General advice and tips on what to do in Germany.
I'm going to Germany this summer and living with family. I would really appreciate it if you could give any tips on things to do (including the obvious) and any advice on money saving experiences to enjoy.
I'll be going for a month so I believe I'll have enough time to see a great deal.
Any advice would be great, thank you.
groceries and other stuff to drink and eat is dirty cheap in comparison with most other countries. also the quality is perfect. the cheap stuff you get at aldi, lidl, netto, plus and whatnot is like haute cuisine and very cheap.
getting wasted is also cheap but you will get problems if you are too drunk and driving a bicycle.
using weed is 'legal' but buying and selling is not.
health care covers most normal things.
it could be that germans will behave more direct and cold than you are used to. this is not because germany are unpolite. this is because most germans are direct and not into to much pampering and meaningless small talk. so if you ask something be prepared for a honest answer.
geh ein mal ins ausland, zb großbritannien, und such dort einfache lebensmittel in vergleichbarer qualität zu vergleichbaren preisen.
aber naja, wer nicht selbst kochen kann und immer nur bei mutti frisst oder fast food , der kann eben aus grundnahrungsmitteln kein gericht zaubern.
You can drink the tab water without a problem, dont wast money on mineral water or other crap, you dont shit your internals out. Water is clean enath from tab to prepare baby food. English speaking ppl germans bad english up to good is commen, some french speaking ppl to. Like the other guy sayed aldi is good supermarket dirt cheap shit high quality stuff there. Dont think about eating all of our bananas or we will kill you! Eat a dönner kebab and some carry wurst oh and if plan to vistit a brauhaus prepare for high prices they make thre own bier but welp food and shit is expensive. Oh and if you buy bottel drinks cola/pepsie water or juce there is recyling fine on threm 25/15 cent on plastic bottels/cans 8 cents for bier bottels. You get the money back in the supermarkets.
If you got to Berlin and like nature, maybe check out Grunewald? As someone who lives in the Scottish Highlands, I was still left in awe of how expansive (we don't have many flat forests, let alone of that size) and untouched the forest appears. It isn't essential but if you're up there anyway, it's worth checking out.
Also, the wall panorama at Check Point Charlie by asisi is worth seeing too. I don't usually go in for tourist stuff but the exhibit was unusually striking. I don't think I really appreciated the significance of the Berlin wall until I saw it. It definitely feels like the kind of thing that every young tourist born after the fall of the wall should see.
Go to a sauna and have sex with guys. Unless you're straight. I'm bi, and it was an experience I'll never forget. Also in Koln, visit the brothel for an experience that's 10 times better than Amsterdam.
I rode a bicycle from Frankfurt to Worms and it was fucking awesome. Wine country. Great bike roads too. Go to a heavy metal show, or EDM or whatever you're into. Heidelberg has a cool historic castle and old town area around the university.
And make sure you tell them Americans make the best craft beer, it'll blow their minds. They have no idea what we're doing over here, and I felt bad I couldn't send my German friends some beer in the mail (it's a violation of trade law)
Watch the Germans and let them amuse you. Important is... do not identify with them, keep your distance, but smile. Don't let their handshakes steer you off course... a handshake in Germany means nothing. You may be the next to get sidewalled. From experience, don't trust them. They are a very strange people. 20 years has confirmed that for me. I could write novels about the Germans, of course not in their favour,... always smile and be polite, but keep your distance. Never trust a German, they would rather call the cops than go to bed knowing their own brother or sister smokes pot. It's not their fault as individuals, it's handed down from the government, and driven into their skulls, and Germans being as they are..... need a leader, need rules, need someone to show them the way,... being small and narrow minded as they are, would not hesitate to cause you problems. Be friendly, but keep a distance. Germans are not to be trusted, never. They would sell their own mother if they thought it would give them some advantage. Experience does not lie, it just drives the sad facts home,.. Been there... got the T-Shirt.. and it sucks. Today? I let them amuse me, and keep my distance. When a German offers me his hand,.. I always ask him why. That kind of throws them off course. Never let them get you down, when you do that,... in effect you are going down to their level. That is in itself absurd. Put up your guard, fend them off, they are not offering you anything good. Gather experience, and build your judgment, be objective, be fair, and I'll bet that you leave this country. Nothing has changed here since the days of WW2, they smile, they try to put it behind them, but little has changed. Germans are afraid or the government and the police. They will do exactly as told, they are spineless. They need a leader today, as much as they needed a leader 70 years ago. Observe them and come to your own conclusion. Never trust a german
>Germans are afraid or the government and the police. They will do exactly as told, they are spineless. They need a leader today, as much as they needed a leader 70 years ago
As a German, I agree wholeheartedly. It is painful to watch, actually. We are the world champions in letting ourselves be fooled by our government without complaining. We would rather kill innocent people than defy authority.
Kind of what >>963924 said, I'm 23 now, lived all my life here, it's alright for a German city but I've seen too much of the world and I'm into fashion and this city doesn't fit my metropolitan needs anymore, night life also got stale, same night clubs, same old bars.
The downtown area is developing nicely though.
I'm 31 and been cooking for myself for about 10 years now, and I don't really eat fastfood, and seldom frozen or over-processed 'ready to eat' food.
Lidl and Aldi are sometimes acceptable for certain basics, but fruit and vegetable selection is inferior, especially compared to Edeka or Rewe or even Real. The discounters are NOT 'high quality', even if they are better than discounters in the UK. Netto is pure shit. It does vary a bit where you live though. My preference ranking: Edeka, Rewe, Lidl, Aldi, Netto.
Were you drunk when you typed this with your nose?
Oh, there's far worse.
There's still a lot of shit 'craft beer', amigo. Adding 10x the normal amount of hops starting a yeast culture from the sweat under your nutsack doesn't make it 'better'. I've been to my share of gastro pubs and shit, in Philly and San Francisco
Still, I do wish there were more beer varieties widely available. All the big beers here (Germany I'm talking about) are basically a Pils. While they are mostly high quality, it can get a bit samey since Pils is by definition a standardized conforming style.
>I felt bad I couldn't send my German friends some beer in the mail
As long as you're fine with the possibilities of bottles breaking, you can send stuff. If it is truly illegal, it's not the Germans who care because I've got beer in the mail before from both here in Germany and from other countries (albeit in the EU).
OP here. Thank you all for the suggestions. This is really helpful.
Bit of a weird question but would any Germans be willing to meet up?
I'd love to get to know some people and share the experience.
Thanks. I don't plan to drive on the Nürburgring, no. I have no track experience, I'd probably fuck the car up.
I was thinking of Sixt (3-Series), Thrifty (Volvo V40) or Avis (no idea, whatever's cheaper since they're so fucking expensive). What would you recommend?
Germany is great! I love it.
The people aren't as unfriendly as you may think. They're just not upfront about it, like if you go to a grocery store don't expect the cashier to ask you how your day was or even smile at you. Not to say it doesn't happen but its not like Canada/Murrica where its required.
Germans are friendly as fuck if you manage to get invited to their houses. They will make you a lot of food and give you a lot of beer.
Alcohol is really cheap. Beer is cheaper than pop and hard liquor ain't bad either, when I was there I got trashed off some stuff called doppelkorn (combined with fanta) which is always really cheap, if a little greasy maybe. Keep in mind there are steep recycling deposits but return your bottles for like 25 cents. This is why you'll see normal people rooting for bottles in garbage cause its actually worth it unlike Canada where its 5 cents.
Food is good. Currywurst is GOAT and donner kebab is nice too. Traditional dishes have lots of pork, potato, etc kind of heavy but nice. There is no tipping in Germany but some "touristy" restaurants will do shit like stamp on the receipt "20% GRATUITY REQUIRED" but just lay down your Euros and get out of there.
Fast food isn't particularly cheap and not really worth it, but the quality is above and beyond north american fast food.
If you're wanting to go clubbing keep in mind most places have a dress code. Outside Berlin you'll need a collared shirt, in Berlin wear normal clothing. They won't let you in if you're in a collared shirt. Also there is a huge imbalance of men to women and alcohol can be a bit pricey in them.
Also try to dress a little trendy if you can or care. I was told by my German friends that hoodies are for homeless people and to not wear them. They all dress pretty metro though.
Marijuana use is fairly common and not illegal to possess I believe but don't get caught buying it. Regular smoking is more common than North America since the rules aren't as strict.
Sixt sucks, I would avoid them. A few too many bad experiences. They WILL try to squeeze extra money out of you by claiming you made new damage (they have a list of damage to each vehicle, but it's all vague notations), and there's lots of hidden fees with them (even more so than most rental companies)
Europcar or Herz are those I've had the best experiences with, albeit only for moving vans.
"Whatever's cheaper" just means they're not including all the hidden fees in the costs they quote you.
>Keep in mind there are steep recycling deposits but return your bottles for like 25 cents. This is why you'll see normal people rooting for bottles in garbage cause its actually worth it unlike Canada where its 5 cents.
>mfw I see redbull cans in good condition, those little fuckers are worth 25 cents!
Well, I'm working now so I don't bother anymore, but when I was a student, I wasn't above picking up the more valuable cans/bottles. Normally I would leave them for the bums though.
Curry wurst is the cheapest shite food you can get, I really don't understand how everyone raves about it. It's a cheap wiener doused in ketchup with a stale little bun. Döner taste good, but is unhealthy as fuck. I only eat it when I've been drinking.
Also, there IS TIPPING IN GERMANY. I seriously hope you didn't go around not tipping people, you cheap fuck. Granted, it's not as much as in North America, and you really don't always have to (waiters are paid a decent minimum wage), but it's still rather rude if you don't. If it's under 5€ or so, you can just round up to the nearest 50 cent mark. i.e., My bill is €2.30, I give the waitress 2.50. You can add more if you're feeling generous. For anything from say 10 euros and up, you'll just round up to a clean flat figure about 1-3€ depending on service/formality. i.e., my bill is €14.55, I'd give €16. if it's 27.90, I'd just give 30. YMMV. You can give less and they won't say shit about it, but it's still a bit rude (assumption was you're unhappy). That only applies if the wait-staff actually did enough to warrant a tip, of course. Keep in mind you must ask for the bill, and you pay directly while telling the waiter/waitress the final amount you will give them INCLUDING the tip, and they will make change. So if the bill was 14.55, and you're paying 16, tell them 16, and you'll get 4 back. Easy.
>Outside Berlin you'll need a collared shirt, in Berlin wear normal clothing.
Lel, this is not true at all either. If it's a pretentious club anywhere, you'll need to make an effort, unlike in North America. Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, doesn't matter. If it's for the 30+ crowd, it's probably a bit pretentious, but most would let you in anyway, as long as you don't look like gutter scum. If it's more the studenty crowd, you can wear whatever the hell you like.
Most clubs outside Berlin are in fact far less pretentious or hung up on dress codes than Berlin. The only places more pretentious IME are perhaps some places in Munich or to a lesser extent in Düsseldorf.
>Also try to dress a little trendy if you can or care.
Compared to North America or the UK, the average person does dress better. Baggy khakis, a short-sleeved plaid shirt and white running shoes would be facepalm-tier here. But there's no need to be 'trendy'.
>I was told by my German friends that hoodies are for homeless people and to not wear them.
Honestly, it sounds like you hung around a bunch of stuck up queer assholes. Hoodies aren't *as common* in North America, and they are very much casual wear (unless you're a designer or musician or some shit) but lots of people wear them, and there are plenty of trendy hoodies. This is just ridiculous 'advice'.
I made good experience with sixt yea they have a list for damage so check yourself if every damage is noted on the list if not go contact them and take pictures of it before you drive this car.
Sixt, Hertz, Europcar or Avis I think they're all good. Although I only rented cars on Sixt.
You cant book a specific car you book a car group.
Keep in mind if you rent the car at the airport it will most likely cost more.
The cargroup FDMR (3series, C-class, etc.) starts from 35 euro per day but I can guarantee you it will cost more, probably 50-60 euro per day. You get 420km per day for free for every extra kilometer you have to pay extra.
And if you rent the car in Düsseldorf and lets say turn it back in Sinsheim it will cost more too but I dont know how much it will cost more.
I don't think theres a huge price difference between Sixt, Hertz & co.
Just check the car for damage they will hand you a list with the damage on the car and if you find some more damage/scratches contact them. Compare the milage on the list with the actual milage so they cant fuck with you.
But really your roadtrip sounds awful is it your first time in germany? What interests you? For me the beautiful part of Germany is in the south landscape and so on.
>no tip in germany
I would argue that tip is not mandatory in germany but well appreciated. Usually you bring prices up to a round figure if you just had a drink or a coffee if you were satisfied or want to be nice. For meals I as a german find it appropiate to give 10 - 20 % tip.
Also tipping at hairdresser is a must for me, those people get the shittiest wages in the country.
There's no tipping at chain restaurants however, I seldomly tip at döner places as well.
Inhabitant of Hannover here as well, wouldn't might meeting up. If you're into sports I could take you bouldering or for a hike in the Deister hills. Or we could hit some bars in the student districts.
In Hannover you should visit at least one of the theatres and museums in the downtown area. Take a walk in the city's forest Eilenriede, see lake Maschsee close to the downtown district. if you're travelling with kids visit the vast zoo.
For eating out I would suggest the List district which is a former student district and now inhabited largely by academics, nice gentrified neighbourhood with good restaurants and delicatessen/wine stores.
If you're more for the hip student vibe visit the districts Nordstadt and Linden which also have very nice cafés and bars.
Typical local beers are Herrenhäuser, Gilde and Lindener.
'Dress shirts' are not pretentious and I said nothing of the sort. Though certain kinds of dress shirts (a pack of dude-bros all wearing the SAME pattern or designer logo on the chest, for example) can make them pretentious. Honestly if a club is actually that 'exclusive', it's more about your whole package than what shirt you're wearing anyway. Those places a) are not that common, b) pretty obvious when you see them, and c) not the kind of place I'd imagine OP is pissing himself with anxiousness to get into. Besides they would probably cut some slack to an American on holiday like I already said. Just don't look like dirty gutter scum. Berlin is a bit different.
I'm American, but have lived in Germany the past 4 years. Of course there is pretentiousness in the US too with dress codes, but generally only in say NYC or LA or Miami. People do dress up and make some effort, but not as much as compared to Europe. It's really not something 95% of people out on the town in the US have to worry about. I've also been to Canada several times, and there it's even more 'lol whatever'.
Because the US has a classless society, there's little need to dress in labels to "prove" yourself worthy of whatever it is you are desiring in service or acceptance. It is indeed true that it's more casual. Immigrants make more of an effort based on their culture.
As a S. Floridian, a flipflop society, where you dress for comfort in a certain weather, you can easily spot first generation americans doing their own thing. The rest of us wear the right fabrics, right brands, and maybe a pair of $100 flipflops where needed, to everything from church to shopping to a little sport coat to a wedding that isn't actually labelled formal. Women wear hooker height heels if they're under 30 and low class, while the rest of women wear sensible shoes that take care of the feet but cost the same insane amounts of couture money. That's how you tell if someone is new money but undereducated. Class is desire to seek knowledge in the US.
i would disagree that america is a classless society.
the differences between the classes can be seen in something as simply as the food they eat on a regular basis or where they prefer to buy their food from.
while there is some overlap here and there, overlap should not be confused with the lack of difference.
I like how you state the US is classless, then go on to use 'classist' phrases and spell out how you can spot low class people.
There is most certainly class in America, just look at who's in congress and the senate. There always has been stratified social classes in the US, but it's less rigid than Europe traditionally was.
Two questions, /deu/:
1) Where are some places I can get cheap German language lessons? I was planning on going to Dresden because it's cheap and I have a friend who lives there.
2) Pic related: this is a rough path of a trip I'm doing with my best friend. What good things are there to see in Southern/Western Germany? I like cute traditional villages, castles, and historical sites. Also planned on going through the Black Forest.
1) prices are pretty reasonable anywhere, if you go to a Volkshochschule. Quality varies from place to place, but generally they're pretty good. Universities are the next best option, but non-students usually have to pay a fee (100-200€, usually) and can only join after students have sign-up if there's still spots available. Dresden is OK I guess. They'll teach you Hochdeutsche, but you should be aware that Saxony has what is widely regarded as the worst/most laughable/most retarded German accent. You definitely don't want to sound like them.
2) Might as well hit up Basel and Konstanz if you're in the area. Bregenz in Austria is also OK for a day or less. There are plenty of little villages in the Black Forest to visit, but keep in mind it hasn't been 'wild' since the Romans were there, it's pretty well-maintained these days. The Brother's Grimm were simply retelling folk tales were themselves harkening back to a time when the woods were still unknown and scary. Freiburg is pretty great, be sure to go up the Schauinsland (mountain) if you're there, it's one my favourite places in Europe (partially for nostalgic reasons). Take the gondola up. Google the Maulbronn Kloster and see if that's to your liking. Titisee is a funny name (titty see) and quite a well known spot, but also very touristy, I'd avoid it.
Can someone tell me why people dont consider Berlin to be "real Germany"?