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Click for a Map of GermanyGermany offers a variety of landscapes from the coast in the north to the Bavarian Alps in the south.  The country boasts a multitude of historical towns and cities, romantic castles, and excellent museums.  The tourism infrastructure is well developed and most of the people speak English. 

Selecting a Restaurant in Germany

When you look for a place to eat in Germany, keep our following tips in mind:

RESTAURANTS

In German, the word "restaurant" is pronounced with the accent on the last syllable.  Gasthaus, Gasthof, and Gaststatte also mean restaurant. 

Restaurants are not restricted to the hours that normal shops are allowed to be open, but do not expect to be able to get a meal at odd times of the day.  Establishments usually only serve meals during actual mealtimes (generally 11:30am-2am lunch, 6pm-9pm dinner).  Most restaurants close between 2pm and 6pm.  Also, most restaurants have a Ruhetag, or a day of rest when they are not open.


TOURIST TRAPS
Avoid tourist traps by venturing outside the normal tourist areas or down a side street in a tourist district.  The best food will not be at the largest, best advertised restaurant in a tourist area.  Your best bet for good, cheap, and authentic local cuisine is to follow the locals.  They know where to eat!


MENUS
Take a look at the menu posted outside a restaurant's door.  All European restaurants post their menus outside to attract pedestrians, and it's a good way to see whether anything on the menu catches your eye (and allows you to see if the restaurant is within your price range).

In areas frequented by tourists or military/business travelers will have an English menu.  However, you may not always have the luxury of looking at an English menu or a waiter who speaks English.  Try to avoid this situation by learning enough words so you can read the menu.  You may not have to engage in a conversation while abroad, but you always have to eat!


FULL COURSE, OR A LA CARTE?
Most restaurants will offer a full meal consisting of 3 to 4 courses.  In some restaurants the full meal will differ from day to day, while in others there will be a set menu selection for these meals.  These full meals will always be cheaper than eating a la carte. 

In Germany (and also in the rest of Europe), portions will be smaller than a similarly priced selection in the United States.  So if you are hungry, a full course meal may be the way to go.


 

Castles

Heidelberg CastleHeidelberg
Heidelberg is the very image of romantic Germany.  The city's 17th Century red sandstone castle ruin and the old bridge are two of the most majestic sights in all of Germany.

Neuschwanstein CastleNeuschwanstein
Venture into the Bavarian Alps and visit the fairy tale landmark upon which the Walt Disney based his Disney Land Castle: Mad King Ludwig's Schloss Neuschwanstein.

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