Germany Local Customs

  • St. Nick at the Market near the Frauenkirche
    St. Nick at the Market near the...
    by Ekaterinburg
  • Stollen strall at the Hauptstrasse market
    Stollen strall at the Hauptstrasse...
    by Ekaterinburg
  • Stadtfest stage in front of Semperoper.
    Stadtfest stage in front of Semperoper.
    by Kakapo2

Germany Local Customs

  • Food and Drink

    Berlin Local Customs

    The Internationales Berliner Bierfestival is a blast of a festival held near the Alexanderplatz. I counted 3 separate major stages where bands were playing, and the booths of beer vendors went on for blocks. The beers were from everywhere, with Bavarian and Hessen companies having the strongest showing. But there were also (very good) beers from...

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  • Food and Drink

    Hamburg Local Customs

    Typically, when people think of German cuisine, they normally think of cliché stand-bys like Wiener Schnitzel, Sauerkraut, and Sausages. But while those foods definitely play a very important part of the heritage and culinary landscape of Germany, it leaves too much room for oversight of dishes where German culture truly shines. One such example?...

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  • Food and Drink

    Düsseldorf Local Customs

    If you go to Düsseldorf you have to know that the city is the "Altbier"-area. Altbier is considered Germany's oldest beer style. It's a dark beer especially brewed in the area around Düsseldorf. Never ever order a Kölsch (from Cologne) in Düsseldorf - the waitress may beat you up ;-) - that could also happen if you order an Altbier in...

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  • Food and Drink

    Stuttgart Local Customs

    When you go to the Getranke stores you buy the beer and pay the Pfand (price for recycling the container) the first time you go. When you take pack the empty container you walk in the door and someone will address you. They will give you a slip with the money they owe you (the pfand) or someone will acknowledge you and make a mental or other note....

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  • Food and Drink

    Heidelberg Local Customs

    There are two types of gingerbread in Germany: the type that is cut into shapes, i.e. the famous Gingerbread Men, and the softer type that is cut into squares and eaten in copious amounts until your stomach hurts (no? You haven't done that? OK, it's just me then...) If I need fast satisfaction for a Christmas-induced gingerbread craving but do not...

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  • Rhein Valley Vineyards

    Koblenz Local Customs

    On our Rhein cruise we passed mile after mile of row upon row of the most perfectly kept vineyards I have ever seen (well... it is Germany... and I haven't actually seen a vineyard before but they looked perfect to me!) I am no wine connoisseur but I have always known that German wine is my favourite, and to see where it is grown was a real buzz....

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  • cultural diversity

    Mainz Local Customs

    Mainz - like most of western Germany - offers a bewildering array of cultural options. Yes, the Germans do like the exotic and the erotic - their attitude toward matters sexual could be called open and inquisitive, or it could be called prurient and nosy, but it's certainly different from the American perspective! But at the same time the Germans...

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  • Events

    Hannover Local Customs

    Whitsun in Germany is a big holiday with a free monday. In Hannover this holiday is one highlight of all our summer festivals. There is Fest der Altstadt - a big party in the Old Town with, music, dancing and a lot of fun. And there is "Tummelplatz der L?ste", a big festival of gay and lesbian people from Hannover and elsewhere. They dress up...

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  • People (Germans, Berliners..)

    Berlin Local Customs

    Though not unique to Berlin, it does have more than its fair share of allotment gardens with over 800 complexes. You frequently see them along side the railway tracks and on other pieces of land close by. Originally designed, over 100 years ago, as in other countries for the growing of vegetables to supplement diets of the poor. Their use has...

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  • Useful Information

    Hamburg Local Customs

    Another useful place in the main railway station is this branch of the newsagents chain of K Presse + Buch. Here you can get your postcards and stamps and the service is swift, friendly and English-speaking if required. As well as postcards and stamps they also stock all sorts of bits and pieces including city guides and English-language reading...

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  • Traditions

    Düsseldorf Local Customs

    This is actually a local custom for Hannover but since I’ve never been there and was introduced to it by Hanover transplant Sabsi who now resides in Düsseldorf I’ll put it here. She thoughtfully gave me a special little glass set for my birthday and we got down to business on her balcony. It seems she did not trust her guest to not spill something...

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  • Events

    Stuttgart Local Customs

    I was very lucky to find the United Buddy Bears in Stuttgart. From 9th July until 12th August 2008 these exhibition was set on Schlossplatz. The Buddy Bears were designed by 140 artists from all over the world and it shows 140 bears in different colours!!! It was fantastic.

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  • People

    Heidelberg Local Customs

    Inside the old Heilig-Geist-Kirche, the church at the market square, there is the grave of King Ruprecht and his wife. He was the founder of this church, of the oldest still standing building at the castle and also of the university. No wonder he is still remembered by the people in Heidelberg. It is a custom for the bride and groom at their...

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  • carnival

    Mainz Local Customs

    Don't miss to visit Mainz at carnival! There are lots of parades, the biggest one on Rosenmontag - the canival's monday! On Schillerplatz you find the carnival's fountain - in the form of a fool's tower!

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  • Meeting points

    Hannover Local Customs

    This is where we normally meet when we meet in town... at the 'Kr?pcke Uhr'. The square called 'Kr?pcke' was named after Wilhelm Kr?pcke who owned a coffee house there from 1885-1919. 25 years ago the new Cafe Kr?pcke was opened by M?venpick at the same spot. The clock is only there since 1977 - it's a replica of a weather column from 1885.

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  • Useful Information

    Berlin Local Customs

    I didn't see any playing grounds for small kids in Berlin. Do they hide them somewhere? Instead I did find one but outside Berlin on my way back to Poland. It was a small playing ground at the first rest area ("rasthaus" in German) along Autobahn (freeway/motorway) 13 (E36, E55) in Motzen. Follow the link below for info on Berlin for kids,...

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  • Events

    Hamburg Local Customs

    Several times a year, Hamburg is shut down throughout various parts of the city to accommodate long distance sports events of international reknown. One such summer event is the annual VATTENFALL CYCLASSICS, a UCI World Cup competition, and Europe's largest bike race comprised of 18 of the most elite pro-cycling teams from around the world. The...

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  • Karneval

    Düsseldorf Local Customs

    In carnival (which is BIG in this part of Germany!!) people in Düsseldorf don't shout 'Alaaf' (that's in Cologne!) but 'Helau' ... Be prepared to get drunk and dirty when going into Düsseldorf's old town on carnival days. There is thousands of people there, all drunk, many dressed up. There will be music you don't hear every day and the whole town...

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  • People

    Stuttgart Local Customs

    My impression is that the people of Stuttgart are very nice and polite. They may hesitate to speak English; maybe they feel that that their English is not good enough? So if you speak German it will help you. Otherwise I would advise you to speak slowly English. Don’t ask if they speak English, they may say that they don't speak it. Try to make...

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  • Language

    Heidelberg Local Customs

    Welcome to my part of Germany! If you need help, information or directions in English it's best to approach younger people... they all speak English to various extents: some only have "highschool-English" and others speak it fluently. Strange as it may sound, it can be quite difficult to find a local when you need directions... there are usually...

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  • Art and Culture

    Berlin Local Customs

    I’m not sure where I heard that the main museums in Berlin are open on the first Thursday evening of the month from 6pm till 10pm and admission is free. I tried asking if this was true at the hotel where I was staying but only received blanked looks. So I decided to give it a try and discovered it was true. I went into the Altes and Pergamon...

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  • Port (Hafen)

    Hamburg Local Customs

    Wandering around the port (Hafen) area I couldn't help but notice the major developments currently (Jan 2012) underway. This brought to mind a bar conversation in Dublin a few years ago when discussing Ireland's then economic problems. My optimistic drinking buddy pointed out the profusion of building work around the city and concluded - "Where...

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  • Japanese Düsseldorf

    Düsseldorf Local Customs

    Düsseldorf often is called „Klein-Tokyo am Rhein" which means Little-Tokyo at the Rhine. The first Japanese in Düsseldorf was registered in 1905. Today Düsseldorf is home and place of employment for the largest Japanese community in Germany. Around the Immermannstraße you find many Japanese shops, hotels and (very good)restaurants. The Japanese...

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  • Language

    Stuttgart Local Customs

    Schwabian German accent is very difficult to understand. Actually visitors should be aware of: Schwabian German is notoriously difficult to understand and Germans from outside the region frequently moan that Schwabians add an unnecessary 'schw' sound to many words. The beleaguered Stuttgart manager, Giovanni Trapattoni, has famously struggled with...

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  • Events

    Heidelberg Local Customs

    Three times each year residents and visitors alike can enjoy the spectacular castle illuminations & fireworks behind the scenes of the old town Heidelberg. Just after sun set the castle-lights are turned off, the fireworks are launched from the Old Bridge. This event really is worth the wait... it's specatular! Dates for the year 2012: ->...

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  • Bears

    Berlin Local Customs

    Berlin’s coat of arms features a black “bear rampant”, that is standing on his hind legs and facing to the left – you will see it everywhere you go. Indeed you will see all sorts of bears, as this has become a sort of unofficial emblem of the city. There are different theories as to why this is, but the most common suggestion is that it relates to...

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  • Museums

    Hamburg Local Customs

    "Dialog im Dunkeln" is a very special place in Hamburger Speicherstadt : You may experience there the daily life of blind people in a guided tour through a world of total darkness. You will eat your lunch in the dark, you will walk through a building you don't know etc. This is not an ordinary museum, because you have to reserve such a guided tour...

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  • Useful Information

    Düsseldorf Local Customs

    The big tower is telling the time. I must admit I didn't quite get the explanation about how the time should be read, but the main guidelines are: the first vertical row of lights (starting from the top to the bottom) tells the hour, the second row of lights tells the minutes, while the third row tells the seconds. Good luck! I hope you manage to...

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  • Useful Information

    Stuttgart Local Customs

    When you want a grocery cart you have to put in a coin to release it from the chain of the other cart. You slide it either in the top or the front, depending on the cart. When you return the cart you slide the key back in the slot to get your money back. Do this whole thing before you go in the store since you can't get out of the store unless you...

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  • Shopping

    Heidelberg Local Customs

    Sales or Use In Germany, a 16% value-added tax (Mehrwertsteuer - MwSt) is already reflected in the prices of most goods and services; the MwSt rate on books is 7%. Tourists living outside the European Union are eligible for a refund for most of the tax paid on gifts or souvenirs. Make sure you get a Tax-Free form from the store at the time of your...

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  • History

    Berlin Local Customs

    When you think of Berlin, what do you think of? I’m guessing that quite high on many people’s lists will be the Berlin Wall. How odd for a city to be notable for something that is for the most part no longer there! The Wall “fell” officially on 9th November 1989, when a press conference was held at which the government announced that travel...

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  • Fischmarkt

    Hamburg Local Customs

    Don't miss to visit the famous weekly market near the Landungsbruecken. Besides the fish-market-hall you can stroll through the market outside where merchants selling all kinds of products ranging from food to clothes to needless things.

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  • Things to do

    Düsseldorf Local Customs

    One of the things I like the most here is just to hang around the old city, there are plenty coffee houses and bars where you can take a moment to relax with a drink. On good weather days places usually are very full, but no need to worry, it is common just to stand in the middle of the street and the waiter will bring you the beer.

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  • Public Transport

    Stuttgart Local Customs

    The VVS 3-Day Public Transport Ticket covers all means of transport operated by the VVS (Stuttgart public transport authority) - rapid-transit railway, city trains and buses - and can be used without restriction by one adult and 2 children (aged 6-11) on three consecutive days in the Stuttgart inner zone including the airport. The ticket can only...

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  • Tourist Information

    Heidelberg Local Customs

    Best thing to do when arriving in Heidelberg is to pop in to the Tourist Info office next to the Hauptbahnhof (train station)where they are very friendly and helpful. There you can get maps and info on the city.

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  • Language

    Berlin Local Customs

    I highly recommend first time visitors to Germany to visit http://www.languages4everyone.com/ for important stuff on the language. I'v logged on there and the website proves the best language site to me. Auf Wiedersehen.

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  • Red Light District

    Hamburg Local Customs

    Like Amsterdam, Hamburg has a red light district. The difference is it is much smaller and it explicitly forbids women and under age men to enter. For some, it is one of the main attraction of the place, for others a nuisance. If you want to stay away from it, stay away from Reeperbahn.

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  • Traffic

    Düsseldorf Local Customs

    Düsseldorf is the only German city I know where traffic lights not just have green and red lights but also an orange light. And that makes the crossing quiete interesting - for German circumstances :-) So you still can cross the street if you see the orange light but hurry up from the second on you see the red one, because then the cars get green...

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  • Weather

    Stuttgart Local Customs

    The Stuttgart area is probably one of the warmest parts of Baden-Wuttemberg with suggested average warm summers and reasonably mild winters, although snowing to me doesn’t represent mild and it can get as low as -9C. Temperatures can range from 20C in summer down to 1C in winter. Generally July and August are the warmest months. Stuttgart area also...

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  • Tipping

    Heidelberg Local Customs

    While service charges are included in your restaurant bill, it's usual to round up the bill anywhere from the nearest dollar to 5%. This should be given to the waiter/waitress when paying. Don't leave any money on the table. In a taxi, there’s no need to go beyond rounding up to the nearest dollar to tip unless extraordinary service is provided.

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  • Service Charge and Tipping

    Berlin Local Customs

    Service charges are generally added to restaurant and hotel bills in Berlin, making tipping unnecessary. Some of the smaller cafes and bars are excluded from this custom and it is standard practice to round up the bill to the nearest Deutschmark. Sales or Use Tax: In Germany, a 16% value-added tax (Mehrwertsteuer - MwSt) is already reflected in...

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  • Traffic

    Hamburg Local Customs

    German license plates are fun to read: the first letters are an abbreviation of the city or area, where the car comes from, the other letters and numbers are just to identify it. . HH is short for Hansestadt Hamburg, but you will also find some other rather common license plates in Hamburg: . HH = Hamburg PI = Pinneberg SE = Bad Segeberg ROW =...

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  • Climate

    Heidelberg Local Customs

    Germany has a moderate climate with the summers usually warm but pretty cold winters. The warmest months of the year are from May to September. The average temperature in July, for instance, varies from 16C to 20C (61F to 68F) according to the location. In January, the variation is from -1C to 6C (21F to 34F). There is no particular rainy season.

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  • Sights

    Berlin Local Customs

    Free tour is a tour I can recomend to everyone visiting Berlin, especially for the first time, as me. Big group gathered near Starbucks coffe, near Branderburg gate. The group was shared into smaller groups, depending on language they want to hear at excursion time. Everyone got registration ticket and started excursion. My group‘s guide was...

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  • Language

    Hamburg Local Customs

    Ok, so I went to Hamburg without knowing I was going to Germany, the day before! I don't know if I was unlucky, but at 7am, I try to called home in Montréal, with a public phone. All the people that worked for the company didn't speak english or french. Only deutsh. I suggest you larn to speak a little before you go. Don't do what I did. I only...

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Germany Local Customs

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