Electricity & Gas
Electricity and gas costs are normally paid directly by the tenants themselves. Therefore each tenant must register with the local electricity and gas supplier, which can be done online. The costs for gas and electricity are paid monthly at a predetermined fixed rate. Once a year the meters are read and the difference is either refunded by the respective utility company, or the extra costs must then be paid to them.
Standard volatage in Germany is 235 volts - 50 Hertz. Two-pin standard European plugs will fit all outlets. Depending on the nation you come from, you might need adapters and transformers. E.g. US appliances run on 110 volts. They need a transformer and a surge protector and also an adapter plug that will fit German outlets. There are different transformers necessary for heavy electrical equipment or smaller devices.
Besides some large old post offices in town there are also a lot of smaller post offices in shopping centers and other convenient locations, such as grocery stores or stationeries.
At a post office you can buy stamps, mail a package, deposit or withdraw money or open a bank account. The nearest post offices to the MPI-CBG are:
Pfotenhauerstr. 68, in the Spätshop (8am-8pm)
Gerokstr. 18 (8am – 6pm, Sat. 9am-12)
Blumenstr. 93 (7am – 8pm, Sat. 8am-2pm)
Löschersr. 20 (7am – 8pm, Sat. 8am-2pm)
The only post office which is open at 5 am during the week and on Saturdays is the post office at the Dresden main station.
The postage depends on the weights and the size of the letter. For the latest postage prices, check the link.
Deutsche Post – You can even buy stamps online!
Deutsche Post – Postfinder – Find the nearest post office or mail box!
Deutsche Post DHL – The corporate site for Deutsche Post DHL is in German and English.
TV & Radio
You can receive TV without cable or satellite, however not many international channels. If you get registered at one of the broadcast companies and pay for cable services or invest in satellite reception, you will get many more international channels. The same applies to Radio: English-language radio is also available but only very little through radio frequencies and much more through cable or satellite.
A simple rule applies for all citizens since 2013: one residence - one fee. The licence fee is not linked to a broadcasting device: It is irrelevant how many TVs, radios or computers there are at a residence.
The licence fee is €17.50* per month and is only paid once per residence. The fee only has to be paid by people of legal age. Vehicles for private use are also covered by this fee.
If several people live together then only one person has to register to pay the licence fee. This person pays the fee for all residents living at the residence. Families, cohabitations and those in shared accommodation in particular benefit from this rule.
A separate application is required for second homes or other residences.
official GEZ website
Public telephones do still exist, but they are not easy to find. Most of them no longer accept coins; instead they require a phone card, which can be purchased at post offices, department stores, petrol stations or newsstands.
To make a phone call to some other countries telephone cards at reduced prices are offered. To make a telephone call to another country from Germany, you will need the international access code of 00 plus the country code as well as the area code and telephone number. Within Europe, the “0” as the first digit of the area code must be omitted.
Nearly all telephone boxes require telephone cards which can be purchased in magazine shops, post offices, in T-Punkt shops or train stations. The highest rates are charged between 9am and 6pm.
If you want to dial a phone number in Germany from abroad, dial: 00 49 + area code without the “0” + phone number.
To get an Internet provider and a phone line for your apartment there are many different providers to choose from. You can choose for a flat rate, high speed Internet or up to three different telephone numbers. As Germany has a very competitive telecommunication market it pays to try to size up what service and products are currently available on the market. To find the best offer ask your new colleagues and compare companies thoroughly. Be aware of the terms and conditions before you sign as many companies offer a two-year minimum contract. Once you have decided on a company, the International Office will help you to initiate the contract.
There is an area in Dresden where DSL broadband connection cannot be installed yet as there are fiber-optic connections. You may want to check this before you rent a flat.
Compare Internet - A website to compare certain offers.