There is a recently launched service which allows you to open a bank account from Dublin without travelling to Germany. http://www.germanbankaccount.com/ [update 26 October - this site is now under construction] They charge a €200 fee and you must pay a notary public a further €100 fee for notarising your passport. If you have a friendly notary who will do it for free, then you save €100. They do all the paperwork for you. They don't handle cash so I don't see any downside apart from the fee. Apparently you get an ATM card which you can use as normal in an Irish ATM without any additional charges. It's not an activity which is regulated by the Central Bank. Has anyone used it and is there any risk or disadvantage in using it?