Conventional long form: Federal Republic of Germany
Local long form: DEUTSCHLAND
Berlin (population 3,472,009)
Location and Climate
Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark.
Cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers.
82,398,326 (July 2003 est.)
Protestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, unaffiliated or other 28.3%
The European Euro (EUR)
1 EUR = approx. 1.17 USD (September 2018) LIVE CONVERSION
8 Day rate converted to Euro
1 Euro = 1 USD converts to 1 EUR 50 Euros = 50 USD converts to 42 EUR
How will the USD match up against the EUR next month, or six months from now?
Look here for a forecast.
Frankfurt Am Main Airport (FRA)
Located at the rear of Terminal 1, in the center aisle. Look for the SEB sign or ask at the information booth. They have the best rate at the airport and often will give you a better one if you exchange over $US 1000 US. TIP: You usually get a better rate when you exchange money at your destination rather than at your point of origin.
Internet Country Code
Other Information for the Traveler
The most popular airports for those flying into Germany:
Germany is a modern, developed country with first-rate medical facilities and a crime rate much lower than in the US. You will not need a vaccination to enter the country, nor will you need to concern yourself with prevalent diseases. A passport is required to visit. A visa is not required for tourist/business stays up to 90 days.
Public transportation: For info, including prices and schedules, see Deutsche Bahn.
Rental car: Many well-known rental car agencies are located in train stations, airports, and city centers, including Hertz, Budget, Alamo, and Sixt. Try to reserve a car with a built-in GPS (example: Opel Vectra). It takes time to learn, but it’s worth it. You input the exact address. It tells you when to turn with a simulated voice and the screen displays the turn within 10 meters. If you miss a turn, it will figure a new route. It can save hours’ worth of driving and searching.
As in most countries, German telephone numbers are a combination of area codes and the number itself. The area code (or city code) is a 0 (zero) followed by 2-5 digits, depending on the size of the municipality. For local calls, you dial the number without the area code. When calling from abroad, you omit the leading 0 in the area code.
When calling another city from within Germany, dial a zero before the city code (for example, when calling Berlin from Munich, the city code for Berlin is 030). Other city codes are:
The number itself may be from 3-8 digits, depending on the size of the municipality. The numbers must not start with 0, and not all numbers starting with 1 are allowed. The total length of the phone number (including the area code without the 0) is 12 or fewer digits. Cell phone numbers usually have seven digits.
To place a call from the USA to Germany, dial 01149 and then the actual telephone number. Be sure to drop the first zero from the city code.
Other helpful numbers:
115 Medical Emergency
Germany is on the European 220VC system, and uses different plugs and outlets. As such, your electric devices (razors, hairdryers, etc.) won’t work without a special adapter. Fortunately, this is inexpensive and is readily available at most travel stores.
Each region in Germany has its own specialties, but roasts, steaks, chops, dumplings, and potatoes will always be on the menu. Expect to pay around 12.00-20.00+ EUR per plate. German breakfasts, especially those served in rural guesthouses, tend to be enormous, offering fresh rolls, sliced meats and cheeses, hard-boiled or fried eggs, fruit, yogurt, cereal or muesli, coffee, tea, milk, and juice. There are also familiar fast-food restaurants, such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, and Subway, available in the larger towns and cities. Turkish and Italian cuisine makes for the most popular foreign dining options.
Prostitution per se is legal here, but pimping, promoting prostitution, and trafficking are not. Prostitutes still must pay taxes and get health checks. Authorities often raid sex-related establishments to remove foreign sex workers without legal documentation. Many Eastern European nations will join the EU this year, so there should be fewer undocumented workers in all types of employment.
Legalized prostitution takes many forms here. They include:
This German term refers to women who normally work out of their own homes or apartments as independents. They are typically students looking to earn extra money or bored housewives/single women looking for more sexual fulfillment. They normally advertise over the Internet or in the Personals section of sex-related publications.
These women work either independently or for an agency. They typically visit upscale hotels to service well-heeled business travelers. They tend to be very attractive and charge fees at the higher end of the scale. They normally advertise over the Internet or via pamphlets available in certain hotel lobbies.
Red Light Districts
Most major German cities have at least one. They’re typically located near main train stations and are concentrated into areas spanning several blocks. They consist of strip clubs, sex shops, and walk-up apartments where women ply their trade. Service tends to be inexpensive, but it can also vary widely in quality from adequate to very poor. The Reeperbahn in Hamburg is notorious for poor service.
Streetwalkers also belong in this category. In certain areas of the country (for example, in the city of Würzburg), they operate out of small trailers parked alongside the road in out-of-the-way areas.
These are smaller establishments that usually employ three to five (or more) women. They often feature a certain nationality (for example, Asian). There is usually no entry fee and the price per session is set according to time and/or activity. There is often a small bar where one must pay for drinks. These establishments normally advertise over the Internet or in sex-related publications, taking care to downplay the prostitution aspect.
FKK Sauna Clubs
These establishments are housed in converted large homes or industrial properties. They’re typically concentrated in the Rhein-Ruhr area (Frankfurt-Cologne-Düsseldorf), although a few exist in the former East Germany or in Bavaria (Munich area). They typically include amenities such as full-alcohol bars, showers and towels, swimming pools, wet and dry saunas, fitness equipment, and buffets, and they encourage guests to stay as long as they like in exchange for an entry fee.
They use the term “FKK” (which refers to nudism, a socially-acceptable hobby in Germany) to promote themselves and downplay the prostitution aspect. Depending on their floor space, they employ anywhere from a half-dozen to several dozen women, who appear fully nude to entice customers. Prices are reasonable and quality of service varies from adequate to very good. These establishments normally advertise over the Internet or in sex-related publications.
These establishments are referred to as “Partytreffs” in German. Although they charge guests an entry fee, they’re not brothels. Rather, they’re a venue for consenting adults to indulge in sex without exchanging money. Still, club management occasionally hires attractive prostitutes to liven things up.