German Culture 101

If you are living or planning to live in Germany, there are a few things you should know to make sure you respect the culture and customs.

Here are six tips that you should follow so that you don’t come across as rude or even get into trouble.

The Six Essential Tips for a smooth stay in Germany

Don’t Cross the Redlight.

Even if there are no cars in sight. Pedestrians and cyclists are expected to follow the traffic rules and being a role model for children.
Disregarding a red light can cost you from 5 euros as a pedestrian and at least 60 up to 120 euros if you are on a bicycle.

Do Recycle.

Germans take recycling very seriously, and there are different bins for different types of waste. Make sure you sort your trash correctly and don’t mix up plastic, paper, glass, or organic materials.

Don’t be late.

Punctuality is a sign of respect and professionalism in Germany, and being late is considered rude and irresponsible. Whether it’s a business meeting, a social event, or a doctor’s appointment, always show up on time or even a few minutes early.

Don’t gossip about others in English.

They might understand you.
Many Germans speak English fluently or at least have a basic knowledge of the language. If you speak English in public, don’t assume that people can’t understand what you are saying. On the other hand, even if your German is far from perfect, be brave and try to speak at least a few words in German. Your efforts will be appreciated.

Always carry some cash with you.

Especially if you want to buy something from a small shop or a bakery. Germany is still a cash-based society, and many places don’t accept credit cards or have a minimum amount for card payments.

Take off your shoes when you visit someone in their home.

In many German households, it’s customary to take off your shoes at the entrance and wear slippers or socks indoors. This is to keep the floors clean.

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