Berlin electricity: power plugs, voltage, sockets, plugs

Germany: voltage, power plugs, voltage, sockets - info on using electric devices in Berlin

Berlin electricity: a Europlug connected to a twin power socket - Photo:T.Bortels/nuBerlin.com

When traveling abroad, you almost always have to think about the local electricity / the power situation: What is the voltage in Germany? What do the plugs look like? Do I need a power plug adapter and/or a power converter? What travel adapter will work? I know the problem just too well. So on this page I’ll compile some details about the plugs and sockets commonly used in Berlin, Brandenburg and Germany – what power plug voltage to expect so you can decide what plug adapter and power converter you might need to get your devices connected to the local grid.

Voltage in Germany

First things first: in Berlin / Germany voltage may differ from your home voltage. In Berlin and Germany and most of the European countries we have a 230V voltage power grid with a frequency of 50Hz. That means, if your electronic devices are built for 110V, you will have to use a power converter – otherwise your devices may get broken.

The other problem that may arise, even if your devices are used to a voltage of 220V/230V is that the electrical outlets may look different from what your plugs and power sockets may look like. Basically there is ‘just’ two different kinds of plugs and sockets used in Berlin / Germany – but that is probably more than enough for some folks. And to add just another detail to the confusion: both plugs fit into most sockets. Let’s have a closer look:

German Power Outlets and Power Plugs

in Germany we have basically two different types of power outlets and power plugs. The first electrical plug I want to introduce to you is the Schuko plug – or Schukostecker in German which is short for “SchutzKontakt” – Safety Contact. It’s the larger, almost round power plug – and it is a grounded plug. It is mostly used for larger, more power consuming devices like TV sets, fridges, washing machines and some semi professional fans. The power cords are slightly thicker and rounder than the power cords of low power devices since they feature a third cable.

Most of the power outlets you find across Germany are built for the grounded plugs. The matching plugs and sockets feature two additional metal stripes on the side so devices connected with this combination of plugs and sockets are grounded.

The ungrounded plugs you often find on low-power devices, will also fit into these round grounded plugs. They are often also called “Europlugs” (Eurostecker) since they are common across many European countries. The respective socket can sometimes be found in locations, where the use of high power electric devices should be avoided. This is why you may find yourself in some bathrooms for example without a socket to plug your fan in – or any other device that features a round, grounded plug.

In the above picture you can actually see that exact combination: a non-grounded plug Eurostecker is attached to a grounded plug. In the lower part of the round you can recognize the metal stripe that is meant to connect to the grounded metal stripes of the grounded plug.

US Travel Power Adapter / Power Converter – finding an electrical adapter for Germany and Europe

KRIËGER 850 Watt Voltage Transformer 120V to from 230V AC outlet American European Step up down Converter 50 60 Hz IEC German Schuko Nema 5-15P MET certified approved under UL CSA ULT850

Power Voltage Transformer for Germany and Europe

This power adapter seems to be a real workhorse. It’s available in seven different edition with seven different types of power users: from 150W all the way up to 1700 Watts. So you could basically bring all your electric devices and electronic gear to Berlin, even if it runs on 110 Volts – just connect it through this power transformer – and you should be fine. What the vendor says about this transformer:

  • 850W Step UP DOWN Voltage Transformer which converts AC 120V or 230V outlet to convert American voltage to/from European voltage
  • Includes 2 x IEC cords (American Nema 5-15P Grounded cord and Round German Schuko cord) use American cord in USA Canada Mexico South America and the Schuko round pin in most of Europe France Italy UK
  • 2 Spare Fuses Included – rear of transformer in equipped with a 120V and a 230V fuse holder depending on the input voltage being connected to voltage converter
  • Professional grade transformer for continuous use, high grade aluminum casing and fire retardant plastic front and back plates
  • 5 Year parts and Labor Warranty

Further information / buy at amazon.com

FlePow Portable International Travel Voltage Converter with Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0+Free Travel Case+3 USB Ports

Travel Power Converter for Germany and Europe

This is quite a power adapter for power users: The FlePow Portable International Travel Voltage Converter that converts German and voltage of 220V to US voltage of 110V, including 3 USB Charging Ports (6A/30W Total) – suitable for more than 150 different counties. This adapter may be very helpful if you are traveling or moving to Europe, bringing various different electrical devices. From the product description:

  • Faster Charging: Qualcomm;reg certified QC3.0 charge port supports rapidly charging 80% battery in 30 minutes, 4 Times faster than normal USB ports. 3 Smart USB Ports (0~2.4A, 6A/30W Total) support for faster charging of larger devices like iPhone,iPad,Samsung,Tablets etc in short time.
  • Free travel case included. Super compact size(Dimension only 5.8*3.2*1.2 inches) with detachable power cord. Free travel case included for you to carry the converter on the go.
  • More Compatible: International adapters(US/EU/UK/AU Plug) compatible with all outlets in NA,UK,AU,Japan,China, Most of Europe, Asia and more than 150 countries worldwide.

Further information / buy at amazon.com

BESTEK 200W Travel Power Converter 220V to 110V

Electrical adapter for Germany, Berlin and Europe

This is quite a power adapter for power users: The 200W Travel Power Converter that converts Berlin / German voltage of 220V to US voltage of 110V, including 4 USB Charging Ports (6A Max) – suitable for more than 150 different counties. This adapter may be very helpful if you are traveling or moving to Europe, bringing various different electrical devices.

From the product description:

  • The Power Converter converts overseas voltage (Germany/Europe) from 90-265V to 110V-120V with 3 USA outlets and powers up your US electronic devices
  • 3 international adapters (UK/US/AU/EU Plug) cover more than 150 countries – for further details see the product description on amazon.com
  • 4 USB charging ports (6A Max) are isolated from AC outlets for the safety of your devices, allowing you to charge 4 mobile devices or tablet computers etc. simultaneously

Further information / buy at amazon.com


Do you have and thoughts, suggestions, additional recommendations or comments? Please feel free to leave your comment below. Thank you!


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