Quality accommodation in SouthWest Germany
There is a wide range of places to stay in SouthWest Germany. From five-star hotels and spa resorts to farm stays (Urlaub auf dem Bauernhof) or campsites, there is somewhere for all budgets and tastes.
The German hotel classification system rates hotels from 1 to 5 stars:
- 1 Star: Tourist
- 2 Stars: Standard
- 3 Stars: Comfort
- 4 Stars: First Class
- 5 Stars: Luxury
SouthWest Germany has a pleasant climate. In the southern Black Forest, Freiburg is known as one of Germany’s warmest cities. In general, summers are hot, with highs ranging from 75-79°F/24°C-26°C. Fall is warm and pleasant; temperatures are in the 60s. Winter brings snow especially in the highlands of Black Forest and the Swabian Mountains (Swabian Alb).
Germany uses the euro (€). Cash can be obtained 24 hours a day from ATM/cash machines. Credit cards are not universally accepted. Expect to pay by cash in smaller shops and restaurants, Christmas markets and other street markets.
Tourist information centers are open during normal business hours, usually 10am - 4pm, sometimes longer in major centers.
Shops are generally open from 9 or 10am to 6 or 8pm. Most shops in town and city centers do not close for lunch. Shops are closed on Sundays, although bakeries may open in the morning and cafés/cake shops may open in the afternoon.
Banks are generally open from 8:30 or 9am until 4pm; smaller branches close for lunch. On Saturdays and Sundays, all banks are closed. Many banks have a foyer with ATMs/cash machines that can be accessed 24 hours a day.
Museums are generally closed on Mondays.
Post offices in larger towns and cities are generally open Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm, and on Saturdays until noon. At larger railway stations and airports, the hours are longer and they may also open on Sundays.
Passports and visas
In general, tourist visas are not required for stays of up to 90 days; always check well before traveling. Accompanying children must have their names on their parents’ passports or have their own passport. Further information: Auswärtiges Amt
Local and long distance calls can be made from all post offices and public telephone booths. Telephone cards are required for most telephone booths; buy these from any post office, in denominations of 5€ and 10€.
All European countries use the GSM standard for telecommunication networks. Cell (mobile) phones use the 900 and 1800 "bands." Check with your provider if you are in doubt as to whether or not your phone will work in this network.
To call Germany from abroad: +49 followed by the number (omit the initial 0).
Germany is on Central European Time (CET). Clocks move forward an hour for summer time (end of March to end of October).