Before you pack your bags and take the next flight to Germany, it’s always a good idea to learn a bit about local customs and travel etiquette for your trip. Germany is a beautiful country like no other, from efficient transport systems to mouth-watering cuisine and affordable beers, you’ll have a memorable time during your stay.
To make your trip go smoothly without any problems, we’ve compiled a list of valuable things you need to know before travelling to Germany.
Make sure to pay and validate your train/metro/bus/tram tickets
Many tourists are caught off guard by Germany’s transport ticket system and its lack of security. Validating your tickets during a train ride is your responsibility, so make sure to pay and validate your ticket at all times by punching it in the machine. Ticket checkers can charge you a hefty fine if you get caught, even if you’ve bought your tickets but forgot to validate them.
Always have cash on you and extra to be safe
Many independent restaurants and shops don’t have card machines, and on the rare occasion that they do, some only accept German bank cards. This issue applies to some transport stations where specific stops accept credit cards, and some don’t. So make sure to exchange enough euros for your trip if you don’t want to waste time looking for an ATM to draw money and get charged a fee with a low exchange rate.
No shopping on Sunday
In most places in Germany, supermarkets, pharmacies and shops are closed on Sundays, so make sure to stock up on food and necessities beforehand. In general, make the most of Sundays by relaxing, taking peaceful strolls, catching up with friends in cafes, or exploring museums. Bars, restaurants and cafes are open all weekend, so you’ll have plenty of options to do on the day.
Learning a bit of German can go a long way
Although Germany is full of diversity in language and many can speak English adequately, this only applies in bigger cities like Berlin and Munich. So it’s ideal for you to learn basic phrases to help you feel at ease during your travels. Making an effort can help you earn the respect of locals, so make sure to carry a travel phrasebook at all times or download a language app.