What Plug Adapter Is Required for Germany?

Written by jeff cunningham
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What Plug Adapter Is Required for Germany?
German wall outlets use two round prongs, and sometimes feature locking clips. (double wall outlet image by Kostyantyn Ivanyshen from Fotolia.com)

Visitors to Germany (and Europe overall) will find that their electrical appliances are not compatible with locally available wall outlets. To power or recharge devices, a plug adaptor and, in some cases, a voltage converter are required.

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While American wall outlets receive flat, thin prongs with an optional third prong beneath for grounding, the German outlets are made to receive "Schuko" prongs. These round-shaped plugs are the European standard, so be sure that the adaptor you utilise in Germany uses them. Be aware that German power outlets are also recessed into the wall, so an adaptor that features prongs that protrude directly from the device will likely not fit in all the way. Any simple adaptor that has these features should work for smaller, low-wattage devices like radios or shaving razors.


German electrical sockets feature a voltage of 220 to 240 volts--almost twice that of American ones. A higher voltage American device (such as a laptop computer or a camera) that is plugged into such an outlet with just a plug adaptor will malfunction unless a voltage converter is also employed to account for this.


Some electronic devices have advanced, built-in voltage conversion systems, such as laptop computers. Closely examine the markings on the devices and study the owner's manual of each before connecting them to German wall outlets.

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