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At the Gate of history
Brandenburg, the exponent monument of German classicism, will always be the starting point. Then continue to the Reichstag (parliament) and the famous Victory Column on the Tiergarten. Historical Berlin proceeds through Unter den Linden, the great avenue with many important institutions, and the Alexanderplatz, largest square in the city.
At the gates of innovation
Potsdam square is a great example of Berlin’s rejuvenation after the fall of the Wall, with new and modern constructions. And besides the buzzling nightlife of Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain districts, there are plenty of interesting cultural references: from Museumsinsel (island of museums) to the Berliner Philharmoniker concerts and contemporary art in Hamburger Bahnhof. Make sure you come with a plan!
Culture and Business
Make sure you have your identity card or passport and boarding pass with you. Depending on your country of origin, take care of your visa or other necessary documentation ahead of time.
Tipping & paying
There are several places that do not accept credit card payments, so it’s recommended to always have some money. Germany is part of the Eurozone, so the currency is the Euro (EUR). It is common to leave a tip of 5 to 10%.
What to wear
Especially regarding business, German culture is quite formal. Depending on the context, if you’re not sure it’s always best to choose a more conservative and professional look. Even in less formal situations, it’s important to maintain a neat and organized appearance.
What you should do
Be on time. Whether it is for a business meeting or a cup of coffee with a colleague, Germans are usually never late. When going out for dinner or having a drink, it’s normal for everyone to pay their share of the bill.
What you shouldn’t do
Don’t jaywalk — you’ll risk getting a fine and uncomfortable disapproval stares from the locals.
Languages & useful phrases
Most Germans who live in major cities also speak English, but learning a few German phrases will definitely be useful: "Wie geht es Ihnen?" = how are you?; “bitte” = please; “danke schön” = thank you very much; “entschuldigung” = sorry.
During the summer, average temperatures are around 22ºC and in winter 3ºC, depending on the region. In winter, temperatures can reach -10°C with rain and snow, so be sure to take a good jacket, gloves and a pair of boots suitable for ice.
GMT + 1
Geography & politics
Germany is located in central Europe, between the Netherlands and Poland. It is a federal constitutional democracy and part of the European Union.
When meeting someone for the first time, greet them with a handshake. If you’re invited to someone’s house, take a bottle of wine and a bouquet of flowers as a thank you gesture.