Guidebook Updates for Germany

When we learn of critical changes to the information in our guidebooks on Germany, we post them here. (We've also thrown in updates for Salzburg and Reutte, Austria, as they're included in Rick Steves Germany.) Of course, it's still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally. Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you're set for a great trip!

Across Germany

For books printed before January 2016, the following may apply:

  • The Deutsche Bahn's information line is now +49 (0)180-699-6633. This is a toll number, for which callers are charged a flat fee of 20 cents (€0.20) if calling from a landline, or 60 cents (€0.60) from a mobile phone.
  • Lately, many restaurants — especially those in well-touristed areas — have added a "Tip is not included" line, in English, to the bottom of the bill. This is misleading, as the prices on any menu in Germany do include service. We don't advise tipping any more at all at a restaurant that includes this note on the bill. (Many Germans, incensed at this trend, are rebelling by tipping far less generously at eateries using this approach.)

Baden-Baden

For books printed before January 2017, the following may apply:

Berlin

For books printed before September 2017, the following may apply:

  • The Pergamon Museum hall containing the Pergamon Altar will remain closed until at least 2025 (the south wing of the museum, with the Ishtar Gate, the Market Gate of Miletus, and the Museum of Islamic Art, remains open for now). A nearby pavilion (on Am Kupfergraben, directly across from Museum Island), opening in 2018, will house a temporary exhibit about the altar. While a new riverside entrance pavilion is being built, the entrances to the Pergamon, Neues Museum, and Old National Gallery may shift around, but visitors can expect these reroutings to be well-signed.
  • The Berlin Story bookstore on Unter den Linden has closed.
  • There is no longer an overnight train option between Berlin and Budapest.

For books printed before January 2017, the following may also apply:

  • Hotel Jurine doesn't have air-conditioning in any of its rooms (including the top floor).
  • The Hekticket booth on Alexanderplatz is temporarily located at Alexanderstrasse 1, across from Hotel Park Inn (it'll move back to its normal spot once construction has wrapped up in the square).

For books printed before January 2016, the following may also apply:

  • Hotel Askanischer Hof has closed.
  • The tourist information office that had been in western Berlin's Neues Kranzler Eck building has moved to a spot on the ground floor of the Europa Center shopping mall (open Mon–Sat 10:00–20:00, closed Sun). A nearby "info box" kiosk on Rankestrasse, across the street from the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, is open Sundays (as well as the rest of the week) 10:00–18:00.
  • The Hauptbahnhof (main train station) no longer has a left-luggage service — the Gepäckcenter under track 14 is now filled with lockers.
  • The Stasi Museum on Zimmerstrasse has closed. A second Stasi museum, in Friedrichshain, remains open.
  • The New Synagogue now closes a little earlier in the evenings. New hours: April–Oct Mon–Fri 10:00–18:00, Sun 10:00–19:00; Oct–March exhibit only (not dome) Sun–Thu 10:00–18:00, Fri 10:00–15:00; closed Sat year-round. Admission is now €5 for the main exhibit, and €3 for the dome (or €6 for a combo-ticket covering both).
  • The Berlin Story Museum has relocated from Unter den Linden to the Anhalter bunker. The Story of Berlin museum, a completely different sight, remains on Ku'damm.
  • The Berlin Wall Memorial's documentation center and visitor center now close at 18:00 year-round. The recently overhauled exhibit at the documentation center is geared to a new generation of Berliners who can hardly imagine their hometown split so brutally in two. The ground floor details the logistics of the city's division, and its effects on Berliners. The next floor up gives the historical and political context behind the Wall's construction and eventual destruction.
  • The Luigi Zuckerman deli, between Hachesher Markt and Rosenthaler Platz, is now called "My Smart Break," but still serves delicious and freshly made sandwiches and snacks.
  • The Erotic Museum near the Bahnhof Zoo has closed.

Dresden

For books printed before January 2018, the following may apply:

  • Dani's Waschsalon launderette on Mosczinskystrasse has closed.

Erfurt

For books printed before January 2017, the following may apply:

  • Pension Rad-Hof has closed.

Frankfurt

Füssen and nearby

  • The grotto at Linderhof Castle is closed through 2021 while it undergoes restoration work.

For books printed before January 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Pöllat Gorge is currently closed to hikers.
  • The Bayern-Ticket for regional train travel is now called the "Regional Day Ticket for Bavaria."
  • If you're in Füssen and want to take a bus tour of Bavaria's highlights, consider European Castles Tours. They offer various one-day tours, as well as multi-day tours, out of Füssen and Munich. Their Bavarian Highlights Tour, which covers the Wieskirche, Oberammergau, and Linderhof Castle, fills a niche for travelers without wheels. Check their tour schedule and plan ahead; tours generally don't run daily. (Keep in mind that you can visit Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria's biggest sight, on your own without a bus tour.)

For books printed before January 2017, the following may also apply:

  • Reservations for Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles can no longer be made by phone or email; book online at least two days in advance. Reservations cost €1.80 per person per castle.
  • The shuttle bus to Neuschwanstein Castle now departs about every 20 minutes from the parking lot just below Hohenschwangau Castle, and drops off near Mary's Bridge.
  • Mary's Bridge, above Neuschwanstein Castle, and the nearby Pöllat Gorge may close in winter during inclement weather.
  • Ski Sport Luggi bike rental in Füssen has moved to Luitpoldstrasse 11.
  • In Oberammergau, Pension Zwink has been renovated with nine rooms and has reopened as Mammhofer Suite & Breakfast.

Mosel Valley

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Any rail pass that covers Germany gives travelers a 20 percent discount on the Köln-Düsseldorfer (K-D) Line boats without starting a counted travel day of a flexipass.

Munich

For books printed before January 2018, the following may apply:

  • Café Tambosi has closed.
  • The Bayern-Ticket for regional train travel is now called the "Regional Day Ticket for Bavaria."

For books printed before January 2017, the following may also apply:

  • At the Dachau Memorial, some areas of the camp may begin to close before 17:00 — plan to wrap up your visit by 16:40 to allow time to exit by 17:00.

Nürnberg

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • To get to the Nazi Documentation Center and the former Nazi Rally Grounds, catch tram #8 (not #9) in the direction of Doku-Zentrum.

Rhine Valley

  • Due to a multiyear restoration, parts of the Rheinfels Castle grounds, including the tunnels, can only be seen with a guided tour. Tours are run in both German and English but determined on the day by who shows up; to arrange an English tour for a group, call 1-2 days in advance (tel. +40 (0)6741/7753; in winter +40 (0)6741/383). If you plan to take a tour, you must bring a flashlight for the dark tunnels.
  • In Bacharach, Hotel Hillen has closed.
  • In Bacharach, the Posthof restaurant has closed.

For books printed before January 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Any rail pass that covers Germany gives travelers a 20 percent discount on the Köln-Düsseldorfer (K-D) Line boats without starting a counted travel day of a flexipass.

For books printed before January 2017, the following may also apply:

  • Pension Lettie in Bacharach has closed.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

For books printed before January 2017, the following may apply:

Salzburg

  • At Hohensalzburg Fortress, admission is no longer discounted when visiting later in the day.
  • To take the bus to Augustiner Bräustübl from Hanuschplatz, take bus #4 rather than #8 (buses #7, #21, #24, #27, or #28 still work).
  • At the Obersalzberg Documentation Center and Bunker,  the bunkers will be closed until at least July 2018 for urgent restoration.
  • Stein Terrace, the seventh-floor rooftop terrace café at Hotel Stein, has reopened as Seven Senses restaurant (daily 7:00–late, tel. + 43 (0)662/877-277).
  • Segway Tours no longer operates its one-hour city tour (but still runs its 1.5-hour and two-hour tours). Its operating schedule has also changed: 3/day, daily June–Aug, Wed–Sun March–May and Sept–Oct, and no tours Nov–Feb.

For books printed before January 2018, the following may also apply:

For books printed before January 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The ticketing system has changed at Hohensalzburg Fortress: The "basic" ticket includes most castle sights plus some museums; the more expensive "standard" ticket adds the recently restored Regency Rooms. (As before, it's a few euros more to ride the funicular up than to walk.)
  • The Franciscan Church is no longer part of the tour through the DomQuartier museums.

For books printed before January 2016, the following may also apply:

  • Mozart's Birthplace is now open 8:30–19:00 daily in July and August (but still daily 9:00–17:30 the rest of the year).
  • The Mozart Dinner Concerts now start at 19:30 year-round.
  • Vietnam Pho 18 is now called "Wokman" (same great food and same friendly owners; now open Mon–Sat 11:30–15:00 & 17:00–21:00, often open later in July but closes earlier in Jan–Feb, closed Sun).

Trier

Wittenberg

For books printed before January 2018, the following may apply:

For books printed before January 2017, the following may also apply: