UK to Germany power adapters - do I need a power adapter for a German power outlet?

German power outlet

What adapter do I need for Germany?

Use a Type F plug adapter for Germany if the plug you wish to use doesn't fit into a German power outlet.

The type of plug adapter, converter or charger that's needed when visiting Germany all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're trying to use with a German power outlet. If you don't know which voltage your device can use then read the section below on how can you tell if you have a single voltage or dual voltage device before going any further.

  • If you are from America travelling to Germany you will need to use a plug adapter to fit a US plug into a German power outlet. As the voltage is different in Germany bring a power converter if your device or appliance isn't dual voltage and ensure that it is compatible with a 50hz power outlet.
  • If your device is 230 volts or is dual voltage and the plug fits in a German power outlet then you can use it in Germany.
  • If your device can run on 230 volts or is dual voltage but the plug doesn't fit in a German power outlet then you'll need a suitable plug adapter for Germany such a Type F plug adapter. A plug adapter for Germany (or power adapter) only changes the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Germany, but doesn't change the voltage from 230 volts to use with another voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 230 volts and isn't dual voltage then you will also need a power converter for Germany to convert the voltage from 230 volts to the correct voltage on your device. You will still need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Germany if the power converter doesn't have the correct Type F plug adapter.
  • If you simply need to power USB devices such as a tablet or a cellphone then a USB travel power adapter is suitable and it will work with any voltage, but ensure that you choose one which has a Type F plug adapter otherwise you will still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Germany[4] [AD]
  • Excessive use of a phone during a vacation will leave you with a flat battery quickly, we suggest packing a portable charger if you wish to keep your phone battery charged throughout the day whilst visiting an unknown location.

Warning: If your device won't handle 230 volts you run the potential risk of a blown fuse, damage to your device or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your device in Germany please read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Germany power adapters

Power adapters for Germany

If you are packing for a trip it's useful to know if you can power your devices when you arrive at your hotel. However, by not knowing which wall socket is being used in Germany you are more likely to bring the wrong adaptor, therefore leaving you needing to borrow a potentially expensive charger when you're there. Different voltages and standards can all lead to confusion when planning to travel to another country for the first time traveller. With only a handful of different types of plug sockets used throughout the world this article shows exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your electronics in Germany. This page contains links to useful instructions telling you how to charge your devices when you are visiting Germany by using their standard F or C type German 230 volt 50Hz plug outlets, Type F wall outlets are normally used by a majority of Germans. Power sockets will vary depending on which country you are travelling to so we recommend reading the power adapters page for a complete list of regions and countries.

What is the best power adapter for Germany?

The best power adapter for Germany is a Type F plug adapter which will allow you to use any 230 volt appliance or device. [4] [AD]

What is the best power adapter for Germany?

What is a power adapter?

Power adapters are compact and lightweight plastic adapters which allow a German power outlet to accept a power plug from an appliance from a foreign country.

Also known as: an electrical adapter, plug adapter, travel adapter, electrical adaptor, mains travel adapter or power adaptor[10]

What does a power adapter for a German power outlet do?

A power adapter enables visitors from another country to use their electronic and electrical appliances in Germany simply by altering the shape of the power plug to fit the power socket.

Do I need a power adapter for Germany?

It will depend on where you are travelling from and the shape of plug you are using.

Can a European plug work in Germany?

There is a possibility that a plug adapter that works in another country in Europe won't work in Germany because there are 8 different power outlet types used throughout Europe.

Does a power adapter change the voltage in Germany?

Power adapters can only adapt the shape of a plug to fit into a 230 volt German power outlet and can't convert to a different voltage. Should you wish to safely use any 100, 110 or 120 volt device then you also need to bring a more expensive step down power converter for Germany.

Where to buy a power adapter for Germany in the UK

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where to buy a power adapter for Germany in the UK

Germany to UK power adapters will most likely be available to buy in the UK from airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, Luton, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Birmingham prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists such as WH Smith, Dixons or Boots but expect to pay 50% more than regular prices.

It will be more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. UK high street electrical shops, newsagents and chemists such as Currys PC World, WH Smith or Boots normally typically only sell popular types of travel adapters covering a limited number of countries however for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online. In January 2019 we checked 2 high street branches of WH Smiths without seeing any power adapters available to purchase and 1 branch of Boots only had a pack of European adapters available.

Where to buy a power adapter in Germany

Arriving at an airport

Where to buy a power adapter in Germany

On arrival power adapters could be found in local electrical high street shops and drug stores, but always check the build quality first as safety standards might be different in a foreign country as this is important when dealing with electrical goods. Keep in mind that a shopping trip searching for power adapters in an unknown location might be impractical, especially as this needs to happen quickly before batteries run out.

Hotel receptions could have a power adapter for sale, hire or as a complimentary extra for guests; however, availability is normally limited and a hotel might not have the exact type required for your country. If in doubt, call ahead to the hotel first and request a reservation as it is unlikely that an adapter will be found in your room on arrival.

Electrical adapters for Germany

Power Plug Adapters

A small and lightweight type F plug adapter

Power Plug Adapters

Benefits of a power plug adapter

  • Cheapest option, prices under £15.
  • Straightforward design makes it easy to use.
  • Bringing a Type F plug adapter will work in Germany.
  • Compact and lightweight.

Disadvantages of a power plug adapter

  • A single adapter for each appliance - for every individual device you want to use you will also need to pack a separate plug adapter.
  • Adapter only modifies the actual shape of the plug to fit in a Type F German power outlet and doesn't alter the voltage used in Germany. If your device doesn't work with 230 volts and isn't dual voltage you will also need to bring a separate voltage converter.
  • If you intend on visiting more than one country you might need to pack more than one type of power adapter.
  • If you wish to charge a USB device then you also still need to bring a USB charger as well.
  • Your accomodation may only have one power outlet, therefore you will only be able to charge a single device at a time. [4] [AD]
Travel Power Strips

A travel power strip kit

Travel Power Strips

Benefits of a travel power strip

  • A travel power strip is able to power more than one electronic appliance or device at once using just one power outlet, costing under £40.
  • You will find some travel power strips will convert voltage for low wattage devices (for example laptops). So even if your appliance isn't dual voltage it should still function in Germany when using a travel power strip, making them a cheaper and lightweight alternative to a power converter.
  • Typical models should include a number of USB ports.
  • Offers surge protection. The voltage from power grids in certain countries might fluctuate, a sudden power surge can damage your electronics. Some models will have a surge protector, this will protect any electronics from being overpowered.
  • When you return home the power strip will still work as a USB charger and power strip.

Disadvantages of a travel power strip

  • The power converter on a travel power strip won't convert higher wattage appliances such as curling irons and hair straighteners.
  • Due to their size power strips might be too heavy for packing in hand luggage.
  • A travel power strip might be considered excessive if you only bring a small number of devices and appliances that need powering. [11] [AD]
  • Power strip models for sale in the UK only include type B, F, G and I plug adapters so you may need to use it along with an additional plug adapter to work in some countries.
Universal Travel Power Adapters

A universal travel adapter

Universal Travel Power Adapters

Benefits of a universal travel power adapter

  • Useful for travelling to multiple countries. Typical models will operate in around 150 countries.
  • An all in one design. Both lightweight and small, under £20.
  • Some universal travel adapters include multiple charging ports for USB devices built in.
  • Straightforward operation.
  • There are some universal travel adapters that have a surge protector which will prevent any electronics from being overpowered by an unstable power grid in some countries.
  • The pins retract so don't catch against other items in baggage.
  • When you return home the power strip should still be functional as a USB charger.
  • Changes shape to Types A/B, E/F, G and I plugs so should work with a German power outlet.

Disadvantages of a universal travel power adapter

  • Cannot be used with any high power appliances such as clothes irons, microwaves, kettles, curling irons or hair dryers.
  • The internal moving parts might be fragile on some models making them prone to breaking.
  • Only provide power to one plug.
  • Not completely universal - some models might not work in some countries with less popular power outlet types.
  • Missing a voltage converter means it won't be suitable for appliances which aren't 230 volts. [12] [AD]
Travel USB Wall Chargers

A USB charger with swappable heads

Travel USB Wall Chargers

Benefits of a travel USB wall charger

  • Perfect if you only want to power devices which use USB, for example tablet computers, cell phones and Kindles.
  • Instead of bringing multiple domestic USB power chargers you only have to pack a single charger which costs on average £10-£15.
  • Supplied with swappable heads making them useful in a large number of countries. The interchangeable adapter heads are usually small and lightweight making them easy to store.
  • Has a built in surge protector.
  • When you return to the UK the charger will still be useful.
  • Interchangeable plugs will fit into Types A/B, E/F, G and I outlets so will work in Germany.

Disadvantages of a travel USB wall charger

  • Restricted to USB outputs so you can't power any appliances, just USB devices. [2] [AD]
Plug Adapter Sets

Cost effective plug adapter set

Plug Adapter Sets

Benefits of a plug adapter set

  • As prices are roughly £5-£10 a set will typically work out cheaper than purchasing multiple individual plug adapters for multiple countries costing almost £10 each.
  • Ensures you are covered for all countries.
  • The most flexible option if you are travelling to different locations.
  • Set includes Type A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N plugs so will be suitable with a German power outlet.

Disadvantages of a plug adapter set

  • Will involve some planning; you'll have to decide which plug adapters to bring, or alternatively pack each plug adapter type along.
  • Means lots of individual items to bring along.
  • With just one functioning plug adapter working in Germany the remaining plug adapters will be redundant and using up space.
  • Not all power adapter types are typically included with the set (especially the less common adapters) - so ensure that your set has an adapter that is compatible in Germany.
  • Only alters the shape of the plug to allow it to fit in a German power outlet but doesn't alter the voltage. [13] [AD]
Voltage Converters

A voltage converter

Voltage Converters

Those travelling from The United Kingdom will not need a voltage converter as the voltage in Germany is 230 volts.

Benefits of a voltage converter

Disadvantages of a voltage converter

  • A power converter only converts the 230 volts from a German power outlet and not the shape of the plug to slot in a German power outlet, therefore you'll still be required to bring the right type of power adapter for Germany.
  • The normal size of most models makes them too heavy for packing in carry-on luggage.
  • Useless after your trip to Germany.
  • Often cheaper to buy a dual voltage travel appliance than to purchase an expensive voltage converter simply to use your existing single voltage appliance in an incompatible country.
  • Expensive - £80-£90.

Comparison of electrical adapters for Germany

Type F Power Plug Adapter
Power Plug Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel Power Strip
Travel Power Strip
Plug Adapter Set
Plug Adapter Set
Voltage Converter
Voltage Converter
Can be used in Germany Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Types of plug included F A/B, E/F, G and I A/B, E/F, G and I A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N B
Compatible number of countries (A) 70+ 150+ 150+ 200+ 230+ 230+
Fits in a Type F German power outlet Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Additional Type F plug adapter required to fit in a German power outlet Yes
Useful when you return to the UK Yes Yes Yes
Typical combined number of USB ports and AC outlets 1 3 4 7 1 2
Powers USB devices Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of USB ports 0 2 4 4 0 0
Powers a 230 volt AC appliance in Germany Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of AC outlets 1 1 0 3 (B) 2
Converts voltage (?) Yes (C) Yes
Surge protection Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical dimensions 2.6 x 1.9 x 1.4 inches 3 x 2.1 x 2.1 inches 4.3 x 3.4 x 1.3 inches 6.6 x 3.6 x 1.5 inches 7.1 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches 11.7 x 8.1 x 6.7 inches
Typical weight 4.5 ounces 4 ounces 4.5 ounces 1.6 pounds 13 ounces 20 pounds
Typical number of items to carry (D) 1 1 5 8 12 2
Suitable for hand luggage Yes Yes Yes • (E) • (F)
Estimated price under £15 £15-£20 £10-£15 £35-£40 £5-£10 almost £110
Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy

Germany power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Germany?

Type C and F power outlets

What plug sockets are used in Germany?

There are two different types of power outlets used in Germany, types F and C with the primary power supply being type F:

  • Plug Type C - The wall socket is identified by 2 circular adjacent holes next to each other for live and neutral.
  • Plug Type F - The sunken round plug outlet (also known as a Schuko socket or type F power outlet) can be recognised by two circular holes 19 mm next to each other and a pair of thin grounding clips above and below. [4] [AD]

What electrical frequency is used in a German power outlet?

The frequency in a German power outlet is 50Hz. [15]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country
Are electrical plugs in Germany different in Europe?

Tourists in Europe

Are electrical plugs in Germany different in Europe?

Different destinations throughout Europe all use different standards of power outlet types and voltages, so a plug that works with a German power outlet might not work in another destination. When travelling to more than one location in Europe it is recommended to either use a multiple power adapter travel set containing every type of power adapter, or a smaller single international travel plug adapter as both these options should make sure you're covered for all different power outlet types that you may encounter in each region. Before travelling check our list of power outlets used in Europe to find out which power converters and adapters you might need to bring for your journey.   [12] [13] [13] [AD]

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in Germany?

A step down power converter will allow you to use either a 110 volt or 120 volt appliance in a German power outlet.

Are electrical outlets common in Germany?

Germany has 100% access to electrical power throughout the country.

How reliable is electric in Germany?

Although power outages are unpredictable, the power supply in Germany is classed as dependable and there is no history of frequent power blackouts.

Should I bring a power bank to Germany?

A power bank

Should I bring a power bank to Germany?

Whilst electrical blackouts in Germany aren't common and electricity is available throughout the country, visitors are still recommended to bring a power bank to recharge cell phones and other devices.

  • During a trip increased reliance on smart phones for taking photographs, storing calendars, social network sharing, GPS and playing games can syphon off power more excessively than normal. A flat cell phone battery can potentially leave you in an unknown location without adequate power to make emergency calls or being able to use a GPS app to get directions to your hotel or accommodation. Bringing a portable charger alleviates those concerns as it allows you to keep your cell phone powered on the move.
  • A 10,000mAh portable charger can supply enough energy to power around three full charge cycles whilst a 20,000mAh power bank should keep an average smart phone powered for roughly 7 days. A mAh value shows the capacity of the battery and gives an indication of the number of charges the portable charger can do.
  • If you need to charge your laptop in Germany and your laptop uses a USB-C charging port then use a portable charger for a laptop marked with PD (power delivery) which supplies at least 20 Wh. Be aware that some airlines won't allow you take power banks on an aircraft with more than 100Wh of power and must not be kept in the hold so please check ahead with the airline.
  • Consumer power banks aren't strong enough for use with high powered items that generate heat, although a rechargeable hair dryer or gas hair straighteners can be used for travelling.    [9] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [AD]
Do solar battery chargers work in Germany?

A solar bag recharging

Do solar battery chargers work in Germany?

The climate in Germany could be suitable for a solar power bank, however is likely to take time to recharge. The reduced surface area of the cells means a solar power bank will need to be left in powerful daylight for an extended period of time in order to provide enough energy for a single charge cycle, and this might prove inconvenient to continually pack and unpack a solar power bank then wait for it to recharge between cloud cover.

  • The bigger cells found on a solar backpack will give the bag the ability to create more electricity within a faster period of time, and might still generate a smaller charge during overcast weather.
  • A phone which has been plugged directly into the USB port of a solar backpack will gradually top up the battery during sunny spells in Germany, but this might prove inconvenient to have the phone continually connected in the bag should it be used frequently. Unlike a small solar power bank which requires unpacking facing the sunlight, a solar bag is continually exposed to daylight therefore can be topping up a power bank throughout the day.
  • A bag that is suitable for Germany should have a solar cell efficiency of 22% or greater, be able to generate at least 6 watts of power and includes a compatible power bank of 10,000mAH or stronger.
  • Solar bags are found in rucksack, laptop messenger and backpack styles making them perfect for work, domestic and travel use.
  • The durable and flexible solar cells used in solar powered bags are made to survive bending and scratching, unlike normal rigid solar panels.  [9] [21] [22] [AD]

Sources

  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

Germany chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for Germany?

When travelling to more than one country then the best travel charger for Germany to buy is a multiple USB port charger which includes compatible plugs like a 4 port USB travel charger. Germans use two different types of power outlets (types F and C) and bringing this ensures that you are covered for type C.

Because these chargers come with interchangeable pins and can handle 100 to 240 volts will mean you can travel to multiple countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa simply by changing the heads. If your type of device is compatible with Fast Charge then you will benefit from much quicker recharging times with one of these USB power adapters and additional support for more power demanding devices like tablets.

Unlike other adapters having a four port adapter will allow you to charge multiple devices at the same time without needing to pack multiple power chargers or occupying additional power sockets. Because you are only bringing a single international travel charger will also keep the size down, making it ideal to fold up and store in hand baggage whilst travelling. Because of their versatility these types of travel adapters can be used at home not just abroad so when you're not on holiday they can sit overnight charging multiple tablets, phones and e-readers with just a single power outlet.

We recommend buying a versatile power adapter like this at your preferred electronics retailer. The travel charger illustrated below is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger which has been successfully tested with multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries with good reliably. [2] [AD]

What USB charger do I need for Germany?

Why use a travel USB charger for Germany?

  • Most travel USB chargers include 4 or more USB charger ports, meaning you now only need to bring a single charger to charge multiple devices. Instead of bringing 4 individual power chargers you only need to pack a single 4 port USB wall charger to power up to 4 devices, thereby cutting down on the weight and size of your baggage.
  • Most travel USB power chargers should include interchangeable plug heads for various regions making them ideal when visiting different countries across Europe which will probably use different outlets to Germany.
  • A good power charger is lightweight, compact and rugged - perfect for rigors of travel instead of than risking bringing a domestic charger which could be hard to repair or replace in Germany.
  • USB chargers will accept both the 230 volt power outlets in Germany along with different voltage standards in other countries.
  • It is possible that hotel bedrooms or accommodation in Germany only have a single power outlet, by using a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share the single power supply with all your devices rather than waiting to charge one device at a time.
  • Because of their versatile nature they take the uncertainty out of visiting an unknown country as they are guaranteed to work practically anywhere around the world.
  • Power outlets found in airports are often sparse and demand for charging multiple cell phones and tablets from other passengers before a flight can be high, therefore a USB charger with multiple ports and the capability to fast charge is ideal.
  • Sometimes the power grid in a country can be unstable, a quality travel charger allows for unexpected spikes and prevents damage to any devices attached to it. Trying to repair an overloaded mobile phone or tablet in Germany might prove to be problematic and costly.
  • Larger USB chargers will also feature a power outlet strip to use multiple low powered domestic appliances such as laptops, however these are unsuitable for high powered appliances such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Read our guide on using travel appliances in Germany for useful advice on the best power adapter for a German power outlet for high wattage devices.
  • Certain cellphones and tablets could pull more than the usual 500 milliamps supplied by a standard 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. More expensive USB travel chargers will support fast charging should some of your devices need additional power.
  • On back at home travel USB power chargers can also be used by recharging multiple mobile phones and tablets on an overnight basis using one power outlet. [2] [AD]

What is the best USB charger for Germany?

A 4 port USB travel charger is the most compact option for travellers from around the world who only have USB devices, but for visitors also wishing to use their domestic plugs these power adapters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All three power converters offer surge protection which can be crucial when visiting regions with unreliable or unstable power grids. These power converters are supplied with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering Continental Europe, America, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, China and over 150 destinations:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling compact power converter for travellers originating from North America visiting Germany using type B American plug sockets.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Also having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers originating from the US using type B plugs. This is a much cheaper alternative to the BESTEK with just one less AC outlet at almost half the price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has just 2 AC outlets but offers a more flexible 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it ideal for a majority of travellers from around the world visiting Germany. [2] [AD]

Power converters for Germany

What is a power converter for Germany?

A power converter for Germany allows you to use a 100-120 volt electrical appliance with a 230 volt German power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for Germany?

A heavy and bulky power converter will convert a 230 volt German power outlet to work with a non-230 volt appliance, but a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your appliance to fit into a power outlet found in Germany. [23] [AD]

Do I need a power converter for Germany?

If visiting Germany from a different country please check the device will accept a 230 volt power supply.

  • A step down power converter is needed if you are visiting Germany from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your appliance or device doesn't support 230 volts. See our list of world power outlets page to discover the voltage your country uses.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you already use either a 230 volt appliance or one that is dual voltage.
  • Normally devices which are designed to work with a lower voltage (for example 110 volts) and used in a 230 volt power outlet run the potential risk of damage to your device, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse.
  • You don't need a power converter if you need to recharge a smaller electrical device such as a cell phone as these are normally support dual voltage and designed for international use, however you should always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • If powering appliances which draw more power or generate heat (for example curling irons and hair dryers) then you will need to use a much larger higher wattage heavy duty power converter which allows the appliance to be used with a 230 volt German power outlet.
  • Purchasing a robust lightweight dual voltage travel appliance should be more practical and cost effective than trying to carry a much heavier power converter in order to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • For more information read our comprehensive guides on using clothes irons, curling irons, hair straighteners and hairdryers with a German power outlet which includes advice for affordable dual voltage alternatives.  [6] [14] [AD]

What kind of converter do I need for Germany?

In order to use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance in Germany you need to use a step down power converter[14] [AD]

What voltage does Germany use?

Germany uses 230 volts in their standard power outlets. [8]

https://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/
What is the difference between a power transformer and a converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power transformer and a converter?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.

How to convert 230 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 230 volt German power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Germany before plugging that into a German power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with a 230 volt German power outlet. [14] [AD]
How can I tell if I have a dual voltage device?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

How can I tell if I have a dual voltage device?

The best method to tell if a device is dual voltage or single voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the existing charger or on the appliance itself, typically near to where the power cord goes. The location might depend on the make or model of your device but should also state in the instruction manual or on the box.

  • Single voltage devices might have a specific number - such as 120V.
  • Single voltage devices might also have a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

Substantiations

See the power adapter substantions section for more information on how we compared travel adapters (October 2018).

What type of adapter do you need for Germany?

Which type of plug adapter do I need for Germany?

The type of power converter which is best to use in Germany will depend on various requirements, so before deciding which adapter to use we suggest using this checklist:

How many devices will you be taking to Germany?

How many electrical items will you pack

How many devices will you be taking to Germany?

  • Add up how many items you intended on bringing with you to Germany (such as tablets, mobile phones, eReaders, hair dryers or curling irons).
    • Remember to take into account that you might own more devices at a later date. Do you intend on buying a new mobile phone computer soon?
    • There is a growing number of smaller rechargeable devices such as electric shavers which use USB charging for their power charging source. The next time you have to replace a device it could need a USB adapter so please check that your travel adapter has enough spare ports to power these also.
  • Are you bringing children along who might need to recharge their devices as well?
What types of electrical items do you want to use in Germany?

Make a list of items to bring

What types of electrical items do you want to use in Germany?

  • There are 3 different types of electrical devices or appliances:
    • Low wattage electrical items which can be plugged into an electrical outlet - for example a laptop.
    • High wattage appliances that can be plugged into an electrical outlet - for example curling irons and hair straighteners.
    • USB powered electrical devices that can be plugged into a USB port - for example phones.
  • Should you only intend to bring along just USB powered devices then you'll find that a travel USB wall charger is ideal because you'll only need to pack that single lightweight charger .
  • A travel power strip is made for providing power and voltage conversion for several low wattage devices of any voltage (such as a laptop), but won't work with high wattage appliances (such as hair irons) that require voltage conversion, potentially overloading the power strip.
How many German power outlets are available?

Are multiple wall outlets available

How many German power outlets are available?

  • Hotels in Germany might only offer one power outlet. This will be an inconvenience when charging up the batteries of more than one device overnight because you will only be able to charge one device at a time.
  • To recharge multiple devices at the same time we suggest using a travel USB wall charger or a travel power strip which can power multiple USB ports or power outlets. [11] [AD]

Do your appliances and devices work with a 230 volt power outlet?

Are you only charging USB devices in Germany?

Will you only need USB devices

Are you only charging USB devices in Germany?

Are you planning to visit anywhere else abroad in the future?

Do you intend on visiting countries other than Germany?

What is your budget?

  • A basic power adapter starts from around under £10 which powers one device from a German power outlet (providing that works with 230 volts or is dual voltage), but investing in anywhere £15-£20 means you can charge multiple devices at once and be able to use them in multiple different countries.

Will you always have reliable access to power?

  • Voltage in Germany is generally stable however if you need to visit another country you might need an adapter which will protect your devices. The electricity could often fluctuate in some areas which can possibly cause damage to your devices, you will need to use a power adapter which offers built in surge protection such as a travel power strip.
  • Bringing a portable charger or a solar backpack will prepare you for travelling to countries with limited electricity and any power cuts.  [9] [9] [21] [AD]

Do you still need use your charger when returning to the UK?

Are you only bringing hand luggage?

Are you only using hand luggage

Are you only bringing hand luggage?

Are you flying long haul to travel to Germany?

How long does it take to fly

Are you flying long haul to travel to Germany?

  • If you are embarking on an extended trip to get to Germany it's worth considering an airport-suitable charger that works in different power outlet types, one that can be packed in hand luggage and can be used to power phones and tablets.
  • As not all flights actually have power outlets for customers please consider bringing a portable charger which will recharge on the go. After landing in Germany you might have to use a mobile phone for making a telephone call, messenging, using mapping to locate accomodation or recalling itineraries; therefore it is recommended that your phone will have ample battery power remaining. [9] [AD]

What can I connect to a German power outlet

Travel appliances that can connect to a German power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a German power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a German power outlet

Mobile phones which can be connected to the German power outlet

Apple iPhones that can connect to the German power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that can connect to a German power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which work with a German power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a German power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travellers visiting Germany, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets[24]

Disclaimer

WikiConnections is not responsible for any injury or damage caused due to using any type of suggested product with any other electrical device or appliance in any location, full details are available on the disclaimer page. All functions and capabilities should be checked prior to purchasing or using any power adapter. Assumptions on if any power adapter, charger, converter or power strip works in any location is based on data from publicly available sources and if it fits the primary power outlet used in that country. WikiConnections has not taken into consideration other less common power outlets which might be found as these might only be used in certain areas or in the process of being phased out.

Where possible, WikiConnections only recommends the type of product as being suitable along with alternatives and does not make any endorsement for any specific brand or product. Always check with the manufacturer to ensure full compatibility prior to attempting to use any device. Always check the reputation of the manufacturer and product to ensure the quality and safety of any electrical device being used.

See also

We endeavour to ensure that links on this page are periodically checked and correct for suitability. This website may receive commissions for purchases made through links on this page. As an Amazon Associate WikiConnections earn from qualifying purchases. For more details please read the disclaimers page.

  1. Wikipedia - Germany Wikipedia page.
  2. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters, priced £10-£15
  3. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, £10-£15.
  4. Type F plug adapter - Schuko Type F plug adapters are earthed using two clips at the top and bottom with two rounded 4.8mm pins set 19mm apart, costs around £10.
  5. Dual voltage travel hair dryer - Folding handle hair dryer with dual voltage suitable for international travel, estimated price £15-£20
  6. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors, £100-£110.
  7. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel, costs £20-£25
  8. iec.ch - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  9. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go, estimated cost £30-£35.
  10. Wikipedia - power adaptor
  11. Travel power strip - A travel power strip includes surge protectors, AC power outlets, USB ports and swappable plug adapters for use in multiple countries, costing £35-£40
  12. Universal travel power adapter - A typical universal travel power adapter can be used in over 150 different countries for use with appliances and USB devices, costs £15-£20
  13. Plug adapter set - Plug adapter set containing a number of different power plug adapters for use in different countries, priced around £5
  14. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet, estimated price under £90
  15. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  16. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered cordless blow dryer suitable for travelling, priced around £70.
  17. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges, £30-£35.
  18. 10,000mAh portable charger - Lightweight 10000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for mobile phone charging, estimated cost £20-£25.
  19. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days, under £35.
  20. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support, around £100.
  21. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight, under £120
  22. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device, £25-£30.
  23. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, costing £100-£110
  24. Wikipedia - AC power plugs and sockets -