To enter Germany you need a passport that is valid for at least fourth months from your date of arrival. For citizens of EU countries a valid identity card is sufficient.
EU citizens do not require a visa. Citizens of all other countries will generally need a visa, with the exception of some countries for which the European Community has abolished the visa requirement. Nationals of those countries do not require a visa for visits to Germany lasting no longer than three months in a six-month period: see list (in German)
Under German law, responsibility for issuing visas lies with the Missions of the Federal Republic of Germany, i.e. its Embassies and Consulates General. Local responsibility for issuing the visa lies with the mission responsible for the area in which the applicant has his/her ordinary residence or domicile.
Goods from other EU countries do not incur duty as long as you carry them with you and they are intended for your own personal use.
Goods imported into Germany from a non-EU country are duty-free up to a value of €175.00. There are restrictions for specific goods, such as tobacco, alcohol and perfume.
Overall, Germany has a warm, temperate, wet climate with westerly winds. Extreme fluctuations in temperature are rare. Rain falls throughout the year. Mild winters (2ºC to -6ºC) and moderately hot summers (18ºC to 20ºC) are the norm.
No vaccinations are required for entry into Germany.
However, between spring and autumn there is an increased risk of contracting illnesses caused by ticks, such as Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Ticks are usually found in ground-covering vegetation. The best protection against them is to wear clothing that covers as much of the skin as possible. If you are bitten, you should seek medical attention as a precaution.
The areas of highest risk are Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, as well as certain regions within Hessen, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia. In these areas, TBE vaccinations are recommended for anyone likely to spend a lot of time outdoors.
The main language is German, of course. However, you should be aware that there are many different regional accents and dialects, although High German is understood everywhere.
Many Germans also speak good English, so there should not be any language barriers for foreign visitors.
Germany's transport infrastructure is among the best in Europe. As well as the extent of the network, the excellent links between different modes of transport enable everyone to travel between places quickly and easily.
The country is criss-crossed by 12,700 kilometres of autobahn and a rail network of nearly 35,000 kilometres with around 5,400 stations, while air passengers have more than 40 airports to choose from. If you prefer to explore at a more relaxed pace, make for a minor road – one of the country's 150 or so scenic routes perhaps – or why not take a branch line train into the countryside?
Accommodation in Germany ranges from basic campsites to luxurious star-rated hotels and cater to your every need, including disabled access. Surveys and reviews on social networks show that guests experience high standards of quality, professional service and welcoming staff everywhere in Germany. Bookings can be made directly with your hotel, via a reputable travel agency or through a tour operator in Germany or your home country.