An Intro To The Do's And Don'ts Of Germany
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An Intro To The Do's And Don'ts Of Germany

Some vital things to remember when among the Germans.

An Intro To The Do's And Don'ts Of Germany

I don’t think there is any other place I would rather be right now than Germany. Hands down, this is one beautiful, productive, efficient country that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Although deciding what to see will be one of the biggest challenges since there are so many grand places to visit. It seems like every time I come to Germany, this beautiful country somehow manages to become even more beautiful.

It is my third time in Germany, and while every time I come I take in new and different sights, some things in Germany always stay the same. The rules, that is. With that being said, if you are planning to visit this amazing country, then here is an introduction to the do’s and don’ts of Germany. Trust me, you need to read these.

1. Don't stand in the bicycle lane. Ever. Just don’t.

The bicycle lane is sacred here in Germany, and cyclers won’t hesitate to aggressively ring their bells at you and shout if you are standing in the bicycle lane. Just like they are not allowed to cycle where pedestrians walk, people are not allowed to stand in their lane. Just, don’t. I cannot emphasize this enough.

2. Do take off your shoes when you enter somebody’s house.

Unless it is someone you know and they don’t mind people wearing shoes in their house, it’s better to be safe than sorry and remove them at the door. If they tell you that you don’t have to, great, but if they don’t say anything as you remove them, then you know that it’s a must.

3. Don't expect free bags at the store.

This is another great thing about Germany. Not getting free plastic bags at the store forces one to bring their reusable shopping bag and it therefore greatly reduces waste. However, you can purchase plastic bags at the check-out line if you forget your reusable bag at home.

4. Do get used to paying in cash.

While people do have cards here, it is much more common to see people pulling out their Euros and paying that way. I’m not exactly sure why, but Euros are more visually appealing to the eye than American dollars so I have no problem with paying in cash here. It’s much easier.

5. Don't expect free condiments at restaurants.

It’s true, you do have to pay for ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise here. Sure it won’t cost you an arm and a leg, but it is somewhat annoying for someone like me who typically gets ketchup with my fries.

6. Do get used to people smoking cigarettes.

No matter what your opinion is on smoking, plenty of people here still do smoke in places that one usually isn’t allowed to in the United States. People will smoke outside at restaurants, it’s inevitable.

7. Don't expect ice in your beverages.

Of course, you will receive ice if you ask, but typically, waiters will not bring you a beverage with ice unless you request it. Ice isn’t really a thing here, and honestly, it’s not even needed.

8. Do immerse yourself in the language.

Although more than likely anyone you encounter here will speak English to some degree (Germans are just awesome like that), do try to learn some common phrases and use them whenever possible. Even if you completely butcher them, Germans will appreciate your effort and they will see that you are trying to immerse yourself in their culture. German is a beautiful language that does require patience and practice, but it’s well worth it to be able to understand what is happening around you in this beautiful country.

While these are not the only rules that one should keep in mind, they are among the most important ones that must not be ignored at any cost. The longer one is here, the more they get used to the culture and the way things work, and these rules become natural and instinctual.

Now that you are familiar with the most important things, grab your plane ticket and head on over.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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