Maryland’s population is just under six million, made up of Caucasian, African American and Hispanic people. English is the main language, with 87 percent of residents only speaking English and 12 percent speaking English and another language.
Like the rest of America, Maryland uses the US dollar (US$) as its official currency. The US $1 is divided into 100 cents, with the following coins: 25 cents (quarter), 10 cents (dime), 5 cents (nickel) and 1 cent (penny). Other currencies are not normally accepted for purchases.
Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at airports, banks and exchange kiosks. ATMs are widely available, but are connected to different bank networks clearly labeled with their logo on the machine. Credit cards can be used everywhere even for small purchases, so in many cases having cash on hand is not necessary. Travelers’ checks can be easily exchanged at banks and at some hotels.
Maryland is on Eastern Standard Time (EST) four or five hours behind GMT (GMT -4) depending on the season.
The US uses electricity at 110-120 V with Type B plug sockets (two flat prongs). Visitors coming from Europe will need an adapter and converter for appliances.
The dialing code for the US is +1, and the area codes for Maryland are as follows: 240, 301, 410, and 443. The US has a large number of mobile phone operators, but the top five by subscriber numbers are: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and TracFone. TracFone in particular is known for its cheap pay-as-you-go phones, which can be purchased at major retailers. Generally, cell phone coverage is good, though there may be some patchy areas in the mountains.
Duty-free alcohol, cosmetics and perfume are available at BWI. Customs allowances depend on your country of origin, but tourists over the age of 21 can enter the US with 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, one liter of alcohol, and gifts up to a value of US $100 tax-free. For US nationals, duty-free allowances generally include 200 cigarettes, one liter of alcohol and US $800 worth of goods acquired abroad for personal use.
Maryland Office of Tourism, Baltimore: +1-866-639-3526 or http://visitmaryland.org
Consulates in Maryland
Most of the embassies and consulates are located in Washington DC; however, due to geography, some are located in Maryland:
Danish Consulate General, Baltimore: +1-410-685-6711
Dominican Republic Consulate, Baltimore: +1-410-719-8788
Ecuador Consulate General, Baltimore: +1-410-889-4435
Guatemalan Embassy, Silver Spring: +1-240-485-5050
Italian Consulate General, Baltimore: +1-410-757-6550
Emergency services: 911