10 Things To Know Before Moving to Germany
The German language is notoriously challenging for foreigners. But remember: English is a Germanic language! So while you might not think youll know many German words, its surprisingly easy to pick up what you might need to know. A quick and easy way to pick up some Germany before traveling is to sign up for a course you can even sign up for atrial classjust as a quick refresher. Youll find that speaking some common (or uncommon)German wordsor phrases will go a long way. German people arent known for their small talk, but throw in some words likena?orgeiland youre sure to spark a conversation!
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Use these practical travel tips to make your holiday in Germany more enjoyable and easier
I hardly use the cash nowadays here since Apple Payand credit cardstransactions are more widespread and much faster than cash or EC cards. The speed of transactions had come down from 15-20 seconds in 2014 to less than five seconds today. It peeves me the most when some Germans take sweet time digging in the wallets for those elusive coins to make exact change at the cashiers.
Sleep with a German and youll quickly learn that there is a unique style to the German bed. Large mattresses are increasingly common, but more often than not youll find two smaller mattresses pushed up against one another with separate duvets. For just that extra bit of quirkiness, German pillows are obnoxiously large square shapes about three times the size of a normal head and far too wide for normal comfort. Its a unique German trait and if youre staying in anAirbnb, youre sure to have square-sized pillows.
One day, I came across a supermarket cashier who seemingly was familiar with Apple Pay. She vehemently said,Nein! Nicht Apple Pay! I was so insistent and refused to budge until she tapped the command to initiate the card reader. It worked, and she was all hissy-pissy afterwards.
Great list you shared in your post. so stunning pics. Amazing article and information.. Thank you so much for sharing it.
Do the research first before writing the blog about Apple Pay and low credit card usage in Germany. Due to the recent EU regulations, the transaction fees are capped at 0.02% for EC cards and 0.03% for credit cards. That started the intense expansion of accepting credit cards and installing the new NFC-enabled readers that are integrated with the point-of-sale tills.
I have a lots of travelling plans for this year. Your tips would really be helpful for me. I never visited Germany yet but picture gallery is very nice. You inspire me to visit there.
Plastic has little power in Germany. Locals prefer using cash for just about everything, and if that doesnt work, then youll need a an EC card (its a debit card, but your one from the USA isnt likely going to work). Even the surprisingly easy-to-use digital formats such as Apple Pay arent going to work in Germany. They just arent very popular and most businesses wont accept them.
Saturn Elektro (my most expensive Apple Pay transaction ever at €490)
Ive worked as a bookseller, graphic designer, publisher, marketer, and writerbut it was awhich brought it all together into thisblog. Ive lived in Berlin, Tel Aviv, London, Sydney, Boston, and Dallas. Since early 2018, I live in
Ill be visiting Berlin for the first time later this year, so thanks for the useful notes! ??
Great article with good insights. It will help people who are planning to go to Germany.
Visiting Germany in March/April over Easter weekend I will certainly put in place some of the tips shared here.
Why did you delete my comment about Apple Pay and credit cards?
Speaking of groceriesIn Germany, grocery stores operate a little more frugally (or efficiently depending upon your viewpoint). Youre expected to bag your own groceries and to do so quickly! Theres surprisingly little space at the end of the register so if youre buying more than you can quickly bag up, be prepared to just load it all back in your cart and bag it at a small table or shelf youll find against the wall. Oh, and bring your own grocery bags, too. Gotta be green, remember?! And in Germany, youll also find vegetables and produce to be very fresh. You wont find all food items easily available. Ive definitely shown up at the grocery store and found them sold out of chicken before!
Hey vielen Dank fr Ihre Bemhungen und es ist wirklich bemerkenswert !!!
And its true, that water is not for free!
I spent a month in Germany last Spring Mar-April 2017) and traveled around the entire country.
Rischart Bakery (only in Marienplatz subway station)
But you can drink directly from the water tap. Its allways clean drinking water without, unchlorinated.
An earlier version of this post was previously published on the SmashVintage blog read it here!
Starbucks (since October 2014my first ever Apple Pay transaction in Germany)
Perhaps this video will enlightened youthis video was posted in January 2015.
On this travel blog, youll find mygay stories, nightlife tips, photos, and all-too-personal essays from my adventures around the world. Readhow Iceland changed my lifeand set me on a path as a professional travel blogger.
Germany has a unique and distinctive set of cultural quirks and traditions. Even if the country is one of the political and economic leaders, a lot of Germanys cultural oddities really set it apart from the rest of the world. Below are some uniquely German things to know and understand before visiting Germanyespecially useful for first-time visitors who might not expect German culture to be so different from back abroad.
Heres the unofficial list of stores and restaurants that I have tried Apple Pay (not complete list):
In many countries, Sundays are for shoppingbut not so in Germany! Here, its all about the Sunday stroll. Almost all shops are closed, including grocery stores, which essentially forces you to simply enjoy the day. Go for brunch, read a book, take a walk or go out to explore the nature. There are some exceptions with occasional Shopping Sundays when stores are legally allowed to open its every few months. You can also always find at least one grocery store open in a city itll be the one located in the large train stations.
The Germans are famously greenand thats a good thing. Recycling is so ingrained into the culture here, even if youre just visiting for a few days, its easy to pick up the habit. Youll find large recycling bins on the street for glass containers sorted by color (green, brown, white) which are used collectively by the local community. This is where youll recycle wine bottles. Beer and plastic bottles get returned forpfanda deposit paid when you initially purchase the drink.Pfandcan range from 6 to 25 cents. Just look for thepfandreturns inside grocery stores, usually near the cash register. Also: dont forget to sort your biodegradable products, too theres a separate bin for that!
Read more:Germany Travel Guide Travels of Adam
In my experience cash is used far more often than in the US. I have heard people ask if cards are accepted on many occasions, often being told no. That is not a question you hear in the US. In the US you can assume everyone take cards, thats not the case here.
I too found that a lot of smaller stores and most places in smaller towns do not take plastic. Even a few bakeries in Bahnhofs didnt take them and would send me to the ATM to get cash.
yay! Make sure to check out all my gazillion other Berlin tips here on the blog and in mycity guide!
Looking for a place to stay? I where you can easilycompare hotel room rates and prices.Please note some posts do make me some money but I never sacrifice my integrity in exchange for a favorable review. Read the fulldisclosure policy.
Galerie Kaufhof (stopped due to the change in software)
A few things about water in Germany. First, if youre ordering water in a restaurantits going to come carbonated (mit kohlensäure). Many Germans just dont seem to have the taste for still water. Second, water is never free. You wont receive still water for the table at a restaurant. And even if you ask for it, youll likely be charged or they might simply refuse to offer it. Water fountains in public places are also extremely rare. Rather, youre expected to buy your own water in shops or restaurants. While I find this cultural quirk particularly annoying (water is a right, shouldnt it be?!), perhaps its a smart move. Water is not necessarily an infinite resource, so perhaps its just forward-thinking of the Germans to prepare for a time when water is less readily available and more expensive.
Apple Pay DOES WORK here in Germany since its inception in October 2014! I get a huge kick every time the cashiers react in surprise or in confusion when seeing the Apple Pay in action for the first time.
MVG (Munichs public transportation systemsome buses have that contactless payment pad on the vending machines)
10 Things To Know Before Moving to Germany