Facts for the Visitor

US citizen: No visa required, visitors permitted to stay 3 months.
Japanese citizen: No visa required, visitors permitted to stay 3 months.

Language Skills Needed
English is sufficient to get around as a tourist.

Cash Machines
Available everywhere. Most are on the Plus and Cirrus networks.

US$ 1 = 2.22 Deutschmarks (DM) on October 15, 2000. Currency will change to the Euro on January 1, 2002.

220V, 50Hz. Plugs have 2 round pins.

International Certificates of Vaccination are not required.

German is the only official language, but almost everyone in the service industry speaks English.

Tips are not required, though most people round up larger bills to the next 5 or 10 DM and round up smaller bills to the next 1 DM. For instance, for a DM37 bill, DM40 would typically be paid.

Accommodation in Germany is primarily hotels and youth hostels. Apartments and rooms at private houses aren't readily available. We were told that they're advertised in newspaper classifieds, but we didn't make the effort to look. Tourist information offered no assistance.

Public Telephones
Most public telephones only accept Deutsch Telecom pre-paid telephone cards. Some only accept coins. Phone cards for DM12 or DM50 can be purchased at post offices, some news kiosks, tourist offices, and banks.

Public Transportation
Public transport in Germany is expensive. We compared prices from Berlin to Munich. The 9 hour train one-way was DM199/person, the 7 hour train one-way was DM249/person, and a round-trip plane ticket was DM263/person. We chose the 1 hour plane ride. In retrospect, I'm sure we could have found an even cheaper flight had we shopped at a last-minute discount ticket broker.
Berlin Day Pass / Week Pass: The Berlin ticket machine offers a day pass valid for a single day (as opposed to 24 hours) at a cost just above 2 single-direction tickets. The week pass is valid for 7 consecutive days and costs the equivalent of 5½ day passes.
Munich Day Pass / 3-Day Pass: Munich has a day pass and 3-day pass similar in structure to the Berlin passes above.
Munich Partner Day Pass / Partner 3-Day Pass: The Munich partner pass is unique. The cost is less than 2 individual passes of the same duration and allows the joint travel of up to 5 adults, where 2 children are counted at 1 adult. We frequently saw mobs of kids riding the Munich trains together - the pricing of this pass must be the reason.

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