15th Congress    •    October 10-13, 2019    •    Munich, Germany

GENERAL INFORMATION

ELECTRICITY

Electrical outlets in the U.S. output between 100-120V, while many other countries output between 200-240V. Not all gadgets require a voltage converter, though—you may be able to get by with just a simple plug adapter.

Electrical outlets in the U.S. output between 100-120V, while many other countries output between 200-240V. Not all gadgets require a voltage converter, though—you may be able to get by with just a simple plug adapter.

A plug adapter will allow you to use your device without the need to convert electricity, but the charger has to be rated at both voltages. If your device doesn't support dual voltages, you'll need a converter.
• Plug adapters

CURRENCY & BANK/ATM

Currency
The decimal monetary system in Germany is the euro (€), which is divided into 100 cents (written as “c”). There are 2€ and 1€ coins, as well as 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c, 2c, and 1c coins. Banknotes are issued for 500€, 200€, 100€, 50€, 20€, 10€ and 5€.

ATMs
You'll find bank ATMs all over Munich. At the Munich International Airport (MUC), there are plenty of facilities and services, including banks and currency exchange available there for travelers convenience. Most of the ATMs and banks are located in the public area, in the pre-security zone. The only ATM which can be spotted in the post-security zone is the Deutsche Bank‘sGeldautomat. Cash withdrawal machines work round-the-clock and the bank service desks work every day, while some of them work even on public holidays, which is very convenient.

Make sure you choose the right ATM machine. There are two major networks operating cards – Visa and MasterCard. If you look at your card, you will see one of these symbols, either Plus or Cirrus. Plus is owned by Visa and Cirrus belongs to MasterCard. So ATM should have the same symbols on it to accept your card. Be sure you know your personal identification number (PIN) and daily withdrawal limit before you depart. Note: Remember that many banks impose a fee every time you use a card at another bank's ATM, and that fee can be higher for international transactions (up to $5 or more) than for domestic ones (where they're rarely more than $3). In addition, the bank from which you withdraw cash may charge its own fee. For international withdrawal fees, ask your bank.

Credit Cards
Credit cards are another safe way to carry money. They also provide a convenient record of all your expenses, and they generally offer relatively good exchange rates. You can withdraw cash advances from your credit cards at banks or ATMs but high fees make credit card cash advances a pricey way to get cash. Keep in mind that you'll pay interest from the moment of your withdrawal, even if you pay your monthly bills on time. Also, note that many banks now assess a 1% to 3% "transaction fee" on all charges you incur abroad (whether you're using the local currency or your native currency). In Germany, American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa are commonly accepted, with the latter two cards predominating.

BUSINESS HOURS

Most banks are open Monday to Friday 8:30 to 1pm and 2:30 to 4pm. Opening store hours vary according to where the store is located and the type of shop. In general, shops are open from Monday to Saturday. Smaller shops, such as bakeries, open very early in the morning and may close a bit earlier, especially on Saturdays. All shops except petrol stations and bakeries are closed on Sundays. In general, the following opening times apply, although it is up to every individual shopkeeper how long they want to keep their shop open.

Department stores: Mon - Sat 10am - 8pm
Supermarkets: Mon - Sat 8am - 8pm
Bakeries: Mon - Sat 7am - 6pm, Sun 7am - 12pm
Grocery stores, butchers, small shops, etc. have individual opening hours which, by and large, correspond to the following scheme. Please note that this is only an estimation and that you should check with the individual shop. Mon - Fri 8am - 12:30pm and 3pm - 6pm Sat 8am - 12:30pm.
Petrol stations are allowed to be open 24/7.

INSURANCE

Neither the congress organizers, nor TTS, nor IXA, will accept liability for personal injuries sustained, or for loss or damage of property belonging to congress participants, either during, or as a result of the meeting. Participants are advised to take out their own personal travel and health insurance for their trip.

INTERNET ACCESS

Chances are, Wi-Fi will be available either free or for a nominal charge at your hotel. WiFi is free at any Starbucks.

You can send e-mails or check your messages at:
EasyEverything Internet Café
Bahnhofplatz 1
T: 089/55999696
U-Bahn: Hauptbahnhof
Opening Hours: 07:30–23:45

For a current list of internet cafes sorted by location, go to www.muenchen.de/internetcafes.

LANGUAGE

Many Germans speak English, and English is usually spoken at major hotels and restaurants as well as in principal tourist areas. The official language of the congress is English. Simultaneous translation will not be provided.

TAXES

As a member of the European Union, Germany imposes a tax on most goods and services known as a value-added tax (VAT) or, in German, Mehrwertsteuer. Nearly everything is taxed at 19%, including vital necessities such as gas and luxury items such as jewelry. Food and books are taxed at 7%. VAT is included in the prices of restaurants and hotels. Goods for sale, such as cameras, also have the 19% tax already factored into the price. Stores that display a tax-free sticker will issue you a Tax-Free Shopping Check at the time of purchase. When leaving the country, have your check stamped by the German Customs Service as your proof of legal export. You can then get a cash refund at one of the Tax-Free Shopping Service offices in the major airports and many train stations, even at some of the bigger ferry terminals. Otherwise, you must send the checks to Tax-Free Shopping Service, Mengstrasse 19, 23552 Lübeck, Germany. If you want the payment to be credited to your bank card or your bank account, mention this. There is no airport departure tax.