Germany is an absolutely stunning country to travel. The culture there is much different than that found anywhere else in the world.
Follow these tips to make your experience there a positive one.
9 Great Tips for Traveling Hassle Free in Germany:
- Always be on time for everything: This may not seem like a travel specific tip, but it really is. Trains, planes, dinner reservations, check in times for restaurants. You’ll find this culture is nothing like that found in America and few Germans will offer you any pity or forgiveness for being late for anything. Germany is a society of perfectionists, who expect guests to their country to adopt their values.
- Shake hands with everyone: Respect is revered. Stick your hand out to everyone you meet while traveling in Germany.
- Use title and last name when addressing people in Germany: Specifically strangers or people you don’t know very well. Germans do address each other by first name only in casual settings with friends and family, but it’s considered disrespectful to address someone this way if you don’t fall into those other two categories (use Mr., Miss., Dr., etc) Women and girls can be addressed as “Frau” if you wish, which means several things in German including “Miss”, “Mrs.”, “Ma’am”, and little lady.
- Remove your shoes before entering a German’s house: Come on now, this is true everywhere right? Don’t act like a savage!
- Women do bathe topless in Germany: Hallelujah! Avert your child’s eyes if you have the kids along.
- Do not get drunk: Not sure why this is considered something not to do, other than perhaps you might commit one of the cultural taboos mentioned, like forgetting to address people properly.
- Don’t talk about or do anything that relates to WWII stereotypes about German Nazis: Hopefully this goes without saying folks. It won’t end well!
- Keep your elbows off the table while eating: See, your mother was right for yelling at you not to do this habit. She must have known you’d one day be visiting Germany!
- Don’t wait to be seated at a German restaurant: People will look at you like you’re a stupid tourist more than likely, and you might lose out on the last available table. Walk in and sit where you want.
My Personal Bonus Tips:
- German people are very serious: Don’t be put off by this, it’s just the way they are. This
- Be specific when asking for something: Don’t be passive and casual, saying something like “do you have an English menu” at a restaurant. The waiter will likely say “yes” and walk away never to be seen again. Ask “can I have an English menu” instead and they’ll bring you one.
- You have to pay for toilets: Everywhere!
- Traveling in Germany is expensive: Very expensive!
- They still close everything but gas stations on Sundays.