What to expect when visiting Germany

1 July 2019

Germany’s rich history makes it ones of the most fantastic places to visit for students on a school trip. But for those visiting for the first time, it can seem like a bit of a culture shock.

Following the tips and tricks in this handy guide should be a help for first-time visitors making their way to Germany and the capital Berlin.

Transportation - Berlin

One of the most advance and efficient countries in world for transport, Germany offers a number of options for getting around. Some tips to remember are:

  • If arriving into Berlin Schönefeld Airport and we haven’t arranged your airport transfer, the easiest way to get into the centre of Berlin is via the airport express train
  • If you have bought a metro, train or bus ticket from a vending machine, these need to be validated before you embark on your journey. You should find a validation machine on each platform or bus stop – if you fail to validate your ticket you will be fined

Food and accommodation

German food and hospitality are some of the best around. Make sure to follow these rules to make your school trip to Germany as smooth as possible:

  • Be sure to carry cash around with you as most small shops do not accept credit or debit cards
  • Hotels do not always offer free Wi-Fi, and you may need to purchase this separately
  • Generally, a service charge is included in your bill. If you feel you have had good service, it is considered courtesy to round the tip up to 10% and hand it personally to your server
  • Take a travel adaptor along with you, Germany uses European plug types C and F
  • A lot of the smaller shops in Berlin will remain closed on Sundays – so keep this in mind if visiting over a weekend

Safety

Generally, Germany is a very safe place to visit. But, when visiting any country, you should always stay aware:

  • Berlin has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe, especially for a capital city, but you should still be wary of pickpockets in touristic areas
  • Germans always respect traffic lights. When crossing the street, make sure to use dedicated pedestrian crossings and be patient
  • Cyclists and pedestrians each have dedicated paths alongside the road. Make sure to take care of which you are using to avoid a nasty accident
  • Remember that during your German school trip, WST offer plenty of support if you ever need it

Parks and recreation

Germany is a fantastic country filled with lots of attractions and things to do. When visiting a place for the first time, you might want to remember:

  • Most state museums are closed on Mondays
  • Most galleries in Berlin stay open late on Thursday evenings, until 10.00 pm, so if you want to get the most out of your time in Berlin and stay busy in the evenings, this is a great option.

Our team are specialists in creating bespoke school trips to Germany. If you’d like to find out more or enquire about booking your own school trip to Berlin, or any of our other destinations, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.