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Weimar, Germany – Travel Guide

Weimar, Germany – Travel Guide

 

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Cranachhaus Weimar.jpg

Weimar is the town of Goethe and Schiller and is found in Thuringia (Thüringen) state, Germany.

Get in[edit]


Weimar is a small town with lots of tourists, most of whom come in on coaches for day-visits. Roads can be congested in the mornings and evenings.

Railway station

By train[edit]

The best and most convenient way is by train. Deutsche Bahn offers direct connections from Berlin, Leipzig and Erfurt. Weimar Hauptbahnhof is about a kilometre from Goetheplatz, in the city’s center: you can

  • walk: A pleasant ten-minute stroll downhill is a good way to stretch your legs after the train-ride. Cross the square in front of the station and walk down Carl-August-Allee. Go around the right of the building at the end of this road (the Neues Museum), and continue walking in the same direction, now on Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse, continue across the crossing and you soon find yourself in the city centre.
  • take a bus: lines 2, 3, 3A, 3B, and 6 will bring you to Goetheplatz within a few minutes. One-way tickets cost EUR 1.60.

By car[edit]

Weimar is connected to the Autobahn A4.

By plane[edit]

The nearest airport is in Erfurt [1] but few connections and high fares make it only feasible for business travellers.

The Leipzig Halle Airport (Flughafen) is the closest airport for all intents and purposes. It is an international airport, with most major cities one stop away.

Get around[edit]

Weimar is small and the best way is by foot or bike. Weimar has a public transport system but as a tourist you won’t need it. Taxis are at night the best way when you feel lost and they are used to cater tourists.

See[edit][add listing]

Weimar is one of the most historic sites in Germany. It was home of Goethe and Schiller, the two most famous German poets and writers.

  • Bauhaus-University Weimar and the Haus am Horn, part of the Bauhaus Sites protected by UNESCO [2].
  • Stadtschloss (city castle) – Home of the biggest sponsor of Goethe and Schiller. Art gallery.
  • Anna Amalia Bibliothek – Unique library and art selection, famous for it’s rococo style. A fire in 2004 did great damage but the library reopened in 2007.
  • Nationaltheater – Foundation place of the first German democracy in 1918 and successor of the Weimar Hof theatre where Goethe’s premieres took place. Well-known theatre today.
  • Park an der Ilm – Picturesque garden with Goethes summer house. Lie down on the lawn and enjoy the scenery.
  • Belvedere – charming park with summer castle a short distance to the south of the city
  • Goethe- and Schiller-Memorial in the Theaterplatz – This is a very famous memorial for two great German writers.
  • Buchenwald – for a more somber outing, one can visit the famous Jewish concentration camp, just over the hill from Weimar in Ettersberg. It’s a 20 minute bus ride from the train station. The Stalinist monument erected outside the camp once the Soviets took over is visible from the city.

Do[edit][add listing]

The best thing is to take a guided tour through the town because most buildings have a story. Either you have time or plan a tour through all buildings of interest.

Inexpensive self-guided GPS audio walking tours are available from the tourist information section in English, French and German.

The nation of poets and thinkers (Land der Dichter und Denker) became a country of judges and hangmen(Richter und Henker) in the period from 1933-45. To complement the experience of Weimar, the cultural capital, make the short trip to the Buchenwald Memorial [3] just 10 kilometers outside town. This is a good experience to see how close genius and nightmare of German history can come.

An excellent introduction to Weimar is Weimar Haus: Das Geschichtserlebnis (in English, “The History Experience”). This is an interactive multimedia tour (choice of languages) through Weimar’s history from prehistoric times to the present. It features audio, video, wax figures and detailed sets you move through guided by famous historical figures. Schillerstr. 16.

pèlerinages Kunstfest Weimar – annual event during late summer, four weeks full of cultural events and activities.

Zwiebelmarkt – traditionally a harvest market this is today Weimar’s biggest fair, one weekend every year in mid October.



In the Theaterplatz there is the Bauhaus-Museum, Weimar is the birthplace of Bauhaus.

Eat[edit][add listing]

The market square is the home of the centuries-old and extremely tasty Thueringer Bratwurst, which can be bought at one of the many sausage stands during the day. It is widely considered a delicacy. The area is also famous for its cakes, such as the Zupfkuchen, all widely available generally costing around one euro.

There are many good restaurants in the city catering to the tourist market selling all manner of cuisine, and with the compact nature of the city you can never be far away from the food you are wanting.

  • Pizzeria Da Antonio, Windischenstraße 33, Weimar. 10.00-24.00. A friendly, cheap italian restaurant with 90 main dishes to choose from, including 45 types of pizza and many salads or pasta dishes. Average dish price €6-7.50, 0.5l of soft drink or beer around €2.50. Main dishes all between €4.50-9.00.  edit


Drink[edit][add listing]

In the Hauptbahnhof there is a snack bar where you may find an excellent iced tea.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Labyrinth Hostel Weimar Goetheplatz 6, Tel.: 0178-7487579, E-Mail – Right in the center of town, a new youth hostel and Weimar’s first private hostel. Prices from 10 €, a bed in a double costs from 20 €
  • Das Hababusch Hostel, Geleitstr. 4, 03643 850737 (, fax: 03643 402615), [4]. checkin: 9am; checkout: 10am-noon. Very central, affordable but a little grungy. It is altogether quite small, so it’s a good idea to book ahead of time if possible. €12.50 (dm) / €17.50 (d) / €22.50 (s).  edit
  • DJH Jugendherberge Am Poseckschen Garten, Humboldtstr. 17, 03643 850792 (, fax: 03643 850793), [5]. Near the historical graveyard, this hostel is a bit out of the way. A ten minute walk will bring you downtown, though, and bus-line #6 stops nearby too (Cranachstrasse). ~€20.  edit
  • Comfort Hotel Weimar (Comfort Hotel Weimar), Ernst-Busse-Straße 4 99427 Weimar, +49-(0)3643 / 455-0, [6]. The hotel is located in the northern part of Weimar, only 10 minutes drive from the city centre, and has its own free car park. Easy access A4 motorway (Autobahn A 4) or the local public transport system. (51.011398891,11.331603527) edit
  • Best Western Premier Grand Hotel Russischer Hof, Goetheplatz 2, +49 (0)3643-7740 (, fax: +49 (0)3643-774840), [7]. The Hotel is located within the historical part of Weimar and all points of interest are within walking distance.  edit

Cope[edit]

  • Tourist-Information Weimar is located at Markt 10, right on the market square where the city hall (Rathaus) stands. Tel.: +49 3643 745-0, Fax: +49 3643 745420, E-Mail: tourist-info@weimar.de.

Get out[edit]

Jena is just a quarter of an hour away by car, as is Erfurt. The drive to Leipzig takes less than an hour.
With a direct connection (no change of trains), Göttingen can be reached in under two hours.

  • Halle, about 45 minutes away, has some great things to see. Largest city in Saxony-Anhalt, birthplace of Handel and has a few castles.
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source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Weimar

 

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Düsseldorf, Germany – Travel Guide

Düsseldorf, Germany – Travel Guide

 

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Düsseldorf’s riverside by night

Düsseldorf [1] is a city in western Germany located on the River Rhine and is the capital city of the state North Rhine-Westphalia.

Understand[edit]

Düsseldorf is one of the economic centers of Germany and is located along the River Rhine in the densely populated Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area, with a population of 593,682 (31 December 2012).

The city is famous for its nightlife, carnival, events, shopping and for fashion and trade fairs like the Boot Messe (one of the world’s best trade fairs for boats and watersports) and Igedo (world leader in fashion). Every year, more than 4 million people visit the Kirmes fun fair which runs for 9 days in the summer.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS), [2]. Düsseldorf International Airport is the third largest airport in Germany and offers connections to 175 destinations worldwide. The airport is one of the main hubs for Air Berlin. The main airport of Düsseldorf is located about 15 kilometers away from the main railway station. It takes 12 minutes by city railway S7 or S11 to the main railway station; by car, bus or taxi about 20 minutes. The costs are €2,50 for city railway or bus (“Preisstufe A”), about €20/€22 for taxi: taxis are located in front of the airport terminals. Fixed Trip to the fairground is 13€ with taxi.  edit
  • Köln Bonn Airport (CGN), [3]. 60 min drive away from Düsseldorf city centre.  edit
  • Airport Weeze (NRN), [4]. Frequented by smaller, low-cost airlines flying into Düsseldorf. The airport is 80 km from Düsseldorf main railway station, by car or bus a 90 min drive (bus: 6-8 departures per day, €14 fare). If you need to travel from Düsseldorf main airport (DUS) to Weeze Airport (NRN), Deutsche Bahn is the easiest and fastest option. Just follow the DB signs at the DUS Airport. The train (S11 then RE10) gets you to Weeze or Kevelaer; then, change to a special bus, which takes you directly to Weeze Airport. Local bus fare is included in Deutsche Bahn tickets. The bus from Weeze train station leaves hourly for the airport until 9:20 p.m. The train goes every hour. It is also possible to get to Weeze airport walking from Weeze’s train station. You will need to walk for a bit more than an hour (6 kms.), but is a very relaxed walk along the road (there is a walking line). Sometimes, it is cheaper to buy a SchönerTagTicket/Nice Day Ticket NRW (€28.50), valid all day on all public transport in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. This ticket can be bought online on DB’s website [5], from stations, DB counters (where it costs €2 extra), bus drivers, or ticket machines. If you want to travel from Duesseldorf city to Weeze Airport, you can also take a bus from the Busbahnhof, close to the Hauptbahnhof. The stop is only a 3 min walk from the Hauptbahnhof, behind the cinema at Worringer Strasse. The bus takes you straight to Weeze Airport. Tickets can be purchased from the driver (ca 13 Euro).The same bus takes you from Weeze to Duesseldorf Hauptbahnhof, the main train station in 1 h.  edit

By train[edit]

Central railway station clock tower

The Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof (main station) is a major stop for Deutsche Bahn [6] (German state railway). There’s different types of trains such as S-Bahn, Regionalbahn, and Regionalexpress.

All tickets will have to be validated before departure. For the trains like Regionalbahn or Regionalexpress there’s an orange machine before you go up the stairs to the platform, where you have to stamp your ticket(see picture).

The Rhinebahn tickets for the local Ubahn(subway) and Strassenbahn (tram) service need to be validated on the actual trains although you will find stamp boxes at the entrance to the platform as well.

Failure to stamp the ticket in the appropriate machines (“entwerten”) will result in either a 40 euro on- the-spot fine or being brought to a police station by the security where the police will request your I.D. such as your passport for later prosecution. Not being German, not understanding the language or complicated system, or the fact that you have purchased a ticket will not be accepted as excuses: if it is not stamped, it is not valid, and travelling with a non-stamped ticket is considered an offence.

By car[edit]

Düsseldorf is connected to the following highways: A3, A44, A46, A52, A57 (via Neuss) and A59.

Get around[edit]

By local transportation[edit]

Düsseldorf tram

Stamp Box

The bus, tramway and subway network Map is operated by Rheinbahn AG. There is also a suburban railway network (S-Bahn). Most destinations in Düsseldorf can be reached by local transportation. Tickets must be purchased and postmarked before using the transportation service. Tickets are bought from vending machines on the tram or subway stops. There are many different ticket types and the vending machine’s instructions are only in German. To the average traveler, these three are the most relevant ticket types:

  • Short trip ticket (Kurzstrecke): At 1.50 € and valid for 30 min, about 4 stops (on each vending machine there is a list telling where one can travel on a short trip ticket bought from that particular machine).
  • A-class ticket (Preisstufe A): adequate to reach your destinations within Düsseldorf. A normal A-ticket costs 2.50€ and is valid for 90 min.
  • Day ticket (Preisstufe A / Tagesticket): costs 5.90€ and is valid until 2am of the following day.

The tickets for areas B, C and D are for the suburban areas. In general these tickets are needed only if you are visiting someone living or working there; the main sights and establishments are all located in the A-area.

Timetables:

  • bahn.de [7] (German, English, French and Italian)
  • vrr.de [8] (German, English and French)
  • Net Plan of regional transfer service [9]

By car[edit]

Those who want to drive in the city center should be aware that it is an “environment zone” similar to that found in many other large German cities. Cars are required to have a sticker declaring the car’s pollution category.

By foot[edit]

The city centre is not that large and most attractions are in a walkable distance from another.

See[edit][add listing]

The main tourist information office is located in Immermann-Strasse 65b (opposite of the main station), phone: +49 (0)211/1 72 02-8 54, fax: +49 (0)211/1 72 02-32 22). A second office is located Marktstrasse/Rheinstrasse (inside the old town). They offer a lot of brochures: a monthly calendar of events, a city guide and free maps with walking routes designed around a specific theme (e.g., “Art Route”, “Düsseldorf in 1 Hour”) and, last but not least, a guide for gays. You can also book their guided tours, and note that there are also tours for disabled and deaf people.

The city was largely destroyed in World War 2, and there were very few old buildings left. People interested in modern architecture, however, will have much to see in Düsseldorf. Also, there are many modern artworks in the public, and on Stresemannplatz Square and the Rhine Bank, there are palms, not really the first thing you’d expect to see a cold day in October.

The Old Town,

  • Old town (Altstadt), (U-Bahn stop: Heinrich-Heine-Allee). 16-1. The Old Town of Düsseldorf is famous. Almost completely destroyed during World War 2, it was rebuilt according to historic plans on its foundation walls, which makes it look like a real historic town. Every house of the quarter, except one – see chapter “Neander Church”. Today the old town is a popular shopping mall and at night and weekends turns into the so-called “longest bar of the world”. Within one square kilometer, you will find about 260 bars, coffee shops and snug brewing houses. The old town is the home of “Altbier”, a top-fermented, dark beer. They say it tastes best at the historical brewing houses. There, the “Köbesse” (local dialect: waiters) may be somewhat harsh but they are warm hearted. If your beer glass is empty the next “Alt” comes without you even having to order it. Many times the first “Alt” comes without even having to order it!  edit

Foreign guests might not know that there is rivalry between the citizens of Düsseldorf and their neighbours in Cologne. So never ever order a “Kölsch” (a light beer brewed in Cologne) in Düsseldorf. If you do, some people might become very unfriendly. If they see you are a foreigner they will no doubt forgive you, but might be trouble.

  • Characteristic Rhenish dishes like Düsseldorfer Senfrostbraten (mustard roast pork), „Rheinischer Sauerbraten (marinated beef with raisins), Halve Hahn (rye ban, slice of cheese, mustard and gherkin) or Ähzezupp (pea soup) are offered everywhere within the old town. But besides bars and inns you will find some recommended sights inside the old town. Bolkerstrasse 56 is the birth place of Heinrich Heine 1797 – 1856), a poet and author and the most famous citizen. Next to the old town is the River Rhine with its nice promenade.
  • Schneider-Wibbel-Gasse” (Tailor-Wibbel-Lane) is the name of a small lane inside the old town, connecting Bolkerstrasse and Flingerstrasse. It is packed with restaurants and bars, most of them offering Spanish-American and Latino-American food. Tailor Wibbel is the main character of a popular theatre play, written by Hans-Müller Schlösser in 1913. Tailor Wibbel had opposed Napoleon and, therefore, was sent to prison. But, instead of himself, his assistant attended at jail under the name of Wibbel. Unfortunately, the assistent died in prison as a result of a former disease. They drove down the assumed Wibbel, and so she was able to witness his own burial incognito. After the end of the French occupation, Wibbel had the chance to disclose is identity and he becomes a local hero. Across Bolkerstrasse is the Wibble-Play-Watch. Daily, at 11, 13, 15, 18 und 21 o’clock, it shows the Wibbel character. At the other end of Tailor Wibbel Lane, near Flingerstrasse, is situated the Wibble sculpture. Walk near by and examine the sculpture. Did you see the mouse?
  • Inside the old town, but everywhere in the city also, you will find lots of marvellous old gas lamps. Beside Berlin Düsseldorf is the city with most gas lamps in Germany.

Schlossturm, Castle tower

  • The Burgplatz (Castle-Square) is situated at the old town limits next to Rhine. One upon a time here was the castle of the Earls of Berg, the later duke of Jülich-Kleve-Berg. Later the castle was reconstructed to a baroque palace, which burned down in 1872. In 1888 the ruins were removed completely, only a tower was left. Today the tower houses an inland navigation museum. The coffe-shop in the towers top offers a grand view onto the Rhine and the ships passing by. The square itself got an award as one of the nicest squares in Germany after the WW2.

Cartwheelers

  • Radschläger wolle mer blieve, wie jeck et de Mensche och drieve (local dialect: we will stay cartwheelers, however crazy the world might be) is the legend of the Cartwheelers’ Fountain at Burgplatz. It is situated under some wonderful old plane trees. The cartwheeler is a popular symbol within Düsseldorf and cartwheeling an old tradition. According to legend, after winning the War of Worringen, the Earl of Berg said to the boys waiting for their fathers, “Show me that you’re happy about your fathers’ return”, and they began cartwheeling. Even today this tradition is continued by annual competitions.

Pegeluhr and St. Lambertus Basilika

  • Pegeluhr. Situated at the Rhine bank this clock also shows the current water level in the river.  edit
  • The promenade on the bank of Rhine is one of the most beautiful ones in Germany, and it is situated on the correct side, the right bank, because the sun shines onto this side all day long (the citizens of Cologne used to say the left bank of Rhine is the correct one because the centre of Cologne is situated there), The promenade leads from Parliament via Mannesmannufer, Rathausufer, Burgplatz, and Tonhalle to Rhine-Park. It was created by constructing a tunnel in 1993 and banning cars underground, so that the riverside became a pedestrian area. Most gangways for boat trips on Rhine are situated near to Burgplatz. Many coffee shops offer seats outside where you can watch and be watched when the weather is fine. The pavement of the promenade is an artwork too, its sinuous design reflects the waves on the river.
  • St. Lambertus Basilika, built with bricks in the style of Lower Rhine Gothic, is a landscape of Düsseldorf. Particularly characteristic is the winding tower. Although there are legends saying they used wet arbors for reconstructing after a fire in 1815, people know better. About 100 years ago, a bride dressed in a snow-white wedding dress came to the altar pretending to be a virgin. Being ashamed the tower turned aside. They also say that it will straighten again if a real virgin appears at the altar. As you can clearly see, the tower is still twisted. But the fact is the citizens love their twisted tower. After the war, they reconstructed it as twisted as it was before. The church-hall is last resident of St. Apollinaris, the city’s patron.
  • Follow the Lambertus-Street beside the church till Stiftsplatz. The square breathes a contemplative tranquillity, only 100 Meters beside the loud old town. Follow Lambertus-Street forewards. Near crossing “Liefergasse” you see lefthand a marvellous house front. There are many fine fronts in Düsseldorf, but this one is among the prettiest.
  • The Neander-church has its own history too. The population of the Rhinelands is mainly Catholic, and Protestants and members of the Reformed Church had to suffer many restricts. Finally, the contract of Rheinberg 1682 granted everybody the free practice of religion. This led to the construction of the Reformed church-house at Bolkerstrasse in 1683 in a style of the early baroque with a simplified façade. Althrough the Protestants and members of the reformed church had the right of own churches, they were not liked. So the new church had to be built in a way that is was not visible from the street, meaning in the yard of already existing buildings. But today you have a unlimited view onto the church from Bolkerstrasse because the building before was not rebuild after the war, as the only one within the old town. In 1916, the church got the name Neander-Church.

Neander – if this name reminds you of prehistoric men you are absolutely right. A man named Joachim Neander worked as an assistant priest for the reformed religious community of Düsseldorf between 1674 and 1679. He became knows as a composer of many chants. For inspiration he visited very often a wild and natural valley east of Düsseldorf. To honour him this valley was named Neander-Valley about 1800. It is just the same Valley where they found in 1856 the bones of prehistoric men, the famous Neandertal-man.

City Monument

  • The City Monument at Burgplatz is an artwork of Bert Gerresheim, donated by the society “Düsseldorfer Jongens” on occasion of the 700th anniversary of town foundation. It is a kaleidoscope of local history, starting on left side with the cruel battle of Worringen, the signing of foundation documents by the earl of Berg in the middle and several scenes on right side including 4 popes. Among them we see Nikolaus IV raising St. Lambertus Church to a canon monastery. A market scene is shown, but also trade goods of Düsseldorf. The Monument is full of symbols. You should go nearby and take account of details. You also should go some steps back. Mind the men following the apocalyptic horseriders on left side. Their arms form the number 1288, the year of the battle of Worringen. During the battle, the Earl of Berg, Adolf V, fought against the archbishop of Cologne, Sigfried of Westerburg. The citizens of Düsseldorf and, hard to understand if you know about the today’s difficult relationship between the cities, the citizens of Cologne backed Adolf V. The battle ended with the victory of the earl and the citizens.
  • On the right hand of the monument is a little river, named the northern Düssel. It gave the city its name (Düsseldorf means village at Düssel). The balustrade is an artwork of Bert Gerreshein too. It is also full of symbols.

City Hall and Jan Wellem in front

  • The historic city hall of Düsseldorf dates from the 16th century. Since then it houses the city parliament. The Building consists of three parts, there are guided tours for free every Wednesday at 15:00 o’clock. They will show you the council hall, the Jan-Wellem hall and the reception hall of the Lord Mayor where they present the city’s silver coins and roof-paintings of the artists Domenico Zanetti and Johannes Spilberg.
  • In front of the city hall is the monument of elector Johann Wilhelms II. (1658-1716) on horseback. The citizens call him affectionately Jan Wellem. His monument is among the most important baroque equestrian sculptures north the Alps. Because of his connections to European dynasties and by the powers invested in him he was a very important man. In co-operation with other electors he elected the German Emperor. He was a representative of a pompous baroque sovereign. In 1691 he married Anna Maria Luisa de‘ Medici (1667-1743). Jan Wellem died in 1716, his gravesite is in St. Andreas-Church. Jan Wellem boosted the development of Düsseldorf, therefore the citizens still love him. The monument was realised by Gabriel Grupello in 1711.

Cast Boy

  • At the side of market square, in the shadow of Jan Wellem, stands the statue of the cast boy. They say that just before the cast of the Jan Wellem monument master Grupello realised that the amount oft metal was not sufficient. This let the cast boy ask the citizens for a donation of noble metal like silver forkes or coins. He got so much that the cast could be finished very well. Out of thankfulness he got a statue too. The one you see today was designed by Willi Hoselmann and realised in 1932.

Gehry Buildings

  • Media Harbor, (Tram stop: Platz des Landtages). At the southern end of the Rhine promenade you will find the newest landmark of Düsseldorf, the so called Media Harbour. The former harbour was transformed in a quarter with restaurants, bars, coffee shops, discotheques and hotels. Its flair is based on the mixture of old and new. Protected buildings like depots, quay walls and industrial surroundings stand side by side with modern architecture. There are buildings constructed by Frank O. Gehry, Claude Vasconi or David Chipperfield. Mainly the Gehry buildings form the face of the quarter.  edit

Pillar Saint: Bride

  • Probably you have already seen those guys standing on advertising columns, the so called pillar saints. There are nine of them, it is a project of artist Christoph Pöggeler (born in 1958 in Münster/Westphalia). Humans, removed from their daily routine and putted on a pedestal, become noticeable as individuals again and also refer to groups of society like children, business men, vagabonds and strangers. The position of the sculptures are:

    • Business Man: Joseph-Beuys-Ufer, Düsseldorf 2001
    • Marlis: Stromstraße, WDR, Düsseldorf 2001
    • Couple I: Burgplatz, Düsseldorf 2002
    • Tourist: Kaiserswerther Straße, Düsseldorf 2003
    • Father and Son: Oststraße, Düsseldorf 2003
    • Photographer: Hauptbahnhof, Düsseldorf 2004
    • Couple II: Berger Allee, Düsseldorf 2004
    • Stranger: Schlossufer, Düsseldorf 2005
    • Bride: Schulstraße/ Ecke Citadellstraße, Düsseldorf 2006
  • Rhine Tower, (Tram stop: Platz des Landtages), [10]. Adults: € 4.00.  editThe 240 mhigh Rhine Tower is right on the Rhine river, near the Media Harbor. It offers a 360-degree view from the restaurant, at 172 m. The restaurant is overpriced, but it is worth a trip for the amazing view.
  • Carlstadt is situated south the old town, it is the link between it and the styled Media Harbour. Many houses of Carlstadt have a baroque facade, what gives the quarter a special flair. A lot of artist have their atelier there. Also you find there trendy boutiques, antiquaries and art shops, many of them in Bilker-Strasse. Additional shops and coffee bars are in Hohe Strasse. I also recommend a walk along Citadellstrasse, Schulstrasse and across Anna-Maria-Luisa-de’ Medici-Square. This streets offer the most original flair of the days of foundation. Centre of Carltadt ist Carls-Square. Here is market on weekdays, citizens and tourists like it. They offer food, sweets, flowers and popular artworks.

Jröne Jong

  • By order of elector Carl Theodor the architect Nicolas de Pigage planned and implemented the first public park in Germany, named Hofgarten. It became the prototype of the English Garden of Munic. In the oldest part of Hofgarten you find the Jröne Jong (local dialect, meaning green boy). From there the “Riding Alley” leads strait forward to palace Jägerhof, which today houses the Goethe-Museum. People like the self-luminous park benches on Riding Alley. And last not least Hofgarten houses some sculptures of famous artist.
  • The North-Park, on the right bank of Rhine in the northern city, is one of the major Parks in Düsseldorf. Its most interesting part is the Japanese garden inside, a gift of the Japanese community to the citizens. Within about 5000 square meters you will find an example of Japanese horticulture with traditional Elements like stones, trees, bushes, ponds and bridges. Entrance is for free.
  • In the quarter of Oberkassel is the EKO-House, the house of Japanese culture. It is Europe’s first and unique Buddhist temple, surrounded by several Buildings like Kindergarten and a library. The garden is styled like a Japanese garden. There are guided tours, but if you mind the dignity of the location they will not prevent you from stepping in during daytime. Address: Brüggener Weg 6, 40547 Düsseldorf, phone: 0211 577918-0

Benrath Palace

  • Benrath Palace and Park, (Tram stop: Schloss Benrath, S-Bahn stop: Benrath S), [11]. The Corps de Logis is the central building of the three-wing maison de plaisance, which was erected for the Palatine Elector Carl Theodor by his garden and building director Nicolas de Pigage. Construction was completed in 1770: it is a complete work of art that unites architecture and nature in one overlapping concept, and is rated as one of the most beautiful palaces of the rococo epoch. The park beside the Palace is enormous, nearly 62,000 square meters.  edit

Königsallee, for short Kö

Königsallee at night

  • Königsallee. The main street of Düsseldorf is called “Kö” by the locals and consists of two streets divided by a canal.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Altstadt. meaning “old city,” of Düsseldorf is very beautiful. Here you can find the famous Alt beer, found in traditional breweries like the “Uerige” [12], “Füchschen” [13], “Zum Schlüssel or “Schumacher” [14] (tourists and local citizens frequent the Old City pubs, creating an authentic and lively blend of personalities).  edit
  • Königsallee, (U-Bahn stop: Steinstr./Kö), [15]. This shopping district, known as the “Kö”, is internationally recognized for its plethora high level fashion stores. It is sometimes referred to as the “Champs-Élysées of Germany”.  edit
  • Film-Museum, Schulstraße 4. Tues-Sun 11-17, Wed 11-21. 3 €; Reduced, 1.50 €; Students under 18 free.  edit
  • Hetjens Museum/Deutsches Keramikmuseum, Schulstrasse 4. Tues-Sun 11-17, Wed 11-21.  edit
  • Theatermuseum, Hofgärtnerhaus, Jägerhofstrasse 1. Tues-Sun 13-20:30.  edit
  • Stadtmuseum, Berger Allee 2. Tues-Sun 11-18.  edit
  • Schifffahrtmuseum Düsseldorf, Burgplatz 30. Tues-Sun 11-18. The shipping museum in the old castle tower. 3€.  edit
  • Kunstsammlung NRW, Grabbeplatz 5 (K20: Heinrich-Heine-Alle Ubf, K21: Graf-Adolf Platz (bus/tram)), 0211) 83 81 130, [16]. Tue-Fri 10:00-18:00, Sat-Sun and Holidays 11:00-18:00. Kunstsammlung NRW has two building, K20 at Altstadt and K21 in downtown Düsseldorf. K20 has a great collection of 20th century art, including Picasso, Klee, Richter, Kandinsky, and Warhol. K21 houses modern art collection after 1960s, mainly from local artists. Entry is free in the evening of the first Wednesday of the Month. € 6.50 each, € 10.00 K20+K21.  edit

Events[edit]

  • Düsseldorf is a stronghold of Carneval. The 5th season starts on 11.11. at 11:11 o’clock with the handover of the keys of the city hall to the women. But the main carnival runs from Carnival Monday to Ash Wednesday. If you have the chance don’t miss the parade on Carnival Monday in February.
  • Nacht der Museen, [17]. Once a year, like in many other German cities, a Night of Museums is organized by the City of Düsseldorf and the consulting firm Ernst & Young.  edit
  • Christmas market. The annual Christmas market, which centres around the Altstadt. Try a Gluehwein (mulled wine) and Bratwurst (grilled sausage in bread roll).  edit
  • Kirmes. Between the 2nd and 3rd weekend of July there is fun fair on the banks of Rhine. You will find there roller coasters, a Ferris wheel, a flying jinny and at least a beer garden too. Also Watermelons are sold everywhere. It is the biggest fair at Rhine and very enjoyable. Monday, called pink Monday, is the day of lesbians and gays. On Friday is firework display.  edit
  • Every year at the end of April thousands of runners from Germany and from all over the world come to run the Düsseldorf Marathon which is open for everyone. For participants a registration is required. Viewers are welcome every time.
  • Free entrance to the K20 and K21 every first Wednesday in the Month.
  • Daily concerts, [18]. There are music concerts daily from smaller, indie bands playing at the most interesting venues and projects in the city.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Along the main boulevard Königsallee there are many smaller boutiques. The most common German department store chains (Galeria, Karstadt, Saturn, C&A, Peek and Cloppenburg) are all situated on the crossing Liesegangstrasse / Schadowstrasse.

  • Those who like trendy fashion should visit the quarter of Flingern, especially Ackerstrasse. Recently the quarter has turned from a residential to a creative district, offering stores like the trendy ones you will find in Berlin. Also the district of Pempelfort (Tußmannstrasse) and Bilk (Lorettostrasse) demonstrate that there is a fashion scene beside international fashion houses.
  • Killepitsch [19] – Killepitsch is a local liquor flavored with herbs (so called “Kräuterlikör”). The liquor has a blood red colour and is made from a combination of 90 fruits, berries, herbs, and spices.

Best place to buy: “Et Kabüffke”, Flingerstrasse 1, 40213 Düsseldorf, Phone: 0211 133269.

  • “Löwensenf” [20] (Mustard) – One of the most famous producers of German Mustard is situated in Düsseldorf. Moveover, a special mustard store, with a mustard tasting area, is based in the Düsseldorf-Altstadt (some fancy mustards are available at this place: for example “Altbier Mustard”, “Chilli Mustard”, “Strawberry Mustard”, etc.) Best place to buy: Düsseldorfer Löwensenf GmbH, Berger Str. 29, 40213 Düsseldorf, Phone 0211 8368049‎.
  • “Bottles of Altbier” – One nice souvenir or gift is a bottle of local Altbier. Breweries usually sell these bottels directly in their gastronomies.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

  • Zum Kochlöffel Friedrich-Ebert-Str. 41, Phone: +49 211-1 60 96 15 German cuisine, bistro tables.
  • Alberobello Dorotheenstr. 104, Phone: +49 211-7334158 Italian cuisine, budget prices and superb quality. Reservation recommended.
  • Curry Hammer Str. 2 (Media Harbour), or Moltkestr. 115 (Pempelfort). German cuisine, including the famous sausage with ketchup (on request with golden leaf!).
  • Jade, [21]. Vegetarian/vegan recreations of Asian dishes. Take away and small seating area.  edit
  • Ess-Klasse Erftstraße 12 (Media Harbour). Lunch and take-away food at affordable prices.
  • Dinea, Berliner Allee 52, Königsallee 1-9, Am Wehrhahn 1, [22]. 9:30-20. Lunch restaurants and cafés in the ‘Galeria Kaufhof’ department stores. These are good places for a quick and cheap meal.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • Robert’s Bistro, Wupperstr. 2, in the Media harbour, Phone: +49 211 304821 [23]. One of Düsseldorf’s best restaurants. Specializing in French-ish food, the fish and sweets are fantastic. Expect to pay 20-30 euros per person (for food and wine). They don’t take reservations so expect to wait and sit next to strangers, but the experience is well worth it.
  • Mongos [24]. Zollhof 10, Media Harbour. Phone: +49 211 – 40 07 27 0.All-you-can-eat mongolian cuisine, with an enormous choice of unusual foods (e.g. zebra, crocodiles, emu, barracuda, etc).
  • Bug Zollhof 13, Phone: +49 211 3020770. Fish restaurant in the media harbor, known for its stylish location.
  • Zum Schiffchen Hafenstraße 5. Tel. +49 211 – 13 24 21. Rustic bourgeois brewery restaurant, delicious beer and attentive service.
  • Michele Duisburger Str. 6, Phone: +49 211 494349. A small italian restaurant in Düsseldorf-Pempelfort. Famous for the singing Italian chef on Friday evenings. For Friday nights, reservations should be made 3 weeks prior to your stay.
  • Brauerei im Füchschen, Ratingerstrasse 28, +49 211 1374 716 (), [25]. A traditional brewery restaurant in the old town serving their own beer. Here you can try the local specialty Sauerbraten; vinegar marinated beef with red cabbage.  edit
  • El Amigo Primo Lopez, Schneider-Wibbel-Gasse 9, +49 211 32 32 03, [26]. An Argentinian beef restaurant situated in the old town.  edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Im Schiffchen, Kaiserwerther Markt 9 (U79: Klemensplatz), Phone: +49 211 401050, Fax 403667, restaurant.imschiffchen@t-online.de, [27]. International, nouveau cuisine, that blends classics with French specialties. T-Sa 19:00-21:30.
  • NAGAYA, Bilker Straße 3, Phone: +49 211 863 9636, info@nagaya.de, [28]. Japanese, nouveau cuisine. Open Mo-Sa from 7PM-11PM.
  • Sila Thai[29] Bahnstr. 76, Phone: +49 211 8604427. Excellent original thai cuisine in the city center. Reservations essential.
  • Meerbar [30], Neuer Zollhof 1, im Medienhafen. Phone: +49 211 3398410. Fish restaurant in the Gehry-buildings of the Media harbour; very stylish, very good cuisine.
  • Monkey’s West [31], Graf-Adolf-Platz 15, Phone: +49 211 64963726. Considered by many to be one of the best restaurants in Germany. New cuisine touched by local traditions.

Drink[edit][add listing]

A typical cafe scene

Düsseldorf is known for its many bars in the downtown (Altstadt) area. In fact, many people refer to the Altstadt as the “longest bar in the world” (“Längste Theke der Welt”). The most common drink is “Altbier” or simply “Alt.” This dark beer, served in small glasses, is available at practically any restaurant in the city. Altbier is only brewed in breweries around Düsseldorf. In the Altstadt you can enjoy Schlüssel, Uerige, Schumacher, and Füchschen beers, at traditional brewery restaurants. The waiters at these traditional restaurants are called “Koebes.” BolkerStrasse, Flingerstrasse (Uerige), Ratingerstrasse and Kurzestrasse are the main places where you find all kinds of pubs and breweries. A variation of the Altbier is called Krefelder. It’s an Altbier with Coke.

During summer months the Altstadt will come alive after work. People standing outside the pubs and enjoying their beer and good company. This will be especially so on Wednesday evenings on Ratingerstrasse. The street will be packed full of people with a great chilled atmosphere. Be aware though of broken glass on the cobbled street. But if you have a chance to go, do not miss it.

Besides Altstadt, which some might consider to be slightly artificial, there are many others places around the city to enjoy beer or cocktails as well. During the last years, Medienhafen (Media Harbour) has become one of very popular quarters; especially during the summer. Other, rather non-touristic areas, include Pempelfort (Nordstrasse), Unterbilk (Loretto Strasse, Düsselstrasse), Oberkassel (Luegallee), and Düsseltal (Retherstrasse).

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

  • Jugendherberge Düsseldorf (Backpackers) (City-Hostel), Düsseldorfer Str. 1 (located in Düsseldorf-Oberkassel on the left side of the city), +49 (0)211 557310 (, fax: +49 (0)211572513), [32].  edit
  • Rheingoldhotel Düsseldorf City [http://www.rheingoldhotel.de, Oststr. 166, Tel.: +49 211 3611390. Family-run hotel, situated in the city center between the Central Train Station and the Oldtown.
  • Backpackers-Düsseldorf, Fürstenwall 180, located in Düsseldorf-Friedrichstadt south of the citycenter, ☎ +49 (0)211 3020848, mailto: info@backpackers-duesseldorf.de, http://www.backpackers-duesseldorf.de , checkin between 14:00-22:00, latest checkout 11:00

Mid Range[edit]

  • The Red, Hubertusstr 1, D-40219, Dusseldorf, +49 (0211) 5421710, [33]. THE RED combines the luxury of a 5 Star hotel with the comfort of your own home. In its central prime location directly on the river Rhine, the elegant serviced apartment house invites you to relax and feel comfortable. With a wonderful view of the river and the historic city center.  edit
  • Four Points by Sheraton Hotel Düsseldorf [34], Luisenstraße 42, Tel.: +49 211 38670-0. Central location, 82 rooms.
  • InterCity Hotel Düsseldorf [35], Graf-Adolf-Str.81-87, Tel.: +49 211 43694-0. Next to the main station, easy access to all sightseeing spots. New openend.
  • Best Western Savoy [36], Oststr. 128, Tel.: +49 211 388 38-0. Traditional hotel in the city center, opposite the famous “Schumacher” brewery.
  • Innside Premium Hotel Derendorf [37], Derendorfer Allee 8, 40476 Düsseldorf, Tel. +49 211 175 46-0. Newly designed Hotel in the north of Düsseldorf.
  • Hilton Düsseldorf [38], Georg-Glock-Str. 20, Tel. +49 211 4377-0. Renovated traditional hotel in the north of Düsseldorf, good location for business travelers.
  • NH Dusseldorf City Nord [39], Kölner Strasse, 186-188, Located in the center of the city on the Rhine, near The Oberbilker Market.
  • Guesthouse Hegger [40], Self-catering and serviced apartment a few minutes from the airport, fairground and Duesseldorf city centre.
  • Hotel Ibis Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof, Konrad-Adenauer-Platz 14, +49 211 167 20 (fax: +49 211 167 2101), [41]. A clean hotel with the basic equipment. The hotel is situated in the central railway station which also is the hub for local transportation, therefore the connect to both inside and outside Düsseldorf are excellent. double room 109€.  edit
  • Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, Karl-Arnold-Platz 5, +49 (0)211 4553 0 (fax: +49 (0)211 4553 110), [42]. Renovated in 2011 the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel inear the old town and Königsallee shopping district  edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Capella Breidenbacher Hof, Königsallee 11, D-40212, [43]. A 5 star boutique hotel located in downtown Düsseldorf. The property consists of 92 guest rooms and suites and offers retail shops, a fitness center, meeting space, the 1806 Restaurant, and a cigar lounge.
  • Intercontinental [44], Königsallee 59, Tel.: +49 211 8285-0. New First-Class Hotel located at Königsallee of Düsseldorf. Awesome Atrium, top-restaurants and concierge-service
  • Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf, [45], Speditionstraße 19, Tel.: +49 211 9134 1234. New modern and elegant business hotel located in Düsseldorf Media Harbour. At the tip of a peninsula directly on the Rhine with a stunning view of the Media Harbour, Old Town, the Rhine Tower and the skyline of Dusseldorf.
  • Radisson Blu Media Harbour [46], Hammer Str. 23, Tel.: +49 211 311191-0. New Design-Hotel in Düsseldorf Media Harbour, Luxury Class, very hip!

Cope[edit]

Religious services[edit]

Holy mass in catholic churches in downtown Düsseldorf:

  • Franziskanerkirche, Immermannstraße/Oststraße (near the central station).[47]. Su: 10AM, 12PM; M-F: 3:30PM.
  • St. Maximilian, Schulstraße/Maxplatz (Altstadt).[48]. Su: 10AM, 11:30AM, 6PM; M-Sa: 6PM.
  • St. Andreas, Hunsrückenstraße (near to the Kunsthalle, Altstadt).[49] Sun: 8:30, 11:00, 18:00; Mon-Sat: 12:00, 18:00 (except Fri)
  • St. Lambertus Basilika minor, Stiftsplatz (near the Rhine bank, Altstadt).[50] Sun: 10:30AM, 5PM; Mo-Sa: 5PM.

Index of churches of all Christian denominations in Düsseldorf: [51].

Jüdische Gemeinde Düsseldorf [52]

Chabad of Düsseldorf [53] Jewish Synagogue and Center that holds weekly Sabbath services as well as other events.

Stay safe[edit]

Düsseldorf is generally as safe as other European cities of similar size. However the surroundings of the central railway station can be a bit intimidating especially at night due to the presence of junkies.

Respect[edit]

Düsseldorf is in a strong rivalry with its neighbor city Cologne, especially concerning comparisons between the local beers. Cologne is almost twice the size of Düsseldorf in terms of population, and the Cologne Cathedral is known nationwide. Düsseldorf is an economic powerhouse and capital city of the state of NRW. If you have been to Cologne, try to avoid any comparisons between the two cities.

Spelling[edit]

In German, umlauts like ü can be transcribed as ue, so the correct spelling when no umlauts are available would be Duesseldorf. The “Düssel” is a small tributary of the River Rhein and “dorf” means “village”, so “Dusseldorf” means “village at the Düssel”.

Get out[edit]

  • Bonn — the former capital of (West) Germany is located due south and easy to reach by train or S-Bahn
  • Königswinter — small town reachable by train
  • Cologne

Augustusburg Palace and Gardens

  • Brühl — almost a suburb of Cologne and contains the Augustusburg Palace which has been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The palace is one of the key works of Balthasar Neuman, and contains one of the finest Rococco interiors in the world, the highlight being the main staircase. Also in the grounds is the magnificent hunting Lodge of Falkenslust. Brühl can be easily reached by train. The theme park of Phantasialand is also in Brühl.
  • Ruhr (Ruhrgebiet) — If you are interested in heavy industry and/or industrial culture this might be a worthwhile trip. It is located about 50 km north of Düsseldorf. The region, which was the center of montan (coal and steel) industry in Germany is going through a structural transformation and presents their industrial heritage not without proud on the Industrial Heritage Trail [54].

International[edit]

Due to Düsseldorf’s proximity to the German/Belgian/Dutch border weekend trips to foreign destinations are easy to arrange.



This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Dusseldorf

 

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Heidelberg, Germany – Travel Guide

Heidelberg, Germany – Travel Guide

 

TourTellus Hotel Search: Book Cheap Hotel, Apartments, Hostels & BBs in Heidelberg

 

View of the “old town” (Altstadt) with Heidelberg Castle

For other places with the same name, see Heidelberg (disambiguation).

Heidelberg is a city in the region Rhein-Neckar in the state of Baden-Württemberg in the Federal Republic of Germany. Heidelberg lies on the River Neckar in a steep valley in the Odenwald. Over 148,000 people live in the city.

Understand[edit]

It is no secret that Heidelberg is a jewel among German travel destinations. Heidelberg is in the Neckar river valley right where the legend-rich Odenwald (Forest of Odes or Odin) opens up towards the plains of the Rhine Valley. Heidelberg is home to the oldest university in Germany (est. 1386). With 28,000 students, the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität (or Ruperto Carola, the Latin equivalent of its name) is one of Germany’s larger academic institutions and boasts the full spectrum of an ancient academy, from Egyptian Studies to Computer Linguistics. The faculties for Medicine, Law and Natural Sciences are considered to be among the best in Germany. The university fostered the establishment of several other world class research institutions such as the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), the European Molecular Biological Laboratory (EMBL), Centre for Molecular Biology (ZMBH), Max Planck Institutes for Medicine, Astronomy, Nuclear Physics, among others. Generally speaking, Heidelberg is an academic city with a long and rich history and is similar in many ways to cities such as Cambridge or Oxford (Heidelberg and Cambridge, England are twinned).

During WWII, the city was almost completely spared allied bombings which destroyed many of Germany’s larger inner cities. As a result, Heidelberg has retained its baroque charm of narrow streets, picturesque houses and of course the world-famous Schloss (castle ruins). After World War II, the US Army built large barracks at the southern end of the city. Heidelberg’s 147,000 inhabitants thus include not only 28,000 students at the university but also nearly 30,000 US citizens, almost all of them soldiers and their families. With hundreds of thousands of tourists flocking to the city annually, Heidelberg is truly a culturally diverse and international destination, despite its small size.

Over the years, Heidelberg has attracted numerous artists, intellectuals and academics from all over Europe and has sometimes been referred to as Germany’s unofficial intellectual capital. People who have lived and worked in the city include the poets Joseph von Eichendorff, Jean Paul, Goethe and Iqbal, scientists such as Bunsen and Kirchhoff, philosophers such as the founder of the “Illuminati” order von-Knigge, atheist Ludwig Feuerbach, existentialist Karl Jaspers, political theorist Hannah Arendt, architect Albert Speer, and many more. Mark Twain wrote in A Tramp Abroad:

Karl-Theodore-Brücke and Schloss in the background

…”Out of a billowy upheaval of vivid green foliage …rises the huge ruin of Heidelberg Castle, with empty window arches, ivy-mailed battlements, moldering towers—the Lear of inanimate nature—deserted, discrowned, beaten by the storms, but royal still, and beautiful.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • Frankfurt – The nearest intercontinental airport.
  • Stuttgart – nice for European ‘EU-domestic’ flights.

ICE Train from Frankfurt or Stuttgart Airport to Heidelberg[edit]

You can travel to Heidelberg via ICE (Inter City Express), Germany’s fastest train, running at 300km/h (180mph).

Both Frankfurt and Stuttgart airports have train stations inside the terminal. Frankfurt Airport even is a major ICE-train stop.

Reservations are not necessary; just buy your ticket at the counter or machine after you land. Credit cards are accepted; most staff speak English. It might be necessary to change trains (only once) at Mannheim, Stuttgart, or Frankfurt Central Station, but it is still likely to be faster than the bus. One way prices: Frankfurt €24.50 (ICE), Stuttgart €26 (IC) €38 (ICE).

Lufthansa Shuttle Bus[edit]

If you don’t like trains, but prefer to see the German Autobahn, Lufthansa provides a shuttle bus from Frankfurt to Heidelberg for €23 one way and €42 round trip. If you have a Lufthansa Ticket, you get €2 discount.

Minor Airports[edit]

  • Frankfurt-Hahn – An airport in the middle of the beautiful green mountains of Hunsrück is a major hub for Ryanair. There are frequent bus connections from Heidelberg Hbf to Frankfurt-Hahn; the trip takes a little more than 2 hours, and costs €20 (as of 2010)[1].
  • Baden-Baden

By train[edit]

  • The main train station Heidelberg Hbf is located in the western part of the city, from there you can take a tram to any place downtown e.g. Bismarckplatz (taxis are not recommended as they are far more expensive than trams!) Check for connections to “Heidelberg Bismarckplatz” on German Railway Website [2]
  • There are direct train lines from Heidelberg to Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Mannheim and Frankfurt – and direct long distance trains to Munich, Vienna, Hamburg and Cologne usually running at least every 2 hours.
  • For most long distance destinations it is useful to take the regional train to nearby Mannheim Hbf (S-Bahn, about 15 minutes), from where there are frequent direct high speed connections to all major cities in Germany and some places in the nearby countries (e.g. Paris, Zurich, Amsterdam).
  • Taking slow trains will be much cheaper on a Saturday or Sunday, especially if you have a five-person group ticket, “Schönes Wochenende”, for €42 total or every day “Länderticket Baden-Württemberg” for € 22 – 38 total.

By car[edit]

The A5 connects Heidelberg directly to Frankfurt and Karlsruhe. It’s easy to reach from any direction.

Get around[edit]

The city runs a small rather effective system of trams and buses. The two most important nodal points are the main station and Bismarckplatz. Bus #32 and #33 connect the main train station (Hauptbahnhof) with the old city area; detailed maps, schedules and routes can be found online. A mountain railway runs between four stations (including the castle), linking the old city on the level of the river with the summit of the Königstuhl Mountain, about 400m (1312 feet) above the city.
The “Heidelberg Card,” a tourist pass that includes public transportation, many museums, and the lower section of the mountain railway (a separate fare is required for the upper section), can be bought at the tourist information centre located just outside the main station.

Neckar in Heidelberg.jpg

See[edit][add listing]

  • The Altstadt (historical city centre) and Hauptstraße (main street). The Hauptstrasse leads from Bismarckplatz across the old town. Approximately one mile in length, it is reputedly the longest pedestrian shopping street in Germany.
  • The Castle: an audio guide tour of the castle and its grounds is available for a fee near the entrance. It is available in several languages, including English. One can also take the guided tour that gives you access to the interiors of the castle not available otherwise. There is also a statue to the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the castle gardens. Currently covered with unsightly scaffolding [Sept 2012] but this is very normal.
  • The Philosophenweg which can be found on the northern side of the city. It provides a wonderful view across the oldest part of the city. Here you can find the site of the famous Merian Stich (engraving) which is a popular illustration of Heidelberg.
  • The Heiligenberg mountain which boasts a wonderful view over the old town.
  • The Thingstätte on top of Heiligenberg (an open-air theatre built by the Nazi regime in 1934 to host propaganda events)
  • Also on the Heiligenberg the remnants of a wall ancient Celts built to keep Germanic tribes out, the Heidenloch, a deep well with unknown origins, and the ruins of a 10th century cloister.
  • The Kurpfälzisches Museum on the Hauptstraße contains interesting exhibits of items from Heidelberg’s pre-history to modern times.
  • The old university on Universitätsplatz in the old city and the adjacent old armory which is now a student cafeteria (but also open to the public).
  • Jesuitenkirche has 1712 Baroque construction with modern touches inside.

Jesuitenkirche Heidelberg

  • The Heiliggeistkirche church is only one of many large and small churches, but definitely the one with the most interesting history. During the dark ages, it was the shelter of the Bibliotheka Palatina, Germany’s oldest library. The Bibliotheka was stolen and brought to Rome but eventually returned in pieces. Today, parts of it can be visited in the University Library (also the oldest and probably the most valuable of its kind in Germany), which is situated close to the old university.

    View of cathedral from Heidelberg Castle

You can get a great view of the Heiliggeistkirche, Old Town, and the Neckar river bridge from the castle (Schloss Heidelberg).

Do[edit][add listing]

The city boasts more than eight theaters, including

  • Stadttheater the large state-run theater, and
  • Zimmertheater on Hauptstrasse, Germany’s oldest private theatre

There are also many progressive culture hubs, including the famous Karlstorbahnhof in the east-end of the old city.

  • Königstuhl-Mountain, 568m (1560 ft) high, 450m (1480 ft) above Heidelberg, is a nice option to escape the hustle and bustle of Heidelberg downtown. The mountain top of Königstuhl offers a nice view over Heidelberg and the Rhine Valley. In good weather conditions you can see the Northern Black Forest. The same funicular railway that carries visitors to the castle continues to the mountain top. You will have to change trains once — the final one to the top is a historical wooden funicular train. (A separate fare is required for the historical funicular.) On the top you can have a look at the more-than-100-year-old engine that just pulled you up. (No worries — made in Germany!)
  • If you feel more energetic, you can take the Himmelsleiter (Heaven’s Ladder or Sky Ladder) — a stairway of 1200 steps winding up 270m (890 ft) up to Königstuhl. It ends 10m east of the mountain top funicular station. The lower end of stairs is just above the castle, but a bit hidden – ask locals or look it up on this map.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Don’t miss out the exquisitely stocked but quite expensive record shop Vinyl Only on the university square.
  • For books in English, try The English Bookstore at Plöck 93 (tel: 06221-183001).
  • Go by the Cathedral during the day for small markets selling souvenirs

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • BBQ & Beer – On sunny summer days the “Neckarwiese” (‘Neckar meadow’, northern bank of Neckar river, just west of Bismarckplatz) is full of people relaxing in the sun, having a Barbecue or a beer… This place also offers a nice view to the castle. You will have to bring your own grill, beer and steaks. Cheap grills to use once are availible at the “Bauhaus” do-it-youself store at Kurfürsten-Anlage 11, just 200m south of Bismarckplatz. Nice way to mix with locals.
  • Snacks: Along the Hauptstrasse, which runs through the centre of town, you will find several bakeries that serve local specialities including “Brezeln” (pretzels). Department stores have a nice selection of delicatessen stalls called “Markthallen” where you can eat everything on the spot.
  • Many of the cafes in Heidelberg set up outside tables when the weather is fair, and these are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. A popular destination for summer cafe beer sipping and lounging is the Marktplatz, which is adjacent to the Heiliggeistkirche.
  • Meals: The Haupstrasse is plentiful with an amazing variety of restaurants. Dishes tend to be served in large portions, relatively inexpensive and of good quality. You can find something for almost every taste including Japanese, Indian, Italian, Chinese, German and Bavarian. American fast food and “Döner” restaurants cater to the budget conscious and late-night crowds.
  • Mensa im Marstallhof Maybe the most beautiful University Canteen in Germany, offering food and beer at low prices in a historic buildling and a Beer Garden!. Everybody is welcome, Open till late…
  • Sunisas Thai Imbiss, Speyerer Straße 1, 69115 Heidelberg, [0] 6221 / 6555533: if you want a change from German food: an authentic, tasty Thai diner and takeaway with reasonable prices. It also has terrace, pool tables and cocktails. Open at 11am till late at night.
  • Korean/Sushi restaurant, Heiliggeiststraße 3, close to the Marktplatz, next to the Hotel zum Rathaus, a seemingly little-known, but great sushi place (also serves Korean food).
  • Zum Goldenen Anker, Rungenweg, [0] 6221 / 4862
  • Elia, Promenadeplatz, [0] 6221 / 7820
  • Turmstube, Schützenstr. , [0] 6221 / 20114
  • Kashmir, Strasse, [0] 6221 / 20719
  • Rizo, Lorchheimer-Str, [0] 6221 / 8801
  • Eatery, Breisacherstr. , [0] 6221 / 10079
  • Nabucco, Eichenweg, [0] 6221 / 18191
  • Perazza, Buschkoppel, [0] 6221 / 7234
  • Roter Ochs, Kumlbacher Str., [0] 6221 / 6528
  • Die Eselin, Aberlestraße , [0] 6221 / 13489
  • Bierhelder Hof, Schönfeldstrasse , [0] 6221 / 811
  • Kao Kao, Haupstr, [0] 6221 / 14012
  • La Locanda 26, Steubenstrasse 26, +49 (6221) 7268922, [3]. Opening Hours: 11.00 – 23.00 / Wednesday closed. middle. (49.423746,8.688297) edit
  • BrunnenStube (Restaurant BrunnenStube), Kranichweg 15 (see website for directions), [0] 6221 734222, [4]. Mon.-Sat. from 17:00, closed Sundays and some public holidays;. Nice restaurant with modern German cuisine and moderate prices. Great fish, lamb and many seasonal specials. Located to the west of Heidelberg’s centre in a living area. Patio dining in summer. Main course from 7.90 EUR to 18.90 EUR.  edit
  • Indian Palace (Indian Palace), Karlsruher Straße 74, 69126 Heidelberg, Germany.  edit
  • Vetter, Steingasse 9 69117 Heidelberg (06221165850), [5].  edit


Drink[edit][add listing]

More than 300 bars, pubs, clubs, discotheques and the like, from Bavarian style tourist restaurants with deer antlers on the walls to extremely left-wing student bars which reserve the right to refuse police officers entry to the bar. You name it. Find your place and enjoy yourself. Heidelberg knows no curfew. Most bars close at 1am, but especially the students bars are often open until the early morning. Although the locals — even the police officers — are used to drunk tourists as well as to drunk students, please be calm on your way home and do not riot. As a remnant of the student revolts, Heidelberg has the largest ratio of policemen per capita and you may find yourself in the arms of an officer much faster than you think.

If you are a young person and happen to discover one of the student parties (which are quite numerous but advertised mostly by word-of-mouth), you scored the jackpot. Get inside, get a (dirt cheap) beer and have fun. But try and avoid being recognised as a tourist. No party ends before 3am and many run until 6 or 7am. Either Untere Straße or the Zieglers (Heidelbergs oldest students’ bar) are frequently crowded with students.

  • Wines are produced around Heidelberg (e.g. Schriesheim, Wiesloch), but it might be difficult to get hold of them – unless you simply go to a vineyard… When you buy wine, always a safe bet is a Riesling from Pfalz or some white wine from Baden instead, or try any of the numerous wines from other German wine regions.
  • Vineyards Vineyards are usually located in the middle of small towns along Bergstraße (Highway B3). Fruit farmers sell wine right on their farm e.i. vineyard – make sure you also ask for Apple Wine (Hesse specialty) and New Wine (wine still in process of fermentation – sold from the barrel, bring a canister!) which you can sometimes drink in some ‘wine-beergarden’ right on site. Take a tram (5/5R) northbound to any place between Schriesheim and Lützelsachsen or a local train (S3/S4) southbound to Wiesloch – or (even better, if you have the time) S1 or S2 to Neustadt, where you will find yourself in an endless landscape of vine stocks.
  • Next to the Old Bridge, there are two small breweries: The Kulturbrauerei[6] in the Leyergasse and Vetter’s Brauhaus in the Steingasse. Vetter’s is famous for having one of the strongest beers in world (Vetter 33).
  • Mensa im Marstallhof Maybe the most beautiful University Canteen in Germany and maybe also Heidelberg’s cheapest Beer Garden. Serving Welde-Beer (the Beer with screwed bottle necks and answering on any question… ) Everybody is welcome, Open till late…
  • If you want to mix with the locals, try the Untere Strasse, which runs between the Hauptstrasse and the river, parallel to both. It is packed with the student bars, including the crowded:
  • Großer Mohr. Small but highly recommended. Tuesday night the odds are high to find the Mohr besieged by medical students. Thursdays are also Ladies Night, where girls receive free Sekt, making it a popular destination leading up to the weekend.
  • Sonderbar. The latter boasts a huge collection of absinthe, whiskeys and whiskys, as well as a very distinctive atmosphere.
  • Destille [7]. There is a tree in in the center of the establishment.
  • O’Reillys, [8]. An Irish pub north of the river, just over the bridge from Bisi (Bismarckplatz).
  • Dubliner A good Irish pub at the center of Heidelberg Mainstreet (Downtown)
  • Ham Ham’s A great place to chill, drink, and smoke.
  • Nektar A very relaxed and chill place to enjoy a drink and party
  • B.J.Z. Bar Great place to party in Emmertsgrund, its a B.Y.O.A. (Bring your own alcohol) and you can crash anywhere in the house
  • The Brass Monkey Friendly bar on Haspelgasse, just opposite the old bridge. Good crowd and all staff also speak fluent English.
  • Heidelberg Castle Cellar The cellar in the castle, where you get to see the Heidelberg Tun, also sells local Wines. Be sure to taste the Eiswein they have.

If you are looking for coffee rather than alcohol, Star Coffee[9] has two branches, one off Bismarckplatz and the other on the Hauptstrasse, serving a variety of coffees and offering free WiFi access. Fewer computers but more style are found in the two Moro Cafes [10], directly at the Alte Brücke and one on the Hauptstraße.



Recently, most pubs close much earlier in the night, even on the weekends at around 2am. Just move to one of the numerous clubs, which usually have no entrance fee this late at night.

Be Safe[edit]

Heidelberg is an extremely safe city (even by German standards). However, women walking alone at night should take the usual precautions they would do anywhere else. Walking along the northern Neckar banks at night would not be advised, except in groups, particularly by the Studentenwohnheime (dorms). The shrubs are thick and it is very dark.

Usually there won’t be any problem. If you are a bit ‘paranoid’ you can take a Taxi. If you are from New York, you might think they are cheap – if you are from East-Europe or Asia you will feel like they are ripping you off… use as needed. There are also “Frauentickets” available for women, you can buy these coupons for 8€ and they will cover the fare for anywhere in the city.

Don’t walk on bicycle lanes! – Really don’t! (they are often painted in red, but always separated from the pedestrian lanes by a white line): Heidelberg has more cyclists than motorists, and many of them have a rather cavalier way of riding. The southern parallel street to Hauptstrasse (called Plöck) is the main traffic channel for student cyclists between Bismarkplatz and University Square. During the day it can be such a buzz, it’s already a sight worth visiting. But watch out: Many cyclists feel safe from the tourists there and lose all their good manners.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

  • Steffi’s Hostel Heidelberg, Alte Eppelheimer Str. 50 (Just walk straight out of the station and cross the big street and the tram rails in front of you. On the other side there’s a modern building, where you enter a shopping arcade (Kurfürstenpassage – Jack Wolfskin / Backpacker Store). Again you walk straight ahead through the passage and leave it on the opposite side. From the exit you can already see a big brick stone building in front of you. Here on the third floor above the Lidl supermarket, Steffis Hostel Heidelberg is situated.), +49 (0)6221/7782772 (), [11]. checkin: 10am – 1pm and 5pm – 8pm; checkout: until 12. Dorms from €20, everything included.  edit
  • Youth Hostel Heidelberg (Jugendherberge Heidelberg), Tiergartenstrasse 5, +49 6221 65119, [12]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:00. Large, well maintained hostel, located on the eastern bank of the Neckar River, 25min walk away from the central rail station. Public transportation: take bus 32 from central rail station towards north (Sportzentrum Nord), get off at Jugendherberge stop. Dorms from €28.30 including breakfast and linen, various concession apply. Towels can be rented from the reception for additional €2.  edit
  • Hotel ISG, [13]. Hotel ISG is located in the suburb of Boxberg is about a 15 minute taxi ride from central Heidelberg. Fitted out in the Bauhaus style the rooms are comfortable enough (and the bathrooms are excellent) but there is nothing to do in Boxberg.If you are visiting the EMBL, however, it is very convenient, as a free shuttle runs from the hotel to the institute.  edit
  • Hotel Restaurant Scheid. Hotel Restaurant Scheid is a nice, quiet, reasonably priced hotel in the suburb of Schriesheim, a short tram ride north of Heidelberg. Schriesheim is built on a hill so if you are hitting the clubs, don’t forget about the late 30 min. night walk up the hill from the tram stop (Schriesheim Bahnhof) to Hotel Scheid. Phone +49 (0)6203 6050.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • The Ritter, Hauptstraße 178, (), [14]. The Ritter is the oldest building (1592) in Heidelberg that has outlasted all fires and wars that have haunted the city over the times. It can get a little noisy considering its location directly at the heart of the Altstadt. Also a picturesque photo opportunity.  edit
  • Hip Hotel, Hauptstrasse 115, [15]. This was revamped in 2005 as a boutique hotel. Each room is modeled after a famous city, the most interesting room being the Zermatt (for Heidi and skiing fans).  edit
  • Hotel Neu Heidelberg, [16]. Hotel Neu Heidelberg is located in the west of Heidelberg’s center. Recommendable 3 star hotel with lovely restaurant, nice breakfast buffet, terrace, garden, wlan, bicycles for guests, free parking, various int. tv channels, etc. Easily reachable by car and public transportation.  edit
  • NH Hotel Heidelberg, [17]. Located about 1km west of the edge of the Altstadt, situated in an old brewery. However its been totally renovated and fitted out in a modernist decor, all glass, wood floors and exposed metal. Some of the rooms are very pleasant, though the ones overlooking the main road can be noisy. Food in the bar is disappointing.  edit
  • Crowne Plaza, [18]. A fairly standard anonymous business hotel is located just off Bismarckplatz. Rooms near the lifts can be extremely noisy, so are best avoided.  edit
  • Holiday Inn Heidelberg, Pliekartsfoerster Strasse 101, (toll free: 0800 181 6068), [19]. checkin: 15:00; checkout: 11:00. Standard hotel that’s about 5km outside of the centre of Heidelberg. Amenities include a sauna and gym. Internet access comes at a hefty minimum price of €10 for 60 minutes or €17 for 24 hours if travellers are only looking to browse. For business users, it’s even more expensive. €198 +.  edit
  • Hotel Holländer Hof Heidelberg [20], Neckarstaden 66, Tel: +49 6221 60500. The hotel has a unique view of the Neckar River and the Philosopher´s Walk. It is located in the middle of the historical old city centre, just opposite the Old Bridge. The famous Heidelberg castle, as well as all sights of Heidelberg can be reached within a few walking minutes. The Restaurants and the pedestrian area are located around the corner.

Splurge[edit]

  • Der Europäischer Hof, [21]. Located just on the edge of the Altstadt Der Europäischer Hof a classic privately owned five star hotel. Pleasant atmosphere and attentive staff. Most of the rooms look out over the courtyard and are therefore admirably quiet. Since 1865 der EUROPÄISCHE HOF has been a home from home for cultivated travelers in search of timeless traditional charm, atmosphere, and service. The name of the establishment stands for all that is best in European hotel culture and for exceptional standards of service. Official listings have rated the hotel as the finest hotel in Heidelberg and in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. The hotel is a Certified Business Hotel, Certified Conference Hotel, and certified as conforming to the pharma code. Accordingly, they have everything you expect of a professional business hotel.  edit
  • Hirschgasse Heidelberg, Hirschgasse 3 – 69120 Heidelberg, +49 6221 4540, [22]. checkin: 3 PM; checkout: 12 AM. The Hirschgasse is the oldest Hotel of Heidelberg and the oldest student dwelling house of Germany. It was first mentioned in a love story in 1472 and is nestled in a little side valley of a select residential area opposite the Heidelberg castle. An impressive walk along the River Neckar will take you to the Altstadt on the other side of the river. Mark Twain wrote about this in his book “A Tramp Abroad.” The rooms are all unique and will delight Laura Ashley fans and the ones seeking a good shot of authentic romantic ambiance. It comes along with two restaurants: the historic Mensurstube with regional dishes and over 250 year old tables, even Count Otto von Bismarck carved his name into. The elegant Le Gourmet is a classic French restaurant with attentive but yet uncomplicated service and will delight your credit cards with a good value for a swipe. A vineyard only a stone’s throw away from the hotel “Sunnyside upon the Bridge” provides a good local Riesling or Late Burgundy. from 125 to 335.  edit

Get out now[edit]

Heidelberg is a charming and lively town by itself. If you have more time and feel like exploring, there are some nice small towns around Heidelberg which can make great day trips by the regional train which runs parallel to the Neckar river. Some of the towns like Neckargemund, Eberbach, Mosbach etc. are great locations to spend a day.

  • Bertha Benz Memorial Route – Follow the tracks of the world’s first automobile journey (Mannheim – Pforzheim – Mannheim) back in 1888, leading right through Heidelberg
  • Darmstadt
  • Frankfurt
  • Heilbronn
  • Heppenheim
  • Karlsruhe
  • Mannheim
  • Schwetzingen
  • Weinheim – A small city between Darmstadt and Heidelberg
  • Dilsberg / Neckarsteinach – has four small castles in a row. Dilsberg’s castle has a well which is accesible by a tunnel. Neckarsteinach’s railway station is 20 mins away taking the S1 or S2 train from Hauptbahnhof or Karlstorbahnhof. From there it is a 5 km walk on a forest trail to Dilsberg, a medieval village with a town wall. The Dilsberg youth hostel is in the old city gate.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Heidelberg

 

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Leizpig, Germany – Travel Guide

Leizpig, Germany – Travel Guide

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For other places with the same name, see Memphis (disambiguation).

Night on Beale Street

Memphis is the largest city in the state of Tennessee. The state rests in the southeastern portion of the United States. Memphis, with a population totaling more than 670,000, is also the county seat for Shelby County. The city’s claims to fame include Graceland, the mansion Elvis Presley lived in during his later years. Maybe more importantly, Memphis is considered by many to be the home of blues music.

Although downtown Memphis has experienced quite a rebirth and renewal in the last few years, the center of the city is older; it is full of new development, teeming with change and coming into its own. In the past few years, the city has emerged to boast one of the largest downtown populations among US cities. Citizens once again have a vested interest in making downtown safe, exciting, and a great place to visit and relax after decades of abandonment.

Whether visiting or moving to the area, from May to October make it well worth your while to visit the Memphis Farmers Market which formed and began in 2006 – it is one of the brightest shining stars of the early Spring, Summer, and through Mid-Autumn.

A word of caution: Memphis is extremely hot in the summertime, and the humidity can make you feel even hotter! Those who have trouble tolerating high heat and humidity may wish to avoid visiting during July or August.

Get in[edit]

Memphis is on the southwestern corner of Tennessee, with the Mississippi River and the state of Arkansas bordering it to the west and the state of Mississippi to the south.

By plane[edit]

Memphis International Airport (IATA: MEM), [1]. Memphis is the primary FedEx distribution center, and, as the world’s busiest cargo airport, the air is always full of planes making your eBay purchase a glorious reality. Delta Air Lines [2], the world’s largest airline, maintains a hub at the airport, providing regional service and a few international flights. If you are flying non-stop to Memphis, chances are it will be on Delta. A few other airlines do squeeze passengers into town:

  • American Airlines, [3] Chicago O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami.
  • Frontier Airlines, [4] Denver.
  • Southwest Airlines, [5] Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Houston–Hobby, Orlando, Tampa.
  • United Airlines, [6] Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Houston George Bush Intercontinental, Newark.
  • US Airways, [7] Charlotte, Philadelphia, Washington-National.


There are also a few non-scheduled passenger services which provide transportation to vacation destinations on a sporadic basis:

  • Archers Direct Holidays, [8].

By car[edit]

  • Interstate 40 is a good route into town but doesn’t go through Memphis; to get to the other side of 40 you take the north loop which is I-40, or the south loop, which is known is I-240 and is Memphis’ beltway.
  • I-55 will take you right into town – just take the Riverside Drive exit from either direction to be at Beale Street in a minute.
  • Parking – Except for downtown, parking is usually free. If you’re downtown, try the “Parking Can Be Fun” garage on Union Avenue. It’s cheap, absolutely bizarre, and right where you want to be. Expect to hunt for cheaper parking if there’s an event going on at the FedEx Forum, Beale Street or AutoZone Park. Parking vendors also appear to charge higher prices during these peak times.

By train[edit]

  • Amtrak, [9]. Service available from trains running up and down the Mississippi, as well as connections through major hubs. Great for a jaunt up to Chicago for world-class shopping or down to New Orleans for world-class drinking.

By bus[edit]

  • Greyhound, 3033 Airways Blvd, +1 901 395-8770, [10].
  • Megabus, [11]. Low-cost carrier offers service to Memphis from Chicago, Champaign, St. Louis, Atlanta, Birmingham, Knoxville, Nashville, Little Rock, and Dallas. Fares start at $1 each way when reserved well in advance. Buses stop on the south side of the MATA North End Terminal building, near the northeast corner of North Main Street and North Parkway; the terminal itself is accessible from North 2nd Street or Auction Avenue.

Get around[edit]

Skyline of Memphis as seen from the Hernando de Soto Bridge

  • Driving – Travel by car is really the only way to get around Memphis if you want to do anything other than see Downtown.
  • Public Transit – Bus service provided by the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA)[12] is available across the city. Some routes are very poorly served in the evenings. At nights and weekends some buses take a different route than during the day which can be a trap for visitors.
    • A trolley operates downtown and into Midtown, mostly for the benefit of tourists.
  • The Bettie Bus – Airport Shuttle and local tours. [13]

Memphis is laid out in a more or less east/west fashion. Roads primarily go east/west and north/south. The expressway fortunately cuts directly through the city.

Downtown is on the west; it sits atop the bluffs, overlooking the mighty Mississippi River. (It is referred to as Downtown, not as West Memphis, which is a town just across the river in Arkansas.) Moving east you’ll come to Midtown, a charming part of the city thought by some as the best part of Memphis. Beyond that, you will find East Memphis, and then the suburbs of Germantown, Collierville, Cordova, and Bartlett. The area between downtown and Midtown, referred to by locals as “Crosstown,” is coming to life slowly but surely. There is a movement to turn it into an artist community. Members of this movement call the area “the Edge”. However, most of the “art district” is on South Main.

See[edit][add listing]

Downtown[edit]

Downtown houses a large portion of Memphis’ population. As a result, many commute to work in greater parts of the city. Much of the downtown area, with exception to Beale Street, is at its liveliest after work hours and especially on weekends. Stroll down the Main Street Promenade at dinner time or the riverfront at sunset to see downtowners enjoying their neighborhood.
-Buy a ticket and take the trolley to get a good overview of the area.

  • Beale Street, [14]. “Home of the Blues”. Dozens of bars and clubs, most of them featuring live music. At night the street is closed to vehicles and you can drink on the street, some bars have “drinks to go” windows where you can get a 32oz cup of beer for $5 and go bar-hopping, many bars have no cover charge. Peabody Place is largely a wasteland, as nearly all the stores inside have closed. The FedEx Forum sits just around the corner and hosts many events- NBA Grizzlies games in particular, which consume most of Beale Street before and after tip off.
  • Mississippi River. River tours available most days through a variety of providers. Tom Lee Park [15] is a nice place to view the river. Also, the newly constucted Beale Street Landing hosts a park, playground, and a bar and restaurant with breathtaking views of the river and skyline. It is a great place to relax, have a drink, and enjoy the magnitude of the mighty Mississippi.
  • South Main. [16] This historic, charming neighborhood south of Beale Street has undergone major renewal over the past years. Considered the arts district of Memphis, it is home to trendy shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Some of the oldest buildings of the city still stand today and have been renovated to claim much of downtown’s population. Attractions include the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis Farmer’s Market, River Arts Festival, and South Main Trolley Night.
  • National Civil Rights Museum, 450 Mulberry St, [17]. M-Sat 9AM-5PM, Sun 1PM-5PM (closes an hour later Jun-Aug). Built out of the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was fatally shot in 1968. Near the Amtrak station. $12 for adults; free for Tennessee residents Mondays after 3PM.
  • Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art, 119 South Main St, [18]. Located downstairs from the Center for Southern Folklore, this wonderful museum holds a collection of over 900 Asian and Judaic artifacts. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for students. Children 12 and under are free.
  • Ornamental Metal Museum, 374 Metal Museum Drive, [19]. Tues-Sat 10AM-5PM, Sun 12PM-5PM. Displays art jewelry, architectural pieces and sculpture. The grounds are full of permanent installations and the Museum boasts one of the best views overlooking the Mississippi. They also have a working smithy. Adult $5.
  • Fire Museum of Memphis, 118 Adams Ave, [20]. M-Sat 9AM-5PM. An interactive museum designed to teach children and adults about fire safety. Also features a realistic room to show how much damage a dropped lit cigarette can do. Adult $6.
  • Mud Island River Park/Harbor Town, 125 North Front St, [21]. Apr 14 – May 26 10AM-5PM, May 27 – Sep 4 10AM-6PM, Sept 5 – Oct 31 10AM-5PM. The park is accessible by monorail, made famous by a chase scene in the movie “The Firm”. The park contains a museum of the Mississippi River and a scale model of the river. Visitors are welcome to remove their shoes and wade through the replica mighty Mississippi. The “Gulf of Mexico” is a large pool in which visitors may rent paddle boats. Entry to the park is free. Adult $8 (Mississippi River Museum, Roundtrip Monorail Ride, Guided River Walk Tour). At the tip of the park is an excellent vantage point of the city and the river. The northern end of the island is occupied by HarborTown, a model community with charming, beach-style homes and a colorful town center complete with shops and nice restaurants. Start at the town center and wander the shady streets.
  • Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, 191 Beale St (corner of Third St; on the plaza of FedExForum), [22]. Daily 10AM-7PM (last admission 6:15PM). A short video is shown at frequent intervals and then you are given a headset so that you can listen to commentary and numerous songs as you walk through the exhibits. Sponsored by the Smithsonian. Adult $10. The museum used to be housed in the Gibson guitar factory across the street, which puts visitors right on the factory floor. Famous musicians periodically visit to pick up custom guitars or to play a set at the Gibson Lounge, in the west end of the building.

The Edge[edit]

  • Sun Studio, [23]. Numerous blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and rockabilly recordings were made here, including Elvis’s and Johnny Cash’s first recordings. Tours are available, usually given by wallet-chained and mutton-chopped local musicians. Tour tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased at the cafe and gift shop inside the front door of the studio. Free parking is available in the back of the building.
  • Sleeping Cat Studio, 341 1/2 Monroe.
  • Victorian Village, A collection of large Victorian homes built during Memphis’ early period of growth. Today several of the homes remain as museums while one- the Mollie Fontaine Taylor House has been converted into a unique bar and restaurant lounge. [24]

Midtown[edit]

  • Allie Cat Arts, [25] The largest and most eclectic selection of fine art and gifts by Memphis artists. Painting, pottery, glass, mixed-media, sculpture, jewelry, clothing and more. They also do custom orders and will ship work anywhere in the US.
  • Memphis Zoo, [26]. Pandas and other animals galore. Lots to do for children and adults. Seasonal events include numerous educational events, Zoo Lights in wintertime for all ages, annual Zoo Brews beer-tasting from around the world and Thursdays Unplugged at the Lodge, drinks and music in the Yellowstone-inspired Teton Trek Lodge for adults.
  • The Pink Palace, [27]. Built as a private residence by Clarence Saunders, the man who introduced Piggly Wiggly, the world’s first self-service grocery store, the Pink Palace Mansion was later taken by the tax man and subsequently turned into a museum. (Saunders never actually lived in the house.) It is a very eclectic place, with everything from shrunken heads to animatronic dinosaurs with a life size copy of the first Piggly Wiggly in between. Also has an IMAX theater and a planetarium. Well worth a visit.
  • Overton Park. Encompasses the Memphis Zoo, Memphis College of Art (MCA), the Brooks Art Museum, the Overton Park Golf Course, and largest stand of old growth forest in a US city.
  • Cooper-Young. Historic neighborhood of restored homes centered around the Cooper-Young intersection, known by some as the intersection of Memphis. This intersection has several cool bars and restaurants, as well as shops and the House of Mews cat adoption center. Allie Cat Arts[28] features fine art, pottery, jewelry, and gifts by 80+ local Memphis artists. Be sure to come for the annual Cooper-Young festival[29] in September. Also, just north of the Cooper-Young intersection is Black Lodge Video. This rental store, located in a house, has almost every video imaginable. Be sure to look for the “This is shit-the worst we could find” section. Coffee shops include Otherlands and Java Cabana.
  • Overton Square, [30]. Overton Square has undergone many changes over the years but was recently revitalized with new restaurants and shops. Located in midtown Memphis at the intersection of Madison and Cooper, Overton Square has arguably become the epicenter of entertainment for locals.
  • Broad Avenue Arts District, [31]. Art galleries, bars, antique shops, and more align Broad Avenue and host many events year-round. The Watertower Pavilion hosts live music frequently along with art and dance shows.

East Memphis[edit]

  • Lichterman Nature Center, [32]. Part of the Pink Palace family of museums, its 65-acres of lakes, meadows, and forests feature lush gardens with native wildflowers and trees and provide a home to a wide variety of plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.
  • Memphis Botanic Garden, [33] with over 96 acres of natural woodlands and cultivated gardens, is also home to the seasonal outdoor concert series ‘Live at the Garden’ and the renowned Japanese Garden of Tranquility. New to MBG is ‘My Big Backyard”, a 2.5 acre children’s garden with a larger-than-life birdhouse, a tunneling adventure, a teaching pond, “leaping lawn”, “critter creek”, and many other spaces that cater to children of all ages. [34]
  • Shelby Farms Park, [35] One of the United States’ largest urban parks, Shelby Farms is over five times the size of New York’s Central Park. Visitors enjoy walking, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, sailing, canoeing, paddle-boating, disc-golf, and bird-watching and in Fall 2010 Shelby Farms will open its new Woodland Discovery Playground which will include a large treehouse, sand area, nets to climb and activities for children of all ages. The Park is also home to a herd of American Bison.

Around Town[edit]

Elvis’ final resting place at Graceland. His middle name was usually spelled with just one “A”, but legally had two

  • Graceland, [36]. Home of Elvis Presley, “The King of Rock and Roll”. It’s no surprise that this is the number one tourist attraction in Memphis. Think “tacky tourist” trap but don’t miss it–you might be pleasantly surprised. Although it is not advisable to venture in the suburbs surrounding the site, there is lots and lots of Elvis stuff to see here – the house itself (note that the upper floor, with Elvis’ bedroom and Lisa Marie’s nursery, is not open to the public), customized private airplanes, an automobile collection, gold records, costumes, and more. Take note of Elvis Week (Death Week to the locals) in early August, culminating in the candlelight vigil on the anniversary of Elvis’ death. It is a big deal, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. Check out the bizarre felt-pen scribblings on the fence, some hip-ironic, some of the psycho-lunatic-fan sort. If you happen to be in Memphis during Birth or Death Week – January and August, respectively – sit downtown for a few hours just to watch the Elvis fans. Not just on Halloween, but at any time of year, dress up like the King (or like Priscilla if you’re a girl) and you’ll instantly be a star in your own right!
  • Stax Museum of American Soul Music, 926 E. McLemore Ave, [37]. Mar-Oct M-Sat 9AM-4PM Sun 1PM-4PM, Nov-Feb M-Sat 10AM-4PM. The promotional material says “no backpacks” but this is not so. In any case, they can keep your backpack at the front desk, as with cameras which are not allowed. Adult $10.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Walk to the river and touch the Mississippi’s water with your fingers.
  • Check out some live music on Beale Street
  • The Memphis Redbirds [38] baseball team plays at AutoZone Park. They are the Triple-A affiliates of the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • FedExForum, [39]. FedExForum is the largest public building construction project in Memphis history. Managed and operated by the Memphis Grizzlies, the facility is home to both the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA and the University of Memphis Tigers basketball team. FedExForum is located at 191 Beale Street and Third Street which traveling south becomes Highway 61, the historic Blues Highway.
    • Memphis Grizzlies, [40]. Top-level pro basketball.
  • Memphis Tigers [41] — Teams representing the University of Memphis, which participate in NCAA competition as members of the American Athletic Conference (the football-sponsoring portion of the former Big East Conference). The most visible Tigers team by far is the men’s basketball team, regularly a conference contender and occasionally a national contender as well. As noted above, the men’s basketball team plays at FedExForum (though not the women’s team, which plays on campus). The football team also plays off campus at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on the Mid-South Fairgrounds.
  • Mississippi Riverkings [42]. Minor league hockey team near Memphis
  • Take a carriage ride around downtown and see Beale Street, Court Square, Confederate Park, the Mississippi River, Hernando DeSoto bridge, several movie locations on Front Street, the original and the current Peabody Hotel, all while learning about the great city of Memphis! * 4th of July Fireworks, Tom Lee Park, Mississippi River: These fireworks have improved immensely since two fireworks shows merged into one at the river in 2007. There is also food, music, and other entertainment.
  • Memphis in May International Festival [43]. Annual festival featuring the Beale Street Music Festival which showcases over 40 musicians on multiple stages for three days the first weekend in May, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest where hundreds of teams compete for over $100,000 in prizes and ultimate bragging rights and visitors can taste championship barbecue, and closing the festival with the Sunset Symphony, a day of entertainment on the banks of the Mississippi River with local musicians, air show with vintage and concept aircrafts, and as the sun is setting, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra performs. After dark, as the symphony (and in 2010 KC & the Sunshine Band) begin their last set the sky fills with fireworks.
  • Ghost River Brewing 827 S. Main Street TEL: 901-278-0087 Check out this great beer producer. You can tour the facility for free on any Saturday, but you must make reservations. Tours start at 1pm.
  • Allie Cat Arts, 961 S. Cooper, 901-722-0094, [44]. Take a piece of Memphis home! The largest and most diverse selection of local art in Memphis. Currently featuring 80+ artists. Visit their facebook page for more info and current business hours. $1 to $1500.  edit


Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Memphis Backbeat Mojo Tour, Picks up at Elvis Presley Plaza on Beale, (800) 979-3370, [45]. You can see most of Memphis’ historic musical attractions on this fun, funky, educational bus tour. It’s the only tour in town to put Memphis’ musical heritage in the hands of real musicians, who will combine story, comedy, and live music in a one-of-a-kind show on wheels. Audience participation is encouraged with drums and other percussion pieces provided on the restored 1959 transit bus. Tour is 90 minutes., but if time allows, go for the extended 2.5 hour version. Well worth the time and money. Tours sell out, so reserve online in advance. $25.  edit

Downtown[edit]

  • A. Schwab, Beale Street. Dry goods store whose motto is “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” It’s the place for souvenirs. It’s been here forever, and is a breath of fresh air from the bulk of the establishments on Beale St, with live blues of its own during the day.

Midtown[edit]

  • Allie Cat Arts [46]Eclectic art gallery/gift shop featuring local artists
  • Wizard’s A fine gift shop with “smoking supplies” (wink-wink, nudge-nudge).
  • Midtown Books, [47]. An excellent selection of used books. Has been named Best of Memphis by readers of the Memphis Flyer at one time or another. — Has moved downtown in the basement of Memphis Tobacco Bowl near the corner of Madison and Third Street. Has an excellent coffee shop as well as the selection at the Tobacco Bowl. Now known as Downtown Books.
  • Overton Square, [48]. A small shopping/entertainment district on Madison Avenue, near Cooper.
  • Burke’s Books [49]. 936 S. Cooper St. Memphis, TN 38104, HOURS OF OPERATION:Monday – Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Friday & Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Sunday 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. One of the oldest independent book stores in the country, Burke’s has been selling new, used and rare books since 1875. A popular stop along book signing tours for authors ranging from John Grisham to Archie Manning and Anne Rice, Burke’s has also been visited by celebrities such as Benecio Del Toro, Michael Jackson, Gene Hackman, REM, and Matt Dillon, to name a few.

Out East[edit]

  • Collierville Town Center – Catch Poplar Ave. east to the town of Collierville and browse the interesting shops on the square. Very pretty in the holiday season. Small and quaint, this square boasts a setting and some shops that aren’t found elsewhere in Memphis. A steam engine and a few private railcars are open to the public.

Graceland[edit]

Of all the places in the world one can buy Elvis souvenirs, none is better than Graceland.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Memphis is one of the cheapest places in the USA to live, and that includes going out to eat. Memphis is famous for two things: music and food. The local BBQ is well-known, and you can sample it “wet” (with spicy, tangy sauce) or “dry” (rubbed with spices before cooking). Other options abound across the city, from Southern home cooking to international fare. You won’t go wrong with famous names, but the adventurous will find real treasures in modest hole-in-the-wall joints that make up for their shabby appearance with fabulous flavor.

Downtown[edit]

  • Earnestine and Hazel’s, 531 S. Main St., Memphis, TN 38103. (901)523-9754.Open Hours: Mo to Th from 05:00 PM to 02:00 AM,Fr to Sa from 05:00 PM to 03:00 AM,Su from 07:00 PM to 02:00 AM. Ecclectic, unique atmosphere, a staff that defined cool and of course the Soul Burger. Visitors can request a special ghost tour upstairs of the one time brothel and then enjoy the best burger in Memphis. With a juke box loaded with classic hits and a staff full of colorful stories of it’s history, even Cameron Crowe couldn’t resist including Earnestine and Hazel’s in his film “Elizabethtown”.
  • Little Tea Shop, Open for lunch Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., 69 Monroe Ave. (901) 525-6000. Memphis’ oldest eatery (1918). Boasts “Healthy Home Cooking.” Family-owned, fast, friendly service. Traditional Southern “meat & three” with daily specials. Don’t miss dessert! (Featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.)
  • Pearl’s Oyster House, 299 S. Main (522-9070), 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed Sundays. Excellent New Orleans/Florida Panhandle influenced seafood. Variety of oyster styles, po’ boys, gumbo, shrimp, crawfish, grouper, fried pickles. Two bars and patio out back. Atmosphere is casual. On the trolley line.
  • Automatic Slims, Adjacent to the Peabody Hotel on 2nd Street. Kind of trendy, but nice wait staff and good food. Expect $25-35/person.
  • Blues City Cafe, Beale and 2nd Street. Good ribs. The garlic pan seared shrimp is tasty, also. Prices from $6-$18. Jean Paul’s Last Call is a small bar attached to Blues City. It attracts server staff crowd after hours.
  • Crepe Makers, 175 Peabody Place (almost on the corner with S Third St and one street from Beale St). A range of savory crepes in addition to the dessert crepes one most commonly thinks of when crepes are mentioned. The raspberry chicken crepe is delicious. Average price around $7.
  • Flying Saucer, One 2nd Street. 90 beers on tap and ~120 in the bottle. Good pub grub. Servers wear nice short skirts. Nonetheless, a chain bar. There are better.
  • Texas De Brazil, adjacent to the Peabody Hotel. Everything you expect in a Brazilian steakhouse. Expect $40-50 per person for supper, but it’s worth it. Lunch is the most economical time. Formal attire, a dress shirt and slacks at the least, is strongly recommended.
  • The Rendezvous [50]. A Memphis legend. Excels at Memphis-style BBQ in a no-frills environment where some of the crusty wait staff have logged more than 30 years. Go early–this in-the-basement establishment has quite a following and a long wait is expected nearly every night. Dry rub ribs are the trademark, but also give the sausage plate and BBQ nachos a try. Pricey given the decor (and the fact that you’re eating BBQ). Expect $15-20 per person.
  • The Arcade Classic old diner. Traditional diner food with the addition of pizza and hummus sandwiches. It’s across the street from the train station at 540 South Main Street. Featured in several movies, including “Mystery Train”.
  • Bluff City Coffee, In South Main’s Art District. Try their signature cup “The Real Cappuccino”.
  • Harry’s Detour, 106 G.E. Patterson. Lunch Tu-Sa 11:30AM-2PM, Dinner W-Sa 5:30PM-10PM. An eclectic menue of delicious main courses, soups, salads and desserts served in an intimate setting. Private room and patio.
  • Westy’s Bar/grill that occupies the sight of the old North End. The North End was destroyed by arson in 1998 and Westy’s took its place. Known for fried pickles, tamales, a wide selection of wild rice dishes and a popular fudge pie. Expect $7-$12 pp, open late.
  • Gus’ World Famous Fried Chicken. No restaurant guide to downtown would be complete without mentioning Gus’, and the food is excellent. 40 oz. beers, Newport Menthols, and fried chicken. Enough said.
  • Dyer’s, This retro diner is on Beale Street almost directly North of the FedEx Forum and next to Alfred’s. It’s got great burgers at a reasonable price. Only catch is that they are deep fried. It’s definitely worth trying. Another recommendation is their chili cheese fries.
  • Huey’s [51] Blues, Brews & Burgers since 1970. Casual tavern with a custom of blowing toothpicks into the ceiling through straws. Burgers any way you can imagine earn it a perennial “best burger” win in local reader polls. Several locations, including 77 S. 2nd. Come on Sundays for jazz afternoons and blues evenings.
  • Bardog Tavern [52] at 73 Monroe Avenue. Great bar scene with awesome food that is a cut above your average bar grub. It’s also a bit cheaper than the touristy places, as you can eat here for under $10 easily.

Midtown[edit]

  • Young Ave. Deli Good place for bar food and/or rock shows. Try the fried dill pickles. Located in the Cooper-Young district of Midtown. One of the biggest beer selections in town.
  • Pho Saigon Super yummy Vietnamese soup less than $10 for a bowl as big as your head.
  • Molly’s La Casita Very good Mexican food priced around $10 per entree.
  • Pho Hoa Binh, Madison Avenue – Hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese. $5-$10. Great tofu and wheat gluten dishes, so don’t miss it if you’re vegetarian.
  • Saigon Le, 51 N Cleveland Street – Another awesome Vietnamese restaurant. $5-$10.
  • Indochina, Cleveland Avenue – Another excellent Vietnamese restaurant. Famous for their homemade egg rolls. $5-$10.
  • Brother Junipers, U of M area – Open for breakfast and lunch. Great omelettes. Free-Trade Coffee. Strange hours. $5-$10. Associated with the Juniper Bakery, all proceeds going to drug rehab.
  • Bosco’s, Overton Square The only locally brewed beer in Memphis (also a national award winner). Great pizza, entrees, etc. Excellent jazz brunch on Sundays. $10-$20.
  • Zinnie’s East, On Madison near Belvedere intersection – Excellent and inexpensive food. If you want a local treat try the “Zinnie Loney,” a truly large bologna sandwich for cheap. $6-15.
  • Huey’s A Memphis landmark, the original Huey’s offers one of the best burgers in town. $6-12.
  • Dino’s, On Mclean near North Parkway intersection – Serves reliable versions of basic “American-style Italian food”, being open for breakfast, lunch (offering sandwiches and plate lunches) and dinner six days a week. $6-20.
  • Corky’s famous barbecue – One of the best barbecue places in Memphis. 3 or 4 locations within the city; locals strongly recommend it. Must visit; $6-$20 per person. You can purchase their barbeque sauce too. Excellent ribs!!!!!!
  • The BBQ Shop – Another of the best barbecue places in Memphis. One location on Madison Ave. Excellent barbecue and service; very personable and attentive. A sandwich with two sides will run you about $7.
  • Hi-Tone – Famous Midtown music venue now with full kitchen for dinner. Great selection of “drunk” foods: barbecue chicken pizza, burgers, hot wings. But they also serve pasta, vegetable plates and offer vegetarian options. $5-$20.
  • Bayou Bar and Grill, Great Cajun food at moderate prices located near Studio on the Square. Tuesday is $3 pint night. The Gumbo and spicy chicken sandwich is great.
  • Central BBQ – 2249 Central Ave. (901)272-9377 or 4375 Summer Ave. (901)767-4672 This is yet another great BBQ place. There are two locations, but the original on Central Ave. is said to be the best by locals. Try the BBQ sandwich with coleslaw or the BBQ nachos.
  • Jack Magoo’s Sports Bar [53] – 2583 Broad Avenue (901) 746-9612 Located in the historic Broad Avenue Arts District, Jack Magoo’s has a full menu and TV’s galore to watch the game. 21 and up. Check the website for live music schedule.
  • The Beauty Shop [www.thebeautyshoprestaurant.com] Restaurant in former 1960′s beauty salon. Rumor is that Pricilla Presley used to have her hair done there. Located in the historic Cooper Young neighborhood


East Memphis[edit]

  • Belmont Grill, at Poplar and Mendenhall – Hole-in-the-wall bar and restaurant that serves great food. Try the shish kebobs. $10-$20.
  • Germantown Commissary, On Germantown Pkwy between Poplar and Poplar Pike (technically in Germantown) – Some of the best ribs Memphis has to offer. $10-$20.
  • The Half Shell, [54] Good seafood is hard to come by in Memphis, but Half Shell scores. Extensive menu, with a cajun tilt to most dishes. Fresh gulf oysters, King Crab, Champagne brunch on the weekends, and menu “front page” items that change frequently. The kitchen is open until 2AM (1AM on Sunday). Locations at Mendenhall/Poplar and Winchester/Centennial (near Southwind). There is also an abbreviated menu available at the Rhythms Cafe & Bar in Concourse B, near Gate 35 at the Memphis International Airport. Half Shell is also known for its live music on the weekends and its lively late-night bar crowd. Entrees $9 and up.
  • Buckley’s–For the best steak in all of Memphis, you must head to Buckley’s on Poplar. Wonderful food, exceptionally friendly staff, and affordable prices!
  • Juicy Jim’s – 546 S. Highland St Memphis,Tn 38111 901-458-4448 This is a great sandwich place near the University of Memphis on Highland Ave. The food is a bit expensive with sandwiches being about $8-$12, but the quality is great and it is well worth it. The best sandwich shop in Memphis and has great pizza too. The shop will be moving across the street to the pizzeria in about 3 months.
  • Edo – 4792 Summer Ave. (901)767-7096 Great Japanese home style cooking. This is about as close to real Japanese food as you can get without being in Japan. Expect to pay about 9 or 10 dollars for a very tasty meal. They also have reasonably priced Japanese beers.
  • Muddy’s Bake Shop [55], Delightful neighborhood bakery with delicious baked goods–don’t miss the cupcakes, with names as creative as the cupcakes are delicious–and wonderful, welcoming staff. Light lunch served as well, menu changes weekly. Voted best birthday cake in memphis by Nickelodeon Parents Connect. Lunch Items $6 and under. Cupcakes $1.50.
  • Sekisui [56], 50 Humphreys Center. Best Japanese food in Memphis. Although there are many locations around Memphis, the Humphreys location is the original and still the best. If you’re lucky, your waitress will be Japanese, and the head sushi chef is Japanese. Jimmy Ishii, the owner, is also Japanese.

Elsewhere[edit]

  • Jerry’s Sno Cones, at the corner of Wells Station and Reed Ave, Jerry’s has some of the best Sno Cones you’ll find anywhere, with a huge selection of flavors. They also have a hot food menu featuring Burgers, and fried bologna sandwiches. You can get a full meal sandwich, fries, drink, and dessert all for under $10., [57]
  • Ellen’s Soul Food and Bar-B-Q, 601 S. Parkway E. – Expect to hear the menu when you arrive to get down at this old-school soul food dream, though a hand-written paper copy is also available. Fried everything is their specialty, including okra, cornbread, chicken, and catfish that’s worth a trip to Memphis by itself. The service is so good that the management will set you straight if you try to eat neck bones with a knife and fork. Entrees $7-9, including two side orders.
  • Coletta’s, 1063 S. Parkway E., [58]. One of the oldest restaurants in Memphis, with excellent American-Italian food. Don’t miss the barbecue spaghetti or pizza.
  • Jim Neely’s Interstate Barbecue [59], 2265 S. Third Street. – No ambiance to speak of, but the barbecue is outstanding even by Memphis’s high standards. The Interstate Barbecue in the B terminal of the Memphis airport is just as good. There’s always a line, but it’s worth it. There will be another plane later.
  • Tycoon 3309 Kirby Parkway. (901)362-8788 This is a great Asian restaurant that specializes in noodles. They offer a variety of Asian cuisine ranging from China to Vietnam to Malaysia. Prices average at about 7-8 dollars.
  • Eat Well, 2965 N Germantown Rd. (901) 388-8178. Called a “modern Japanese buffet,” this place has a healthy variety of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese food, perhaps with an emphasis on Japanese. Lunch buffet is $12 with sushi, dinner buffet has sashimi and is $20. They also have great Japanese-style pan-friend gyoza. It’s a great and refreshing buffet, and much of the clientele is Asian (Japanese, Chinese, and Korean) at any given time.
  • Juicy Jim’s, 546 S. Highland St. 901-458-4448. Best sandwiches and pizza, great service, fresh vegetables, fresh cuts of meat, great cheese, great breads and wraps can’t say enough about the heavenly food at Juicy Jim’s.
  • Mi Pueblo, 3750 Hacks Cross Road. (901) 751-8896. This is a great Mexican buffet with a nice selection of Mexican food. Clientele is mostly Mexican (so you know it’s good), and prices are reasonable ($7 – $15)

Pizza[edit]

  • Exline’s – A Memphis chain serving up some big ol’ round pizzas cut into square pieces. The toppings are huge (as in large bits). The cheese on the cheese fries is nacho and it comes from a can; super fantastic. ~$10.
  • Camy’s, [60]. Want to just hang out in your hotel? Call Camy’s for the best pizza delivery in town.
  • Pie In The Sky, tasty pizza joint formerly located at Cooper & Young, and now revived at Lou’s Pizza Pie, LLC at 2158 Young Avenue. Lou is Back!!
  • Memphis Pizza Cafe, Overton Square, also on Park Av., and a couple in the ‘burbs – Tasty Pizza (BBQ chicken is good). Cold beer. All you really need. $10-$15.
  • Garibaldi’s, U of M area (back behind the YMCA). Great 70′s atmosphere, great 70′s style pizza. $5-$10.
  • Fox Ridge Pizza, 2 locations: Fox Meadows & Cordova, round pizza, square cut, unique sauce and cheese. Also excellent hamburgers. $10-$20
  • Mellow Mushroom Brilliant! Finally a real pizza place in Memphis (Germantown). This place also has and extensive craft brew beer menu. $10-30
  • Juicy Jim’s Pizzeria 551 S. Highland Street TEL: (901)435-6243 Hours: 3pm – 3am. Owned and run by Juicy Jim and located across the street from the old sandwich shop of the same name. This place has great pizza and subs at reasonable prices. Expect to spend about $10 – 20 for a nice sized pie with a couple toppings. The sandwiches are equally great and inexpensive considering the quality and size. Also has very reasonable beer prices: around $3 for a pint.

Variations of Quick[edit]

Memphis has a tradition of hiding its best food at the back of convenience stores. For instance:

  • Kwik Check, Madison Ave. near Overton Square. Best deli sandwiches in Memphis. Try the “Cheesy Muff” (vegetarian muffeletta) or “My Bleeding Heart” (spicy spicy hummus pita). $5-10.
  • Kwik Shop, Central Ave. and East Parkway – Big huge burgers. Super nice steak fries. Gyros are excellent. They have veggie burgers just as big as the meat ones, but they only have one grill. $4-$6.

Listen[edit]

Soul, R&B, and rock ‘n’ roll have deep roots in Memphis, and destinations abound for good music today.

  • Beale Street in downtown Memphis makes sense as a first destination. A dozen clubs pipe their music onto the street, and each night a single wristband buys entrance to them all.
  • Hi-Tone Cafe, [61]. Featured musical acts could be anybody, from reggae to country-western acts–all of them party bands, to be sure. Make sure you show up ready to move a little, drink a little and even eat little.
  • Wild Bill’s Lounge, 1580 Vollintine Ave. It sits unassumingly in a strip mall three miles northeast of Beale Street, where, as if out of an old movie, the boisterous Memphis Soul Survivors, led by the boisterous Miss Nicki, play to a boisterous crowd. Night hours on F-Su. As they pay the $10 cover, patrons are greeted at the door by Wild Bill himself.
  • Minglewood Hall, [62] 1555 Madison Ave. Memphis’ newest music venue, located in Midtown at the former location of Strings n Things.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Wine is sold in dedicated, licensed liquor stores in Memphis. Most grocery stores may have an “independent” liquor store conveniently next to the grocery store. Apparently this regulation discourages alcohol use by forcing you to walk a few extra feet to buy your booze. High alcohol content beers are sold in liquor stores. Traditional brands such as Budweiser are sold in grocery and convenient store only. Liquor stores are open from ~8AM usually 10AM-11PM, M-Sa. (Beer can be sold before noon on Su in restaurants.)
  • Buster’s Wine on Highland at Poplar, near the University of Memphis. This is where most of the locals go for wine. Also has a good selection of harder liquor and high-test beer. This place is very popular and always packed on the weekends, but has a fantastic, efficient staff that get you in and out quickly. Open every hour it’s legal: 8AM to 11PM, Monday thru Saturday.
  • Joe’s Liquor Speaking of booze, if you need packaged goods and you’re in midtown, head to Joe’s (Poplar and Belvedere) as much to see Sputnik (the vintage, spinning, twisting and working neon star) as for the beverages. Go at dusk for maximum effect.
  • Great Wine And Spirits is out east. Probably has one of more extensive wine stocks in Memphis liquor stores.
  • Bosco’s, Overton Square. Brew pub and food. Featured on many “Best Of” lists.
  • Newby’s, Highland Street (called the Highland Strip, near The University of Memphis). “Playboy” magazine rated Newby’s the “Best place to party like a Rock Star!”
  • “The High Point”, Madison Avenue. Swing dancing, the best live bands and any libation you crave.
  • Bluff City Coffee, 505 S. Main. The latest addition to the Art District of Downtown Memphis. Specializing in Italian style espresso based coffee. The coffee shop features comfort and conference style seating for meetings, free wireless internet, and print/copy/scan/fax capabilities to keep you productive throughout your day. Make sure to bring your laptop and stay a while. This coffee shop also feature a collection of Don Newman’s vintage black and white photographs from the 30′s, 40′s, and 50′s.
  • The Buccaneer, Midtown. This bar converted from a house has music of all types every night, with a counter culture twist. A penchant for chaos and tolerance to listen to an hour of feedback while the band fights are a plus. Ramones tshirt optional.
  • Otherlands, Cooper st. at Cowden. A social hub for Memphis’ art and music community. Espresso by day and beers at night when the coffee shop hosts intimate folk/rock shows.  edit
  • The Blue Worm, 1405 Airways Blvd (Midtown), +1 901 327-7947, [63]. If Beale Street isn’t doing it for you, and you want authentic, look for this middle-of-nowhere neighborhood juke joint. Live blues and plenty of dancing every F-Sa in the evening.  edit
  • Wild Bill’s.  edit
  • RP Tracks This is a nice and moderately priced bar/restaurant near the University of Memphis on Walker Ave. It’s a good place to start the evening on the Highland strip. They have many types of beer at reasonable prices (about 7 bucks for a pitcher).
  • The Oasis Lounge 663 S. Highland Ave. 901-405-3011 A great place to come relax and have a cup of coffee and enjoy a nice hookah. This is a private club due to the smoking factor so be prepared to pay a $6 membership fee and to be carded (this is an 18 and up establishment). It’s got a very nice, laid back atmosphere and also has free Wi-Fi. Located on South Highland next to McDonald’s. This is coffee shop and there is no alcohol on premises. A DJ plays there on Saturday nights.
  • Mollie Fontaine Lounge [64], Victorian mansion-turned lounge featuring potent drinks and an innovative, varried menu in a hip, chic atmosphere. Explore all the rooms, each unique in theme and decor, full bars upstair and downstairs, and a piano bar with amazing jazz singer weekend nights. Make sure not to miss the mac n’ cheese, chocolate brioche sandwiches for dessert and the delightful mojitos. 679 Adams Avenue, p901.524.1886. Wednesday- Saturday 5pm- ’til the spirits go to sleep.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There is limited choice but the city offers some affordable a good lodging.


  • Residence Inn Memphis East, 6141 Old Poplar Pike Memphis, TN 38119, 901-685-9595, [65]. The Residence Inn Memphis extended stay hotel features 105 one bedroom and lofted penthouse suite accommodations, fitness center and outdoor pool. This newly renovated extended stay hotel in Memphis offers quick access to I-240, near downtown Memphis and much more.  edit
  • Courtyard Memphis East/Park Avenue, 6015 Park Avenue · Memphis, Tennessee 38119, 901-761-0330, [66]. Our Memphis, Tennessee hotel features a completely renovated lobby, 134 guest rooms and 12 suites. The Bistro offers healthy choices, a variety of breakfast and dinner options, an evening bar, and 24-hour Starbucks® service.  edit
  • Courtyard Memphis Airport, 1780 Nonconnah Boulevard, 901-396-3600, [67]. 145 guest rooms and 12 suites with an location near downtown, Graceland and the Civil Rights Museum. (35.071573,-90.00337) edit

Budget[edit]

  • Pilgrim House Hostel, 1000 S Cooper St, +1 901 273-8341, [68]. Memphis’ only hostel, located in the Cooper-Young neighborhood in Midtown. Guests are asked to perform a small daily chore, which usually shouldn’t take more than five minutes. There is also a Retreat Center in the same building for groups of 10 or more. Dorm beds $15, private rooms $30 (one guest)/$45 (two guests)/$60 (three guests), retreat center bunk beds $10.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • Clarion Hotel, 6101 Shelby Oaks Drive, +1 901 388-7050 (fax: +1 901 386-1882), [69]. Offers guests free wireless high-speed Internet access and a fitness center.
  • Hampton Inn, Beale Street, 175 Peabody Place, +1 901 260-4000 (fax: +1 901 260-4012), [70]. This is right on Beale Street – as opposed to the Holiday Inn and the Peabody which are a few blocks away. The room prices are newly renovated and some have balconies. Guests should be aware that this is a noisy part of the city. East Memphis has quieter hotels.
  • Doubletree Downtown Memphis 185 Union Ave, +1 901 528-1800, [71]. Located only a few blocks within walking distance from exciting Beale Street; a relaxing accommodation in a convenient location.
  • Hilton Memphis 939 Ridge Lake Boulevard, +1 901 684-6664, [72]. Located in the heart of the East Memphis business district. The Memphis International Airport is a convenient 15-minute drive from the hotel; ride the hotel’s complimentary airport shuttle to the airport. Also offers a complimentary guest shuttle within up to a 5-mile radius of the hotel.
  • Red Roof Inn offers good, clean and affordable mid-range lodging,42 S.Camilla St, Memphis, TN 38104, phone 901-526-1050 (the hotel is in Mid-Town close to Interstate 240).
  • Gen X Inn, 1177 Madison Ave., Memphis TN 38104, 1-901-692-9136, [73]. Downtown near Memphis Medical Center, Union Avenue attractions, and 10 miles from the airport.  edit
  • Wingate Inn Memphis, 2270 N Germantown Parkway, Memphis, TN 38016, 901-386-1110, [74].  edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Peabody Hotel, 149 Union Avenue (downtown near Beale Street), [75]. Don’t miss the ducks in the lobby fountain, and their daily procession (11am and 5pm), you don’t have to stay to see them. Luxury extras, sheets and service in a historically and architecturally significant hotel.  edit
  • River Inn of Harbor Town [76], overlooks the Mississippi River, offering luxury in a delightful boutique hotel atmosphere. Located at 50 Harbor Town Square, experience the warm hospitality and unmatched service, phone 1-877-222-1531.
  • The Madison Hotel [77], 79 Madison Ave, located downtown near the river, is a modern boutique hotel with a clean lines, contemporary vibe and stylish luxury. The Madison Hotel was awarded 1st Small Luxury Four Diamond Hotel in Memphis. Make sure not to miss Grill 83, located at the street level, with its excellent seafood, steaks, and martini lounge, and the sweeping roof-top garden with breathtaking views of downtown and the Mississippi River. p 901.333.1200 – f 901.333.1299

Not categorized by price[edit]

  • Holiday Inn, 3700 Central Avenue, +1 901 678-8200, [78]. Not very flashy, but Memphis is its home
  • Memphis Marriott Downtown, 250 North Main Street, +1 901 527-7300, Toll-free: +1 888 557-8740, Fax: +1 901 526-1561, [79].
  • Motel 6, 4300 American Way, +1 901 366-9333, Fax: +1 901 366-7835, [80].
  • Ramada Memphis, 1585 Sycamore View Road, +1 901-388-4881, [81].
  • Residence Inn Memphis Downtown, 110 Monroe Avenue, +1 901 578-3700, Fax: +1 901 578-3999, [82].
  • SpringHill Suites Memphis Downtown, 21 North Main Street, +1 901 522-2100, Toll-free: +1 800 593-6415, Fax: +1 901 522-2110, [83].
  • Staybridge Suites, 1070 Ridge Lake Blvd., +1 901 682-1722, [84].
  • Wyndham Garden Hotel, 300 N 2nd St, +1 901 525-1800, fax +1 901 524-1859, [85]. Just minutes from Cook Convention Center and the Pyramid Arena’s sporting events, concerts and shows.
  • Heartbreak Hotel, 3677 Elvis Presley Blvd., Memphis, TN 38116 [86]. Owned by Elvis Presley Enterprises

Contact[edit]

Newspapers[edit]

  • The Commercial Appeal, [87]. A daily newspaper.
  • Memphis Flyer, [88]. An alternative newspaper.

Stay safe[edit]

Safety in downtown Memphis has greatly improved in the last few years. Throughout the day, especially at night, there is usually a large police presence downtown, especially in the area around Beale Street. Use common sense when traveling in Memphis, just as you would anywhere else. Leave no valuables in plain sight in your car and be mindful of where you are, especially at night. Although the city’s race relations aren’t as bad as within a 1950s perspective, occasionally one might encounter racism. If you are of a specific race and feel intimidated or as a target of racism, report to the police. It is also wise to stay away from areas in North and South Memphis, as these areas have very high rates of crime.

Stay healthy[edit]

Memphis has some of the best hospitals in the region. Methodist, Baptist, and Saint Francis are the main hospitals in the city. The Regional Medical Center at Memphis (The Med), a city owned hospital, has one of the best trauma and burn centers in the Mid-South. There are many clinics in the area as well, many of which are operated by the hospital systems. Some of the hospitals in the city, though, can have long lines in emergency rooms. If you are not seriously injured, it would be best to go to one of the minor medical clinics or to drive to one of the hospitals in the suburbs of Memphis such as Methodist Germantown, Baptist East, or Saint Francis Bartlett.

Get out[edit]


Routes through Memphis
END  NW noframe SE  Olive Branch (Via US-78.png) → Birmingham
Little RockWest Memphis  W noframe E  Jackson, TNNashville
St. LouisWest Memphis  N noframe S  Jackson, MS
Cape GirardeauWest Memphis  N noframe S  TunicaClarksdale


This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!




source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Memphis

 

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For other places with the same name, see Memphis (disambiguation).

Night on Beale Street

Memphis is the largest city in the state of Tennessee. The state rests in the southeastern portion of the United States. Memphis, with a population totaling more than 670,000, is also the county seat for Shelby County. The city’s claims to fame include Graceland, the mansion Elvis Presley lived in during his later years. Maybe more importantly, Memphis is considered by many to be the home of blues music.

Although downtown Memphis has experienced quite a rebirth and renewal in the last few years, the center of the city is older; it is full of new development, teeming with change and coming into its own. In the past few years, the city has emerged to boast one of the largest downtown populations among US cities. Citizens once again have a vested interest in making downtown safe, exciting, and a great place to visit and relax after decades of abandonment.

Whether visiting or moving to the area, from May to October make it well worth your while to visit the Memphis Farmers Market which formed and began in 2006 – it is one of the brightest shining stars of the early Spring, Summer, and through Mid-Autumn.

A word of caution: Memphis is extremely hot in the summertime, and the humidity can make you feel even hotter! Those who have trouble tolerating high heat and humidity may wish to avoid visiting during July or August.

Get in[edit]

Memphis is on the southwestern corner of Tennessee, with the Mississippi River and the state of Arkansas bordering it to the west and the state of Mississippi to the south.

By plane[edit]

Memphis International Airport (IATA: MEM), [1]. Memphis is the primary FedEx distribution center, and, as the world’s busiest cargo airport, the air is always full of planes making your eBay purchase a glorious reality. Delta Air Lines [2], the world’s largest airline, maintains a hub at the airport, providing regional service and a few international flights. If you are flying non-stop to Memphis, chances are it will be on Delta. A few other airlines do squeeze passengers into town:

  • American Airlines, [3] Chicago O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami.
  • Frontier Airlines, [4] Denver.
  • Southwest Airlines, [5] Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Houston–Hobby, Orlando, Tampa.
  • United Airlines, [6] Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Houston George Bush Intercontinental, Newark.
  • US Airways, [7] Charlotte, Philadelphia, Washington-National.


There are also a few non-scheduled passenger services which provide transportation to vacation destinations on a sporadic basis:

  • Archers Direct Holidays, [8].

By car[edit]

  • Interstate 40 is a good route into town but doesn’t go through Memphis; to get to the other side of 40 you take the north loop which is I-40, or the south loop, which is known is I-240 and is Memphis’ beltway.
  • I-55 will take you right into town – just take the Riverside Drive exit from either direction to be at Beale Street in a minute.
  • Parking – Except for downtown, parking is usually free. If you’re downtown, try the “Parking Can Be Fun” garage on Union Avenue. It’s cheap, absolutely bizarre, and right where you want to be. Expect to hunt for cheaper parking if there’s an event going on at the FedEx Forum, Beale Street or AutoZone Park. Parking vendors also appear to charge higher prices during these peak times.

By train[edit]

  • Amtrak, [9]. Service available from trains running up and down the Mississippi, as well as connections through major hubs. Great for a jaunt up to Chicago for world-class shopping or down to New Orleans for world-class drinking.

By bus[edit]

  • Greyhound, 3033 Airways Blvd, +1 901 395-8770, [10].
  • Megabus, [11]. Low-cost carrier offers service to Memphis from Chicago, Champaign, St. Louis, Atlanta, Birmingham, Knoxville, Nashville, Little Rock, and Dallas. Fares start at $1 each way when reserved well in advance. Buses stop on the south side of the MATA North End Terminal building, near the northeast corner of North Main Street and North Parkway; the terminal itself is accessible from North 2nd Street or Auction Avenue.

Get around[edit]

Skyline of Memphis as seen from the Hernando de Soto Bridge

  • Driving – Travel by car is really the only way to get around Memphis if you want to do anything other than see Downtown.
  • Public Transit – Bus service provided by the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA)[12] is available across the city. Some routes are very poorly served in the evenings. At nights and weekends some buses take a different route than during the day which can be a trap for visitors.
    • A trolley operates downtown and into Midtown, mostly for the benefit of tourists.
  • The Bettie Bus – Airport Shuttle and local tours. [13]

Memphis is laid out in a more or less east/west fashion. Roads primarily go east/west and north/south. The expressway fortunately cuts directly through the city.

Downtown is on the west; it sits atop the bluffs, overlooking the mighty Mississippi River. (It is referred to as Downtown, not as West Memphis, which is a town just across the river in Arkansas.) Moving east you’ll come to Midtown, a charming part of the city thought by some as the best part of Memphis. Beyond that, you will find East Memphis, and then the suburbs of Germantown, Collierville, Cordova, and Bartlett. The area between downtown and Midtown, referred to by locals as “Crosstown,” is coming to life slowly but surely. There is a movement to turn it into an artist community. Members of this movement call the area “the Edge”. However, most of the “art district” is on South Main.

See[edit][add listing]

Downtown[edit]

Downtown houses a large portion of Memphis’ population. As a result, many commute to work in greater parts of the city. Much of the downtown area, with exception to Beale Street, is at its liveliest after work hours and especially on weekends. Stroll down the Main Street Promenade at dinner time or the riverfront at sunset to see downtowners enjoying their neighborhood.
-Buy a ticket and take the trolley to get a good overview of the area.

  • Beale Street, [14]. “Home of the Blues”. Dozens of bars and clubs, most of them featuring live music. At night the street is closed to vehicles and you can drink on the street, some bars have “drinks to go” windows where you can get a 32oz cup of beer for $5 and go bar-hopping, many bars have no cover charge. Peabody Place is largely a wasteland, as nearly all the stores inside have closed. The FedEx Forum sits just around the corner and hosts many events- NBA Grizzlies games in particular, which consume most of Beale Street before and after tip off.
  • Mississippi River. River tours available most days through a variety of providers. Tom Lee Park [15] is a nice place to view the river. Also, the newly constucted Beale Street Landing hosts a park, playground, and a bar and restaurant with breathtaking views of the river and skyline. It is a great place to relax, have a drink, and enjoy the magnitude of the mighty Mississippi.
  • South Main. [16] This historic, charming neighborhood south of Beale Street has undergone major renewal over the past years. Considered the arts district of Memphis, it is home to trendy shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Some of the oldest buildings of the city still stand today and have been renovated to claim much of downtown’s population. Attractions include the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis Farmer’s Market, River Arts Festival, and South Main Trolley Night.
  • National Civil Rights Museum, 450 Mulberry St, [17]. M-Sat 9AM-5PM, Sun 1PM-5PM (closes an hour later Jun-Aug). Built out of the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was fatally shot in 1968. Near the Amtrak station. $12 for adults; free for Tennessee residents Mondays after 3PM.
  • Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art, 119 South Main St, [18]. Located downstairs from the Center for Southern Folklore, this wonderful museum holds a collection of over 900 Asian and Judaic artifacts. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for students. Children 12 and under are free.
  • Ornamental Metal Museum, 374 Metal Museum Drive, [19]. Tues-Sat 10AM-5PM, Sun 12PM-5PM. Displays art jewelry, architectural pieces and sculpture. The grounds are full of permanent installations and the Museum boasts one of the best views overlooking the Mississippi. They also have a working smithy. Adult $5.
  • Fire Museum of Memphis, 118 Adams Ave, [20]. M-Sat 9AM-5PM. An interactive museum designed to teach children and adults about fire safety. Also features a realistic room to show how much damage a dropped lit cigarette can do. Adult $6.
  • Mud Island River Park/Harbor Town, 125 North Front St, [21]. Apr 14 – May 26 10AM-5PM, May 27 – Sep 4 10AM-6PM, Sept 5 – Oct 31 10AM-5PM. The park is accessible by monorail, made famous by a chase scene in the movie “The Firm”. The park contains a museum of the Mississippi River and a scale model of the river. Visitors are welcome to remove their shoes and wade through the replica mighty Mississippi. The “Gulf of Mexico” is a large pool in which visitors may rent paddle boats. Entry to the park is free. Adult $8 (Mississippi River Museum, Roundtrip Monorail Ride, Guided River Walk Tour). At the tip of the park is an excellent vantage point of the city and the river. The northern end of the island is occupied by HarborTown, a model community with charming, beach-style homes and a colorful town center complete with shops and nice restaurants. Start at the town center and wander the shady streets.
  • Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, 191 Beale St (corner of Third St; on the plaza of FedExForum), [22]. Daily 10AM-7PM (last admission 6:15PM). A short video is shown at frequent intervals and then you are given a headset so that you can listen to commentary and numerous songs as you walk through the exhibits. Sponsored by the Smithsonian. Adult $10. The museum used to be housed in the Gibson guitar factory across the street, which puts visitors right on the factory floor. Famous musicians periodically visit to pick up custom guitars or to play a set at the Gibson Lounge, in the west end of the building.

The Edge[edit]

  • Sun Studio, [23]. Numerous blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and rockabilly recordings were made here, including Elvis’s and Johnny Cash’s first recordings. Tours are available, usually given by wallet-chained and mutton-chopped local musicians. Tour tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased at the cafe and gift shop inside the front door of the studio. Free parking is available in the back of the building.
  • Sleeping Cat Studio, 341 1/2 Monroe.
  • Victorian Village, A collection of large Victorian homes built during Memphis’ early period of growth. Today several of the homes remain as museums while one- the Mollie Fontaine Taylor House has been converted into a unique bar and restaurant lounge. [24]

Midtown[edit]

  • Allie Cat Arts, [25] The largest and most eclectic selection of fine art and gifts by Memphis artists. Painting, pottery, glass, mixed-media, sculpture, jewelry, clothing and more. They also do custom orders and will ship work anywhere in the US.
  • Memphis Zoo, [26]. Pandas and other animals galore. Lots to do for children and adults. Seasonal events include numerous educational events, Zoo Lights in wintertime for all ages, annual Zoo Brews beer-tasting from around the world and Thursdays Unplugged at the Lodge, drinks and music in the Yellowstone-inspired Teton Trek Lodge for adults.
  • The Pink Palace, [27]. Built as a private residence by Clarence Saunders, the man who introduced Piggly Wiggly, the world’s first self-service grocery store, the Pink Palace Mansion was later taken by the tax man and subsequently turned into a museum. (Saunders never actually lived in the house.) It is a very eclectic place, with everything from shrunken heads to animatronic dinosaurs with a life size copy of the first Piggly Wiggly in between. Also has an IMAX theater and a planetarium. Well worth a visit.
  • Overton Park. Encompasses the Memphis Zoo, Memphis College of Art (MCA), the Brooks Art Museum, the Overton Park Golf Course, and largest stand of old growth forest in a US city.
  • Cooper-Young. Historic neighborhood of restored homes centered around the Cooper-Young intersection, known by some as the intersection of Memphis. This intersection has several cool bars and restaurants, as well as shops and the House of Mews cat adoption center. Allie Cat Arts[28] features fine art, pottery, jewelry, and gifts by 80+ local Memphis artists. Be sure to come for the annual Cooper-Young festival[29] in September. Also, just north of the Cooper-Young intersection is Black Lodge Video. This rental store, located in a house, has almost every video imaginable. Be sure to look for the “This is shit-the worst we could find” section. Coffee shops include Otherlands and Java Cabana.
  • Overton Square, [30]. Overton Square has undergone many changes over the years but was recently revitalized with new restaurants and shops. Located in midtown Memphis at the intersection of Madison and Cooper, Overton Square has arguably become the epicenter of entertainment for locals.
  • Broad Avenue Arts District, [31]. Art galleries, bars, antique shops, and more align Broad Avenue and host many events year-round. The Watertower Pavilion hosts live music frequently along with art and dance shows.

East Memphis[edit]

  • Lichterman Nature Center, [32]. Part of the Pink Palace family of museums, its 65-acres of lakes, meadows, and forests feature lush gardens with native wildflowers and trees and provide a home to a wide variety of plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.
  • Memphis Botanic Garden, [33] with over 96 acres of natural woodlands and cultivated gardens, is also home to the seasonal outdoor concert series ‘Live at the Garden’ and the renowned Japanese Garden of Tranquility. New to MBG is ‘My Big Backyard”, a 2.5 acre children’s garden with a larger-than-life birdhouse, a tunneling adventure, a teaching pond, “leaping lawn”, “critter creek”, and many other spaces that cater to children of all ages. [34]
  • Shelby Farms Park, [35] One of the United States’ largest urban parks, Shelby Farms is over five times the size of New York’s Central Park. Visitors enjoy walking, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, sailing, canoeing, paddle-boating, disc-golf, and bird-watching and in Fall 2010 Shelby Farms will open its new Woodland Discovery Playground which will include a large treehouse, sand area, nets to climb and activities for children of all ages. The Park is also home to a herd of American Bison.

Around Town[edit]

Elvis’ final resting place at Graceland. His middle name was usually spelled with just one “A”, but legally had two

  • Graceland, [36]. Home of Elvis Presley, “The King of Rock and Roll”. It’s no surprise that this is the number one tourist attraction in Memphis. Think “tacky tourist” trap but don’t miss it–you might be pleasantly surprised. Although it is not advisable to venture in the suburbs surrounding the site, there is lots and lots of Elvis stuff to see here – the house itself (note that the upper floor, with Elvis’ bedroom and Lisa Marie’s nursery, is not open to the public), customized private airplanes, an automobile collection, gold records, costumes, and more. Take note of Elvis Week (Death Week to the locals) in early August, culminating in the candlelight vigil on the anniversary of Elvis’ death. It is a big deal, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. Check out the bizarre felt-pen scribblings on the fence, some hip-ironic, some of the psycho-lunatic-fan sort. If you happen to be in Memphis during Birth or Death Week – January and August, respectively – sit downtown for a few hours just to watch the Elvis fans. Not just on Halloween, but at any time of year, dress up like the King (or like Priscilla if you’re a girl) and you’ll instantly be a star in your own right!
  • Stax Museum of American Soul Music, 926 E. McLemore Ave, [37]. Mar-Oct M-Sat 9AM-4PM Sun 1PM-4PM, Nov-Feb M-Sat 10AM-4PM. The promotional material says “no backpacks” but this is not so. In any case, they can keep your backpack at the front desk, as with cameras which are not allowed. Adult $10.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Walk to the river and touch the Mississippi’s water with your fingers.
  • Check out some live music on Beale Street
  • The Memphis Redbirds [38] baseball team plays at AutoZone Park. They are the Triple-A affiliates of the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • FedExForum, [39]. FedExForum is the largest public building construction project in Memphis history. Managed and operated by the Memphis Grizzlies, the facility is home to both the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA and the University of Memphis Tigers basketball team. FedExForum is located at 191 Beale Street and Third Street which traveling south becomes Highway 61, the historic Blues Highway.
    • Memphis Grizzlies, [40]. Top-level pro basketball.
  • Memphis Tigers [41] — Teams representing the University of Memphis, which participate in NCAA competition as members of the American Athletic Conference (the football-sponsoring portion of the former Big East Conference). The most visible Tigers team by far is the men’s basketball team, regularly a conference contender and occasionally a national contender as well. As noted above, the men’s basketball team plays at FedExForum (though not the women’s team, which plays on campus). The football team also plays off campus at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on the Mid-South Fairgrounds.
  • Mississippi Riverkings [42]. Minor league hockey team near Memphis
  • Take a carriage ride around downtown and see Beale Street, Court Square, Confederate Park, the Mississippi River, Hernando DeSoto bridge, several movie locations on Front Street, the original and the current Peabody Hotel, all while learning about the great city of Memphis! * 4th of July Fireworks, Tom Lee Park, Mississippi River: These fireworks have improved immensely since two fireworks shows merged into one at the river in 2007. There is also food, music, and other entertainment.
  • Memphis in May International Festival [43]. Annual festival featuring the Beale Street Music Festival which showcases over 40 musicians on multiple stages for three days the first weekend in May, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest where hundreds of teams compete for over $100,000 in prizes and ultimate bragging rights and visitors can taste championship barbecue, and closing the festival with the Sunset Symphony, a day of entertainment on the banks of the Mississippi River with local musicians, air show with vintage and concept aircrafts, and as the sun is setting, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra performs. After dark, as the symphony (and in 2010 KC & the Sunshine Band) begin their last set the sky fills with fireworks.
  • Ghost River Brewing 827 S. Main Street TEL: 901-278-0087 Check out this great beer producer. You can tour the facility for free on any Saturday, but you must make reservations. Tours start at 1pm.
  • Allie Cat Arts, 961 S. Cooper, 901-722-0094, [44]. Take a piece of Memphis home! The largest and most diverse selection of local art in Memphis. Currently featuring 80+ artists. Visit their facebook page for more info and current business hours. $1 to $1500.  edit


Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Memphis Backbeat Mojo Tour, Picks up at Elvis Presley Plaza on Beale, (800) 979-3370, [45]. You can see most of Memphis’ historic musical attractions on this fun, funky, educational bus tour. It’s the only tour in town to put Memphis’ musical heritage in the hands of real musicians, who will combine story, comedy, and live music in a one-of-a-kind show on wheels. Audience participation is encouraged with drums and other percussion pieces provided on the restored 1959 transit bus. Tour is 90 minutes., but if time allows, go for the extended 2.5 hour version. Well worth the time and money. Tours sell out, so reserve online in advance. $25.  edit

Downtown[edit]

  • A. Schwab, Beale Street. Dry goods store whose motto is “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” It’s the place for souvenirs. It’s been here forever, and is a breath of fresh air from the bulk of the establishments on Beale St, with live blues of its own during the day.

Midtown[edit]

  • Allie Cat Arts [46]Eclectic art gallery/gift shop featuring local artists
  • Wizard’s A fine gift shop with “smoking supplies” (wink-wink, nudge-nudge).
  • Midtown Books, [47]. An excellent selection of used books. Has been named Best of Memphis by readers of the Memphis Flyer at one time or another. — Has moved downtown in the basement of Memphis Tobacco Bowl near the corner of Madison and Third Street. Has an excellent coffee shop as well as the selection at the Tobacco Bowl. Now known as Downtown Books.
  • Overton Square, [48]. A small shopping/entertainment district on Madison Avenue, near Cooper.
  • Burke’s Books [49]. 936 S. Cooper St. Memphis, TN 38104, HOURS OF OPERATION:Monday – Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Friday & Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Sunday 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. One of the oldest independent book stores in the country, Burke’s has been selling new, used and rare books since 1875. A popular stop along book signing tours for authors ranging from John Grisham to Archie Manning and Anne Rice, Burke’s has also been visited by celebrities such as Benecio Del Toro, Michael Jackson, Gene Hackman, REM, and Matt Dillon, to name a few.

Out East[edit]

  • Collierville Town Center – Catch Poplar Ave. east to the town of Collierville and browse the interesting shops on the square. Very pretty in the holiday season. Small and quaint, this square boasts a setting and some shops that aren’t found elsewhere in Memphis. A steam engine and a few private railcars are open to the public.

Graceland[edit]

Of all the places in the world one can buy Elvis souvenirs, none is better than Graceland.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Memphis is one of the cheapest places in the USA to live, and that includes going out to eat. Memphis is famous for two things: music and food. The local BBQ is well-known, and you can sample it “wet” (with spicy, tangy sauce) or “dry” (rubbed with spices before cooking). Other options abound across the city, from Southern home cooking to international fare. You won’t go wrong with famous names, but the adventurous will find real treasures in modest hole-in-the-wall joints that make up for their shabby appearance with fabulous flavor.

Downtown[edit]

  • Earnestine and Hazel’s, 531 S. Main St., Memphis, TN 38103. (901)523-9754.Open Hours: Mo to Th from 05:00 PM to 02:00 AM,Fr to Sa from 05:00 PM to 03:00 AM,Su from 07:00 PM to 02:00 AM. Ecclectic, unique atmosphere, a staff that defined cool and of course the Soul Burger. Visitors can request a special ghost tour upstairs of the one time brothel and then enjoy the best burger in Memphis. With a juke box loaded with classic hits and a staff full of colorful stories of it’s history, even Cameron Crowe couldn’t resist including Earnestine and Hazel’s in his film “Elizabethtown”.
  • Little Tea Shop, Open for lunch Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., 69 Monroe Ave. (901) 525-6000. Memphis’ oldest eatery (1918). Boasts “Healthy Home Cooking.” Family-owned, fast, friendly service. Traditional Southern “meat & three” with daily specials. Don’t miss dessert! (Featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.)
  • Pearl’s Oyster House, 299 S. Main (522-9070), 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed Sundays. Excellent New Orleans/Florida Panhandle influenced seafood. Variety of oyster styles, po’ boys, gumbo, shrimp, crawfish, grouper, fried pickles. Two bars and patio out back. Atmosphere is casual. On the trolley line.
  • Automatic Slims, Adjacent to the Peabody Hotel on 2nd Street. Kind of trendy, but nice wait staff and good food. Expect $25-35/person.
  • Blues City Cafe, Beale and 2nd Street. Good ribs. The garlic pan seared shrimp is tasty, also. Prices from $6-$18. Jean Paul’s Last Call is a small bar attached to Blues City. It attracts server staff crowd after hours.
  • Crepe Makers, 175 Peabody Place (almost on the corner with S Third St and one street from Beale St). A range of savory crepes in addition to the dessert crepes one most commonly thinks of when crepes are mentioned. The raspberry chicken crepe is delicious. Average price around $7.
  • Flying Saucer, One 2nd Street. 90 beers on tap and ~120 in the bottle. Good pub grub. Servers wear nice short skirts. Nonetheless, a chain bar. There are better.
  • Texas De Brazil, adjacent to the Peabody Hotel. Everything you expect in a Brazilian steakhouse. Expect $40-50 per person for supper, but it’s worth it. Lunch is the most economical time. Formal attire, a dress shirt and slacks at the least, is strongly recommended.
  • The Rendezvous [50]. A Memphis legend. Excels at Memphis-style BBQ in a no-frills environment where some of the crusty wait staff have logged more than 30 years. Go early–this in-the-basement establishment has quite a following and a long wait is expected nearly every night. Dry rub ribs are the trademark, but also give the sausage plate and BBQ nachos a try. Pricey given the decor (and the fact that you’re eating BBQ). Expect $15-20 per person.
  • The Arcade Classic old diner. Traditional diner food with the addition of pizza and hummus sandwiches. It’s across the street from the train station at 540 South Main Street. Featured in several movies, including “Mystery Train”.
  • Bluff City Coffee, In South Main’s Art District. Try their signature cup “The Real Cappuccino”.
  • Harry’s Detour, 106 G.E. Patterson. Lunch Tu-Sa 11:30AM-2PM, Dinner W-Sa 5:30PM-10PM. An eclectic menue of delicious main courses, soups, salads and desserts served in an intimate setting. Private room and patio.
  • Westy’s Bar/grill that occupies the sight of the old North End. The North End was destroyed by arson in 1998 and Westy’s took its place. Known for fried pickles, tamales, a wide selection of wild rice dishes and a popular fudge pie. Expect $7-$12 pp, open late.
  • Gus’ World Famous Fried Chicken. No restaurant guide to downtown would be complete without mentioning Gus’, and the food is excellent. 40 oz. beers, Newport Menthols, and fried chicken. Enough said.
  • Dyer’s, This retro diner is on Beale Street almost directly North of the FedEx Forum and next to Alfred’s. It’s got great burgers at a reasonable price. Only catch is that they are deep fried. It’s definitely worth trying. Another recommendation is their chili cheese fries.
  • Huey’s [51] Blues, Brews & Burgers since 1970. Casual tavern with a custom of blowing toothpicks into the ceiling through straws. Burgers any way you can imagine earn it a perennial “best burger” win in local reader polls. Several locations, including 77 S. 2nd. Come on Sundays for jazz afternoons and blues evenings.
  • Bardog Tavern [52] at 73 Monroe Avenue. Great bar scene with awesome food that is a cut above your average bar grub. It’s also a bit cheaper than the touristy places, as you can eat here for under $10 easily.

Midtown[edit]

  • Young Ave. Deli Good place for bar food and/or rock shows. Try the fried dill pickles. Located in the Cooper-Young district of Midtown. One of the biggest beer selections in town.
  • Pho Saigon Super yummy Vietnamese soup less than $10 for a bowl as big as your head.
  • Molly’s La Casita Very good Mexican food priced around $10 per entree.
  • Pho Hoa Binh, Madison Avenue – Hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese. $5-$10. Great tofu and wheat gluten dishes, so don’t miss it if you’re vegetarian.
  • Saigon Le, 51 N Cleveland Street – Another awesome Vietnamese restaurant. $5-$10.
  • Indochina, Cleveland Avenue – Another excellent Vietnamese restaurant. Famous for their homemade egg rolls. $5-$10.
  • Brother Junipers, U of M area – Open for breakfast and lunch. Great omelettes. Free-Trade Coffee. Strange hours. $5-$10. Associated with the Juniper Bakery, all proceeds going to drug rehab.
  • Bosco’s, Overton Square The only locally brewed beer in Memphis (also a national award winner). Great pizza, entrees, etc. Excellent jazz brunch on Sundays. $10-$20.
  • Zinnie’s East, On Madison near Belvedere intersection – Excellent and inexpensive food. If you want a local treat try the “Zinnie Loney,” a truly large bologna sandwich for cheap. $6-15.
  • Huey’s A Memphis landmark, the original Huey’s offers one of the best burgers in town. $6-12.
  • Dino’s, On Mclean near North Parkway intersection – Serves reliable versions of basic “American-style Italian food”, being open for breakfast, lunch (offering sandwiches and plate lunches) and dinner six days a week. $6-20.
  • Corky’s famous barbecue – One of the best barbecue places in Memphis. 3 or 4 locations within the city; locals strongly recommend it. Must visit; $6-$20 per person. You can purchase their barbeque sauce too. Excellent ribs!!!!!!
  • The BBQ Shop – Another of the best barbecue places in Memphis. One location on Madison Ave. Excellent barbecue and service; very personable and attentive. A sandwich with two sides will run you about $7.
  • Hi-Tone – Famous Midtown music venue now with full kitchen for dinner. Great selection of “drunk” foods: barbecue chicken pizza, burgers, hot wings. But they also serve pasta, vegetable plates and offer vegetarian options. $5-$20.
  • Bayou Bar and Grill, Great Cajun food at moderate prices located near Studio on the Square. Tuesday is $3 pint night. The Gumbo and spicy chicken sandwich is great.
  • Central BBQ – 2249 Central Ave. (901)272-9377 or 4375 Summer Ave. (901)767-4672 This is yet another great BBQ place. There are two locations, but the original on Central Ave. is said to be the best by locals. Try the BBQ sandwich with coleslaw or the BBQ nachos.
  • Jack Magoo’s Sports Bar [53] – 2583 Broad Avenue (901) 746-9612 Located in the historic Broad Avenue Arts District, Jack Magoo’s has a full menu and TV’s galore to watch the game. 21 and up. Check the website for live music schedule.
  • The Beauty Shop [www.thebeautyshoprestaurant.com] Restaurant in former 1960′s beauty salon. Rumor is that Pricilla Presley used to have her hair done there. Located in the historic Cooper Young neighborhood


East Memphis[edit]

  • Belmont Grill, at Poplar and Mendenhall – Hole-in-the-wall bar and restaurant that serves great food. Try the shish kebobs. $10-$20.
  • Germantown Commissary, On Germantown Pkwy between Poplar and Poplar Pike (technically in Germantown) – Some of the best ribs Memphis has to offer. $10-$20.
  • The Half Shell, [54] Good seafood is hard to come by in Memphis, but Half Shell scores. Extensive menu, with a cajun tilt to most dishes. Fresh gulf oysters, King Crab, Champagne brunch on the weekends, and menu “front page” items that change frequently. The kitchen is open until 2AM (1AM on Sunday). Locations at Mendenhall/Poplar and Winchester/Centennial (near Southwind). There is also an abbreviated menu available at the Rhythms Cafe & Bar in Concourse B, near Gate 35 at the Memphis International Airport. Half Shell is also known for its live music on the weekends and its lively late-night bar crowd. Entrees $9 and up.
  • Buckley’s–For the best steak in all of Memphis, you must head to Buckley’s on Poplar. Wonderful food, exceptionally friendly staff, and affordable prices!
  • Juicy Jim’s – 546 S. Highland St Memphis,Tn 38111 901-458-4448 This is a great sandwich place near the University of Memphis on Highland Ave. The food is a bit expensive with sandwiches being about $8-$12, but the quality is great and it is well worth it. The best sandwich shop in Memphis and has great pizza too. The shop will be moving across the street to the pizzeria in about 3 months.
  • Edo – 4792 Summer Ave. (901)767-7096 Great Japanese home style cooking. This is about as close to real Japanese food as you can get without being in Japan. Expect to pay about 9 or 10 dollars for a very tasty meal. They also have reasonably priced Japanese beers.
  • Muddy’s Bake Shop [55], Delightful neighborhood bakery with delicious baked goods–don’t miss the cupcakes, with names as creative as the cupcakes are delicious–and wonderful, welcoming staff. Light lunch served as well, menu changes weekly. Voted best birthday cake in memphis by Nickelodeon Parents Connect. Lunch Items $6 and under. Cupcakes $1.50.
  • Sekisui [56], 50 Humphreys Center. Best Japanese food in Memphis. Although there are many locations around Memphis, the Humphreys location is the original and still the best. If you’re lucky, your waitress will be Japanese, and the head sushi chef is Japanese. Jimmy Ishii, the owner, is also Japanese.

Elsewhere[edit]

  • Jerry’s Sno Cones, at the corner of Wells Station and Reed Ave, Jerry’s has some of the best Sno Cones you’ll find anywhere, with a huge selection of flavors. They also have a hot food menu featuring Burgers, and fried bologna sandwiches. You can get a full meal sandwich, fries, drink, and dessert all for under $10., [57]
  • Ellen’s Soul Food and Bar-B-Q, 601 S. Parkway E. – Expect to hear the menu when you arrive to get down at this old-school soul food dream, though a hand-written paper copy is also available. Fried everything is their specialty, including okra, cornbread, chicken, and catfish that’s worth a trip to Memphis by itself. The service is so good that the management will set you straight if you try to eat neck bones with a knife and fork. Entrees $7-9, including two side orders.
  • Coletta’s, 1063 S. Parkway E., [58]. One of the oldest restaurants in Memphis, with excellent American-Italian food. Don’t miss the barbecue spaghetti or pizza.
  • Jim Neely’s Interstate Barbecue [59], 2265 S. Third Street. – No ambiance to speak of, but the barbecue is outstanding even by Memphis’s high standards. The Interstate Barbecue in the B terminal of the Memphis airport is just as good. There’s always a line, but it’s worth it. There will be another plane later.
  • Tycoon 3309 Kirby Parkway. (901)362-8788 This is a great Asian restaurant that specializes in noodles. They offer a variety of Asian cuisine ranging from China to Vietnam to Malaysia. Prices average at about 7-8 dollars.
  • Eat Well, 2965 N Germantown Rd. (901) 388-8178. Called a “modern Japanese buffet,” this place has a healthy variety of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese food, perhaps with an emphasis on Japanese. Lunch buffet is $12 with sushi, dinner buffet has sashimi and is $20. They also have great Japanese-style pan-friend gyoza. It’s a great and refreshing buffet, and much of the clientele is Asian (Japanese, Chinese, and Korean) at any given time.
  • Juicy Jim’s, 546 S. Highland St. 901-458-4448. Best sandwiches and pizza, great service, fresh vegetables, fresh cuts of meat, great cheese, great breads and wraps can’t say enough about the heavenly food at Juicy Jim’s.
  • Mi Pueblo, 3750 Hacks Cross Road. (901) 751-8896. This is a great Mexican buffet with a nice selection of Mexican food. Clientele is mostly Mexican (so you know it’s good), and prices are reasonable ($7 – $15)

Pizza[edit]

  • Exline’s – A Memphis chain serving up some big ol’ round pizzas cut into square pieces. The toppings are huge (as in large bits). The cheese on the cheese fries is nacho and it comes from a can; super fantastic. ~$10.
  • Camy’s, [60]. Want to just hang out in your hotel? Call Camy’s for the best pizza delivery in town.
  • Pie In The Sky, tasty pizza joint formerly located at Cooper & Young, and now revived at Lou’s Pizza Pie, LLC at 2158 Young Avenue. Lou is Back!!
  • Memphis Pizza Cafe, Overton Square, also on Park Av., and a couple in the ‘burbs – Tasty Pizza (BBQ chicken is good). Cold beer. All you really need. $10-$15.
  • Garibaldi’s, U of M area (back behind the YMCA). Great 70′s atmosphere, great 70′s style pizza. $5-$10.
  • Fox Ridge Pizza, 2 locations: Fox Meadows & Cordova, round pizza, square cut, unique sauce and cheese. Also excellent hamburgers. $10-$20
  • Mellow Mushroom Brilliant! Finally a real pizza place in Memphis (Germantown). This place also has and extensive craft brew beer menu. $10-30
  • Juicy Jim’s Pizzeria 551 S. Highland Street TEL: (901)435-6243 Hours: 3pm – 3am. Owned and run by Juicy Jim and located across the street from the old sandwich shop of the same name. This place has great pizza and subs at reasonable prices. Expect to spend about $10 – 20 for a nice sized pie with a couple toppings. The sandwiches are equally great and inexpensive considering the quality and size. Also has very reasonable beer prices: around $3 for a pint.

Variations of Quick[edit]

Memphis has a tradition of hiding its best food at the back of convenience stores. For instance:

  • Kwik Check, Madison Ave. near Overton Square. Best deli sandwiches in Memphis. Try the “Cheesy Muff” (vegetarian muffeletta) or “My Bleeding Heart” (spicy spicy hummus pita). $5-10.
  • Kwik Shop, Central Ave. and East Parkway – Big huge burgers. Super nice steak fries. Gyros are excellent. They have veggie burgers just as big as the meat ones, but they only have one grill. $4-$6.

Listen[edit]

Soul, R&B, and rock ‘n’ roll have deep roots in Memphis, and destinations abound for good music today.

  • Beale Street in downtown Memphis makes sense as a first destination. A dozen clubs pipe their music onto the street, and each night a single wristband buys entrance to them all.
  • Hi-Tone Cafe, [61]. Featured musical acts could be anybody, from reggae to country-western acts–all of them party bands, to be sure. Make sure you show up ready to move a little, drink a little and even eat little.
  • Wild Bill’s Lounge, 1580 Vollintine Ave. It sits unassumingly in a strip mall three miles northeast of Beale Street, where, as if out of an old movie, the boisterous Memphis Soul Survivors, led by the boisterous Miss Nicki, play to a boisterous crowd. Night hours on F-Su. As they pay the $10 cover, patrons are greeted at the door by Wild Bill himself.
  • Minglewood Hall, [62] 1555 Madison Ave. Memphis’ newest music venue, located in Midtown at the former location of Strings n Things.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Wine is sold in dedicated, licensed liquor stores in Memphis. Most grocery stores may have an “independent” liquor store conveniently next to the grocery store. Apparently this regulation discourages alcohol use by forcing you to walk a few extra feet to buy your booze. High alcohol content beers are sold in liquor stores. Traditional brands such as Budweiser are sold in grocery and convenient store only. Liquor stores are open from ~8AM usually 10AM-11PM, M-Sa. (Beer can be sold before noon on Su in restaurants.)
  • Buster’s Wine on Highland at Poplar, near the University of Memphis. This is where most of the locals go for wine. Also has a good selection of harder liquor and high-test beer. This place is very popular and always packed on the weekends, but has a fantastic, efficient staff that get you in and out quickly. Open every hour it’s legal: 8AM to 11PM, Monday thru Saturday.
  • Joe’s Liquor Speaking of booze, if you need packaged goods and you’re in midtown, head to Joe’s (Poplar and Belvedere) as much to see Sputnik (the vintage, spinning, twisting and working neon star) as for the beverages. Go at dusk for maximum effect.
  • Great Wine And Spirits is out east. Probably has one of more extensive wine stocks in Memphis liquor stores.
  • Bosco’s, Overton Square. Brew pub and food. Featured on many “Best Of” lists.
  • Newby’s, Highland Street (called the Highland Strip, near The University of Memphis). “Playboy” magazine rated Newby’s the “Best place to party like a Rock Star!”
  • “The High Point”, Madison Avenue. Swing dancing, the best live bands and any libation you crave.
  • Bluff City Coffee, 505 S. Main. The latest addition to the Art District of Downtown Memphis. Specializing in Italian style espresso based coffee. The coffee shop features comfort and conference style seating for meetings, free wireless internet, and print/copy/scan/fax capabilities to keep you productive throughout your day. Make sure to bring your laptop and stay a while. This coffee shop also feature a collection of Don Newman’s vintage black and white photographs from the 30′s, 40′s, and 50′s.
  • The Buccaneer, Midtown. This bar converted from a house has music of all types every night, with a counter culture twist. A penchant for chaos and tolerance to listen to an hour of feedback while the band fights are a plus. Ramones tshirt optional.
  • Otherlands, Cooper st. at Cowden. A social hub for Memphis’ art and music community. Espresso by day and beers at night when the coffee shop hosts intimate folk/rock shows.  edit
  • The Blue Worm, 1405 Airways Blvd (Midtown), +1 901 327-7947, [63]. If Beale Street isn’t doing it for you, and you want authentic, look for this middle-of-nowhere neighborhood juke joint. Live blues and plenty of dancing every F-Sa in the evening.  edit
  • Wild Bill’s.  edit
  • RP Tracks This is a nice and moderately priced bar/restaurant near the University of Memphis on Walker Ave. It’s a good place to start the evening on the Highland strip. They have many types of beer at reasonable prices (about 7 bucks for a pitcher).
  • The Oasis Lounge 663 S. Highland Ave. 901-405-3011 A great place to come relax and have a cup of coffee and enjoy a nice hookah. This is a private club due to the smoking factor so be prepared to pay a $6 membership fee and to be carded (this is an 18 and up establishment). It’s got a very nice, laid back atmosphere and also has free Wi-Fi. Located on South Highland next to McDonald’s. This is coffee shop and there is no alcohol on premises. A DJ plays there on Saturday nights.
  • Mollie Fontaine Lounge [64], Victorian mansion-turned lounge featuring potent drinks and an innovative, varried menu in a hip, chic atmosphere. Explore all the rooms, each unique in theme and decor, full bars upstair and downstairs, and a piano bar with amazing jazz singer weekend nights. Make sure not to miss the mac n’ cheese, chocolate brioche sandwiches for dessert and the delightful mojitos. 679 Adams Avenue, p901.524.1886. Wednesday- Saturday 5pm- ’til the spirits go to sleep.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There is limited choice but the city offers some affordable a good lodging.


  • Residence Inn Memphis East, 6141 Old Poplar Pike Memphis, TN 38119, 901-685-9595, [65]. The Residence Inn Memphis extended stay hotel features 105 one bedroom and lofted penthouse suite accommodations, fitness center and outdoor pool. This newly renovated extended stay hotel in Memphis offers quick access to I-240, near downtown Memphis and much more.  edit
  • Courtyard Memphis East/Park Avenue, 6015 Park Avenue · Memphis, Tennessee 38119, 901-761-0330, [66]. Our Memphis, Tennessee hotel features a completely renovated lobby, 134 guest rooms and 12 suites. The Bistro offers healthy choices, a variety of breakfast and dinner options, an evening bar, and 24-hour Starbucks® service.  edit
  • Courtyard Memphis Airport, 1780 Nonconnah Boulevard, 901-396-3600, [67]. 145 guest rooms and 12 suites with an location near downtown, Graceland and the Civil Rights Museum. (35.071573,-90.00337) edit

Budget[edit]

  • Pilgrim House Hostel, 1000 S Cooper St, +1 901 273-8341, [68]. Memphis’ only hostel, located in the Cooper-Young neighborhood in Midtown. Guests are asked to perform a small daily chore, which usually shouldn’t take more than five minutes. There is also a Retreat Center in the same building for groups of 10 or more. Dorm beds $15, private rooms $30 (one guest)/$45 (two guests)/$60 (three guests), retreat center bunk beds $10.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • Clarion Hotel, 6101 Shelby Oaks Drive, +1 901 388-7050 (fax: +1 901 386-1882), [69]. Offers guests free wireless high-speed Internet access and a fitness center.
  • Hampton Inn, Beale Street, 175 Peabody Place, +1 901 260-4000 (fax: +1 901 260-4012), [70]. This is right on Beale Street – as opposed to the Holiday Inn and the Peabody which are a few blocks away. The room prices are newly renovated and some have balconies. Guests should be aware that this is a noisy part of the city. East Memphis has quieter hotels.
  • Doubletree Downtown Memphis 185 Union Ave, +1 901 528-1800, [71]. Located only a few blocks within walking distance from exciting Beale Street; a relaxing accommodation in a convenient location.
  • Hilton Memphis 939 Ridge Lake Boulevard, +1 901 684-6664, [72]. Located in the heart of the East Memphis business district. The Memphis International Airport is a convenient 15-minute drive from the hotel; ride the hotel’s complimentary airport shuttle to the airport. Also offers a complimentary guest shuttle within up to a 5-mile radius of the hotel.
  • Red Roof Inn offers good, clean and affordable mid-range lodging,42 S.Camilla St, Memphis, TN 38104, phone 901-526-1050 (the hotel is in Mid-Town close to Interstate 240).
  • Gen X Inn, 1177 Madison Ave., Memphis TN 38104, 1-901-692-9136, [73]. Downtown near Memphis Medical Center, Union Avenue attractions, and 10 miles from the airport.  edit
  • Wingate Inn Memphis, 2270 N Germantown Parkway, Memphis, TN 38016, 901-386-1110, [74].  edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Peabody Hotel, 149 Union Avenue (downtown near Beale Street), [75]. Don’t miss the ducks in the lobby fountain, and their daily procession (11am and 5pm), you don’t have to stay to see them. Luxury extras, sheets and service in a historically and architecturally significant hotel.  edit
  • River Inn of Harbor Town [76], overlooks the Mississippi River, offering luxury in a delightful boutique hotel atmosphere. Located at 50 Harbor Town Square, experience the warm hospitality and unmatched service, phone 1-877-222-1531.
  • The Madison Hotel [77], 79 Madison Ave, located downtown near the river, is a modern boutique hotel with a clean lines, contemporary vibe and stylish luxury. The Madison Hotel was awarded 1st Small Luxury Four Diamond Hotel in Memphis. Make sure not to miss Grill 83, located at the street level, with its excellent seafood, steaks, and martini lounge, and the sweeping roof-top garden with breathtaking views of downtown and the Mississippi River. p 901.333.1200 – f 901.333.1299

Not categorized by price[edit]

  • Holiday Inn, 3700 Central Avenue, +1 901 678-8200, [78]. Not very flashy, but Memphis is its home
  • Memphis Marriott Downtown, 250 North Main Street, +1 901 527-7300, Toll-free: +1 888 557-8740, Fax: +1 901 526-1561, [79].
  • Motel 6, 4300 American Way, +1 901 366-9333, Fax: +1 901 366-7835, [80].
  • Ramada Memphis, 1585 Sycamore View Road, +1 901-388-4881, [81].
  • Residence Inn Memphis Downtown, 110 Monroe Avenue, +1 901 578-3700, Fax: +1 901 578-3999, [82].
  • SpringHill Suites Memphis Downtown, 21 North Main Street, +1 901 522-2100, Toll-free: +1 800 593-6415, Fax: +1 901 522-2110, [83].
  • Staybridge Suites, 1070 Ridge Lake Blvd., +1 901 682-1722, [84].
  • Wyndham Garden Hotel, 300 N 2nd St, +1 901 525-1800, fax +1 901 524-1859, [85]. Just minutes from Cook Convention Center and the Pyramid Arena’s sporting events, concerts and shows.
  • Heartbreak Hotel, 3677 Elvis Presley Blvd., Memphis, TN 38116 [86]. Owned by Elvis Presley Enterprises

Contact[edit]

Newspapers[edit]

  • The Commercial Appeal, [87]. A daily newspaper.
  • Memphis Flyer, [88]. An alternative newspaper.

Stay safe[edit]

Safety in downtown Memphis has greatly improved in the last few years. Throughout the day, especially at night, there is usually a large police presence downtown, especially in the area around Beale Street. Use common sense when traveling in Memphis, just as you would anywhere else. Leave no valuables in plain sight in your car and be mindful of where you are, especially at night. Although the city’s race relations aren’t as bad as within a 1950s perspective, occasionally one might encounter racism. If you are of a specific race and feel intimidated or as a target of racism, report to the police. It is also wise to stay away from areas in North and South Memphis, as these areas have very high rates of crime.

Stay healthy[edit]

Memphis has some of the best hospitals in the region. Methodist, Baptist, and Saint Francis are the main hospitals in the city. The Regional Medical Center at Memphis (The Med), a city owned hospital, has one of the best trauma and burn centers in the Mid-South. There are many clinics in the area as well, many of which are operated by the hospital systems. Some of the hospitals in the city, though, can have long lines in emergency rooms. If you are not seriously injured, it would be best to go to one of the minor medical clinics or to drive to one of the hospitals in the suburbs of Memphis such as Methodist Germantown, Baptist East, or Saint Francis Bartlett.

Get out[edit]


Routes through Memphis
END  NW noframe SE  Olive Branch (Via US-78.png) → Birmingham
Little RockWest Memphis  W noframe E  Jackson, TNNashville
St. LouisWest Memphis  N noframe S  Jackson, MS
Cape GirardeauWest Memphis  N noframe S  TunicaClarksdale


This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!




source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Memphis

 

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Dresden, Germany – Travel Guide

Dresden, Germany – Travel Guide

 

TourTellus Hotel Search: Book Cheap Hotel, Apartments, Hostels & BBs in Dresden

 

Dresden’s most famous landmark, the Frauenkirche in winter.

Dresden is the capital of the German federal state of Saxony (Freistaat Sachsen). Located on the Elbe River and is an industrial, governmental and cultural centre, known worldwide for Bruehl’s Terrace and its historic landmarks in the Old Town (Altstadt).

Understand[edit]

The Semper Opera.

Dresden became a city in 1206 and recently celebrated its 800th birthday in 2006.

It was home to many Saxon princes and kings, the most famous of them being August der Starke (Augustus the Strong), whose kingdom included Poland as well. They appertained to the family of the Wettiner and were closely related to many other European royal families. Many buildings date from their reign and especially the rich art collections are testimony of their extreme wealth. The “Madonna Sixtina” was for instance bought by the son of August the Strong.

The last Saxon king abdicated in 1918.

The historical centre of Dresden was 75% destroyed by Allied bombing in 1945. These events are deeply marked in the history of the city and are still remembered each year in processions and ceremonies. More than 30,000 people died in the bombing – the exact number is unknown.

For many years the ruins and now the newly rebuilt Frauenkirche, with its donated gold cupola from the UK, acted as a call for peace among the different nations of the world.

The historical centre is nowadays largely restored to its former glory, however some parts are still under reconstruction.

Dresden December 2003

Dresden has about ten million tourists a year, most of them from Germany. The Zwinger was rebuilt in 1964, the Semper Opera house in 1985, and the now most famous landmark of Dresden, the Frauenkirche, in 2005. When asked what they like most about their city, Dresden citizens will reply Old Town (which is quite compact, even though it has a lot of well-known attractions and museums of worldwide meaning), Dresden-Neustadt (an alternative central quarter) and the surroundings like the wine town Radebeul, the climbing area Saxon Switzerland, lots of castles, and most of the city landscape of about 80 quarters.

The level of international tourism is growing, especially from the US and China since Dresden is a stop between Prague and Berlin. Architecturally, Blasewitz is the most interesting living quarter, despite it being a hilly landscape.

Some people think, that the sand stone buildings look black because of burnings or polution. This is not true. Sandstone turns naturally dark after a while. You can see the dark stones as well in the near by saxon switzerland and on pictures of Dresden from the 18th Century, where the sandstone-buildings are black as well.

Dresden lies in the former German Democratic Republic and the GDR-Architecture is still well visible in the city. In the city center The “Prager Straße” and the “Kulturpalast” are examples for classical GDR architecture. If you leave the center you will find a lot of appartment blocks, called “Plattenbau” as they are typical in eastern europe and russia.
Traces of World War II are not visible in the city anymore.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Dresden-Klotzsche Airport is located north of the city and can be reached by bus (line 77 and 97) and tram line 7 (change for the bus at tram station Infineon Nord). Even faster is the connection with local train lines (S-Bahn, line S2) which takes 21 minutes to reach the main station.

Flights leave to nearly all important German cities and a few European destinations, like Moscow, Zurich and London. The emergence of low-frills airlines Germanwings and Air Berlin has led to reduced fares to Cologne, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart and Munich. Lufthansa operates to most domestic destinations.

By train[edit]

Dresden is served by two big train stations, one on the northern side of the Elbe, Dresden Neustadt, and one on the southern side of the Elbe, Dresden Hauptbahnhof or “main railway station”. Be sure to check if your train is really leaving/going to Dresden Hauptbahnhof or to Dresden Neustadt.

The Dresden Hauptbahnhof is situated at the southern end of Dresden’s main shopping street, Prager Straße, and in short walking distance from most central attractions in Old Town. It is very well connected with the local bus and tram network and can be reached very quickly from nearly everywhere, also at night time. Trains to nearby towns, such as Meissen and Pirna run till around midnight. Regular trains leave the main train station for the rest of Germany (Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich) and to Prague, Budapest and Wroclaw.

The other big train station called Dresden-Neustadt is located just north of the New Town and also offers very good train connections, as most trains run through there, too. Some trains even terminate there and not at the main train station. Dresden-Neustadt is also easily accessible by tram or car.

By car[edit]

Dresden can be reached without problems by car from the rest of Germany. It is well connected with the German highway system and a new Autobahn to Prague has been finished recently.

By Bus[edit]

BerlinLinienbus operates seven to eight buses from Berlin to Dresden on a daily basis. The central bus station is at Hauptbahnhof station and some of the buses stop at Schlesischer Platz in front of the Neustadt station.

Mein Fern Bus also connects Dresden from Berlin and several other destinations. Cost from €7 single.

Get around[edit]

On foot[edit]

In the centre, especially in the historic part in Old Town (Altstadt), everything is easily accessible by foot. Note that the city center is not the geographical centre of the city.

By bus and tram[edit]

There is a combined system of tram (Straßenbahn), bus and even train, but no underground trains. It works very well and connects all points of interest, but can be a little busy at peak times. Most lines run at night but with less capacity. This allows you to go out to most places or restaurants without the necessity to use a car, including to far flung places like Pillnitz. See Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe (DVB) website.

Best is to get yourself a Day Ticket (€6.00) or, for families, a Family Day Ticket (€8.50). It allows you to ride on all trams, buses, most ferries and trains (except InterCitys and ICEs). It is relatively cheap and valid until the next day at 04:00. You can also get a ticket limited to an hour and some others, but Day Tickets are good if you are travelling around and not sure where you will be going and what you will be doing.

As with most places in Germany, the public transit operates on the honour system: you are assumed to have a ticket, and there are a few inspectors out spot checking. The exception is on the buses after 20:00, when the drivers are required to see all tickets.

By car[edit]

The street network is very good and many roads have been refurbished recently, especially in the city centre. As in all bigger towns it can be a bit crowded during rush hours. There are many parking lots in downtown Dresden and it should not be a problem to find a place to park, except on Saturdays when everyone goes to town for shopping. A number of automatic signs have been created, showing you the available number of free parking spaces, before entering the parking lots. Shops are open c. 10:00-20:00 and you will see a lot of tourists and locals going shopping in the city centre. Please beware of them when driving and note that this is the time with the fewest available parking spots. Car drivers might seem to be a little more aggressive than in other countries, but are usually more friendly if you don’t have a local registration number.

By bicycle[edit]

Bikes are the fastest thing in rush hour traffic if going a short to medium distance and if you’re in good condition and not afraid of traffic and pedestrians. Bikes are also good for longer distances as they can be carried (with a separate ticket) in trams. There are many designated cycle paths (marked red on pavements, or with a white bike symbol on a blue background) and it is most times very easy to find a place to park your bike. But as anywhere else, always use a good lock!

Many of the older streets of Dresden (particularly in the northern, Neustadt area) still have a cobblestone surface: not the most comfortable riding surface! Also, cobblestone is relatively slippery, compared to asphalt or concrete: care should be taken when riding in wet conditions.

Alternative transport[edit]

Dresden has a lot of pedicabs (bike taxis), mostly operating around the Old Town. They offer the typical (short distance) taxi service as well as guided city tours. Since 2007 there are also horse carriages that offer tourist sightseeing.

One can also make use of the many bus tour operators. Tickets for these tours can be bought around the old town from various points.


A night view of the Brühl’s Terrace and quay of the Elbe as seen from Innere Neustadt.


See[edit][add listing]

Zwinger

The golden statue of King August the Great in the Neustadt

A frontal view of Großer Garden

A building that “plays music” when it rains in Kunsthofpassage Dresden



Dresden is a very beautiful, light spirited city, especially in summer, when you can appreciate the serene setting of the historic centre. Although Dresden is larger than Munich when measured by area, the historic centre is quite compact and walkable. Be sure to check out these places while in Dresden.

  • Frauenkirche, [1]. The original Church of Our Lady was completely destroyed during WWII; however, it has been reconstructed. The City of Coventry, which was raided by the Luftwaffe in WWII, donated the golden cross for the dome of the church. Check out some ruins in the basement. Do not miss the tower visit and bring good shoes to climb in (otherwise you will not be admitted!).  edit
  • Zwinger Palace, [2]. 10:00-18:00. Closed on Mondays. The baroque palace features a nympheum, many sculptures of Permoser, a bell pavilion and famous art collections. Do not miss the “Alte Meister” – you’ll find the famous Madonna Sistina of Rafael there including the well known angels. There is also a very nice museum on the arms of Saxon kings, the “Rüstkammer”. Entry is free to the palace but some collections such as the porcelain exhibition have an entry fee.  edit

    • Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery) – From 15 Jan 2013 the museum is closed due to construction measures until March 2013.
    • Porzellansammlung (Porcelain Collection)
    • Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon (Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments) – Reopening in April 2013
  • Schloss und Grünes Gewölbe, [3]. The Green Vault is Europe’s most splendid treasure chamber museum. You can see the biggest green diamond and the court of Aurengzeb and its precious crown jewels. Note that it is actually two museums, each requiring a separate ticket: The Historic Green Vault (Historisches Grünes Gewölbe) is famous for its splendors of the historic treasure chamber as it existed in 1733, while the New Green Vault (Neues Grünes Gewölbe) focuses the attention on each individual object in neutral rooms.  edit
  • SemperOper, [4]. English tours at 3pm; German tours throughout the day.. One of the most beautiful opera houses in the world. The acoustics and the orchestra, the Staatskapelle, are marvellous. Its history saw many operas of Wagner and Strauss having their first nights there. Make sure to book tickets in advance. Some last-minute tickets are available from the box office shortly before the performance starts. Seats which do not have a good view are very cheap, and you can sit on benches behind the seats, right at the top of the auditorium, for free. Tours: €8, €4 reduced and a €2 photography pass, but they don’t check if you have it.  edit
  • Neue Synagogue, Hasenberg 2, [5].  edit
  • Elbe Valley. This used to be on the UNESCO World Heritage List, until the government decided to build a four-lane highway Waldschlösschen Bridge through the heart of it [6]. So now it is known as “one of only two un-UNESCO’d sites in the world” still a tourist attraction.  edit


  • Dresden Neustadt. Very nice, lively neighbourhood. Part alternative, part “pseudo-exclusive” and expensive. Check out the Bunte Republik Neustadt festival in June. But you shouldn’t leave your bicycle unattended without a good lock, as there can be a serious risk of damage to your bicycle as well as your car, especially on weekend nights.  edit
  • Dresden Baroque Quarter. Real baroque houses. The quarter reaches from the “Heinrichstrasse” up to the “Albert Platz”. On the Heinrichstrasse and in the surroundings you will find a lot of antique stores. It is the quarter where you will find different nice and small shops where the owner will serve you. It is the quarter of individuality.  edit
  • Elbwiesen (River Banks). Go to the (mostly) green river banks, especially in hot summer evenings/nights for a very nice view of the old parts and lot of people playing sports, having barbecues and parties. There are often big concerts and a huge movie screen offers “outdoor cinema.”  edit
  • Großer Garten (Big Garden). Recommended for relaxing and sports (rollerblades are very common). It is Dresden’s “green lung” and can be reached easily by tram. You can also go on a ride on a miniature train through the park.  edit
  • Kunsthofpassage, [7]. It is a passage in the middle of Neustadt where you may find buildings with a very creative architecture, many little stores and some bars. A nice complex of inner courtyards artistically decorated. The complex offers art galleries as well as coffee shops. You can find here a very famous building that “plays music” when it rains.  edit
  • Fürstenzug. This biggest porcelain painting of the world shows (almost) all Saxon princesses and kings on their horses and splendid parade uniforms. It leads to the “Stallhof” – the last preserved tournament place contained in a European castle. In Winter, Fürstenzug is the location of a very romantic Christmas market with a big fireplace.  edit
  • Schwebebahn Dresden, [8]. A unique aerial tramway.  edit
  • Gläserne Manufaktur (Transparent Factory), Lennestr. 1, +49 18 0589-6268 (), [9]. M-F 08:00-20:00. The transparent factory is the site where Volkswagen builds its luxury sedan Phaeton. There is a tour (English language) offered by Volkswagen. Tour: €5.  edit
  • Pfunds Molkerei, Bautzner Straße 79, [10]. A milk store which is in the Guinness Book as the most beautiful milk store in the world. Decorated with 247.90 square meters of handmade tiles.  edit
  • Dresden Zoo, Tiergartenstraße 1, [11]. One of Germany’s oldest zoos.  edit

Museums and Galleries[edit]

  • Albertinum Museum, [12]. The collections of “Neue Meister” feature a wonderful collection ranging from romantic painters (Caspar David Friedrich etc.) up to Rotloff and Van Gogh.  edit
  • Japanisches Palais, (on the north bank of the Elbe between Augusbrücke and Marienbrücke), [13]. The palace was bombed out, and in its partially restored state holds several small museums, including the museum of natural history of the region, museum of prehistory and a display of assorted exotic garments (ethnological collection).  edit
  • Museum Der Stadt Dresden (Dresden City Museum), Wilsdruffer Straße 2, [14].  edit
  • Kasematten, (under the Brühlsche Terrasse (the terrace at the Elbe river)), [15]. Apr-Oct M-Su 10:00-18:00; Nov-Mar10:00-17:00. The remains of the old fort. Gives you a glimse of what a fort in a medieval European town was like. Tour: €4, €2 reduced.  edit
  • Senckenberg Museum of Mineralogy, [16].  edit
  • Erich-Kästner-Museum, [17]. Dedicated to Erich Käster who was born and grew up in Dresden.  edit
  • Military History Museum, (Tram lines 7 and 8 or bus line 64 to stop ”Stauffenbergallee”), [18]. 10 am – 6 pm (Mo 9 pm); Wednesdays closed. Has many items and machines regarding military history of Germany – and the country’s complicated relationship with its armed forces and warfare. 20,000 sq.m. of indoor and outdoor exhibition place and a stock of 1.2 million exhibits. €5 – adult; Mondays 6 – 9 pm free.  edit
  • Carl Maria von Weber Museum, Dresdner Straße 44. Wed-Sun 1pm-6pm. Dedicated to Dresden’s most famous composer.  edit
  • German Hygiene Museum, Lingnerplatz 1 (Near the Big Garden.), [19]. A comprehensive museum dedicated to hygiene in various times and cultures.  edit
  • Kunsthaus Dresden, Rähnitzgasse 8, [20]. An exhibition hall for contemporary art.  edit
  • Leonhardi Museum, Grundstraße 26, [21]. A private art collection of DDR art including works by the collector himself.  edit
  • City Gallery of Dresden, Wilsdruffer Straße 2, [22]. Art from the 16th Century to the present day.  edit
  • Kunsthof Dresden, Görlitzer Straße 23, [23]. Assortment of public artworks, galleries, shops selling art.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

One of the many paddle steamers operating on the river Elbe

  • Rollerblading or Rowing in small boats on the Carolasee in the Großer Garten.
  • Semper Opera – Be sure to book in advance.
  • Villas and Villages – stroll arround through the many villa neighbourhoods like Blasewitz, Loschwitz, Kleinzschachwitz or Radeberger Vorstadt. They often have an village-style centre, eg: Strehlen very near to Großer Garden.

A view of the Saxon Switzerland mountains

Sports[edit]

  • Dresden Monarchs (American Football – German Football League) [24]
  • Dynamo Dresden (Soccer) [25]
  • Dresdner Eislöwen (Ice Hockey – Second National League) [26]
  • Dresdner SC (Volleyball women – First National League) [27]

Festivals & Events[edit]

Dresden is host to a number of worldwide known events, often unique or the biggest of their kind:

A concert in front of a bar during BRN 2009.

  • Bunte Republik Neustadt (BRN) (‘Colourful Republic Neustadt’) – a massive yearly street festival that consumes the Neustadt part of Dresden in June. The festival consists of many stages featuring local musicians of different styles. The festivities run very late into the night with plenty booths offering a wide variety of food and drink. If you plan to sleep, then it is advisable to book accommodations outside of the Neustadt area during BRN.
  • Dixieland Festival [28] – Europe’s biggest Jazz Festival. It normally takes place within the second week of May (from May 10-14 in 2006) and attracts bands and visitors from all over Europe, America and the world. A great deal of the music is played on the top decks of paddle boats in front of the Old Stadt.
  • Filmnächte (Film nights) (Jun-Aug) – on the banks of the Elbe, just across the castle on the other side of the river. A huge movie screen offers cinema in a beautiful setting and there are also many concerts with popular stars. Again, it is the biggest event of its kind in Europe!
  • Christmas Markets – The Christmas markets lighten up an otherwise gloomy winter in Dresden. Starting on the weekend of the first Advent, the Christmas markets are open every day until Christmas. During this period, many Christmas markets open up throughout the whole city. Striezelmarkt, located at Altmarkt in Altstadt, is Germany’s oldest Christmas market and is the largest in Dresden. Be sure to check out the booths offering various trinkets, including the famous wood figures (Räuchermännchen) made in the nearby Erzgebirge. Warm up with delicious mulled wine from the Glühwein Buden. But this market is crowded with tourist and the things they sell there are “0815″ (boring) things.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Shop in the main shopping area, downtown Dresden.

The main shopping district in Dresden extends from Ferdinandplatz to the west of Sankt-Petersburger Straße northwest to about Wilsdruffer Straße (search for Altmarkt). At the south end (Ferdinandplatz) is a cinema, a couple of restaurants, and a huge Karstadt department store (which also sells groceries). On the north end is a covered mall.

In the Äußere Neustadt area (north/east of Albertplatz), many small shops provide books, vinyl records and clothing.

The Innere Neustadt (between Albertplatz and Elbe, mainly Haupstraße and Königstraße) is rather on a medium-to-fancy level.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Within the historic centre and especially around the Frauenkirche are a number of restaurants, serving many different tastes. Be aware, most of these are overpriced, and the quality is often low. On the north bank of the Elbe River is the Neustadt, which accounts for most of the trendy pubs, bars and clubs, and the majority of the restaurants in the city. You will generally have better luck finding decent food for a reasonable price north of Albertplatz in Neustadt.

The eastern part of the city, toward the Blaues Wunder, has a lower density of restaurants than Neustadt, and they tend to also serve as cafés, and the food is generally tasteful and cheap.

When in Germany make sure to try a speciality that is not regarded particularly as German at first sight. Today, doner kebab is typically served as a kind of sandwich in pita (flat bread). This type of doner kebab has been available in Istanbul since about 1960. The doner kebab with salad and sauce served in pita, which is predominant in Germany and the rest of the world, was invented in Berlin Kreuzberg in the early 1970s, because the original preparation was not appealing enough to the German taste. Therefore, as the “modern” kebab is very dissimilar to the traditional dish except by name, it can be argued that the kebab as most people know it is a “traditional” German dish.
When in Dresden you can probably get the best kebabs at Babos [29] and at Dürum Kebap Haus [30] (Rothenburger Straße 41 or Prager-Straße 32). A typical dish including a large drink should be around €5-6.

The next step above doner kebab is generally Italian. There are a certain number of ethnic restaurants scattered through the city, and if you go out to the eastern part of town, you will find lots of charming cafés and Volkshäuser that serve good food.

Altstadt[edit]

  • Afro-Hütte , Lausitzer 35, Phone [0]351 / 26212, Deutsches Essen, €5-10/ person
  • aha, Kreuzstrasse 7, am Altmarkt, Phone [0]351 / 496 06 73, hearty vegetarian and vegan food in a family-friendly and comfortable environment, also serves a wide variety of free trade teas and coffees, €10-15/ person, Open 10AM-12AM daily
  • Anita , Mühlenstrasse 67, Phone [0]351 / 24493, Italian food, €10-15/ person
  • Antica , Hohenzollerndamm 64, Phone [0]351 / 9652, Deutsches Essen, Less than €30, Open Mon-Sat from 10AM – 11 PM
  • Athen, Schönhauser 94, Phone [0]351 / 1635, Greek cuisine, more than €5 for a snack
  • Augustiner an der Frauenkirche, An der Frauenkirche 16/17, Phone [0]351 / 482897, German (Bavarian and Saxonian), €10-15/person, the beer is brewed on their own and is especially good.
  • Britzer , Fasanenstrasse 17, Phone [0]351 / 20680, Deutsches Essen, voted best deli in town Open Mon-Sat from 7PM – 12 PM
  • BoboQ Dresden , Prager Str. 2a, The fun drink from the Far East, BoBoQ Bubble Tea.
  • Brühlsche Terrasse This terrace is adjacent to the river Elbe and various restaurants are to be found there – especially in summer time this a wonderful place to be. The view and the drinks are very pleasant.
  • Engelbrecht , Damaschkestrasse 87, Phone [0]351 / 5211, Deutsches Essen, more than €5 for a snack.
  • Golden Tweenis, Alter markt 85, Phone [0]351 / 27228, Deutsches Essen, more than €20
  • Havana, Alexanderplatz 109, Phone [0]351 / 20535, Serves international food, for €5-10/ person, Open Mon-Sun from 12PM – 11 PM
  • India King, Sophienstrasse 45, Phone [0]351 / 11301, Expensive Indian restaurant
  • Italienisches Dörfchen One of the most stylish places in town – the baroque pavilion features various restaurants decorated with old paintings and furniture. The prices are higher than elsewhere, but still affordable. Go for the cakes!
  • Little Africa, Mehringdamm 93, Phone [0]351 / 25344, Serves international food and gets a relatively young crowd, Open Mon-Sun from 5PM – 11 PM
  • Maredo , Fasanenstrasse 17, Phone [0]351 / 7922, Serves international food, light fare for €10/person,
  • Merz , Kochstrasse 85, Phone [0]351 / 908, Deutsches Essen, light fare for €10-15/ person, Open Mon-Sun from 10AM – 12 AM,
  • Mona , Blissestrasse 25, Phone [0]351 / 6914, Deutsches Essen, Where the locals go. Open Mon-Sat from 10AM – 11 PM
  • Münzgasse If you come as the tourist this is the place to go – lying directly beside the Frauenkirche. The little street is full of restaurants, from glamorous and expensive (for instance the Coselpalais) to the cheaper ones.
  • Petit , Rheinstrasse 59, Phone [0]351 / 9010, French cuisine, More than €5 for a snack. Open Mon-Sun from 5PM – 11 PM
  • Roter Ochs, Lindenweg 15, Phone [0]351 / 27587, Deutsches Essen, Large meals for €15, Open Mon-Sun from 10AM – 12 AM,
  • Saigon, Grossgörschenstrasse 103, Phone [0]351 / 21650, Thai food, weekdays lunch time is half price Open Mon-Sun from 4PM – 11 PM
  • Schießhaus, Am Schießhaus 19. This little farmhouse-restaurant is not so easy to find. It lies behind the “Herzogin Garten” (which is a ruin) and behind the opera-house. The large Biergarden is a very relaxing place, has good food and good prices and is very pleasant. If you are vegetarian try the adjacent “Brennessel”.

Neustadt[edit]

  • Flax is a newly cafe and restaurant that has a 100% Vegan kitchen. Burgers, pizza (yes, with cheese) and Kaises patzle amongst other things are to be found here and the food tastes great, even for non-vegan diners. Friendly and comfortable, they also have plenty of power points and high speed internet for the surfer/diner. Perfect for travelling. Schoenefelder Strasse 2 (Kamenzer Strasse)
  • Die Scheune “The barn” is a restaurant with a large Biergarden in an alternative style – do not be shocked by the punks in front – they are decor. In warm summer nights you will have trouble to find a free place. Good prices. Serves Indian food. Lots of concerts and events.
  • Raskolnikoff The formerly very alternative restaurant now features sand on the floors, a red lamp in front of the door and a very nice garden with a fountain. Again – in summer it is difficult to get in. Food and prices are good. Böhmischestrasse, close to the Lutherkirche.
  • Vecchia Napoli, Alaunstrasse 33, phone 0351/8029055, [31]. A good Italian restaurant, with a wood fired pizza oven. You can get a pizza or pasta, or a full multicourse meal. Generally very busy, and the food is excellent. €15-40
  • Rosengarten, Carusufer 12, on the north bank of the Elbe at the edge of the park just east of Albertbrücke. A café bordering one of the public rose gardens of Dresden’s riverside park, with plenty of outside seating in nice weather. The food is acceptable, but nothing special. The view is gorgeous. Worth a stop for a hot chocolate or an ice cream.
  • Curry & Co. [32], Louißenstr. 64, in Neustadt. Serves currywurst, a Berlin invention, with several flavors of sauce. Best pommes in the city. Also has vegan wursts and ice cream. There is also one in Schillerplatz.
  • Brauhaus am Waldschlösschen, Am Brauhaus 8b, [33]. Traditional German cuisine with a taste of beer brewed on place. Located on a hill with a splendid view over Elbe riverside from the outside garden. The food is recommended for those wishing to experience what the German cuisine should taste like.
  • Amarena Capanna, Louisenstraße 30/Ecke Alaunstraße, on the southwest corner of this intersection, phone 0351-4969984. An Italian restaurant with a fake tropical hut and palm trees inside. €8-20
  • Devil’s Kitchen, Alauenstraße [34], nice selection on burgers and other fast food with vegan and vegetarian options.
  • Watzke Brauereiausschank am Goldenen Reiter, Hauptstraße 1, Phone [0]351/8106820, [35], €10-15/person, One of their 3 locations in Dresden and is a great place to go to taste Saxonian cuisine. Their self-brewed beer is fantastic.

Eastern Dresden[edit]

  • Alimentari , Knaackstrasse 85, Phone [0]351 / 22708, Italian food, generally gets a young crowd, Open Mon-Sat from 11AM – 11 PM,
  • Blaues Wunder, Gustav-Adolf-Strasse 11, Phone [0]351 / 20993, Italian food, More than €5 for a snack. Open Mon-Sun from 6PM – 12 AM,
  • Cafe Toscana, Schillerplatz 7 in the Blasewitz quarter, right by the Blaues Wunder bridge, phone 0351-3100744. This is a very pleasant café that includes a pastry shop and a restaurant. The cakes are gorgeous and will make you understand why the cafe is famous. The decor is fairly new, given the very long history of the place (it was called after Louise von Toscana, the run-away princess that divorced the Saxon king). The terrace however is very beautiful overlooking the river and the famous bridge “Das blaue Wunder”. Generally it’s full of locals, on Saturday afternoons, who come and admire the local old women chat; they’re famous as the “Muttchens” . €8-20
  • Historisches Fischhaus, Fischhausstraße 14, on the road into the Albertpark to the northeast of the city, phone (0351) 89 91 00. [36] There has been a fish house here since the 16th century (specifically 1573), long enough for the road to be named for it.
  • Kanzlei, Pohlandstr. 18, Phone [0]351 / 3161488 [37], kind of gourmet restaurant, basically german food. Ambient is classical but purely and simple, food is exceptional good, personnel is very friendly. Located in a good residential area (Striesen) it is worth walking there. Starter, main, dessert and wine €30-50/ person. Monday – Sunday 5 PM – 12 PM
  • Fischer’s , Görlitzer 81, Phone [0]351 / 30434, deutsches Essen, €20-40/ person, without wine. Open Mon-Sun from 10AM – 11 PM,
  • Hellas7, Stollbergstr. 95, Phone [0]351 / 31992, Greek cuisine, More than €10/person, Open Mon-Sun from 10AM – 12 AM,
  • Pow , Exerzierstrasse 7, Phone [0]351 / 19102, Serves international food, More than €50/person, open Mon-Sat from 7PM – 12 AM
  • Schillerplatz, Schillerplatz 9 Telefon: 0351/ 811 99-0 [38]. Reservations recommended. Yes all the tour busses pull up here, but that doesn’t stop the locals from heading to Schillerplatz either. A good selection of German cuisines, including an excellent schnitzel. In the summer, there is a huge biergarten along the Elbe and nice views of the Blaues Wunder.
  • Villa Marie, Fährgässchen 1 (just below the Blaues Wunder on the west side) 0351-315 44 0 [39] Excellent food, excellent ambiance. Italian food done really well. Reservations strongly recommended. Try to get it on Etage 1 with its views of the Elbe and the Blaues Wunder, or out on their garten.
  • Volkshaus Laubegast, Laubegaster Ufer 22, right on the river, phone (0351) 2509377. A simple local eatery and café. The food tends to be things stereotypically German (schnitzel, sausages, and the like), and is generally good. Their fried potatoes are excellent, though their green vegetables are overcooked. Has a nice view of the Elbe and outside seating. €10-20
  • Wiener Cafe Haus Richards, Schandauer Straße 94, phone 0351 2508614. An inward looking café with small, curtained windows, heavy wooden tables, and upholstered armchairs for seating. They have pictures of Mozart on the walls and his music playing in the background. A charming spot to stop for a snack. €5-15

Drink[edit][add listing]

The Neustadt is a very popular destination, especially for younger people. It has a high number of bars and clubs, with many different styles. Especially the area around Alberplatz is filled with places to go.

The area around the Frauenkirche and Dresden Castle is very popular with tourists. Some fine restaurants are located there.

The Weiße Gasse is just around the corner of the Altmarkt near the shopping center and the historical town. Good alternative, if you do not want to go to the Neustadt.

Altstadt[edit]

  • Bar Peanuts Brühlsche Terrasse, 351-864-2838, small, cozy bar is located at the corner of the Hilton overlooking the Elbe. Peanut shells are scattered on the floor and as the name suggests, peanuts are the central theme. Cocktails and beer are the main draws here, along with the spectacular view.
  • Bärenzwinger [40] Brühlscher Garten, 351-495-1409, This popular student club is a good choice for its full schedule of nightly activities, including readings, live music, and discussions.
  • club novitatis [41] Campus, 351-4674845, a student pup between main station and university campus. Have a look for current dates for live music and parties on homepage.
  • Paulaner’s Am Taschenberg 3, 351-491-2893, popular beer hall sells a selection of well-brewed local and regional favorites. A full menu is offered, and outside seating is available.
  • Riesa efau [42] Adlergasse 14, 351-866-0222, Fax 351-866-0211, The pub is managed by a local events group and features a wide selection of drinks along with a regular slate of activities and entertainment. Good menu of regional beers and mixed drinks, as well as non-alcoholic drinks and coffees. Live music is frequently featured.

Neustadt[edit]

  • Blue Note [43] Görlitzer Straße 2, 351 801-42-75, This is the Dresden Jazz point. In the web page you may find the schedule of concerts. There is always very good music. This is a place to sit and enjoy good music. The scotch bar has very good drinks to enjoy during the concert.
  • Blumenau [44] Louisenstrasse 67, 351-31-51, This popular nightspot is considered one of the best in the city for its ambience, friendly service, and broad drink selection.
  • Café 100 [45] Alaunstrasse 100, 351-801-7729, This full-service nightspot features a café, wine bar, and pub.
  • Café Europa [46] Königsbrücker Strasse 68, 351-389-923, This pleasant café and bar is a great choice for a pre-dinner cocktail or late-night snack. The café closes only one hour a day, so stop by any time. In addition to great drinks, the menu also features a full breakfast menu, which young locals and visitors appreciate after a late night on the town.
  • Café Hieronymous Louisenstrasse 10, 351-801-1739, This bar is a great place to relax with a nice local beer or a glass of wine. Live music is featured frequently. The crowd here is young, and the service is friendly.
  • Downtown [47], Katharinenstrasse 11-13, The most popular club in the Neustadt. They play mostly mainstream/top 40/80s music. If this place isn’t your scene, you can always go upstairs to Groove Station.
  • Groove Station [48], Katharinenstrasse 11-13, Sits on top of Downtown and has more alternative music. They often have live bands.
  • Hebeda’s [49] Rothenburger Str. 30, This pub is quite popular for the locals, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. The old East German furniture gives it a cozy and retro feel. Beer is cheap and there’s a small dance floor for those who feel like dancing.
  • Katy’s Garage [50], Alaunstrasse. 48, If you’re walking around Neustadt, you can’t miss the beer garden at Katy’s Garage. It’s a great place to have a drink when it’s warm outside. When the beer garden closes at around 10PM, you can make your way into their night club, which consists mostly of rock music.
  • Lebowski-Bar [51], Görlitzer Str. 5, A tiny bar themed after the movie The Big Lebowski.
  • Louisengarten, Louisenstrasse 43, Located a few meters from Katy’s Garage, this beer garden is only open when it’s warm outside. You can come here and relax with a Lenin’s Hanf, a delicious beer brewed in the Neustadt.
  • Mona Lisa Louisenstrasse 77, 351-803-3151, This city center nightspot features a Mexican theme and a full menu, along with plenty of beers and well-mixed drinks.
  • Ost-Pol [52], Königsbrücker Straße 47, Ost-Pol (translation: East-Pole) is a fairly new bar with a retro East German feel to it. They often have live bands, but is still good to go for a beer when there’s no live music. The beer is pretty cheap, and is one of the few places with Pilsner Urquell on tap.
  • Pinta Bar [53] Louisenstrasse 49, Pinta specializes in cocktails. It is very popular on Friday and Saturday nights. When the place is busy, the service is slow.
  • Planwirtschaft [54] Louisenstrasse 20, 351-801-3187, This quaint bar and restaurant is in a refurbished wine cellar. The drinks menu is extensive and served by an energetic staff.
  • Studiobar Görlitzer Str. 1, The best cocktails in town are available here. Located on the 2nd floor, it is a little bit hard to find. From the entrance, go into the main floor bar and straight to the back. There is a stair case that leads up to the second floor. Smoking is allowed here.
  • Sidedoor Böhmische Str. between Rothenberger and Martin Luther Platz. Good selection of beers and the tastiest Long Islands you’ve had since college.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

Youth Hostels – IYHF:

  • Jugendgästehaus Dresden, Maternistr. 22, (next to “World Trade Center” – train-stop “Freiberger Straße”); Tel. +49-351-492620, [55]. Starts at €19. Located a few minutes by foot from the historic city centre, opposite the World Trade Center.
  • Rudi Arndt, Hübnerstr. 11, Tel. +49-351-4710667, [56]. Only 900 meters form the Hauptbahnhof in the quiet Swiss Quarter. Includes two dining rooms, two seminar rooms, a club room, terrace and cellar bar. Prices starts at €15.

Youth Hostels – Private:

  • cityherberge, Lingnerallee 3, Tel. +49-351-485-9900, [57]. The only hostel in dresden old town. Very central!
  • A&O Hostel, Strehlener Str. 10, Tel. +49-351469271-5900, [58]. Near the main train station, so it is very easy to get there and the prices are usually atractive.
  • Lollis Homestay, Görlitzer Str. 34, Tel. +49-351-8108458, [59]. Member of the I-hostels network [60]. This homey hostel offers a well equipped kitchen, nice rooms, and free (old) bike rental! The bikes come in handy because it’s in the north area of the Neustadt. Very highly recommended!
  • Mondpalast, Louisenstraße 77, Tel. +49-351-5634050, [61]. Very clean and bright rooms starting at cheap 10 bed dorm rooms up to ensuite doubles with balcony and TV. Offers a lounge and bar, as well as a self service kitchen.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Ibis, [62] three of them in a row on Prager Straße, near the Hauptbahnhof. In addition to the standard rooms, the hotel offers studios for up to three persons and apartments for up to four persons.
  • Mercure, [63] Hamburger Strasse 64/68 01157, (+49)351/42520, Fax (+49)351/4252420. The Mercure Hotel Dresden Elbpromenade is on the outskirts of Dresden. It has 103 rooms boasting contemporary design and Wifi access, which is also available in the public areas.
  • Art’otel Dresden, Ostra-Allee 33, [64]. Contemporary art gallery hotel with restaurant and bar as well as a healthclub and free wi-fi access.
  • Hotel Am Terrassenufer Dresden, Terrassenufer 12, [65]. Near river elbe and historic centre with outstanding view.
  • NH Dresden, [66]. Modern yet comfortable hotel, situated a short distance from the city and the airport. 269 recently renovated rooms are available, from €69.

Splurge[edit]

  • Luxushotel Suitess“, *****L, A Member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, An der Frauenkirche, Tel 49-351-41727-0; Fax +49-351-41727-160 [67] Experience the gourmet terrace with its breath taking view to dome of the church of our lady “Frauenkirche”.
  • Kempinski Taschenberg Palais, Taschenberg 3, Tel 49-351-4912-0; Fax +49-351-4912-812 [68]. One of the finest adresses in Dresden.
  • Hilton An der Frauenkirche 5; 01067 Dresden; Tel 49-351-86420; Fax 49-351-8642725. Next to Frauenkirche. Try to get a room with view on the Elbe river.

Stay safe[edit]

Dresden is very safe in general. You can also walk around the city center and most other parts late at night without having any worries. Simply enjoy the city.

In some regions of Saxony, right-wing political parties are strong. Districts of concern include Gorbitz, Prohlis or Reick. In the vicinity of the city, southeastern regions from the near city of Pirna throughout the popular area of Saxon Switzerland have had also high rates of affirmation towards right-wing parties. Away from the touristic centers of this region, chances of racist encounters are higher. So it is better to stay with groups and not to stroll around at night.

Contact[edit]

Local telephone code is 0351. There are some Internet Cafés in the city center. One is at the Altmarkt, next to Subway and another is at the back of the “Altmarktgallerie” shopping center at the Altmarkt.

Cope[edit]

If you need medical attention, go to the Universitätsklinikum, Fetscherstraße 74; Tel +49-351-458-2036. It’s inexpensive (compared to others in the city), easy to get to (Augsburger Str. stop from the 4 or 6 tram line and bus line 64) and the doctors are well-trained and, most importantly, speak English well.

Get out[edit]

  • Bautzen (Budyšin), beautiful old city to the east (approx. 45 minutes with car via Autobahn and 1 hour by train)
  • Saxon Ore Mountains, hiking and craft works (toymaking, especially Christmas toys)
  • Glashütte is the center of eastern German watch manufacturing, with various watch factories and a nice watch museum [69]. It is about 1 hour from Dresden by train, and part of the journey is beautiful, following a river through the mountains.
  • Königstein Fortress[70] One of the largest and best preserved late medeival fortresses in Europe. The fortress is situated about 30 km from Dresden and can be reached by almost all means of transportation. A trip on the river Elbe in one of the historic paddle-steamers of “Sächsische Dampfschifffahrt” is also highly recommended.
  • Leipzig is little more than one hour away by train
  • Meißen – medieval cathedral and castle and home to the first European porcelain factory.
  • Moritzburg – Beautiful castle that was once used when the kings went hunting
  • Pillnitz – the old garden and summer castle of the former Saxon kings. Follow the road along the Elbe eastwards or take a city bus to get there. Beautiful atmosphere. You might have pay in order to get in (around €2), but this issue is not yet fully resolved, as there are many people against it.
  • Prague is about two hours away
  • Radebeul – City west of Dresden with the world famous Karl May Museum and the four floor GDR museum.
  • Radeberg – a small town a short S-Bahn ride away from Dresden. Home of the Radeberger Brewery. They offer tours throughought the day for €9, including tasting at the end. [71] Phone ++49 3528 454 880.
  • Saxon Switzerland (Sächsische Schweiz) upstream along the river Elbe is a national park for hiking and rock-climbing ([72] is available in English while [73] is the official site)
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!




source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Dresden

 

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Hamburg, Germany – Travel Guide

Hamburg, Germany – Travel Guide

TourTellus Hotel Search: Book Cheap Hotel, Apartments, Hostels & BBs in Hamburg

Hamburg is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.

Rathaus just after Christmas

The city of Hamburg[1] has a well-deserved reputation as Germany‘s Gateway to the World. It is the country’s biggest port and the second-busiest in Europe, despite being located astride the River Elbe, some 100 kilometres from the North Sea. It is also Germany’s second largest city with a population of over 1.8 million and the Greater Hamburg Metropolitan Region has a population of over four million. Hamburg is proud of its status as a “Free and Hanseatic City” and thus shares the same status as a province, making up one of Germany’s 16 federal-states or Bundesländer.

Understand[edit]

Hamburg is a city-state. It values its status as a city, being as independent as possible of other states that have existed or currently exist in Germany. Over the centuries, Hamburg has always been an international city. This is not only because of its position in international trade, but also in political dimensions.

One of the most important harbours in Europe and the world, Hamburg takes great pride in its mercantile background, which built the city’s wealth in the past centuries. From 1241 on, it was member of the Hanseatic League, a medieval trade monopoly across Northern Europe. In the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, millions left Europe on their way to the new world through the Hamburg harbour. Today, the harbour ranks second in Europe and eleventh world-wide. Consequently, one of Hamburg’s tag lines is “The Gateway to the World” (derived from the city’s coat of arms, showing a white city wall with a gate and crowned by three towers on a red background). Hamburg is known to be one of the richest metropolitan area in the European Union, in the company of Brussels and London.

The harbour is the heart of the city, however, Hamburg is also one of the most important media hubs in Germany. Half of the nation’s newspapers and magazines have their roots in Hamburg. And, unknown even to some locals, is the fact that, with one of the Airbus aircraft assembly plants, Hamburg is a major location of the world’s aerospace industry, right after Seattle (USA) and Toulouse (France).

The mercantile background reflects in the city’s architecture. The only palace in Hamburg is the town hall, which houses the citizen’s parliament and the senate. Apart from that, the city still has large quarters with expensive houses and villas. These residences were home to merchants and captains, surrounded by lots of greenery. Large parts of the city were destroyed during the devastating air raids of World War II, particularly the port and some residential areas, killing tens of thousands and leaving more than a million homeless, yet much of historic value has been preserved, although not as much as people would have wished for, as like many German cities,it’s cursed by horrible post war buildings and disgusting office blocks.

Hamburg still keeps its tradition of being an open, yet discreet city. Citizens of Hamburg, just like most Northern Germans, may appear to be quite reserved at first. Once they get to know with whom they are dealing, they’ll be as warm and friendly as you’d wish.

The people of Hamburg are known as “Hamburger” (pronounce the a like you’re saying “ah”, and it won’t sound as silly). The beef patties on a bun were named after this city, where presumably they were invented. See also “frankfurter” (Frankfurt) and “wiener” (Wien, aka Vienna).

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Airport Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel (IATA: HAM) (ICAO: EDDH)[edit]

Hamburg [2] has the fifth largest international airport in Germany, so arrival by plane is an obvious choice for those visiting from far away. There are plenty of connections within Europe, although only a few intercontinental direct services are offered. [3]

The airport has been thoroughly modernized with new terminals, airport hotel, streamlined infrastructure, and facilities that are by and large adequate, so you won’t get lost. Depending on the gate your flight arrives at or leaves from, walking longer distances might be necessary as on any other airport too.

Hamburg Airport is connected to the city by the S-Bahn S1 commuter train line, which connects to the Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) and the city centre in about 30 minutes. There are trains every 10-20 minutes, and a single fare is €3. Beware on the way back from the city centre to the airport: All trains are divided at Ohlsdorf, with only the first three cars going to the airport, and the rest going to the suburb of Poppenbüttel. There are no trains between midnight and 4 AM, but a bus runs along the same route. As there aren’t any flights between 11PM and 6AM this may not affect your journey at all. Train timetable S1: [4]

The airport, which is hugely popular with plane-spotters, is surrounded by Schrebergärten (meticulously maintained allotments), park lands, and open green spaces, crisscrossed by bicycle and walking trails. The popularity of this area is not only due to the many viewpoints, but also because Lufthansa Technik (Lufthansa’s maintenance service) operates some large hangars on the airport, which means that the site is visited by a variety of rare and interesting aircraft (including VVIP).

Airport Lübeck-Blankensee aka “Hamburg-Lübeck” (IATA: LBC) (ICAO: EDHL)[edit]

As with many other destinations, the discount airline Ryanair [5] does not operate from Hamburg, as their naming scheme might indicate. Instead, it operates from Lübeck-Blankensee airport [6] (not to confuse with Hamburg’s quarter Blankenese), which is 65 km from Hamburg via motorway A1. The second airline that offers flights to Lübeck is Wizz Air [7]. Flights go to London Stansted (England), Shannon and Dublin (Ireland), Glasgow Prestwick (Scotland), Stockholm Skavsta (Sweden), Milan Bergamo (Italy), Pisa (Italy), Kiev (Ukraine), and Gdansk (Poland).

Buses connecting to the flights go from Hamburg’s central bus station (“ZOB”, adjacent to the main train station). They cost €12 for single way and take about one hour and 10 minutes. The buses depart about two hours and 50 minutes before every Ryanair departure, meet every arrival, and wait for delayed flights.

Hamburg-Finkenwerder Airport (IATA: XFW) (ICAO: EDHI)[edit]

Situated just across the Elbe river, Finkenwerder Airport would undeniably be the most convenient airport for travellers visiting Hamburg. But unfortunately, due to being associated with an Airbus aircraft plant, for security concerns, usage is restricted to Airbus employees only. For them, two daily flights are available to/from Toulouse, but most of the time the runway is used for freight (up to complete sections of passenger planes using the Beluga aircraft [8]) or the delivery of new planes.

The runway, as well as the aircraft parking lot, can be observed from the public street Neß-Hauptdeich. The parking lot is on the other side of the street, so a few times a day planes actually cross the street, including the world’s largest passenger aircraft A380.

There are public tours of the Finkenwerder plant [9] of about 2½ hours. Tickets cost € 13, reservations are required at least four weeks in advance, payment has to arrive 14 days in advance. You must bring your passport, leave cameras and mobiles at your hotel. Visitors have to be at least 14 years old. Be warned, security is tight, strictly follow the rules.

The plant is located not far from the centre, however, it’s on the other side of the Elbe. Using public transport, Airbus is accessible by harbour ferry 68 from Teufelsbrück. Ferry 62 from Landungsbrücken 3 will bring you to the town of Finkenwerder, from there take the number 150 bus to the Airbus bus stop. Bus 150 starts at Altona’s train station and uses the Elbe tunnel (not spectacular, but still one of the longest river tunnels in the world), that would be your third option. To observe the runway, exit bus 150 at stop Neuenfelde, Rosengarten (next one after stop Airbus).

Hamburg-Uetersen Airport (ICAO: EDHE)[edit]

Air Hamburg [10] serves several German islands from this airport. The only way to reach it is by taxi, the nearest railway station being Tornesch.

By train[edit]

Hauptbahnhof, Central railway station

Hamburg has five major stations: Hauptbahnhof (central station), Altona, Dammtor, Harburg, Bergedorf. Various types of train service are available.

DB Autozug also operates car transport and sleeper trains to several European destinations. They can be a convenient -if a bit expensive- way of travelling within Europe while still keeping your car around.

Use the German railway’s online trip planner [11] to find connections to/from Hamburg and buy tickets.

By car[edit]

via the Autobahn:

  • A1 to/from Lübeck (north-east) — To get to the city change to the A24 at “Autobahnkreuz Ost”.
  • A1 to/from Bremen, Cologne (Köln) (south/south-west) — To get to the city change to A255.
  • A7 to/from Flensburg, Kiel (north) — To get to the city exit at “Bahrenfeld”.
  • A7 to/from Hanover, Kassel (south)— To get to the city exit right after the “Elbtunnel” at “Othmarschen” or “Bahrenfeld”. Use the rightmost pipe of the “Elbtunnel” to exit at “Othmarschen”.
  • A23 to/from Husum.
  • A24 to/from Berlin.

Be prepared to pay for parking. Hamburg has a wide selection of P+R (Park+Ride) parking areas outside the city centre, where you can park for free and very easily use public transport to get into the city.

By bus[edit]

Buses serving other cities (regional, national, and European destinations) arrive at or depart from Hamburg’s central bus station (“ZOB”) [12], which is located near the central railway station (Hauptbahnhof) (two minute walk). Destinations include Berlin (several times a day).

Buses to Lübeck depart from Wandsbek.

Buses to Bosnia are eg. run by Salinea, [13]

By carpooling[edit]

Throughout Germany and Europe, there is a broad culture of carpooling. Drivers save on fuel costs by sharing the ride with passengers who usually pay around 5€/100km. Several hundred thousand direct lifts to/from Hamburg and other European cities are offered on carpooling platforms like carpooling.com [14] at any time.

By boat[edit]

Lübeck, about an hour away by train, is a major Baltic ferry port. Ferries are available to Denmark and Sweden. Occasionally also longer trips to Finland, Lithuania and Russia are offered.
Hamburg is also a major cruise port. Mostly during the summer months trips to Nordic countries are offered. However, there are also transatlantic services mostly to New York City.

Hitchhike[edit]

You can leave Hamburg to the south (A7-Hannover/Frankfurt/Munich) and southwest (A1-Bremen/Cologne/Netherlands) from the filling station known as “HH-Stillhorn” you can get there with the number 13 bus from suburbanstation S-Wilhelmsburg.

To Berlin you can start at the “Horner-Kreisel” and take the number 161 bus from S-Berliner Tor or walk from U2-Rauhes Haus.

You can find cars [15] driving to most German cities for €10-20.

From the UK, it may be an idea to take a ferry to Denmark and then hitch down rather than going via Holland.



Generally, try and have a cardboard sign which reads the local number plates of the place you wish to travel to, i.e. B for Berlin, HL for Luebeck, LN for Lueneburg and so on.

Get around[edit]

Public transport[edit]

Hamburg has a well-developed public transport system. Buses go around the clock. At night, a special “Nachtbus” (night bus) service connects the outlying districts and the city center. The buses depart and arrive at “Rathausmarkt”, near the town hall and operate all through the night. The S-Bahn and U-Bahn (metro) train services (underground and overground) run from approximately 5AM until 1AM in the central city, but there is often no service past 11PM in outlying districts. On weekends, it runs all night.

Vending machines in the rail stations (and at some bus stops) sell short distance, single ride, and day tickets. Group tickets are also available. On the buses, the driver will sell you what you need. To buy week or longer tickets, go to Hauptbanhof or Bahnof Altona, get passport photos in the automated photo booth, and buy your pass in the information office. You can also buy a Hamburg Card, which includes the public transport system, museums, and other things. You can get the Hamburg Card at all ticket offices and from the bus drivers.

Hamburg’s public transit operates on a proof-of-payment system. Officials in red waistcoats make spot checks, but aside from that, you simply get on and off as you wish with no turnstiles or gates. From 2012 on you are required to show your ticket while entering a bus to the driver. The exception are the crowded bus lines 4, 5 and 6, except after 21h and on Sundays.

Try to avoid rush-hour before 9AM and between 4-7PM. If you start your travel after 9AM, buy a “9 Uhr Tageskarte”. You are not allowed to take bicycles into subways before 9AM and between 4-6PM, unless it is a folding bike like a Dahon, Brompton, Bike Friday, etc. Folders are allowed on Hamburg public transit at any time of the day.

Six ferry services operate in the harbour and along the River Elbe as part of the regular public transport system. (Tip: take ferry line 62 from Landungsbrücken to Finkenwerder and back to enjoy a scenic trip through the harbour on a day ticket.)

On the two Alster lakes, a ferry boat travels once every hour from Jungfernstieg in the city centre to Winterhuder Fährhaus. These boats are not in the general HVV ticket system, thus more expensive, however, they offer a splendid view to some of the wealthiest neighborhoods of Hamburg.

If you are traveling to Hamburg using a Niedersachsen ticket or Schleswig Holstein ticket, you have access to all the HVV lines.

By taxi[edit]

There is a good supply of taxis in Hamburg 24 hours a day, both at taxi stands and in the streets. You can identify a taxi rank by a green box on a post somewhat like an over-sized parking meter or alarm post. You will have to wait there or phone one of the numbers below, since the boxes can not be used to call a cab. Almost all vehicles are still in the traditional ivory white colour, but even if not, a yellow and black sign on the roof reading “Taxi” indicates a licensed cab. As usual, the sign is switched on to indicate vacancies. The meter starts at €2.80. A trip in the city area will be between €6-12. For a trip from the city to the airport, expect to pay roughly €25. Most taxis accept credit card payments.

By rail[edit]

Hamburg has six S-Bahn (commuter railway) lines and four U-Bahn (subway) lines, including the line U4. This line has been introduced in 2012 and it links the Jungfernstieg and Main Station (the city centre) with the new developments in the Hafencity. All lines run partly over and underground, in the city, and in the outskirts. The only difference is that these are two companies, but there is a unified fare system.

All train platforms have signs showing the next train, where it is headed, and how many minutes until it arrives. Trains are described by a number and the final station. Note that the final station may vary. For example, half of the S1 trains heading west go all the way to Wedel, but the other half go only as far as Blankenese. Also, all S-Bahn trains with one-digit numbers go via Landungsbrücken and Jungfernstieg and all S-Bahn trains with two-digit numbers go via Dammtor.

Note that train doors do not open automatically. You have to press a button or pull a handle on the door. Wait for the passengers to get off first before you enter. In the cold season, close the door after getting on the train if it looks like a longer stop. Either push the handle or press the closing buttons on the inside until the door is closed.
All signs and notifications at stations and in trains are shown in at least two languages (German and English).

By bike[edit]

Hamburg is an extremely bicycle-friendly city and during the warmer months, many of the cities residents will use bicycles as their normal form of transportation. Several hotels within Hamburg provide residents with access to hotel bicycles.

The city itself also offers bike rental services. This service is called StadtRad [16], and there are several kiosks located around the city. To use this service, customers must register On the Stadtrad website and create an account with a credit card or e-mail and telephone. Once the account has been created, you can go to any one of these terminals and use one of their bikes as long as you want. The first 30 minutes are free, the next time coast 8 Cent/min. and the maximum charge is € 12 per day. Note that one can even take two bicycles at the same time with just one account. Moreover, it is possible to take out a bicycle and return it after 29 minutes, only to rent another right away. By doing so, you could ride the whole day without paying anything, as the ’30 minutes free’ rule applies over and over.

Alternatively, Hamburg City Cycles [17] (working with the bicycle store next door) rents bicycles for €23 for 2 days and €7 for each additional day. Hourly rates are also available. The bicycles are large “cruiser” style bikes and the rental includes a lock, air pump, and toolkit if desired.

Parking[edit]

There are generally 2 options:

  • Parking in the city centre: most likely, you will have to pay for parking. However, the maximum fee is €12 for 24 hours. This is a viable option if you would like to walk around the central area and you/your friends will not use the public transport.
  • Parking in HVV P+R[18] (Park & Ride): HVV offers free parking lots outside of the city centre. The idea is that you leave your car there and use the public transport to get around. If you and/or your company merely would like to travel around the city centre on foot, the first option is cheaper and makes more sense.

See[edit][add listing]

City Centre[edit]

Around Mönckebergstraße[edit]

The area west of Hamburg’s central railway station is mainly a shopping area with the streets Spitaler Straße and Mönckebergstraße, leading to Hamburg’s town hall. Close to the Mönckebergstraße you find the churches St. Jacobi (at road Jakobikirchhof) and St. Petri (at road Bergstraße), two of Hamburg’s five main churches. Directly beside St. Petri there is the Hulbe-Haus, originally built as an arts and crafts house and dating from the beginning of the 20th century as most buildings around, but looking much older.

Behind the Hulbe-Haus, under the building of “Radio Hamburg”, you can visit the remains of the bishops tower, from the 11th century. On the other side of the road, you can currently see excavations in progress, seeking the remains of the small fortress Hammaburg, which was erected in the 9th century giving Hamburg its name.

Around city hall[edit]

The Mönckebergstraße ends at Hamburg’s impressive city hall (“Rathaus”). It was built in 1897 out of sandstone in Neo-Renaissance style, including a 112 m tower. Inside there are several magnificent halls used for representative purposes and sittings of government and parliament. These can be visited in guided tours (M-Th 10AM-3:15PM, F-Su 10AM-1:15PM, half-hourly in German, hourly in English and French. Closed during official events. Admission is €4 for adults, €3 for Hamburg Card holders and free for children under 14 years of age).

The building behind the city hall is Hamburg’s House of Commerce (“Börse”). Between the buildings, there is a little place called Rathaushof with its fountain Hygieia-Brunnen. The place in front of the city hall is the Rathausmarkt, hosting many events especially in summer.

Binnenalster on a sunny day

North of the Rathausmarkt, you find white arches at a canal called Alsterarkaden. The whole area behind is full of indoor shopping arcades. The most well-known one is the Hanse Viertel.

Following the canal to the right and crossing the traditional shopping road, Jungfernstieg, you quickly get to the artificial lake Binnenalster. Boat tours take you to the even bigger artificial lake, Außenalster, directly behind the Binnenalster with lots of sailing boats in summer.

Around St. Nikolai[edit]

From the House of Commerce into the road Börsenbrücke, you get to the house of the Patriotische Gesellschaft. Behind the building to the right, you’ll find the bridge Trostbrücke with the statues of Graf Adolf III and Bishop Ansgar on both sides. Following the water to left, there is Hamburg’s oldest remaining bridge, Zollenbrücke, from the 17th century.

At the other side of the Trostbrücke, there is the ruin of the church, St. Nikolai. All five main churches of Hamburg were damaged in World War II. But in contrast to the other four, St. Nikolai has not been re-erected making it a memorial against war. The steeple is still standing and visitors can take an elevator to the top for a view of the city. The price to take the elevator is €3.70. At the side of St. Nikolai, there is the hop market (“Hopfenmarkt”) with its fountain Vierländerinbrunnen.

Following the bridge over the huge street Willy-Brandt-Straße and keeping right takes you into the road “Alte Deichstraße” with its ensemble of traditional half timbered merchant houses and the canal Nicolai Fleet at the rear. This is the site where Hamburg’s harbour was some centuries ago.

HafenCity[edit]

At the southern end of the Alte Deichstraße, you see where the harbour moved afterwards. There is a canal called Zollkanal. Looking to the left, you see the Speicherstadt, a large district of warehouses from around 1900. Some are still in use, but others have been converted to apartments. It’s a ‘typical’ location and worth a visit. It houses museums (International Maritime Museum, Speicherstadtmuseum, Spice Museum, Automuseum Prototyp) and also attractions, such as the “Hamburg Dungeon” and the “Miniatur Wunderland”.

  • The Hamburg Dungeon [19] is a live-action presentation of the “darker times” of Hamburg. It is probably mostly suited for a younger, easily impressed audience. But it might not be suitable for young children. Tickets: 23 €.
  • The Miniatur Wunderland [20] is the world’s largest model railway layout. The panoramas include parts of Hamburg, the Alps, the American west, and a Scandinavian exhibit which features automated ships on a body of water. It also has an airport exhibit with automated planes which taxi and fly. Tickets Adults: 12 €, kids <16: 6 €.

Behind the warehouse district Speicherstadt a totally new quarter, the HafenCity [21], is being shaped and erected on unused industrial ground, nerved by channel, docks and basins. It is Europe’s largest project of city development, creating a whole new quarter from scratch in a former harbour region. Outstanding architecture of, among others, shipyard museum, concert hall – the Elbphilharmonie, new ‘architectural lighthouse’ of Hamburg by 2012. On the top of a huge old warehouse a 110 metres tall modern philharmonic hall with glass facade and wave-shaped roof is being built. [22] You can find information about the new buildings and whole district in the HafenCity Kesselhaus InfoCenter[23] (Sandtorkai 30, open Tu-Su 10AM-6PM they provide free guided tours), Elbphilharmonie Information Pavilion[24] (guided tours around 5 EUR, 3 EUR discounted) and look at the erecting process from an orange observation tower called HafenCity View Point, which allows nice views on the HafenCity, the harbour, and the river (free admission).

Also The Hamburg Cruise Centre[25][26], where cruise lines land in Hamburg, is in the HafenCity. Its terminal building is constructed out of 40 sea containers.

Looking from Alte Deichstraße over the Zollkanal to the right, you can see the modern buildings belonging to the Hanseatic Trade Centre ending to the right at the Kehrwiederspitze. Looking further right, you already see the modern harbour.

Harbour Area[edit]

Dock “Elbe 17″ in Hamburg harbour

Walking in this direction takes you to the river, Elbe. At the opposite of the metro station “Baumwall”, there’s Hamburg’s city and yacht harbour (“City und Sportboothafen”). The big red lighthouse ship (“Feuerschiff”) hosts a restaurant today. Some yards further down the Elbe, you get to the Überseebrücke where formerly big cruise liners docked when coming to Hamburg. Permanently docked is the museum ship Cap San Diego, which is said to be last classic cargo ship.

Leaving the water, passing by the hyper-modern building of the Gruner + Jahr publishers, you get to the church St. Michaelis (called “Michel”, from the tower you’ll have a great view over the city), Hamburg’s well-known landmark. Close to the Michel off the road Krayenkamp the shopkeeper-office-flats (“Krameramtswohnungen”) are the last example of a typical 17th century housing estate.

Continuing down the river Elbe, you get to Landungsbrücken (“landing bridges”), the most touristy part of Hamburg’s harbour, close to the metro station with the same name. Piers connected with several bridges swim on the water adapting to the tide. There tourism boats land and you will find tourist shops, restaurants, and snack bars. The sailing ship Rickmer Rickmers can be visited.

Hafenrundfahrt just started

From Landungsbrücken, you can make boat tours into the harbour. These Hafenrundfahrten are available from various companies and take around an hour. Big ships provide more comfort, but smaller ships also go through the Speicherstadt. Both are well worth the money. Inquire about English language tours.

As a low-budget alternative for a boat tour on the river Elbe take a HADAG Ferry that is part of Hamburg’s public transport system (HVV, see “Get around”). If you have already bought a HVV day ticket, the ride is free. Most tourists take the number 62 to Finkenwerder, via the museum harbour Oevelgönne. The whole ride to Finkenwerder and return takes about an hour. In Finkenwerder, you can continue with another ferry to Teufelsbrück (Line 64 which is also part of the HVV).

You can also walk through the tunnel Alter Elbtunnel from 1911 to the other side of the river Elbe and have great views from there. A lift or stairs bring you the 24 metres down into the tunnel. You then walk through one of its two 427 metre long pipes having 12 metres of water over your head. The tunnel is decorated with ceramic arts of maritime motifs (e.g. fish, mussels, seals, old boots). At the other side, you again walk up the stairs or take a lift. Go out and back to the river to “Aussichtspunkt Steinwerder” for great views on Landungsbrücken and the sights behind. Even cars can pass though the tunnel (only M-F, 5:30AM-8PM for €2) being brought down with four lifts. You find the tunnel at Landungsbrücken in the building having the biggest green dome. Signs to “Aussichtspunkt Steinwerder” also point to it. For pedestrians and bicycles it is free and open all day and night, every day.

Walking from Landungsbrücken down the river Elbe takes you to St. Pauli Fischmarkt, walking further you’ll reach Övelgönne and Blankenese.

Landmark of Hamburg: The Michel

Other Neighbourhoods[edit]

Sankt Pauli[edit]

Another Hamburg landmark is the Reeperbahn in Sankt Pauli. It’s probably one of the most famous red-light districts in the world. From vaudeville to prostitutes, from bars to sex-shops, you can find an assortment of attractions. Plus, it is frequently visited by a lot of travelers to go shopping for a huge variety of sex-related articles and toys. This is probably one of very few places worldwide where all shopkeepers give you serious and open advice on all kinds of sex-related articles. Commonsense and caution are advised here, as in any such area. It’s relatively safe and a definite touristy place to see. A lot of people go there for dinner, live music, theatre, musicals or other non-sex related activities. It is worth pointing out however, that one is likely to be accosted by prostitutes offering “certain services”.

Three times a year (Mar, Aug, and Nov), there is an enormous fair in this part of town called Dom [27]. It features rides, enormous numbers of food vendors, and a broad range of tacky animatronics. Take the U-Bahn to Feldstraße or Sankt Pauli. In a park across the street is an enormous statue of Bismark.

The “Hafenstraße” (Harbour street) is between Landungsbrücken, the most tourist crowded place in the city, and the fish market, which is open only on Sunday morning from 4:30AM-9:30AM. The street between was a place for squatters in the 1980s and was well known by the media when there were “battles” between the Autonomous movement and the police. Some houses still exist there, though the “80s-Myth” is dead. You can go to the Punksbar “onkel otto” or eat at the “vokü”.

During the time of squatting, the well known football club “F.C. St.Pauli” obtained an antifascist-fan-crowd, in opposition to right wing hooligans. The team plays in the 2nd Bundesliga, and is one of the most popular teams in Germany. The outstanding character of the area, its inhabitants and also the football club can best be pointed out by the person of the ex-club-president who is also the director of two non sex-related theatres on the Reeperbahn and a well-known figure in Hamburg’s and even Germany’s gay community. If you get the chance for a ticket of a match, don’t miss it.

Sankt Pauli is one of the most populous district in Europe and a melting pot of all different people, thousands of stories and interesting histories.

As of 18 July 2009, glass bottles are banned in the neighborhood from Friday night until Monday morning. Violating the ban can apparently result in a fine up to 5000 eur. Alcohol is still permitted on the street and vendors can still sell drinks in cans or plastic bottles.

Also in the Reeperbahn area are clubs where the Beatles played at various times from 1960-1962, including the Indra club and Star Club. At the corner of Reeperbahn and Grosse Freiheit, also called Beatles-platz, there is a sculpture honoring the Beatles.

Schanzenviertel[edit]

Schulterblatt Street in Schanzenviertel

This neighbourhood is situated right in between Sankt Pauli, Eimsbüttel, and Altona. Get out Sternschanze station and walk down Schanzenstraße southward to reach the vivid centre of Schanzenviertel. Students and immigrants from all around the world and young creatives give this quarter a unique and urban flair. During the last few years, Schanzenviertel became very popular among even wealthy people. This led to rising living costs on the one hand and a variety of exquisite boutiques on the other. The Schulterblatt street with the Rote Flora building and its galore of bars and restaurants represents the centre of Schanzenviertel. The Rote Flora used to be the last squatted house in Hamburg, it’s now left to the squatters for free by the owner. During the week, it is turned into a café, concerts of various styles or other events may also take place. On some days there is cheap (mostly vegan) food available. You can sometimes find fantastic parties for small prices on Friday and Saturday.

Sankt Georg[edit]

Situated northeast of Central Station and city centre, Sankt Georg is the lively, trendy centre of Hamburg’s gay scene. Rainbow flags flutter from the balconies in summer. The streets are crowded with people shopping, having a chat, drinking coffee, or going to one of the many art exhibitions around the Lange Reihe street.

Ottensen[edit]

Zeißstraße in Ottensen

The former Danish village Ottensen, bordered by the River Elbe in the south and the Altona Central Station in the east, is not unlike Schanzenviertel, a very hip place to live. In the 1970s and 1980s, Ottensen was mainly populated by Turks, working class people, and political activists. Nowadays, it is one of the most expensive neighborhoods. Its situation and the architecture let many inhabitants even today speak of Ottensen as a village. The Fabrik, an alternative concert hall, is situated at Barnerstrasse. Only a few blocks away lies Zeisehallen, a formerly occupied fabric hall, nowadays home to a movie theatre, a gallery, a restaurant, and a bookshop.
Ottenser Hauptstrasse and Bahrenfelder Strasse, crossing at the Spritzenplatz, offers a huge variety of small shops and bistros.

Karolinenviertel[edit]

The Karolienenviertel (also known as Karoviertel) can be compared to the Schanzenviertel. Locals claim that the Schanzenviertel became too popular (and thus crowded). The Karoviertel is far from quiet, but populated by locals. The main attractions are unique clothing stores some of which are second hand. To get there take the HVV to either Feldstrasse (Heiligengeistfeld) or Messehallen subway station.

Blankenese[edit]

Blankenese was a fishing village on the Elbe to the southwest of Hamburg. It lies in a valley between two of the only ridges in the area that runs straight down to the river. This upbeat suburb of Hamburg has more millionaires than any other German city. On pretty weekends, the place will be full of Hamburgers there to enjoy the tiny beaches, the winding streets, and the charming houses. Blankenese is among the most picturesque parts of Hamburg.

To get there, take the S1 to Wedel or the S11 to Blankenese. The train station lies at the top of the valley, on Bahnhofstraße. Go straight across Bahnhofstraße and your will find the banks, an Italian gelateria and café, the market square (markets open early and close at 1PM on W, F, and Sa), the bakeries, grocery store, and post office.

Bergedorf[edit]

Bergedorf once was an independet town, but now is a quarter of Hamburg. It is situated in the south-eastern side of Hamburg. Bergedorf borders with the quarters of Lohbrügge, Billwerder, Allermöhe, Curslack and Altengamme. Sometimes it is called the “garden of Hamburg”. This is because the Vier- und Marschlande are part of the quarter of Bergedorf, which consists mostly of farmland.

Touristic Attractions are the Bergedorf Castle, which is the only castle still intact within the borders of Hamburg, the shopping arcade, starting at Lohbrügges Alte Holstenstraße, continuing on Bergedorfs Sachsentor (lots of frame houses can be seen here) and ending on Mohnhof, where the “city center” of Bergedorf is located.
Another attraction is the observatory, which was build in 1912 and is still in use today. It is owned by the University of Hamburg.

In the past few years Bergedorf underwent a heavy reconstruction, with a new main bus terminal and a new commercial center.

To get there, take the S2 or S21 to Bergedorf/Aumühle. Another possibility is to take the Regional Train R20, which also stops in Bergedorf and can be used with a regular HVV ticket. The train station lies on the border of Lohbrügge and Bergedorf. Exit the station to the left hand side (facing the direction the train travelled coming from Hauptbahnhof) and you will end up in Lohbrügge. Right hand side is Bergedorf with the newly build commercial center.

Other Sites[edit]

Chilehaus

  • U 434 — One of the biggest non-nuclear Soviet submarines.
  • Church St. Katharinen — One of the five main churches of Hamburg.
  • The Chilehaus, depicting the form of a ship, is probably the best example of the 1920s style of “Kontorhaus” architecture. Large office buildings are displayed in the typical, northern red brick style.

Parks[edit]

Elephant feeding in the Hagenbeck Zoo

  • Planten un Blomen is a park in the city with an emphasis on flower displays. Subway station Dammtor.
  • Alter Botanischer Garten with Tropenhaus (Schaugewächshäuser) in the Area of Planten un Blomen. Admission free.
  • Neuer Botanischer Garten in Klein Flottbek. Admission free.
  • Alstervorland, at the Außenalster.
  • The Stadtpark (city park) — Has a pretty good Planetarium situated in an old water tower in the middle of the park.
  • Ohlsdorfer Friedhof — One of the world’s biggest graveyards.
  • Jenischpark, Baurs Park, and Garten der Alma l’Aigles, down the river Elbe close to Teufelsbrück.
  • Hagenbecks Tierpark — Hamburg’s Zoo.

Beaches[edit]

There are a number of small beaches on the North side of the Elbe river between Övelgönne and Blankenese. Even though not common, it is safe to swim in the Elbe there (if you don’t swim out too far). You may have a barbecue there in the evenings, as long as you bring a grill and clean up after yourself. Watch out for surprisingly large waves created by large ships passing by and stay clear at least 50m of any structure in or reaching into the water! See Stay Safe below!

In addition, there are a usually number of commercial beach clubs during the summer, usually between Fischmarkt and Övelgönne. Other than the name might indicate, these are bars open to the public.

The best way to come to the most popular beach is to take the harbour-ferry bus from the Landungsbrücken station to Neumühlen/Övelgönne.

Museums[edit]

Hamburg publishes a thick, detailed booklet of local museums called “Museumswelt Hamburg”. You can find the Museumswelt Hamburg at the information desk at any of the museums.

Night of Museums[28] in April is big in Hamburg. Over fifty places take part and are open till 2AM. Entrance to museums is not free, but the cost is symbolic, ticket everywhere (plus public transportation) costs 12 € (discounted 8 €).

  • Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (Museum of Arts and Crafts), Steintorplatz, just to the southeast of Hauptbahnhof, Tel: 489 133-200, Fax: 426 136-29 32, Open Tu-Su 11AM-6PM, Th 11AM-9PM, Admission: € 10, reduced: € 7, children unter 18 years free, family: 17 €.
    The museum is a leading centre for art, applied art, and design. Its collections of work from Europe and the Middle and the Far East are of the finest-quality and span all epochs from the Ancient World to the present day. They also have many activities and concerts (see the Classical Music section). The museum is housed in an 18th century palace, which has the original roofs and ceilings.

Kunsthalle, baroque building

  • Kunsthalle (art museum), Glockengießerwall, north of Hauptbahnhof, Tel: 428 131-200, Fax: 428 54-3409 [29]. Open Tu-Su 10AM-6PM, Th 10AM-9PM. Adults 12 €, Concessions 6 €, Family Day Ticket 18 €, under 18 free admission.
    The museum houses an important collection of paintings from the 19th century with works from Max Liebermann, Lovis Corinth, Philipp Otto Runge, Caspar David Friedrich, Adolf Menzel, and modern arts. It rises on both sides of a paved court. The Baroque building on one side has the older works. The areas under the courtyard and the other, modern looking building house an extensive collection of very modern art. There are some extremely fine pieces, but the quality is uneven and the curacy curious at times. For instance, in a far back corner with minimal climate control and no observation are four or five gorgeous French Impressionist paintings which are among the finest in the museum.
  • Deichtorhallen[30] — The Deichtorhallen is one of the best known exhibition galleries worldwide. The historical buildings are divided into an exhibition hall for contemporary art and the “House of Photography”. Together the two buildings organize a highly diverse program of changing exhibitions.
  • Hamburg Museum[31] (former: Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte), Holstenwall, close to Underground station “St. Pauli”. This is the museum of city history, bringing the past to life with a lot of models showing the development of the harbour and the city. The club “MEHEV” is showing a 40-year old and one of the largest scale model railroads here.
  • BallinStadt Auswanderwelt Hamburg (BallinStadt History of Emigration), Veddeler Bogen 2, +49/ (0)40/ 3197916-0 (, fax: +49/ (0)40/ 3197916-20), [32]. Originally built in 1892 under the guidance of Albert Ballin, the complex was built to provide medical care and accommodation to migrants, who were emigrating to the United States on HAPAG ships. The complex was converted into a museum, though its original design and layout is not the same because parts of the complex were destroyed. The museum is dedicated to the five million persons who emigrated via Hamburg. It has a computer terminal where visitors can look up information on their emigrant ancestors. At €12, it’s pricey, and the English translations can be sparse and superficial. Unless they can read the German documents, American visitors who have been to museums such as Ellis Island will find much of the content familiar.  edit
  • International Maritime Museum – Privately owned museum in HafenCity district houses a collection of thousands model ships, construction plans, uniforms and photographs on ten floors in the oldest preserved warehouse in Hamburg (from 1879). Opening Hours: Tue – Sun 10.00 – 18.00 h, Normal ticket € 12.50, family € 24.50, Audio-Guide € 3,50, Koreastraße 1, Tel. +49 (0)40 300 92 30–0.
  • Speicherstadtmuseum (Dockland Museum), branch of Museum of Labour located in docklands warehouse. History of the district and tea and coffee trade. Entrance: 3.60 €, discounts apply. Am Sandtorkai 36, Tel. 040 / 32 11 91
  • Automuseum Prototyp[33] HafenCity, Shanghaiallee 7. Museum of car prototypes, nice shop inside. Open 10AM – 6PM, Mondays closed. Tickets 9 EUR, kids <14 4,50 EUR.
  • Museumshafen Oevelgönne[34] — historical boats (admission free).
  • MS Cap San Diego[35] museum cargo ship moored at the port of Hamburg. Hosts temporary exhibitions. Accommodation in cabins is possible.

museum sailing ship Rickmer-Rickmers

  • Rickmer Rickmers[36] museum sailing ship (three masted bark) from 1896 moored at the port of Hamburg.
  • Altonaer Museum[37] — Dedicated to Altona’s, Hamburg’s and northern Germany’s cultural history.
  • Museum für Völkerkunde, Museum of Ethnology[38] Rothenbaumchaussee 64.
  • Deutsches Zollmuseum — (admission €2).
  • Bucerius Kunst Forum[39], Rathausmarkt 2.
  • Spicey’s Gewürzmuseum[40], (Spice Museum) located in the Speicherstadt. They claim to be the world’s only spice museum.

Houses of worship[edit]

Hamburg is traditionally a Lutheran evangelic town. But due to the large number of different ethnic groups who settled in the harbour town, one is most certainly going to find a suitable temple of any religion. Almost all synagogues have been destroyed during the time of Nazi-government.

  • Synagoge Hamburg, situated in the traditionally Jewish Grindel neighbourhood.
  • Christianskirche, Baroque church in Ottensen.
  • Dreieinigkeitskirche St. Georg, Post-war church with Baroque steeple in Sankt Georg.
  • St.-Marien-Dom St. Georg — Since 1995, this neo-romanesque church is the cathedral of the youngest Roman Catholic archbishop of Germany. Though the church has not the splendor one might expect, next to it you may find the first statue world wide of the late pope, John-Paul II.
  • Flussschifferkirche, Germany’s only floating church next to the Speicherstadt [41].
  • Imam-Ali-Mosque — Biggest of all mosques in Hamburg. Centre of the religious and cultural life of the huge Iranian community. The Imams of Hamburg happen to have played important roles in Iran’s religious and political everyday life since their installation in the 1950s.
  • International Baptist Church (IBC-Hamburg) — Biggest English-speaking church in Hamburg. Meets 12:30-2pm on Sundays. Large Young Adult Group that meets Tuesdays as well.
  • St. Thomas Becket Anglican Church — First non-Lutheran parish permitted in Hamburg after reformation. The classical building from 1831 is close to St. Michaeliskirche.

Do[edit][add listing]

Boat trips[edit]

The best way to explore Hamburg’s extensive waterways (Hamburg has more bridges than Amsterdam, Venice and London combined) is on a ferry or pleasure boat. A variety of boat tours lasting from 50 minutes to 3 hours depart regularly from the Jungfernstieg on the Inner Alster lake. The exact offer varies depending on the season, so do check in advance or at the landing stage to see what’s available. The simplest and shortest tour is the Alsterrundfahrt or Alster tour that lasts 50 minutes and takes in the Inner and Outer Alster lakes (adults: €15). The small cruise boats are often hired for weddings. One is an old steamer. Contact Alster Touristik on 35 74 24-0 or check out the website at www.alstertouristik.de .

Theatre, Opera and Musicals[edit]

Hamburg is home to the Hamburg State Opera House (Staatsoper Hamburg [42]), one of the leading opera houses in Germany. It holds great historical significance, as in 1678 the first public opera house in Germany was built in Hamburg at Gänsemarkt Square, which is where the opera house is still located today. The In 2011 the Staatsoper celebrated 333 years of opera at Gänsemarkt.
Hamburg also has many theaters, and is known to host a number of different musicals, as well as other music events.

Classical Music[edit]

The Laeiszhalle [43] is the main classical music hall in Hamburg, with two halls: the klein Saal and großer Saal. You can see the schedule on their website. For online ticket purchases, use Ticket Online [44].

The Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg has many smaller concerts — something almost every day — and is much cheaper than the Laeiszhalle. The programs range from the curator of their early keyboard instrument collection playing them and giving a spiel on the music and the instruments (in German only!) to formal concerts of renditions of Schubert’s Die Winterreise. Pick up a schedule at the desk of the museum (down the street from Hamburg Hauptbanhof).

Theatres[edit]

  • Deutsches Schauspielhaus — The biggest German speech theatre looks back on a famous tradition. Gustav Gründgens, Ivan Nagel, and Peter Zadek staged highlights in German theatre history here.
  • Ernst-Deutsch-Theater — The Ernst-Deutsch-Theater has been an established part of the Hamburg theatre scene since 1951. Today, it is the largest privately operated playhouse in Germany.
  • Thalia-Theater — New directors and the continuing cooperation with young important writers based on the confidence in a strong and vital company lead to international acknowledgment.
  • The English Theatre of Hamburg [45] — The English Theatre of Hamburg performs from September through June, giving eight performances per week.
  • Schmidt-Theater — Theatre, variety, cabaret, concerts, and satirical revues.
  • Schmidts Tivoli — Avant garde shows and high-class musicals. The world famous musical “Cabaret” and the successful musical compendium “Fifty Fifty” were staged here.
  • The Rover Rep Theatre, at the Irish Rover, Großneumarkt 8, Tel. (040) 317 31 41,[46]. English language pub theatre under the Irish Rover at the Großneumarkt. High class professional productions in a special atmosphere.
  • The Hamburg Players, (040) 713 13 99, [47]. Hamburgs oldest English language theatre group giving three shows a year at the Theater in der Marschnerstraße.

Musicals[edit]

  • Tarzan produced by Disney with music from Phil Collins.
  • Rocky by Stage Entertainment, Sylvester Stallone and the Klitschko brothers (from November 2012).
  • Lion King produced by Disney.

Note that all musicals are in German language, regardless of their origin. If you’re still interested, make sure to buy tickets early, many shows are sold-out. But, midweek there is a good chance that you will be able to buy last minute tickets at a highly discounted price of €40 regardless of price category, age, or occupation.

Sports[edit]

  • The Imtech-Arena (formerly The HSH-Nordbank-Arena, and AOL-Arena, commonly known as Volksparkstadion) is the stadium of the local Bundesliga football/soccer club HSV. Newly constructed and reopened in 2000, it is arguably the prettiest stadium in Germany with a great atmosphere. In addition to guided tours, it also features a museum presenting the history of the club. See also the HSV website [48].
  • The Millerntor-Stadion is the home of the famous Bundesliga football/soccer club FC St. Pauli [49]. It lacks the modernity and prettiness of the Volksparkstadion, yet its atmosphere during games is unique and well worth a visit. The Millerntor-Stadion is located at the east end of the Reeperbahn. Nearest station is St. Pauli on the underground line U3.
  • Hamburg Blue Devils — Fourfold German American Football Champion (German Football League).
  • Hamburg Stealers HSV-aligned baseball club, with field located near Hamburg Airport.
  • HSV Handball is the local handball team, playing their matches at the modern o2 World Hamburg (formerly Colorline-Arena), right next to the Volksparkstadion.
  • Hamburg Freezers share the Colorline-Arena with HSV Handball. The premier-league ice hockey team features many international top class players.
  • The German Open in Men’s Tennis are held at the Rothenbaum in Hamburg. The tournament is one of nine ATP Masters Series tournaments.
  • Deutsche Bank Players’ Championship, at the Gut Kaden Golf and Land Club. Golf tournament of world class, prize money €600,000.
  • Vattenfall Cyclassics — World Cup and public bike race.
  • Holsten City Man — The only German Triathlon World Cup.
  • Conergy Marathon Hamburg — Usually in spring, open to the public.

Events[edit]

Fish Market.

  • Fischmarkt (Fish Market) — Every Sunday morning vendors praise wares of virtually every type at Hamburg’s oldest open-air market, dating back to 1703. The market takes place at the foot of the century-old Fish Auction Hall, where live-bands perform jazz, skiffle, country, or western music. Open every Sunday from 5AM-9:30AM, in winter from 7AM-9:30AM.
  • Hafengeburtstag (Harbour Birthday) — Every year in May the harbour birthday attracts millions of people. Dozens of stands and stages, a ship parade, and changing events are organized to celebrate the cities spring of wealth. The harbour filled 800 years in 1989. Since then, the Harbour Birthday grew the greatest harbour party in the world. It is generally in early May.
  • Kirschblütenfest (Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival) — On May 19th, the Japanese community of Hamburg celebrates the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival by the Lake Alster. Enormous fireworks and a peaceful atmosphere are characteristics of this event.
  • Hamburger Dom (Fair) — The Dom is one of the largest fairs in Germany. The streets of the fairground, lined on both sides with stalls and rides, are some 3.3 km long. It takes place in spring, summer, and early winter for the duration of one month each. See the Dom’s website [50].
  • Street Parties — Watch out for neighbourhood and street parties during summertime. Some of the biggest are:
    • Altonale, in Ottensen.
    • Bergedorfer Stadtfest, in Bergedorf.
    • Osterstraßenfest, in Eimsbüttel.
    • Schanzenfest, in Schanzenviertel is self-organized and full of peace and happiness until it ends around 10PM in fighting between a crowd and the police.
    • Stuttgarter Weindorf — Vintners from southern Germany present their products at the Rathausmarkt (town hall square).
  • Street Parades

    • Schlagermove Parade, a parody on the Berlin Loveparade with schlager instead of techno music. [51]
    • Hamburg Pride, the Gay Pride Parade usually takes place in August and moves from the Central Station through the shopping streets to end at the Jungfernstieg with the set up party tents. [52]
    • Carnival of Cultures, a colouful and interesting parade showing off worldwide cultures. [53]

Spas[edit]

  • Club Olympus Spa & Fitness, Park Hyatt Hamburg Hotel, Bugenhagenstrasse 8, +49 40 3332 1234 (), [54].  edit

Learn[edit]

There are 11 universities in Hamburg, the biggest of which is the University of Hamburg [55].

Many courses and programmes are held in English.

Hamburg is home to schools from countries such as Japan, Sweden, France, Britain and more, where the pupils are taught in their native language. The International School Hamburg [56] opened in 1957 as the first of its kind in Germany.

Work[edit]

The harbour is the fastest growing job sector in Hamburg. Numerous minor and major companies work in that area. You should be able to speak German because due to the high unemployment rate in Germany’s jobseekers are attracted by the relative lower unemployment rate in Hamburg. This results in high numbers of applications. Hospitality and media are the two main other industries.

Note that living costs in Hamburg may be significantly higher than in other big cities in Germany depending on your demands. Due to heavy destruction during World War II, especially apartments, older victorian style homes built at the beginning of the 20th century are rare but highly demanded. Be prepared to compete for apartments in attractive areas in town with well-paid media professionals, freelancers and spoiled kids with unlimited resources in their parents’ bank account. Inner city areas have become quite popular among doctors, lawyers and architects as well in the last years.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Full shopping tour starts at central station, down to town hall, then Poststrasse towards Gaensemarkt square and back on Jungfernstieg at the Alter lake side.

The main shopping area of Hamburg is the Mönckebergstraße in the centre of the city. Take the subway to either central station, Rathaus (town hall), or Mönckebergstraße. Also check the side-street Spitalerstraße.
West of town hall towards Gaensemarkt are the more pricey shops like Hugo Boss.

Shops are mostly open daily 10AM—8PM and on Thursday and Friday until 10PM.

  • The latest must-see is the newly built shopping complex Europa Passage, near the town hall at the Alster lake.

    Europa Passage

  • A good and not-overpriced souvenir shop is directly located on the town hall square under the glass roofage. Typical souvenirs are statues of the Michel Church or the town hall, the water-carrying dogsbody Hummel hummel Mors mors, blue road signs like Reeperbahn, and a post card of the red light district.

The Schanzenviertel is also getting more popular nowadays for unique designer boutiques. Younger people especially enjoy being here. Subway “Sternschanze”/”Feldstraße”.

Hamburg has quite many shops which claim “Second Hand”, but are more of an outlet. It’s still worth a visit though.

  • Best assorted true vintage and deadstock clothing of the past 15 to 90 years you will be able to find at Hot Dogs Marktstrasse 38 ,U-bahn Feldstrasse/ U-bahn Messehallen
  • New and second hand Kleidermarkt Max-Brauer-Allee 174, S-bahn Holstenstraße.
  • Vintage and Rags, Kurze Mühren 6, U-bahn: Mönckebergstraße.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Cuisine[edit]

Original Hamburg dishes are Birnen, Bohnen und Speck (Low Saxon Birn, Bohn un Speck, green runner beans cooked with pears and bacon), Aalsuppe (Low Saxon Oolsupp, often mistaken to be German for “eel soup“ (Aal/Ool translated ‘eel’), however the name probably comes from the Low Saxon allns [ʔaˑlns], meaning “all”, “everything and the kitchen sink”, not necessarily eel. Today eel is often included to meet the expectations of unsuspecting diners.), Bratkartoffeln (Low Saxon Brootkartüffeln, pan-fried potato slices), Finkenwerder Scholle (Low Saxon Finkwarder Scholl, pan-fried plaice), Pannfisch (pan-fried fish), Rote Grütze (Low Saxon Rode Grütt, related to Danish rødgrød, a type of summer pudding made mostly from berries and usually served with cream, like Danish rødgrød med fløde) and Labskaus (a mixture of corned beef, mashed potatoes and beetroot, a cousin of the Norwegian lapskaus and Liverpool‘s Scouse (food), all offshoots off an old-time one-pot meal that used to be the main component of the common sailor’s humdrum diet on the high seas).

Alsterwasser in Hamburg (a reference to the city’s river Alster with two lake-like bodies in the city centre thanks to damming), a type of, a concoction of equal parts of beer and carbonated lemonade (Zitronenlimonade), the lemonade being added to the beer.

Hamburg is also home to a curious regional dessert pastry called Franzbrötchen. Looking rather like a flattened croissant, the Franzbrötchen is somewhat similar in preparation but includes a cinnamon and sugar filling, often with raisins or brown sugar. The name may also reflect to the roll’s croissant-like appearance – franz appears to be a shortening of französisch, meaning “French”, which would make a Franzbrötchen a “French roll.” Being a Hamburg regional food, the Franzbrötchen becomes quite scarce outside the borders of the city; as near as Lunenburg (Lüneburg) it can only be found as a Hamburger and is not available in Bremen at all.

Ordinary bread rolls tend to be oval-shaped and of the French bread variety. The local name is Rundstück (“round piece” rather than mainstream German Brötchen, diminutive form of Brot “bread”), a relative of Denmark’s rundstykke. In fact, while by no means identical, the cuisines of Hamburg and Denmark, especially of Copenhagen have a lot in common. This also includes a predilection for open-faced sandwiches of all sorts, especially topped with cold-smoked or pickled fish. The American hamburger seems to have developed from Hamburg’s Frikadelle: a pan-fried patty (usually larger and thicker than the American counterpart) made from a mixture of ground beef, soaked stale bread, egg, chopped onion, salt and pepper, usually served with potatoes and vegetables like any other piece of meat, not usually on a bun. Many Hamburgers consider their Frikadelle and the American hamburger different, virtually unrelated. The Oxford Dictionary defined a Hamburger steak in 1802: a sometimes-smoked and -salted piece of meat, that, according to some sources, came from Hamburg to America.

Budget[edit]

  • Joker, Reeperbahn 153. Excellent food at very low prices. Great for a quick bite before going out in the area. Try the Oriental Chicken!
  • Geelhaus, Koppel 76 (St. Georg), [57]. Daily 6PM-11PM, some meals until midnight. Menu changes frequently, fresh food, creativity.
  • Lühmanns Teestube, Blankeneser Landstraße 29, (take the S-Bahn to Blankenese, and walk west on Blankeneser Landstraße from the station), phone 040 / [58] M-F 9AM-11PM, Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 10AM-11PM. Friendly local café. Light fare and local specialties, wonderful pies, and baked goods. Their Cornish tea with fresh scones is worth trying. €5-15.
  • Murphy’s Roadhouse, Saseler Markt 1 (S-Bahn station Poppenbüttel, then take the Bus to Saseler Markt). M-Th Noon-1AM, F Sa Noon-2AM, Su 10AM-midnight. Serves a variety of American type food. Good quality and portions at decent prices. Located in the northern suburbs, so it’s a bit of a trip unless you are in the area. Typical meal should run about €10-17.
  • Teufels Küche, Ottenser Hauptstraße 4, M-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su Noon-10PM. Serves International “freestyle” food.
  • Ristorante Borsalino, Sternstraße 125, Schanzenviertel, [59], just three minutes from train station Sternschanze in the trendy neighbourhood of Schanzenviertel. This little Italian gem serves great and very affordable Italian food at even better prices. Pizzas start from €6, fresh pasta is around €7-10 (Pasta Mista is highly recommended), the meat dishes are delicious (it is right next to the “Schlachthof”-Slaughterhouse) and the four course menu is unbeatable at €19.50. From noon-3PM they serve a lunch menu for €6,50. Opening hours M-F noon-3PM and 6PM-midnight, Sa 6PM-midnight, Sundays closed. Reservations recommended.
  • In central station, you can get all kinds of snacks, including the fast food chains. But also fresh fish — Hamburg or Sushi style.

Vegetarian/vegan food.

Every day, you can get vegetarian food for donation (€1.50) in different places check out on this site:
[60].

In the Hauptbahnhof (Central Station), there are a lot of snack bars to have a quick meal.
While there are probably not many vegetarian snack bars, there is a fairly decent selection of veggie food to be found, such as croissants with brie cheese and meat-free pizza slices.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Restaurant Kalliopea, Neue Wöhr 14 (close to S1 station Neue Wöhr), ”+49 40” 6310596 (, fax: ”+49 40” 18055240), [61]. Traditional greece food mains ca €15.  edit
  • Parlament, Rathausmarkt 1 (in the basement of the city hall), ”+49 40” 70383399 (, fax: ”+49 40” 70383398), [62]. Traditional local food in the amazing basement of the Rathaus mains ca €20.  edit
  • La Mirabelle, Bundesstraße 15. French cuisine, fresh four or five course meal, changing daily, including wine at approximately €55.  edit
  • Restaurant Cox, Greifswalder Str. 43 (St. Georg), ”+49 40” 249422, [63]. Trendy restaurant with consistently good international cuisine, often local German dishes. It has a very good value lunch deal (two course menu for €11), close to the Central Station. Dinner including wine is approximately €30-40..  edit
  • Vasco da Gama, Lange Reihe 67 (close to the central station), ”+49 40” 2803305‎. 11.30AM to 11PM. Good portugese and German food lunch €10, dinner €20.  edit
  • Nido, Cremon 35-36 (close to the central station), ”+49 40”51310317, [64]. 11.30AM to 11:00PM. Famous for their great Schnitzel. This place was found by this text author via Tripadvisors guide to the best Schnitzel in Hamburg. The large Schnitzet is ridiculously large. dinner €20.  edit
  • Vapiano, (Three locations within Hamburg,), [65]. Sensational Italian food, in a trendy, friendly atmosphere. By the entrance you will get a “credit card”, you show when you order food in the different kitchens. You pay when you leave. Fill your boots for around €20.  edit
  • Delta Bistro, Lagerstrasse 11 (Located on an intermediate floor within the wholesale storehouse of a large restaurant supplier), [66]. this restaurant provides a surprisingly cozy atmosphere. It is a must visit for all lovers of high quality meat and fish, but the menu offers some vegetarian dishes, too. For beef and fish, it is probably the best value for money you can find in Hamburg. Dishes are huge and the preparation quality comes close to star-awarded locations. It is advisable to reserve a table in advance, especially on Fridays and Saturdays in the autumn and winter months. Main dishes are from €12 to 20..  edit
  • Elbfisch Restaurant, Bahrenfelder Straße 88 (In the Altona neighbourhood, an easy walk from Hamburg-Altona train station), (040)39 909 277, [67]. Tue-Sat: 12:00-23:00 Sun:17:00-23:00. This restaurant is a must see for local seafood specialties. It is nestled in an architecturally beautiful and very characteristic hall in Altona. The decor is cozy, low lit and very comfortable. The entrance is through a sea food shop where all ingredients are laid out and the open kitchen is visible. Incredibly friendly(and English-speaking)staff will recommend the daily specials and freshest catches. Not to be missed for an authentic and delicious Hamburg seafood experience. Main dishes are from €14 to 20. A dinner for two with starters and wine will land under €50..  edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Fischereihafen-Restaurant, Große Elbstraße 143, 22767 Hamburg, phone +49 40 381816.[68]. Excellent view of parts of the port and the river Elbe. Many celebs have dined here, including English royals.

Cafe[edit]

  • Cafe Gnosa, Lange Reihe 93, St. Georg-area. Coffeehouse with wide range of delicious self-made cakes and pastries, also good for breakfast. Gay-owned. Customers mixed by straight and gay people of any age. May not be easy to catch a table during rush-hours. Highly recommended for sugar- and caffeine-addicts.
  • Cafe Klatsch, Glashüttenstraße 17, 20357 Hamburg. A small cafe serving delicious breakfast and other tidbits in a very cozy environment with friendly staff.

If you want to relax and drink a coffee in some coffee Bars go to:

  • MarYSol (“Ottenser Hauptstraße”), Café Schmidt , König (both Bahrenfelder Straße) or some other Cafés in the Ottensen area.
  • Piazza, in the “Schulterblatt” (Schanze). You will find a high number of bars and cafés here, many of portuguese or spanish background.
  • Lange Reihe Many Bars, Cafes and Restaurants all along the street. Although the Lange Reihe is the heart of the gay community, most places are jointly visited by straight and gay people of any age. All places are gay-friendly, many are gay-owned or gay-run, but not all of them. Especially restaurants of ethnic background are mostly not gay-owned.

Döner[edit]

  • Batman Döner, Steinstraße, St. Georg.
  • Köz Urfa, Paul-Nevermann-Platz 2-4 (just outside of the Altona train station.), +49-40-30035826, [69]. 8am-3am. good and cheap food.  edit
  • Pamukkale Grill and Restaurant, Susannenstraße 34-35, 20357 Hamburg; Opposite Lokma. One of the oldest Doener stores in Hamburg. Operates a takeaway bistro and a restaurant.
  • Lokma, Susannenstr. 16, 20357 Hamburg. One of the best places to treat yourself with a nice Doener. It is not without reason that a lot of Turkish people love this place. Take the S11 subway and get out at Sternschanze. From there Lokma can be found within a seven minute walking distance.

Falafel[edit]

  • Falafel factory, next to S-Sternschanze, price €2.60-3.10.
  • Azeitona, Beckstraße (Schanze), price €2.50, you can get there also other great oriental food and smoke a shisha.
  • Aladin, on the other side of the “Fabrik” in the Bahrenfelderstraße (Ottensen/Altona).

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Christiansen’s Fine Drinks & Cocktails, Pinnasberg 60, 20359 Hamburg, phone +49 40 3172863, fax +49 40 3172863, bar@christiansens.de, [70]. Award winning bar (Playboy Bar of the Year 1998, Best Bartender 2000, Marcellinos Top 10, etc.), open M-Sa at 8PM.
  • Down Under, Grindellallee 1, 20146 Hamburg, phone +49 40 457017, [71]. Australian-themed bar with lots of cocktails (€5-10), burgers (chicken burger €6, beef burger €8, ostrich burger €9.50), chicken wings (also all you can eat on Tuesdays).
  • ZaZa-Bar, Mühlenkamp 10, Hamburg-Winterhude, phone +40 40 27880135, [72]. Small Bar in the trendy Winterhude neighbourhood that serves consistently good drinks and has an interesting crowd of customers: some shoppers that celebrate their latest fashions, office workers that cool down, night owls that warm up, and quite few people who live in the area and just drop in for a drink. Has chairs outside. Happy Hour from 5PM-9PM and all night on Mondays.
  • Brauhaus Joh. Albrecht, Adolphsbrücke 7 (at the Alster canal), ”+49 40” 367740, [73]. Cosy brewpub with good beers and food beers €4.  edit

Sternchanze

  • For barhopping and pre-night-club warm-up the neighbourghood Sternschanze is the ideal place, with its endless amount of good bars. It is easy to get to and close to St. Pauli, where most of the night clubs are located.
  • BP1 A tiny bar that houses many different DJs. The atmosphere is very friendly and good music is played. It’s opposite the house that is occupied by various leftist fractions. (The yellow building with all the graffiti, named ‘rote Flora’, see above)

Live-Music (Rock)[edit]

  • The Academy, Hans-Albers-Platz (right off the Reeperbahn). People in wheelchairs not always welcome.
  • Molly Malone, Hans-Albers-Platz (right off the Reeperbahn).
  • Lehmitz, Reeperbahn. free entry
  • The New Thomas Read, Reeperbahn opposite from Hans-Albers-Platz.
  • Molotow/Meanie bar, Spielbudenplatz 5 (Reeperbahn). A retro Bar and a great little venue in the cellar hosting alternative live acts.
  • Knust, Feldstrasse, concert location and club
  • Headcrash, Hamburger Berg 13, concert location and club (free entry).
  • Logo, Grindelallee, concert location

GLBT[edit]

  • G-Bar [74], Lange Reihe 81. The New Generation. Open 6PM-2AM.
  • Cafe Gnosa [75], Lange Reihe 93, phone +49 40 243034. Open 10AM-1AM, Fridays and Saturdays until 2AM, famous for its cake buffet, also a great place to have breakfast or lunch.
  • kir [76] Barnerstr. 16, Altona. Gay party called “Love Pop” on Wednesdays and every 2nd Friday in the month from 11PM;
  • Information on parties and other news from the gay scene of Hamburg [77]

Party[edit]

  • On Fridays and Saturdays there is huge number of parties. You have to go to the Reeperbahn, but it will cost a lot and often the parties there are not more than “normal”. There are different subcultures and good underground parties you should look for. In the summertime, you can get a free open-air goa. Lots of electronic stuff, like Drum’N’Bass. Look for a “Drumbule” soundsystem party. Hamburg used to have a great Hip-Hop culture, but it is declining.
  • If you are interested in electro parties here are some good clubs to go to:
  • The “Waagenbau” and the “Fundbureau” are both 2 smaller clubs in Altona, close to the Max-Brauer-Allee. Admission is normaly between 5-10 Euros, depending on the night. Check [78] and [79] for more information. Parties usually don’t start before 11-12 p.m.
  • The “Uebel und Gefaehrlich” is in a former bunker from WWII and can be found near St. Pauli in Feldstrasse. Easy to reach with the metro U3. Music used to be more hard house and electro but is changing nowadays from day to day. Check the schedule on uebelundgefaehrlich.de [80]
  • For upscale clubbing check out the club “Moondoo”, located right in the middle of the Reeperbahn. The door policy is strict, but the DJs are usually excellent (especially Saturdays). check out upcoming parties on moondoo.de [81].
  • Directly located in St. Pauli is the club “Baalsaal” which is usually playing (Deep)House and Techno. It is next to the Spielbudenplatz. Check baalsaal.com [82] for more information.
  • If you are more into Trance, Techno and Schranz the “Tunnel” might be a good location. Located in the old Elbtunnel. Check tunnel.de[83] Opens Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. Admission is around 10 Euro.
  • Most parties don’t end until the early hours on weekends. Some of the clubs are having an open end, depending on the party.
  • Sometimes it is helpful to check out the monthly magazine “Prinz” which is available online.

Open Air[edit]

  • There are some OpenAir Festivals located around Hamburg. One which might be especially interesting for you if you like rock music is the Wutzrock Festival. It is free of charge and near to the city, so you might check it out if youhappen to visit Hamburg in laute August. It takes place at the “Eichbaumsee” next to the Trainstation “Mittlerer Landweg” (via S-Bahn 21 to Aumuehle/Bergedorf) usually the last weekend of August. Visit their page for more Information and pictures.[84]
  • Around Hamburg are also a lot of other annual Festivals, (which will cost some money) like Wacken Open Air[85].

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

On the floor[edit]

There is a Church mission on the West side of the main train station, mainly for homeless people and people with problems. But it’s very clean, people are friendly, and if one is humble and polite, there is a good chance you can enter to chat (even in English) and sleep there on the floor in your sleeping bag. The night shift opens the place at midnight and everyone has to leave before seven in the morning.

Nevertheless, as a traveller, you should contribute some money to run the volunteer’s service or at the very least offer some help. Remember: This is not a place for the unprepared traveller and definitely not a hotel!

Youth Hostels[edit]

  • Jugendherberge Hamburg – Auf dem Stintfang, [86], Alfred-Wegener-Weg 5, phone +49 40 313488, fax +49 40 315407, jh-stintfang@t-online.de. Priceless river/harbour view and in walking distance to the Reeperbahn.
  • Jugendherberge Hamburg – Horner Rennbahn, [87], Rennbahnstraße 100, phone +49 40 6511671, fax +49 40 6556516, hamburg-horn@jugendherberge.de
  • Schanzenstern, [88], Bartelsstraße 12, phone +49 40/4398441. In the middle of the trendy quarter of Schanzenviertel, 50 beds.
  • Meininger Hotel, Goetheallee 11 (S-Bahn: Hamburg Altona), tel. +49 40 414 314 008 (fax: +49 30 666 36 222, welcome@meininger-hotels.com). Double rooms start at €45 per person, dormitory starts at €18. Distances: 0,5 km Bahnhof Altona.
  • AO Hostel,[89], Amsinckstr. 6-10, phone +49 40 6442104. Near the main train station.
  • Schanzenstern Altona, [90], Kleine Rainstraße 24-26, phone +49 40/39919191, fax +49 40/39919192, info@schanzenstern-altona.de, 70 beds.
  • Instant Sleep Backpacker Hostel, [91], Max-Brauer-Allee 277, phone +49 40/43182310, fax +49 40/43182311, backpackerhostel@instantsleep.de. 45 beds, provides a kitchen. Also in Schanzenviertel.
  • Backpackers St. Pauli, [92] Bernstorffstr.98, phone +49 40/23517043. Backpacker hostel in St. Pauli.
  • Kogge, [93], Bernhard Nocht Straße 59, phone +49 40 312872, info@kogge-hamburg.com. Rock n’Roll Hotel.
  • Superbude, [94] Spaldingstraße 152, phone +49 40 3808780, info@superbude.de, skype: superbude
  • Kiezbude, [95] Lincolnstraße 2, tel. +49 40 74214269, kontakt@kiezbude.com Peter, the owner has done a tremendous job of turning an old brothel into a very unique hostel. The rooms might remind you of their former purpose but are very clean and convenient.

Camping[edit]

  • Camping Buchholz [96], Kieler Straße 374, Stellingen, phone +49 40/5404532 (all year round)
  • Campingplatz Schnelsen-Nord [97], Wunderbrunnen 2, phone +49 4075594225 (from April to October)
  • Campingplatz Hannes Henk [98], Weg zum Badeteich 20-30m Buchholz Holm-Seppensen, phone +49 4187-6115 (About 40 minutes train ride from Hamburg to the south, near Buchholz, but even during the busy summer months often with spaces.)

Mid-range[edit]

  • Courtyard Hamburg Airport, Flughafenstrasse 47, 49 40 5310 20, [99]. The traditional country manor style Courtyard located close the airport.  edit
  • Hotels Near Hamburg FC, Lindner Park Hotel Hagenbeck, Hagenbeckstr. 150, [100]. A 4-star hotel less than 3km from the Hamburger Sportveiren. A comfortable hotel, convenient for football fans, featuring a fitness room and sauna.  edit
  • NH Hamburg City, Feldstrasse 53-58, +49.40.432320, [101]. 119 suites available in a modern style. Rooms from €99.  edit
  • MEININGER Hotel Hamburg City Center, Goetheallee 11, +49.40. 2846 4388, [102]. The MEININGER Hotel Hamburg City Center is located directly by Altona railway station. It is the ideal starting place if you want to explore the tourist attractions of the Hanseatic city. The 116 low-cost, well-equipped rooms all have a TV and telephone.  edit

Splurge[edit]

The Atlantic and the Vier Jahreszeiten share the prize of Hamburg’s best hotels over the last one hundred years. Emperors and movie stars have stayed there, including James Bond (Tomorrow never dies, 1997).

  • Marriott, ABC Strasse 52, +49 40 3505 0, [103]. checkin: 3 pm; checkout: 12 pm. 4-Star hotel with 270 guest rooms and 8 suites, also has a Body Care Centre with indoor pool and whirlpool as well as 416-sqm conference facilities.  edit
  • Le Royal Meridien, An der Alster 52-56 (near Hauptbahnhof), +49 40 2100 0, [104]. One of the best hotels overlooking the Alster lake. Each room is designed in the “Art & Tech” design. Restaurant with nice view over the lake and spa.  edit
  • East Hotel, Simon-von-Utrecht Str. 31, [105]. Designer hotel with one of the best lounges/bars in town. Very trendy and stylish.  edit
  • Empire Riverside Hotel, Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 97 (tramway S1 in direction Wedel or Blankenese and get off at Reeperbahn), +49 40 31 1190, [106]. A David Chipperfield designed hotel located in the St. Pauli district near Reeperbahn and the harbour. Each rooms is designed with a floor-length panoramic window that allow for a great view from any point in the room.  edit
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Hamburg Airport, Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 3 D-10178 Berlin, Germany, +49 (0) 40 300 300 0, [107]. 100 metre walk from terminals 1 and 2.  edit

Contact[edit]

Internetcafe Hamburg Winterhude, hudtwalckerstrasse, 22299 Hamburg. Contact Number +49 (0)4025482039 or email info@internetcafe-winterhude.de. Open Mon-Fri 1000-2300 and Sat/Sun 1200-2300.

The computers in this internet cafe come fully kitted out and capable of internet browsing, MS Office, gaming and photo editing. Standard flat rate deal available of 2 hours + 1 drink at a cost of 3.5 Eur.

Hamburg is part of the worldwide Global Greeter Network (free sightseeing tours given by local volunteers).

Stay safe[edit]

Hamburg is generally a safe city.

Watch out for pickpockets, especially in the area around the Mönckebergstrasse, Central Station, on the Reeperbahn, in buses and trains, but also on crowded escalators and any other crowded places. If you’re not used to be confronted by prostitutes, beware when walking along Reeperbahn after dark. They sometimes walk in groups and might try to pickpocket you while trying to get away from them.

Be very careful when entering a table dance bar at the Reeperbahn. Many of the clubs have the reputation of ripping off the tourists with the bills. The most common trick is that a girl in the bars asks if she could order something to drink. If positive answer is given (and a positive answer could be even the slightest movement, without even saying it), she is most likely to order a bottle of champagne of up to 500 Euro or more. If the customer is unwilling or incapable of paying the bill, he/she will be escorted to the nearby ATM to withdraw the cash. If you happen to be in such a situation, try to attract the attention of the police, in the end you could get out with smaller bill.

Also be very careful, especially in the weekends, at the S-Bahn Station Reeperbahn, as this is the place where the party-goers board in/out of the trains, and very often conflicts between drunk teenagers or groups arise. There is a high security and police presence on the platform itself, as in the trains as well, but still keep an eye on the groups and, when possible, stay out of conflicts.

Keep your distance from demonstrations unless you wish to get involved: both leftist groups and the Hamburg police are known for their heavy reactions in such situations.

Bathing in the River Elbe is possible but, of course, you must keep out of the way of ships. Swimmers can be thrown about and even totally swamped by the wake from ocean liners. Swimmers should also stay away from structures in the river and strictly avoid an area about 50 m around those extending into the river.

Strong underwater swirls going down as deep as 10-15 m and even close to the beach may pull the strongest swimmers under water. When relaxing on one of the beaches along the riverside, keep several metres away from the water’s edge and keep an eye on children playing in or near the water. Container ships passing by sometimes create surprisingly large waves that won’t just get your feet wet on the beach, but may also drag you into the Elbe.

Swimming in the Outer Alster lake is possible, though swimmers are rarely seen. The water is fairly clean. The lake is only about 2-3 metres deep.

Tap water is very clean and you can drink it without any exception, even use it to provide baby food.

Important phone numbers in emergency (dial without any local prefix all over Germany/always free of charge):

112 = Medical emergency and fire department

110 = Police

Cope[edit]

Religious services

St. Marien, Domkirche (catholic cathedral), Danziger Str. 60 (St. Georg, near to central station).[108]. Holy Mass Su 8:30AM, 10AM, noon (Portuguese), 3PM (Croatian), 6:15PM, M-Sa 6:15PM; Th 9:30PM.

St. Elisabeth, Oberstr. 65 (district Harvestehude). [109] Holy Mass Sa 6PM, Su 10AM, noon (English), 5:30PM (Spanish), 7:30PM (3rd Su only), Tu, Th, F: 7PM, W 3PM.

St. Ansgar (kleiner Michel), Michaelisstr. 5 (district Neustadt). [110]. Holy Mass Su 9:30AM, 11:30AM, 3:30PM (Tagalog), 7:30PM. M F 6:30PM, W 9:30, 7PM (Tagalog).

Index of all Catholic churches in the archdioceses of Hamburg [111]

Get out[edit]

Both North Sea and Baltic Sea beaches are reachable within an hour by car, railway, or bus.

  • Bremen
  • Lübeck (Luebeck) — The city borders the Baltic Sea. The old city (Altstadt) survived from medieval times and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. About 60 km northeast of Hamburg, direct trains leave from main station every hour (timetable [112]).
  • Lüneburg — A city in Lower Saxony, about 50 km southeast of Hamburg. Like Lübeck, Lüneburg’s old town has kept a medieval look with old buildings and narrow streets. The town is situated in the beautiful Lüneburger Heide. South of Hamburg, direct trains leave from main station every hour [113].
  • Helgoland — Germany’s most off-shore North Sea island. Reachable by express ferry from St. Pauli Landungsbrücken [114].
  • Altes Land — The region is the biggest connected fruit growing area of Central Europe and the one the furthest north in the world. Altes Land is an area of marshland south of the river Elbe in Hamburg and Lower Saxony around the old towns of Stade, Buxtehude, and Jork. A characteristic feature is the richly-decorated farmhouses with their elaborate gateways.
  • Ahrensburg — Ahrensburg is a northeastern suburb of Hamburg, situated in Stormarn district. Its outstanding sight is the Renaissance castle dating from 1595. Ahrensburg is easily accessible by car and train (Hamburg public transport).
  • Sankt Peter-Ording — Germany’s most popular tourist target by the sea. Features a broad surfer’s beach and stilt houses. Easily accessible by car (Autobahn 23, about 120 km) and train [115].
  • Kiel — Kiel’s main tourist attraction is the “Kieler Woche” (Kiel Week) at the end of June, the largest sailing event in the world and one of Germany’s largest festivals. Trains to Kiel leave at least once per hour from Hamburg main station [116] and needs about an hour. A trip to Kiel on the Autobahn (A7) takes about an hour, too.
  • Travemünde


Routes through Hamburg
OsnabrückBremen  W noframe E  AhrensburgLübeck
RendsburgNeumünster  N noframe S  HannoverGöttingen


This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!






source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Hamburg

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Frankfurt, Germany – Travel Guide

Frankfurt, Germany – Travel Guide

 

TourTellus Hotel Search: Book Cheap Hotel, Apartments, Hostels & BBs in Frankfurt

 

For other places with the same name, see Memphis (disambiguation).

Night on Beale Street

Memphis is the largest city in the state of Tennessee. The state rests in the southeastern portion of the United States. Memphis, with a population totaling more than 670,000, is also the county seat for Shelby County. The city’s claims to fame include Graceland, the mansion Elvis Presley lived in during his later years. Maybe more importantly, Memphis is considered by many to be the home of blues music.

Although downtown Memphis has experienced quite a rebirth and renewal in the last few years, the center of the city is older; it is full of new development, teeming with change and coming into its own. In the past few years, the city has emerged to boast one of the largest downtown populations among US cities. Citizens once again have a vested interest in making downtown safe, exciting, and a great place to visit and relax after decades of abandonment.

Whether visiting or moving to the area, from May to October make it well worth your while to visit the Memphis Farmers Market which formed and began in 2006 – it is one of the brightest shining stars of the early Spring, Summer, and through Mid-Autumn.

A word of caution: Memphis is extremely hot in the summertime, and the humidity can make you feel even hotter! Those who have trouble tolerating high heat and humidity may wish to avoid visiting during July or August.

Get in[edit]

Memphis is on the southwestern corner of Tennessee, with the Mississippi River and the state of Arkansas bordering it to the west and the state of Mississippi to the south.

By plane[edit]

Memphis International Airport (IATA: MEM), [1]. Memphis is the primary FedEx distribution center, and, as the world’s busiest cargo airport, the air is always full of planes making your eBay purchase a glorious reality. Delta Air Lines [2], the world’s largest airline, maintains a hub at the airport, providing regional service and a few international flights. If you are flying non-stop to Memphis, chances are it will be on Delta. A few other airlines do squeeze passengers into town:

  • American Airlines, [3] Chicago O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami.
  • Frontier Airlines, [4] Denver.
  • Southwest Airlines, [5] Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Houston–Hobby, Orlando, Tampa.
  • United Airlines, [6] Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Houston George Bush Intercontinental, Newark.
  • US Airways, [7] Charlotte, Philadelphia, Washington-National.


There are also a few non-scheduled passenger services which provide transportation to vacation destinations on a sporadic basis:

  • Archers Direct Holidays, [8].

By car[edit]

  • Interstate 40 is a good route into town but doesn’t go through Memphis; to get to the other side of 40 you take the north loop which is I-40, or the south loop, which is known is I-240 and is Memphis’ beltway.
  • I-55 will take you right into town – just take the Riverside Drive exit from either direction to be at Beale Street in a minute.
  • Parking – Except for downtown, parking is usually free. If you’re downtown, try the “Parking Can Be Fun” garage on Union Avenue. It’s cheap, absolutely bizarre, and right where you want to be. Expect to hunt for cheaper parking if there’s an event going on at the FedEx Forum, Beale Street or AutoZone Park. Parking vendors also appear to charge higher prices during these peak times.

By train[edit]

  • Amtrak, [9]. Service available from trains running up and down the Mississippi, as well as connections through major hubs. Great for a jaunt up to Chicago for world-class shopping or down to New Orleans for world-class drinking.

By bus[edit]

  • Greyhound, 3033 Airways Blvd, +1 901 395-8770, [10].
  • Megabus, [11]. Low-cost carrier offers service to Memphis from Chicago, Champaign, St. Louis, Atlanta, Birmingham, Knoxville, Nashville, Little Rock, and Dallas. Fares start at $1 each way when reserved well in advance. Buses stop on the south side of the MATA North End Terminal building, near the northeast corner of North Main Street and North Parkway; the terminal itself is accessible from North 2nd Street or Auction Avenue.

Get around[edit]

Skyline of Memphis as seen from the Hernando de Soto Bridge

  • Driving – Travel by car is really the only way to get around Memphis if you want to do anything other than see Downtown.
  • Public Transit – Bus service provided by the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA)[12] is available across the city. Some routes are very poorly served in the evenings. At nights and weekends some buses take a different route than during the day which can be a trap for visitors.
    • A trolley operates downtown and into Midtown, mostly for the benefit of tourists.
  • The Bettie Bus – Airport Shuttle and local tours. [13]

Memphis is laid out in a more or less east/west fashion. Roads primarily go east/west and north/south. The expressway fortunately cuts directly through the city.

Downtown is on the west; it sits atop the bluffs, overlooking the mighty Mississippi River. (It is referred to as Downtown, not as West Memphis, which is a town just across the river in Arkansas.) Moving east you’ll come to Midtown, a charming part of the city thought by some as the best part of Memphis. Beyond that, you will find East Memphis, and then the suburbs of Germantown, Collierville, Cordova, and Bartlett. The area between downtown and Midtown, referred to by locals as “Crosstown,” is coming to life slowly but surely. There is a movement to turn it into an artist community. Members of this movement call the area “the Edge”. However, most of the “art district” is on South Main.

See[edit][add listing]

Downtown[edit]

Downtown houses a large portion of Memphis’ population. As a result, many commute to work in greater parts of the city. Much of the downtown area, with exception to Beale Street, is at its liveliest after work hours and especially on weekends. Stroll down the Main Street Promenade at dinner time or the riverfront at sunset to see downtowners enjoying their neighborhood.
-Buy a ticket and take the trolley to get a good overview of the area.

  • Beale Street, [14]. “Home of the Blues”. Dozens of bars and clubs, most of them featuring live music. At night the street is closed to vehicles and you can drink on the street, some bars have “drinks to go” windows where you can get a 32oz cup of beer for $5 and go bar-hopping, many bars have no cover charge. Peabody Place is largely a wasteland, as nearly all the stores inside have closed. The FedEx Forum sits just around the corner and hosts many events- NBA Grizzlies games in particular, which consume most of Beale Street before and after tip off.
  • Mississippi River. River tours available most days through a variety of providers. Tom Lee Park [15] is a nice place to view the river. Also, the newly constucted Beale Street Landing hosts a park, playground, and a bar and restaurant with breathtaking views of the river and skyline. It is a great place to relax, have a drink, and enjoy the magnitude of the mighty Mississippi.
  • South Main. [16] This historic, charming neighborhood south of Beale Street has undergone major renewal over the past years. Considered the arts district of Memphis, it is home to trendy shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Some of the oldest buildings of the city still stand today and have been renovated to claim much of downtown’s population. Attractions include the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis Farmer’s Market, River Arts Festival, and South Main Trolley Night.
  • National Civil Rights Museum, 450 Mulberry St, [17]. M-Sat 9AM-5PM, Sun 1PM-5PM (closes an hour later Jun-Aug). Built out of the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was fatally shot in 1968. Near the Amtrak station. $12 for adults; free for Tennessee residents Mondays after 3PM.
  • Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art, 119 South Main St, [18]. Located downstairs from the Center for Southern Folklore, this wonderful museum holds a collection of over 900 Asian and Judaic artifacts. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for students. Children 12 and under are free.
  • Ornamental Metal Museum, 374 Metal Museum Drive, [19]. Tues-Sat 10AM-5PM, Sun 12PM-5PM. Displays art jewelry, architectural pieces and sculpture. The grounds are full of permanent installations and the Museum boasts one of the best views overlooking the Mississippi. They also have a working smithy. Adult $5.
  • Fire Museum of Memphis, 118 Adams Ave, [20]. M-Sat 9AM-5PM. An interactive museum designed to teach children and adults about fire safety. Also features a realistic room to show how much damage a dropped lit cigarette can do. Adult $6.
  • Mud Island River Park/Harbor Town, 125 North Front St, [21]. Apr 14 – May 26 10AM-5PM, May 27 – Sep 4 10AM-6PM, Sept 5 – Oct 31 10AM-5PM. The park is accessible by monorail, made famous by a chase scene in the movie “The Firm”. The park contains a museum of the Mississippi River and a scale model of the river. Visitors are welcome to remove their shoes and wade through the replica mighty Mississippi. The “Gulf of Mexico” is a large pool in which visitors may rent paddle boats. Entry to the park is free. Adult $8 (Mississippi River Museum, Roundtrip Monorail Ride, Guided River Walk Tour). At the tip of the park is an excellent vantage point of the city and the river. The northern end of the island is occupied by HarborTown, a model community with charming, beach-style homes and a colorful town center complete with shops and nice restaurants. Start at the town center and wander the shady streets.
  • Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, 191 Beale St (corner of Third St; on the plaza of FedExForum), [22]. Daily 10AM-7PM (last admission 6:15PM). A short video is shown at frequent intervals and then you are given a headset so that you can listen to commentary and numerous songs as you walk through the exhibits. Sponsored by the Smithsonian. Adult $10. The museum used to be housed in the Gibson guitar factory across the street, which puts visitors right on the factory floor. Famous musicians periodically visit to pick up custom guitars or to play a set at the Gibson Lounge, in the west end of the building.

The Edge[edit]

  • Sun Studio, [23]. Numerous blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and rockabilly recordings were made here, including Elvis’s and Johnny Cash’s first recordings. Tours are available, usually given by wallet-chained and mutton-chopped local musicians. Tour tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased at the cafe and gift shop inside the front door of the studio. Free parking is available in the back of the building.
  • Sleeping Cat Studio, 341 1/2 Monroe.
  • Victorian Village, A collection of large Victorian homes built during Memphis’ early period of growth. Today several of the homes remain as museums while one- the Mollie Fontaine Taylor House has been converted into a unique bar and restaurant lounge. [24]

Midtown[edit]

  • Allie Cat Arts, [25] The largest and most eclectic selection of fine art and gifts by Memphis artists. Painting, pottery, glass, mixed-media, sculpture, jewelry, clothing and more. They also do custom orders and will ship work anywhere in the US.
  • Memphis Zoo, [26]. Pandas and other animals galore. Lots to do for children and adults. Seasonal events include numerous educational events, Zoo Lights in wintertime for all ages, annual Zoo Brews beer-tasting from around the world and Thursdays Unplugged at the Lodge, drinks and music in the Yellowstone-inspired Teton Trek Lodge for adults.
  • The Pink Palace, [27]. Built as a private residence by Clarence Saunders, the man who introduced Piggly Wiggly, the world’s first self-service grocery store, the Pink Palace Mansion was later taken by the tax man and subsequently turned into a museum. (Saunders never actually lived in the house.) It is a very eclectic place, with everything from shrunken heads to animatronic dinosaurs with a life size copy of the first Piggly Wiggly in between. Also has an IMAX theater and a planetarium. Well worth a visit.
  • Overton Park. Encompasses the Memphis Zoo, Memphis College of Art (MCA), the Brooks Art Museum, the Overton Park Golf Course, and largest stand of old growth forest in a US city.
  • Cooper-Young. Historic neighborhood of restored homes centered around the Cooper-Young intersection, known by some as the intersection of Memphis. This intersection has several cool bars and restaurants, as well as shops and the House of Mews cat adoption center. Allie Cat Arts[28] features fine art, pottery, jewelry, and gifts by 80+ local Memphis artists. Be sure to come for the annual Cooper-Young festival[29] in September. Also, just north of the Cooper-Young intersection is Black Lodge Video. This rental store, located in a house, has almost every video imaginable. Be sure to look for the “This is shit-the worst we could find” section. Coffee shops include Otherlands and Java Cabana.
  • Overton Square, [30]. Overton Square has undergone many changes over the years but was recently revitalized with new restaurants and shops. Located in midtown Memphis at the intersection of Madison and Cooper, Overton Square has arguably become the epicenter of entertainment for locals.
  • Broad Avenue Arts District, [31]. Art galleries, bars, antique shops, and more align Broad Avenue and host many events year-round. The Watertower Pavilion hosts live music frequently along with art and dance shows.

East Memphis[edit]

  • Lichterman Nature Center, [32]. Part of the Pink Palace family of museums, its 65-acres of lakes, meadows, and forests feature lush gardens with native wildflowers and trees and provide a home to a wide variety of plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.
  • Memphis Botanic Garden, [33] with over 96 acres of natural woodlands and cultivated gardens, is also home to the seasonal outdoor concert series ‘Live at the Garden’ and the renowned Japanese Garden of Tranquility. New to MBG is ‘My Big Backyard”, a 2.5 acre children’s garden with a larger-than-life birdhouse, a tunneling adventure, a teaching pond, “leaping lawn”, “critter creek”, and many other spaces that cater to children of all ages. [34]
  • Shelby Farms Park, [35] One of the United States’ largest urban parks, Shelby Farms is over five times the size of New York’s Central Park. Visitors enjoy walking, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, sailing, canoeing, paddle-boating, disc-golf, and bird-watching and in Fall 2010 Shelby Farms will open its new Woodland Discovery Playground which will include a large treehouse, sand area, nets to climb and activities for children of all ages. The Park is also home to a herd of American Bison.

Around Town[edit]

Elvis’ final resting place at Graceland. His middle name was usually spelled with just one “A”, but legally had two

  • Graceland, [36]. Home of Elvis Presley, “The King of Rock and Roll”. It’s no surprise that this is the number one tourist attraction in Memphis. Think “tacky tourist” trap but don’t miss it–you might be pleasantly surprised. Although it is not advisable to venture in the suburbs surrounding the site, there is lots and lots of Elvis stuff to see here – the house itself (note that the upper floor, with Elvis’ bedroom and Lisa Marie’s nursery, is not open to the public), customized private airplanes, an automobile collection, gold records, costumes, and more. Take note of Elvis Week (Death Week to the locals) in early August, culminating in the candlelight vigil on the anniversary of Elvis’ death. It is a big deal, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. Check out the bizarre felt-pen scribblings on the fence, some hip-ironic, some of the psycho-lunatic-fan sort. If you happen to be in Memphis during Birth or Death Week – January and August, respectively – sit downtown for a few hours just to watch the Elvis fans. Not just on Halloween, but at any time of year, dress up like the King (or like Priscilla if you’re a girl) and you’ll instantly be a star in your own right!
  • Stax Museum of American Soul Music, 926 E. McLemore Ave, [37]. Mar-Oct M-Sat 9AM-4PM Sun 1PM-4PM, Nov-Feb M-Sat 10AM-4PM. The promotional material says “no backpacks” but this is not so. In any case, they can keep your backpack at the front desk, as with cameras which are not allowed. Adult $10.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Walk to the river and touch the Mississippi’s water with your fingers.
  • Check out some live music on Beale Street
  • The Memphis Redbirds [38] baseball team plays at AutoZone Park. They are the Triple-A affiliates of the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • FedExForum, [39]. FedExForum is the largest public building construction project in Memphis history. Managed and operated by the Memphis Grizzlies, the facility is home to both the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA and the University of Memphis Tigers basketball team. FedExForum is located at 191 Beale Street and Third Street which traveling south becomes Highway 61, the historic Blues Highway.
    • Memphis Grizzlies, [40]. Top-level pro basketball.
  • Memphis Tigers [41] — Teams representing the University of Memphis, which participate in NCAA competition as members of the American Athletic Conference (the football-sponsoring portion of the former Big East Conference). The most visible Tigers team by far is the men’s basketball team, regularly a conference contender and occasionally a national contender as well. As noted above, the men’s basketball team plays at FedExForum (though not the women’s team, which plays on campus). The football team also plays off campus at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on the Mid-South Fairgrounds.
  • Mississippi Riverkings [42]. Minor league hockey team near Memphis
  • Take a carriage ride around downtown and see Beale Street, Court Square, Confederate Park, the Mississippi River, Hernando DeSoto bridge, several movie locations on Front Street, the original and the current Peabody Hotel, all while learning about the great city of Memphis! * 4th of July Fireworks, Tom Lee Park, Mississippi River: These fireworks have improved immensely since two fireworks shows merged into one at the river in 2007. There is also food, music, and other entertainment.
  • Memphis in May International Festival [43]. Annual festival featuring the Beale Street Music Festival which showcases over 40 musicians on multiple stages for three days the first weekend in May, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest where hundreds of teams compete for over $100,000 in prizes and ultimate bragging rights and visitors can taste championship barbecue, and closing the festival with the Sunset Symphony, a day of entertainment on the banks of the Mississippi River with local musicians, air show with vintage and concept aircrafts, and as the sun is setting, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra performs. After dark, as the symphony (and in 2010 KC & the Sunshine Band) begin their last set the sky fills with fireworks.
  • Ghost River Brewing 827 S. Main Street TEL: 901-278-0087 Check out this great beer producer. You can tour the facility for free on any Saturday, but you must make reservations. Tours start at 1pm.
  • Allie Cat Arts, 961 S. Cooper, 901-722-0094, [44]. Take a piece of Memphis home! The largest and most diverse selection of local art in Memphis. Currently featuring 80+ artists. Visit their facebook page for more info and current business hours. $1 to $1500.  edit


Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Memphis Backbeat Mojo Tour, Picks up at Elvis Presley Plaza on Beale, (800) 979-3370, [45]. You can see most of Memphis’ historic musical attractions on this fun, funky, educational bus tour. It’s the only tour in town to put Memphis’ musical heritage in the hands of real musicians, who will combine story, comedy, and live music in a one-of-a-kind show on wheels. Audience participation is encouraged with drums and other percussion pieces provided on the restored 1959 transit bus. Tour is 90 minutes., but if time allows, go for the extended 2.5 hour version. Well worth the time and money. Tours sell out, so reserve online in advance. $25.  edit

Downtown[edit]

  • A. Schwab, Beale Street. Dry goods store whose motto is “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” It’s the place for souvenirs. It’s been here forever, and is a breath of fresh air from the bulk of the establishments on Beale St, with live blues of its own during the day.

Midtown[edit]

  • Allie Cat Arts [46]Eclectic art gallery/gift shop featuring local artists
  • Wizard’s A fine gift shop with “smoking supplies” (wink-wink, nudge-nudge).
  • Midtown Books, [47]. An excellent selection of used books. Has been named Best of Memphis by readers of the Memphis Flyer at one time or another. — Has moved downtown in the basement of Memphis Tobacco Bowl near the corner of Madison and Third Street. Has an excellent coffee shop as well as the selection at the Tobacco Bowl. Now known as Downtown Books.
  • Overton Square, [48]. A small shopping/entertainment district on Madison Avenue, near Cooper.
  • Burke’s Books [49]. 936 S. Cooper St. Memphis, TN 38104, HOURS OF OPERATION:Monday – Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Friday & Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Sunday 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. One of the oldest independent book stores in the country, Burke’s has been selling new, used and rare books since 1875. A popular stop along book signing tours for authors ranging from John Grisham to Archie Manning and Anne Rice, Burke’s has also been visited by celebrities such as Benecio Del Toro, Michael Jackson, Gene Hackman, REM, and Matt Dillon, to name a few.

Out East[edit]

  • Collierville Town Center – Catch Poplar Ave. east to the town of Collierville and browse the interesting shops on the square. Very pretty in the holiday season. Small and quaint, this square boasts a setting and some shops that aren’t found elsewhere in Memphis. A steam engine and a few private railcars are open to the public.

Graceland[edit]

Of all the places in the world one can buy Elvis souvenirs, none is better than Graceland.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Memphis is one of the cheapest places in the USA to live, and that includes going out to eat. Memphis is famous for two things: music and food. The local BBQ is well-known, and you can sample it “wet” (with spicy, tangy sauce) or “dry” (rubbed with spices before cooking). Other options abound across the city, from Southern home cooking to international fare. You won’t go wrong with famous names, but the adventurous will find real treasures in modest hole-in-the-wall joints that make up for their shabby appearance with fabulous flavor.

Downtown[edit]

  • Earnestine and Hazel’s, 531 S. Main St., Memphis, TN 38103. (901)523-9754.Open Hours: Mo to Th from 05:00 PM to 02:00 AM,Fr to Sa from 05:00 PM to 03:00 AM,Su from 07:00 PM to 02:00 AM. Ecclectic, unique atmosphere, a staff that defined cool and of course the Soul Burger. Visitors can request a special ghost tour upstairs of the one time brothel and then enjoy the best burger in Memphis. With a juke box loaded with classic hits and a staff full of colorful stories of it’s history, even Cameron Crowe couldn’t resist including Earnestine and Hazel’s in his film “Elizabethtown”.
  • Little Tea Shop, Open for lunch Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., 69 Monroe Ave. (901) 525-6000. Memphis’ oldest eatery (1918). Boasts “Healthy Home Cooking.” Family-owned, fast, friendly service. Traditional Southern “meat & three” with daily specials. Don’t miss dessert! (Featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.)
  • Pearl’s Oyster House, 299 S. Main (522-9070), 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed Sundays. Excellent New Orleans/Florida Panhandle influenced seafood. Variety of oyster styles, po’ boys, gumbo, shrimp, crawfish, grouper, fried pickles. Two bars and patio out back. Atmosphere is casual. On the trolley line.
  • Automatic Slims, Adjacent to the Peabody Hotel on 2nd Street. Kind of trendy, but nice wait staff and good food. Expect $25-35/person.
  • Blues City Cafe, Beale and 2nd Street. Good ribs. The garlic pan seared shrimp is tasty, also. Prices from $6-$18. Jean Paul’s Last Call is a small bar attached to Blues City. It attracts server staff crowd after hours.
  • Crepe Makers, 175 Peabody Place (almost on the corner with S Third St and one street from Beale St). A range of savory crepes in addition to the dessert crepes one most commonly thinks of when crepes are mentioned. The raspberry chicken crepe is delicious. Average price around $7.
  • Flying Saucer, One 2nd Street. 90 beers on tap and ~120 in the bottle. Good pub grub. Servers wear nice short skirts. Nonetheless, a chain bar. There are better.
  • Texas De Brazil, adjacent to the Peabody Hotel. Everything you expect in a Brazilian steakhouse. Expect $40-50 per person for supper, but it’s worth it. Lunch is the most economical time. Formal attire, a dress shirt and slacks at the least, is strongly recommended.
  • The Rendezvous [50]. A Memphis legend. Excels at Memphis-style BBQ in a no-frills environment where some of the crusty wait staff have logged more than 30 years. Go early–this in-the-basement establishment has quite a following and a long wait is expected nearly every night. Dry rub ribs are the trademark, but also give the sausage plate and BBQ nachos a try. Pricey given the decor (and the fact that you’re eating BBQ). Expect $15-20 per person.
  • The Arcade Classic old diner. Traditional diner food with the addition of pizza and hummus sandwiches. It’s across the street from the train station at 540 South Main Street. Featured in several movies, including “Mystery Train”.
  • Bluff City Coffee, In South Main’s Art District. Try their signature cup “The Real Cappuccino”.
  • Harry’s Detour, 106 G.E. Patterson. Lunch Tu-Sa 11:30AM-2PM, Dinner W-Sa 5:30PM-10PM. An eclectic menue of delicious main courses, soups, salads and desserts served in an intimate setting. Private room and patio.
  • Westy’s Bar/grill that occupies the sight of the old North End. The North End was destroyed by arson in 1998 and Westy’s took its place. Known for fried pickles, tamales, a wide selection of wild rice dishes and a popular fudge pie. Expect $7-$12 pp, open late.
  • Gus’ World Famous Fried Chicken. No restaurant guide to downtown would be complete without mentioning Gus’, and the food is excellent. 40 oz. beers, Newport Menthols, and fried chicken. Enough said.
  • Dyer’s, This retro diner is on Beale Street almost directly North of the FedEx Forum and next to Alfred’s. It’s got great burgers at a reasonable price. Only catch is that they are deep fried. It’s definitely worth trying. Another recommendation is their chili cheese fries.
  • Huey’s [51] Blues, Brews & Burgers since 1970. Casual tavern with a custom of blowing toothpicks into the ceiling through straws. Burgers any way you can imagine earn it a perennial “best burger” win in local reader polls. Several locations, including 77 S. 2nd. Come on Sundays for jazz afternoons and blues evenings.
  • Bardog Tavern [52] at 73 Monroe Avenue. Great bar scene with awesome food that is a cut above your average bar grub. It’s also a bit cheaper than the touristy places, as you can eat here for under $10 easily.

Midtown[edit]

  • Young Ave. Deli Good place for bar food and/or rock shows. Try the fried dill pickles. Located in the Cooper-Young district of Midtown. One of the biggest beer selections in town.
  • Pho Saigon Super yummy Vietnamese soup less than $10 for a bowl as big as your head.
  • Molly’s La Casita Very good Mexican food priced around $10 per entree.
  • Pho Hoa Binh, Madison Avenue – Hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese. $5-$10. Great tofu and wheat gluten dishes, so don’t miss it if you’re vegetarian.
  • Saigon Le, 51 N Cleveland Street – Another awesome Vietnamese restaurant. $5-$10.
  • Indochina, Cleveland Avenue – Another excellent Vietnamese restaurant. Famous for their homemade egg rolls. $5-$10.
  • Brother Junipers, U of M area – Open for breakfast and lunch. Great omelettes. Free-Trade Coffee. Strange hours. $5-$10. Associated with the Juniper Bakery, all proceeds going to drug rehab.
  • Bosco’s, Overton Square The only locally brewed beer in Memphis (also a national award winner). Great pizza, entrees, etc. Excellent jazz brunch on Sundays. $10-$20.
  • Zinnie’s East, On Madison near Belvedere intersection – Excellent and inexpensive food. If you want a local treat try the “Zinnie Loney,” a truly large bologna sandwich for cheap. $6-15.
  • Huey’s A Memphis landmark, the original Huey’s offers one of the best burgers in town. $6-12.
  • Dino’s, On Mclean near North Parkway intersection – Serves reliable versions of basic “American-style Italian food”, being open for breakfast, lunch (offering sandwiches and plate lunches) and dinner six days a week. $6-20.
  • Corky’s famous barbecue – One of the best barbecue places in Memphis. 3 or 4 locations within the city; locals strongly recommend it. Must visit; $6-$20 per person. You can purchase their barbeque sauce too. Excellent ribs!!!!!!
  • The BBQ Shop – Another of the best barbecue places in Memphis. One location on Madison Ave. Excellent barbecue and service; very personable and attentive. A sandwich with two sides will run you about $7.
  • Hi-Tone – Famous Midtown music venue now with full kitchen for dinner. Great selection of “drunk” foods: barbecue chicken pizza, burgers, hot wings. But they also serve pasta, vegetable plates and offer vegetarian options. $5-$20.
  • Bayou Bar and Grill, Great Cajun food at moderate prices located near Studio on the Square. Tuesday is $3 pint night. The Gumbo and spicy chicken sandwich is great.
  • Central BBQ – 2249 Central Ave. (901)272-9377 or 4375 Summer Ave. (901)767-4672 This is yet another great BBQ place. There are two locations, but the original on Central Ave. is said to be the best by locals. Try the BBQ sandwich with coleslaw or the BBQ nachos.
  • Jack Magoo’s Sports Bar [53] – 2583 Broad Avenue (901) 746-9612 Located in the historic Broad Avenue Arts District, Jack Magoo’s has a full menu and TV’s galore to watch the game. 21 and up. Check the website for live music schedule.
  • The Beauty Shop [www.thebeautyshoprestaurant.com] Restaurant in former 1960′s beauty salon. Rumor is that Pricilla Presley used to have her hair done there. Located in the historic Cooper Young neighborhood


East Memphis[edit]

  • Belmont Grill, at Poplar and Mendenhall – Hole-in-the-wall bar and restaurant that serves great food. Try the shish kebobs. $10-$20.
  • Germantown Commissary, On Germantown Pkwy between Poplar and Poplar Pike (technically in Germantown) – Some of the best ribs Memphis has to offer. $10-$20.
  • The Half Shell, [54] Good seafood is hard to come by in Memphis, but Half Shell scores. Extensive menu, with a cajun tilt to most dishes. Fresh gulf oysters, King Crab, Champagne brunch on the weekends, and menu “front page” items that change frequently. The kitchen is open until 2AM (1AM on Sunday). Locations at Mendenhall/Poplar and Winchester/Centennial (near Southwind). There is also an abbreviated menu available at the Rhythms Cafe & Bar in Concourse B, near Gate 35 at the Memphis International Airport. Half Shell is also known for its live music on the weekends and its lively late-night bar crowd. Entrees $9 and up.
  • Buckley’s–For the best steak in all of Memphis, you must head to Buckley’s on Poplar. Wonderful food, exceptionally friendly staff, and affordable prices!
  • Juicy Jim’s – 546 S. Highland St Memphis,Tn 38111 901-458-4448 This is a great sandwich place near the University of Memphis on Highland Ave. The food is a bit expensive with sandwiches being about $8-$12, but the quality is great and it is well worth it. The best sandwich shop in Memphis and has great pizza too. The shop will be moving across the street to the pizzeria in about 3 months.
  • Edo – 4792 Summer Ave. (901)767-7096 Great Japanese home style cooking. This is about as close to real Japanese food as you can get without being in Japan. Expect to pay about 9 or 10 dollars for a very tasty meal. They also have reasonably priced Japanese beers.
  • Muddy’s Bake Shop [55], Delightful neighborhood bakery with delicious baked goods–don’t miss the cupcakes, with names as creative as the cupcakes are delicious–and wonderful, welcoming staff. Light lunch served as well, menu changes weekly. Voted best birthday cake in memphis by Nickelodeon Parents Connect. Lunch Items $6 and under. Cupcakes $1.50.
  • Sekisui [56], 50 Humphreys Center. Best Japanese food in Memphis. Although there are many locations around Memphis, the Humphreys location is the original and still the best. If you’re lucky, your waitress will be Japanese, and the head sushi chef is Japanese. Jimmy Ishii, the owner, is also Japanese.

Elsewhere[edit]

  • Jerry’s Sno Cones, at the corner of Wells Station and Reed Ave, Jerry’s has some of the best Sno Cones you’ll find anywhere, with a huge selection of flavors. They also have a hot food menu featuring Burgers, and fried bologna sandwiches. You can get a full meal sandwich, fries, drink, and dessert all for under $10., [57]
  • Ellen’s Soul Food and Bar-B-Q, 601 S. Parkway E. – Expect to hear the menu when you arrive to get down at this old-school soul food dream, though a hand-written paper copy is also available. Fried everything is their specialty, including okra, cornbread, chicken, and catfish that’s worth a trip to Memphis by itself. The service is so good that the management will set you straight if you try to eat neck bones with a knife and fork. Entrees $7-9, including two side orders.
  • Coletta’s, 1063 S. Parkway E., [58]. One of the oldest restaurants in Memphis, with excellent American-Italian food. Don’t miss the barbecue spaghetti or pizza.
  • Jim Neely’s Interstate Barbecue [59], 2265 S. Third Street. – No ambiance to speak of, but the barbecue is outstanding even by Memphis’s high standards. The Interstate Barbecue in the B terminal of the Memphis airport is just as good. There’s always a line, but it’s worth it. There will be another plane later.
  • Tycoon 3309 Kirby Parkway. (901)362-8788 This is a great Asian restaurant that specializes in noodles. They offer a variety of Asian cuisine ranging from China to Vietnam to Malaysia. Prices average at about 7-8 dollars.
  • Eat Well, 2965 N Germantown Rd. (901) 388-8178. Called a “modern Japanese buffet,” this place has a healthy variety of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese food, perhaps with an emphasis on Japanese. Lunch buffet is $12 with sushi, dinner buffet has sashimi and is $20. They also have great Japanese-style pan-friend gyoza. It’s a great and refreshing buffet, and much of the clientele is Asian (Japanese, Chinese, and Korean) at any given time.
  • Juicy Jim’s, 546 S. Highland St. 901-458-4448. Best sandwiches and pizza, great service, fresh vegetables, fresh cuts of meat, great cheese, great breads and wraps can’t say enough about the heavenly food at Juicy Jim’s.
  • Mi Pueblo, 3750 Hacks Cross Road. (901) 751-8896. This is a great Mexican buffet with a nice selection of Mexican food. Clientele is mostly Mexican (so you know it’s good), and prices are reasonable ($7 – $15)

Pizza[edit]

  • Exline’s – A Memphis chain serving up some big ol’ round pizzas cut into square pieces. The toppings are huge (as in large bits). The cheese on the cheese fries is nacho and it comes from a can; super fantastic. ~$10.
  • Camy’s, [60]. Want to just hang out in your hotel? Call Camy’s for the best pizza delivery in town.
  • Pie In The Sky, tasty pizza joint formerly located at Cooper & Young, and now revived at Lou’s Pizza Pie, LLC at 2158 Young Avenue. Lou is Back!!
  • Memphis Pizza Cafe, Overton Square, also on Park Av., and a couple in the ‘burbs – Tasty Pizza (BBQ chicken is good). Cold beer. All you really need. $10-$15.
  • Garibaldi’s, U of M area (back behind the YMCA). Great 70′s atmosphere, great 70′s style pizza. $5-$10.
  • Fox Ridge Pizza, 2 locations: Fox Meadows & Cordova, round pizza, square cut, unique sauce and cheese. Also excellent hamburgers. $10-$20
  • Mellow Mushroom Brilliant! Finally a real pizza place in Memphis (Germantown). This place also has and extensive craft brew beer menu. $10-30
  • Juicy Jim’s Pizzeria 551 S. Highland Street TEL: (901)435-6243 Hours: 3pm – 3am. Owned and run by Juicy Jim and located across the street from the old sandwich shop of the same name. This place has great pizza and subs at reasonable prices. Expect to spend about $10 – 20 for a nice sized pie with a couple toppings. The sandwiches are equally great and inexpensive considering the quality and size. Also has very reasonable beer prices: around $3 for a pint.

Variations of Quick[edit]

Memphis has a tradition of hiding its best food at the back of convenience stores. For instance:

  • Kwik Check, Madison Ave. near Overton Square. Best deli sandwiches in Memphis. Try the “Cheesy Muff” (vegetarian muffeletta) or “My Bleeding Heart” (spicy spicy hummus pita). $5-10.
  • Kwik Shop, Central Ave. and East Parkway – Big huge burgers. Super nice steak fries. Gyros are excellent. They have veggie burgers just as big as the meat ones, but they only have one grill. $4-$6.

Listen[edit]

Soul, R&B, and rock ‘n’ roll have deep roots in Memphis, and destinations abound for good music today.

  • Beale Street in downtown Memphis makes sense as a first destination. A dozen clubs pipe their music onto the street, and each night a single wristband buys entrance to them all.
  • Hi-Tone Cafe, [61]. Featured musical acts could be anybody, from reggae to country-western acts–all of them party bands, to be sure. Make sure you show up ready to move a little, drink a little and even eat little.
  • Wild Bill’s Lounge, 1580 Vollintine Ave. It sits unassumingly in a strip mall three miles northeast of Beale Street, where, as if out of an old movie, the boisterous Memphis Soul Survivors, led by the boisterous Miss Nicki, play to a boisterous crowd. Night hours on F-Su. As they pay the $10 cover, patrons are greeted at the door by Wild Bill himself.
  • Minglewood Hall, [62] 1555 Madison Ave. Memphis’ newest music venue, located in Midtown at the former location of Strings n Things.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Wine is sold in dedicated, licensed liquor stores in Memphis. Most grocery stores may have an “independent” liquor store conveniently next to the grocery store. Apparently this regulation discourages alcohol use by forcing you to walk a few extra feet to buy your booze. High alcohol content beers are sold in liquor stores. Traditional brands such as Budweiser are sold in grocery and convenient store only. Liquor stores are open from ~8AM usually 10AM-11PM, M-Sa. (Beer can be sold before noon on Su in restaurants.)
  • Buster’s Wine on Highland at Poplar, near the University of Memphis. This is where most of the locals go for wine. Also has a good selection of harder liquor and high-test beer. This place is very popular and always packed on the weekends, but has a fantastic, efficient staff that get you in and out quickly. Open every hour it’s legal: 8AM to 11PM, Monday thru Saturday.
  • Joe’s Liquor Speaking of booze, if you need packaged goods and you’re in midtown, head to Joe’s (Poplar and Belvedere) as much to see Sputnik (the vintage, spinning, twisting and working neon star) as for the beverages. Go at dusk for maximum effect.
  • Great Wine And Spirits is out east. Probably has one of more extensive wine stocks in Memphis liquor stores.
  • Bosco’s, Overton Square. Brew pub and food. Featured on many “Best Of” lists.
  • Newby’s, Highland Street (called the Highland Strip, near The University of Memphis). “Playboy” magazine rated Newby’s the “Best place to party like a Rock Star!”
  • “The High Point”, Madison Avenue. Swing dancing, the best live bands and any libation you crave.
  • Bluff City Coffee, 505 S. Main. The latest addition to the Art District of Downtown Memphis. Specializing in Italian style espresso based coffee. The coffee shop features comfort and conference style seating for meetings, free wireless internet, and print/copy/scan/fax capabilities to keep you productive throughout your day. Make sure to bring your laptop and stay a while. This coffee shop also feature a collection of Don Newman’s vintage black and white photographs from the 30′s, 40′s, and 50′s.
  • The Buccaneer, Midtown. This bar converted from a house has music of all types every night, with a counter culture twist. A penchant for chaos and tolerance to listen to an hour of feedback while the band fights are a plus. Ramones tshirt optional.
  • Otherlands, Cooper st. at Cowden. A social hub for Memphis’ art and music community. Espresso by day and beers at night when the coffee shop hosts intimate folk/rock shows.  edit
  • The Blue Worm, 1405 Airways Blvd (Midtown), +1 901 327-7947, [63]. If Beale Street isn’t doing it for you, and you want authentic, look for this middle-of-nowhere neighborhood juke joint. Live blues and plenty of dancing every F-Sa in the evening.  edit
  • Wild Bill’s.  edit
  • RP Tracks This is a nice and moderately priced bar/restaurant near the University of Memphis on Walker Ave. It’s a good place to start the evening on the Highland strip. They have many types of beer at reasonable prices (about 7 bucks for a pitcher).
  • The Oasis Lounge 663 S. Highland Ave. 901-405-3011 A great place to come relax and have a cup of coffee and enjoy a nice hookah. This is a private club due to the smoking factor so be prepared to pay a $6 membership fee and to be carded (this is an 18 and up establishment). It’s got a very nice, laid back atmosphere and also has free Wi-Fi. Located on South Highland next to McDonald’s. This is coffee shop and there is no alcohol on premises. A DJ plays there on Saturday nights.
  • Mollie Fontaine Lounge [64], Victorian mansion-turned lounge featuring potent drinks and an innovative, varried menu in a hip, chic atmosphere. Explore all the rooms, each unique in theme and decor, full bars upstair and downstairs, and a piano bar with amazing jazz singer weekend nights. Make sure not to miss the mac n’ cheese, chocolate brioche sandwiches for dessert and the delightful mojitos. 679 Adams Avenue, p901.524.1886. Wednesday- Saturday 5pm- ’til the spirits go to sleep.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There is limited choice but the city offers some affordable a good lodging.


  • Residence Inn Memphis East, 6141 Old Poplar Pike Memphis, TN 38119, 901-685-9595, [65]. The Residence Inn Memphis extended stay hotel features 105 one bedroom and lofted penthouse suite accommodations, fitness center and outdoor pool. This newly renovated extended stay hotel in Memphis offers quick access to I-240, near downtown Memphis and much more.  edit
  • Courtyard Memphis East/Park Avenue, 6015 Park Avenue · Memphis, Tennessee 38119, 901-761-0330, [66]. Our Memphis, Tennessee hotel features a completely renovated lobby, 134 guest rooms and 12 suites. The Bistro offers healthy choices, a variety of breakfast and dinner options, an evening bar, and 24-hour Starbucks® service.  edit
  • Courtyard Memphis Airport, 1780 Nonconnah Boulevard, 901-396-3600, [67]. 145 guest rooms and 12 suites with an location near downtown, Graceland and the Civil Rights Museum. (35.071573,-90.00337) edit

Budget[edit]

  • Pilgrim House Hostel, 1000 S Cooper St, +1 901 273-8341, [68]. Memphis’ only hostel, located in the Cooper-Young neighborhood in Midtown. Guests are asked to perform a small daily chore, which usually shouldn’t take more than five minutes. There is also a Retreat Center in the same building for groups of 10 or more. Dorm beds $15, private rooms $30 (one guest)/$45 (two guests)/$60 (three guests), retreat center bunk beds $10.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • Clarion Hotel, 6101 Shelby Oaks Drive, +1 901 388-7050 (fax: +1 901 386-1882), [69]. Offers guests free wireless high-speed Internet access and a fitness center.
  • Hampton Inn, Beale Street, 175 Peabody Place, +1 901 260-4000 (fax: +1 901 260-4012), [70]. This is right on Beale Street – as opposed to the Holiday Inn and the Peabody which are a few blocks away. The room prices are newly renovated and some have balconies. Guests should be aware that this is a noisy part of the city. East Memphis has quieter hotels.
  • Doubletree Downtown Memphis 185 Union Ave, +1 901 528-1800, [71]. Located only a few blocks within walking distance from exciting Beale Street; a relaxing accommodation in a convenient location.
  • Hilton Memphis 939 Ridge Lake Boulevard, +1 901 684-6664, [72]. Located in the heart of the East Memphis business district. The Memphis International Airport is a convenient 15-minute drive from the hotel; ride the hotel’s complimentary airport shuttle to the airport. Also offers a complimentary guest shuttle within up to a 5-mile radius of the hotel.
  • Red Roof Inn offers good, clean and affordable mid-range lodging,42 S.Camilla St, Memphis, TN 38104, phone 901-526-1050 (the hotel is in Mid-Town close to Interstate 240).
  • Gen X Inn, 1177 Madison Ave., Memphis TN 38104, 1-901-692-9136, [73]. Downtown near Memphis Medical Center, Union Avenue attractions, and 10 miles from the airport.  edit
  • Wingate Inn Memphis, 2270 N Germantown Parkway, Memphis, TN 38016, 901-386-1110, [74].  edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Peabody Hotel, 149 Union Avenue (downtown near Beale Street), [75]. Don’t miss the ducks in the lobby fountain, and their daily procession (11am and 5pm), you don’t have to stay to see them. Luxury extras, sheets and service in a historically and architecturally significant hotel.  edit
  • River Inn of Harbor Town [76], overlooks the Mississippi River, offering luxury in a delightful boutique hotel atmosphere. Located at 50 Harbor Town Square, experience the warm hospitality and unmatched service, phone 1-877-222-1531.
  • The Madison Hotel [77], 79 Madison Ave, located downtown near the river, is a modern boutique hotel with a clean lines, contemporary vibe and stylish luxury. The Madison Hotel was awarded 1st Small Luxury Four Diamond Hotel in Memphis. Make sure not to miss Grill 83, located at the street level, with its excellent seafood, steaks, and martini lounge, and the sweeping roof-top garden with breathtaking views of downtown and the Mississippi River. p 901.333.1200 – f 901.333.1299

Not categorized by price[edit]

  • Holiday Inn, 3700 Central Avenue, +1 901 678-8200, [78]. Not very flashy, but Memphis is its home
  • Memphis Marriott Downtown, 250 North Main Street, +1 901 527-7300, Toll-free: +1 888 557-8740, Fax: +1 901 526-1561, [79].
  • Motel 6, 4300 American Way, +1 901 366-9333, Fax: +1 901 366-7835, [80].
  • Ramada Memphis, 1585 Sycamore View Road, +1 901-388-4881, [81].
  • Residence Inn Memphis Downtown, 110 Monroe Avenue, +1 901 578-3700, Fax: +1 901 578-3999, [82].
  • SpringHill Suites Memphis Downtown, 21 North Main Street, +1 901 522-2100, Toll-free: +1 800 593-6415, Fax: +1 901 522-2110, [83].
  • Staybridge Suites, 1070 Ridge Lake Blvd., +1 901 682-1722, [84].
  • Wyndham Garden Hotel, 300 N 2nd St, +1 901 525-1800, fax +1 901 524-1859, [85]. Just minutes from Cook Convention Center and the Pyramid Arena’s sporting events, concerts and shows.
  • Heartbreak Hotel, 3677 Elvis Presley Blvd., Memphis, TN 38116 [86]. Owned by Elvis Presley Enterprises

Contact[edit]

Newspapers[edit]

  • The Commercial Appeal, [87]. A daily newspaper.
  • Memphis Flyer, [88]. An alternative newspaper.

Stay safe[edit]

Safety in downtown Memphis has greatly improved in the last few years. Throughout the day, especially at night, there is usually a large police presence downtown, especially in the area around Beale Street. Use common sense when traveling in Memphis, just as you would anywhere else. Leave no valuables in plain sight in your car and be mindful of where you are, especially at night. Although the city’s race relations aren’t as bad as within a 1950s perspective, occasionally one might encounter racism. If you are of a specific race and feel intimidated or as a target of racism, report to the police. It is also wise to stay away from areas in North and South Memphis, as these areas have very high rates of crime.

Stay healthy[edit]

Memphis has some of the best hospitals in the region. Methodist, Baptist, and Saint Francis are the main hospitals in the city. The Regional Medical Center at Memphis (The Med), a city owned hospital, has one of the best trauma and burn centers in the Mid-South. There are many clinics in the area as well, many of which are operated by the hospital systems. Some of the hospitals in the city, though, can have long lines in emergency rooms. If you are not seriously injured, it would be best to go to one of the minor medical clinics or to drive to one of the hospitals in the suburbs of Memphis such as Methodist Germantown, Baptist East, or Saint Francis Bartlett.

Get out[edit]


Routes through Memphis
END  NW noframe SE  Olive Branch (Via US-78.png) → Birmingham
Little RockWest Memphis  W noframe E  Jackson, TNNashville
St. LouisWest Memphis  N noframe S  Jackson, MS
Cape GirardeauWest Memphis  N noframe S  TunicaClarksdale


This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!




source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Memphis

 

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Germany, Europe – Travel Guide

Germany, Europe – Travel Guide

TourTellus Hotel Search: Book Hotels, Apartments, Hostels & BBs in Germany

 

Germany
Location
Germany in its region.svg
Flag
Flag of Germany.svg
Quick Facts
Capital Berlin
Government Federal Republic
Currency Euro (€)
Area total: 357,022 km² water: 8,350 km² land: 348,672 km²
Population 81,799,600 (2010 estimate)
Language German
Electricity 230V/50Hz (Europlug, Type F, & Schuko plugs)
Country code +49
Internet TLD .de
Time Zone UTC +1
Emergencies dial 112

Germany, (officially: the Federal Republic of Germany; German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is the largest country in Central Europe. It is bordered to the north by Denmark, to the east by Poland and the Czech Republic, to the south by Austria and Switzerland, and to the west by France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. Germany is a federation of 16 states, roughly corresponding to regions with their own distinct and unique cultures.

Germany is one of the most influential European nations culturally, and one of the world’s main economic powers. Known around the world for its precision engineering and high-tech products, it is equally admired by visitors for its old-world charm and “Gemütlichkeit” (coziness). If you have perceptions of Germany as simply homogeneous, it will surprise you with its many historical regions and local diversity.

Understand[edit]

History[edit]

Eisenhardt Castle in Belzig (Brandenburg)

From the Holy Roman Empire to Imperial Germany[edit]

The roots of German history and culture date back to the Germanic tribes and after that to the Holy Roman Empire. Since the early middle ages Germany started to split into hundreds of small states. It was the Napoleonic wars that started the process of unification, which ended in 1871, when a large number of previously independent German kingdoms united under Prussian leadership to form the German Empire (Deutsches Kaiserreich). This incarnation of Germany reached eastward all the way to modern day Klaipeda (Memel) in Lithuania and also encompassed the regions of Alsace and Lorraine of today’s France, a small portion of eastern Belgium (Eupen-Malmedy), a small border region in southern Denmark and over 40% of contemporary Poland. The empire ended in 1918 when Emperor (Kaiser) Wilhelm II was forced to abdicate the throne at the time of Germany’s defeat at the end of World War I (1914-1918) and was followed by the short-lived and ill fated so called Weimar Republic, which tried in vain to completely establish a liberal, democratic regime. Because the young republic was plagued with massive economic problems stemming from the war (such as hyperinflation) and disgrace for a humiliating defeat in World War I, strong anti-democratic forces took advantage of the inherent organizational problems of the Weimar Constitution and the Nazis were able to seize power in 1933.

Hitler and Nazi Germany[edit]

The year 1933 witnessed the rise to power of the nationalistic and racist National Socialist German Workers’ (Nazi) Party and its Führer, Adolf Hitler. Under the Nazi dictatorship, democratic institutions were dismantled and a police state was installed. Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, handicapped people, socialists, communists, unionists and other groups not fitting into the Nazis’ vision of a Greater Germany faced persecution, and ultimately murder in concentration camps. Europe’s Jews and Gypsies were marked for total extermination. Hitler’s militaristic ambitions to create a new German Empire in Central and Eastern Europe led to war, successively, with Poland, France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States – despite initial dazzling successes, Germany was unable to withstand the attacks of the Allies and Soviets on two fronts in addition to a smaller third front to the south of the Alps in Italy.

It was “Stunde Null” or zero hour. Germany and much of Europe was destroyed. By April of 1945 Germany was in ruins with most major cities bombed to the ground. The reputation of Germany as an intellectual land of freedom and high culture (Land der Dichter und Denker) had been decimated and tarnished for decades to come. At the end of the war, by losing 25% of its territory, east of the newly Allied imposed Oder-Neisse frontier with Poland the occupied country was faced with a major refugee crisis with well over 10 million Germans flooding westward into what remained of Germany. Following the end of the war at the Potsdam conference the Allies decided the future of Germany’s borders and taking a Soviet lead stripped her of the traditional eastern Prussian lands. Therefore, German provinces east of the rivers Oder and Neisse like Silesia and Pomerania were entirely cleared of its original population by the Soviets and Polish in the largest ethnic cleansing ever – most of it an area where there had not been any sizable Polish or even Russian minorities at all. Even more refugees came with the massive numbers of ethnic Germans expelled from their ancient eastern European homelands in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia.

Post-World War II[edit]

After the devastating defeat in World War II (1939-1945), Germany was divided into four sectors, controlled by the French, British, US and Soviet forces. United Kingdom and the US decided to merge their sectors, followed by the French. Silesia, Pomerania and the southern part of East Prussia came under Polish administration according to the international agreement of the allies. With the beginning of the Cold War, the remaining central and western parts of the country were divided into an eastern part under Soviet control, and a western part which was controlled directly by the Western Allies. The western part was transformed into the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), a democratic nation with Bonn as the provisional capital city, while the Soviet-controlled zone became the communist/authoritarian Soviet style German Democratic Republic (GDR). Berlin had a special status as it was divided among the Soviets and the West, with the eastern part featuring as the capital of the GDR. The western sectors of Berlin (West Berlin), was de facto an exclave of the FRG, but formally governed by the Western Allies. On August 13, 1961 the Berlin Wall was erected as part of a heavily guarded frontier system of border fortifications. As a result, between 100 and 200 Germans trying to escape from the communist dictatorship were murdered here in the following years.

In the late 1960′s a sincere and strong desire to confront the Nazi past came into being. Students’ protests beginning in 1968 successfully clamoured for a new Germany. The society became much more liberal, and the totalitarian past was dealt with more unconcealed than ever before since the foundation of the FRG in 1949. Post-war education had helped put Germany among countries in Europe with the least number of people subscribing to Nazi or fascist/authoritarian ideas. Willy Brandt became chancellor in 1969. He made an important contribution towards reconciliation between Germany and the communist states including important peace gestures toward Poland.

Reunification and the Berlin Republic[edit]

Germany was reunited peacefully in 1990, a year after the fall and collapse of the GDR’s Communist regime and the opening of the iron curtain that separated German families by the barrel of a gun for decades. The re-established eastern states joined the Federal Republic of Germany on the 3rd of October 1990, a day which is since celebrated as the national holiday, German Unification Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit). Together with the reunification, the last post-war limitations to Germany’s sovereignty were removed and the US, UK, France and most importantly, the Soviet Union gave their approval. The German parliament, the Bundestag, after much controversial debate, finally agreed to comply with the eastern border of the former GDR, also known as the “Oder-Neisse-Line”, thus shaping FRG the way it can be found on Europe’s map today.

Economy[edit]

Germany is an economic powerhouse boasting the largest economy of Europe, and is in spite of its relatively small population the second largest country of the world in terms of exports.

The financial centre of Germany and continental Europe is Frankfurt am Main, and it can also be considered one of the most important air traffic hubs in Europe, with Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa known for being not just a carrier, but rather a prestigious brand, though its glamour has faded somewhat during recent years. Frankfurt features an impressive skyline with many high-rise buildings, quite unusual for Central Europe; this circumstance has led to the city being nicknamed “Mainhattan”. It is also the home of the European Central Bank (ECB), making it the centre of the Euro, the supra-national currency used throughout the European Union. Frankfurt Rhein-Main International Airport is the largest airport of the country, while the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE) is the most important stock exchange in Germany.

Politics[edit]

Reichstag-building in Berlin-Tiergarten

Germany is a federal republic, consisting of 16 states or German Federal Lands (Bundesländer). The federal parliament (Bundestag) is elected every four years in a fairly complicated system, involving both direct and proportional representation. A party will be represented in Parliament if it can gather at least 5% of all votes or at least 3 directly won seats. The parliament elects the Federal Chancellor (Bundeskanzler, currently Angela Merkel) in its first session, who serves as the head of the government. There is no restriction regarding re-election. The ‘Bundesländer’ are represented at the federal level through the Federal Council (Bundesrat). Many federal laws have to be approved by the council. This can lead to situations where Council and Parliament are blocking each other if they are dominated by different parties. On the other hand, if both are dominated by the same party with strong party discipline (which is usually the case), its leader has the opportunity to rule rather heavy handedly, the only federal power being allowed to intervene being the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht).

The formal head of state is the Federal President (Bundespräsident), who is not involved in day-to-day politics and has mainly ceremonial and representative duties. He can also suspend the parliament, but all executive power is vested with the chancellor and the Federal Cabinet (Bundesregierung). The President of Germany is elected every 5 years by a specially convened national assembly, and is restricted to serving a maximum of two five year terms.

The two largest parties are centre CDU (‘Christlich Demokratische Union’, Christian Democratic Party) and centre-left SPD (‘Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands’, Social Democratic Party). Due to the proportional voting system, smaller parties are also represented in parliament. Medium-sized parties of importance are centre-right CSU (‘Christlich Soziale Union’, Christian Social Party, the most important party in Bavaria which collaborates at the federal level with the CDU), liberal FDP (‘Freie Demokratische Partei’, Free Democratic Party), the Green party (‘Bündnis 90/Die Grünen’), the Left Party (‘Die Linke’, a socialist party with significant strength in East Germany), and the Alternative for Germany (‘Alternative für Deutschland’, AfD). There have been some attempts by right-wing parties (NPD – National Democratic Party / REP – Republicans) to get into parliament, but so far they have failed the 5% requirement (except in some East German state parliaments, currently Saxony and in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania); other extreme left-wing parties (MLPD – Marxist-Leninist Party / DKP – German Communist Party) virtually only have minimal influence on administrative levels below state parliaments.

Culture[edit]

Being a federal republic, Germany is very much a decentralised country, which embraces the cultural differences between the regions. Most travellers will perhaps only think of beer, Lederhosen and Oktoberfest when Germany comes to mind, but Germany’s famous alpine and beer culture is mostly centered around Bavaria and Munich. Here the beer is traditionally served in 1 litre mugs (normally not in pubs and restaurants, though). The annual Oktoberfest is Europe’s most visited festival and the world’s largest fair. Germany’s south-western regions, however, are well known for their wine growing areas (e.g. Rheinhessen and Palatinate) and Bad Dürkheim on the ‘German Wine Route’ (Deutsche Weinstraße) organises the biggest wine festival worldwide with over 600,000 visitors annually.

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent German Reunification are the main events of recent German history. Today most Germans as well as their neighbours support the idea of a peaceful reunified Germany and while the eastern regions still suffer from higher unemployment and of brain drain, the reunification process is overall seen as a success. October 3rd is celebrated as “German Unification Day”.

Cars are a symbol of national pride and social status. Certainly manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and Volkswagen (VW) are world famous for their quality, safety and style. This quality is matched by Germany’s excellent network of roadways including the renowned Autobahn network, which has many sections without speed limits that attract speed hungry drivers. There are actually speed tourists who come to Germany just to rent an exotic sports car and fly down the autobahn. Amazingly for its size Germany is home to the third largest freeway/motorway network in the world. Germany also features an extensive network of high speed trains – the InterCityExpress (ICE).

Most cities have a vibrant gay and lesbian scene, especially Berlin and Cologne. The Berlin tourism agency and other tourism organisations have started campaigns to attract gay and lesbian travellers to their cities. In fact, some politicians (e.g. the mayor of Berlin and the former German federal foreign minister) and stars in Germany are homo- or bisexuals.

Germans are generally friendly, although the stereotype that they can be stern and cold is sometimes true. Just be polite and proper and you’ll be fine.

Germany was the host of the FIFA World Cup 2006.

Electricity[edit]

The power supply runs at 230V/50Hz. Almost all outlets use the Schuko plug, most appliances have a thinner but compatible Europlug. Adapters for other plugs are widely available in electronics stores.

Regions[edit]

Germany is a federal republic consisting of 16 states (called “Bundesländer” or shortened to “Länder” in German). Three of the Bundesländer are actually city-states: Berlin, Bremen, and Hamburg. The states can be roughly grouped by geography as listed below.

Regions of Germany

Northern Germany (Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Schleswig-Holstein)
Wind-swept hills and the popular vacation destinations of the North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts.
Western Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland)
Wine country, modern cities and a history of heavy industry sharply cut by the breathtaking Rhine Valley and Moselle valley.
Central Germany (Hesse, Thuringia)
The green heart of Germany, with some of the most important historical and financial cities and the ancient Thuringian Forest.
Eastern Germany (Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt)
highlighted by the eccentric and historic capital Berlin, and rebuilt historic Dresden, “Florence on the Elbe”.
Southern Germany (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria)
Black Forest, Franconian Switzerland, Franconian Lake District, Bavarian Forest, Bavarian Alps and Lake Constance.

Cities[edit]

Brandenburg gate in Berlin

Hofbräuhaus in Munich

Semperoper in Dresden

Nuremberg old town, view from west

Cathedral of Cologne

Germany has numerous cities of interest to travellers; here are just nine of the most famous:

  • Berlin — the reunified and re-invigorated capital of Germany; known for its division during the Cold War by the Berlin Wall. Today, it’s a metropolis of diversity with elegant clubs, shops, galleries and restaurants
  • Bremen — one of the most important cities in northern Germany, its old town is a slice of hanseatic history
  • Cologne — city founded by the Romans 2000 years ago with a huge cathedral, Romanesque churches, and archaeological sites
  • Dresden — once called ‘Florence on the Elbe’ and world-famous for its Frauenkirche and rebuilt historic centre destroyed during World War II
  • Düsseldorf — Germany’s capital of fashion also offers fascinating new architecture and a vibrant nightlife
  • Frankfurt — seat of the European Central Bank (ECB), with a skyline reminiscent of Manhattan (“Mainhattan”)
  • Hamburg — Germany’s richest and second-largest city, famous for its harbour; liberal and tolerant culture with its nightclubs and casinos along the Reeperbahn
  • Munich — Bavaria’s beautiful capital city, gateway to the Alps and the site of the famous Oktoberfest
  • Nuremberg‘s old town has been reconstructed, including the Gothic Kaiserburg Castle. Visit the Nazi party rally grounds, the Documentation Centre and Courtroom 600 (the venue of the Nuremberg Trials)

Other destinations[edit]

Castle of Münster (today used by the University)

  • Baltic Sea Coast (Ostseeküste) — miles of sandy beaches and resorts with picturesque islands such as Rügen.
  • Bavarian Alps (Bayerische Alpen) — home to the world famous Neuschwanstein Castle, and Germany’s best skiing and snowboarding resorts. Endless hiking and mountain biking. Passion Play village Oberammergau.
  • Black Forest (Schwarzwald) — a region with wide mountain peaks, panoramic views, it is a heaven for tourists and hikers.
  • East Frisian Islands (Ostfriesische Inseln) — twelve islands in the Wadden Sea; Borkum is the largest island by both area and population.
  • Franconian Switzerland (Fränkische Schweiz) — one of the oldest travel destinations in Germany, it was called by Romantic artists who said its landscape was of the aesthetic beauty of Switzerland’s.
  • Harz — a low mountain range in the Central Uplands of Germany, famous for its historic silver mines and for the scenic towns of Quedlinburg, Goslar and Wernigerode.
  • Lake Constance (Bodensee) — an extremely beautiful corner of Central Europe, it boasts water sports and beautiful towns and villages to be seen by the visitor.
  • Middle Rhine Valley (Mittelrheintal) — part of the Rhine River is a UNESCO Heritage Site between Bingen / Rüdesheim and Koblenz and famous for its wines.
  • Romantic Road (Romantische Straße) — a theme route over 400 km in length in southern Germany that passes by many historical castles, between Würzburg and Füssen. Old World Europe alive and well!

Get in[edit]

Entry requirements[edit]

Germany is a member of the Schengen Agreement.

There are no border controls between countries that have signed and implemented this treaty – the European Union (except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Likewise, a visa granted for any Schengen member is valid in all other countries that have signed and implemented the treaty. But be careful: not all EU members have signed the Schengen treaty, and not all Schengen members are part of the European Union. This means that there may be spot customs checks but no immigration checks (travelling within Schengen but to/from a non-EU country) or you may have to clear immigration but not customs (travelling within the EU but to/from a non-Schengen country).

Please see the article Travel in the Schengen Zone for more information about how the scheme works and what entry requirements are.
Recognised refugees and stateless persons in possession of a valid travel document issued by the government of any one of the above countries/territories (eg, Canada) are exempt from obtaining a visa for Germany (but not for any other Schengen country, except Hungary and, for refugees, Slovakia) for a maximum stay of 90 days in a 180 day period).

Citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States of America are eligible to obtain a residence permit, or Aufenthaltstitel (authorising a stay of more than 90 days and permission to work), upon arrival in Germany, but before the end of the initial 90 day period of visa-free entry. Before obtaining such title, they are not allowed to work, with the exception some specific occupations (like artists, etc.). Honduran, Monegasque and Sanmarinese nationals can also obtain such a permit, but only if they will not work on the residence permit. Other nationals will need to obtain a visa before if they intend to stay in Germany for longer than the 90 days period, even if they are visa-free for that period for a stay in the Schengen area, or if they intend to work.

Authorized members of the British and US military need to possess only a copy of their duty orders (NATO Travel Order) and their ID card to be authorized entry into Germany. The passport requirement, though, applies to spouses and dependants of military personnel, and they must obtain a stamp in their passports to show that they are sponsored by a person in Germany under the Status of Forces Agreement.

There are no land border controls, making travel between Germany and other Schengen states easier with the accession of Switzerland to the Schengen area in 2008. However, the German border police is known to have plain-clothes officers ask travellers for their ID especially on the border between Bavaria and Austria and and Bavaria and the Czech Republic.

There are a number of ways to get into Germany. From neighbouring European countries, a drive with the car or a train ride are feasible; visitors from further away will probably be using air travel.

By plane[edit]

Major airlines and airports[edit]

The most important airports are Frankfurt (IATA: FRA), Munich (IATA: MUC) and Düsseldorf (IATA: DUS).

Berlin-Tegel (IATA: TXL), Cologne (IATA: CGN), Hamburg (IATA: HAM) and Stuttgart (IATA: STR) serve some international flights as well.

Frankfurt is Germany’s main hub – one of Europe’s four major hubs – and the destination of most intercontinental flights. Munich is a growing secondary hub. Travellers can easily fly in from most places of the world and then connect with Germany’s biggest and most respected airline Lufthansa, which is a member of the Star Alliance. Germany’s second largest airline is Air Berlin, a member of the Oneworld airline alliance, which also serves lots of destinations throughout Germany and Europe (and some worldwide) from several airports.

The airports of Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Köln/Bonn are connected to the InterCityExpress high speed rail lines. The others all feature either a commuter rail station or some sort of connection to the nearest rail station as well as public transport to the central station of the respective cities. Lufthansa’s passengers travelling from Frankfurt Airport have the option to check-in their luggage in Cologne or Stuttgart train stations and connect to the airport by ICE. If doing so, be sure to book the train journey like a Lufthansa connecting flight (ie in advance together with the flight), otherwise you will be responsible for a missed connection.

Budget travel and minor airlines[edit]

Flying can be the cheapest way to get to Germany and from there to other European countries, especially if the flights are booked well in advance. Before booking a budget flight, compare carefully as their destinations are often a bit off the track and after adding all the (baggage) fees, taxes, additional bus tickets to get to their airports, you might end up at even higher prices than you would pay for a discounted Lufthansa or Air Berlin ticket.

The major airports for budget travel are Berlin-Schönefeld (IATA: SXF), Frankfurt-Hahn (IATA: HHN) (130 km to Frankfurt) and Weeze (IATA: NRN) (85 km to Düsseldorf) as well as smaller airports with fewer choice of destinations like Lübeck (IATA: LBC) (70 km to Hamburg) or Memmingen (IATA: FMM) (110 km to Munich).

There are budget flights to almost every city in Europe from Germany. The major budget airlines in Germany are easyJet, Ryanair, germanwings (for flights within Germany, too) and Wizz Air (for flights to Eastern Europe) which all offer several connections to many countries throughout Europe. The main hubs are Berlin-Schönefeld and Dortmund for easyJet, Frankfurt-Hahn and Weeze for Ryanair, Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart for germanwings – all of these airlines serve other airports within Germany as well, but with a smaller choice of destinations.

For (budget) flights to European holiday destinations, for example round the Mediterranean, Germany’s major carriers besides Air Berlin are Condor (Thomas Cook) (also for main tourist destinations throughout the world) and TUIfly.

Germania, InterSky and OLT have also a limited number of international destinations.

By train[edit]

Regular train services connect Germany with all neighbouring countries – most operated by Deutsche Bahn (DB). Almost all neighbouring countries (especially Switzerland, Poland, Denmark, Czech Republic and Austria) and even some non-neighbouring countries (eg: Italy) are quite well connected with “EuroCity” (EC} trains. They are a little bit slower and slightly less comfortable than the European high speed trains but nevertheless reach up to 200 km/h. They are a worthwhile way to travel – not only for budget travellers (although budget airlines might be cheaper) or landscape viewers (especially the Rhine valley lines from Cologne to Mainz via Koblenz).

There are also several European high speed trains to cross into or get out of Germany:

  • The ICE brings you at 300km/h top speed from Frankfurt (3.3h), Cologne (2.5h) or Düsseldorf (2.3h) to Amsterdam. The train journey from Frankfurt to Paris (320km/h) using the ICE will take about four hours; going from Hamburg to Paris can take eight and a half hours.
  • The Thalys brings you from Cologne (Köln) to Paris in approximately 4h and to Brussels in about 2 hr.
  • The TGV brings you from Marseille, Lyon and Strasbourg to Frankfurt and from Paris to Stuttgart and Munich.

Standard rail fares are quite high, but there are a number of special fares and discounts available – see the “Get Around” section for more information. In particular, the Bahncard reduction applies for the whole journey as long as it starts or ends in Germany.

By boat[edit]

View to the rear of a Finnlines ferry from Helsinki to Travemünde

International ferry services exist, notably to Scandinavia. Some of the most popular connections are listed below:

By bus[edit]

  • Depending on the country your are leaving from towards Germany, different companies offer tickets. Eurolines, a cooperation of European bus compaanies, sells tickets to and from almost any other European country. The German partner is called Touring. All other companies can be found on the German search engines for long distance bus tickets.
  • Due to the large number of immigrants from the former Yugoslavia, every major bus company from those countries serves routes to (mostly Southern) Germany. From Bosnia and Herzegovina these include Salinea, Prosic and Globtour; from Croatia you can come with Čazmatrans and from Serbia you can choose Panonijabus, Niš-ekspres and others. See also bus travel in the former Yugoslavia.

Get around[edit]

German transportation runs with German efficiency, and getting around the country is a snap — although you’ll need to pay top price for top speed. The most popular options by far are to rent a car, or take the train. If the train is too expensive for you, travelling by arranged ride-sharing is often a viable alternative in Germany.

By plane[edit]

Domestic flights are mainly used for business, with the train being a simpler and often (but not always) cheaper alternative for other travel. The boom of budget airlines and increased competition has made some flight prices competitive with trains to some major cities. However make sure that you get to the right destination. Low-cost airlines (in particular Ryanair) are known for naming small airports in the middle of nowhere by cities 100km away (e.g. “Frankfurt-Hahn” is actually in Hahn, over two hours away by bus from Frankfurt city).

The following carriers offer domestic flights within Germany:

  • Lufthansa Flag carrier that flies all major routes on a nearly hourly schedule with hubs in Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf. Within dedicated terminal areas, coffee, tea and a lavish assortment of newspapers are available freely even for economy class passengers. It is a member of the Star Alliance.
  • Air Berlin is the second biggest German airline and also flies to most airports in Germany with hubs in Berlin-Tegel, Düsseldorf and Nuremberg. Luggage and standard services are also included in the fares. It is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance.
  • germanwings [1] Lufthansa’s no-frills subsidiary is based in Cologne and also serves some routes within Germany.
  • Cirrus Airlines [2] Focus on smaller business traveller routes within Germany and Europe. Close cooperation with Lufthansa on selected routes.
  • OLT [3] Selected niche routes in Germany with base in Bremen, serving eg: Borkum and Helgoland.
  • InterSky [4] Small but well-kept airline with few routes in Germany and Europe, based in Friedrichshafen (near Lake of Constance).

By train[edit]

Germany offers a fast and, if booked in advance, affordable railway system that reaches most parts of the country. Unless you travel by car, rail is likely to be your major mode of transport. Crossing Germany from Munich in the south to Hamburg in the north will usually take around 6h, while driving by car will take around 8h.

Almost all long-distance and many regional trains are operated by Deutsche Bahn (“German Rail”) , the formerly state-run railway company. DB’s website, available in many languages, is an excellent resource for working out transport options not only in Germany (generally all modes except air travel; bus, ship and branch line timetables being incomplete) but also pretty much anywhere in Europe (train and a few selected long-distance bus routes only). An interesting gimmick is the carbon dioxide emission comparisons for different train journeys.

Long distance[edit]

Inter City Express (ICE).

All major cities are linked by DB’s ICE (InterCity Express) and regular InterCity trains. ICE is a system of high speed trains that are capable of speeding with 330km/h, the condition of tracks and signals however allows top speeds of only 160km/h (usual), 200km/h (routes with special electronic equipment called “Ausbaustrecke”) or 250km/h to 300km/h (designated high-speed tracks only called “Neubaustrecke”). The top speed of 320km/h is reached on the journey from Frankfurt to Paris, France. Although significantly faster than by road (unless you are driving a Porsche), they are also expensive, with a one hour trip ( Frankfurt to Cologne, around 180km) costing around €67 one-way (normal price without any discount). However when you book the ticket on-line in advance, you can get a considerable discount (see Discounts).
Reservations are not mandatory but are recommended, especially when you travel on weekends or holidays. This means, that with Interrail or Eurail pass you can use domestic ICE trains without supplement (except for for international ICE trains)

Next are the regular InterCity (IC) and EuroCity (EC) trains. The latter connect the larger European cities and are virtually identical to the regular ICs. These trains are also fairly comfortable, even if they lack the high-tech feeling of the ICE.

On the major lines, an ICE or IC train will run each hour or so during the day, and even certain minor cities of touristic importance like Tübingen or Heringsdorf are connected on a daily or weekly basis. Before you shell out the money for the ICE ticket, you may want to check if it actually makes a significant time difference. ICE trains travel faster than other IC trains only on specially equipped high-speed routes. There are also long distance trains operated by other companies than Deutsche Bahn, usually running over secondary routes. These are usually comfortable enough (although not as comfortable as ICE) and sometimes considerably cheaper, but most of them stop at almost every station en-route.

In addition to being fast, modern and highly profitable, German railways are not known for delays, trains usually do not wait for one another (most local trains normally do for up to 5min) so you should not rely on connecting times of less than 15min.

Regional travel[edit]

Regional and local trains in Germany come in several flavors:

  • IRE (InterRegioExpress). The same as RE, but goes between two regions (Bundesland).
  • RE (Regional-Express). Semi-express trains, skips some stations. On many routes, this is the highest available train category.
  • RB (Regional-Bahn). Stops everywhere except that it may skip some S-Bahn stops.
  • S-Bahn. Commuter network for a city or metropolitan area but can travel fairly long distances. Only very few older S-Bahn trains offer the comfort of a toilet, which, however, often does not work.

Urban transportation systems are usually ran by local companies that are publicly held: these may include subways, city buses, light rail and even regional trains. In larger urban areas, the local companies will often form a Verkehrsverbund or VB (integrated public transport system): you will be able to travel in and between all participating cities using the same tickets and fares. These urban transport networks are often (but not always) integrated with the DB network and Verkehrsverbund tickets are valid in local trains.

Regular tickets[edit]

Old (keypad) and new (touchscreen) DB ticket machines

There are a few different locations where you can get your tickets:

  • On-line. The engine will automatically look up the cheapest possible fares according your requirements, including any applicable early-booking discounts. Pay on-line, print out your ticket, bring it along and you can ride. Tickets for some routes can also be purchased using the DB Navigator app and can be issued as a mobile ticket.

You must print the ticket on paper. Showing it on a computer/smartphone/tablet screen is not acceptable unless it was issued as a mobile ticket. Make sure you identify yourself using a credit card or a passport, depending on which ID method you chose when buying the ticket.

  • At a vending machine. If already at the station, find a new (touchscreen) ticket machine, tap the British Union flag, and then navigate through the menus. Like the on-line engine, they will automatically suggest the fastest routes, and credit cards are accepted. The machines sell all DB train tickets including some international tickets, network tickets and tickets for local VB. The new touchscreen machines accept credit cards, but the old ones do not. Ticket machines for the local Verkehrsverbund are yellow, white or grey. They can be used on all local transport in the area, including DB trains, but are not valid outside it. On secondary routes, vending machines placed inside trains are becoming a common sight, usually leaving smaller stations without vending machines. If a station is not equipped with a vending machine, you are allowed to buy your ticket inside the train. If there is no vending machine either, you are obliged to ask staff what to do: the same applies if the ticket machine is not working.
  • At a manned ticket counter. Head to any major train station (Hauptbahnhof) and find the Reisezentrum. You will need to queue and some cheap on-line offers may not be available. It has become quite uncommon to buy tickets at the counter, because ticket machines are situated at every DB train stop – even at the smallest whistle stop. Still, if you need help buying a ticket, just go to the counter as staff there speak English and can be very helpful to new arriving visitors.
  • On the train. If in a hurry, just run onto a ICE, IC or EC train and grab any non-reserved seat, then buy a ticket from the conductor for about 10% extra. Almost all conductors speak English. However, tickets are not sold on regional and local trains so you need to buy them at the station. Signs on the platform or on the train itself saying Einstieg nur mit gültigem Fahrausweis mean that you have to have a ticket before you board or pay €40 extra. Drivers on buses and trams, though, usually do sell tickets, but the assortment may be limited .

Now, if you’re travelling on local trains, things can get confusing. The basic unit of confusion is the Verkehrsverbund (VB), or “tariff union”, which is basically a region around a large city or sometimes almost the whole Bundesland (federal state) that has a single tariff system. Those tariff systems can be totally different from city to city.
Examples include VBB around Berlin and RMV around Frankfurt. Any travel within a single Verkehrsverbund is “local” and usually quite cheap; but any travel between Verkehrsverbunde requires either a special (within North Rhine-Westphalia) or the full DB fare and will usually be considerably more expensive. The catch is that DB trains often cross between Verkehrsverbunde with no warning at all, and your “local” ticket then stops being valid the instant you cross the invisible line.

With many local machines and old DB machines in the Frankfurt area, figure out the four-digit code for your destination, found on a panel of densely packed print nearby. Poke the flag button to switch to English, punch in the code for your destination station on the keypad, then hit the appropriate button in the left (“adult”) row below to pick your ticket. The first button is always one-way single (Einzelfahrausweis). A price will be displayed: feed in your money (quickly, since the time-out is quite fast, and the machine will spit out your tickets and change. For new blue DB machines, select the local tariff union in the top menu, and the rest is easy.

If you buy a local VB ticket, you will usually have to validate it by time stamping it at the bright yellow punch machines located on platforms. If you have no valid ticket or an un-punched ticket, you will be fined as a fare dodger. Ticket validity varies randomly from one VB to another: usually, there is either a zone system (the further you travel, the more you pay), a time system (the longer you travel, the more you pay), or most commonly a combination of these two. Unlimited transfers between trains, buses, etc. are usually allowed as long as your ticket remains valid. Discounts may be given for return trips, and one-day tickets (Tageskarte) are usually cheaper and much less hassle that single tickets, although zone limits apply to them as well. You can often pick up brochures attempting to explain all this, usually with helpful maps, and occasionally even in English, at a local Reisezentrum (ticket office).

Regional train tickets are point-to-point, with the destinations written on the ticket. They are valid only on trains (but in North Rhine-Westphalia, they are also on certain other means of public transport), although for long-distance tickets, you may have the option to add on a local transport ticket at your destination for a few euro extra.

Discounts[edit]

As standard fares are relatively expensive, there is a sometimes confusing set of special promotions and prices the rail companies offer at various times (tests showed that even many railway employees at ticket counters failed to find the best bargain). Your best course of action is to check their website or to ask at a train station or their telephone hotline for current details. If you search a connection with the on-line timetable, it offers you automatically a most favourable discount for desired journey. Try several departure times as discount tickets are limited and may be sold out for your initial choice. If you plan to travel a bit more extensively, a BahnCard or rail pass may be the better choice.

  • Sparpreis are low-cost one-way tickets, that cost from €19 for journeys up to 250 km, or from €29 for longer journeys. The actual price varies according to the demand on various days and relations. You should purchase it on-line at least three days in advance. Use a Preis Finder (in German) to find a cheapest Sparpreis variant for your journey.
  • Europa-Spezial is a Sparpreis variant for international connections. Within Germany they are available for all trains, but within foreign territories there may be restrictions on which trains can be used – if you cannot get a quote for a certain connection on-line this may be the cause.
  • Gruppe&Spar is a discount for groups of six or more people. Depending on the demand you can get 50-70% discount. For short journeys, the network tickets can be cheaper.
  • Last-Minute-Tickets for €25 (or €35 for an international trip) can be found 1-7 days before departure.
  • Children up to fourteen years travel free when accompanied by at least one of their parents or grandparents.
  • L’Tur L’Tur offers long distance tickets for €26 for off-peak trains. But beware: Like all other electronic tickets, for foreigners these L’Tur Tickets are ONLY valid in combination with a credit card!
  • HKX, the Hamburg-Köln-Express – a train pretty much as fast as IC trains run by an independent company is sometimes way cheaper than DB trains – but only available on its route between Hamburg and Cologne via Düsseldorf and several towns in the Ruhrgebiet. Note that HKX trains skip Bremen.

Unlike standard tickets, Sparpreis and Europa-Spezial tickets are valid only on the train booked so you cannot use them on an earlier or later train. Obviously if your train is delayed and you miss the follow-up train connection that restriction is lifted, however it is advisable to get a train conductor or some staff at the train station to confirm this on your ticket.

BahnCard[edit]

BahnCard [5] is a good choice, if you plan to travel by train a lot. It’s valid for one year from the date of purchase and gives you discounts on all standard tickets. Long-distance BahnCard tickets frequently do include one single journey on public transport in many destinations (look out for City ticket). However, you have to keep in mind that once you sign a contract for the card, they will automatically renew your card at the end of its time period unless you cancel it in writing before the last three months of the card starts. The DB employees may not tell you about this stipulation when you buy the card, thus there’s a petition against this practice online at change.org.

The BahnCard discount doesn’t apply to network tickets, but some transportation networks do offer their own discounts for BahnCard holders.

  • BahnCard 25 costs €61 (reduces: €41) and gives you a 25% discount on all standard tickets. Spouses and kids of BahnCard 25-owners can get additional cards for €5. Bahncard 25 discount can be combined with the Sparpreis and Europa-Spezial.
  • Jugend BahnCard 25 costs €10 and gives children and teenagers up to 18 years of age a 25% discount on standard and discounted tickets in first and second class. Unlike regular BahnCards it is valid for three years or until the young person turns 19, whichever comes first.
  • BahnCard 50 costs €249 and gives you a 50% discount on all standard tickets. You can get this card for €127 if you’re a pupil or student in Germany (up to 26 years of age), a pensioner of more than 60 years or disabled.

A Probe BahnCard 25 is periodically introduced under varying names, and this entitles the bearer to the BahnCard 25 discount for themselves (and, on occasion, up to four accompanying riders) for four months and costs €29.

Network tickets[edit]

The German network tickets are valid for one day in all DB local trains (S, RB, RE and IRE), local private trains and public city transport. They are often a cheaper alternative to single or return tickets, because on many shorter relations local trains are not much slower as long-distance trains (IC, EC, ICE). Check the travel time at the on-line timetable and select the Only local transport button.

If you need a network ticket for long-distance trains, use some of european rail passes or German Rail Pass.

  • Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket (translated as ‘Lovely Weekend Ticket’) lets you travel anywhere in Germany on a Saturday or Sunday until 03:00 the following day. If you have time on your hands, it is very inexpensive at just €42 for up to 5 people. The Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket is potentially an ultra-cheap form of long distance travel: You can get from Munich to Hamburg for as little as €8.40 per traveller, taking 12 or more hours, but still faster and more comfortable than taking the bus.
  • Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket is another one-day network ticket valid on working days 09:00-03:00 the following day. Ticket costs €44 for one person and €6 for every other up to 5 people.
  • If your travel is contained within a single Bundesland (state), then you can buy a Länder-Ticket valid in one state, plus, usually, a few short links across the border. Time validity is 09:00 to 03:00 on the following day on working days and 00:01 to 03:00 the following day on weekends. Tickets begin at €22 for 1 person and €29 – €38 for a group of up to five people.

All network tickets can be purchased on-line and at ticket machines at railway stations. You cannot buy them from the conductor.

Some locals look for other people at stations to share a journey with to reduce costs (there is a website for searching for a travelmate). Some even sell their network ticket for a discount after arriving at their destination to recoup some of their funds. In response, the German Railway now requires you to write your name on the ticket in order to validate it, thus making it harder to sell the ticket to someone else once your journey is over. However the conductor hardly ever checks your identity.

German Rail Pass[edit]

German Rail Pass [6] allows for unlimited travel throughout Germany in all trains on 3-10 days within 1 month. There is an interesting “twin” discount for two people travelling together. The pass is available only for residents outside Europe, Turkey and Russia and you can purchase it on-line at the website above or from travel agencies outside Germany.

Eurail offers a pass for 3-10 days of travel (does not have to be consecutive) throughout Germany [7]

Carrying bikes[edit]

In many Verkehrsverbünde, you can carry a bike on a train with normal ticket without supplement at off-peak hours. For short journeys outside Verkehrverbund you can buy a bike supplement ticket for €4.50, valid on all local trains for one day. On long-distance trains the supplement costs €9 for a day (€6 with BahnCard). On international routes the supplement is €10 for one journey, €15 for CityNightLine to France and Belgium.

On local trains you can carry bike usually in the open area near doors, especially in the first/ last coach of a train – usually the side without the locomotive. Long-distance trains have special section with bike holders. Follow up the bike symbols near the car door. Bikes are not allowed on high-speed trains (ICE, Thalys, TGV).

Information for railway fans[edit]

There are several railways of special interest in Germany.

  • Rasender Roland on Rügen
  • Mecklenburgische Bäderbahn Molli in Bad Doberan
  • Harzquerbahn
  • Harzer Schmalspurbahn
  • Lössnitz Valley Railroad
  • Wuppertaler Schwebebahn in Wuppertal, the world’s oldest monorail
  • H-Bahn in Dortmund
  • Schwebebahn Dresden
  • Transrapid [8] maglev test track in Emsland

Cog railways are in Stuttgart, up Drachenfels, up the Zugspitze Mountain and up the Wendelstein Mountain.

For an almost complete list, see de:Sehenswerte Eisenbahnen in Deutschland.

DB subsidiaries[edit]

  • Burgenlandbahn [9] (Artern – Nebra – Naumburg, Zeitz – Teuchern – Weißenfels / Naumburg, Querfurt – Merseburg, Merseburg – Schafstädt)
  • Usedomer Bäderbahn (Usedom/ Baltic Sea)

Other railway corporations[edit]

  • ABELLIO [10] (Bochum – Gelsenkirchen, Essen – Bochum – Letmathe – Iserlohn / Siegen)
  • Albtal-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft [11] (Bad Wildbad – Pforzheim, Bruchsal – Bretten – Mühlacker, several lines through Karlsruhe)
  • Altona-Kaltenkirchen-Neumünster Eisenbahn [12] (Eidelstedt / Norderstedt – Ulzburg – (Elmshorn – Altona / Hamburg) / Neumünster)
  • Bahnbetriebsgesellschaft Stauden [13] (Gessertshausen – Fischach – Markt Wald, Günzburg – Krumbach)
  • Bayerische Oberlandbahn [14] (München – Lenggries / Tegernsee / Bayrischzell)
  • Bayerische Zugspitzbahn [15] (Garmisch-Partenkirchen – Grainau – Schneefernerhaus/Zugspitzplatt)
  • Bodensee-Oberschwaben-Bahn [16] (Friedrichshafen Hafen – Aulendorf)
  • Borkumer Kleinbahn und Dampfschiffahrt [17] (on the North Sea island Borkum)
  • Breisgau-S-Bahn-Gesellschaft [18] (Freiburg – Breisach, Riegel – Endingen – Breisach, Riegel – Gottenheim, Freiburg – Elzach)
  • Brohltal Schmalspur-Eisenbahn [19] (Brohl – Engeln)
  • Busverkehr Ober- und Westerzgebirge Bahn [20] (Cranzahl – Oberwiesenthal, Radebeul Ost – Radeburg)
  • Chiemseebahn [21] (Prien(DB) – Hafen Stock)
  • City Bahn Chemnitz [22] (Chemnitz – Stollberg, Stollberg – St. Egidien – Glauchau, Chemnitz – Burgstädt, Chemnitz – Hainichen)
  • Connex Sachsen [23] (Cottbus – Görlitz – Zittau, Leipzig – Bad Lausick – Geithain, Görlitz – Bischofswerda – Dresden)
  • Dessau-Wörlitzer Eisenbahn [24] (Dessau / Ferropolis – Oranienbaum – Wörlitz)
  • Döllnitzbahn [25] (Oschatz – Mügeln – Kemmlitz, Nebitzschen – Glossen)
  • HKX [26] (Hamburg – Köln)
  • InterConnex [27] (Leipzig – Berlin – Rostock Warnemünde)
  • Netinera Alex [28] (Hof / Praha – Schwandorf – München / Nürnberg, Lindau / Oberstdorf – Kempten – München)
  • NordWestBahn [29]

German Ticket inspectors/ Conductors[edit]

The turnstiles known from underground rails in London, New York, Paris and many other big cities in the world do not exist in Germany. This means nothing and noone will tell you your ticket is not valid in the moment you get on the train. On most trains some kind of staff will come around more or less randomly to check you have a proper ticket.

On long distance trains they are easy to spot with their uniforms. On IC, EC and ICE trains it is possible to buy a ticket from the conductor for cash or Credit Card (but no other cards!).

In all other trains you are usually in deep trouble if you board with no ticket – unless there is one of the rare onboard ticket vending machines which have to be used immediately after boarding.
On local trains or S-Bahn anything is possible: There may be uniformed conductors (that usually do not sell tickets), inspectors that resemble doormans at a club (and also may throw you out) or they are simply “stealth” casually dressed “passengers”. The ‘stealth’-inspectors should show a ticket inspector ID before starting their checks.

Make 100% sure you have the right ticket before you get on a train because some ticket inspectors are very strict in particular with foreign (looking) and youngster passengers.

Whatever happens, in no case, any ticket inspector may expel unaccompanied kids below 18 from a train. This applies especially at remote stations during nighttime. If this happens to you(r kid) call the police!

By bus[edit]

Long distance (City to City)[edit]

In 2012 the Germany liberated the market for long distance buses. A law, which was designed to protect the national railway, had previously restricted long distances buses mostly to services from and to Berlin.

Since the law was repealed, lots of new bus services have been created and are fighting for their share of the market. This often means great deals for travellers, even though the pricing can be somewhat confusing at times. Only time will show which of the you companies survive and how prices will turn out in the long run. The major contenders, some of them just founded in 2013, include:

  • MeinFernbus Connecting the big German Cities (plus some resorts at the North Sea Shore, plus Zürich)
  • FlixBus Connecting the big German Cities (plus Prague & Zürich)
  • City2City … the name says it all. (insolvent since September 2014)
  • ADAC Postbus By the Deutsche Post in cooperation with the automobile club ADAC
  • BerlinLinienBus A company owned by DB, mostly going from & to Berlin
  • EuroLines / Touring Before 2013 this company already offered serious long haul connections (i.e. to England, Spain or Ukraine…). Now they also offer domestic bus lines.

The major routes are connected by several companies, partly in a intense competition. The prices tend to vary a lot, comparision websites help to identify the best offers.
As the companies are new, MeinFernBus and Flixbus don’t always have coaches with their own logos painted on them – they often charter buses from other (local) bus companies. Also, bus stop are partly in a bad condition or merely existent. Be sure to check the exact location of the bus stop in advance.

Regional (City to Village/ Inside a town)[edit]

Apart from these, there is a very dense network of regional and local bus lines. In rural areas, though, many lines run only once per day. Regional and local express bus line designators usually contain the letter(s) CE (local), E (regional around Hamburg; in other areas, E is used for special runs), S (regional), SB (regional and local) or X (local within Berlin), city bus line designators may contain the letter(s) BB (“Bürgerbus”, not integrated within tariff unions), C or O. Always check the departure boards carefully: sometimes, especially at night or in rural areas, you have to order your bus by phone.

By car[edit]

Germany has a world-famous network of excellent roads and Autobahn (motorway) with no toll or fees for cars (trucks have to pay), but gasoline prices are kept high by taxation. As of October 2013 prices float around €1.60 per litre for petrol (91 and 95 octane), and around €1.50 per litre for diesel. Oddly, normal petrol and “super” is the same price in Germany. At petrol stations, you have the choice between Diesel, Benzin (91 octane, not very common), Super (95 octane), Super E10 (95 octane also, but higher share of biofuel; inquire with car rental or petrol station since it might damage your car) and SuperPlus (98 octane) or Ultimate (100 octane). Also, LPG (liquid petroleum gas) is available with few problems on highways. Here and there, you might find “Erdgas”; this is compressed natural gas not gasoline. In Germany, you may first fill up your tank and pay afterwards (only if the petrol station is staffed, of course). Some stations will not release the fuel to pump unless you pay first or at least hand over a credit card in advance.

Fuel stations situated at the autobahn are quick and convenient and usally accepts international debit/credit cards, but as a rule, fuel is generally more expensive. Save a few euros by filling up your car at fuel stations situated in smaller cities or on the countryside – just be aware that small petrol stations does not always accept international debit/credit cards, so keep some cash on hand!

Car Rental and Carpools[edit]

All German airports offer car hire services and most of the main hire firms operate at desk locations

Car hire and pool cars are also available in most cities, and one-way rentals (within Germany) are generally permitted with the larger chains without an additional fee. When renting a car, be aware that most cars in Germany have manual gearbox (stick-shift), so you might want to ask for a car with an automatic gearbox if you are used to that type. Drivers with an endorsement in their licence that restricts them to driving automatic transmission vehicles will not be allowed to rent a manual-transmission car.

Most car rentals prohibit having their cars taken to eastern European countries, including Poland and the Czech Republic. If you plan to visit these countries as well, you might chose to rent your car there, as those limitations do not apply the other way round.

Another great way to get around without your own car is using one of the popular carpool services. You can arrange many connections over their respective websites if you speak some German or have a friend that can help you out. Making contact is free of charge and getting a lift is often the cheapest way to get around. The two most popular hosts are Mitfahrgelegenheit [30] and Mitfahrzentrale [31], for second one you have to pay an extra charge. If you have your own car, taking other people is also a great way of saving money and protecting the environment.
Another very good site is [32] which compares different means of transportation.

Traffic rules[edit]

All foreign licences are accepted for up to six months (or 12 months for a temporary stay only), but a translation may be necessary. If you want to continue driving after this period, you must obtain a German licence. These rules do not apply to driving licences issued in EU member states.

  • Traffic Lights: Turing right on red is not permitted except when a sign showing a small green right arrow is affixed to the traffic light. Then, you may turn right carefully, but you must still stop to make sure that there is no traffic or pedestrians approaching. Sometimes instead of a sign is a light with the same symbol on it: you are allowed to turn right without stopping as long as the light is on; the same applies to left-arrow lights.

In many areas traffic lights are not hung over the intersection but placed at the corners. Do not creep into the intersection or you will not be able to see the lights change. Some intersections (especially in bigger cities) use “self-regulating” traffic lights. The inductive sensor device used to determine if there’s a car waiting is under the thick white stripe in front of the traffic light. Be sure to stop right in front of (or very slightly on) that stripe or the sensor might not recognise you. The light will still turn green but you might have to wait quite a while longer.

Yellow lights are short in duration and are also used prior to the light turning green. If the yellow light is flashing this means the traffic light either is defective or switched off (for example late at night or during weekends), and you then have to observe traffic signs or, if absent, the “right before left” rule. Driving through the lights at red carries a fine (up to €200).

  • Mobile phones: Using your mobile phone while driving is forbidden, unless you use a hands-free set. This includes using the mobile phone while stopped at a traffic light, etc. It does not matter if you use the phone for making a call or just reading the clock: If you pick it up, you are violating the rule. This also means that using a navigation software on a smartphone is not allowed, unless the phone is mounted in the car. The police are quite strict about this.
  • Children: Children under 12 years of age, who are shorter than 150 cm (approx. 59 inches) have to use a child safety seat. The seat has to be appropriate to the child’s height and weight and must be approved by the EU. For older kindergartners and school-aged children booster seats are sufficient. Children may also ride in the front seat.
  • Cyclists and road markings: Normal road markings are white. Yellow road markings invalidate any existing white markings, observe the yellow markings. Watch out for cyclists on sidewalk lanes, sometimes they are allowed to use the “wrong direction” lane (though many drive in “wrong direction” even if they are not allowed to do so). If a road crosses a bicycle lane (Radweg). it might have a red or blue colour where it interjects with the bicycle lane or other special markings. Then, cyclists have right of way. If in doubt or there are no markings, its still a good idea to give right of way.
  • Pedestrian crossings: Stopping at “Zebrastreifen” (literally “zebra stripes”) is mandatory when there are people waiting to cross the street and German drivers virtually always stop. Accordingly, many pedestrians will not wait for the car to stop before they use the pedestrian crossing. Not stopping can be charged with a 80€ fine and four points.
  • Traffic Police: The police will show blinking signs reading “Polizei Halt” (police, stop) or “Bitte folgen” (please follow) if they want to stop you. An audible “yelp-signal” is currently being introduced. Stay calm and friendly, and hand over the driving license and car papers (if you rent a car, you will have a copy of the rental contract) when you are asked to. In most cases, that is all that happens, and if you respect traffic signs and speed limits, it is very unlikely that you get stopped at all. Take notice that the police car will usually stop you by passing your car and then slowing you down to a halt on the emergency lane or even on the sidewalk. However when a police car is behind you on a crowded street with oncoming traffic, flashing blue lights without sirens may prompt you to pull over as well.

The police may routine check vehicle drivers for alcohol; controls will be especially heavy at national holidays or close to mass events where people may consume alcohol. It’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.05% (0.5‰ (permille)). Even below that limit, you may face severe fines if you seem unfit to drive. The limit is zero for people under 21 and those who have held their license for less than two years. If your license was recently renewed, it might be a good idea, if possible, to have a copy of your previous license.

All accidents, no matter how small, must be reported to the police at the time. You will usually be asked to show your driving licence, some other form of ID, and the car papers (Zulassungsbescheinigung – a long green card covered with numbers which is found in all rental cars). The police will fill out an accident report (which is usually needed by most car rental companies for insurance claims), stating where and when the accident took place and the vehicles involved in the accident. There is also usually a fine to pay (approximately €25 if the accident was caused in “stationary” traffic: parking and can be up to €40 if the accident was caused in “moving” traffic), which must be paid either on the spot or at the nearest police station. The fine can be higher if there was an obstruction or hazard to other road users. Hitting and running, if caught, is punished with a heavy fine (the German police possess surprising efficiency when it comes to tracking down foreign cars caught breaking the traffic laws).

  • Speed limits are the following in Germany (unless otherwise shown):
  • 5 km/h on “Spielstraßen” (marked by a blue/white sign showing playing kids, pedestrians have priority)
  • 30 km/h in most residential areas within cities (marked with a sign “30-Zone Wohngebiet”, 20-Zone and 10-Zone also exist)
  • 50 km/h inside towns and cities (including “Kraftfahrstraßen” (marked by a sign showing a white car on a blue background))
  • 100 km/h outside towns and cities
  • There is no constant general speed limit on the “Autobahn” or on “Kraftfahrstraßen” if there is any kind of barrier between two or more lanes of different direction. However, it is not an entirely unrestricted roadway as there are sections that are periodically or permanently assigned lower rates of speed. The recommended maximum speed on the Autobahn is 130 km/h, and if you drive on the Autobahn for your first time and are not yet used to the usual heavy traffic, you should not exceed that speed. In addition, if you are legally travelling in excess of 130 km/h and are involved in an accident you can still be held liable for part or all of the damages, regardless of fault on your part.

Speed cameras are common in Germany (the country has one of the highest speed camera concentrations in Europe) and are found mostly in towns and cities. Temporary road works on the motorway are usually a favourite for the police so obey the speed limit, which is clearly marked. Also be aware that all forms of radar jammers and radar detectors (including satellite navigation systems with a speed camera overlay) are illegal.

The following table gives an overview of the fines for speeding (the speeds below indicate the difference between the speed limit and the actual speed travelled after the 3 km/h allowance has been deducted)

Inside built-up areas

  • up to 10 km/h €15
  • 11-15 km/h €25
  • 16-20 km/h €35
  • 21-25 km/h €80 [1 point]
  • 26-30 km/h €100 [3 points]
  • 31-40 km/h €160 [3 points, 1 month driving ban]
  • 41-50 km/h €200 [4 points, 1 month driving ban]
  • 51-60 km/h €280 [4 points, 2 months driving ban]
  • 61-70 km/h €480 [4 points, 3 months driving ban]
  • over 70 km/h €680 [4 points, 3 months driving ban]

Outside built-up areas (such as motorway, country roads; also in road works)

  • up to 10 km/h €10
  • 11-15 km/h €20
  • 16-20 km/h €30
  • 21-25 km/h €70 [1 point]
  • 26-30 km/h €80 [3 points]
  • 31-40 km/h €120 [3 points]
  • 41-50 km/h €160 [3 points, 1 month driving ban]
  • 51-60 km/h €240 [4 points, 1 month driving ban]
  • 61-70 km/h €440 [4 points, 2 months driving ban]
  • over 70 km/h €600 [4 points, 3 months driving ban]

NB: There is an extra €23.50 for any fine over €40.

You have the right to appeal against any traffic violation, but this process is long, complicated and can cost a lot of money.

Only vehicles with a maximum speed of more than 60 km/h are allowed on the “Autobahn” or “Kraftfahrstraßen”.

  • Low emission zones: All cars driving into a low emission zone (Umweltzone) need a badge (Feinstaubplakette) indicating their pollution category. Badges come in three colours: green, yellow, and red. Signs marking the start of pollution-free zones–typically the central parts of a city–show the colours allowed into the zone. Entering without a badge costs you a fine if you are caught. If you rent a car, make sure it has a Feinstaubplakette. If you travel in your own car, get your badge for a small fee from:
  • vehicle registration offices
  • technical inspection organizations such as TÜV (you can request a badge online) or Dekra
  • many car repair shops
  • Studded tyres are strictly forbidden throughout Germany, except a 15 km zone along the Austrian border and the short cut via B21 between the Austrian cities of Salzburg and Lofer.

Using the Autobahn[edit]

Autobahn A9 near Ingolstadt in Bavaria

  • German drivers tend to drive faster and more aggressively than you might be used to, especially on the parts of the highway system without a speed limit, which is taken literally.
  • Some people will drive really fast and expect everyone else to accomodate them by getting out of the way. They may flash their headlights and aggressively drive up to you if you are “in their way”. In that case, stay calm. Let them pass as soon as you can, but don’t be bullied into unsafe maneuvers. You can set your right indicator to tell them that you are planning to leave the left lane as soon as you can.
  • While most passenger vehicles have only a recommended speed limit of 130 km/h (80 mph), some buses have a speed limit of 100 km/h (62 mph), and most vehicles towing a trailer, along with buses in general and non-passenger vehicles with a gross weight of greater than 3.5 t (3.8 short tons), are limited only to 80 km/h. Some newer trailers have a speed limit of 100 km/h.
  • Before switching to the left lane, make very sure no one is coming up from behind you. Remember, people there may be up to 100 km/h faster than yourself.
  • Road signs on the Autobahn show possible destinations (mostly city names). They do not show the direction of the road (east/west), unlike in some other countries. However every odd-numbered Autobahn will go north/south (e.g. A49), whereas the even-numbereds go west/eastwards. Furthermore single digit Autobahn numbers indicate a very long Autobahn such as the A7 which goes from the border to Denmark all the way down to the Austrian border.
  • An important phrase to know is bei Nässe, which you will see written under some speed limit signs. This means that the speed limit indicated applies only when the road is wet. Some limits have Lärmschutz – meaning that the speed limit is in place, usually for a short distance, to reduce the noise pollution from the road.
  • You must not pass vehicles on the right side, except in a traffic jam. Also, you are supposed use left lane only for passing other vehicles: The rules of the road state that you must return to the right lane when possible. However, if the Autobahn has three or more lanes, you can stay in the middle lane as long as there are a few slower vehicles on the right.
  • The emergency lane is to be used only for real emergencies. If you stop for “avoidable” reasons (including ‘out of fuel’), the police may fine you when they find you. If you are in an emergency: Make sure you are safe. Leave the vehicle and stay off the road (including the emergency lane). Then set up your emergency triangle and call help from the nearest orange emergency phone. The small arrows on the posts will guide you. You may also use your mobile, but the emergency phone will transmit your position.
  • In some areas, emergency tracks are used as extra lanes in times of heavy traffic. This is always announced by electronic light signs.
  • In case of a breakdown, you may also call the ADAC, the world’s largest automobile club. The number is +49 180 2222222 from fixed lines and 22 22 22 from mobile phones regardless of network. On the Autobahn, the ADAC must always come to you free of charge, and you don’t have to become a member either. In other situations, there may be costs involved if you’re not a member. If you’re a member of a foreign AA or automobile club, you may want to check if the ADAC honours your membership.

Ride-sharing[edit]

Ride-sharing is popular in Germany and the fare for a ride is often much cheaper than the railway fare.
There are several websites which put drivers offering to share their vehicles in touch with passengers willing to share the costs of that journey. Popular websites are mitfahrgelegenheit.de [33], blablacar.de [34], mitfahren.de [35], fahrgemeinschaft.de [36], mitfahrzentrale.de [37], bessermitfahren.de [38]. Shared rides for trips by train can be arranged, too.

By recreational vehicle and campervans[edit]

German campgrounds (like most others in Western Europe) usually offer a full range of amenities. You always have your own electricity hookup, and water and sewer hookups for each are common,. Every campground has restrooms and showers as well as kitchens, washing-machines and a spin dryer.

The yellow pages of camping, or, if you like, the German camping bible, is the ADAC Campingführer, a campground guide by Germany’s largest automobile club ADAC. It lists almost all campgrounds along with prices, type of location, size, opening hours, amenities, you-name-it. Since the guide uses lots of symbols which are explained in a number of languages, it is suitable for travellers from abroad, too.

By thumb[edit]

It is possible to hitchhike in Germany and most Germans speak basic English, so you will be understood if you speak slowly. Drivers rarely expect you to give them any money for the ride. The first letters of the German number plate (before the hyphen) indicate the city in which the car is registered. If you know the code for your destination [39], it will increase your chances of stopping the right vehicle.

It is illegal to stop on the Autobahn itself, but hitchhiking from service areas or petrol stations is a good way of getting long rides (100-200 km). The hard part is getting onto the Autobahn, so it pays off to sleep near the gas stations if you are going far. At the gas stations, you can get a free booklet called Tanken und Rasten with a map of the Autobahn and its gas stations. When getting a lift, agree with the driver where to get off, and make sure there is a gas station. Try to avoid the Autohofs.

It is also quite common to arrange a ride in a private vehicle in advance through on offline agency or the Internet. Offline agencies like Citynetz [40] or ADM [41] do have offices in major cities, mostly near the city centre or the main railway station. These offline agencies do charge a commission to the cost for fuel you need to pay for the driver.

In the recent, years online services to arrange rides in private vehicles became very popular, as both parties do not have to pay the commission to traditional agencies. You need to contribute only towards fuel costs. (example: Frankfurt to Berlin 25 euro). You can contact the driver directly by e-mail, phone or sms. As the drivers need to be registered, it is safer than hitchhiking.

Hitchhikers [42] is a comparable service, multilingual and free. Mitfahrgelegenheit [43] and Mitfahrzentrale [44] are other well known players with plenty of rides in their databases. Mitfahrzentrale even operates all over Europe. Raumobil [45] is a new player in the market but a more private-run affair. Mitflugzentrale [46] arranges rides in private planes.

Another form of hitchhiking available in Germany is on the trains. People purchase a Wochenende-ticket (weekend ticket) which allows them to take up to four other people with them on the regional transports for the entire weekend. To hitch a ride with these travelers, first figure out which regional transportation you will need to take in order to reach your destination. You may figure that out online at the German train website [47], making sure to check “regional transportation only” or train stations in major cities have computer terminals in which you can do the same. Then, just hop on the train that is going your way.

Usually, within one car you will find someone willing to let you tag along. “Haben Sie ein Wochenendeticket?” Do you have a weekend ticket? “Darf ich bei Ihnen mitfahren?” May I travel with you?. Just make sure it is the right train and the weekend. Please be aware that this is risky – you’ll have to find someone before you are asked for your ticket by control personell – the fines are hefty(40€).

To travel within one of the German states, there are (in most larger states) regional tickets (like “Bayern-Ticket”) available. If you ask people seemingly doing nothing at the ticket machines around 20 minutes before regional trains between major stations depart, they may be willing to share a ticket with you. As the number of passengers sharing a ticket has to be known in advance, consider finding a group through the “Mitfahrzentrale” or similar services mentioned above in advance.

Talk[edit]

The official language of Germany is German. The standard register of German is called “Hochdeutsch” (High German). This can be understood by all mother-tongue speakers of German and spoken by almost all when necessary. However, every region has its own dialect, which might pose a challenge sometimes to those who speak even good German and even to native speakers as well. This is usually noticeable only in the south (not too much in big cities such as Stuttgart or Munich though) and rural areas of the north and east. Thus, when travelling in Bavaria, Saxony and Baden, you are stepping foot in places where dialect remains a strong part of the local identity. The general rule is that south of the Main River divides north Germany from the south in both language and local culture.

If you intend address the person you’re speaking to in German, refer to the person as “Sie” if you aren’t acquainted with that person yet. “Du” can be used if both of you are already close (the form of the verbs will also change).

All Germans learn English at school, so you should be able to get by with English in most places especially in the former West Germany. Many people–especially in the tourism industry and higher educated persons–also speak French, Russian or Spanish, but if you can’t speak German, English remains your best bet. Even if one member of the staff doesn’t speak English, you are likely to find someone who does and is more than willing to help you. In the southeastern part of that area, a small Slavic community of 50,000 also speak the Sorbian language, the least spoken modern Slavic language today, but widely protected from near-extinction since 1945.

If you address a German with English, always first ask “Do you speak English?” or even better its German translation, “Sprechen Sie Englisch?” as that is considered a sign of politeness.

Germans are less fluent in the English language and often answer questions very briefly (one or two words) because they feel uncertain how to create a complete English sentence. This might sometimes appear impolite but is not at all meant this way. Germans less fluent in English also often say “become” instead of “get” because the German word “bekommen” (“get”) is phonetically so close to “become”. Since it’s polite to reply “Bitte” if someone thanks you, Germans may literally translate this with “please” instead of “here you are” or “you’re welcome”. Another source of confusion is that Germans call mobile or cellular phones a “Handy” and many of them regard this as an English word.

Germans (considering themselves) fluent in the English language will often offer to speak English with you if you try to speak German with them. It’s considered by most as a sign of politeness even though it might be annoying for people who want to practice German. Pointing out that you’ll want to try in German is perfectly fine and most people will react very positive (or apologize) if you do.

It is worth noting that English is in the same language family as the German language. Hence when you read German signs, there are a good number of words that may resemble their English counterparts.

While Germany uses the 24 hour format for written times, people very often use 12 hour times in conversations. There is no real suffix like “AM/PM”, though you can add “vormittags” (before noon) and “nachmittags” (after noon) when it’s not clear from the context. Another difference is that when saying the time is 07:30, English speakers would say “half (past) seven” whereas Germans say “halb acht” (“half eight”) in most regions. In addition, Germans say two-digit numbers “backwards”: instead of “twenty-two” they say “two and twenty.” Numbers below 20 are said the same way as in English. This becomes especially important when you inquire for prices, although most who speak English with you should use the correct form. It is still better to double-check what is really meant.

See also German phrasebook.

See[edit][add listing]

Cultural and historical attractions[edit]

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

When thinking of Germany, beer, lederhosen and Alpine hats quickly come to mind, but these stereotypes mostly relate to Bavarian culture and do not represent Germany as a whole. Germany is a vast and diverse country with 16 culturally unique states that only form a political union since 1871.

If you’re still looking for the cliches, the Romantic Road is a famous scenic route along romantic castles and picturesque villages. With its fairy tale appearance, the Neuschwanstein Castle could be considered the most iconic of German castles. The walled city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber has a beautiful mediaeval centre that seems untouched by the passage of time. Similar typical German towns can be found elsewhere in the country, like Görlitz, Bamberg, Celle, Heidelberg, Erfurt, and Quedlinburg. Your picture postcard visit to Germany will be complete with a visit to the beer halls of Munich and a peek of the Alps at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Germany is a modern industrial nation, and the Wirtschaftswunder is best represented by the industrial heritage of the Ruhr. Hamburg is another economic powerhouse with the second busiest port of the continent. Frankfurt is the financial centre of Germany, and of Europe as a whole, as it is the base of the European Central Bank. Its skyline comes close to those found at the other side of the Atlantic. The fashion city of Düsseldorf, media industry of Cologne, and car companies in Stuttgart each represent a flourishing sector of the German economic miracle.

A completely different experience can be found in Berlin, a city unlikely to be found anywhere else on the planet. While architecturally an odd mismatch of sterilised apartment blocks, post-modernist glass and steel structures, and some historic left-overs, it has a laid-back atmosphere and a culture of internationalism that accepts everyone as a “Berliner”. Its turbulent history gave rise to an enormous wealth of historical attractions, among them the Berlin Wall, Brandenburger Tor, Bundestag, Checkpoint Charlie, Fernsehturm, Holocaust Memorial, Rotes Rathaus, and the DDR Museum. But do not miss out the Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood if you want to feel like a true Berliner.

Schöningen : City of the Spears

The Schöningen Spears are 8 wooden throwing spears from the Palaeolithic Age, that were found between 1994 and 1998 in the open-cast lignite mine, Schöningen, county Helmstedt, Germany, together with approx. 16,000 animal bones. More than 300,000 years old they are the oldest completely preserved hunting weapons in the world and they are regarded as the first evidence of the active hunt by Homo heidelbergensis. These discoveries have permanently changed the picture of the cultural and social development of early man.

Natural attractions[edit]

Due to its size and location in Central Europe, Germany boasts a large variety of different landscapes. In the north, Germany has an extensive coastline along the North Sea and the Baltic Seas in a vast area known as the North German Plain. The landscape is very flat and the climate is rough with strong winds and mild, chilly temperatures. Due to the south-easterly winds that press water into the German Bight, tidal variations are exceptionally high, creating the Wadden Sea. Vast areas of the seabed are uncovered twice a day, allowing one to walk from one of the numerous islands to another. The East Frisian Islands just off the coast are very picturesque, although mostly visited by the Germans themselves. Favourite white sand resorts along the Baltic Sea include Rügen and Usedom.

The central half of Germany is a patchwork of the Central Uplands, hilly rural areas where fields and forests intermix with larger cities. Many of these hill ranges are tourist destinations, like the Bavarian Forest, the Black Forest, the Harz, the Ore Mountains, and Saxon Switzerland. The Rhine Valley has a very mild, amenable climate and fertile grounds, making it the country’s most important area for wine and fruit growing.

In the extreme south, bordering Austria, Germany contains a small portion of the Alps, Central Europe’s highest elevation, rising as high as 4,000 m (12,000 ft) above sea level, with the highest summit in Germany being the Zugspitze at 2962 m (9,717 ft). While only a small part of the Alps lie in Germany, they are famous for their beauty and the unique Bavarian culture. Along the country’s southwestern border with Switzerland and Austria lies Lake Constance, Germany’s largest fresh-water lake.

Itineraries[edit]

  • Bertha Benz Memorial Route — follows the tracks of the world’s first long-distance journey by automobile
  • Romantic Road — the most famous scenic route in Germany that starts in Würzburg and ends in Füssen

Do[edit][add listing]

Königsee nearby Berchtesgaden, Bavaria St. Bartolomä

Germany offers virtually every activity you can imagine. Most Germans are members of a sports club and visit cultural events less often. Due to the federal structure every region has its own specific activities.

Sports[edit]

Germany is crazy about football and the German Football Association DFB [48] is the biggest FA association in the world with 6.35 million members (8% of the German population) in more than 25,000 clubs. Every village has a club and the games are the main social event on weekends. Participation is strongly encouraged.

In the winter many people go skiing in the Alps in Bavaria close to Munich.

Almost every middle-size German city has a spa (often called Therme) with swimming pools, water slides, hot tubs, saunas, steam baths, sun roofs etc. The sauna areas are coed and people are nude there.

Cultural events[edit]

Germany has world class opera houses (especially Berlin, Bayreuth, and Munich) and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra [49] is known as one of the top three orchestras in the world. Germany is considered to have the strongest classical music traditions in Europe, with many famous composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Handel and Wagner originating from Germany. Several theatres in bigger cities play outstanding classical and contemporary plays. Germany prides itself in the wide variety of cultural events and every city works out a cultural agenda.

Musicals[edit]

Musicals are popular in Germany. Although there are some touring productions from time to time, most shows stay in a specific city for a few years. Most shows belong to the company called “Stage Entertainment”. The main ‘musical cities’ are Hamburg (for example The Lion King), Berlin (for example Blue Man Group), Oberhausen (Wicked), Stuttgart (for example Dance of the Vampires), Bochum (Starlight Express) and Cologne.

Shakespeare[edit]

Rather interestingly, William Shakespeare is adored in Germany like almost nowhere else–the Anglosphere included. This can be attributed in large part to Goethe, who fell in love with the Bard’s works. If your German is up to it or you can find a English performance, seeing a performance can be very interesting. According to some Germans, Shakespeare is actually improved in translation, as the language used is more contemporary. Judge for yourself.

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Currency[edit]

Germany has the euro (€) as its sole currency along with 24 other countries that use this common European money. These 24 countries are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain (official euro members which are all European Union member states) as well as Andorra, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino and the Vatican which use it without having a say in eurozone affairs and without being European Union members. Together, these countries have a population of 327 million.

One euro is divided into 100 cents. While each official euro member (as well as Monaco, San Marino and Vatican) issues its own coins with a unique obverse, the reverse, as well as all bank notes, look the same throughout the eurozone. Every coin is legal tender in any of the eurozone countries.

If you have marks remaining from previous trips, they can still be exchanged at certain banks: inquire first before you attempt to convert your marks.

Do not expect anybody to accept foreign currencies or to be willing to exchange currency. An exception are shops and restaurants at airports and also – more rarely – fast-food restaurants at major train stations. These will generally accept at least US dollars at a slightly worse exchange rate. If you wish to exchange money, you can do so at any bank, where you can also cash in your traveller’s cheques. Currency exchanges, once a common sight, have all but disappeared since the introduction of the euro. Again, international airports and train stations are an exception to this rule. Swiss Franc can sometimes be accepted near the Swiss border.

While German domestic debit cards – called EC-Karte or girocard – (and, to a lesser extent, PIN-based Maestro cards) enjoy almost universal acceptance, this is not true for credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express) or foreign debit cards (VISA Debit/Electron etc.), which are not as widely accepted as in other European countries or the United States but will be accepted in several major retail stores and some fast food restaurants.

Don’t be fooled by seeing card terminals in shops or other people paying with cards – these machines may not necessarily be programmed to accept foreign cards, so it is best to inquire or look out for acceptance decals before shopping or fuelling your car (all major brand gas stations will accept credit cards).

Hotels, larger retailers, chain gas stations and nationwide companies accept credit cards; supermarkets, discount stores or small independent shops tend not to (with exceptions). Some places impose a minimum purchase amount (typically 10 euros) for card payments. Most ATMs will allow you to withdraw money with your credit card or foreign debit card, but you’ll need to know your card’s PIN for that.

Tipping[edit]

Unlike in some other countries, service staff are always paid by the hour (albeit not always that well). A tip is therefore mainly a matter of politeness and shows your appreciation. If you didn’t appreciate the service (e.g. slow, snippy or indifferent service) you may not tip at all and it will be accepted by the staff.

Since the introduction of the Euro, a tip (Trinkgeld, lit. “drink money”) of about 5-10% is customary if you were satisfied with the service. Nonetheless, service charge is already included in an item’s unit price so what you see is what you pay.

Tipping in Germany is usually done by mentioning the total while paying. So if eg. a waiter tells you the bill amounts to “€13.50″, just state “15″ and he will include a tip of €1.50.

Tipping in other situations (unless otherwise indicated):

  • Taxi driver: 5%-10% (at least €1)
  • Housekeeping: €1-2 per day
  • Carrying luggage: €1 per piece
  • Public toilet attendants: €0.10-0.50
  • Delivery Services: 5%-10% (at least €1)

Shopping[edit]

In common with most other Western European languages, the meanings of points and commas are exactly inverse to the English custom; in German a comma is used to indicate a decimal. For example, 2,99€ is two euros and 99 cents. The “€” symbol is not always used and may be placed both in front or after the price. A dot is used to “group” numbers (one dot for three digits), so “1.000.000″ would be one million. So “123.456.789,01″ in German is the same number as “123,456,789.01″ in English speaking countries.

Taxes: Retail prices are reasonable and lower than in northern European countries but the value added tax, VAT, “Umsatzsteuer” (official, but even politicians use this rather sparsely) or “Mehrwertsteuer” (most Germans use this word) has been increased to 19% from 2007 onwards and therefore prices will slightly rise. Fuel, sparkling wine, spirits and tobacco are subject to even higher taxes, the first of those excise taxes – the “Branntweinsteuer” (spirit tax) – first being imposed on Nordhäuser Branntwein (the ancestor of Nordhäuser Korn) in 1507, the certainly most ridiculous of them – the sparkling wine tax – being introduced by Emperor Wilhelm II to finance the Kiel Canal and his war fleet. Some German brands of high end goods such as kitchen utensils, stationery, and hiking gear are considerably cheaper than abroad. V.A.T. is always included by law in an item’s pricetag (only exception is for goods that are commercially exported but then duties might apply). There exists a reduced V.A.T of 7% i.a. for hotels (but not for edibles consumed within), edibles (certain items considered luxury goods, e.g. lobster, are exempted from this reduction), print products, public transport (short-distance only) and admission price for opera or theatre. Remember that if you are from outside the EU, you may claim your VAT (Mehrwertsteuer, 19%) back when you leave the country and love to spend an hour with customs (“Zoll”).
Supermarkets: Many Germans rather look for prices than for quality when shopping for food. As a result, the competition between food discounters (which might be the cause of this very specific behaviour) is exceptionally fierce (in fact, WalMart had to withdraw from the German market because it failed at competing on price) and results in very low food prices compared to other European countries (though not compared to North America or the UK – as a general rule, a discount German supermarket will have similar quality compared to a North American discounter, but at mid-range prices). The chains “Aldi”, “Lidl”, “Penny” and “Netto” are a special type of supermarket (sometimes called “Discounter”, but generally referred to as “Supermarkt”, as well): Their range of products is limited to the necessities of daily life (like vegetables, pasta, milk, eggs, convenience foods, toiletries etc.), sold in rather simple packaging for tightly calculated prices. While quality is generally surprisingly high, do not expect delicatessen or local specialities when you go to shop there. Many Germans buy their daily needs there and go to the more “standard” supermarket (like the chains Rewe, Edeka, Real, Tengelmann/Kaisers, Globus or Famila) to get more special treats. The personnel in these shops is trained to be especially helpful and friendly and there are big cheese/ meat and fish counters where fresh products are getting sold. Don’t blame discounter personnel for being somewhat harsh; although they are paid slightly better than usual, they have to cope with a rather grim working atmosphere and a significantly higher workload than colleagues in “standard” supermarkets and therefore are certainly not amused about being disturbed in getting their work done. Beside those major chains, Turkish supermarkets which can be found in townships with predominantly Turkish population can be a worthwhile alternative since they combine the characteristics of discounters (low price levels but limited assortment) with those of “standard” supermarkets ((Turkish) specialties and usually friendly personnel).
If you are looking for organic products, your best bet is to visit a “Bioladen” or “Biosupermarkt”. (Bio- generally means organic.) There are also many farmers selling their products directly (“Hofladen”), most of them organized in the “Bioland” cooperative. They offer reasonable food at reasonable prices.
Similarly it applies to clothes; although competition on this market is not that fierce and quality varies, cheap clothing of sufficient quality might be bought at C&A, but don’t expect designer clothes though. During the end-of-season sales you should also compare prices of conventional stores since they may be even cheaper than the discounters. H&M sells cheap, stylish clothing, but with notoriously awful quality.
Be prepared to bag your own groceries and goods as well as provide your own shopping bags for doing so. While most stores provide plastic as well as canvas shopping bags at the checkout, you are charged for them. The Germans think it is more environmentally-friendly to re-use bags rather than get a new one each time. It’s a good reminder to also keep a euro coin handy for the buggys/shopping carts. They all require a euro to use the cart but you get it back once your shopping is done. At most super markets you can spot a canister with lots of cardboard boxes in it, usually after the cash point. You are allowed to take cardboard boxes from there! It’s a service the markets offer and also a easy waste disposal for them. Just tell them you are getting yourself a box when the cashier starts to scan your goods, come back and start packing.
Sausage If you are into trying German Wurst, any decent butcher (“Metzgerei”, also in supermarkets with non-prepackaged sausages and someone behind the counter) will be happy to let you try a anything before you buy it (for free) if you ask. Note that the number of things considered acceptable to try depend on the length of the line behind you, but 2 or 3 will usually be fine. Still, you will be considered rude if you do not buy anything after trying (even though you may just ignore that).
Factory Outlets: Germany has only about 6 Factory Outlet Centres, but approximately up to 1000 Factory Outlets called “Fabrikverkauf”.
Local Products: You can find local food products (not necessarily organic) in most places at the farmer’s market (“Wochenmarkt” or simply “Markt”), usually once or twice a week. While you your chances on finding english-speaking sellers there may be somewhat reduced, it’s nevertheless quite fun to shop there and mostly you will get fresh and good quality food for reasonable prices. Most winemakers sell their products either directly or in “Winzergenossenschaften” (winemaker cooperatives). These wines are almost always superior to the ones produced by German wine brands. Quality signs are “VdP” (“Verband deutscher Prädikatsweingüter”, symbolized by an eagle) and “Ecovin” (German organic winemaker cooperative). Wines made of the most typical German wine varieties are usually marked with “Classic”.
Souvenirs:

German honey is a good souvenir, but only “Echter Deutscher Honig” is a guarantee for reliable quality. Look out for honey with a (the higher, the better) percentage of “Nektar”.
Along the German coasts, smoked eel is quite a common delicacy and a typical souvenir.
Cheese: If you head for a supermarket (even a “standard” one) to buy some cheese you certainly will discover its taste being as cheesy as the TV spot propagating it. What even many Germans do not know is that beside those “Qualitätsprodukte” (literally: quality produces – one of many quite cynical German legal terms), there actually exists an astonishing German cheese variety – you may find them in (one of the rare) cheese stores or in Bioläden.
Chocolates & Sweets: If you are not intending to visit Switzerland, Germany is one of the best places to find chocolades. Try “Ritter Sport” in a wide, inexpensive variety as a German variant to Swiss brands (Milka, Lindt, …) and do not forget you are in the home country of gummy bears (by Haribo).
Houseware: Chances are good that you’ll find excellent deals on quality kitchenware at any larger shopping area – “Made in Germany” got big for knives, pots and pans. Be aware of the quality, even name brands sell medium-quality products at certain outlets.
Recycling: Germany has an elaborate and confusing beverage container deposit (“Pfand“) system. Reusable bottles, glass and plastic, usually cost between 8 and 25 cents Pfand per bottle depending on size and material. Additional Pfand is due for special carrying baskets matching the bottle measures. The Pfand can be cashed in at any store which sells bottles, often by means of a high-tech bottle reader than spins the bottle, reads the Pfand, and issues a ticket redeemable with the cashier. Plastic bottles and cans usually cost 25 Cents Pfand, if not they are marked as pfandfrei. Exempt from Pfand are liquors and plastic boxes usually containing juice. There are also a few other instances where Pfand is due, for example for standardized gas containers. Pfand on glasses, bottles and dishware is also common at discotheques, self-service bars or public events, but usually not at a students’ cafeteria.
Cigarettes are easily available in most kiosks, supermarkets and newsagents. Cigarette machines are often dotted around towns and cities (be aware you will need an EU driving licence or a debit card with an electronic chip to “unlock” the machine; in restaurants you may ask the waiter for a identification card). As of November 2013, a pack of 19 costs around €5.20. The legal age to buy tobacco and smoke publicly in Germany is 18. Some Germans buy paper and tobacco separately as this is significantly cheaper.

Opening hours[edit]

Due to a federal reform, opening hours are set by the states, therefore opening hours vary from state to state. Most states have no more strict opening hours from Monday to Saturday (however, you will rarely find 24 hours shops other than at petrol stations) the only exceptions are Saarland and Bavaria where stores are only allowed to open 6-20 and Sachsen 6-22. Sunday and national holidays (including some obscure ones) is normally closed for shops everywhere in Germany, including pharmacies. However single pharmacies remain open for emergencies (every pharmacy will have a sign telling you which pharmacy is currently open for emergencies). Information can be obtained here [50]. Shops are allowed to open on Sundays on special occasions called “Verkaufsoffener Sonntag”, information on open Sundays may be found here [51] or here [52]. Every German city uses these days except Munich.

As a rule of thumb:

  • Supermarkets: 08:00 or 09:00–20:00
  • big supermarkets 08:00-22:00
  • Rewe supermarkets 07:00-22:00 or 23:59
  • Shopping centres and large department stores: 10:00–20:00
  • Department stores in small cities: 10:00–19:00
  • Small and medium shops: 09:00 or 10:00–18:30 (in big cities sometimes to 20:00)
  • Petrol stations: in cities and along the “Autobahn” usually 24 hours
  • Restaurants: 11.30-23:00 or 23:59, sometimes longer, many closed during the afternoon

Small shops are often closed 13:00-15:00. If necessary in many big cities you will find a few (sometimes more expensive) supermarkets with longer opening hours (often near the main station). Bakeries usually offer service on Sunday mornings (business hours vary) as well. Also most petrol stations have a small shopping area.

In some parts of Germany (like Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf and the Ruhr area) there are cornershops called “Späti” oder “Spätkauf” (“latey”), “Kiosk”, “Trinkhalle” (drinking hall) or “Büdchen” (little hut) that offer newspapers, drinks and at least basic food supplies. These shops are often run by Arab or Turkish immigrants and are, depending on the area, open till late night or even 24/7..

Basic supplies can usually be bought around the clock at gas stations. Gas station owners work around opening hour restrictions by running 7-Eleven style mini marts on their gas station property. Be aware that prices are usually quite high. Another exception to this law are supermarkets located in touristy areas. Towns designated as a Kurort (health resort) are allowed to have their stores open all week during tourist season. Just ask a local for those well-kept secret stores.

Train stations are allowed to and frequently have their stores/shops open on Sundays, though usually for limited hours. In some larger cities such as Leipzig and Frankfurt, this can include an entire shopping mall that happens to be attached to the train station.

Eat[edit][add listing]

German food usually sticks to its roots and a typical dish will consist of meat with some form of potatoes and gravy, accompanied by vegetables or salad. Modern German cuisine has been influenced by other European countries such as Italy and France to become lighter. Dishes show a great local diversity which is interesting to discover.

Since most bigger employers have a canteen for their employees, you will find relatively few sandwich shops and takeaways, and eating-out culture in Germany is dominated by the Gasthaus/Gasthof and restaurants. Putting places to eat into 6 categories gives you a hint about the budget/taste. Starting from the lower end, these are:

Imbiss[edit]

‘Schnellimbiss’ means ‘quick snack’, and is what you will see on the sign of German stalls and small shops that sell primarily sausage (Wurst) and fries (Pommes Frites). Sausages will include Bratwurst, which is fried and usually a boiled pork sausage. A very German variant is Currywurst: sausage chopped up and covered in spiced ketchup, dusted with curry powder. Beer and often even spirits are available in most Schnellimbisse.

‘Döner Kebab’ is a Turkish dish of veal, chicken or sometimes lamb stuffed into bread, similar to Greek Gyros and Arab Schawarma. Even though considered Turkish, it’s actually a speciality which originated in Germany. According to legend, it was invented by Turkish immigrants in West Berlin during the 1970s. In fact, the ‘Döner’ is Germany’s most loved fast food. The sales numbers of ‘Döner’ exceed those of McDonald’s and Burger King products by far.

Nevertheless, fast food giants like McDonald’s, Burger King and Pizza Hut can be found in most towns. Nordsee is a German seafood chain, which offers ‘Rollmops’ (pickled herrings) and many other fish and seafood snacks. However, many independent seafood snack-bars (most common along the German coasts) offer slightly better and slightly cheaper seafood.

Bakeries and butchers[edit]

Germans have no tradition of sandwich shops but you will find that bakeries / butchers sell quite good take away food and are serious competition for the fast food chains. Even the smallest bakeries will sell many sorts of bread or rolls, most of them darker (for example, using wholemeal or rye flour) than the white bread popular around the world and definitely worth a try. Even if they don’t already have it prepared, almost all butchers will prepare a sandwich for you if you ask. Some butchers even prepare meals for you. This butcher ‘imbiss’ is mainly popular in southern Germany, and the quality and freshness of food is usually high.

Biergärten[edit]

Here you will get the obvious drink. In traditional beergardens in Bavaria, it is possible to bring your own food if you buy drinks. Most places will offer simple meals. A very good place for beer and Bavarian food is the Biergarten of “Kloster Andechs” close to the Ammersee (round 40km southwest of Munich (take the Autobahn to the west (A96) or the S-Bahn).

Brauhaus[edit]

Smaller breweries sell their products straight to the customer and sometimes you will find food there as well, among it usually “Haxe” or “Schweinshaxe” (pig’s leg), a distinctively German specialty and probably the best dish in almost every establishment of that sort. In Frankonia, this is replaced by “Schäuferla” in different spellings

Gasthof/Gasthaus[edit]

Probably 50% of all eating places fall into this group. They are mainly family-run businesses that have been owned for generations, comparable to pubs in the UK. You can go there simply for a drink, or to try German food (often with a local flavour). Food is usually down-to-earth and may range from very basic dishes to local specialities.

Except from very simple places that try to feed people off with reheated convenience products, the quality of the food can be very good. If you spot a place that appears popular with the locals, it’s usually worth giving it a try.

Especially in more rural areas, a traditional Gasthof may not cater for all dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian/vegan). In that case, check the menu before entering.

Restaurants[edit]

Germany has a wide range of flavors (e.g. German, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Polish, Indian, Italian, French, Spanish, Greek, Turkish) and almost all styles of the world are represented.

Most cities will also have speciality restaurants that cater for various dietary requirements. Berlin in particular offers a lot of vegan and vegetarian options. Outside of the bigger cities, the situation may be more difficult but most restaurants will try to accomodate you and list at least some vegetarian options.

Food at Turkish and Arab eateries will usually be halal, and most of the time they will also have vegetarian options. Kosher restaurants are rare and will only be found in cities with a notable Jewish population, like Berlin

In most restaurants in Germany you can choose your own table. You can make reservations (recommended for larger groups and haute cuisine on Saturday nights) and these are marked by reservation cards (“Reserviert”). In some more expensive restaurants in larger cities you should have reservation and will be seated by the staff – in simpler restaurants you’ll just pick a table and sit down.

Restaurants in commercial areas often offer weekday lunch specials. These are cheap (starting at €5, sometimes including a beverage) options and a good way to sample local food. Specials tend to rotate on a daily or weekly basis, especially when fresh ingredients like fish are involved.

Many restaurants offers all-you-can-eat-buffets where you pay around 10 euros and can eat as much as you want. Drinks are not included in this price.

“XXL-Restaurants” are rising in popularity. These offer mostly standardized meat dishes like Schnitzel or Bratwurst in big to inhumane sizes. Unlike as in other restaurants it is common and encouraged to take leftover food home.

Table manners[edit]

At very formal events and in high-end restaurants, a few deviations of German customs from western standards should be noted:

  • It is considered bad manners to eat with your elbows resting on the table. Keep only your wrists on the table. Note that most Germans will keep up this manner in everyday life since this is one of the most basic rules parents will teach their children. If you go to a restaurant with your German friends, you may want to pay attention to do so, too.
  • When moving the fork to your mouth, the curved end should point upwards (not downwards as in Great Britain)
  • When eating soup or other food from your spoon, hold it with the tip towards your mouth (not parallel to your lips as in, again, Great Britain). Spoons used to stir beverages, e.g. coffee, should not be put in the mouth at all.
  • If you have to leave the table, it is fine to put your napkin (which should have rested, folded once along the centre, on your lap until then) on the table, to the left of your plate, in an elegant little pile — unless it looks really dirty, in which case you might want to leave it on your chair.

Typical dishes[edit]

Hearty Bavarian food on a fancy plate. Left to right: Schnitzel, pork belly (Schweinebauch) with red cabbage (Rotkohl or “Blaukraut”), Weißwurst with mashed potatoes (Kartoffelpüree), Bratwurst on sauerkraut

Rinderroulade mit Rotkraut und Knödeln: this dish is quite unique to Germany. Very thin sliced beef rolled around a piece of bacon and pickled cucumber until it looks like a mini barrel (5cm diameter) flavoured with tiny pieces of onion, German mustard, ground black pepper and salt. The meat is quick-fried and is then left to cook slowly for an hour, meanwhile red cabbage and potato dumplings are prepared and then the meat is removed from the frying pan and gravy is prepared in the frying pan. Knödel, Rotkraut and Rouladen are served together with the gravy in one dish.

Schnitzel mit Pommes frites: there are probably as many different variations of Schnitzel as there are restaurants in Germany. They have in common a thin slice of pork often covered in egg and bread crumbs that is fried for a short period of time and it is often served with fries (that’s the Pommes frites part). Variations of this are usually served with different types of gravy: such as Zigeunerschnitzel, Zwiebelschnitzel, Holzfäller Schnitzel and Wiener Schnitzel (as the name suggests, an Austrian dish – the genuine article must be veal instead of pork, which is why most restaurants offer a Schnitzel Wiener Art, or Viennese-style schnitzel which is allowed to be pork). In the south you can often get Spätzle (pasta that Swabia is famous for) instead of fries with it. Spätzle are egg noodles typical of south Germany – most restaurants make them fresh. Due to the easiness of its preparation ordering it might be perceived as an insult to any business with a decent reputation (with the exception of Wiener Schnitzel perhaps), admittedly it is almost unavoidable to spot it on the menu of any German sleazy joint (and there were – and still are – so many that even Churchill’s bombs couldn’t hit ‘em all…), if nothing else therefore it might even be the most common dish in German restaurants (yes, at least German government officials do call their taverns as well as the common fast food stalls restaurants!).

Rehrücken mit Spätzle: Germany has maintained huge forests such as the famous Black Forest, Bayrischer Wald and Odenwald. In and around these areas you can enjoy the best game in Germany. Rehrücken means venison tenderloin and it is often served with freshly made noodles such as Spätzle and a very nice gravy based on a dry red wine.

Wurst “sausage”: there is no country in the world with a greater variety of sausages than Germany and it would take a while to mention them all. “Bratwurst“ is fried, other varieties such as the Bavarian “Weißwurst“ are boiled. Here is the shortlist version: “Rote” beef sausage, “Frankfurter Wurst” boiled pork sausage made in the Frankfurt style, “Pfälzer Bratwurst” sausage made in Palatine style , “Nürnberger Bratwurst” Nuremberg sausage – the smallest of all of them, but a serious contender for the best tasting German sausage, “grobe Bratwurst”, Landjäger, Thüringer Bratwurst, Currywurst, Weißwurst … this could go on till tomorrow. If you spot a sausage on a menu this is often a good (and sometimes the only) choice. Often served with mashed potato, fries or potato salad. The most popular type of sausage probably is the Currywurst (Bratwurst cut into slices and served with ketchup and curry) and can be bought almost everywhere.

Schweinebraten: Roast pork, tradidtional the closer you get to (or into) Munich. Try the crust, which should be crispy. There sould be little visible (but tastible) fat. If you pass through Nuremberg, try Schäufele, the local variant of pork shoulder in a restaurant that has it on the daily (not the regular) menu. Both are usually served with Klöße, made from raw (or cooked) mashed potatoes and lots of gravy (feel free to order more).

Königsberger Klopse: Literally “meatballs from Königsberg”, this is a typical dish in and around Berlin. The meatballs are made out of minced pork and anchovies and are cooked and served in a white sauce with capers and rice or potatoes.

Matjesbrötchen: Soussed herring or “roll mops” in a bread roll, typical street snack.

Local specialities[edit]

Starting from the north of Germany going south you will find a tremendous variety of food and each region sticks to it origins.
The coastal regions are fond of seafood and famous dishes include “Finkenwerder Scholle”, going south to the region of Cologne you will find Sauerbraten (a roast marinated in vinegar), if made really traditionally it’s from horse meat.

Labskaus (although strictly speaking not a German invention) is a dish from the north and the opinions about this dish are divided, some love it, others hate it. It is a mash of potato, beetroot juice and cured meat decorated with rollmops and/or young herring and/or a fried egg and/or sour cucumber and/or beetroot slices on top. The north is also famous for its lamb dishes, the best type of lamb probably being “Rudenlamm” (lamb from Ruden, a small island in the Baltic Sea; only a few restaurants in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania serve this), the second best type being “Salzwiesenlamm” (salt meadow lamb). The Lueneburger Heide (Lueneburg Heath) is famous not only for its heath but also for its Heidschnucken, a special breed of sheep. Be aware that a lot of restaurants import their lamb from New Zealand though because it is cheaper. Crabs and mussels are also quite common along the German coasts, especially in North Frisia.

A speciality of Hamburg is “Aalsuppe” which – despite the name (in this case “Aal” means “everything”, not “eel”) – originally contained almost everything – except eel (today many restaurants include eel within this soup, because the name led tourists into confusion). At the coast there’s a variety of fish dishes. Beware: if a restaurant offers “Edelfischplatte” or any dish of similar name, the fish may be not fresh and even (this is quite ironical) of poor quality. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that, for eating fish, you visit specialised (or quality) restaurants only. A fast-food style restaurant chain serving standardized quality fish and other seafood at low prices all over Germany is “Nordsee”, though you will rarely find authentic specialties there.

Pfälzer Saumagen: known for a long time in Palatinate, but difficult to find outside of this area. The dish became well known to the general public in Germany as then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s favourite dish, especially when this was enjoyed by him and the Russian president Mikhail Gorbatchev on a State visit in Germany in Deidesheim. Pictures of the feast are shown in the restaurant “ Deidesheimer Hof” in Deidesheim. Literally this is pig stomach filled with a mash of potato and meat, cooked for 2-3 hours and then cut in thick slices often served with sauerkraut.

Swabia is famous for Spätzle (a kind of noodle), “Maultaschen” (noodles stuffed with spinach and mince meat, but lots of variations, even veggie ones, exist).

In Bavaria this may be Schweinshaxe mit Knödeln (pork’s leg with knödel, a form of potato dumplings), “Leberkäs/Fleischkäse mit Kartoffelsalat” (kind of meat pie and potato salad), “Nürnberger Bratwurst” (probably smallest sausage in Germany), Weißwurst (white sausages) and “Obatzda” (a spicy mix of several milk products).

The south is also famous for its nice tarts such as the “Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte” (tart with lots of cream and spirit made from cherries).

A delicacy in Saxony is Eierschecke, a cake made of eggs and cream similar to cheese cake.

A specialty of the East is “Soljanka” (originating from Ukraine, but probably the most common dish in the GDR), a sour soup containing vegetables and usually some kind of meat or sausages.

Seasonal specialities[edit]

White “Spargel” (asparagus) floods the restaurants from April to June all over Germany, especially in and around Baden-Baden and the small town of Schwetzingen (“The Asparagus Capital”), near Heidelberg, in an area north and north-east of Hannover (“Lower Saxony’s Asparagus Route”), as well as in the area southwest of Berlin, especially in the town of Beelitz and along the Lower Rhine (“Walbecker Spargel”). Many vegetables can be found all year round and are often imported from far away. Whereas asparagus can be found for only 2 months and is best enjoyed fresh after harvest, it stays nice for a couple of hours or until next day. The asparagus is treated very carefully and it is harvested before it is ever exposed to daylight, therefore it remains white. When exposed to daylight it changes its colour to green and might taste bitter. Therefore, white asparagus is considered to be better by most Germans.

The standard asparagus meal is the asparagus stalks, hollandaise sauce, boiled potatoes, and some form of meat. The most common meat is ham, preferably smoked; however you will also find it teamed with schnitzel (fried breaded pork), turkey, beef, or whatever is available in the kitchen.

White asparagus soup is one of the hundreds of different recipes that can be found with white asparagus. Often it is made with cream and contains some of the thinner asparagus pieces.

Another example of a seasonal speciality is “Grünkohl” (kale). You can find that mainly in Lower Saxony, particularly around Oldenburg and the “Ammerland”, Bremen, as well as the southern and south-western parts such as the “Emsland” or around the “Wiehengebirge” and the “Teutoburger Wald”, but also everywhere else there and in the eastern parts of North-Rhine-Westphalia. It is usually served with a boiled rough sort of sausage (called “Pinkel” around Oldenburg) and roasted potatoes. If you are travelling in Lower-Saxony in fall, you should get it in every “Gasthaus”.

Lebkuchen are some of Germany’s many nice Christmas biscuits and gingerbread. The best known are produced in and around Nuremberg.

Stollen is a kind of cake eaten during the Advent season and Yuletide. Original Stollen is produced only in Dresden, Saxony, however you can buy Stollen everywhere in Germany (although Dresdner Stollen is reputed to be the best (and – due to the lower salaries in Eastern Germany – comparatively cheap)).

Around St. Martin’s day and Christmas, roasted geese (“Martinsgans” / “Weihnachtsgans”) are quite common in German restaurants, accompanied by “Rotkraut” (red cabbage) and “Knödeln” (potato dumplings), preferably served as set menu, with the liver, accompanied by some kind of salad, as starter, goose soup, and a dessert.

Miscellaneous[edit]

Germans are very fond of their bread, which they make in many variations. This is the food that Germans tend to miss most when away from home. Most people like their bread relatively dark and dense and scorn the soft loaves sold in other countries. Bakeries will rarely provide less than twenty different sorts of bread and it’s worth trying a few of them. In fact, many Germans buy their lunch or small snacks in bakeries instead of takeaways or the like. Prices for a loaf of bread will range from 0.50 € to 4 €, depending on the size (real specialties might cost more).

Vegetarian[edit]

Most restaurants have one or two vegetarian dishes, but there aren’t many places which are particularly aimed at vegetarian or vegan customers, except a few places in big cities like Berlin. If the menu does not contain vegetarian dishes, do not hesitate to ask.
Vegetarian restaurant guides can be found at [53] (german) or [54] (VEBU restaurant list, the restaurants are not necessarily vegetarian in general). Be aware when ordering to ask whether the dish is suitable for vegetarians, as chicken stock and bacon cubes are a commonly “undeclared” ingredient on German menus.

However, there are usually organic food shops (“Bioladen”, “Naturkostladen” or “Reformhaus”) in every city, providing veg(etari)an bread, spreads, cheese, ice cream, vegan milk substitutes, tofu and seitan. The diversity and quality of the products is great and you will find shop assistants that can answer special nutritional questions in great depth.

Veganism and vegetarianism is on the rise in Germany so that many supermarkets (such as Edeka and Rewe) have a small selection of vegan products as well in their “Feinkost”-section such as seitan-sausages, tofu or soy milk at a reasonable price.

Allergy & Celiac Sufferers[edit]

When shopping for foods, the package labeling in Germany is generally reliable. All food products must be properly labeled including additives and preservatives. Be on the look out for “Weizen” (wheat), “Mehl” (flour) or “Malz” (malt) and “Stärke” (starch). Be extra cautious for foods with “Geschmacksverstärker” (i.e. flavour enhancers) that may have gluten as ingredients.

  • Reformhaus [55] – a 3.000 strong network of health food stores in Germany and Austria that has dedicated gluten-free sections stocked with pasta, breads and treats. Reformhaus stores are usually found in the lower level of shopping centres (i.e. PotsdamerArkaden, etc.)
  • DM Stores [56] – the CWS/Shopper’s Drug Mart equivalent in Germany has dedicated wheat and gluten free sections
  • Alnatura [57] – natural foods store with a large dedicated gluten-free section

Smoking[edit]

The German federal-states started banning smoking in public places and areas in early 2007, however the laws vary from state to state. Smoking is generally banned in all restaurants and cafes. Some places may provide separate smoking areas but it is best to enquire when booking. Smokers should be prepared to step outside if they want to light up. Smoking is banned on all forms of public transport including on railway platforms (except in designated smoking areas, which are clearly marked with the word “Raucherbereich” [smoking area]). The laws are strictly enforced.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Legal drinking age is 18 for spirits (drinks containing distilled alcohol) and 16 for everything else (e.g. beer and wine). Drinking in public is generally legal and accepted as long as you still know how to behave.
A few cities tried to restrict drinking in public places/at certain times but the legal status of those laws is disputed and they were sometimes abolished some time later.
Consuming alcoholic drinks might be prohibited in some (local) public transports. In case of an offence you might be expelled and fined (typically a sum around 40€).
Sometimes the restriction only mentions “excessive” drinking.
Violations are allways considered a civil and not criminal matter.

Beer[edit]

For centuries, beer-making in Bavaria has been governed by the Reinheitsgebot (purity law) that was made national policy with the unification of Germany in 1871, which states that German beer may be made only from hops, malt, yeast and water. The Reinheitsgebot has come down with the European integration, but German breweries still have to stick to it since for them, national law applies.

The domestic beer market is not dominated by one or a only a few big breweries. Even though there are some big players, the regional diversity is enormous, and there are over 1200 breweries with most of them serving only local markets. Usually bars and restaurants serve the local varieties that differ from town to town. When sitting in a German Kneipe, a local beer is always an option, and often the only option.

Specialities include Weizenbier (or Weissbier in Bavaria), a refreshing top-fermented beer which is popular in the south, Alt, a kind of dark ale that is especially popular in and around Düsseldorf, and Kölsch, a special beer brewed in Cologne. “Pils”, the German name for pilsner is a light-gold coloured beer that is extremely popular in Germany. There are also seasonal beers, which are made only at different times of the year (such as Bockbier in winter and Maibock in May, both containing a greater quantity of alcohol, sometimes double that of a normal Vollbier).
If you simply order a beer, it will typically be a Pilsener.
Beer is usually served in 200 or 300ml glasses (in the northern part) or 500ml in the South. In Biergartens in Bavaria, 500ml is a small beer (“Halbe”) and a liter is normal (“Maß” pronounced “Mahss”). Except for in Irish pubs, pints or pitchers are uncommon.
For Germans, a lot of foam is both a sign of freshness and quality; thus, beer is always served with a lot of head. (All glasses have volume marks for the critical souls.)
Additionally, Germans are not afraid to mix beer with other drinks (though the older generation may disagree). Beer is commonly mixed with carbonated lemonade (usually at 1:1 ratio) and called a “Radler” (or cyclist so named because it is commonly associated with a refreshing drink a cyclist might enjoy in spring or summer during a cycling excursion) (or “Alsterwasser”/”Alster” (after the river in Hamburg) in the north); “Cocktails” of Pilsener/Altbier and soft drinks like Fanta, a “Krefelder”/”Colaweizen” cola and dark wheat beer is another combination that can be found. Pils mixed witch Cola is very popular especially amongst younger Germans and goes different names – depending on your area – such as “Diesel”, “Schmutziges” (dirty) or “Schweinebier” (pigs beer) to name a few. Another famous local delicacy is “Berliner Weiße”, a cloudy, sour wheat beer of around 3% abv. that is mixed with syrups (traditionally raspberry) and is very refreshing in summer. These beer-based mixed drinks are widespread popular and can be bought as pre-mixed bottles (typically in six packs) wherever regular beer is sold.

Pubs are open in Germany until 2 in the morning or later. Food is generally available until midnight. Germans typically go out after 8PM (popular places already fill up at 6PM).

Cider[edit]

Undisputed capital of “Apfelwein” cider in Germany is Frankfurt. Locals love their cider and it is very popular around there. There are even special bars (“Apfelweinkneipe”) that will serve only “Apfelwein” and some gastronomic specialities. Cider is often served in a special jug called “Bembel”. The taste is slightly different from Ciders in other countries and tends to be quite refreshing. In autumn when apples are turned into cider you might find “Frischer Most” or “Süßer” signposted at some places. That is the first product in the chain of “Apfelwein” production; one glass of it is nice, but after two or three glasses you will have a problem unless you enjoy spending lots of time on the toilet. In the Saarland and surrounding regions “Apfelwein” is called “Viez”. It varies here from “Suesser Viez” (sweet), to “Viez Fein-Herb” (medium sweet) to “Alter Saerkower” (sour). The Viez capital of that region is Merzig. During winter it is also quite common to drink hot cider (along with some cloves and sugar) as a prophylactic measure against an upcoming cold.

Apfelschorle[edit]

The real national drink of Germany is not beer. Good beer is also made in many other countries (ask the Czechs, the Brits, the Belgians, the Dutch, etc…). The true national drink is “Apfelschorle” – a fact that even some Germans may only realize as soon as they leave their country and just can’t find their everyday drink abroad. You get it everywhere in Germany (plus Austria and Switzerland) but nowhere else.

Apfelschorle is a 50-50 mix of apple juice and carbonated water. It is popular in particular on hot summer days and kind of replaces soft drinks and sometimes even a beer! You will get it at almost any restaurant and bottled ready-mixed at every supermarket including the “discounters” and also from Cola vending machines. Even McDonald’s put it on its German menu and The CocaCola Company launched “Lift”, its own Apfelschorle brand – although you can’t get the really good natural unfiltered-murky stuff from them.

And yes: it is Alcohol-free and (also) very popular among kids.

In Bavaria and Austria you may have to ask for Gespritzter Apfelsaft to get the same kind of drink.

When buying a bottled Schorle, read the fine print to make sure there is nothing but Apple juice and carbonated water in your drink. (Versions with 10% lemon juice may be acceptable though this is not part of the “pure” recipe.) In Summer be careful opening unrefrigerated plastic Schorle bottles. Schorle was not invented by industrial food designers that would have added de-foaming agents, so wetting yourself may be the price you have to pay for a sip of (violent) nature.

Enjoy!

Coffee[edit]

Germans drink lots of coffee. Currently, the port of Hamburg is the world’s busiest place for coffee trading. Coffee is always freshly made from ground coffee or beans – no instant. However, persons coming from countries with a great coffee tradition (like Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Greece or Austria) might find the coffee that is served in normal restaurants a bit boring. A German specialty, originating from North Frisia but nowadays also common in East Frisia, is “Pharisäer”, a mixture of coffee and a spirit, usually rum, with a thick cream top. A variation of this is “Tote Tante” (dead aunt, with coffee replaced by hot chocolate).

Over the past few years, American coffee house chain Starbucks has expanded into Germany, but mostly you will encounter “Cafés” which usually offer a large selection of cakes to go along with the coffee.

Glühwein[edit]

Visiting Germany in December? Then go and see one of the famous Christmas markets [58] (the most famous taking place in Nuremberg, Dresden, Passau, Leipzig, Münster, Bremen, Augsburg and Aachen) and this is the place where you find Glühwein (mulled wine), a spiced wine served very hot to comfort you in the cold of winter.

Spirits[edit]

“Kirschwasser” literally means cherry water; it certainly tastes of cherry but on the other hand it is not regular drinking water. There is a long lasting tradition in making spirits in Baden, and “Kirschwasser” is probably the flagship product and it might encourage you to taste other specialities such as Himbeergeist (from raspberry), Schlehenfeuer (flavored with sloe berries), Williamchrist (pear) and Apfelkorn (apple).

“Enzian” Bavarians like their beer as well their Enzian. A spirit high in alcohol that is best as a digestive after a hefty meal.

“Korn”, made of grain, is probably the most common spirit in Germany. Its main production centre (Berentzen [59]) lies in Haselünne, where tours and tastings can be arranged in the distilleries. The town is located near the river Ems in northwest Germany; for rail service to Haselünne (very sparse) see Eisenbahnfreunde Hasetal [60].

In North Frisia, “Köm” (caraway spirit), either pure or mixed with tea (“Teepunsch”, tea punch), is very popular.

“Eiergrog” is a hot mixture of egg liquor and rum.

“Jägermeister” is a famous German bitter liquor brewed with herbs and spices. Produced only in Wolfenbüttel, Lower Saxony, but exported to many countries.

Tea[edit]

Tea is also very popular, and a large choice is readily available. The region of East Frisia in particular has a long tea tradition, and is probably the only place in Germany where tea is more popular than coffee. The East Frisian tea ceremony consists of black tea served in a flat porcelain cup with special rock sugar (Kluntje) that is put in the cup before pouring the tea. Cream is added afterwards, but is not stirred into the tea.

Wine[edit]

Germans are just as passionate about their wines as they are about their beer. The similarities don’t stop here, both products are often produced by small companies if not by families or individuals, and the best wines are consumed locally and only the remaining ones are exported. The production of wine has a 2000 year old history in Germany as learned from the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Trier, but of course this was a roman settlement at this time. Sunshine is the limiting factor for the production of wines in Germany and therefore the wine production is limited to the south. White wine plays a main role in the wine production, but some areas produce red wines (Ahr, Baden Württemberg). White wines are produced from Riesling, Kerner and Müller-Thurgau grapes (there are a lot more, but to name them all would be too much), and produce generally fresh and fruity wines. German wines can be rich in acid and are quite refreshing. It is generally accepted that Riesling grapes produce the best German wines, but they demand a lot of sunshine and they grow best in very exposed areas such the Mosel, Rheingau, Bergstrasse, Kaiserstuhl and Pfalz.

The best way to learn about wines is go to the place where they are grown and taste them on the spot. This is called “Weinprobe” and is generally free of charge though in touristic areas you have to pay a small fee. Good wines usually go together with good food and therefore it is well worth it to visit some of those places.

Another nice opportunity to get a taste of local wine is the so-called Straußenwirtschaft, Besenwirtschaft or Heckenwirtschaft. These are little “pubs” or gardens where a wine-producer sells his own wine, normally with little meals such as sandwiches or cheese and ham. Normally, they are open only in summer and autumn, and not longer than 4 months a year (due to legal regulations). As they are sometimes located in the vineyards or in some backstreets, they are not always easy to find, so you best ask a local for the next (or best) Straußenwirtschaft he knows.

During the fall you can buy “Federweisser” in south-western Germany. This is a partially fermented white wine and contains some alcohol (depending on age), but tastes very sweet. It is also available from red grapes, being called “Roter Sauser”.

Wine producing areas are:

Ahr
Ahr is the paradise of German red wines. Half of the production is dedicated to red wines and it is densely populated with “Gaststätten” and “Strausswirten”. A saying goes: Who visited the Ahr and remembers that he was there, hasn’t actually been there.

Baden [61] With approx. 15,500 hectare of wine yards and a production of 1 mn hectolitre Baden is Germany’s third biggest wine growing area. It’s the most southern German wine growing area and is Germany’s only member of the European Wine Category B together with the famous French areas Alsace, Champagne and Loire. Baden is more than 400 km long and is split into nine regional groups: Tauberfranken, Badische Bergstraße, Kraichgau, Ortenau, Breisgau, Kaiserstuhl, Tuniberg, Markgräflerland and Bodensee. The Kaiserstuhl and the Markgräflerland are the most famous areas for wine from Baden. One of the largest wine cooperatives is the Badischer Winzerkeller [62] in Breisach (English site).

Franken: Franconia is in the northern part of Bavaria and you can find there very nice wines. Some wines produced in Franconia are sold in a special bottle called “Bocksbeutel”.

Hessische Bergstrasse: located on the slopes of the Rhine valley it is a quiet small wine producing area and wines are usually consumed within the area in and around Heppenheim.

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer: the steepest vineyards in Germany can be seen when driving in the Mosel valley from Koblenz to Trier.

Pfalz: biggest wine producing area in Germany. Has some excellent wines to taste and a lot of nice villages embedded in vineyards. Tasting wine in Deidesheim is a good idea and several prime producer of German wine are all located on the main road. Want to see the biggest wine barrel in the world then go to Bad Dürkheim.

Rheingau: is the smallest wine producing area, but it produces the highest rated Riesling wines in Germany. Visit Wiesbaden and make a trip on the Rhine to Rüdesheim.

Rheinhessen too is especially famous for its Riesling.

Sachsen: One of the smallest wine regions in Germany, nestled along the Elbe River near Dresden and Meissen.

Württemberg
As it was mentioned before, here the rule, that the wine production is consumed by the locals, strictly applies. The wine consumption is twice as high as in the rest of Germany, regardless of whether it’s red or the white wine. The specialty of the region is the red wine called Trollinger and it can be quite nice by German standards.

Saale-Unstrut: located in the state Saxonia-Anhalt at the banks of the rivers Saale and Unstrut it is most northern wine area in Europe.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Germany provides almost all options for accommodation, including hotels, B&B’s, hostels, and camping. You might also consider staying with members of a hospitality exchange network.

Hotels[edit]

Most international hotel chains have franchises in the major German cities, and a large variety of local hotels exist. All hotels in Germany are ranked by stars (1 to 5 stars). The rankings are made independently under consideration of strict guidelines and are therefore reliable albeit somewhat technocratic. The rate always includes VAT, is usually per room and includes in most places breakfast. Prices vary significantly by city (Munich and Frankfurt are most expensive). A cheap and convenient way to stay are Ibis Hotels [63], usually located near major railway stations. For people who travel by car, Etap [64] hotels located at the outskirts of cities near autobahns offer rates that can compete with hostel prices; though those hotels are not necessarily better and they lack the individuality hostels are renowned for.

B&Bs[edit]

B&Bs (“Pensionen” or “Fremdenzimmer”) (usually) provide less comfort than hotels for cheaper prices. The advantage is that you are likely to meet Germans and get a touch of the German way of living. A sign saying “Zimmer frei” indicates a B&B with a room available.

Hostels[edit]

Hostels provide simple, budget accommodation primarily in shared rooms. They are good places to get to know other travellers. In Germany, as in many countries, two flavors exist: international youth hostels and independent hostels.

International Youth Hostels (“Jugendherbergen”) are owned and run by the association “Deutsches Jugendherbergswerk” (DJH), which is part of the Hostelling International (HI) network. There are more than 600 hostels spread all over Germany in big and small cities as well as in the country side. Not only individual travellers are guests but also school classes and other youth groups. To sleep there, you have to be or become a member in a youth hostel organisation belonging the HI network [65]. Detailed information about this and each of their hostels can be found on the DJH’s [66]. Generally, this entails simply filling out a card and payng a few extra Euro per night. In general, the advantage of these places is that they tend to serve a buffet style breakfast for no additional charge, though this is not an absolute rule. However, the quality is often below that of private hostels although they are more expensive in germany, and many do not provide a good opportunity for socializing.

Privately run independent hostels are starting to be an attractive alternative for a similar price. More than 60 already exist in Germany, getting more and more every year. They are located in bigger cities, especially in Berlin, Munich, Dresden, and Hamburg. Only few are in the country side. Sometimes run by former travellers, hostels refrain from having strict rules. Especially small ones are frequently places where you can feel at home. Many are known for their vibrant, party atmosphere and can be an excellent way to meet other travelers. There is no need to be a member in some organisation to sleep there. About half of the hostels have organized themselves in a “Backpacker Network Germany” [67], which provides a list of their members hostels. A website which lists almost every independent hostel in Germany is Gomio [68]. Of course, international room booking agencies such as Hostelsclub, Hostelworld and Hostelbookers are also good resources, and give travelers the ability to leave reviews.

Camping[edit]

There are countless campsites in Germany. They vary significantly in the infrastructure and standard. The ADAC, the German automobile club, offers an excellent guide for most German camping groups. If you are member of your national motorclub assistance and guides are free or at substantial reduced prices.

Some travellers just put up their tents somewhere in the country side. In Germany this is illegal, unless you have the landowner’s permission. Practically however nobody cares as long as you are discreet, stay for one night only and take your trash with you. Be aware of hunting ranges and military practise grounds or you could be in significant danger of being shot.

Learn[edit]

German universities are amongst the best in the world.

Since the vast majority of universities are state-run, studying in Germany is usually very cheap (€50-700 per semester), but keep in mind that the cost of living is quite high (eg: in Tübingen rent is around €350-400 per mo for a one room apartment plus living expenses) with rent being the major factor. Because of this, most students either share a flat or live in a Hall of Residence. Halls of Residence often offer subsidies to poor residents.

As many German technical universities do a lot of research in partnerships with companies their research results are confidential and may not be published. This means that German engineering universities are often highly under-ranked in international rankings that only count the number of publications in science journals. In the Times Higher Education Ranking it is hard to find German universities in the top 100 for this reason.

Access to universities is easy for EEA nationals, non-EEA foreigners may face some bureaucratic hurdles and may be asked to provide proof that they can cover their own expenses. There are very few scholarships available, work-study jobs rarely exist, and student-loans are rare. In addition, German universities rarely provide the discounted and high quality amenities that other universities do. Some German universities do not have a coherent campus and opening hours can be short so check carefully.

German universities have now changed their traditional course system to Master/Bachelor programmes. In general the courses have become more structured and school-like with a higher workload. Nevertheless more self-initiative is expected at German universities. Help with problems is not “automatic” and newcomers may feel a little left alone in the beginning. The same applies to Fachhochschule (describing themselves as “Universities of Applied Science”).

Altogether there are over 500 universities (universities and universities of applied sciences – public and private, but accredited by the government). In some federal states you can also find universities of co-operative education (Berufsakademien), a specific type of education in the tertiary area of education.

In Germany you don’t count in years of studies or in terms but in half years of studies – a “semester”. The summer semester runs from 1 April to 30 September, the winter semester runs from 1 October to 31 March. In the semester break students have to write thesises; at universities of applied sciences students have tests during this time.

To apply to a German university, you need a university entrance requirement like that one you would need to study in your own country, for example High School Diploma, Matura, A-Levels, Baccalaureate. Check in the database of the minister of education conference if your university entrance requirement is equal to the German one.

Most of the courses of study in Germany start in the winter semester. For courses without admission restrictions the closing date is generally in the middle of September.

Work[edit]

While the official unemployment rate in Germany is at around 6.1% (realistic figures might be much higher since only registered unemployment is counted and many German part-time workers are desperately wishing to work full-time), there are jobs for those with the right qualifications or connections. Non-EU foreigners wishing to work in Germany should make sure they secure the proper permits. Since this can mean extended acts of distinctly German bureaucracy especially for non-EU citizens, it is likely not a good method to help your travelling budget.

Non-EU students are permitted to work on their residence permits, but there is a limitation of 90 full (more than four hours worked) days per year or 180 half days (under 4 hours worked) without special authorization. Working through one’s university, though, does not require a special permit.

Citizens of some non-EU countries (Australia, Canada, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea and the US) can apply for a residence title with a work permit during their 90 day visa-free stay in Germany, however, they may not work without a visa/authorisation. Other nationals require a work visa before entering the country, which they need to exchange into a residence title after entry. For more information, see the ‘Entry requirements’ subsection of the ‘Get in’ section above.

Illicit work is rather common in Germany (about 4.1% of the German GDP) and virtually the only way to avoid the German bureaucracy. Being caught, however, can mean time in jail, and you are liable to your employer to almost the same extent as if you worked legally.

If you want to stay in Germany for an extended period of time, but do not speak German, your best bets are large multinational companies in the banking, tourism or high-tech industries. Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich and of course Hamburg and Berlin are likely the best places to start looking. A good knowledge of German is usually expected, but not always a prerequisite. English speakers who are certified teachers in their home countries might be able to secure work at American or British international schools. English teaching without these qualifications is not lucrative in Germany.

During the asparagus season (Apr-Jun) farmers are usually looking for temporary workers, but this means really hard work and miserable pay. The main advantage of these jobs is that knowledge of German won’t be required.

Applying for a job in Germany is different from many other countries. As in nearly every country there are some peculiarities that every applicant should know.

Stay safe[edit]

Germany is a very safe country. Crimes rates are low and the rule of law is strictly enforced.

Violent crimes (homicide, robberies, rape, assault) are very rare compared to most countries. For instance, 2010 homicide rates were with 0.86 cases per 100,000 inhabitants significantly lower than in the UK (1.17), Australia (1.20), France (1.31), Canada (1.81) and the US (5.0) – and they continue to decline. Pickpockets may sometimes be an issue in large cities or at events with large crowds. Panhandling is not uncommon in some larger cities, but not to a greater extent than in most other major cities and you will rarely experience aggressive panhandling.

Staying in Berlin and Hamburg (Schanzenviertel) around first of May, Tag der Arbeit expect demonstrations that frequently evolve into clashes between the police and a minority of the demonstrators.

Take the usual precautions (such as do not walk in parks alone at 3AM, do not leave your camera unattended or bicycle unlocked, and do not flash around a big fat wallet) and you will most likely not encounter any crime at all while staying in Germany.

Emergencies[edit]

The nationwide emergency number for the police, fire and rescue services is 112 (same as in all EU countries and English-speaking operators). The police has an additional number, 110, which is unlikely to be staffed with English-speaking operators and not recommended for tourists. These numbers can be dialed toll-free from any phone, including phone booths and mobile phones (SIM-card required). If you are reporting an emergency, the usual guidelines apply: stay calm and state your exact location, the type of emergency and the number of persons involved. Do not hang up until the operator has received all required information and ends the call.

There are orange emergency telephones interspersed along the main motorways. You can find the closest SOS-phone by following arrows on the reflection posts at the side of the road.

Ambulances (Rettungswagen) can be summoned via the national toll-free emergency number 112 and will help you regardless of insurance issues. All hospitals (Krankenhäuser) except for the smallest private ones have 24-hour emergency rooms able to cope with all kinds of medical problems.

Racism[edit]

The overwhelming majority of foreign visitors will never deal with issues of open racial discrimination or racism in Germany. Large cities in Germany are very cosmopolitan and multiethnic with large communities of people from all continents and religions. German government officials and at least quite a few organizations exercise a very strict no-tolerance policy against any people known to have a Nazi / Nationalist ideology. Many Germans still feel at least quite aware if not even ashamed of the historical burden of the Nazi era and are usually open-minded and tolerant in contacts with foreigners. Non-white visitors may get an occasional wary look (particularly in Eastern Germany), but not to a greater extent than in other countries with a predominantly white population.

The situation may be different in economically weak and/or rural parts of Germany (patricularly in the east, including the outskirts of East Berlin). There are sometimes incidents of violence against Non-whites in these regions. Most of these happen at night when groups of drunken “Neo-Nazis” look for trouble (and solitary victims) downtown or near public transport stations. The anger of these groups is directed against anything which is different. Hence, it might not only affect foreign visitors, but also homeless persons, West Germans and people with alternative looks such as Punks, Goths, etc.

Public displays of overt anti-semitism are forbidden by law. The Hitler salute and the swastika are banned, as well as the public denial of the Holocaust.

Police[edit]

German Police officers (Polizei) are trained to be always helpful, professional and trustworthy, but tend to be rather strict in enforcing the law, which means that one should not expect that exceptions are made for tourists. When dealing with police you should remain calm, courteous and avoid getting into confrontations since you may be fined for insulting police officers. Most police officers should speak/understand at least basic English or at least have colleagues who do so. The younger they are, the better the chance to catch one who speaks good English. The level of English varies but all have a pretty good understanding. Otherwise some do speak French, Spanish or their parents’ languages like Turkish, Polish, Russian and so on.

Police uniforms and cars are green or blue. Green used to be the standard, but most states and the federal police have transitioned to blue uniforms and cars to comply with the EU standard.

Police officers are employed by the states except in airports, train stations, border crossings etc. which are controlled by the federal police (Bundespolizei). In mid-sized towns and big cities, local police (called Stadtpolizei, kommunale Polizeibehörde or Ordnungsamt) have some limited law enforcement rights and are in general responsible for traffic issues.

If you get arrested, you have the right to have an attorney. Foreign nationals also have the right to contact their respective embassy for assistance. You are never obliged to make a statement that would incriminate yourself and you have the right to remain silent. Wait until your lawyer arrives and talk to your lawyer first. If you do not have a lawyer, call your embassy (or someone else who can hire one for you) else the local justice official will appoint a lawyer for you.

If you are a victim of crime (for example robbery, assault or theft in public) and wave an oncoming patrol car or officer, it is not uncommon that the officers will (sometimes rather abbruptly: “Einsteigen”) command you to enter the back seat of the police cruiser. This is an action to start an instant manhunt to identify and arrest the suspect. In this case remember that you are not under arrest but to help the officers to enforce the law and maybe get back your property.

German Police do have ranks but are not that keen about them. Do not count the stars on the officers shoulders to choose the officer you will address. Such behaviour is seen as impolite and a disrespect to lower rank officers. Talk to any officer and they will answer your questions or redirect you (if needed) to the officer in charge.

Prostitution[edit]

Prostitution is a legal business in Germany.

Drugs[edit]

Alcohol may be purchased by persons 16 years and older. However, distilled beverages and mixed drinks with those (including the popular ‘Alcopops’) are available only at 18. It is not technically illegal for younger people to drink, but it is illegal to allow them to drink on premises. If the police notices underage drinking, they may pick the person up, confiscate the drinks and send the person home in the presence of an officer. In many public transport systems, such as the subways and buses in Hamburg or Nürnberg and increasingly many other cities, as well as on private local train operators such as Metronom in Lower Saxony, the consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. (Therefore you will see lots of beer and brandy bottles on interchanging station like Uelzen)

Smoking is allowed starting at age 18. Vending machines for cigarettes require a valid “proof of age”, which in practice means that you need a German bank card or a (European) driving license to use them.

The situation on marijuana can be confusing. The Constitutional Court ruled that possession for “personal use”, though still illegal, should not be prosecuted. Germany is a federal state therefore the interpretation of this ruling is up to the state authorities. In fact charges are sometimes pressed even for tiny amounts, which will cause you a lot of trouble regardless of the outcome. As a general rule the northern states tend to be more liberal while in the south (especially Bavaria), even negligible amounts are considered illegal. The customs officials are also aware of the fact that you can legally buy marijuana in the Netherlands and therefore set up regular border controls (also inside trains) as the import is strictly prohibited.

Even if you get off the charges, the authorities may cause different problems, like revoking your drivers license and if you have more than a few grams, you will be prosecuted in any case. Also, the drugs will be confiscated in all cases.

All other recreational drugs (like ecstasy) are illegal and possession will lead to prosecution and at least a police record.

Weapons[edit]

Some types of knives are illegal in Germany: this concerns mostly some types of spring knives, “butterfly” knives, knuckle knives and the like. These knives are illegal and owning them is an offense. Knives that are intended as weapons are restricted to persons over 18.

It is illegal to carry any type of “dangerous knife” on your person in public unless you have a valid reason to do so. For example, if you are out fishing you are still entitled to carry a fishing knife. “Dangerous” knives are generally those with a blade length exceeding 12 cm and “one-handed” folding knives.

Carrying any knife (except a Swiss Army knife in some cases) without any professional reasons (carpenter, etc.) is seen as very rude and unacceptable in Germany. Germans consider any non-professional used knives as signs of aggression and do not accept this behaviour. Flashing a knife (even folded) may cause bystanders to call the police, who will be very serious in handling the upcoming situation.

Firearms are strictly controlled. It is practically impossible to legally carry a gun in public unless you are a law enforcement officer. “Fake” firearms may not be carried in public if they resemble real guns. CO2 and air guns are relatively easy to acquire. If the police find any kind of weapon or firearm on you, you will appear highly suspicious.

Fireworks[edit]

Avoid bringing any fireworks into Germany, especially from outside the EU. Even bringing those can be an offence. Fireworks are traditionally used on New Year’s Eve. Most “proper” fireworks (marked as “Klasse II”) will be available at only the end of the year; they may be used by persons only over 18 on 31 December and 1 January. Really small items (marked as “Klasse I”) may be used around the year by anyone.

Fishing[edit]

Fishing laws differ a lot from state to state. Obtaining a fishing license for Germans and foreigners has become a highly bureaucratic process due to animal protection laws.

Gay and lesbian travelers[edit]

The attitude towards gays and lesbians is rather tolerant with openly gay politicians and celebrities being considered increasingly normal. While some, especially the elderly, Germans inwardly still don’t approve of homosexuality or bisexuality, they usually suppress open utterances of homophobia. Therefore, in most cases, display of homosexuality (holding hands or kissing) will at most provoke stares or sometimes comments by children or elderly people.

In some areas of Berlin and eastern Germany ‘gay-bashing’ is popular with Neonazis or other gangs, so use common sense and be geared to the behaviour of the locals around you: if they display homosexuality, it is safe for you; otherwise, if not better avoid it. In small towns and in the countryside, display of homosexuality is almost unknown while it may be commonplace in Berlin and other big cities.

Stay healthy[edit]

Sanitary and medical facilities in Germany are excellent. The phone book lists telephone numbers for various medical services, many hotlines and services exist that are open during “off hours”. See the section Medical Emergencies above if you are in an emergency

Health care[edit]

If you have an non-urgent medical problem, you may choose from any local doctor. The German health system allows specialists to run their own surgery so you usually will be able to find every discipline from Dentistry to Neurology on duty within reasonable reach. In remote regions finding a doctor might require a ride to the next town but the German infrastructure allows fast connections. GPs/family doctors will usually describe themselves as “Allgemeinmediziner” – meaning “general practitioner”.

Pharmacies are called “Apotheke” and are marked by a big, red “A” symbol. At least one pharmacy in the area will be open at all times (usually a different one every day), and all pharmacies will post the name and address of the pharmacy-on-duty in the window. Some medication that is sometimes freely available in other countries (e.g. antibiotics and the “morning-after pill”) needs a prescription in Germany, so you may want to check before your journey. The staff of an Apotheke have specially trained personnel, as it is mandatory to have a university degree in pharmaceutics to run an Apotheke in Germany. A German pharmacist is able to offer advice on medications.

In Germany pharmaceuticals tend to be expensive, so it might be wise to ask the pharmacist for “Generika” (generic drugs): A “Generikum” is virtually the same produce, often even produced by the same pharmaceutical trust, just lacking the well-known brand name and being considerably cheaper.

Health insurance[edit]

EU citizens that are members of any public health insurance can get a European Health Insurance Card. The card is issued by your insurance provider and lets you use the public health care system in any EU country, including Germany. If you are an EU citizen, you simply have to tell a doctor or the hospital that it goes through the ‘AOK’, the German state health insurance scheme. If doctors and hospitals don’t accept this, go to the local AOK office and they will usually telephone them to confirm.

If you’re from outside the EU, or if you have a private health insurance, check if your insurance is valid in Germany. If not, get a travel health insurance for the trip – German health care is expensive.

Foreign insurance, even if it covers travel abroad, may not be accepted by local hospitals, i.e. you may have to pay up front and claim it back from the insurance company. (Be sure to keep the originals safe.) Alternatively, you might be sent a bill in the post.

Drinking water[edit]

Tap water has a good quality, is very strictly controlled and can be freely used for consumption. Exceptions have to be labelled (“Kein Trinkwasser” = not drinking water), usually found on fountains and in trains.

Swimming[edit]

Many lakes and rivers, as well as both the North Sea and Baltic Sea are generally safe for swimming. Nevertheless, while there may be no life-threatening pollutants in most bodies of water, you would do very well to inform yourself about local regulations. If you intend to swim in a large river, at best do so only on official bathing locations. Keep away from structures (power plants might cause streams you don’t see from the surface) in the river or reaching from the shore into the river, also keep out of the path of ships. Both structures and ships, even if they look harmless or far away, may create major sucks underwater. Take particular care of children.

If you intend to swim in the North Sea you should inform yourselves about the tide schedules and weather conditions – getting caught in a tide can be fatal, getting lost in the mist, too. Hiking in the Wattenmeer without a local guide is extremely dangerous, so keep out if you do not really know your way around. There are no tides in the Baltic Sea.

Diseases[edit]

You should be aware of rabies (Tollwut) which has been a problem in some areas in the past, even if forestry officials combat it very seriously. If you want to go to Germany for hiking or camping you should inform yourself about the situation at your destination and take appropriate precautions. Normally, you won’t have to worry about it because the main transmitting animal is the fox.

The biggest risks hikers and camper face are two diseases transmitted by ticks. In some parts of Germany there is a (low) risk of contracting tick-borne encephalitis; vaccination is advised if you plan out-door activities in high-risk areas. The risk of Lyme disease is higher and vaccination is not available. Therefore you should try to prevent tick-bites by wearing long trousers and appropriate shoes. Chemical repellents can also be effective. You should also check for ticks afterwards since the risk of transmission is lower if the tick is removed early. The safest way to remove a tick is by using a credit card sized device called a “Zeckenkarte” (tick card), wich you can get at most pharmacies. Other methods (fingers, using glue, etc.) might lead to the tick injecting even more infectious material into the wound. If in any doubt consult a doctor.

Natural danger[edit]

Today, wild animals, although they abound, are mostly very shy, so you might not get to see many. While a few wolves in Saxony and a bear in Bavaria have been sighted, their immigration from Eastern Europe caused quite a stir. In the course of events, “Bruno” (the bear) was shot, and while the wolves are under heavy protection local hunters have been suspected of killing them illegally. The most dangerous animal in Germany’s forests is by far the wild boar; in particular, sows leading young are nothing to joke about. Wild boar are used to humans, since they often plunder trash cans in villages and suburbs, and their teeth can rip big wounds. If you see one, do not approach it, and back away cautiously.

Respect[edit]

Culture[edit]

Especially in the English-speaking countries, Germany and the Germans have earned themselves a reputation for being stiff and strict with rules but also hard working and efficient. If you are caught breaking the rules, this will be pointed out to you by a fellow citizen. The two exceptions to rules in Germany seem to be queues and speed limits. The sound of the German language varies depending on the particular region you are in.

More important, the German sense of “politeness” differs significantly from the Anglo-American concept of courteous remarks, small talk and political correctness. Germans highly value honesty, straight talking, being able to cope with criticism and generally not wasting other people’s time. Consequently, business meetings tend to lack the introductory chit-chat. The Germans tend to be very formal people (especially in business) and titles rule the roost. Any titles (such as Dr., Prof. etc.) are used recursively, e.g. Herr Prof. Dr. Müller. Some colleagues that have worked together for many years still call each by their title and surname. When a German introduces himself to you, he/she will often simply state their surname, prompting you to call them “”Herr/Frau…” (“Mr/Mrs…”)”. Using first names immediately may be seen as derogatory.

There is also a strong desire to achieve mutual agreement and compromise. As for the infamous efficiency: Germans are the world’s leading recreationists (at an average of 30 days of paid leave per year, not counting public holidays), while maintaining one of the highest productivity rates on earth. A late-running train is considered a sign of the degradation of society.

Despite popular belief, the Germans do have a sense of humour. It is not true that Germans have no sense of irony and sarcasm. Although, it might be good to know when and how to be ironic or sarcastic. If you are around people you know well, sarcasm and irony are very common kinds of humour. Nevertheless, being ironic or sarcastic with your boss or professor is considered very inappropriate, even if he or she is.
As a tourist not experienced with Gothic or hard punk culture,you might be shocked by seeing some strange people dressed up or have a very strange and intensive Gothic fashion make over mostly in Railway Stations.

Punctuality[edit]

General rule of thumb: be on time!

In official contexts (when conducting business) punctuality is seen not as a courtesy but as precondition for future relations. Most Germans arrive 5-10 min early and take this for granted from everyone. Arriving more than 2 min late to a meeting is seen as rude and will be tolerated only with unknowing strangers, unless you can give good reason in your defense (i.e. being stuck in heavy traffic). It is seen as a courtesy to call the other participants if you seem to be running late. Regular delays are seen as disrespect for the other participants.

For personal relations, importance attached to punctuality may differ from individual to individual. It is still always safer to be punctual than late, but the subject may be a negotiable matter: if unsure just ask ‘is punctuality important to you?’. Punctuality also depends on the milieu, in a collegiate environment, for example, it is taken much less seriously. For private invitations to a home, it may even be considered more polite to be 5-15 min late as to not embarrass the host in case not everything has been prepared.

Behaving in public[edit]

Germany, especially urban Germany, is a rather tolerant society, and your common sense should be sufficient to keep yourself out of trouble.

Drinking in public is not forbidden and is even a common sight in the far west (Cologne and the Rhine-Ruhr Area). In some larger cities (such as Cologne) there are local laws that in theory make drinking alcohol in public a misdemeanor punishable with a fine of tens of euros; these laws are rarely enforced against tourists, except in cases when drinking leads to rowdy behavior (such laws have also been successfully challenged in court in several places). Behaving aggressively or disturbing the peace will earn you a conversation with German police officers and possibly a fine. Behave respectfully in places of worship and places that carry the dignity of the state (like the numerous war and holocaust memorials, parliaments and other historical sites).

Insults against other people are prohibited by German law and, if prosecuted for it, can result in jail time and a heavy fine. It is unknown how often charges are brought, but exercise common sense in all cases.

On German beaches, it’s in general not okay for women to bathe topless. Full nudity isn’t tolerated everywhere and not a frequent sight outside of the numerous nudist areas (labeled “FKK” — “Freikörperkultur”, literally free body culture). These are especially common at the east German Baltic coastline, due to the high popularity of nudism in the former GDR. It’s also possible to spot nudists in Berlin’s public parks and in Munich’s “English Garden”. In most saunas nudity is compulsory and mixed sessions are common practice. One day of the week is usually only for women.

Know the locals[edit]

The general rule of thumb is that wealth rises towards the south: Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria are the two richest states, competing with Switzerland and Austria for quality of life. A more liberal atmosphere is dominant as the traveler goes northward: Hamburg and Berlin have had homosexual mayors, bars and clubs are open all night and the density of young artists in Berlin Friedrichshain easily surpasses that of London, Paris or Manhattan. Northern Germany is in the same cultural sphere as the Netherlands and Scandinavia with even the food and architecture more pragmatic, simple and unrefined than in the traditionally Catholic south. Contrary to the general trend, Hamburg is the richest city in Germany (and one of the ten richest regions in Europe) even outpacing trendy Munich.

The Nazi era[edit]

Between 1933 and 1945 Germany was ruled by the nazi party NSDAP. In 1939 the German attack of Poland started World War II. In the following years over 60 million people were killed, including 6 million Jews in the Holocaust. Since then, the Third Reich has been a big part of Germany’s history and national identity. German pupils are educated about the nazi era in school and most classes visit a concentration camp (most of these sites have been transformed into memorials). There are many educational programmes on television and radio dealing with this period of time. Growing up in Germany, whether in the GDR or West Germany, meant and still means growing up with this heritage, and every German has developed her or his own way of dealing with the public guilt. For the traveler, this can mean confusion. You might come across people (especially young ones) eager to talk to you about Germany’s troubled history, feeling the urge to convince you Germany has come a long way since then. Choose adequate places to talk about the issue and be polite about it.

Humour, even made innocently, is absolutely the wrong way of approaching the matter and is insulting. Even worse, what might sound funny abroad may earn you jail time (up to 3 years) and a hefty fine in Germany. All Nazi-era slogans, symbols, and gestures are forbidden (except for artistic or educational purposes, and even these are strongly regulated), and displaying them in public is illegal. Foreigners are not exempt from these laws. Do not even think about jokingly giving a stiff arm Nazi salute! For example: a German court had to decide if it is legal to wear a crossed out swastika (to show one’s opposing the ideas of national-socialism), since it still contains a forbidden symbol!

Buddhist, Jain and Hindu visitors should note that even though the swastika is not banned as a religious symbol, you might get some strange looks from the people living there if you wear the symbol, as many Germans are not aware that the swastika is also a religious symbol. You could also end up having to explain your religious situation to the German police.

Probably the best way to deal with the issue is to stay relaxed about it. If your company likes to talk about German history, use the opportunity for a sincere, maybe even very personal conversation. If you want to steer clear of awkward moments, don’t bring up the matter.

However, this is not the case when you ask them about the division of Germany into East and West. Communist symbols, GDR songs and other East-German related regalia are circulated freely and many are nostalgic about the country, hence the artistic and commercial movement “Ostalgie” (nostalgia for the East). Just avoid bringing up the topic of the Berlin Wall impulsively, as it is still a very divisive issue.

Contact[edit]

Telephone[edit]

The international calling code for Germany is +49, and the prefix for international calls is 00; the area code prefix is 0. Some number blocks are reserved for special use: Number starting with 010xx let you choose a different phone provider (see below), 0800 and 00800 are toll-free numbers, 0180 are service numbers (which may or may not be more expensive than a local call). Avoid 0900 prefix numbers. These are for commercial services and usually incredibly expensive.

Mobile phone coverage on the four networks (T-Mobile, Vodafone, E-Plus and o2) is excellent across the whole country. UMTS (3G data) and EDGE is also available but still somewhat limited to cities and urban areas. All mobile providers use GSM technology on the 900 and 1800 MHz frequency ranges. This is different to the GSM 1900 standard used in the United States, but modern “multi-band” handsets will usually work in all GSM networks. Non-GSM phones cannot be used in Germany. If you have a GSM mobile telephone from the USA, make sure to call your provider in the USA prior to your trip and have them “unlock” your telephone handset so that you can use it with a German SIM card.

The vast majority of Germans own mobile phones (called “Handys” in German, pronounced “hendy”); the disadvantage of this is that the once-common phone booths have started to disappear except at “strategical” locations such as train stations. They usually consist of a silver column with a pink top and the phone attached on the front. At some places there are still older versions consisting of a yellow cabin with a door and the telephone inside.

If you stay for a longer period of time, consider buying a prepaid phone card from one of the mobile phone companies; you won’t have trouble finding a T-Mobile (in a “T-Punkt”), Vodafone, E-Plus or O2 store in any major shopping area.

Mobile telephony is still comparatively expensive in Germany, depending on your contract you may be charged about €0.10 to €0.39 per minute (and more for international calls).

In most grocery store chains (such as ALDI, Lidl), there’s an abundance of prepaid SIM cards from their own virtual carriers – these SIM cards use the major networks but come at a much lower price. They are usually quite cheap to buy (10-15€ with 5-15 € airtime) and also quite cheap to use for national and international (Europe and USA) calls (0.09-0.19 €/minute). Incoming calls and SMS are always free. SMS cost around 0.09-0.19 €. All of those carriers also offer inexpensive data plans without any long term commitment. They are available at: Aldi, Lidl, Penny, Netto, Tchibo, Rewe, toom, blau.de. A registration via Internet or (expensive) phone call is necessary after buying to activate the SIM card.

While international calls using the German SIM card can be expensive, there are some prepaid offers with good rates. Since the liberalization of Germany’s phone market, there is a multitude of phone providers on the market. If you’re calling from a private fixed line, you can usually choose from the different providers (and thus from different pricing schemes) by using special prefix numbers (starting with 010xx) with prices of 0.01 € or 0.02 €, sometimes below 0.01 € even for international calls. There’s a calculator on the net [69] where you can compare the prices for different destinations. Hotels usually have contracts with a particular phone provider and won’t let you use a different one.

Alternatively, you can also buy prepaid phone cards you can use by calling a toll free number; this is especially a good deal if you intend to make international calls. Cards’ quality and prices vary wildly, however, so a good recommendation cannot be made.

Recently, phone shops have sprung up in the major cities, where you can make international calls at cheap rates. These call shops are mostly located in city areas with a high number of immigrants and are your best option to call internationally. Apart from offering calls abroad themselves they sell international calling cards for use from any phone in Germany. You can usually spot these shops by the many flags decorating their windows.

Internet[edit]

Internet cafes are common and usually small, local businesses.
You probably won’t have a problem finding at least one in even smaller towns or large villages. See Online-Cafes (in German) for details. Phone shops will often offer internet access, too.

Most hotels offer internet access – often at rip-off rates, so confirm access and rates with your hotel before using.

In several cities, projects exist to provide free “community” hotspots for wireless networking.

See Public Spots (page in German) for details.

Passenger lounges at some airports and central railway stations also provide internet access to their customers.

Public libraries often offer Internet access, however usually not free of charge. The libraries are open to the public for free, taking a book home might require you to get a customer card at a low fee, though. Note the National Library in Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main and Berlin is not free.

Mobile Data[edit]

When arriving in Germany there are two good options for mobile data, renting a MiFi (mobile hotspot) with a data plan, and obtaining a pre-paid SIM card.

A company called deMiFi [70] opened in 2013 that offers the rental of pocket-sized mobile routers + data plans. The routers give you a secure password protected high speed connection, and you can use it to connect 8 WiFi enabled devices online. The prices start at €3/day for 100MB/day of data, and go up to €7/day for 500MB/day of data. They also have monthly plans that are €30-35/month (depending on the length of rental), with 3GB of data included. For the time being, you can only order them online (with return delivery), but it seems they will start to be available in airports and hotels in 2014.

Virtually all pre-paid SIMs allow Internet access for a monthly flat fee, for example those available at Tchibo coffee stores (O2 network, 10 €/month limited to 500 MB, €20/month for 5 GB) or Aldi (E-Plus network, €15/Month (5GB)). A regular O2 sim card, which can be used for calls and text messages, is €15 and another €15 buys 1GB of data valid for 1 month. Vodafone offers a prepaid sim card for €25 which includes €22.5 of credit, out of which you can get 300MB of data for 2 days for €15 and be left with €7.5 of credit. After reaching your data traffic limit, your internet will be slowed down, you will not be cut off.

Carriers in order of network speed are: T-Mobile>Vodafone>O2>E-Plus

If you want very fast internet at a low price, use a SIM from Congstar (T-Mobile Network); if you just want some internet on your phone and don’t really care about the speed (perfect for apps like WhatsApp, Viber, Line,…) use a SIM from Aldi (E-Plus).

Most universities in Germany participate in eduroam. If you are a student or member of a university, this service may allow you to get guest access to their wireless networks. Check with your own university for details in advance of your trip.

Postal Service[edit]

Deutsche Post [71] (the German postal service) runs several international companies including DHL [72] and others. A standard postcard costs €0.45 to send within Germany and €0.75 everywhere else. A standard letter not weighing more than 20 grams costs €0.60 to send within Germany and (again) €0.75 everywhere else. Letters within Germany are mostly delivered within 1 day, allow a bit longer for Europe. If you are going to buy postage stamps from souvenir stores, the stores usually only sell these together with postcards (though you can buy postcards alone). However, you can buy stamps separately at the post office and the postcards themselves at souvenir stores.

The service has been reduced in the privatization process. Due to a surge in the theft rate [especially by outsourced letter carriers and contractors] any international shipments, especially incoming, should be insured if they are valuable.

Air mail (Luftpost) can be as cheap as the alternative, Landweg. If you want to send packages, there are three options (cheapest to most expensive)-Maxibrief an oversized letter up to 2 kg and L+W+H=900mm. Päckchen is a small(up to 2kg for international), uninsured packet. Otherwise it will have to be sent under the price system of a DHL Paket.

If only books are sent, reduced rates apply (Büchersendung), but expect the mail to be opened and looked at, as really only books are allowed in them.
Rates for Büchersendungen vary between €0.45 and €1.40, depending on size and weight.

It is possible to drop letters and parcels at FedEx and UPS stations. Expect to queue.

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source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Germany

 

 

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