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Europe Tours Guide: Everything to Know for Visiting Germany

September 25, 2013 - 9:16am
Seniors can prepare for Europe tours of Germany by familiarizing themselves with the country in advance.

From Berlin to Weimar, there's plenty to see and do on Europe tours focused on Germany. That's why it takes ample preparation, such as packing the right apparel for the weather conditions and getting the right documents together for international travel. Seniors can prepare for their German excursions in advance to ensure a safe and enjoyable vacation in Deutschland by familiarizing themselves with these must-know details of the destination:

Landscape

The terrain of this beautiful country is very diverse. The southern portion is mostly mountainous, so people visiting Munich or Stuttgart should prepare in advance for the rocky landscape. In the north, such as in Hamburg and Berlin, the land is generally flat and may be better suited for older people. Visitors may come across densely wooded areas like the Black Forest as well as gorgeous wetlands, such as those surrounding the Rhine River, which guests may explore during Germany river cruises.

Climate and What to Pack

Germany's climate is generally mild all year round. The summers, which run from June through September, are typically cool and sunny, with temperatures often averaging between 71 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Seniors coming during this season may want to pack light apparel, such as shorts and T-shirts, as well as comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses and a light sweater in case the temperature drops during the evening.

Autumn typically maintains the warmth from summer through October, but once November hits, the sun begins to set noticeably earlier and the conditions can become cool, misty and foggy. Layers are ideal for people coming to the country in fall, because they allow for quick adaptation to the unpredictable weather changes. Similarly, spring, which runs April through May, can be sporadic: one day may be humid and rainy, while the next may be chilly and dry, so layers are often the best thing to pack.

Members of senior travel groups arriving in winter, between December and March, may want to pack a heavy coat, gloves and hats, because temperatures can dip down below freezing on occasion. However, winters here are generally pleasant, averaging between 32 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit. This may require heavy sweaters and wool socks to stay toasty. Note that it's generally colder in the eastern and southern regions, while the northern cities tend to be warmer. Visitors may also want to bring boots in case of snowfall - higher altitudes, such as at the Bavarian Forest, usually get the most snow.

Languages

Clearly, the major language of this country is German. Guests who aren't familiar with it may want to invest in a good translation book. Introductory courses in German, which are usually offered by two-year colleges or community centers, may also prove beneficial. Many English speakers find learning this language relatively easy, because of many similarities in word structure and grammar.

It's important to note that surrounding Germany are several countries, including Poland, Denmark, Austria, France and Belgium, that have a great effect on the country's rich culture. Whether or not travelers visit these areas on their senior travel tours, they may come across people speaking the languages of these countries. Danish, Frisian, French, Sorbian and Romany are common.

Affordable Travel Ideas

As a major tourist destination, Germany can be expensive, but a little advanced planning can add up to a bundle of savings. Guests taking public transportation can save money by signing up for the BahnCard. People over the age of 60 get half off the price of this membership, which allows access to train journeys all around the country and on select boat trips. Another way to save money is to travel during the off-season. Tourists tend to come during the summer months, and dining, entertainment, accommodations and attractions are often more costly during the peak tourism season. Those who have the flexibility to travel at any time of the year may benefit from coming between October and April.