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Towing speed limits on German Autobahns

The normal speed limit for caravans on German Autobahns (Motorways) is 80Km/h.

UK or Irish caravanners wishing to travel at 100Km/h on German motorways will first have to pass a TÜV (MOT) test in Germany to confirm that their outfit is suitable for travelling at 100km/h. The requirements for a successful pass are:

1) Requirement: Towing Vehicle
Must have ABS.
Be a registered vehicle (Foreign registered is OK).
2) Requirement: Trailer

Must be suitable for travelling at 100Km/h.
The caravan must be loaded in such a way that it reaches the vehicle's nose weight limit as much as possible without exceeding it.
Must have a brake and hydraulic suspension system.
Must not exceed its maximum permissible load.
3) Requirement: Tyres

Must not be older than 6 years and in good condition.
Speed index must be at least L (120km/h).
Must not exceed maximum prescribed weight limit.
4) Requirement: Outfit weight ratio

The percentage ratio between car and caravan must not exceed 80%.
A 100% is allowed if the caravan is fitted with a stabilizer which conforms to ISO 11555-1 or any similar device suitable for up to 120Km/h (for similar devices written proof of specifications may be required).
Driving

Vehicle documents
Check with your motor vehicle insurance company regarding any documents you will need and whether additional motor insurance is required. The international registration letters of your country of residence must be displayed at the rear of the car. Foreign nationals may drive in Germany for up to one year with an International Driving Permit, or with their own driving licences with a German translation (this is not necessary for EU citizens). Translations of licences can be supplied by motoring organisations in your country of residence. Third-party insurance is mandatory in Germany for most nationals, and you must be covered for Germany and all other EU countries. A Green Card or pink frontier insurance certificate must be carried as proof of insurance. However, EU nationals are not required to show proof of third-party insurance, although it is advisable to carry the relevant documents with you.

Before you go get covered for all events

Rules Of The Road

Always carry your full valid driving licence (or International Driving Permit, if necessary), vehicle registration documents, and insurance documents with you. Traffic drives on the right in Germany. Seat belts must be worn by both front- and back-seat passengers, including children. Always give way to the right at junctions and roundabouts, unless your road has priority (indicated by a yellow diamond sign). The highest level of alcohol permitted in the bloodstream when driving is 80 mg per 100 ml (8g/l). A warning triangle and a first aid box must be carried, and the headlight beam must be adjusted in cars with right-hand drive. Stopping on a motorway other than in an emergency, is illegal.

 

Campsites Germany

Firmly set in the heart of Europe, the Federal Republic of Germany encompasses a huge diversity of landscapes, townscapes, and traditions. Great provincial cities like Munich or Dresden dominate their hinterlands, and local and regional identity is strong. In the centre of the country, wooded upland massifs are separated by the valleys of great rivers like the Rhine, Main, Danube, and Elbe. Northwards the landscapes and coastlines begin to resemble those of neighbouring countries, such as the Netherlands, Denmark, and the lands along the Baltic coast. To the south, the Alps forms a wonderful natural frontier. Berlin, once riven both physically and symbolically by a wall, is once again the capital of a reunified Germany, which is committed to the Europe Union but whose location also guarantees a key role in the regeneration of post-Communist Eastern Europe.

Western Germany has long been regarded as a European success story. After widespread devastation in World War II, its heritage of historic towns and cities was painstakingly restored. Shiny high-tech industrial plants have spread across the landscape, and shop fronts bulge with the products of a booming consumer society. German dynamism is symbolised by the dense traffic speeding along the country's pioneering network of autobahns. Between the thriving towns large areas of land are protected as nature reserves, and forests cover almost a third of the country. The former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) presents a rather different picture. It has a legacy of heavy, polluting industries, and its countryside is divided into monotonous large-scale state and collective farms. Many towns and villages, however, have an attractive, old-fashioned air about them, having escaped the often over-zealous modernisation practised in the west.

An unrivalled cultural heritage means that nearly every city of consequence in Germany has a first-rate artistic life, with state or civic orchestras, opera and theatre companies, and many art galleries. The country has produced an astonishing roll-call of composers, from the 18th-century patriarchs of classical music Johann Sebastian Bach, Handel, and Beethoven to the revolutionary of German opera, Richard Wagner. Philosophers such as Kant and Nietzsche and writers such as Goethe and the Brothers Grimm form part of Germany's literary tradition, which has burgeoned in the 20th century with famous names like Thomas Mann and Bertolt Brecht. Art groups have left their mark across the decades, from the Berliner Secessionists and the Expressionists to the angry muralists of the Berlin Wall. In Berlin, contemporary art galleries have sprung up in large numbers. Germany's pioneering record in film production, too, reads like a roll-call of world cinema: the Babelsberg Studios in the 1920s and 30s, the Expressionists Fritz Lang and FW Murnau, or the New German cinema directors such as Fassbinder and Herzog. But even though Germany is one of Europe's most modern countries, traditional culture is still in evidence. In the taverns, local notables gather round their reserved table, the Stammtisch, and countless festivals of all sizes are still celebrated with gusto, whether modestly at southern Germany's many religious processions and pilgrimages, or at mass outbreaks of jollity like the Cologne Carnival or Munich's Oktoberfest.

 

Electrical Devices
The electrical current in Germany is 220 volts AC. Round two-pin plugs are used. Germany is in the process of changing its mains current to 230 volts AC, in compliance with EU regulations, but this will have no impact on the vast majority of 220–240-volt electrical appliances. An adapter is essential for UK and Irish appliances.
Tipping
Service charges in restaurants are included in the bill but additional tips are common. However, it is customary to round the bill up to the nearest mark, and restaurants will sometimes assume this procedure and give you change accordingly. Taxi drivers expect DM1 or DM2 over and above the fee charged.
Public Holidays

1 January: New Year’s Day
6 January: Epiphany
Good Friday
Easter Monday
1 May: Labour Day
Ascension Day
Whit Monday
3 October: Day of German Unity
20 November: Day of Prayer and Repentance
25 and 26 December: Christmas
Travellers With Disabilities
Facilities in Germany for people with disabilities are among the best in Europe. Many trains are adapted for wheelchair access with wide doors and spaces for wheelchairs, and travellers with disabilities can reserve seats free of charge. Most public buildings and museums are equipped with ramps. However, a disabled badge or car sticker does not entitle travellers with disabilities to free car parking. For a list of resorts, hotels, and other accommodation offering special facilities for travellers with disabilities and, in some cases help with travel arrangements, contact Touristik Union International (TUI), Postfach 610280, 30602 Hannover, tel: +49 511 5670. They should be able to put you in touch with other organisations. Another helpful organisation is the BAG Hilfe für Behinderte, Eupener str. 4, 55131 Mainz, tel: +49 6131 225514.

Transport


Metro, buses and trams
The bus service in German cities is normally very efficient. Purchase tickets from ticket machines at bus stops or inside the bus, or directly from the bus driver. Trams provide a very reliable service in many cities. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Bus and tram stops are indicated by yellow signs with a green "H". The U-Bahn (metro) is found in Berlin, Bonn, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart. The ticket system is integrated with the cities' buses, Straßenbahn (trams) and S-Bahn (overground trains). The same ticket, available at automatic vending machines, can be used for any of these forms of transport. A book of tickets offers good value, and you can buy special tickets that allow unlimited travel within a 24-hour period.


Ferries


Car ferries cross the Rhine at a number of points. A 24-hour car ferry crosses Lake Constance (Bodensee) between Konstanz and Meersburg every 15 minutes during peak times and hourly at night. There are also ferries from Bremerhaven, Cuxhaven, Hamburg, Wilhelmshaven, and other seaports on the North Sea coast to the Frisian Islands. Ferries from seaports on the Baltic coast run to some of the islands in the Baltic Sea.

Before you go get covered for all events

Dresden

Because of the systematic transformation of its buildings in the 18th century to a style befitting its position as capital of Saxony, Dresden was once justly called the Florence of the north. The damage caused by the Allied air raid in February 1945 can never be fully made good, but some of the greatest monuments have been painstakingly restored. They include the Semper Opera House, the Hofkirche (Court Church), and above all, the Zwinger, a baroque complex which now houses a series of museums. The Albertinum is one of Germany's great museums, housing many treasures including Old Masters, modern German paintings, and ornate figurines. Much of the city centre was rebuilt in typical Soviet style, but Dresden still profits from its position on the River Elbe; attractions upstream include the Pillnitz Palace and Saxon Switzerland.


Munich

Within sight of the Alps, the glamorous capital of Bavaria, Munich (München), has much to offer: an extensive and well-restored old town, world-class museums and galleries, fine civic buildings such as the neo-Gothic town hall, and the wonderful church known as the Frauenkirche, whose twin onion-topped towers are the symbol of the city. This cosmopolitan city is enlivened by its strong identification with Bavarian traditions as well as by the presence of vast numbers of students, who have made the suburb of Schwabing their own. In addition, the city boasts magnificent green spaces, ranging from raucous beer gardens to the vast English-style park known as the Englischer Garten and the Olympiapark. Nymphenburg Palace, the Versailles of Bavaria, is also worth seeing.

Entry Requirements

Citizens of the European Union (EU), as well as citizens of Andorra, Hungary, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, and Switzerland, may enter Germany with a national identity card and stay for a period of 90 days. However, citizens of the United Kingdom and Ireland, where there is no national identity card system, must carry a valid passport. Other nationals should consult the German embassy or consulate in their own country before departure for any visa requirements.

Emergency Phone Numbers
Police and ambulance: 110
Fire brigade: 112
Alternative pan-European emergency number for all services: 112


Time Zones

Central European Time (GMT plus one hour). Clocks are put forward one hour from the last Sunday in March to the Saturday before the end of October.
Roads, Tolls And Speed Limits
Roads in Germany are generally of a very high standard. Autobahnen (motorways) are toll-free and among the best in Europe. They are indicated by blue signs with an “A”; ordinary main roads are indicated by yellow signs with a “B”. Rest stops are found at regular intervals. On the Autobahns there is an advisory speed limit of 130 kilometres (81 miles) per hour. On other roads the compulsory limit is 100 kilometres (62 miles) per hour, and in built-up areas (indicated by place-name signs) 50 kilometres (31 miles) per hour.