You find phone booths in public areas, but their number is steadily decreasing. Nowadays, very few phone booths operate with cash. Most public phones require telephone cards, which can be bought in amounts of € 5, € 10 or € 15 at T-Punkt-stores, at post offices, and at tobacco/newspaper shops.
Germany has a huge telecommunications market and there is a wide selection of companies offering their services. Setting up a landline telephone connection you have a choice between a telephone cable and a TV-cable. Prices and conditions vary considerably whether you order only a telephone line or a package together with internet access. You might also contact your landlord about whether he or she has a special agreement with a certain provider.
Call-by-call services offer less expensive rates, mainly for long distance calls further than 50 kilometers. Especially calls to foreign countries can be considerably cheaper than the ordinary rates. As this is an additional service, you need a landline telephone at home or you have to make the call from a phone booth. Only certain providers allow call-by-call so you might want to check before signing up with a provider.
In order to use call-by-call you just dial a special prefix number before the number you are calling. Before being connected, you normally will be told the cost per minute for the call.
There are hundreds of companies offering these services. Each of them has different rates for the respective countries with the rates changing quite frequently. So if you regularly make phone calls to your home country, it is worth to check and find out the cheapest offer.
For current rates access www.billiger-telefonieren.de.
In Germany you have the choice between two schemes:
If you already have a mobile phone, you can also only get a SIM card.
A contract usually lasts for two years. There are two types of contracts: Either you pay a monthly fee together with the expenses for each call or you pay a flat rate. The advantages of a contract are generally lower calling rates and better deals on new phones.
With prepaid cards, you have maximum flexibility since you pay as you go. If your credit expires, you simply buy new credit at telephone stores, kiosks and supermarkets, or online.
There are different options: dial-up, ISDN, and DSL, which work via the telephone line, and cable.
Modem: Most dial-up Internet service providers offer two types of access:
Note that there are no flat rates available for dial-up access. Both analogue and ISDN lines can be used to access the Internet by dial up. ISDN will offer you faster access at 64 kbps (or 128 kbps, if you use both lines at the same time). The monthly fee for an ISDN line is approx. € 5 more expensive. You will need a special ISDN modem and the telephone line must be approved for ISDN use.
Access rates vary considerably. Many providers do not require any sign-up or commitment – by simply calling a designated number to make the connection is enough. The per minute rate starts at 1 Cent.
For more information check billiger-surfen.de.
If you wish to have a high speed Internet connection, you might want a DSL connection. This provides an Internet access up to 30 times faster than a standard analogue service. It requires an existing landline and involves additional fees like:
More information can be found here:
Anyone who owns a radio and/or television must register them and pay charges for public radio and television to the GEZ (Gebühreneinzugszentrale). The monthly fee currently amounts to € 5.52 for a single radio and € 17.03 for a single radio and television receiver. Registration forms are available online at GEZ or at every post office.
Larger post offices are open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. whereas smaller offices might have shorter opening hours. Most letters within Germany reach their destination within the next working day.
You can get stamps at post offices and at vending machines. The post office in Dahlem is at Königin-Luise-Str. 31.
To find a post office near your apartment, you can check the website of the German Postal Service (Deutsche Post).
For postal codes check here.
140x90mm – 235x125 mm
Standard letter (<20g)
140x90x5mm – 235x125x5mm
Compact letter (<50g)
150x70x10mm – 235x125x10mm
Big letter (<500g)
100x70x20mm – 353x250x20mm
For more information, please check the German Postal Service (Deutsche Post).
For parcels, you can either go to the post office or use one of the parcel services, e.g. Hermes-Versand.