Let me be FRANK. Before visiting Germany, I didn’t think I’d like it. Now? It is hands-down my favourite country.
Here are some travel tips that will hopefully make it your favourite as well:
Purchase a German Rail Pass.
Not only did I have unlimited access to the U-bahn (Untergrundbahn or underground trains) and S-bahn (Stadtschnellbahn or express city trains), but I also got free access to cities in neighbouring countries:
- Innsbruck, Austria
- Brussels, Belgium
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Copehnagen, Denmark
- London, UK
- Venice, Milan, Bologna and Verona, Italy
If I had more time, I would have taken advantage of this. But, of the cities that I could have visited, the only city outside of Germany that I visited using the pass was Brussels.
Cook your own meals.
I stayed at an AirBNB, so I had my own kitchen. The day I arrived, I went grocery shopping for my entire two-week stay. Of course, I bought more fresh fruits and veggies along the way. But for the most part, I had everything I needed as soon as I arrived. What a cost-saver! As someone who loves cooking, it was such a fun challenge to create meals with local food. It also made me feel more at home.
Challenge yourself to speak the language.
Embarrassing, I know. It helped that I was alone, so nobody was around to witness the verbal wreckage that was my attempt to speak German. But there’s no better way to immerse yourself and think like a local when you’re speaking the language of the land.
You don’t have to act like a tourist.
While travelling, I met a girl in Paris who criticized me for carrying a purse. She suggested a fanny pack instead. (I laughed internally because I knew she was wrong. Also, a fanny pack? Really?) Wearing a fanny pack makes you look like a tourist! Nobody bothered me because I looked comfortable and like I belonged. Better yet, I felt comfortable and like I belonged.
Remember to look up, but don’t forget to look down.
There is definitely some cool architecture that requires you to look up. But there’s history when you look down as well.