Berlin Quick Facts
- Time Zone: Berlin is located within the Central European time zone (CET).
- Electricity: Electrical current in Germany is 220v AC and uses the standard European round, two pin sockets.
- Language: German is the primary language in Germany. Most Germans learn English as their foreign language in school.
- Currency: The legal tender in Germany is the Euro. For the latest exchange rates, please visit https://www.xe.com.
- Area Code: The country code for Germany is 49 and the area code for Berlin is 30.
- Tipping: Tips and value added tax (VAT) are officially included in all prices. But if the service provided was satisfactory, an extra tip is recommended.
- Emergencies: Police - 110; Fire Department/Ambulance - 112
- About Taxes: Value added tax (VAT) is a type of sales tax. In Germany the normal VAT rate of 19% is added to the net price. On certain products and services, such as books, staple foods (except soft drinks and spirits), newspapers, flowers and public transport tickets the reduced VAT rate of 7% is applied. Travelers who live outside the European Union can obtain a refund on VAT for goods bought in Germany. Be sure to save your receipts from your purchases. Before you check in your luggage at the airport on your way home, you can go the tax free shopping reclaim office and get your receipts stamped and obtain a cash refund. Find information about tax free shopping in Berlin here: http://www.globalblue.com/destinations/germany/tax-free-shopping-in-germany/
- Visa Requirements: Please visit the German Federal Foreign Office website for visa guidance. If you require a letter of invitation, please proceed with completing your registration. It is recommended that you select payment by wire transfer to bypass immediate payment; you may pay after you receive travel approval. Please complete the visa questions in the registration form. Once your request has been received, kindly allow 5-7 business days for processing. Keep in mind that all requests are thoroughly vetted. A letter is not automatically generated.