|Tips and Info||National language|
The official language is German.
Regime and system of government
Germany is a federal parliamentary democracy. More detailed information on education, politics and the economy can be found at www.discover-germany.diplo.de.
|Climate||Germany is located in the moderately cool region influenced by the Westerlies between the Atlantic Ocean and the continental climate to the east. The weather is changeable. Visitors should therefore bring clothing that is as flexible as possible. After a long winter, the country sheds its layers and welcomes the beginning of the warm season. However, in spring, the weather is relatively instable. The average temperature in Dresden in March is around 6 °C. There is a relatively high likelihood of rain. The latest weather information can be found at www.wetter.de/deutschland.|
|Time Zone||The local time Central European time (CET). This is six hours ahead of the USA (Eastern Standard Time, EST) and one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).|
|Entry and visa requirements||Citizens of EU Member States do not require a visa to enter the Federal Republic of Germany. A visa is mandatory for citizens of all other countries. Citizens of countries for which the European Union has lifted the visa requirement do not require a visa for visits lasting up to three months per six-month period. Further information on entering Germany can be found at www.auswaertiges-amt.de.|
|Customs regulations||Only limited quantities of goods may be brought into Germany tax-free. Information on permitted quantities and on other regulations is available from the German customs authority.|
|Money and currency|| |
Credit cards can be used for payment at filling stations and in large stores and larger hotels. American Express, Diners Club, and in particular MasterCard and Visa are the cards most widely accepted. For more information, please contact your credit-card company.
Currency regulations: No restrictions apply.
Banks are generally open from 8.30 am to 1 pm and from 2 or 2.30 pm to 4 pm Mondays to Fridays. In larger towns, they may remain open until 5.30 pm on Thursdays.
|Tipping||Service is generally included in the price of meals or drinks. If you are satisfied with your meal or drinks and with the service, a tip of around 5 to 10% of the total amount is usual. Not tipping is a signal that you were very dissatisfied with your meal/drinks or with the service.|
|Electricity||The domestic main voltage is 230 V/50 Hz. Germany uses the European 2-pin plug system. Appliances from countries such as the USA or UK require an adapter.|
|Telephone, Internet and postal services||Country dialling prefix: +49.|
Most public telephones do not accept coins, but only Deutsche Telekom (DT) telephone cards. These can be purchased in values of 5, 10 and 15 euro at post offices, kiosks, and some tourist information centres. Prepaid cards with a PIN from other providers are a cheaper alternative. Credit cards cannot generally be used to make telephone calls.
Mobile telephones are known as "Handys" in German. Germany uses the GSM network (GSM 900 and GSM 1800). This network is compatible with the rest of Europe and Australia, but not with the North American or Japanese systems. T-Mobile, Cingular and other American companies also use GSM, but at a different frequency. Multi-band mobile phones can be used in both the United States and Europe. Roaming agreements exist with foreign mobile telephone companies.
Internet cafés are numerous in all cities.
Postage stamps can be purchased in post offices, from stamp machines and in hotels, and in tourist areas often also at souvenir shops and kiosks. Post offices are open from 9 am to 6 pm Mondays to Fridays and from 10 am to 12 noon on Saturdays. Smaller post offices generally close for a mid-day break.
|Healthcare||We recommend that you take out suitable travel and health insurance before beginning your journey. The organizer does not have insurance cover for participants attending the 4th International Strategy Conference on Health and Safety at Work (ISC2016) and can assume no liability for any accidents which may occur during the congress.|
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gives you access to medically necessary healthcare, provided by the state system during a temporary stay in Germany. You are eligible for a card if:
In the event of an emergency, call 110 for the police and 112 for the fire and/or ambulance services. An emergency doctor's service is available in all towns to provide assistance during the night and over weekends. The telephone number of the service can be found in the local phone book.
Pharmacies are generally open from 9 am to 6 pm Mondays to Fridays and from 9 am to 12 noon on Saturdays. Information on the night and Sunday service provided by doctors and pharmacies can be found outside any pharmacy.
|Travelling by car||German motorways are toll-free for cars. Strict laws apply to drinking under the influence of alcohol; the blood alcohol content must not exceed 0.05%. The wearing of seatbelts is mandatory for both front- and rear-seat passengers. Drivers are prohibited from using mobile telephones, other than by means of a handsfree device. Those wishing to hire a car must be in possession of a valid driving license and a credit card. Some agencies specify a required minimum age.|
In the absence of other rules (signs, traffic lights), the general rule is to give way to the right at junctions, including T-junctions. Traffic drives on the right and overtakes on the left.
The speed limit is 50 km/h in built-up areas and 100 km/h on trunk roads. Except where indicated otherwise, there is no speed limit on German motorways; the recommended maximum speed is however 130 km/h. Observance of speed limits is strictly controlled and radar traps are frequent.
Any valid driving licence is acceptable. Visitors from countries outside the EU require either an international driving licence or a valid driving licence in conjunction with an official German translation.
|Shopping||Shops, supermarkets and department stores are generally open from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm. Smaller shops outside the city generally close at 6 pm and for an hour at midday. Outside normal opening hours, essentials can be bought at filling stations and railway stations. For information on shopping in Dresden, see here.|