- Germany is one of the 17 countries in the European Union that uses the euro as its national currency. No other currency is accepted.
- Euros come in seven notes (five, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros) and eight coins (one and two euro coins, and one, two, five, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins). You're unlikely ever to set eyes on a 200 or 500 euro note.
- Exchange money at airports, some banks and currency exchange offices, such as Reisebank, American Express and TravelEx. In rural areas, such facilities are rare, so make sure you have plenty of cash.
ATMs widely available. Credit and debit cards accepted at most hotels and shops but not all restaurants.
ATMs are ubiquitous, accessible 24/7 and the easiest and quickest way to obtain cash. However not all machines take all cards. Check with your bank or credit-card company about fees.
Bavaria is still very much a cash culture and making sure you have ample supply of the stuff will avoid embarrassing situations, such as trying to pay for a beer in a pub or a sausage at the railway station with your credit card. Even at the supermarket cashiers (and the queue behind you) can still get a bit huffy if you don't have readies, especially when spending small sums.
- When to tip You could get through an entire trip around southern Germany without giving a single tip. Few service industry employees expect them these days, though most still appreciate a little extra when it comes their way.
- Hotels Generally one euro per bag
- Pubs Leave a little small change for the barman
- Restaurants Round up the bill to the nearest €5 (or €10) if you were satisfied with service.
- Taxis Round up to the nearest €5 so the driver doesn't have to hunt for change.
- Toilet Attendants €0.50 usually keeps these guys happy unless a price list states exact rates.
For current exchange rates see www.xe.com
A piece of plastic can be vital in emergencies and occasionally also useful for phone or internet bookings. Avoid getting cash on your credit card via ATMs since fees are steep and you’ll be charged interest immediately (in other words, there’s no grace period as with purchases). Report lost or stolen cards to the following:
American Express 069 9797 1000
MasterCard 0800 819 1040
Visa 0800 814 9100