Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Germany (Updated)

Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Germany (Updated)

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Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do In Germany (Updated) 595
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Jo S., Faheem H., and Marc T.

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Reviewed By

Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do In Germany (Updated) 595
Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do In Germany (Updated) 597
Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do In Germany (Updated) 599

Jo S., Faheem H., and Marc T.

If you plan to visit Germany for your vacation, or if you are even thinking of settling down there, it is best to be prepared when it comes to their dos and don’ts. As always, we are honoured to bring you the help you need at the World’s #1 Source of Research-Based Content, The Daily Top 10 as we explore the Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Germany.

What does Germany deem to be impolite? What do Germans consider polite behaviour? German society places a strong emphasis on social decorum, so if you’re going to be there for any duration of time, it is important to learn the don’t s for your benefit.

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If you like this article on the Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Germany and find it helpful, there’s more where that came from! Check out other articles like the Top 10 Most Important Things You Must Not Do in a Hotel Room and the Top 10 Best and Most Popular Restaurants in the World

What is the Most Important Thing Foreigners Should Never Do in Germany?

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Cultural rules and legal laws in Germany ensure that the lives of the German population run perfectly. It is no surprise that they are amongst one of the most civilized nations in the world. So, Germany has its own unique set of traditions and expectations because of its extensive history and lively culture.

It is important to be aware of German culture’s dos and don’ts as a visitor to the nation. So, our article offers a guide to assist travellers understand German social customs and guarantee a memorable stay.

Without any more delays, let us jump into the article. Keep in mind that we save the number one spot for last, so hang tight as we take you to it!


Do Not Throw Out Empty Bottles in Trash

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Germany aims to be a waste free country, just like many other countries in the world. However, to deal with the waste, the country incorporates a unique model. For this purpose, the country has introduced a Pfand-system, according to Hello Bottle. So, while being in Germany, the customer buying drinks in plastic or glass bottles are charged extra 8 to 35 cents per bottle.

The purpose is to encourage the people to return the empty bottles to the nearest shops instead of throwing them in streets or trash. After the empty bottles are delivered, the cash is given back and it does not matter from where you buy the drinks. In this way the Pfand-system works efficiently and motivates people to participate in recycling or zero waste initiatives.


Never Be Late

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The Germans are very punctual about timings, according to an article on DW. They believe time is precious, and that’s the reason they reach or start everything on time. Germans consider getting late as disrespectful as they should and there is nothing more valuable than time, as it never comes back.

If you are in Germany try to reach out if you have an appointment, or if someone has called you over a lunch or dinner. In fact, try to reach five minutes earlier and while being in Germany, take out some extra time for road traffic, or any other unforeseen circumstances like late arrival of metro or a public bus.


Do Not Wear Shoes Inside Home

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Germans do not like wearing shoes inside, as per an article on The Red Relocators. They use rubber for roaming inside the home and in the same way, they also expect their guests to take off their shoes while entering their homes. God knows where someone’s shoes have been, moving around the city and so to maintain the cleanliness of their house, they follow this unspoken rule.

We actually quite like it too! Additionally, it is expected that you change your shoes when using the restroom if your residence provides separate slippers. By following these customs, you can establish a good relationship with your hosts and demonstrate your respect for German etiquette.


Never Get on a Public Transport Without a Ticket

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Buying a ticket or paying a fare, and getting on public transport is a common rule in every country. If caught in a public bus or a train, without a ticket can result in a fine, according to an article on German Way. And most importantly, they wouldn’t put it past you even if you bought one and lost it!

In Germany, there is a network of trams, trains, buses and subways. So, never make a mistake on boarding without a ticket, else you will land in hot waters. If the ticket checking staff catches you, you will be charged with a fine of €60.


Do Not Litter

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Germans are very much concerned about the cleanliness of their land, according to Stars and Stripes. They never throw trash on streets, roads and parks, and they expect the same from the visitors. If you are caught throwing trash, you can be fined or it might happen that a German comes up to you and straight up condemns what you did.

In addition to litter, you can also not spit on the ground. Spitting on roads is considered highly disgusting and also rude. You might have become easy going in throwing trash in your home country, but do not do this in Germany.


Thinking You Can Pay via Credit Card

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Did you know that in Germany, cash rules instead of credit. This means that in Germany, you can only shop with cash in your hand. You might get surprised to read that adults in the country do not even own a credit card, as per an article on Lingoda Blog.

Don’t let this upset you though! Considering the need of modern culture, some supermarkets, shops, and restaurants in the country do allow card payments as in some cases just debit. Takeaways, bars, street vendors, and most eateries on the other hand will only take cash.


Never Walk in Bicycle Lanes

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Separate bicycle lanes are actually rather common in many German cities. These lanes are created to give bikers a fast and safe way to get through the city. It’s vital to remember that these lanes are only meant for bicycles and that generally you aren’t allowed to walk in them according to an article on Simple Germany.

In addition to breaking German traffic regulations, walking in bicycle lanes puts both bikers and pedestrians in danger. Because humans and bicycles tend to move at different speeds, unexpected pedestrians in bike lanes might result in crashes or accidents. It is best to stick to designated pedestrian routes or sidewalks when walking in Germany and be aware of your surroundings to prevent mistakenly strolling into the cycling lanes in order to promote safety and maintain good relations between pedestrians and bikers.


Do Not Drive on the Middle Lane on German Autobahn

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Many people experience exhilaration while considering their first time behind the wheel on the German Autobahn. But driving is strictly governed by laws that are in force. Keep your distance from the vehicles in front of you, stay in the right lane, and be aware of the posted speed limit.

According to Auto Express, since these lanes are designed to pass slower cars in front of you on the Autobahn, driving in them might seriously aggravate other motorists. To stay safe while driving in Germany, follow all the traffic rules. These rules are for your own safety and to ensure a smooth sailing on the roads!


Do Not Mess in Quiet Hours

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Have you heard about quiet hours in any other country? Pretty sure you just scrunched your brows together in confusion. In Germany, the government has regulated Quiet Hours. Every municipality in the country has their own guidelines, and you have to follow them if you want to stay in the country.

According to an article by Housing Anywhere, the quiet hours are daily 1 pm to 3pm, or between 10pm and 7am the following morning, or the entire Sunday. The quiet hours mean no loud music, no vacuum, no drilling and even no sound of washing machine. If you do this, the neighbourhood will file a complaint against you.


Never Expect a German to Speak English

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Coming towards the final mistake that most of the foreigners commit in Germany, that is thinking that Germans do not understand English or reply to you in English. If you think the same, you my dear, are heavily mistaken! According to Polyglot Geek, Germans not only understand English, but they can also speak it pretty fluently.

However, they choose not to speak it. The people of the country are so proud about their national language, and they would never reply to you in English. Germans believe that their native language is the superior language.

What are the Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Germany?

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Every country has its own strict rules and regulations, and Germany is not an exception. It is the basic duty of any tourist to first learn about them before landing into the country. As they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do!

When visiting Germany, foreigners should be aware of certain cultural norms and practices to ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience. So, by being mindful of these guidelines, foreigners can navigate German culture with ease and show respect for local customs and traditions.

Take a look at the Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Germany:

  1. Never Expect a German to Speak English
  2. Do not Mess in Quiet Hours
  3. Do not Drive on the Middle Lane on German Autobahn
  4. Never Walk in Bicycle Lanes
  5. Thinking You Can Pay Via Credit Card
  6. Do Not Litter
  7. Never Get on a Public Transport Without a Ticket
  8. Do not Wear Shoes Inside Home
  9. Never Be Late
  10. Do not Throw Out Empty Bottles in Trash

Accordingly, Germany is a country with fixed rules and legislation that the Germans are particular about. If you want to have a good time in the country, do not do any of the mentioned things. If you find this article informative, be sure to check out more on our website like the Top 10 Most Famous Political Assassinations of All TimeTop 10 America’s Political Scandals of All TimeTop 10 India’s Biggest Political Scandals of All Time, and the Top 10 Most Famous Notorious Serial Killers in the USA.


Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do In Germany (Updated)


Saumya M.
Author: Saumya M.

Saumya M. is a passionate content writer known for her impeccable storytelling and research. She has covered topics ranging from travel and lifestyle to entertainment, community, and education. She helps people live their best lives and reach their full potential.

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