Berlin is in the Central European Time Zone, i.e. it is always one hour later than Greenwich Mean Time. Summer Time, when the clocks are put forward one hour, is from the last Sunday in March until the last Sunday in October.
Currency and banks
Germany's currency is the Euro (€). As well as bureaus de change, mostly situated around train stations and airports, there are branches of all major banks across the city. The opening times are convenient with many banks open the whole day, several days a week. Outside bank opening hours you will find cash machines on nearly every street corner. EC and credit cards (American Express, Visa, Diners Club, Eurocard, Mastercard) are usually accepted.
1 Euro = 100 Cents
Please note that smaller shops and cafés might only accept cash payments. Therefore, visitors should always have some euro bills and coins on hand.
According to the new shop opening times law all Berlin shops can theoretically offer their goods round the clock from Monday to Saturday. Since its introduction, in practice almost all shops in the large shopping streets are open from 10 am to 8 pm. Apart from a few exceptions (airports and railway stations) all shops are closed on Sundays. A limited range of food is available then at fuel stations and kiosks.
City Tax Berlin and VAT
A City Tax applies to all overnight stays booked by private individuals. This applies to all commercial and private business that offer short-term accommodation. Overnight stays for professional/business reasons are exempt from the City Tax.
The City Tax will equal five per cent of the net price of accommodation. Additional charges such as breakfast and mini-bar are tax-free.
In Germany, the standard VAT rate is 19% of the net price. It is normally included in the price shown on the shelf/price tag, but will usually be listed separately on your receipt. All beverages, except milk and bottled water, are also taxed at the standard VAT rate. Products used on a daily basis such as books, newspapers, and food as well as art are taxed at the reduced rate of 7%. If you are visiting Berlin on holiday from a country outside the European Union, you are entitled to a refund of the VAT paid on purchases made in Germany during your stay here. This regulation applies to everything that you buy here for your private use. One exception is parts for your car or other means of transport. For more information visit https://premiertaxfree.com/how-shop-tax-free/germany
Climate and weather
Berlin has a continental climate, which is distinguished by large seasonal temperature fluctuations. In summer the temperature can reach over 30 degrees. However, temperatures largely range between a pleasant 15 degrees and 25 degrees from May to September. In winter temperatures of minus ten degrees or lower are not unusual. From experience temperatures are usually around freezing. But long frost periods with snow and ice are still possible. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year.
The German capital is considered as very safe in comparison with other national and international metropolises. Berlin is cosmopolitan, hospitable and is safe - especially in the tourist areas. Crime is still unfortunately possible in all areas. You can contact the Police on 110 (112 from international mobile phones) and the Berlin Police public telephone number is +49 30 4664 4664
Visitors should be aware of their personal safety. To protect against pickpockets store valuables out of sight and only carry the cash you need. There have been reports of people posing as police officers to 'search' tourists for counterfeit money in the process of stealing. Always ask uniformed or plain clothed police officers to show their police ID cards.
Emergencies and medical services
In case of emergency
Medical emergencies +49 30 - 31 00 31