Around 80 percent of Indiana is white, speaking English as their first (and often only) language. Residents of this Midwest state don’t speak with much of an accent, making it easy to understand them. There is also a strong German heritage in the state, so German is often spoken by people in small towns with deep connections to early 19th-century immigrants. But Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group in the state. They make up six percent of the population, so Spanish is often spoken among their communities, which tend to be in the larger cities.
As in the rest of America, the only currency accepted is the US dollar (US$). Banknotes come in denominations of US$1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. There are 100 cents in one dollar, with coins in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 25 cents. Currency is easiest exchanged at banks, or the airport in Indianapolis, as currency exchange kiosks aren’t readily available in the state. ATMs can be found throughout Indiana along the streets, in front of banks, in shopping malls, gas stations and other major stores. Most use the Cirrus and Visa networks that often allow for international withdrawals. Major credit cards like Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted at all but the smallest mom and pop shops. If using travelers’ checks, it’s best to cash them at a bank.
Indiana is one of 13 states with more than one time zone. The majority of the state is in the Eastern Time Zone (GMT -6, GMT -5 from March 12 – November 4), while 12 counties near Chicago and Evansville observe Central Time Zone (GMT -5, GMT -4 from March 12 – November 4).
Indiana and all of America uses electricity at 110-120 volts, 60Hz. Flat two-prong plugs are the most common, so it’s advisable to bring a universal plug adapter kit if traveling from Europe, Asia or other parts of the world.
The dialing code for the United States is +1. Indiana has several area codes depending on where you are in the state. They include 317 (Indianapolis), 219, 260, 574, 765, and 812. This website is a valuable tool to find the exact area code for any town in Indiana. The entire state has excellent mobile phone coverage, but internet cafés are not common since most coffee shops and other businesses offer Wi-Fi hot spots for free or at a minimal fee.
If flying through Indianapolis International Airport, each passenger over the age of 18 is allowed to carry one liter of alcohol, 200 cigarettes (or 50 non-Cuban cigars or two kilograms of tobacco) and gifts with a value of US$400 without paying any duty tax. There is actually no duty-free shop at any of Indiana’s airports, so this is rarely an issue to worry about when flying.
Indiana Office of Tourism Development, Indianapolis: +1-800-677-9800 (email: VisitIN@VisitIndiana.com) or http://www.in.gov/visitindiana/
Consulates serving Indiana
Canadian Consulate, Detroit: +1-313-567-2340 German Consulate, Indianapolis: +1-317-580-6800 Netherlands Consulate, Chicago: +1-877-388-2443 French Consulate, Chicago: +1-312-787-5359 Australian Consulate, Chicago: +1-312-419-1480 British Consulate, Chicago: +1-312-970-3800
Emergency services: 911