Older or specialized discussion can be found in the archives.
Hierarchy in articles
For the regions of Germany, I simply copied the list of German states from the CIA factbook, and found English equivalents. I doubt if these political divisions really work for travel regions, and there's too many of them, anyways. Can someone more familiar with Germany take a poke at a more reasonable region breakdown? --Evan 12:24, 2 Dec 2003 (PST)
So, we need to figure out what to do about regions in Germany. Whenever I see a pseudo-hierarchy like this, it's a clear sign that we're messing up.
Is the breakdown by rough geographical region, then by federal state, about what we can do here? Are there any other, more traditional or "natural" regions we could use instead?
If not, we need to make articles for North (Germany), etc. and move the lists of states to each of those. Right now I don't think they'll make very interesting articles, though. --Evan 11:35, 6 Apr 2004 (EDT)
No, don't move them. We have far too many one-line articles. There are some distinct regions, but you can't really nail them with state boundaries. "Norddeutschland" (Northern Germany) for example is Lower Saxony and everything north of it; it's sort of like flat, coastal, with agricultural towns, port cities, and so on. Other ideas for regions would be north sea coast, baltic region, East Germany (the former GDR), Alpine, Rhine land, and I am sure many I am not thinking of right now. Specialized guides for these regions might make sense. For example, it'd be a good idea to make a page about the rhine valley/area, with all the pictureque towns, castles, and so on.
But until someone actually writes them, just leave the regions as they are now. We'll use them as a starting point (nobody really seems to add much except dead links to tiny towns). Germany is pretty small, there are regional differences but not many. Regional pages are mostly useful to go into greater detail. -- Nils 16:44, 8 Apr 2004 (EDT)
One-line articles eventually become full articles. We express the geographical hierarchy through multiple articles, not hierarchical lists on pages. Think of each as a chapter in our "Germany" guidebook. It may not have a large amount of info on its own, but it "contains" a number of smaller articles.
Of course, the goal is to have meaningful regions that hang together well. That's why I asked in the first place. --Evan 11:20, 13 Apr 2004 (EDT)
Regions of Germany. Starting to make a regions map of Germany made me realize just how unwieldy it is to have 16 separate regions directly under the country. This must especially be true for someone who has no experience with the country and wants to get an idea of the different parts. The normal breakdown of Germany (alps, black forest, rhine valley, east germany, etc.) doesn't fit at all into the political geography, which means if we go that way some places would fall through the cracks and might be left out. I went ahead and added simple (boring) geographic regions (north, south, east, west, central) since I could think of no others. The region pages are just simple outlines right now. It's not perfect, but a start. Please, throw out some ideas, probably better to get a full consensus on this. hokiesvt 18:14, 17 March 2009 (EDT)
Just updated the Regional Map (added rivers, cities from the cities list, and other destinations from the list on the main page. Uploaded the source file too () if anyone gets motivated to update it. To me, looks good without adding roads/rails, they seem to clutter it up too much. Feel free to try it and change it, though. hokiesvt 20:39, 17 March 2009 (EDT)
Alright guys, brought this section up to highlight it for the time being. I think it's terrible Germany doesn't have a good regional breakdown by now, so I'm going ahead to make a Germany regions map. I noticed this old discussion, but apparently it never led to any decisions, and the pseudo-heirarchy presented in the article is definitely not aimed for tourism. Right now, everything's broken down into the political Bundesländer (states), but that doesn't really fit a tourist itinerary the best. Most guides would break Germany into regions such as Black Forest, Rhine Valley, North/Baltic Sea Coasts, East Germany, ... (not all inclusive), but these regions do not fit to state boundaries and would leave some parts out.
Also, it looks like in the meantime the heirarchy at the site has been developed into a Bundesländer-style hierarchy, with regions like the Rhine Valley falling under other states. Because of that, I'm going to aim my regional map towards showing all the states. Also, I propose that we incorporate these other regions as itinerary pages. Just a bunch of thoughts to try to get the ball rolling again. Hopefully I'll have my map uploaded within the next couple days, if we do decide to switch to another regional system it should be easy enough to modify. Let's get some discussion going on this, Germany's such an important tourist destination, hopefully we can do it justice soon. hokiesvt 04:44, 17 March 2009 (EDT)
Ok, so for starters, I broke it down along the same lines as the Netherlands regional breakdown. Every State (Bundesland) got a separate color, but I bunched the states together by geography, as was already on the page. I actually like it, keeps the hierarchical structure intact but makes it easier to comprehend. Kinda blank right now, though. I'm working on finishing the map with cities and routes, then I'll get to updating the descriptions on the regions list. If anyone wants to help out with the descriptions, by all means plunge forward! Once I finalize the map in the next day or two, I'll upload the .svg file so others can edit it. (Dunno how many folks out there are reading this, might be just for my own entertainment!) hokiesvt 16:49, 17 March 2009 (EDT)
Looks like a good start to me, but please do get some other comments before you go ahead and change everything... Jpatokal 00:06, 18 March 2009 (EDT)
I do apologize, got lost in ambition there.... hokiesvt 04:17, 18 March 2009 (EDT)
It looks good for now, but I think the regions don't have a lot in common. I know it's politically sensitive, but isn't it a good idea to make the former DDR into Eastern Germany? It is a region with a specific history and the region page could contain useful information for the traveller. It makes a logical grouping.
Then we could include Hesse with the Western Germany grouping. Globe-trotter 09:20, 4 September 2009 (EDT)
I changed my opinion on this. Northern Germany is good as it is now. But the other groupings need work. Also, Middle Germany of Central Germany is often thought of as encompassing Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. --globe-trotter 04:39, 13 February 2011 (EST)
The speed limits are partially wrong. You may drive 100 km/h on Kraftfahrstraßen inside towns and cities. And the no-speed-limit-part only applies to Autobahnen! Kraftfahrstraßen have a speed limit of 100 km/h. If there is a barrier between the lanes, the speed limit for Kraftfahrstraßen is 120 km/h.
The recommended speed of 130 km/h on Autobahnen (called "Richtgeschwindigkeit") plays a role if an accident happens because if you drive faster than 130 you will always get a joint guilty - even if you didn't cause the accident.
--220.127.116.11 17:29, 1 December 2006 (EST)
Bullshit. Kraftfahrstrassen (motorways) have no special rules. For roads with separated carriageways OR two or more lanes for each direction, outside built-up areas (geschlossene Ortschaft, the yellow signs), no (implicit) speed limits apply.
"You may drive 100 km/h on Kraftfahrstraßen inside towns and cities." - bullshit. Inside cities, the limit is 50. Of course, "inside" is determined by the signs!
"If there is a barrier between the lanes, the speed limit for Kraftfahrstraßen is 120 km/h." - No.
I know there are lots of Turks in Hessen. What about other parts of Germany? -phma 09:36, 11 Jan 2004 (EST)
They are a large minority everywhere in Germany. I am not so sure about Eastern Germany, but in the west they are the largest ethnic group afaik. Nils 16:24 Jan 11th 2004 CET
You will find a turk community in nearly every west german city. Nevertheless Berlin has one of the largest population of turks outside Turkey. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 18.104.22.168 (talk • contribs)
When I had to get my residence permit in Munich a poster with statistics placed the population of Turks in Munich over 40,000 and I believe they were the largest minority group. There was a popular joke in Germany that Istanbul was the largest Turkish city, followed by Berlin. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 17:38, 1 December 2006 (EST)
Nearly every bigger city in the western part of germany (and Berlin) has a turkish community.
Store Opening Hours
What hours do shops run by Jews keep? How should one who keeps Shabbat cope with shops being closed on Sunday? -phma 09:36, 11 Jan 2004 (EST)
A law is a law is a law applies to all citizens. Nils 16:24 Jan 11th 2004 CET
What does the law say? Where can I read it? The Biblical law states that we shall work six days and rest the seventh, so if a German citizen follows that law, he has a conflict of law. -phma 23:37, 11 Jan 2004 (EST)
There is no biblical law in Germany. Religion and state are (supposed to be) strictly seperate. Of course Germany is a christian society, more or less, so you have some leftovers like the free day of the week happening to be sunday. Opening hours used to be much stricter on all days. I have to guess, really, but I assume that for a very long time, Germany's (very influential) unions have prevented a total liberalisation of opening/business hours. -- [User:Nils|Nils]] January 12th, 2004 14:38 (CET)
The German government announcement of the new hours is here. I don't see any exceptions for Jewish store owners or for stores that cater to Jews. If there is an exception, we should note it. If not, I'm not sure there's much point in saying, The stores are closed on Sunday. If you keep Shabbat, this means you should get all your shopping done by Friday afternoon, or you might run out of stuff before the stores open on Monday. I don't think anyone needs our help making minor leaps of logic.
That said, it seems that some gas stations have markets open after-hours. I know from personal experience in Switzerland that this counts for Sundays, too -- but I don't know for Germany, though. --Evan 02:29, 12 Jan 2004 (EST)
gas station are allowed to be opened 24/7. But especially in rural areas they close between 8 pm and midnight, reopening between 6 am and 8 am. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 22.214.171.124 (talk • contribs)
As I (and the article you quote) mentioned, the exceptions are for gas-stations, airports and trainstations. Germany does have some special provisions/concessions for Jews, but special opening hours are not part of them. -- [User:Nils|Nils]] January 12th, 2004 14:38 (CET)
Nearly every gas station has opened on sundays, too. They often offer a limited variety of food, cigarettes, magazines etc.
-- Thursday 27th, 2006 20:59 (MEZ)
Someone keeps adding this weird Vallendar place. Really, please, stop cluttering up the country page with insignjificant villages. If you absolutely must, make a subpage "complete list of cities in Germany" or something... if some place draws a total of like a few hundred students then it's a special interests place at best. If we add every 5000 people town to the country page, it'll get quite long. Nils 20:14, 19 Mar 2004 (EST)
I do not see the harm in collecting other Germany tourist destination articles on the main Germany page. At this time, there seem so few articles about Germany, some wierd ones (and it is only one) would help enlighten the place. However, I created Rhineland-Palatinate in response to this. Somebody else wrote about Vallendar, put it on the Germany page, then the link got deleted. It keeps coming back because it is an Orphan Page. I have now added it to the Rhineland-Palatinate article. If you do not want it on this, or that page, then add it to a page where you do want it, otherwise it will keep being put back by anyone doing orphan page maintenance. -- Huttite 18:34, 20 Mar 2004 (EST)
According to the manual of style, the "Cities" section is for the major cities in the country -- the ones that travellers will be looking for first. It's a navigation aid to short-circuit drilling down through one or two levels of regions to get to a common city. It should not be used just to list all the cities in the country -- as Nils points out, this would be unreasonable.
New and inexperienced contributors often put cities onto the country page because they don't know where else to put them. Often this happens because the region pages aren't yet filled out. It's important to remember that we want all travellers' help. If people make a mistake adding links, we should just move them to the right place.
Huttite, you did exactly the right thing: making a stub region page, and putting the city link there instead. Exactly the right thing to do. Thanks. --Evan 21:00, 20 Mar 2004 (EST)
as Germanies major cities and all the rest should go into a B) listing called a
Alphabetical list of German cities. That would make a tidy up more effective because we don't have remove Vallendar, Bonn etc. all the time. Plus it make navigation easier, you dont' have to know in which country a particular city is.
I don't think we need alphabetical listings, just sort the smaller cities under their regions. See Japan for an example. If somebody is looking for a specific town, they can just search for that directly (well, at least if the 1.3.5 bug is fixed). Jpatokal 11:05, 12 Oct 2004 (EDT)
I don't really like listing the "top five" cities. It is hard to judge unbiased which cities are the top five. Vallendar is not among them. Someone added Cologne, is this more important than Frankfurt or Heidelberg? I guess it depends on your interests. Therefore I propose switching to the Japanese Solution and putting the cities and other destinations to the Laender-listing Miknon 16:52, 30 Nov 2004 (EST)
Top 5 for what? Frankfurt? Financial center, that's all. To the average traveller, it's not even half as interesting as, say Heidelberg. Maybe I'm biased, but I do think that there are more tourists (per capita) in HD than in Frankfurt. USians? They "generally" like to see history, *old* history. Or historical site. Berlin is ok. Cologne has that *huge* church, old and big, that's good. Munich has the Oktoberfest and generally all the cliches associated with Germany are rampant there (Sauerkraut and Lederhosen ;-) But Frankfurt? --Jae 13:11, 20 Jan 2005 (EST)
I have to second Jae's comment. Your selection of top travel destinations looks very weired to me. I come from Bavaria, which is the region that still attracts most inner German tourism. Old cities like Bamberg, Regensburg, Nürnberg, etc. certainly hold more culturally important sights than Munich or Frankfurt. And in terms of large cities... Nürnberg, for example, is bigger than Leipzig, Dresden, Mannheim, etc. and doesn't even show on your map. I don't quite understand your selection criteria [Seb] 01:35, 23 Nov 2005 (Central Europe)
I agree. This is a tourist information site. Frankfurt has two attractions: 1.big airport, 2. big stock exchange. Nothing else. Mostly you talk about 4 major cities in Germany: Hamburg in the north, Berlin (East), Cologne (West) and Munich (South). The rest should in be in a second list (interesting places or something like that). ~~saarnie, 12 March 2006.
The comments about Frankfurt are rubbish. Frankfurt does have various important tourist attractions including notable art, science and historical museums. Furthermore, many visitors to the country are likely to be passing through Frankfurt on account of the airport and may have time to kill. -- Anselm, 26 September 2006.
Just a small notice in the first place. I see that you have no idea. In Germany its not important to have the most biggest cities. Its more value to have nice and charming cities, not like in America, just as big as possible. Also to mention is Dresden, Cologne, Düsseldorf with the whole "Ruhrgebiert". They might not be as big as New York, but they are more lovely.
Drinking in public
Is drinking in public really "frowned upon"? In the country that gave us Oktoberfest? I mean, a bar is a public place. Does the author really mean "drinking in the street" or "drinking out of doors"? This could be misleading - can a German, or someone more familiar with Germany than me clarify this, please? - Sjc196 15:03, 15 Apr 2004 (GMT)
Ah, it's a difficult question. Obviously, many people have different "standards". Basically, the idea is that alcohol consumptions in places not designed for it is a bad idea. For example, nobody cares if you have a can of beer at a picnic. But if you have the same can of beer in the subway, people will mentally brand you as a hobo or something similar. They probably won't say anything. It gets worse when you appear to be a chronic drunk, or if you are actually drunk and behaving loudly etc. -- Nils 15:49, 15 Apr 2004 (EDT)
I wouldn't say that drinking in the public is "frowned upon". Drinking dossers and punks are frowned upon. Generally it is frowned upon to drink to get drunken or drink because you are addicted to it. If it looks like you drink alcohol alongside doing something else or just for socialising, this is widely accepted. I would vote for changing this confusing part.
Having a beer in the "Biergarten" or a drink in a bar is no problem. Nor is it a problem with that cold beer while having a picknick. But some cities persecute especially punks an young people just drinking in public areas like the place in front of the train station. In this case they will have to pay a fine. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 126.96.36.199 (talk • contribs)
They try to prosecute them. A court has struck struck down a local law (police regulation) in Freiburg on that issue. --188.8.131.52 19:20, 12 April 2010 (EDT)
In Hamburg even in the subway nobody looks at you if you drink beer. I saw salesmen doing it :-) --184.108.40.206 17:17, 1 December 2006 (EST)
This is true - it depends on the 'context' of the drinking. I would avoid drinking in public transportation though. Drinking a beer while eating something (even in public) is usually ok though. Jamboo 05:28, 20 March 2008 (EDT)
just to give you guys an idea, in Germany it is not prohibited to drink in public. The only thing is, that germans dont like it so much, but there is no law against it. Just in clarified areas such like an airport or a trainstation it can be prohibited, cause its private, so they can have there own rules.
I'd say thats mainly for excessive drinking in public and depends not only on the context but also the time of day.
In cities with a lively nightlife you may see people predrinking before going to a club etc.
People who are like living from social aid are often to be seen, drinkin beer in front of a supermarket oder gas station in the morning and some jouveniles get (sometimes very) drunk in front of gas stations at night. But as a regular guy on a sunny afternoon you can walk along the street with a beer in your hand (0.5 liter bottle) without getting odd looks (mostly). 220.127.116.11 14:34, 14 June 2010 (EDT)
High vs Low German
While I commend the anonymous' submitter's attempt to correct the use of the word Hochdeutsch into its original linguistic meaning, the common usage of the term clearly refers to the official form of German. While the exact definition is probably important when you are discussing linguistics, this is a travel guide. The explanation adds nothing for a traveller, on the contrary, it will just confuse people. The only reason I mention the term is to define what the "standard" is, so that I can afterwards "warn" of the difficult dialects. Let's leave exact scientific definitions to our friends at Wikipedia. :-) -- Nils 03:51, 16 Apr 2004 (EDT)
High German, in the linguistic sense, I've seen called Oberdeutsch, and wrote so in the French version of the German phrasebook. Also, there is no such thing as speaking a language without an accent. A native accent is still an accent. -phma 23:48, 16 Apr 2004 (EDT)
I guess I meant dialects, really. -- Nils 06:17, 18 Apr 2004 (EDT)
Oberdeutsch is a group of German dialects and has nothing to do with Hochdeutsch.
That's not correct. Hochdeutsch is the German standard which indeed was developed essentially from Mitteldeutsch and Oberdeutsch, but not essentially from Niederdeutsch, the latter being similar to Dutch, English and Frisian.18.104.22.168 17:53, 22 August 2006 (EDT)
just to give you guys an idea, in Germany it is not prohibited to drink in public. The only thing is, that germans dont like it so much, but there is no law against it. Just in clarified areas such like an airport or a trainstation it can be prohibited, cause its private, so they can have there own rules.
Gay and Lesbian
Gay and Lesbian Marriages are not permitted in Germany. Even the law does not make a difference between hetero and homosexual marriages, the highest court went out of its way to prohibit homosexual marriages. As a result a special law about civil union was issued, which in turn is not open to heterosexual couples. Now the parliament struggles to bring both laws close to each other because the Basic Law (constitution) talks about equal rights for everyone. 22.214.171.124 02:44, 18 May 2007 (EDT)
Corrected this. Also corrected the overly positive description of Germany as a "paradise" for homosexuals and added some words of warning. Physical violence against homosexuals is a problem, see e.g. this [article] or this recent [article] by the german newspaper 'taz' or the [2006 report] by [Maneo] according to which about one third of all homosexuals polled were victim of gay-bashing during the last 12 months.
Cjensen edited out the Hospitality Club link I had added, and gave this reason: "Remove HC link. Don't need to dup all home-exchange links into every country."
I just re-added it. There is no other hospitality exchange network with even closely those 3500 member the HC has in Germany - all those members are a true travel asset for any independant traveler to Germany. And neither were there "all home-exchange links" nor is Germany "every country".Veit 23:06, 10 Jul 2004 (EDT)
Travelling by train
The Sparpreis stuff is not accurate any more as far as I see. But although living in Germany and using the Deutsche Bahn quite often I cannot correct it because I use the Bahncard usually. --EBB 16:31, 25 Jul 2004 (EDT)
We probably should not list special offers anyway. They change too rapidly. Someone wishing to travel by train is better served to just check the DB website. I have revised the "Get around/By train" section accordingly. -- Nils 07:20, 26 Jul 2004 (EDT)
I improved the "getting around by train" section once again. See my summary. --EBB 09:26, 26 Jul 2004 (EDT)
I'm not sure about "The German postal service is reliable, if still suffering a little from being a state-owned company." which seems to be input of politics. I've left it in to see what the consensus is. Caroline 01:39, 3 Aug 2004 (EDT)
I all my life in Germany, I never used another railway company than Deutsche Bahn AG. So to keep this article a guide for tourists and not a complete listing of the German railway system, I vote for removing this part from the article
Some parts of this article are just awful...Germany is the best and this. These sections seem more like the blabbering of a patriot than useful tourist information.
I'm new to this Wikitravel thing, and I think I quite like it, but I don't like this article. I know that there are people out there who really like cars and Autobahnen, and although I don't quite understand that, I tolerate it of course. But do we have to let this make out such a big part of the article? Also, while this 'go as fast as you like' story is true in principle, it is very misleading in detail. If I'm not totally wrong, the rules are:
On the Autobahn, you may drive as fast as you like, if road signs don't say something different (which is the case most of the time).
However, it is recommended not to go faster than 130 km/h. If you do go faster, and if you are somehow implicated in an accident, part of the responsibility will be laid on you no matter what.
But I don't want to do nothing but complain, so here are some (idiosyncratic) propositions about what visitors might find interesting:
Wacken Open Air (www.wacken-open-air.de) - metal;
Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival (www.shmf.de) - classical;
Leipzig Wave-Gotik-Treffen (www.wave-gotik-treffen.de) - well, goth (three items for the music lovers; tell them what? where? when?);
Nazi-terror memorials, eg Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen (this does not fit to the present 'hey, let's have fun on the Autobahn' tone, however);
the Wadden Sea and similar nature stuff;
the 'living' historical village in Kiel-Molfsee (www.freilichtmuseum-sh.de) and things like that;
more historical towns (probably interesting for non-European visitors), like Rothenburg ob der Tauber and the like;
and, most important of all ;), the great city of Lübeck with its UNESCO world heritage town centre (where parts of Murnau's Nosferatu where shot), its numerous pubs and somewhat less numerous clubs, its beach outpost Travemünde, etc. etc.
Maybe I shall add some of these myself, but I won't have much time for now (plus, somebody would have to de-Germish-ify that, hum), so I just wanted to propose something.
I can de-germish-ify what you write. I just did a first run over the wine section. Though, to be honest, I can only de-germish-ify when I'm sure of what the author meant to say. I'm putting a change into the wine section right now that I'm not sure is correct, as a trial balloon. --Jae 07:09, 19 Jan 2005 (EST)
I'm also new to editing - but i found what I think is an omission in the rail fares section: the BahnCard 100. I'll just put it in - please remove it if you deem it inappropriate... --RealUlli 23:58, 6 Nov 2006 (CET)
My english is really to bad for writing something about the famous Schweinsbraten you can get in Bavaria,
so i hope you can help me out with the rest.
Maybe we can make another Part for food with the german Brathähnchen.
Schweinsbraten mit Knödeln : a very common meal you can get in Bavaria. You can get it everywhere else in
Germany too, but the Bavarian Schweinsbraten in my opinion is the best. It normally swims in a nice Beersauce
Pfälzer Saumagen: This is really, really NOT a typical german dish. It is only well known because of Helmut Kohl! Most of germans never heard of it before. Please correct! ~~saarnie, Mar 12th 2006
Since Helmut Kohl was chancellor for 16 years its quite well-known but not necessarily popular. I for my share have often heard about it but never tried it. 126.96.36.199 12:08, 5 April 2009 (EDT)
Well, I knew the word because of Helmut Kohl, but only ate it (at least knowing what it is called) some years ago. --188.8.131.52 19:24, 12 April 2010 (EDT)
"On the other hand, German libraries are not free as in the USA, not even for browsing. Be sure to purchase a ticket before entering."
I don't think that's correct. Though I have only been to two public libraries (the one of my hometown and the one of my university) but both are without entrance fee, in fact I haven't even heard about public libraries with entrance fee. Of course you have to be a student at the university to lend books there and for the public library of my hometown you have to register yourself and pay 20 Eur/year if you want to lent a book. I don't know how this works in the States, it may be a difference though. -- Gorgo 18:21, 12 Jul 2005 (EDT)
Libraries in Germany mever ask for entrance fees. If you want to get something you have to pay a small fee and get a membership card. I don´t know if they issue these cards for foreigners. You ca always spend the hole day in public libraries and read hatever you want in there. University libraries are open until 10pm. Peter
It would be nice if someone could provide links to various regional rail lines. I also would like to know if you can just get on a train and pay the conductor for the ticket, and if you can do that how much is the supplement. I am interested in an article on Christmas markets in Germany and would be willing to work on that. I don't know where that would link. Nkb
There is one rail line - DB. And you need to buy a ticket in advance. Otherwise the fine would be 60 Euro. 184.108.40.206
Ride-share Web sites
I'm wondering if the following content is a Wikitravel:Slippery slope leading to web site reviews (ie "the ui is better... etc). I'm also wondering about the number of sites given, do we really want an exhaustive review, or to simply state that these sites (maybe with one or two examples) exisit? Majnoona 10:33, 18 Jan 2006 (EST)
Mitfahrzentrale also has offices in major cities and charges a small commision. You need to ring the agency to obtain the driver's number and you can rate the driver after you travel.Mitfahrgelegenheit is a more private-run affair. You can contact the driver directly by email, phone or sms, and the user interface on the site is a bit more user friendly. Similar to the later are Drive2day and HitchHikers.
As the author of the quoted material, I thought I would chip in first. I don't see in what way this is an example of a slippery slope, other than the state of the fact that I said that one has a better user interface than the other. The mitfahrzentrale link was already there, and is in fact also mentioned in my printed guidebook. I have used the Mitfahrgelegenheit website regularly for travel within Germany, and from Germany, as have many other locals I know. In my opinion, this is good information to know, it applies to the whole of Germany, and is in the Getting around section. Could you be more-specific as to how you regard this as a slippery slope, and I will try to edit it accordingly. Cheers. -- Brendio 14:39, 18 Jan 2006 (EST)
I didn't see until just now the extra edit, bringing the total number of site to four. I will leave it to others to comment. -- Brendio 14:46, 18 Jan 2006 (EST)
Sorry to chip in again, but I have just had a quick look at the two website listed at the end, and, although they have .de web addresses, they both appear to be global sites, and had no entries for commons trips that I tried (Heidelberg to Berlin, Heidelberg to Munich). I thus don't think they would be as useful to German travellers as the first two listed. -- Brendio 14:52, 18 Jan 2006 (EST)
Having not heard any response, I had a go at editing it to trim it down a bit. I left only the two major websites that are popular in Germany (as far as I am aware— other German residents feel free to disagree). -- Brendio 19:12, 20 Jan 2006 (EST)
Sorry, that is not correct, the fine is 40€.
Getting around by bicycle?
Alas I don't speak German, but I do live in Germany and I travel frequently by bicycle to the towns surrounding my area. Should travel by bicycle be considered a way to "get around"? On most local trains and some ICE bicycle carriage is permitted, albeit at a fee. Also, in rural areas there are some very nice and some not so nice bike trails that go between major cities. I have also met some Germans at youth hostels who are biking across Germany or at least around a certain state. Is this considered by wikitravel to be a way to get around? Should it have its own article?
220.127.116.11 04:50, 19 April 2006 (EDT)foidulus
It could be considered a way to get around, but how much information does there really need to be? I've met a person who was riding his bike from the Bavarian Alps to Cologne, however, whereas most travellers will not be traveling around Germany it probably doesn't need to go in Germany's country article. Maybe a short description of where riders can cycle and the bicycle laws in Germany would be appropriate for the Germany article. It would probably be more apporpriate to have the information in the local articles. This doesn't need its own article. Sapphire 04:57, 19 April 2006 (EDT)
Has your friend really taken bike trips that far!? You don't happen to know Lance Armstrong do you? I like the possibility of the Long distance bike touring or Bike touring, but does it need to be "Bike touring in X"? That seemed to be an issue some people had with the rail articles. I could understand a "Bike touring in France," because France does have the Tour de France. Sapphire 05:09, 19 April 2006 (EDT)
Discovering Germany by Bike - Millions of visitors to Germany have already discovered that exploring the country by bike can be both relaxing and exciting. Here, you can find a selection of the most beautiful long-distance bicycle routes and regions including route descriptions, maps, sightseeing attractions and tips. Therefore, the federal states of Germany present themselves by means of their long-distance bicycle routes more... --- 18.104.22.168 15:32, 23 July 2007 (EDT)
"the bicycle laws in Germany" - you really want to go into that much detail? --22.214.171.124 19:09, 12 April 2010 (EDT)
Hi. This may be a rather unimportant issue, but it says in the article that food and wine at the cheaper discounters may be of "poor quality". As far as my experience goes, and to what I read here and there, that is not the case at all. It is often stated that some of the cheaper products available at discounters are of a better quality than higher-priced ones at the up-scale supermarkets. As for wine, an acquaintance of mine is a real gourmet (he doesn't hesitate to spend € 200 on a bottle of really good wine), and he says that some of the not-so-cheap wines at the discounters are actually excellent. I'd like to strike the respective sentence. Cheers, Krankman 15:58, 9 September 2006 (EDT)
I know for a fact that many - if not most - large quality food brands sell their stuff at the discount markets as well. They just label them different and alter the taste (smell, appearance) a little so its not too obvious. So I don't agree with the 'poor quality' statement.--126.96.36.199 14:22, 17 September 2007 (EDT)
"That is the first product in the chain of "Apfelwein" production; one glass of it is nice, but after two or three glasses you will have a problem." I am not sure what that means. Digestive problems? Heartburn? Hang-over? Could someone please elaborate? Thanks. Krankman 16:54, 9 September 2006 (EDT)
It will basically give you the runs, so put a good book near your toilet. ~~Anselm.
I removed the routes usable by SchönesWochenende section, as it was a humongous amount of very specific text to scroll through on a page about general Germany. My original thought was to put it on a page of its own and link, but it did not seem to match any of the templates, so perhaps it does not belong here at all? I am very new to this community, so please dig the text out of the history and relocate it if I was wrong.
188.8.131.52 14:56, 16 March 2007 (EDT)
Is there a website for all the list of Berlin Hotels?
I don't know, but you can find a list of quite a few recommended ones in the district articles for Berlin. - Todd VerBeek 08:27, 18 May 2007 (EDT)
That's actually not true. There are wolves in the forests of eastern germany, and recently one bear was shot in the alps in bavaria.
Its only a few packs of wolfes in a rather rural area (Lausitz) in the very east by the border to Poland and that bear was shot after 2 month.
So there are no (more) bears and hardly any wolfes in the wild, dont worry 184.108.40.206 12:48, 5 April 2009 (EDT)
There are active wolf packs in the Lausitz that swam over from Poland. It is documented.
Behaving in public
I've removed this sentence: "However, Germans expect everyone to obey the rules to the letter, and foreigners are not exempt." I know this is a stereotype, but (as a German studying in the U.S.) it doesn't ring particularly true to me. (For instance, in Germany you're not usually required to actually know the law; just behave "reasonably". I find it really funny when (in the U.S.) I see legalese posted on hotel room doors or "New York state law requires blah" signs.) If someone wants to re-add this though and perhaps make it a little more specific, feel free to. -- 220.127.116.11 23:58, 1 December 2007 (EST)
This article currently does not follow the the Wikitravel:Manual of style—it appears that the sections "See" and "Other destinations" have somehow been combined under an "Other destinations" section which does not perform the usual purpose of that section. The content should probably be mostly moved to a new "See" section and a one-liner list should take its place. Please see Wikitravel:Country article template for more details. --PeterTalk 05:00, 23 January 2008 (EST)
Wind & Sea in North Germany
I don't think that "south-easterly winds" push water into the german bight. The predominant wind direction is definitely south-west and only north to west wind is able to push water to the coast.
Too bad I don't have time to make more than dabbing changes. It feels like this article is lacking coherence. Rather than giving the traveller a comprehensive introduction to the country it appears as a somewhat random collection facts that that were somehow important for individual contributors.
While the facts are mostly true they seem often irrelevant, blown out of proportion or missing important context. There is a warning box (!) about the ban of "Mein Kampf" (factually incorrect - and relevant for whom?). There are detailed instructions about obscure details of food etiquette that probably even 90% of the Germans are not aware of (again, relevant for whom?). Or the extensive paragraph about how not to photograph military installations... there's a lot of this stuff here. I'd say it rather confuses the traveller.
Other paragraphs are obviously touting someone's favourite place. Plus some stereotypes reinforced or some attempts to defuse the stereotypes of the stereotypical traveller ("not all of the country consists of stocky boys in Lederhosen" - come on). Averell23 03:20, 27 May 2008 (EDT)
Train section rewrite
I found DB ticketing totally bewildering, and the Wikitravel content about it, while factually correct, was laid out really chaotically. So I plunged forward and rewrite pretty much the whole thing, and would appreciate it if some native train expert could take a look and tell me what mistakes I made in the process. Jpatokal 13:29, 12 November 2008 (EST)
The rewrite is ok as the DB ticketing has more exception than rules ;-) The difference between Verkehrsbünden & DB is more complex as DB is shareholder in some VB's and some cross-tickets are available... jan 10:13, 16 December 2008 (EST)
Small Error fixed
I fixed a little error in the sausage-area, it used to say "große Bratwurst" (big fried sausage), but since there is no such "famous" sausage, I believe it was ment to be "grobe Bratwurst" ("coarse fried sausage"), a very commen and eaten kind with rather thick texture. Nevertheless: Great article, it was a real thread to read it. (HenrieSchnee)
It seems that the German stay safe section attracts a lot of jerks with strong opinions on Nazis & racism. I tried to retone the section about racism. Skin colour is sadly still an issue in some circumstances in Germany, so it should be mentioned. I took the style button out but let us all have a closer eye on that section jan 07:38, 15 May 2009 (EDT)
I retoned the Stay safe and Respect section again to some quite strong points. Please discuss first before major changes happen. Thanks, jan 07:43, 16 December 2009 (EST)
"Skin colour is sadly still an issue in some circumstances in Germany" - true. However not more than in the US, France, UK, Netherlands (based on own wife's experience)
Frankly, the last paragraph in that section "Large cities like Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne have a significant Turkish, Russian and Arab population. Especially on weekend nights, ..." is completely misleading for visitors. It sounds like that there is significant gang crime which is not the case - especially not in comparison to major cities in the US, suburban Paris, suburban London, etc. Also, I am not sure that this giant red disclaimer regarding "avoidance of Nazi symbolics" is needed. It is true that using nazi symbols is considered disrespectful and it is indeed illegal, but I have not seen a single press report indicating that this was an issue for anybody other than rightwing skinheads. Hence it should be enough to mention it in the normal text flow and not use the tools generally reserved for warnings of kidnappings and roadside bombings. Generally, the overall size of the stay safe section is disproportionally huge compared of the low crime rate in Germany.
Please feel free to plunge forward and edit the article in any way you think will make it more accurate. Also, on "Talk" pages, it is customary to sign your posts by type 4 tildes (the "~" key) in a row before you press "Enter." Ikan Kekek 23:00, 18 November 2011 (EST)
Thanks for the hint regarding signing postings. I made some changes including a) I put the crime section in some perspective by adding some numbers, b) I took out the red box on Nazi symbols (it is still fully discussed in the respect section), c) I added the second emergency phone number 110, d) I removed the section on 'gang crime' (please move it to the general crime section if you want to add it again because it has nothing to do with racism, but as I mentioned gang crime and ghettos hardly exist in Germany and are of no relevance to tourists). I also cleaned up some of the language and grammar. I hope this is OK for everyone. AlexE 04:02, 19 November 2011 (EST)
Germans and cars
an important thing you might want to add (not sure where) is that you never ever touch any car or motorcycle. Thats very important, and I'm wondering why there is no hint about it. Germans can be very angry about mere touching. --18.104.22.168 12:21, 15 July 2009 (EDT)
I'm surprised it isn't mentioned in every Respect section in Germany already:-)! Feel free to plunge forward if you must, however try to avoid too much cultural trivia. Do visitors really go around deliberately touching cars or bikes? Would a German really get that upset about a accidental touch? --inas 20:42, 15 July 2009 (EDT)
Complete nonsense. But: you should not lean against a car as you can scratch the paintwork ... nor you should sit on a car except it's yours. --22.214.171.124 16:24, 15 June 2010 (EDT)
I've removed the "minimum speed limit" for the Autobahn. This seems to be a common misunderstanding - there is no such thing. The requirement is only that a vehicle must be capable of a top speed of more than 60 km/h. However, it is completely legal to drive slower, even if other drivers may hate you. Averell23 17:55, 15 January 2010 (EST)
Complete nonsense. If you go slower, you are slowing down the traffic and serious endangering other drivers. This is strictly forbidden. If you are not capable to reach 60km/h, you must leave the Autobahn. Period. --126.96.36.199 16:27, 15 June 2010 (EDT)
"papers please" urban legend removed
I removed the following part from the section "Police".
"By law you must have original or photocopied photo ID with you if you are over 16 (e.g. passport and/or visa papers). The police are generally very helpful but they have heard all the stories about "I forgot my papers" before and will likely be sceptical about any explanation, so it is better to bring photocopies if you have left your original documents in the hotel."
This is a popular urban legend. It might have been the case in past dictatorial/communist regimes but certainly not in Germany today.
In Germany citizens above the age of 16 are required to have some form of ID. However, there is no obligation to carry this ID with you. If anybody came into a situation where police would want to determine their identity, police would likely react the same as in any other country and, depending on the circumstances, figure out a way of determining who you are. But again, none of this is specific to Germany. Therefore I deleted the section.
This is an article on the German Wikipedia (in German) that explains in more detail: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ausweispflicht
and this is straight from the horse's mouth, the federal ID law: http://bundesrecht.juris.de/persauswg/ --Dred 06:56, 12 February 2010 (EST)
Hi Dred! You should have read the full Wikipedia article you were linking here. It is clearly stated you don't need to carry the ID card with you but in case of doubt police has the right to bring you to the police station to verify your identity (due to not have the papers with you... (Notfalls muss man der Exekutive in die Polizeiinspektion zur Identitätsfeststellung folgen.). I think legally you are right but in reality if police/customs wants a proof of your identity and you don't have your ID with you, you are very likely to spent sometime at the police station. Police is not fast and therefore you should better have some paper or at least copies with you. This is valid for all Schengen countries as the first link to the EU info says. I don't have time to change it know but some way the paragraph will be back in... jan 07:49, 12 February 2010 (EST)
Hi Jan, thanks for the comment. You are completely right, it makes sense to carry around your ID for identification purposes. My point was that 1) this is no different in Germany than anywhere else in the world, therefore there is no need for explicitly mentioning this fact in the Germany article, and 2) the first sentence of the paragraph I took out, "By law you must have original or photocopied photo ID with you if you are over 16 (e.g. passport and/or visa papers)." is blatantly wrong. There is no such law. --Dred 11:57, 12 February 2010 (EST)
Hi Dred, as stated above legally your are right but in practice police will cause trouble for anyone who can't present papers on the spot... jan 15:55, 12 February 2010 (EST)
This is true, there is no law saying it. But, you are better with having one with you, it can cause trouble, at least in time, they might take you to the station to identify you, and this takes time. Its not a big deal to take a ID with you...
Hi Guys, the fact that you will have many problems if you dont have your ID Card with you is just wrong. If the police wants to know your ID information (and you're not carring your id card with you), the first step is not to take you to the police station. Normally you have to tell them your ID Information (Adress, zip code, street name, birthdate). Afterwads they communicate via the police radio set to the police station to check and verify your data. If its positive, thats it. It justs need 5 Minutes.
They won't take every person to the police station, just because they're not carring the id card.
Hi! Most travellers that read Wikitravel in English are not German citizens so most people will be foreigners (even thereof the majority will not be EU/Schengen citizens with no residence in the EU) so the police will need to check the offical papers (either the original or at least copies of it) due to the fact that the German police is until today seldom on the spot equipped to verify the visa and it's validation. Therefore for most Wikitravellers it is pretty wise to have some papers (or at least copies of it) to avoid a police transport to the hotel (in the good case) or to the police station (in the bad case). I agree as a German citizen you can walk around without papers but non EU citizens should not bet on this... jan 09:29, 11 May 2010 (EDT)
You update on that issue. Since early 2010 on construction sites etc. every has to have an offical documentation (passport for non-EU citizens, photo ID for EU citzens) with them. Its due to black market labourers and you can get arrested for it. jan 07:47, 7 September 2010 (EDT)
What happened to the part about Age Restrictions of Movies and the Protection of Minors Law? Why was this deleted?
188.8.131.52 08:49, 11 March 2010 (EST)
Hi! It seems that you are not familiar with the policies and aims of Wikitravel. Obvious facts (e.g. movie age restrictions) will be deleted due to our Wikitravel:No_advice_from_Captain_Obvious guideline because they apply everwhere in the world. Also the protection of minors is pretty standard and Wikitravel is no encyclopedia like Wikipedia where every nonsense is stated. See Wikitravel:Welcome, Wikipedians for more on that. jan 09:35, 11 March 2010 (EST)
Religious symbols cannot be banned in germany, thus buddhists are allowed to wear swastikas openly. The only thing that could happen would be getting some strange looks and maybe explaining your religious situation to the police. It is not forbidden in the context of religion. Please rewrite that part.
I just found out from the Auslanderbehorde that Brazilians can also apply for a residence permit in Germany after entering without a visa, at least ones that do not allow work... Unfortunately my country can't...
In case anyone wants to know the source of my edits to include information about the visa exemption for refugees and stateless persons from 'Annex II' countries and the ability for some 'Annex II' nationals to work in their 90 day visa-free entry, see this European Union document - . 184.108.40.206 17:41, 30 May 2011 (EDT)
E. coli outbreak
Should there be a warning in the stay healthy section about the recent outbreak about E. coli / Ehec mainly in northern Germany? Das Klo 06:32, 7 June 2011 (EDT)
The part about politics in Germany contains light but not insignificant political bias. For example equating the FDP with the Tea Party movement is nonsensical. The FDP is a liberal party and not only in a "nominal" economical sense. Conservatism and social liberalism are not mutually exclusive in Germany ("Liberalkonservativ"), comparisons with US-style politics lack context.
Also politics of conservative parties are not "usually" heavy-handend.
The Pirates ("Die Piraten") should not be considered a party of medium importance after just one state election and isolated polls.
Finaly The Left ("Die Linke") is not the most important party in former East Germany by any margin.
This articel is very well written. I should be kept politically neutral. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 220.127.116.11 (talk • contribs)
I made some changes: the comparison of FDP (free-market advocates, socially very liberal and pro-civil rights) and Tea Party (free-market advocates, socially very conservative) is complete nonsense. Also, the Linke is not the strongest party in the East, but rather the number 2 behind the CDU and never has led a state government. AlexE 15:46, 26 November 2011 (EST)