Germany power adapters - what plugs are used in Germany?

German power outlet

What adapter do I need for Germany?

Use a Type F plug adapter [4] 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 [4]. 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.
  • Excessive use of a phone during a vacation will leave you with a flat battery quickly, we suggest packing a portable charger [9] 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

When organizing a holiday it's useful to know in advance if you'll be able to charge all your vital gadgets that you'll be bringing along with you. But by not knowing which power supply is being used you are likely to bring the wrong adaptor, leaving you having to purchase a potentially expensive adaptor on arrival that might be incompatible and cause damage to your device. Varying different standards and voltages can all be daunting when planning on staying in another country if you've never been there before. With only a handful of different types of standards being used in the world this article shows exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your device in Germany. This page contains links to instructions demonstrating exactly which power adapters you'll need to power your devices when you're travelling to Germany by using their types F or C 230 volt 50Hz wall outlets, Type F plug outlets will be used by a majority of Germans. You will discover that power adapters are different from region to region therefore please read our WikiConnections travel power adapters page for a complete list of charging devices in different regions and countries.

What is the best power adapter for Germany?

The best power adapter for Germany is a Type F plug adapter [4] which is suitable for powering any 230 volt device or appliance.

What is the best power adapter for Germany?

What is a power adapter?

A power adapter is a small and cheap plastic adapter which allows an electic outlet in Germany to accept a different shaped power plug from an appliance from a foreign country.

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

A power adapter enables visitors travelling from a different country to use their electronic and electrical appliances and devices in Germany by adapting the shape of the power plug from one type to another.

Do I need a power adapter for Germany?

If the type of German power outlet is different to the power outlet in your home country then you will need a power adapter.

Do I need a plug adapter for Germany if I'm from America?

If you are travelling from America then bring a power adapter for Germany because an American plug won't fit in a German power outlet, and because the voltage is different you will also need to use a power converter for Germany if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage which prevents overheating or damage.

Can a European plug work in Germany?

As there are so many different types of power outlets in Europe there is a possibility that a power adapter that works in another territory in Europe doesn't fit in a German power outlet.

Does a power adapter change the voltage in Germany?

A power adapter only adapts the shape of a plug to fit into a 230 volt German power outlet and is unable to convert the power to a different voltage. Should you wish to safely use a 100-120 volt appliance then you also need to bring a step down power converter for Germany.

Where can I buy a power adapter for Germany?

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where can I buy a power adapter for Germany?

Power adapters are typically available in most major airports 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 but expect to pay 50% more than regular prices. Airports will be your last chance to buy a power adapter before departure, always check the returns policy to ensure you can easily exchange or refund a faulty or unsuitable product in an airside shop.

On arrival power adapters can 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.

It will more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. High street stores normally sell popular types of travel adapters to popular locations and for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

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 supply used in Germany, types F and C with the primary power supply being type F:

  • Plug Type C - The power outlet is identified by 2 circular adjacent holes next to each other for live and neutral.
  • Plug Type F - The sunken round plug outlet can be recognised by two round holes 19 mm next to each other where the live and neutral pins go and a pair of thin metal grounding clips above and below.

Do US plugs work in Germany?

No - an American plug won't work in Germany because it doesn't fit into a German power outlet without the use of a power adapter. Also, the voltage is different so please use a power converter if your device isn't dual voltage and check that your appliance can work with a 50hz power outlet.

What electrical frequency is used in a German power outlet?

The frequency in a German power outlet is 50Hz.

Are electrical plugs in Germany different in Europe?

Tourists in Europe

Are electrical plugs in Germany different in Europe?

Various locations in Europe all use different voltages and power outlet types, with eight types of power outlets used in Europe (types C, D, E, F, G, J, K and L) you might find a plug which works with a German power outlet might not function correctly in an outlet in another country. If you intend on visiting more than one destination in Europe it is advised to either bring a multiple power adapter travel set [12] consisting of different types of power adapters, or a more convenient international travel plug adapter [13] as both these options ensure that you are covered for all different power outlet types which you might find. When preparing to travel check this list of power outlets used throughout Europe to understand which power converters and adapters you will require during your trip.

Are plug sockets in Germany the same as US?

An American plug won't fit in a German power outlet so you will need to use a plug adapter for Germany. Both the voltage and frequency are different so if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage you need to use a power converter for Germany and check that it works with 50hz.

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in Germany?

Use a step down power converter if you wish to use a 110V appliance in Germany.

Is the voltage in Germany the same as in the US?

The voltage from a German power outlet is 230 volts, but 120 volts is used in the US. If your US power charger or appliance doesn't support dual voltage then you will need to use a suitable power converter for a German power outlet which allows a 120 volt American device to work in a 220-240 volt 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?

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 [9] alleviates those concerns as it allows you to keep your cell phone powered on the move.
  • A 10,000mAh portable charger [9] can supply enough energy to power around three full charge cycles whilst a 20,000mAh power bank [16] 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 [17] 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 holdso 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 [14] or gas hair straighteners [15] can be used for travelling.
Should I bring a power bank to Germany?
Do solar battery chargers work in Germany?

Solar bags can recharge most USB devices

Do solar battery chargers work in Germany?

The climate in Germany could be suitable for a solar power bank [19], 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 [18] 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 [9] 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.

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 [2]. 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 [2] which has been successfully tested with multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries with good reliably.

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.

What is the best USB charger for Germany?

The 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.

Power converters for Germany

What is a power converter for Germany?

Power converters allow travellers to use a 100, 110 or 120 volt electrical device 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 [20] 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.

Do I need a power converter for Germany?

If you are visiting Germany from another country check that the device can be used with a 230 volt power supply.

  • You need a step down power converter [21] if you are travelling from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your device or appliance is incompatible with 230 volts. Read the list of world power outlets guide to see which voltage your country uses.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you already own either a 230 volt single voltage device or one that is dual voltage.
  • Typically, devices designed for a lower voltage (for example 110 volts) and then used with 230 volts run the risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your device.
  • You shouldn't need a converter if you are attempting to charge a smaller electrical device such as a tablet or mobile phone as these are typically support dual voltage and designed for international use, but you should always always check the device for dual voltage support prior to your journey.
  • For powering appliances which draw more power or generate heat (such as hair straighteners and clothes irons) then you will need to use a bulkier higher wattage heavy duty power converter [6].
  • It could be more cost effective to use a smaller robust dual voltage travel appliance than carrying a heavier high wattage power converter just to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read these comprehensive guides on how to use curling irons, clothes irons, hair dryers and hair straighteners in German power outlets , along with guides for affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Will I need a power converter if I'm travelling to Germany from America?

The 230 volts from a plug outlet in Germany is different to a US outlet, therefore bring a step down power converter if your charger or appliance doesn't support dual voltage.

What kind of converter do I need for Germany?

You need to use a step down power converter [21] to use any 100-120 volt appliance in Germany.

What voltage does Germany use?

Germany uses 230 volts in their standard power outlets.

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 [21] 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.
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 easiest way to see if your device is single voltage or dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the power adapter, or on the device itself, typically on the rear or near to where the power cord sits. The location might vary depending on the make and model of your unit and should also state on the box or in the instruction manual.

  • Single voltage devices might have a specific number - such as 110V.
  • Single voltage devices could also say a small voltage range (20 volts difference) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V.

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 travelers 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 [22].

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany - 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.
  3. Type C plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type C power outlets without converting voltage.
  4. Type F plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type F power outlets without converting voltage.
  5. Dual voltage travel hair dryer - Folding handle hair dryer with dual voltage suitable for international travel.
  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.
  7. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel.
  8. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - 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.
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  12. Multiple power adapter travel set - international travel plug adapter set .
  13. Portable international travel plug adapter - AC Wall Charger with 2 USB sockets and outlets for US, UK, Australia and European power plugs which works in over 150 countries.
  14. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered blow dryer suitable for travelling.
  15. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges.
  16. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days.
  17. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support.
  18. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight.
  19. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets