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South African citizens require a visa to enter the Schengen territory, i.e. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
At which Embassy/Consulate/ Visa Issuing Authority should you apply? Read More
– If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Embassy / Consulate / Visa Issuing Authority of that country.
– If you intend to visit several Schengen countries, you must apply for a visa at the Embassy / Consulate / Visa Issuing Authority that is your main destination (i.e. your longest stay).
– If you intend to visit several countries but do not have a main destination, you should apply for a visa at the Embassy / Consulate / Visa Issuing Authority of the country of your first point of entry.
In most of Germany, the climate is moderately continental, characterised by cold winters, with average daily temperatures around 0 °C (32 °F) or slightly above, and warm summers, with maximum temperatures around 22/24 °C (72/75 °F) in July and August.
The best time to travel is between May – September.
|International Airports:||Frankfurt (FRA), Munich (MUC), Düsseldorf (DUS), Berlin (TXL)|
|Area:||357 386 km²|
|Population:||82,79 million (2017)|
|Time Zone:||GMT+1 UTC+1 (CET)|
|Religion:||Christianity is the largest religion in Germany, comprising an estimated 57% of the country’s population in 2017. The two largest churches of the country are the Roman Catholic Church and the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), a Protestant confederation of United Protestant (Lutheran and Reformed) churches.|
|Exchange Rate:||Please consult your local bank as exchange rates fluctuate.|
|Credit Card Payment Availability:||Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in Germany. You can also use American Express and Diners Club credit cards; however, they’re accepted in fewer locations. While Germany ranks highly in Europe for the acceptance of new technology like contactless and mobile payments, it’s still a cash economy.|
|ATM Accessibility:||Easily accessible.|
|Electricity:||Electricity in Germany. In Germany the power plugs and sockets are of type F. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.|
|Water:||Tap water is safe to drink.|
|Business Hours:||Offices: Mon to Frid: 09:00 – 18:00 (with a 1 hour lunch break)|
|Banking Hours:||10:00 – 16:00 or 10:00 – 18:00|
|Photography Restrictions:||Photography is still considered an art here but according to Section 201a of the German Penal Code, anyone who gives a third party access to a photo taken of another person can be penalized if the photo is “capable of doing significant damage to the reputation of the person shown in it.”|
|Tipping:||Service and VAT are included in the menu price in restaurants, bars, etc. all over Germany. Still, it is typical to “round up” the amount to some more-or-less round figure. A rule of thumb is to add 5-10%, generally ending with a full Euro amount.|
|Vaccination Requirements:||No Vaccinations required, however if you have any doubts please consult with your medical practitioner or travel clinic|
|Dress Code Restrictions:||No Restrictions|
|Peculiar Customs to Observe||
- Berlin International film festival – February
- Bruchsal Asparagus Festival -mid May
- Dresden Music Festival – May & June
- River Rhine in Flames – May–September
- Oberammergau Passion Play – Bi Annual May–October
- Rock am Ring and Rock in Park, Nuremberg – June
- Kieler Woche or Kiel Week – June
- Richard Wagner Festival (Bayreuth festival) – July–August
- Museum Bank Festival (Museumsufer Fest) – August
- Oktoberfest – September – October
- Canntstatter Vasen in Stuttgart – Late September to mid-October
- Frankfurt Book Fair – October
- Fasching (Karneval) – 11 November
- Christmas Markets (Weihnachtsmärkte) – Notable Christmas markets are in Berlin, Dresden, Munich, Nuremberg, Lubeck, Munster, Stuttgart and Heidelberg – End November – December
“Berlin, the greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine.”
– David Bowie