What to Wear
Fashion in Germany differs wildly depending on the region. Dig out your smarter threads when visiting Hamburg, Stuttgart, Frankfurt or Munich, which are considerably more fashion-conscious than say, Berlin, Cologne or Dresden. Berlin, especially, puts more emphasis on individual style than expensive labels. In general, trousers (pants) and shirts or tees for guys; dresses, skirts or trousers for women will serve you well across the country. Outside cities, shorts are ﬁne in summer, but long sleeves are needed at night year-round. A waterproof coat and sturdy shoes are a good idea for all-weather sightseeing. For evening wear, smart casual is the norm, but upmarket places may insist on shoes (not trainers) and trousers or dresses instead of jeans. Jackets and ﬁes are only required in casinos and by the most ostentatious establishments. Most bars and clubs have a cloakroom for bags and coats.
What to Pack
»Pair of spare glasses
»Mobile (cell) phone charger
»Travel adapter plug
»Umbrella/ rain coat
»Sunhat and sunglasses
»Curiosity and a sense of humour
»Make sure your passport is valid for another four months after arrival in Germany
»Make any necessary advance bookings for sights (such as the Reichsiag), travel and accommodation
»Check the airline baggage restrictions
»Inform your credit-/debit-card company that you’ll be travelling abroad
»Organise travel insurance
»Check if your mobile/cell phone will work in Germany
»Find out what you need to hire a car
Germany is a fairly formal society; ihe following tips will help you avoid faux pas.
Shake hands and say ‘Guten Morgen’ (before noon), ‘Guten Tag’ (between noon and 6pm) or ‘Guten Abend’ (after 6pm). Use the formal ‘Sic’ (you) with strangers and only switch to the informal ‘du’ and ﬁrst names if invited to do so. With friends and children, use ﬁrst names and ‘du’.
»Asking for Helpm Germans use the same word – Entschuldig ung – to say ‘excuse me’ (to attract attention) and ‘sorry’ (to apologise).
If invited to dinner in a German home, always bring a small gift such as chocolates or ﬂowers. Wait for your host to say ‘Guten Appetit’ before digging in. Germans hold the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right hand. To signal that you have ﬁnished eating, lay your knife and fork parallel across your plate. Finish everyihing on your plate. If drinking wine, the toast is ‘Zum Wohl’, with beer it’s ‘Prost’.
What to Wear