Practical Information

Opening Hours

Business hours of supermarkets are varying between 7:00 to 9:00 for opening and 20:00 to 22:00 for closing, depending on the chain and location.

Supermarkets and shops are generally closed on Sundays. There are exceptions for bakeries and petrol stations.

Languages

National language: German (Alemannic dialect alongside)

Many locals and business and service employees speak English, particularly the younger ones.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are widely accepted. MasterCard & Visa dominate within Germany. American Express is accepted in some stores and of course you can use it with the ATM. Furthermore, you can check shop windows and entrance doors for credit card logos to see which cards you can use.

Telecommunications

Pay phones are no longer common in Germany and hard to find. The International Direct Dial code for Germany is +49 and the city code for Freiburg is 0761.

Currency

The German monetary unit is the Euro (EUR).

You can get cash from any Geldautomat (ATM) at major train stations, airports, large shopping centers and in and outside banks. Within the Eurozone charges for ATM withdrawals and credit card payments include domestic payments and it is possible that you get domestic fees charged.

Time Zones

The time zone in Germany is Central European Time (UTC+01:00) and Central European Summer Time (UTC+02:00).

Electricity / Voltage

Electrical sockets in Germany are one of the two European standard electrical socket types: The “Type C” Europlug and the “Type E” and “Type F” Schuko. The electric current in Germany is 220 volts. Be aware that you may need a travel adapter for certain electric devices.

Useful Telephone Numbers

Police 110
Medical emergency / accident services 112
Fire Service 112
Toxic Substance Emergency 19240

Gratuities / Tipping

In restaurants in Germany it is common to round up to the next Euro or add a few Euros (5 – 10 % for good service). Generally, you give the gratuity directly to the waiter or you add it to the bill. Often the waiter only tells you how much you owe. Then, you can tell how much you intend to pay when handing over the money. To leave the tip on the table is not common in Germany.

Visas

Some participants may require visas in order to enter Germany. Please consult with the German Embassy or Consulate nearest to you for specific details relating to visas.

EU nationals: Do not require a visa to enter Germany.
Non-EU nationals: Do usually require a visa for stays in Germany. You can find an overview on visa requirements here. This visa enables you to move within the entire Schengen area throughout its validity.