Additional Information About Travel in Germany
At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your tour guide and driver a gratuity. Your WEST tour coordinator will collect the gratuity at any point during the tour (many travelers like to pay ahead of time to get it out of the way). Although it is not required, your driver and tour guides rely on these tips, and work hard to ensure you an unforgettable experience. We recommend tipping the equivalence of $3 USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6 USD/CAD to $9 USD/CAD per person per day for your tour guide. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2 USD/CAD per local guide, payable following the local tour. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.
In order to enter Germany, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
Round-trip flights for tours beginning or ending in Germany will arrive or depart from Frankfort, Berlin or Munich.. On-tour transportation is provided primarily by private motor coach, but may include planes, trains, boats, ferries, or other modes. In your free time, you may wish to explore the main cities by public transportation. Berlin’s very efficient transportation system (BVG) consists of buses, trams, the U-Bahn (underground trains) and the S-Bahn (elevated trains). A BVG standard ticket is valid for two hours of transportation, including transfers. During your stay, you might consider purchasing a 24-hour ticket or the three-day Welcome Card. Munich’s transportation system (MVV) is top-notch, an all-inclusive combination of trams, buses, U-bahn and S-bahn. Purchase tickets based on time of validity from newspaper stands, vending machines or the drivers. Most of the major attractions lie within the inner-city blue zone. The waiting time for trains and subways is usually no more than five to 10 minutes.
Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.
There are no major health risks when traveling to Germany. Still, it is always advisable to check with your health-care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.
One of the pleasures of traveling is the variety of local cuisine.
German food is hearty and substantial. Among the specialties are rich
dumpling stews and sauerkraut cabbage, tasty thick sausages and smoked
cheeses, dark breads and chocolate cakes. Bavaria produces some of the
world’s purest beers, while white German wines are exceptionally good.
To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).
The euro is the currency you will use on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take credit cards and ATM/bank cards. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
Europe operates on the standard 220 volts.
Germany is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and nine hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST). When it’s noon in California, it’s 9 pm in Munich.