German Metro Map
COMMUNICATION TELEPHONES. Most public phones accept only telephone cards. You can pick up a Telefonkarte (phone card) in post offices, at kiosks, or at selected Deutsche Bahn counters in major train stations. Mobile phones are an increasingly popular and economical alternative (30). There is no standard length for telephone numbers. The smaller the city, the more digits in the city code, while individual phone numbers have between three and 10 digits. International direct dial numbers include: AT&T, 800 22 55 288; British Telecom, -a-800 89 00 49; Canada Direct, 800 888 00 14; Ireland Direct, 08000 800 353; MCI, 800 88 88 000; Sprint, 800 888 00 13; Telecom New Zealand, 800 080 00 64; Telkom South Africa, s800 180 00 27; Telstra Australia, 800 08 00 061.
MAIL. Let’s Go lists the addresses for mail to be held (Postlagemde Briefe) in the practical information sections of big cities. The mail will go to the main post office unless you specify a post office by street address. Air mail usually takes 3-7 days to North America, Europe, and Australia; 6-12 days to New Zealand.
EMERGENCY Police: 110. Ambulance and Fire: a 112.
PHONE CODES Country code: 49. International dialing prefix: 00.
ACCOMMODATIONS AND CAMPING
INTERNET ACCESS. Most German cities (as well as a surprising number of smaller towns) have at least one Internet cafe with web access for about ‚1-5 per 30min. Some German universities have banks of computers hooked up to the Internet in their libraries, though ostensibly for student use.
LANGUAGE. Many people in Western Germany speak English; this is less common in the East and among the older generations. The letter 6 is equivalent to a double s. For basic German words and phrases, see 1036.
ACCOMMODATIONS under ‚14 ‚14-19 ‚20-35 ‚36-60 over ‚60
Germany currently has about 600 hostels more than any other nation on Earth. Official hostels in Germany are overseen by DJH (Deutsches Jugendherbergswerk), Bismarckstr. 8, 32756 Detmold, Germany (a (05231) 740 10; www.djh.de). DJH has recently initiated a growing number of Jugendgastehauser, youth guest houses that have more facilities and attract slightly older guests. DJH publishes Jugendherbergen in Deutschland, a guide to all federated German hostels. The cheapest hotel-style accommodations are places with Pension, Gasthof, Gastehaus, or Hotel-Gami in the name. Hotel rooms start at ‚20 for singles and ‚25 for doubles; in large cities, expect to pay nearly twice as much. Friihstiick (breakfast) is almost always available and often included. The best bet for a cheap bed is often a Privatzim-mer (a room in a family home). This option works best if you have a rudimentary knowledge of German. Prices generally run ‚15-30 per person. Travelers over 26 who would pay higher prices at youth hostels will find these rooms within their budget range. Reservations are made through the local tourist office or through a private Zimmervermittlung (room-booking office) for free or a ‚1-4 fee. Germans love camping; over 2600 campsites dot the outskirts of even the most major cities. Facilities are well maintained and usually provide showers, bathrooms, and a restaurant or store. Camping costs ‚3-6 per person, with additional charges for tents and vehicles. Blue signs with a black tent on a white background indicate official sites.
FOOD 1 under ‚4 ‚4-6 ‚7-12 ‚13-20 over ‚20
The typical German breakfast consists of coffee or tea with Brotchen (rolls), Wurst (cold sausage), and Kdse (cheese). The main meal of the day, Mittagessen (lunch), includes soup, broiled sausage or roasted meat, potatoes or dumplings, and a salad or vegetable side dish. Abendessen or Abendbrot (dinner) is a reprise of breakfast, only beer replaces coffee and the selection of meats and cheeses is wider. Many older Germans indulge in a daily ritual of Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake) at 3 or 4pm. To eat on the cheap, stick to the daily Tagesmenil, buy food in supermarkets, or, if you have a student ID, head to a university Mensa (cafeteria). Fast-food Imbiji stands also offer cheap fare; try the delicious Turkish Doner, something like a gyro. The average German beer is maltier and more bread-like than Czech, Dutch, or American beers; an affectionate German slang term for beer is FliiJSige Brot (liquid bread).
HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
Holidays: Epiphany (Jan. 6); Good Friday (Apr. 9); Easter Sunday and Monday (Apr. 11-12); Labor Day (May 1); Ascension Day (May 29); Whit Sunday and Monday (May 30-31); Corpus Christi (June 10); Assumption Day (Aug. 15); Day of German Unity (Oct. 3); All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1); Christmas (Dec. 25-26).
Festivals: Check out Fasching in Munich (Jan. 7-Feb. 24; 492), the Berlinale Film Festival (Feb. 5-15; 442), Karneval in Cologne (Feb. 19-24; 477), Christopher Street Day in Berlin and other major cities (late June), the Love Parade in Berlin (mid-July; 7), Oktoberfest in Munich (Sept. 18-Oct. 3; 492), and the Christmas Market in Nuremberg.