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Tips On Living In Germany

After our article on the diverse things to know before renting in Germany, let’s talk about your daily life. We always choose our day offs to go shopping or to the museum. Sure, you might be in Germany to work or study, but it’s important to take some time off. Let’s see together some tips on living in Germany!

1) When to go out

It’s always nice to enjoy a day shopping or eating at a restaurant. But you shouldn’t wait for Sundays to do so. That’s true, in Germany, nothing is open on Sundays. It is an important day for Germans that they can use to spend some time resting or with their loved ones. But, even if you can’t find something open on Sundays, it’s good to have Spätis in Berlin. A späti is a late-night corner store. You will find beverages, snacks, and other things you might need urgently. Don’t worry if there is a spider in your bedroom late at night. Spätis definitely got your back!

In Germany, just like any other country, there are a lot of important public holidays. We made a list of some of them right here. It may seem logical, but many people don’t know that shops are closed on public holidays. So, beware if you are not used to celebrating Easter or the Gregorian New Year! Although shops will not be open on public holidays, you can still spend some quality time with a friend, visiting a museum. In Germany, it’s not uncommon for museums to be open on public holidays. It is a great way to promote access to education! But please note that museums hate Mondays even more than you do: some of them don’t open on Mondays.

2) Payment

While living in Germany, you should always have cash with you. That’s right, it is the most used payment method all over the country. it is not unusual to have over 100 euros in your wallet. Germans find cash more trustworthy than credit cards. Some restaurants, pastries or boutiques, might not have a card terminal. Always take some cash with you and you will be just fine. Except if you plan to make a payment of over 10 000 euros. Who does that anyway?

There is another thing to know about payments. To pay for your meal or drinks, you have to call the server. They don’t give you checks automatically. When you ask for them, also tell your server how much you want to tip, so they count it on your bill. Usually, you would tip 10%. It is a common thing, even if customer service is not famous for being that great there. Mostly because, thankfully, baristas and servers don’t rely on tips that much. They get a better salary than in the US, for example, where tips represent a huge part of their salary.

3) Advice

Don’t worry too much about living in Germany. We are there to help you! Here are a few more tips:

It may sound weird, but don’t expect to get water for free when you eat out. That’s right, you will have to pay. Even if you ask for tap water. It is something quite unusual, that even annoys Germans sometimes. You may have to bring a water bottle with you if you don’t want to order water. Be careful though, they may see this as impolite.

You may also pass as impolite if you are not quick enough at the grocery store. Yes, we are talking about grocery shopping and not a car race. In Germany, cashiers are really fast and they expect you to go even faster to get everything in your bags. Indeed, nobody gets paid to help you do that, so you may struggle a bit. Don’t worry though, if people notice you are a foreigner, they will lower their expectations. You may also want to bring your own bags when going grocery shopping: they won’t have free bags to give you.

Do you want more tips and information about living in Germany? Follow us and visit our blog to know more!