on Jun 28, 2012 @ 07:29 pm

So I have lived in Germany for about 12 years (even though I am American). So here are a few tips that I have come up with if you are going to visit:

1. Most Germans nowadays under the age of 35 will speak at least a little English but they will still appreciate it if you try speaking German. 

2.  Taxes are included in the price of things, there is no need really to leave a tip.

3. When you buy a drink that comes with a bottle or a mug or cup that is anything other than plastic it comes with a "pfand" which means when you return the bottle, you will get money back. Germans are really strict about recycling.

5. Respect your elders, especially older German women. Always be polite towards them. If they say "Hallo" be sure to say it back. 

6. If you are buying from a grocery store you will have to bring your own bag and bag the items yourself. This gets kind of tricky when you are buying a lot.

7. If you don't know how to drive a car or ride a bike properly, stay off the road. Germans are very strict about this. Yes, there is no speed limit on some parts of the autobahn,but this only works if you follow  the rules of the road.

8. In restaurants, most often in smaller towns, they will often serve you a complimentary shot of alcohol. If you look old enough they will give you one (the German drinking age used to be 16 for a long time). 

9. Germans are very open about sex and nudity. Don't be surprised to see naked women on a Billboard or on covers of magazines.

10. Yes, 99% of all stores are closed on Sundays. Germans are also pretty strict about the noise level rule which means no mowing your lawn, washing your car, vacuuming... Basically it is just a day for rest. 

11. If you want to get around, Germany has a very efficient system of trains and buses. But don't try and get on a train without a ticket, they will fine you a ridiculous amount of money. Also they will fine you if you throw up on a train...

12. Lots of Germans smoke.Often out in public and in inconvenient places, you just have to get used to it.

13. If you are in a crowded place like a cafe, don't be surprised if a person sits right next to you. They have different ideas about personal space and find it completely normal to share a table or sit close to you on a bench. Don't worry, you usually don't have to start a conversation.

14. If a German is speaking to you in English casually, they might say the word "shit" a lot. Don't get upset or offended. For them it is not really that bad of a word, because their equivalent "scheisse", basically is used like 'shoot' or 'crap'.

15.Don't litter. Germany is actually a really clean place, people take pride in keeping their homes clean and you will actually see them sweeping sidewalks in front of their house. 

16. Beer is usually cheaper than water. Also don't expect water when you are going into a restaurant, you have to order it. If you order it, order "Still Wasser" otherwise you will usually be given mineral (bubbly) water. And they are really stingy about drinks, usually order the large because chances is it will be fairly small, and there are no free refills.

17.  If you eat a typical German breakfast it is usually meat cheese and bread. They generally follow the rule of small breakfast, large lunch, and small dinner. Unless they are going out to eat. Also typical German cake is really dense and not super sweet. 

18.Try Doner Kebab. It is life-changing. 

19.  When you are going to the bathroom they are usually marked "WC" and 'Damen' means ladies and 'Herren' means men.

20.  If you are trying to speak German, pretty much forget the word 'du' and address all people as 'sie' which is the more polite form of the word 'you'. It will save you a lot of trouble. 

8 Replies

Interesting on Jun 29, 2012 @ 11:48 pm

I really want to go to Germany that may be my next trip!My friends in England go all the time and love it...You have made it sound even more interesting and I love the sounds of there lifestyle.

Thumbs up for Deutschland! on Jul 18, 2012 @ 10:45 am

It never ceases to frustrate me whenever my friends talk about visiting Europe (including friends who intend to travel around for a whole month or more) and all they ever mention is England, France, and Italy. Now, I will be the first to agree that those are great places to visit! But rarely do I hear anyone talk about visiting Germany or Austria. They are gorgeous countries with stupendous food, amazing architecture/culture, and really friendly people. I would definitely recommend Middle Europe to any traveler!

nice list, very correct on Aug 20, 2012 @ 08:34 pm

i'm a german and immigrant a couple years ago to canada. after i read your list i have to say i miss it a little bit. ;-)

Ali de Bold
I love this! on Aug 20, 2012 @ 08:46 pm

I've been to Germany a couple of times and I love it so much. I think about it often and can't wait to go back. I love your list! Thanks so much for posting it!

Sehr schön !! on Oct 30, 2012 @ 01:26 pm

Thanks for the information. I'm learning German :)
So. . . Danke ! :p

Good on Nov 14, 2012 @ 08:40 am

I am also merely influenced by it.It is really great!!!!!!

Interesting! on Feb 19, 2013 @ 05:18 pm

I've always wanted to go to Germany - perhaps in the near future!

I'd love to visit also! on Feb 19, 2013 @ 09:44 pm

Sounds like an amazing place! Has always been on my visit list :) One day!

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