So you’ve decided to Travel to Berlin, but you still want to know how to blend in like a local German. Today we explore some of the quirkier sides of traveling in Germany. Of course, one of the best parts of traveling is learning about new cultures. But many times, by defining what is strange or weird about a culture, you end up learning more about yourself. Germany is a great place to experience a uniquely European culture while enjoying the embrace of a country that truly enjoys tourists and Americans. Enjoy these 7 Weird Things You Should Know About Germans!
7 Weird Things You Should Know About Germans
Aside from being known as a very hard working, intelligent, and efficient people, Germans have their quirks that you should be aware of. These quirks are meant to be taken in good humor since it’s not actually possible to lump all Germans into one group. Germany is made of many different regions with varied histories. Germany is also home to thousands of different immigrant communities and populations. So this post will explore 7 weird things that you may find when traveling around Germany.
- Germans are always cold
The typical German wardrobe consists of winter scarves until the beginning of June. While they finally ditch the scarves you can spot Germans wearing jeans and jackets throughout the summer.
- Germans are always cold
If you expect or even appreciate strangers holding the door open for you, saying “Gesundheit” after you sneeze, or even a friendly ‘Hallo’ on the street then be prepared.
Physically and emotionally Germans can be perceived as cold if you are from the States or London… Or really anywhere that says ‘Hi’ to strangers. They will definitely stare at you passing on the streets, but when you say ‘hi’ they are totally stunned.
Some Germans contest this by saying “Us Germans just need our time”. So… Maybe if you need directions, Google Maps will be more friendly and helpful than a German on the streets.
- Germans are VERY eco friendly
If you’re enjoying some street food like a Döner and a Coke, which is very common here, you better know what you are getting yourself into! When you go to toss out the garbage you must follow the unwritten German rules:
Leftovers (unfinished food) is recycled separate from the wrapper of the Döner, and those are recycled separate from the plastic bottle that the Coke is sold in. And the napkin you used? Don’t even think about it.
- Germans have no walking etiquette
Normally we are taught to walk on the right side of the street when you are arriving and the left side when you are leaving. This unwritten rule does not exist in Germany.
Whether you are in a big city, a university, or in a grocery store Germans have no awareness of the people around them. It is like human bumper cars and no one says ‘Excuse me’ or ‘Sorry’ in the event of these collisions.
It could be argued that a 13-year-old girl texting and walking in the city of Chicago can maneuver better than a German walking the streets. They walk sideways, backways, all ways.
- Germans love their dogs
It is generally legal for Germans to have their dog accompany them in shops, restaurants, in the library, at book stores, anywhere you can think and it is just as awesome as it sounds. Brush up on your German skills by asking politely if you can pet their dog.
- Germans legally can drink anywhere
On the bus, train, in the parks, on the street, or even leaving the bar with a beer are things you will commonly see in Germany. It’s good to be aware of the public drinking laws in European countries because it varies!
- Germans enjoy life
On any given day you can find Germans of all ages lying on a blanket in the grass, enjoying a midday ice cream cone, or even a midday brew. This is the best thing we can learn from Germans!
Germany is a large and diverse nation so you may experience a totally different version of Germany depending on where and when you visit.
Remember that Germany is part of the Schengen Area so Americans can travel ‘visa-free’ for 90 days. Germany also offers some great visa options for long term travel throughout Europe. Make sure you have a valid passport and that you have at least six months of passport validity. If your passport has less than six months of validity AFTER the last day of your travels, you will need to get a new (or renewed) passport.