Power Sockets in Germany – All You Need To Know [2024]

by | Life in Germany

Last Update: Feb 24, 2024 @ 5:27 am

Home 9 Life in Germany 9 Power Sockets in Germany – All You Need To Know [2024]

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Are you planning to visit Germany? Then, you must pack the right power adapter for charging and using your gadgets. Otherwise, your trip might fall apart. Traveling becomes way easier and more fun when you have packed the right essentials for your trip. And when traveling abroad, your list of essentials increases to a few more items. The right plug adaptor is one of them. Most countries have their own standard power socket types. In Germany, type F sockets are standardized. You might find type C sockets in certain cases. Now, if you are from the US, or anywhere other than Germany, Austria, Netherlands, and Luxembourg, most of your gadgets will need a plug adapter. Here is a complete guide for solving all your socket-related problems in Germany.

Before discussing the solution, let’s learn a bit more about our problem. 

Some Common Power Plug Types

Power plugs come in a number of different types. They vary according to their prong shapes, voltages, required power supply, current, and a lots more. Here are a few common power socket types that you will encounter in the article

Type C

Some common features of this type of plug socket are as follows:

  • It has two round pin prongs.
  • It is not grounded.
  • It is unpolarized.
  • Its required voltage is 220-240V.
  • It can supply a current of 2.5 A, 10 A, or 16 A
Power Plug Socket in Germany Type C

Type E

Some common features of this type of plug socket are as follows:

  • It also has two round pin prongs.
  • It is used for current up to 16 A.
  • It is grounded.
  • Type E sockets are different in the sense that they have a round male pin in their sockets for grounding. This pin is inserted into the recess present in type E plugs. This is a role reversal that is not present in any other plug-socket pair. 
Power Plug Socket in Germany Type E

Type F

Some common features of this type of plug socket are as follows:

  • It has 2 round pin prongs.
  • It is grounded.
  • It can provide a current of 16 A.
  • It operates at a voltage of 220V- 240V.
Power Plug Socket in Germany Type F

Similarly, you can find a number of different socket types for almost every plug type. You can’t be searching for the compatible socket type for your devices everywhere because most countries use standardized sockets. Hence, carrying plug adaptors is always a good idea.

Power Socket Type used in Germany

In Germany, you can find both type C and type F sockets. Type F is the standardized one, but you might find a type C socket, installed before plug standardization. Though type F plugs can also be used in type C sockets, you should always know what socket type it is. Type C sockets are not grounded, hence mistaking them for type F sockets can expose you to life hazards. 

    Common Power Socket Problems and Their Probable Solutions

    Due to the various difference between the properties of different types of power sockets, you can face two of these problems:

    The Plug Prongs are not compatible with the socket recess

    If you have a plug that has flat prongs or round prongs with a diameter of greater or less than 4.8 mm, your plug won’t plug into any socket in Germany. 


    You will need to carry a power plug adaptor along to convert the plug shape. You can buy one of those travel adaptors. Make sure the adaptor is compatible with both your gadget’s plug and the type F socket’s recess. It is smarter to buy an adaptor with a number of socket types so that you can use a single adaptor for many plugs. But do not plug all of them all together into it. As it can lead to a short circuit. 

    The Plug Power is not Compatible With The Supply Power?

    In Germany, the power supply operates at 230V and 50 Hz. If you have an appliance with a plug operating at a different voltage and frequency, you will need to use a voltage converter. 

    The plug shape was an easier problem to be solved. The voltage problem, on the other hand, requires an extensive solution. But if you are just on a small trip, you might not need a voltage converter, as most of the gadgets, e.g., laptops, mobile phones, and cameras, are dual voltage. They automatically detect the fed voltage and adapt themselves to that. However, curling irons, hair dryers, power tools, or larger appliances, like refrigerator, requires voltage adaptors. So, either do not bring your hair dryer to Germany or buy a voltage converter. This happens because of the power difference. The appliances that draw a small amount of power can adapt themselves to a range of voltages. However, electronics with large power do not have a wide range.

    To help you a bit more here is a list of low and high-power electronics.

    If you ever plug in a high power appliance, manufactured for a voltage of lower or greater than 230V, into a socket in Germany, you will face a short circuit which can even lead to smoke and fire. 


    This issue can be resolved using a voltage converter. You should know that voltage converters come in two different types. One of them is for low-power devices and the other is specified for appliances using high power. If you need a voltage converter for small appliances, like a radio, you can buy the one for low voltages. It is smaller and also costs a lot less. You do not need to waste your money on the larger one that converts larger voltages. 

    In the case of high-power appliances, your problem won’t be solved with just a little money. You will need to buy an expensive voltage converter. Moreover, you will also be paying high custom duty charges at the airport. Hence, it is suggested to buy new appliances from Germany rather than buying a high voltage converter. In fact, you might be surprised by the amount of money you will be saving by buying a new appliance instead of a voltage converter and paying custom duty charges. 

    Rechargeable and Non-Rechargeable Batteries

    Most of your rechargeable devices will not cause you any inconvenience. The majority of the chargers come will a voltage sensor. You just need to plug in the charger and your device will be charged without any further intervention. However, you should precautiously read the user’s manual beforehand. 

    On the other hand, if you have devices running on non-rechargeable batteries, you will have to be careful about their disposal instead of their buying. Most of the standard US batteries are easily accessible in Germany. However, throwing non-useable batteries away is not a practice in Germany. Germans have categorized trash throwing as recycling.

    Problems That Cannot Be Solved

    You can always solve the issues with plug shape and voltage. But in the case of a clock, the issue is quite different. A clock supplied with a frequency higher than the required one will work faster. The same is the case with a record turntable. If you are still obsessed with this old music player, you will either have to say goodbye to it or find a new one manufactured in Germany. 

    The real issue is that this problem cannot even be rectified by using a voltage converter. No matter what you do, your US-made clocks and turntables will operate at a faster rate when plugged into a socket in Germany. In fact, if you are not aware of the reason, it can really irritate you a lot.


    Although there does not exist a real solution to this fix, you can always buy new appliances manufactured in Germany. 

      Final Words

      Travelling to Germany can be a huge disaster if you do not think thoroughly about your devices. Grab any plug adaptor or voltage adaptor that you might need. Also, be careful about the adaptor that you are buying. Make sure it is compatible with both your devices’ plugs and German sockets. You will need both plug adaptors and voltage adaptors. For voltage adaptors, buy the one according to the power of your device. If you have a high voltage device, spend your expenses on a large one. But if you mean to use that on your low-power devices, a small voltage converter will be all that you need.  Apart from that, bring some extra cash, in case, you need to buy new equipment because your previous one is rendered non-pluggable in German sockets. In short, the above article will cover all your power socket-related problems in Germany. If you have read it thoroughly and plan to follow all the given instructions, be sure that you won’t encounter any socket-related mishap during your trip. 

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