Good to know

The official language in Grenada is English, though the inhabitants are also talking a mix of Creole-English and French-African languages, which are formally known as ‘Patois’ or ‘Patwa’. ‘Oh my god!’ for example means ‘Bun jay’, what is actually deduced from the French ‘Bon dieu’. 

It seems that there is no language history in Grenada- and the people are simply living in here and now. Still, to understand at least a little bit, you have to listen quite closely- but the citizens are very patient and know how to deal with tourists.

The official currency is the East Caribbean Dollar which is closely linked to the US Dollar. For instance, is there an increase at the US stock market and the US Dollar rises, the EC Dollar will rise, too. The current exchange rate is 1 EC$ = 0, 25 EUR (updated June 2011).

For travel checks you get mostly a much better exchange rate than for cash money and banks are likely to exchange better than hotels do. 

Major international credit cards like American Express, MasterCard and Visa are accepted at most hotels, restaurants, shops and car rental companies. It is always recommended to take the first few days a few U.S. dollars and exchange them later because not all hotels convert Euros. 

All rates in hotels and restaurants do not include a tax of 8% and 10% service charge. Tipping is not expected, but still gladly accepted. So, do not be stingy if someone has done you good and you were satisfied.

Although the climate is tropical, the humidity is not really oppressive because of the trade wind. Average temperatures are between 24 and 30 ° C. The lowest temperatures are between November and February - but still so high that we Europeans will envy them. The driest time of year, are the months from January to May. 

From June to December it can rain sometimes- but rarely more than an hour. Though, if it rains, the rainfall can be quite boisterous. However, the sun will come back quickly and laugh from the blue Caribbean sky. In Grenada the rain is called ‘liquid sunshine’- what basically hits the nail right on the head. 

In the hills of the islands there are also differences in climate, depending on the different heights. So, a small hike can indeed provide cooling. Throughout the whole year, Grenada can be recommended as a perfect place for holidays. 

Due to the fact, that Grenada is situated ‘Windward’ on the edge of the traditional hurricane belt, the country is fortunately very rarely affected by the effects of tropical storms and even more rarely of real hurricanes. In September 2004, Grenada was struck by Hurricane Ivan, which has damaged the islands significantly. 

Fortunately, the damages have been resolved in the meantime and the government has used this opportunity in many areas for improvements and renovations. The residents of Grenada understand precisely how to get something good- even from a natural disaster!

According to the generally mild weather light cotton clothing clothes can be recommended- just as locals do. Bathing suits, miniskirts and hot pants on the streets are frowned upon and should stay at the beach. This dress code should be respected as a vacationer. The same rule applies in churches: legs and shoulders must be covered and men have to remove their hats.

On the beach applies the "full gear" rule - women have to wear bathing suits or bikinis- complete with shell. In the evening, some of the fancier hotels expected more elegant clothes. So, this means for the lords of creation that they should wear long pants, though jacket and tie can still be left at home as well as the lady’s ball gowns.

The voltage in Grenada is -as well as in Germany and most other European countries- 220 volt (AC, 50 Hz, say the experts). The outlets, however, look differently. They originate from the colonial period and therefore look like the British sockets -for plugs with three pins. Thus, travel adapters are recommended.

The phone is also quite simple: the code for Germany, Austria and Switzerland for talks to Grenada is: +1-473 (the plus stands in Germany for a double zero), followed by the seven-digit subscriber number. This code applies to all phone and fax numbers in Grenada.

For calls from Grenada towards home (or elsewhere), there are plenty of coin and card phones on the main islands. Phone cards can be bought in the agencies of the telephone company Cable & Wireless and also in tourist offices. From most hotels direct-dialling is possible and they even have fax facilities and access to the Internet. But who depends on creating such opportunities should check the hotel carefully whether they are available there or not. 

Not all German mobile phones can be used because the network operators in Grenada still operate largely under the old (analog) American standard AMPS network. The mobile network-operators of Grenada - Cable & Wireless, Cingular and Digicel – do not provide a net for the whole area.Therefore, ask the network operator in Germany about the availability of mobile phones in advance, so you don’t experience any unpleasant surprises.

The post is called ‘Grenada Postal Corporation’ (GPC) and is headquartered in the Lagoon Road at the Port of St. George's. But there are plenty of post offices in all towns and villages, which are usually housed in small wooden stalls. It is common, that the locals meet there to read their post together. Courier services, such as  UPS, DHL and FedEx also have branches in Grenada.

Television should not be your priority when visiting Grenada. To be precisely, the country has three television and eight radio stations and some cable operators. Many hotels have satellite TV and offer their guests, foreign television programs.

Grenada provides good medical care. Of course we all hope not to get sick or hurt, but just in case there is a general hospital in St. George's (tel. 440 2051), a smaller one in Mirabeau St. Andrews on the east coast (tel. 4427251) and the Princess Royal Hospital in Belair on the island of Carriacou (tel. 4437400), medical centers in Grenada in Tanteen (tel. 440 7780) 
and St. Paul's (tel. 4406173) and a smaller clinics in Carriacou in Hillsborough (tel. 443 9198) und Windward (tel. 443 6415).

At Petite Martinique is a small medical practice, which is staffed once per week by a medical officer of Carriacou. There a doctors of all medical branches across the country. A doctor’s visit costs about EC$ 80, approximately € 20. Overseas health insurance is always wise to have- just in case you need medical treatment. The emergency telephone in Grenada is the same number as in the United States: 911.

The hygienic conditions in Grenada are also very good. Tap water can be drunk safely. Meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables as well as milk and milk products can be enjoyed carefree. The dreaded "Montezuma's revenge" is correct but its cause is not a lack of hygiene – in most cases, the tourist’s stomach has to get used to the foreign cuisine. Vaccinations are not required for a travel to Grenada, except if one has stayed less than a week before arriving in a yellow fever infected area.