5 Things to Know Before You Visit Germany

JQ Louise is a food and travel writer based in Boston. She has written for Teen Vogue, Style Me Pretty, Paste Magazine and several other publications. You can also occasionally find her on the Food Network Snapchat! She loves to share her travel tips and tricks on her blog jqlouise.com and her Instagram account @jqlouise. Catch her first book coming out soon called "Boston Food Crawls."

Planning a summer European adventure? If you’ve already checked the big names like London and Paris off your list, why not head to Germany? Germany has a rich history, some tasty food, and is filled with wonderful people. Here are five things you should know before you go!

1. There is more to drink than just beer.

While in many parts of Germany there are some amazing beers and beer halls (The Hofbrauhaus in Munich is definitely a must!), Germany also produces some fantastic wines. In fact the Rheingau Region (just outside of Frankfurt) is the Germany’s largest wine producing region and they are pumping out some amazing Rieslings and other white wines. And there are dozens of fabulous wineries to tour and sample the vintages. Schloss Vollards is a lovely Riesling vineyard to check out and Henkell, one the largest producers of German sparkling wine, called Sekt, is another fun pit stop in the nearby Wiesbaden.

2. You will eat sausage, but there are other options.

Like beer, sausage is another German staple that we all associate the country with. However, while important to the cuisine, there are so many other options available if you get “wurst” for wear on your trip! In so many cities there are trendy restaurants serving up innovative and international creations.

3. Yes, they do drive fast.

If this is your first time traveling to Germany and you are driving, know the rules and stick to them. Germans take driving very seriously, which is why they are the only country in Europe to have portions of highway that are unlimited, meaning there is no speed limit. Basically, they are some of the most mature and sane drivers on the planet.

When you see the “unlimited” symbol on the road, you can feel free to drive as fast as you wish. While this may seem intimidating at first, as soon as you drive on one of these unlimited autobahns you will realize that Germans are some of the best behaved drivers in the world, passing only in the left lane and a safe distance left between all cars. But do your research ahead of time so you are prepared, because in most areas there is a speed limit.

4. While they like cars, they also love bikes!

Many German cities are extremely bike friendly. In fact, Frankfurt has a bike path that goes all along the Main River, on both sides that you can shoot in an out of the city of on your bike or on foot. And even in town, it is very safe to ride a bike. So keep that in mind and maybe choose a bike to get around.

5. Germans are punctual.

What they say about German efficiency is true. The trains and buses run on time, so don’t be late! If you make an appointment in Germany, make sure you aren’t late. And like many parts of Europe, reservations for dinner are usually necessary at restaurants, so plan ahead and be on time. One quick anecdote about this: I was once in the small town of Kiedrich, heading over to tour their beautiful cathedral, and right on the dot at 9:30 a.m., just as we were walking through the entryway the front door swung open and there was our guide. And I’m glad we didn’t miss the appointment because we saw some of the most amazing 13th, 14th and 15th century art on the tour!