MICEport DMC in Germany
Germany is blessed with some of Europe's most high-powered sights. There's spectacular scenery — the jagged Alps, flower-filled meadows, rolling hills of forests and farms, and mighty rivers — dotted all over with castles and churches of every variety. In Deutschland's idyllic half-timbered villages, you can enjoy strudel at the bakery or sip a stein of beer while men in lederhosen play oompah music. And don't overlook the "real" Germany of today — a world of high-tech trains, gleaming cities, social efficiency, and world-class museums celebrating many of history's greatest cultural achievements.
Berlin today is the nuclear fuel rod of a great nation, and no tour of Germany is complete without a look at its historic and reunited capital. A city of leafy boulevards, grand Neoclassical buildings, world-class art, and glitzy shopping arcades, it's vibrant with youth, energy, and an anything-goes-and-anything's-possible buzz. As you walk over what was the Wall and through the well-patched Brandenburg Gate, it's clear that history is not contained in some book; it's an exciting story in which we play a part. In Berlin, the fine line between history and current events is excitingly blurry. Even non-historians find Berlin captivating, lively, fun-loving, all-around enjoyable — and easy on the budget. Explore the fun and funky neighborhoods in the former East, packed with creative eateries and boutiques trying to one-up each other. Peruse the city's world-class museums, then pedal along the Spree riverfront before sitting down to nurse a stein of brew or dive into a cheap Currywurst.
German is the official language of Germany, however English is widely spoken.
VAT and Tax Refunds
Travelers to Germany from outside the EU are entitled to a reimbursement of the 16 % V.A.T. (Value Added Tax, IVA in Spain) they pay on all purchases as long as the purchases add up to no less than 90 Euros in the same store and on the same day. The vendor must provide the purchaser with a duly filled out invoice which includes the price of each good, the V.A.T. paid for each item, as well as the identification (name and address) for both vendor and purchaser. The goods must be brought out of the European Union within three months from the date of purchase.
Germany’s currency is the Euro €. Traveler’s checks are still accepted throughout the country, but credit cards and Euros are really the most acceptable way to pay for your purchases. ATMs are now very easy to find. The best exchange rates are often found with the use of credit or debit (ATM) cards. Banks tend to have better exchange rates than local exchange bureaus.
Banks are closed Saturdays and Sundays; during the week they are open 9am-12 and 1-3:30pm. Shops usually open between 9 and 10AM and close between 6:30 and 8 Pm. Some smaller shops close between 1 and 2pm.
The majority of Germany’s electrical outlets supply 220 volts and will require the standard European two-prong adapter. Additionally, make sure your appliances can accept 220 volts of power (American outlets provide 120 volts) or you’ll need a converter and an adapter. Some appliances and computers can accommodate either 120 or 220 volts either automatically or with just the flip of a switch on the appliance.
Weather in Germany tends to be pretty predictable and non-threatening. The north around Hamburg tends to be a little colder, but nothing that will stop a trip, while the hottest temperature you can expect will be a freak day in the summer. There is no rainy season, save perhaps spring and heavy snowfalls are rather rare, except in the Alps or in a freak situation like in 1998 when the whole country was hit with the largest snowfall since 1945. A light jacket for most days and a heavier one packed away should be the most you’ll ever need.
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