Tourist Information

Time

Germany operates on Central European Time (CET), which is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST) in the United States. Official times like shop hours or train schedules are usually indicated by the 24-hour clock, means 7:30 pm is 19:30. 

Money

The Euro "€" is the official currency in Germany and in most of its bordering countries. You can change money at banks, post offices and currency exchanges in airports or train stations. Classic credit cards, such as American Express, Master Card, Diners Club or VISA are rarely used, but accepted by major hotels, petrol stations or large shops. Otherwise cash or Eurocheque cards will be accepted. Most banks work with international ATM networks like Cirrus, Plus, Star and Maestro. 

Electricity

European electric sockets are designed with two round pin plugs and work with 230 Volts AC, 50 Hz. You might need a plug and a transformer, which fit the German socket. 

Public Phones

Most public pay phones were removed in the last few years, but you will find some in high-frequented spots like airports, train stations or shopping areas. The Deutsche Telekom often only accepts their own phone cards, which are available from € 5 to € 15 at newsagents, post offices, some tourist offices and public transport offices, but sometimes you can pay with coins. You could also buy prepaid cards from other providers, but unfortunately there are only a small number of public phones. 

Cell Phones

German cell phones perform on a GSM network, which is not compatible with the North American or Japanese system. U.S. wireless firms, like T-Mobile or Cingular, use GSM, but on different frequency bands. If you own a multi-band cell phone, you can use it in the USA and in Europe. If not, there are a lot of possibilities buying or renting an unlocked GSM mobile phone with a SIM card, working in Europe and about 190 countries, operating with GSM network, all over the world.

Weather

Germany belongs to the temperate zone, which requires a wardrobe as flexible as possible. In summer, the thermometer reaches temperatures about 25°C/77F, but deviations are not unusual. The humidity level is mostly high. 

Taxi

You can get a taxi in three different ways. The easiest one is to hail a taxi on the street with an illuminated sign on the roof (only illuminated taxis are vacant). Otherwise if you are located at a taxi rank, you can choose any taxi you want, optionally a Green Taxi (“Umwelttaxi”), as long as the rank offers enough space to leave. Last but not least, you can order a taxi by calling one of the taxi call centers, the numbers are listed below.

Taxi Berlin

+49 (0)30 20 20 20 

Taxi Funk Berlin 

+49 (0)30 44 33 22 

Funk Taxi Berlin 

+49 (0)30 26 10 26 

Quality Taxi 

+49 (0)30 26 30 00 

City Funk 

+49 (0)30 21 02 02 

Tickets and Fares

In Berlin you will get transported quickly and comfortable to virtually any area in town by Berlin Transport Authority (known as BVG) which provides buses, underground trains (U-Bahn), rapid transit (S-Bahn) and night buses, which make sure, that you will reach your destination also in the wee hours of the morning. You can choose the right ticket, depending on your needs, for example the Berlin CityTourCard, including discounts on entrance fees besides free public travelling. For further information please visit the Berlin Transport Authority's website www.bvg.de or contact them under +49 (0)30 19 449.