Practical Information

Time Zone

 

Germany is in the Central European Time Zone +01:00 UTC (GMT+1).

Like most states in Europe, Summer Time ((Daylight-Savings) is observed in Germany, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour (2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time GMT+2) beginning on Mar 25th and ending on Oct 28th 2012.

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Climate

 

The weather in Germany is not as stable and predictable as it is in southern Africa. Low and high pressure systems change much quicker, due to the fact that Germany is influenced by dry continental air masses from Eastern Europe and by maritime air masses from the Atlantic. This generally leads to a moderate climate with rain throughout the year. Extreme temperature lows and highs are rare.

In autumn(October – November), weather can still be sunny and warm, but usually is misty, foggy and cool. Also, the days are getting noticeably shorter.

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Getting Around

 

Public Transport System

The city is connected to the national rail network at two stations, Kassel Central and Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe. The traditional central station (Hauptbahnhof) has been reduced to a regional station; the high speed trains InterCityExpress (ICE) and InterCity stop at Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe.

Kassel has a well-developed public transport network. There are seven tram lines (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), all of which go through the city center and then fan out in different directions.  They arrive usually every 15 minutes on weekdays, and 30 minutes on weekends. The city also operates a light-rail Stadtbahn network called RegioTram which runs on both tram and main line railway tracks with four lines (RT3, RT4, RT5, RT9). Moreover, a number of buses complete the Kassel public transportation system.

The Kassel-city ticket allows travel in only one zone (within the city of Kassel). The KasselPlus ticket also includes the districts Ahnatal, Baunatal, Calden, Espenau, Fuldabrück, Fuldatal, Habichtswald, Kaufungen, Lohfelden, Nieste, Niestetal, Schauenburg, Staufenberg, and Vellmar.

There are three types of single tickets available.

1)      A Short Distance Ticket (Das KurzstreckenTicket) is valid in the KasselPlus Region for rides by bus or tram for up to 4 stations. For train service the ticket is valid for journeys of up to 3 kilometers. One way, one line only, no interchange. (1.60€)

2)      A Normal Single Ticket (Die Einzelfahrkarte) is valid for one way, one ride only, without interchange, without stopover. (2.50€ for Kassel-city & 3.30€ for KasselPlus)

3)      A 5-Tickets-Block (Das 5erTicket) means you get five rides and pay for only four. The ticket is valid for one way, one ride with interchanges. (2.20€ for Kassel-city & 2.80€ for KasselPlus)

One Day Tickets are valid for unlimited rides on one day until shutdown (4.10 € for Kassel-city & 6.10 € for KasselPlus).

All the tickets can be purchased from drivers, customer centers, vending machines located at the stations or at numerous outlets in the region.

Public transport route maps are available free of charge at the customer center. You can also get more information via this link (http://www.kvg.de/).

Taxi

Taxis can be ordered by phone (+49 0561 88111), or hailed from the street.

It should be mentioned that taxis are expensive in Germany and are usually metered at 1 to 2 Euro per kilometer, at night sometimes even more.

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Money and currency

 

The currency in Germany is the Euro, as in other European Union countries. There are eight different coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent, and 1 and 2 Euro. There are seven different bank notes, for the following amounts: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euro.

Currency can be exchanged at banks and exchange offices which are available in all towns, but it may be easier to use the ATMs. Banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays, but exchange offices at airports and major city rail terminals are open seven days a week. Major credit and debit cards are widely accepted though some small restaurants may only accept cash.

Tips are welcome when you are satisfied and happy with the service, but are not obligatory; a general guideline for the tip amount would be 10% of the bill.

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Languages and religion

 

German is the official and predominantly spoken language in Germany. It is a major language within the European Community, which is also spoken in Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Luxembourg, as well as in German ethnic communities in the neighboring countries. However, you can travel in Germany without understanding a word of German. Most Germans - especially younger people - speak and understand English.

Christianity is the largest religion in Germany, with around 51.5 million adherents (62.8%), of which 30.0% are Catholics and 29.9% are Protestants belonging to the Evangelical Church in Germany. Germans with no stated religious adherence make up 34.1% of the population, especially in the former East Germany and major metropolitan areas.

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Commercial and business hours

 

The main shopping area (Königsstrasse) and shopping centers are open weekdays from 9am - 8pm, on Saturdays from 9am - 7pm and closed on Sundays. Special cafés and bread shops may open on Sundays.

Banks are open Monday to Friday from 9am - 5pm (office hours may vary), and are closed on Saturday and Sunday.

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Communications

 

The international access code for Germany is + 49. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0032 for Belgium). The area code for Kassel is (0)561.

The main mobile networks operating in Germany are Vodafone, O2, Telekom, and Base, each of which has its own corresponding mobile codes.

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Electricity

 

The voltage in Germany is 220 V, 50 Hz. Electrical plugs in Germany need two round prongs. They can be the ungrounded Europlug Type C or the grounded Schukoplug Type F.

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Eating and Restaurants

 

For your lunch break during the conference, you can visit one of the places to eat at the university campus.

Mensa:             The “Mensa” provides various menus at low cost (self-service). If you are a student, you should state this at the cashier desk for the student price. Non-students pay the guest price.

Moritz:             The à la carte restaurant “Moritz” offers various menus for a good price.

Cafeteria:         For a brown-bag lunch or small dishes you can visit the Cafeteria (Georg-Forster-Strasse).

Recommended Restaurants around the Campus

Outside the campus, you will find many restaurants in the city centre, especially in the area around the “Königsplatz” and “Friedrichsplatz”. But there are also nice little restaurants close to the campus:

- Café Nordpol (Gottschalkstrasse 12, 34127 Kassel, Tel.: 0561-85522)
- Cafè Hurricane (Gottschalkstr. 38, 34127 Kassel, Tel.: 0561-898072)
- Pizza Mania (Moritzstr.3, 34127 Kassel, Tel.: 0157-7315 9034)
- Bistro Lehmofen (Magazinstr. 19, 34125 Kassel, Tel.: 0561-8706539‎)
- Café Nordpol (Gottschalkstrasse 12, 34127 Kassel, Tel.: 0561-85522)
- Cafè Hurricane (Gottschalkstr. 38, 34127 Kassel, Tel.: 0561-898072)
- Pizza Mania (Moritzstr.3, 34127 Kassel, Tel.: 0157-7315 9034)
- Bistro Lehmofen (Magazinstr. 19, 34125 Kassel, Tel.: 0561-8706539‎)
- Tat Urfa (Untere Königstrasse 89, 34117 Kassel, Tel.: 0561-8164800)
- da bruno (Königsplatz 59k, 34117 Kassel, Tel.: 0561-14997)
- IL Convento (An der Garnisonkirche 2,  34117 Kassel, Tel.: 0561-8619446)

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ex)I(ceed, DAAD, BMZ

The programme “ex)I(ceed – Higher Education Excellence in Development Co-operation” is managed by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) using funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).