Germany is a very popular country among Canadians. There are many reasons for this of course but in particular two reasons stand out; the amazing landscapes that Germany offers and the love that German people have towards any kind of celebration.
Finding a cheap place to stay is quiet easy compared to other Euro-based countries. Low cost hotel prices are around 50 euros per night and the average cost for a small double room with private bathroom is between 45-65 euros. The country basically offers any possible kind of accommodation for every kind of budgets.
Food can also be very affordable and German cuisine offers more than 1500 different kinds of wurst (sausage) and an uncountable number of local beers. But the food tradition in Germany doesn't end here, we strongly suggest trying Sauerbraten (different kind of marinated meat cooked together) and local pastries (Schnitzel and apple strudel).
There are multiple festivals that are considered as a “must experience” for every Canadian. Just to make few examples, Munich's October fest and the Christmas markets are well known in the US. Germany combines a really innovative and high-speed lifestyle and romantic traditions. For tourists who want to enjoy a real-life fairy tale atmosphere, the castle of Neuschwanstein (not far from Munich) has been inspirational for Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Germany is a really multi-ethnic and metropolitan society. The population speaks German as the first language but almost everybody speaks English as a second language. If you want to see this international side of Germany there's no better chance than the Berlinale (Berlin Film Festival), the world's largest film festival according to attendance, with over 300 000 tickets sold every year.
The capital city Berlin offers a wide choice of events to attend and a long list of attractions that are visited annually over 12 million tourists. Some monuments in the city are just iconic like the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, and The Berlin Wall Memorial.
Outside of the big cities, Germany is a great destination for all those tourists who love to hike and ski and admire fabulous sightseeing.
Canadian citizens traveling to Germany for tourism do not need a visa as long as they spend 90 days or less in an Schengen Country. This is because Canadian passport holders are generally visa-exempted and for this reason, they can enter the Schengen area as long as the duration of stay does not exceed 90 days within a 6-month period. For longer duration of stay, an Schengen Visa is mandatory. The Visa is issued directly by the Government of Germany. If you intend to visit the country for more than 90 days you should contact the local embassy and ask for further information about how to apply for a visa.
There will be a change that has an impact for all the Canadian tourists from 2021 once the European Union is planning to initiate an electronic travel authorization, which is pretty similar to our eTA.
All Canadians planning to visit an Schengen Area Country have to have this electronic visa.
The difference between an Schengen Visa and ETIAS travel authorization is that an Schengen visa is valid only inside the German borders but ETIAS can be used during its validation period also to cross the borders with other Schengen Countries.
Tourist traveling in a group must all get a valid travel authorization. There are some requirements for having an authorization:
As a Canadian citizen, you will need to double check that the validity of your passport extends 90 days after your arrival in Germany.
Proof of funds:
You will need to bring documentation that proves you have sufficient finances to support your entire stay in the region.
You will need to provide a reason and documentation of your travel to the region. This documentation should support your travel itinerary.
You might also need to show additional entry documents depending on the countries you will be traveling to. Be sure to investigate each destination country and any additional paperwork required.
The Etias Travel Authorization is valid for a course of 3 to 5 years (this is currently under discussion and can be altered) and it can be denied at anytime. Because of this, it’s highly recommended to check the validity of the authorization for each traveler if traveling in a group before the departure date. If the validation is expired, it can result in a denied boarding on the day of traveling.
When entering in Germany, you will still need to show your passport and go through customs. If your entry is permitted, your passport will be stamped at the customs with the date indicating your arrival date into German territory.
When your entrance is clear and accepted, you will have free access to move within the Schengen region as long as you do not spend more than 90 days within a 180-day period.