A Country Guide to Germany

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Area

357,045 sq. km. (137,819 sq. miles)

Location

Western/Central Europe

Population

82.5 million (as per estimates of 2005) and Population Density of 231 per sq. km.

Capital City

Berlin with a total population of 3.4 million (as per estimates of 2005).

Language

German is the official and most popular language of Germany. English is also prevalent in some pockets of the country. French is a popular language, especially in the Saarland. Danish is widely used in the Danish-minority region in the north of Schleswig-Holstein. Sorbic language is also used and taught in schools in eastern Brandenburg and Saxony by the Slavic minority (called Sorbs). Besides, regional dialects of German are also widely used in different regions of the country.

Electricity

AC 230 volts, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are commonly used.

Currency

Euro (EUR, symbol €). 1€ = 100 cents.

Notes prevalent = €20, 50, 100, 200, and 500

Coins prevalent = €1 and 2; Cents 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50.

Currency Exchange

Currency Exchange facility is available at banks, post office, railway stations, airports, major hotels, ports, and bureaux de change. For more details and exchange rates, travellers are advised to consult their banks.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs

Credit/Debit/ATM Cards of all major companies accepted. However, it is advisable to carry some cash as well. Most shops, petrol stations, restaurants, and hotels accept card payments. ATMs are also conveniently situated.

Traveller's Cheques

Travellers Cheques can be easily exchanged from bureaux de change. Also it is advisable to exchange them as banks and stores generally do not accept them. The travellers are also advised to carry travellers’ cheques in major currencies, like US Dollars, or Pounds Sterling, in order to avoid additional exchange rate charges.

Banking Hours

Banks in Germany function from Monday to Friday from 0830-1300, and Thursday from 0830-1300 and 1430-1730. There is no lunchtime closure in main branches. Beureaux de change situated at airports and main railway stations function from 0600-2200

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