Tips for visiting Germany

Recommended stay: At least 1 week

Based on my travel experiences in Germany, these are my tips for:

Frankfurt is the transport hub of Germany so most flights will arrive here. I flew on Emirates to Germany and this was the cheapest option from my country.

It's always great to stay near the city centre, however, prices are much higher. You'll find that hotels will be much cheaper when they are about 10-15 minutes walk from the city centre or near to the train station. However, be sure to research online about the areas surrounding the train stations in various German cities because some areas or roads may not be the nicest e.g. in Frankfurt. However, my boyfriend and I still stayed in a decent hostel (FreddApp One) around the corner from Frankfurt's train station and it was good.

Recommended type of transport: 
Public (for short stay) and Hire a Car (for long stay)

Using public transport: 
Trains are mostly used for travel around Germany but can be fairly expensive. Buying tickets before the time and online (Deutsche Bahn website) will be much cheaper. ICE trains are fast but more expensive, with the regional trains being more affordable yet slower. My boyfriend and I found FlixBus to be very useful and extremely cheap. You can purchase tickets on the FlixBus app or website and use it to travel between major German cities. For example, we used it to travel from Munich to Garmisch Partenkirchen, only paying €6 per person compared to say €20 by train! We also downloaded an app called "Mitfahrgelegenheit - Reise App" which is for carpooling in Germany. On the app, you can check if someone is carpooling from your current location to your next destination, which would be much cheaper than using the train.

Hiring a car: 
We did not hire a car during our time in Germany but that's because we were only there for 1 week and we were worried about the hiring plus additional costs. However, if you plan to travel a lot between locations in Germany, it may be a good idea to hire a car because train expenses will start to add up otherwise.

Restaurants & local food: 
Restaurant prices are generally expensive than some other European countries. The cheapest main meal we could find was about €8 or €9. We tried a typical Bavarian dish of pork roast with gravy, potato dumplings and cabbage - it was really delicious! Germany has many hearty dishes on offer but I believe that they would be better during winter.

Water & alcohol: 
Beer, beer and more beer - this is a must! I never liked beer before visiting Germany and now I love dunkel weissbier! Franziskaner and Augustiner were my favourite but there are plenty of brands to choose from throughout the country. You might also come across beer ice cream (Der Verrueckte Eismacher in Munich) or ice cream with beer syrup (Naiv in Frankfurt) for example.

The weather: 
Germany's winters are cold and in some areas, snowy. In summer, it can reach high temperatures but it can also be very unpredictable. When we visited in June, it was chilly and even rained!

Going to the beach: 
We did not visit a beach in Germany, however, in summer it seems like the lakes are popular places for locals to hang out. For example, in Garmisch Partenkirchen, visit Eibsee for a good swim, maybe a hike or even some water sport activities. The same goes for Alpsee in Hohenswangau.

Useful websites: 

Most people in Germany understand English, especially in major cities. However, this may not always be the case in smaller towns. Learning a few German words or phrases would certainly be beneficial for your stay in this wonderful European country.