Credit cards are not as heavily used in Germany as they are in North America, but they are being accepted in more and more businesses. Many smaller stores do not accept credit cards, so when going into a store or restaurant, check first to make sure they accept your specific type of card.
An ATM in Germany is called a Geldautomat, and it works in the same way as an ATM in the U.S. This is the easiest way to get Euros, because the exchange is done automatically from your account. Most ATMs are multilingual, but not all. Some German banks also have agreements with U.S. banks, lowering exchange fees from withdrawing money, so check with your bank before traveling.
Hours of Operation:
Banks are open Monday – Friday, 8:30 – 4:00. Some banks have extended hours on Thursday, and some close for lunch. Banks are always closed on Saturday and Sunday.
There are many ways to exchange currency, the easiest way being through an ATM. Another option is to purchase Euros through your bank before you leave on your trip. Airports and most train stations have currency exchange desks, some being electronic. Most banks, but not all, offer a currency exchange service as well.
Since the introduction of the ATM, traveler’s checks have almost become a thing of the past. And indeed, it is much easier to obtain money through an ATM. But if you are planning on using traveler’s checks, here are a few pieces of advice. They are not accepted at every location, so ask first. And hotels and businesses that do accept them often times have fees that are much higher than that of a bank or exchange office. It is also important to note that not all banks will cash them.