Yay!! So you are planning to come visit us here in Germany? We are going to have a great time!! Many of you have asked what you should bring, what to expect, and what kinds of things are there to do here. So, I have put together a short list of tidbits about visiting our area of Germany.
Packing and Preparing for the Visit
- Pack clothes for layering. Often it is a bit cool in the morning, but by afternoon it may be very toasty. (April through October). In the cooler months be sure you have a warm, waterproof jacket and comfortable rain wear shoes. An umbrella is also a must year round, it may rain for an hour and then sunshine the rest of the day, but you don’t want that rain to ruin your day out.
- Bring comfortable shoes! You will be doing a LOT of walking and you don’t want to ruin your trip because your feet are hurting. There is great public transportation, but much of getting around is done on foot.
- Remember to convert your spending cash to Euros. You can do this before you leave, or in the Airport when you arrive. Many places in Germany will only accept cash! Some of the larger stores and businesses in larger cities will accept a credit card, but many do not!
- Be sure to bring your medications. All medications are sold in pharmacies here in Germany. You even need to get Tylenol and Ibuprofen at the pharmacy!(no script required) You can’t just pick up some Pepto at the gas station, or get an Excedrin in the grocery store here.
Just a Few Things to Mention
- Germans usually drink bubbly water. Some places will serve Stilles Wasser (non-carbonated water), but not all. Also, in Germany you pay for water, and each drink you order. No free refills like in the USA.
- Be sure to keep a Euro coin or two in your pocket where ever you go. Many of the public toilets here cost 0.50 cent or a Euro to use. We don’t want any “accidents” because you didn’t have any change available.
- Many if not most buildings here in Germany do not use air conditioning. So, for many Americans that are used to the arctic blast of the air conditioner, it feels very hot and sticky in the summer months. Most places keep the shades down to keep the sun from warming the house, use fans or open the window for a nice breeze.
- Very few places are open on Sundays in Germany. Most stores are closed. You will find a gas station here or there that is open. Also, many bars and restaurants are open for business. But do not plan a big shopping trip for a Sunday, or you will be very disappointed.
Photo by F4Bi from Pexels
Things to do and see
- The Köln Cathedral
- A walk along the Rhein River
- window shopping in Köln
- Several museums to see including the Schokoladenmuseum, YUM!
- The Augustusburg and Falkenlust Palaces in Brühl
- The Köln Zoo
- visit the “love lock” bridge, Hohenzollern Bridge
- Drink Kölsch, of course
- many, many fabulous places to eat and drink
- If you like amusement parks, there is Phantasialand in Brühl
- Don’t forget to get tattooed at Art of the Needle in Brühl
These are just a few of the fun things to do while visiting our area of Germany. There are many more places to see that are just a short train ride away.