I toured the Dachau Concentration Camp just north of Munich, which was very interesting. If you go, I recommend going to the Nazi Museum in Munich first if you are into learning from some of Germany’s tumultuous past of what not to repeat.
I do look forward to going back to Germany to revisit Munich (must try that Octkoberfest) and Berlin, but also visit Cologne and Frankfurt. Also on the bucket list is finishing the Romantic Road, 28 stops along 220 miles between Füssen and Wurzburg, not to mention try some lovely German wines in the Franconian, Mosel, and Württemberg wine regions, just to name a few.