express gratitude in Germany

Expressing Gratitude in Germany: Navigating Cultural Norms and Etiquette

When you’re in a new country, understanding the local customs and etiquette can be both exciting and challenging. One such custom that often varies from country to country is the gesture of expressing gratitude. In Germany, there are various ways to say “thank you,” especially when someone has gone out of their way to help. Let’s dive into the nuances of showing appreciation in Germany.

The Art of Saying Thank You

While a simple “Danke” (Thank you) is universally understood in Germany, there are times when you might want to go the extra mile to show your appreciation. This is especially true when someone has offered you a significant favor or assistance.

The Scenario: A Helping Neighbor

Imagine a situation where your car breaks down, and you’re in need of a jumpstart. Your German neighbor comes to your rescue. How do you express your gratitude in a way that aligns with local customs?

Gift Options and Considerations

Based on shared experiences and insights, here are some thoughtful ways to say “thank you” in Germany:

  1. Baked Goods:
    • Homemade Touch: A homemade pie or cake is often a well-received gesture in Germany. It’s personal, shows effort, and is reminiscent of the country’s rich baking tradition.
    • Dietary Considerations: If you’re unsure about dietary restrictions, it’s best to avoid certain ingredients. For instance, gelatin, commonly found in some desserts, might not be suitable for vegetarians or those with specific dietary restrictions.
  2. Invitation for Coffee:
    • Building Bonds: Inviting your neighbor over for coffee and cake can be a wonderful way to express gratitude. It’s an opportunity to build a friendship and get to know each other better.
    • The German “Kaffee und Kuchen” Tradition: The afternoon coffee and cake tradition is deeply rooted in German culture, making it a fitting gesture of thanks.
  3. Chocolates or Sweets:
    • Universal Gesture: A box of chocolates or a pack of sweets is a delightful gift that transcends cultural boundaries.
    • Popular Choices: Brands like Merci are popular in Germany and can be a suitable choice for a thank you gift.
  4. Alcoholic Beverages:
    • A Nod to Tradition: Germany has a rich tradition of beer and wine. Gifting a bottle of local wine or beer can be a suitable way to say thank you.
    • Know Your Neighbor: Ensure your neighbor consumes alcohol before gifting it. It’s always a good idea to be considerate of individual preferences.
  5. Consider the Relationship:
    • Level of Interaction: The appropriateness of the gift often depends on how well you know your neighbor. For regular interactions, a personal gesture might be apt. For acquaintances, a small token like chocolates might be more suitable.


Expressing gratitude is a universal sentiment, but the manner in which it’s conveyed can vary based on cultural norms, personal preferences, and the nature of the relationship. In Germany, while there’s no strict formula for saying thank you, the gestures mentioned above are commonly accepted and appreciated. The key is to be genuine, considerate, and mindful of the recipient’s preferences.

So, the next time you find yourself wanting to express gratitude in Germany, remember that a thoughtful gesture, be it a homemade cake or a simple box of chocolates, can go a long way in making someone feel appreciated.

Further Reading

For those interested in diving deeper into German customs, traditions, and etiquette, consider exploring more articles on German culture, festivals, and social norms. Understanding these nuances can enrich your experience and interactions in this beautiful country.

tap water Germany

Is it Acceptable to Ask for Tap Water in German Restaurants?

When you visit a restaurant in Germany and ask for a glass of tap water, you might encounter some curious looks or even be told that it’s not available. It’s a situation that has left many newcomers scratching their heads, especially if they come from countries where requesting tap water is entirely normal. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of asking for tap water in German restaurants and explore the cultural norms that surround this practice.

The German Dining Experience: What You Need to Know

Before you embark on your culinary journey in Germany, it’s essential to understand some key aspects of dining out in this country:

  • Table Reservations: It’s a common practice to make reservations at restaurants, especially in popular establishments. Walk-ins are accepted, but reservations are often preferred.
  • Service Charges: In many restaurants, the service charge is included in the bill. However, it’s customary to leave a small additional tip for good service.
  • Drinking Culture: Germany is known for its beer and wine culture. It’s typical for people to enjoy a variety of beverages with their meals.

The Tap Water Dilemma

The topic of asking for tap water in German restaurants is where things get interesting. Let’s break it down:

The Experience of Some Diners

Many newcomers to Germany have reported their experiences with asking for tap water in local restaurants. These experiences can be quite diverse:

  • Unusual Reactions: Some diners have noted that when they request tap water, they receive unusual or questioning looks from waitstaff. This can be puzzling, especially for those accustomed to freely available tap water in other countries.
  • Negative Responses: In some instances, diners have been told that tap water is not available. This response can be disconcerting, especially if you’re trying to quench your thirst without purchasing a bottled beverage.

The Cultural Perspective

To understand this phenomenon better, it’s crucial to consider the cultural perspective:

  • Economic Factors: Many restaurants in Germany rely on the sale of beverages as a significant part of their revenue. Offering free tap water can impact their profits, and this might be a reason why it’s not commonly provided.
  • Cultural Norms: In some cultures, asking for tap water is perfectly acceptable and considered a basic courtesy. However, in Germany, cultural norms might discourage such requests, viewing them as being frugal or “cheap.”
  • Regional Variations: It’s important to note that while asking for tap water may not be common in many German restaurants, there can be regional variations. Some areas might be more accommodating, especially in tourist-heavy locations.

Navigating the Tap Water Quandary

If you’re in Germany and find yourself in a situation where you’d like a glass of tap water, here are some tips to navigate this:

  • Be Polite: When making your request, be polite and considerate. A courteous approach can make a significant difference.
  • Regional Awareness: As mentioned earlier, regional differences can play a role. In some areas, you might find that asking for tap water is more accepted.
  • Understand the Culture: While it might not be common, it’s essential to respect the local culture and norms. Being adaptable is key to having a positive dining experience.
  • Consider Alternatives: If you’re concerned about the availability of tap water, consider ordering a small, inexpensive beverage, such as a soft drink or a small mineral water. This can help you stay hydrated without causing any discomfort.


Asking for tap water in German restaurants might not be the most common practice, but it’s essential to understand the cultural norms and economic factors that contribute to this. While some may find it puzzling, respecting the local customs and being polite in your requests can go a long way in ensuring a pleasant dining experience in Germany.

So, the next time you dine out in Germany, remember that while tap water might not always be freely available, you can still enjoy the rich culinary traditions and diverse beverages this country has to offer.


Long-term Ausländer in Germany: Navigating Life Beyond Being a Guest

Living as an Ausländer (foreigner) in Germany offers a unique perspective on culture, society, and daily life. For many, the journey begins with excitement and curiosity, but as time passes, it’s common to encounter challenges that make you feel like an outsider. In this article, we’ll explore the emotions, questions, and strategies associated with becoming more than just a guest in Germany. And remember, if you ever need assistance in navigating the intricacies of German culture, Booka Local is here to help.

Feeling Like an Outsider

The experience of feeling like an outsider in a foreign land is an emotional rollercoaster. You arrive with dreams, but reality often presents hurdles. Cultural dissonance can create moments of frustration or confusion, leaving you questioning your place in this new world. The language barrier compounds this, as effective communication becomes a challenge. Moreover, navigating bureaucratic processes and paperwork can be daunting, making you feel like you’re on the outskirts of a system that isn’t built for you.

The Normalcy of Feeling Like an Outsider

Is it normal to feel like an outsider in a foreign country? Absolutely. This sentiment is part and parcel of the expat experience. Regardless of your destination, expats worldwide often share this feeling. The adjustment period is a natural part of the journey, and it’s normal to go through it as you acclimate to the new environment. While it can be challenging, it’s essential to remember that it signifies growth and adaptation.

Becoming an Insider: Is It Possible?

The dream for many Ausländer is to transition from feeling like an outsider to becoming an “insider” within the German community. Building relationships with locals and fellow expats is crucial. Genuine connections are key to feeling like part of the community. Engaging in local activities, participating in events, and contributing positively to your community can help accelerate your journey to insider status. However, it’s essential to remember that it’s not about erasing your unique identity but enriching it with the culture of your new home.

Navigating Friendships in Germany

One of the most rewarding aspects of long-term expat life is building friendships. However, it can be challenging. Seek out groups or clubs related to your interests; these often provide excellent opportunities to meet like-minded individuals. Language exchange partners are another fantastic way to make friends while improving your language skills. Also, consider attending local events and networking opportunities to expand your social circle. Friendships often form naturally when you actively engage with the community.

Things you can do to make friends in Germany:

  1. Join Local Clubs and Groups: Germany offers a wide range of clubs and interest groups, from sports and hobbies to cultural and community organizations. Joining one that aligns with your interests is an excellent way to meet like-minded individuals.
  2. Language Exchange Partners: Language exchange is a fantastic way to make friends while improving your language skills. Many Germans are open to language exchange partnerships, where you can practice German while helping them with your native language.
  3. Attend Local Events: Keep an eye out for local events, festivals, and gatherings happening in your city or neighborhood. These events provide opportunities to meet both locals and fellow expats.
  4. Participate in Sports and Fitness Activities: Enroll in sports or fitness classes, or join a local sports team. This not only helps you stay active but also introduces you to potential friends who share your interest in physical activities.
  5. Volunteer: Volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about is a great way to meet people who share your values. Germany has a strong tradition of volunteer work, so there are plenty of opportunities.
  6. Attend Cultural Workshops and Classes: Explore local culture by taking part in cooking classes, art workshops, or dance classes. These activities allow you to connect with people who appreciate arts and culture.
  7. Use Social Media and Apps: There are various social media groups and apps specifically designed for expats and newcomers in Germany. These platforms can help you connect with others in a similar situation.
  8. Cafes and Restaurants: Frequent your local cafes and restaurants, especially those with communal seating or cozy atmospheres. You might strike up conversations with regulars or staff. In some “young” and “hip” cafes, it’s not uncommon to meet some staff who speak fluent English.
  9. Networking Events: Attend professional or industry-specific networking events. Besides potential career opportunities, you can meet individuals who share your career interests.
  10. Visit Local Markets and Shops: Explore your neighborhood’s markets and shops regularly. Shop owners and vendors often become familiar faces and potential friends.
  11. Host or Attend Dinner Parties: Hosting or attending dinner parties or potluck gatherings is a great way to bond over food and conversation. Who doesn’t love a nice home-cooked meal?
  12. Use Language Learning Apps: Platforms like Meetup or Tandem are excellent for finding language exchange partners and social events tailored to language learners.
  13. Participate in Outdoor Activities: Germany offers beautiful outdoor landscapes. Join hiking, cycling, or nature enthusiasts’ groups to explore the outdoors with potential friends.
  14. Online Expat Communities: Join online forums, social media groups, or expat forums where you can connect with fellow expats and ask for advice or meetup suggestions.
  15. Attend University or Language School Events: If you’re a student or attending language courses, universities and language schools often organize social events to help students connect.
  16. Host Game Nights: Invite friends, acquaintances, and coworkers for a game night. Games can be a great icebreaker and lead to fun and laughter.

Adapting to Life in Germany

The journey to becoming more than a guest involves embracing both the positives and challenges. Focus on the aspects of German culture and life that you appreciate and enjoy. Embrace the opportunity to grow through overcoming challenges. While there will be moments of uncertainty, facing challenges with a problem-solving mindset can help you adapt to life in Germany. Each day brings opportunities for growth, and long-term life in Germany is a continuous learning process.

Embracing the Culture

To feel less like an outsider, consider adopting certain cultural practices and behaviors. Learn about German customs, traditions, and etiquette, and make an effort to incorporate them into your daily life. Language is a significant aspect of culture, so invest time in improving your language skills to connect with locals. Embracing the culture enriches your experience and enhances your sense of belonging.

The Language Barrier

One of the most significant challenges for Ausländer is the German language. Learning a new language takes time and patience, so be gentle with yourself. Enroll in language courses or hire a tutor if needed. Incorporate German into your daily life by reading, watching TV, or conversing with locals. Language is the key to understanding and engaging with the culture on a deeper level.

Mutual Respect and Understanding

Building positive relationships in Germany hinges on mutual respect. Observe how Germans show respect in their interactions, and practice polite behavior and consideration in your daily interactions. Developing an understanding of cultural norms and practices is vital. Respect is a cornerstone of building meaningful connections and feeling like a valued member of the community.

Overcoming Challenges

Challenges are inevitable, but they’re also opportunities for growth. Approach challenges as puzzles to solve, not roadblocks. Seek support from expat communities, local friends, or professionals when needed. Recognize your resilience and adaptability in navigating challenges. Overcoming difficulties strengthens your sense of belonging and accomplishment.

How Friendly Are Germans to Foreigners?

One common concern is how welcoming and friendly Germans are to foreigners. Germany has a generally welcoming atmosphere for expats and tourists, with many Germans appreciating cultural diversity and often extending their hospitality. While attitudes may vary, your openness and willingness to engage can make a significant difference in your interactions.


Being a long-term Ausländer in Germany is a transformative journey. While the feeling of being an outsider may persist, it’s not a barrier to forming meaningful connections and embracing the culture. Your unique perspective as an expat enriches both your life and the community around you. And if you ever need assistance or guidance, Booka Local is here to support your cultural journey. Embrace your role as an Ausländer, for it is a valuable and enriching chapter in your life story.


Unwritten Rules in Germany: Navigating Cultural Norms

As we venture into a new culture, the official rules and regulations are just part of the puzzle. The unwritten rules—the subtle norms that guide daily life—are equally important for understanding and integrating into a society. Germany, a land of rich history, diverse communities, and unique customs, has a wealth of these unwritten rules waiting to be discovered. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most intriguing and valuable insights into German culture.

Before we dive in, allow me to introduce you to a valuable resource for expats in Germany: Booka Local. Our startup connects expats with bilingual German-speaking translators, making the process of adapting to life in Germany more seamless and enjoyable.

Rule #1. Mind Your Own Business in Germany

In Germany, the principle of “mind your own business” is paramount. It’s a reminder that appearances can be deceiving, and people in Germany tend to respect each other’s privacy. This philosophy applies to a wide range of scenarios:

– Individual Expression: You might encounter a 1.90-meter-tall bearded individual confidently striding the streets in a mini skirt and heels. The unwritten rule? Mind your own business. Personal choices are just that—personal. You also enjoy the freedom to express yourself without being judged.

– Unique Moves: Someone transporting a sofa, kitchen table, and six wood-carved chairs inherited from great-grandma on the U-Bahn? Mind your own business. It’s not uncommon to see Berliners utilizing public transportation for unconventional purposes.

– Spontaneity: A daring individual changing into a swimsuit in Tiergarten and taking a plunge into a shallow, muddy pond at Luiseninsel? Mind your own business. It’s a moment of spontaneity in a city that embraces individuality.

– Symbolic Gestures: An intriguing sight of a (hopefully toy) gun placed on a velvet cushion, accompanied by a teddy bear and a rose in front of the Landesvertretung of Baden-Württemberg? The unwritten rule here is clear: mind your own business (and perhaps walk a little faster this time).

The overarching message is not to pass judgment on any of these scenarios but to respect the individual choices and expressions that make Germany a diverse and accepting society.

Rule #2: Respectful Silence and Quiet Hours in Germany

Germans take their “Ruhezeiten” (quiet hours) seriously. These designated times for tranquility are woven into the fabric of daily life, and adhering to them is a cultural norm that fosters harmony:

– Peaceful Neighborhoods: Residential areas adhere to quiet hours. During the week and on Saturdays, the quiet hours in Germany are usually between 10 pm and 6 am. During these times, noise should be minimized to ensure neighbors can enjoy their peace.

– Public Spaces: Public transportation, including trams, buses, and subways, also observes the principle of quietness. Passengers maintain a respectful silence during these periods to allow everyone to travel in peace.

– Workplace Culture: The concept of “Silent Work Zones” in offices is another testament to the importance of tranquility. Employees respect these zones, which are designated for focused, noise-free work.

The unwritten rule here is clear: respecting quiet hours is a fundamental part of German culture, emphasizing the importance of peaceful coexistence.

Rule #3: Acceptance of Individuality and Diversity

Germany’s welcoming attitude toward diversity and individuality is one of its most defining features. Whether you’re a high-powered attorney, an avant-garde artist, or something entirely different, you’ll find acceptance here:

– Embracing Differences: Germans celebrate individuality and are known for their openness to different lifestyles and choices. Whether it’s unconventional attire, unconventional professions, or unique hobbies, diversity is embraced.

– Tolerance and Respect: The unwritten rule is clear: respect and tolerance are paramount. By accepting differences without judgment, Germans foster an environment where everyone can be themselves. (refer back to Rule #1)

– Unity in Diversity: Germany’s diverse communities contribute to its rich cultural tapestry. It’s a place where you’ll encounter a spectrum of perspectives, all valued and appreciated.

Rule #4: Table Manners and Dining Etiquette

Like many cultures, Germans have their own dining etiquette, encompassing both written and unwritten rules:

– Finish Your Plate: One unwritten rule is to finish your plate. Germans value the concept of “wenig verschwenden” (waste as little as possible). Wasting food is seen as disrespectful, so it’s customary to eat what’s on your plate.

– Taking Leftovers Home: If you can’t finish your meal, don’t fret. It’s acceptable to request a “doggy bag” and take leftovers home. Reducing food waste is a shared responsibility.

– Table Manners: When dining, keep your hands on the table (but not your elbows). It’s a sign of attentiveness and engagement in the meal. Saying “Guten Appetit” (enjoy your meal) before you start eating is also a polite practice.

– Sharing with Others: In Germany, it’s not uncommon to share dishes, especially in casual settings. Passing a plate of food to your fellow diners is a sign of camaraderie. But of course, you have to ask the other person before sticking your fork into their food.

Understanding and respecting these customs enhances your dining experience and showcases your appreciation for German culture.

Rule #5: Language and Respect in Germany

Language plays a pivotal role in cultural integration and building relationships in Germany:

– Speaking German: While many Germans speak English, making an effort to speak German is highly appreciated. It shows respect for the local culture and demonstrates your willingness to connect with the community. But if you struggle to express yourself in important appointments, you can always book a local helper here.

– Informal Address: Among younger generations, it’s customary to use “du” (the informal “you”) rather than the more formal “Sie” when addressing each other. This informality signifies friendliness and openness. However, police officers may be an exception, warranting the use of “Sie”. What about older neighbours or the lady at the Bürgeramt? The advice from the founder of Booka Local, Mei Chi Lo, “when unsure, try “Sie” first. If they think it’s too formal, they will let you know.”

Section 6: Germany’s Friendliness to Foreigners Is Germany friendly to foreigners? The answer is a resounding yes. Germans are known for their warm welcome and hospitality:

– Welcoming Atmosphere: Whether you’re an expat, a traveler, or a newcomer, Germany has a welcoming atmosphere. People are generally friendly and eager to engage with visitors.

– Embracing Diversity: Germany’s diverse and multicultural society means that people from all backgrounds are part of the community. This diversity enriches the country and makes it an inclusive place for everyone.

– Integration Support: Startups like Booka Local play a crucial role in supporting the integration of expats by connecting them with bilingual German-speaking translators. These services make it easier to navigate the intricacies of daily life in Germany, including communication and bureaucracy.

Conclusion: Unwritten rules in Germany guide the way of life and provide valuable insights into the culture. From respecting personal choices to embracing diversity, these norms shape the country’s welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. By understanding and following these unwritten rules, you can enhance your experience as an expat or traveler in Germany. Remember that your journey in Germany can be further enriched by utilizing services like Booka Local, which facilitate communication and cultural integration.

Germany’s unwritten rules may differ from what you’re accustomed to, but they open the door to a deeper understanding of this remarkable country and its people. As you embark on your journey in Germany, may these insights guide you toward meaningful connections and a more fulfilling experience.


Tipping in Germany: A Guide for Expats and Travellers

Tipping, an often underestimated social practice, can be a complex dance to navigate when traveling to a new country. In Germany, known for its rich culture and meticulous attention to detail, understanding the nuances of tipping is essential for both expats and travelers. Whether you’re dining at a local restaurant, catching a taxi, or enjoying a coffee at a café, knowing when, how much, and whether to tip can make your experience smoother and more enjoyable.

At the same time, it’s worth highlighting a valuable resource for expats in Germany: Booka Local. Our startup connects expats with bilingual German-speaking translators, making your transition to life in Germany more seamless. Now, let’s delve into the world of tipping in Germany and uncover the answers to some common questions.

Is Tipping Expected in Germany?

When you sit down at a restaurant or receive a service in Germany, the question often arises: Is tipping expected? The answer is generally yes. Tipping is customary and appreciated in Germany, though the culture surrounding it differs from what you might find in other countries.

Germans value the idea of service quality and fair wages, which has influenced their tipping practices. While tipping is expected, it’s not necessarily extravagant. Locals typically tip to show appreciation for good service, but it’s not seen as obligatory. You won’t find waitstaff glaring at you if you forget to leave a tip, but they will certainly appreciate your gesture of gratitude.

How Much Do You Tip in Germany?

The next question that often arises is, “How much do you tip in Germany?” Tipping percentages in Germany are generally lower compared to countries like the United States, where tipping 15-20% is customary. Here’s a breakdown of typical tipping practices in various scenarios:

  • Restaurants: In restaurants, it’s common to round up the bill or leave a tip of about 5-10% of the total. For exceptional service, you might consider leaving a bit more, but there’s no need to feel pressured into a larger tip.
  • Cafés: When you grab a coffee or snack at a café, rounding up to the nearest Euro is appreciated. For instance, if your coffee costs €2.50, you can leave €3.
  • Taxis: For taxi rides, rounding up to the nearest convenient amount is customary. If your fare is €8.50, rounding up to €10 is a polite way to tip.

Keep in mind that Germans are quite precise when it comes to tipping. If your bill is €22.50, leaving €25 shows thoughtfulness. It’s worth noting that tipping in Germany isn’t limited to food and transportation. You might also tip hairdressers, tour guides, and hotel staff for exceptional service, using similar principles.

Is it Rude to Not Tip in Germany?

One question that often concerns travelers and expats is whether it’s considered rude not to tip in Germany. While tipping is customary, it’s not considered rude to abstain from tipping in cases where you’re dissatisfied with the service. However, it’s essential to differentiate between withholding a tip due to poor service and simply forgetting to tip. In the latter case, it’s more about being polite and showing appreciation rather than an obligation.

Germans appreciate polite gestures, so even if the service was adequate and you’re unsure about whether to tip, erring on the side of leaving a small tip is usually appreciated. It’s a way to say thank you, and it rarely goes unnoticed.

Tipping Practices in Germany

Understanding how to leave a tip correctly is crucial. In restaurants, if you’re paying with cash, simply leave the extra amount on the table when you settle the bill. You can also signal the waiter that no changes are needed (meaning, the charges are the tips), when the cash is handed over to the waiter directly. If you’re paying by card, you can tell the waiter the total amount you’d like to pay, including the tip, and they will charge your card accordingly.

It’s essential to note that in Germany, tips are typically shared among the staff, so your tip goes beyond just the person who served you. This practice helps ensure that everyone working in the establishment benefits from good service.

What Happens if You Don’t Tip the Waiter?

While it’s not considered rude to skip a tip for subpar service, it’s crucial to understand that tipping can be a part of waitstaff’s income in Germany. If you consistently don’t tip when the service is decent, it may affect your relationship with the staff. The staff may remember you as a customer who doesn’t tip, which could influence your future experiences at the same establishment (unless the food and service are really unimaginably bad and you do not plan to visit this restaurant again).

However, this doesn’t mean you should feel obligated to tip when the service is genuinely poor. In such cases, it’s more important to provide feedback politely and explain why you’re dissatisfied. You can be direct with them. Trust us, they can take it.

Is 10 Percent a Good Tip?

While a 10 percent tip is considered standard in many countries, including Germany, the notion of a “good tip” can vary depending on your perspective and the context. Germans often view a 10 percent tip as reasonable and polite. However, feel free to adjust the percentage based on your satisfaction with the service and your budget.

For excellent service, you might consider leaving more than 10 percent as a sign of appreciation. Likewise, if you’re dining with a large group, it’s common to leave a slightly larger tip.

Who Gets the Money When You Tip?

When you leave a tip in a restaurant or any service establishment, it doesn’t typically go directly to your waiter or service provider. Instead, tips are often pooled and distributed among the staff. This practice ensures that everyone, from cooks to servers, benefits from the tips.

In some places, tips may be divided according to a specific formula that considers each employee’s role and responsibilities. This collaborative approach emphasizes teamwork and encourages all staff members to provide a high level of service.

When Should You Not Tip?

While tipping is a common practice in Germany, there are situations where it’s not expected or necessary. Knowing when not to tip can be just as important as knowing when to tip:

  • Fast Food and Self-Service: In fast-food restaurants (like, the one with the big “M” sign) or establishments where you order at the counter and clear your table yourself, tipping is not expected.
  • Public Transportation: When using public transportation like buses, trams, or subways, tipping is not customary. However, you may find some travelers rounding up their fare for convenience.
  • Retail Stores: Tipping is not expected when shopping in retail stores.
  • Government Services: There’s no need to tip government employees, such as postal workers or government office clerks. (It also looks super awkward if you try)

By being aware of these situations, you can navigate tipping in Germany with ease and ensure that you’re showing appreciation appropriately.


Tipping in Germany is a thoughtful gesture that reflects your appreciation for good service. While it’s expected in many situations, it’s not an onerous obligation. Germans value quality service and fair wages, so tips are often seen as a way to acknowledge a job well done. Understanding the nuances of tipping in Germany can enhance your travel or expat experience and help you engage with the local culture more effectively.

Remember that your experience in Germany can be further improved by utilizing services like Booka Local. Our startup connects expats with bilingual German-speaking translators, making it easier to navigate the intricacies of daily life in Germany, including communication and cultural nuances. As you explore the diverse landscapes and cultural experiences that Germany has to offer, may your understanding of tipping practices enhance your enjoyment of this remarkable country.

Booka Local

Cultural Etiquette in Germany: Do’s and Don’ts for Foreigners

Germany is a country renowned for its rich culture, precision, and traditions. As an international visitor or expatriate, understanding and respecting the cultural etiquette in Germany is essential for a smooth and pleasant stay. In this guide, we’ll explore the do’s and don’ts to help you navigate social situations in Germany with ease.

The Do’s:

1. Greetings Matter:

  • Do offer a firm handshake with direct eye contact when meeting someone. This shows respect and confidence.

2. Punctuality is Key:

  • Do arrive on time for appointments, meetings, and social gatherings. Germans value punctuality and consider it a sign of respect.
Credits: 9GAG

3. Mind Your Titles:

  • Do use formal titles like “Herr” (Mr.) and “Frau” (Mrs.) followed by the person’s last name when addressing individuals, especially in professional settings.

4. Recycling is a Must:

  • Do participate in Germany’s strict recycling system. Separating waste into different bins is not only eco-friendly but also expected.

5. Respect Quiet Hours:

  • Do observe “quiet hours” in residential areas, which are typically from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and after 10:00 pm. Loud activities during these times are considered impolite.

6. Bring Cash:

  • Do carry cash, as many smaller businesses may not accept credit or debit cards. Cash is still widely used in everyday transactions.

Are you new in Germany and don’t speak German yet but need face the bureaucracy here? Do not worry, we’ve got you! Book a bilingual helper to assist you with in-person appointments, phone calls, paperwork and other tasks requiring German!

The Don’ts:

1. Don’t Be Late:

  • Don’t be tardy, as being late is seen as disrespectful and inconsiderate in German culture.

2. Skip the Small Talk:

  • Don’t initiate small talk with strangers, especially in public places like public transportation. Germans tend to keep to themselves in such situations.

3. Avoid Loud Conversations:

  • Don’t engage in loud or animated conversations in public spaces like restaurants. Germans appreciate a quiet and calm atmosphere.

4. Don’t Joke About History:

  • Avoid making jokes about sensitive historical topics like World War II and the Holocaust. These subjects are treated with the utmost seriousness in Germany.

5. Don’t Assume Familiarity:

  • Don’t use first names unless invited to do so. Germans value a certain level of formality, especially in initial interactions.

6. No Open-Ended Invitations:

  • Don’t extend open-ended invitations. Germans prefer specific plans, so be clear about dates, times, and locations when making arrangements.

By adhering to these do’s and don’ts of cultural etiquette in Germany, you’ll not only show your respect for local customs but also enhance your experience while living or visiting this fascinating country. Remember, understanding and embracing the culture is key to building positive relationships and enjoying your time in Germany to the fullest. Gute Reise! (Safe travels!)


How to Help Your Child Adjust to German Culture: Advice for International Parents In Germany

Moving to a new country can be a challenging experience for both parents and children. This is especially true for international parents in Germany who are raising children in a different culture. Adjusting to a new culture can be difficult for children, and parents may not always know how to help their child navigate these challenges. In this blog post, we will explore some advice for international parents on how to help their child adjust to German culture.

Learn About German Culture

The first step in helping your child adjust to German culture is to learn as much as you can about it. This includes understanding the customs, traditions, and values that are important to Germans. This will help you better understand your child’s experiences and the cultural differences that they may encounter.

Encourage Language Learning

Language is a crucial aspect of cultural integration, and learning German will help your child feel more comfortable in their new environment. Encourage your child to attend language classes, watch German TV shows, and read German books. If you can, try to learn German alongside your child, so you can practice together.

You might experience language barriers when you are new in Germany. We are here to help you navigate the tough German bureaucracy. Simply book a bilingual helper to do tasks requiring German like attending in-person appointments with you or making phone calls requiring German for you.

Find Activities for Your Child to Participate In

One of the best ways for your child to integrate into German culture is to participate in activities that are popular among German children. This can include sports, music lessons, or other extracurricular activities. Not only will this help your child make friends, but it will also provide them with an opportunity to experience German culture firsthand.

Encourage Open Communication

It’s essential to encourage open communication with your child, so they feel comfortable expressing their feelings and experiences. Let your child know that it’s okay to feel homesick or to miss their friends and family back home. Encourage them to share their experiences with you, and be prepared to offer support and guidance when needed.

Make Connections with Other International Families

Connecting with other international families in Germany can be a great way to find support and build a sense of community. Seek out local expat groups or online forums where you can connect with other families who are going through similar experiences. This will give your child an opportunity to make friends with other expat children and provide you with a network of support.

Credits: Meme Base

In conclusion, helping your child adjust to German culture may take time and patience, but with the right approach, it can be a positive experience. By learning about German culture, encouraging language learning, finding activities for your child to participate in, fostering open communication, and connecting with other international parents in Germany, you can help your child feel more comfortable and integrated into their new home.


Weird Laws in Germany: A Guide for International Visitors

Germany is a beautiful country with a rich history, culture, and architecture. However, it
is also home to some peculiar laws that may seem unusual to visitors. In this article,
we’ll explore some of the weird laws in Germany and provide legal considerations for
international visitors. We’ll also discuss the role of translators and interpreters in helping
visitors navigate language barriers when interacting with government offices.

At Booka Local, we understand the importance of cultural integration and making life
easier for the international community. Our platform provides a simple solution for
international individuals to book bilingual German speakers as translators. This helps
visitors stay safe and avoid penalties when interacting with government offices.

Weird Laws in Germany

While Germany is a modern and progressive country, it has some laws that might seem
strange to visitors. Here are a few examples:

  1. Dancing is not allowed on certain holidays, such as Good Friday and All Saints’
  2. Winter tires are required on cars during certain months, typically from October to
  3. Noisy activities, such as mowing the lawn or vacuuming, are prohibited on
    Sundays and public holidays.
  4. It is illegal to run out of gas on the Autobahn.
  5. It is illegal to recycle incorrectly, and fines can be imposed for mixing different
    types of waste.

Legal Considerations for International Visitors
As an international visitor, it is essential to be aware of local laws and regulations. Here
are some legal considerations that you should keep in mind:

  1. Always carry identification: In Germany, it is mandatory to carry identification at
    all times. Not having identification can result in fines.
  2. Be aware of local customs and traditions: Different regions in Germany may have
    unique customs and traditions that visitors should respect.
  3. Adhere to traffic laws: Germany has strict traffic laws, and visitors should make
    sure to familiarize themselves with them before driving.
  4. Purchase health insurance: Germany has mandatory health insurance for its
    residents. Visitors should purchase health insurance before arriving in Germany
    to avoid high medical bills.
  5. Avoid jaywalking: Jaywalking is illegal in Germany and can result in fines

The Role of Translators and Interpreters in Navigating Language Barriers
Language barriers can be a significant hurdle for international visitors when interacting
with government offices in Germany. Translators and interpreters can help visitors
understand local laws and regulations, as well as ensure that they are properly
represented in any legal or administrative proceedings. At Booka Local, we offer a
platform for booking qualified and experienced translators and interpreters, providing
visitors with language assistance to navigate any language barriers they may encounter.

Frequently Asked Questions about Laws in Germany

  1. Is it illegal to take pictures of people in Germany?
    In general, it is legal to take pictures of people in Germany, as long as it is done in a
    public place and not for commercial purposes. However, there are some exceptions. For
    example, taking pictures of someone without their consent in a private setting is illegal
    and can result in a fine or even imprisonment. It is also illegal to take pictures of people
    in certain sensitive areas such as airports and train stations.
  2. Is sharing private photos illegal?
    Sharing private photos without the person’s consent is illegal in Germany and can result
    in legal consequences. This is known as “Revenge Porn” and is a violation of a person’s
    privacy rights. If someone shares private photos of you without your consent, it is
    important to report it to the authorities.
  3. Is Germany a one-party consent?
    In Germany, the recording of conversations is generally only legal if all parties involved
    have given their consent. This means that if you want to record a conversation, you
    must ask for permission from all parties involved beforehand. If you record a
    conversation without the other party’s consent, you may face legal consequences.
  4. Is it illegal to post a picture of a dead person?
    In general, it is not illegal to post pictures of a dead person in Germany. However, it is
    important to respect the privacy and dignity of the deceased and their family. Posting
    pictures of a dead person without their family’s consent may result in legal
  5. Is it illegal to have inappropriate pictures?
    Inappropriate pictures, such as child pornography or revenge porn, are illegal in
    Germany and can result in severe legal consequences. If you come across inappropriate
    pictures or receive them from someone, it is important to report it to the authorities
  6. Is it illegal to jaywalk in Germany?
    Jaywalking is illegal in Germany, and you can be fined for crossing the street outside of
    designated areas. It is important to always use crosswalks and wait for the signal to
  7. Can you drink alcohol in public in Germany?
    Drinking alcohol in public is generally allowed in Germany, as long as it is not causing a
    disturbance. However, there may be local laws that prohibit public drinking in certain
  8. Is it legal to drive barefoot in Germany?
    It is legal to drive barefoot in Germany, but it is not recommended for safety reasons. It
    is better to wear proper shoes while driving.
  9. Are there any restrictions on smoking in Germany?
    Smoking is prohibited in many public places in Germany, including restaurants, bars, and
    public transportation. There are also restrictions on smoking in outdoor public areas,
    such as parks and playgrounds.
  10. Is it legal to use a dashcam in Germany?
    Using a dashcam in Germany is legal, but there are some restrictions. The camera must
    not record audio, and you must have a clear sign in your car indicating that you are
    using a dashcam. It is also important to respect other people’s privacy and not record
    their license plates or faces without their consent.

    In conclusion, visitors should be aware of local regulations and laws in Germany, and
    take steps to stay informed and avoid penalties or fines. Translators and interpreters
    can provide valuable assistance in navigating language barriers when interacting with
    government offices. At Booka Local, we are committed to making life easier for the
    international community by providing a platform for booking qualified and experienced
    translators and interpreters. Stay safe and enjoy your time in Germany!
Translation Booka Local

Dating in Germany: A Guide to Finding Love in a New Culture

If you’re interested in dating in Germany, it can be helpful to understand the country’s unique dating customs and traditions. When you are in a foreign country and trying to negotiate strange norms and traditions, dating may be a stressful and perplexing process.

The dating scene in Germany is briefly discussed in this blog, along with cultural norms and expectations, suggestions for meeting and attracting potential partners, and guidance on handling relationships and dating etiquette. This guide will assist you in understanding the local dating environment and navigating your way to a happy and rewarding relationship, whether you are a newbie to Germany or a seasoned expat looking for love.

Cultural Norms and Expectations

If you’re from another country, you might not be accustomed to German dating customs. Keep in mind the following important cultural norms and expectations:

  • It is typical for people to take some time to warm up to one another in Germany because both men and women tend to be more quiet and formal in their relationships.
  • It is typical for people to have their own personal space and to be more autonomous in their relationships in Germany because of the culture’s priority placed on independence and self-sufficiency.
  • People in Germany frequently express their sentiments and intentions honestly and directly because they have a tendency to be more straightforward and direct in their communication.
  • In general, German society is more conventional, and traditional gender norms are frequently observed in interpersonal interactions. Men, for instance, might be anticipated
  • It’s vital to be on time for dates and avoid last-minute cancellations because Germans have a tendency to be on time and value others’ punctuality.
  • In public shows of affection, Germans tend to be more restrained, and it is normal for people to act more formal and reservedly.

Are you interested in finding out what Germans think about dating? Check out our free “Ask The Locals” ebook where they replied to questions regarding dating.

Tips for Meeting and Attracting Partners

If you are interested in dating in Germany, here are some tips for meeting and attracting potential partners:

  • Join social groups or clubs: Getting involved in social groups or clubs that share your interests and hobbies is one of the finest methods to meet possible companions in Germany. Through online resources, community centers, or local meetings, you can locate groups and clubs.
  • Use dating apps and websites: Online dating is common in Germany, and there are lots of options available for the domestic market. You can set up a profile and begin texting or swiping through potential companions in your neighborhood.
  • Being open to new experiences may help you attract possible partners because Germans are often adventurous and open to new things. To meet new people, you can think about attempting new things to do or travelling somewhere new.
  • Germans take tremendous pride in their culture and customs, so demonstrating an interest in them can be a fantastic approach to draw in potential partners. You can think about getting to know the regional customs and traditions or going to cultural events and holidays with your companion.
  • Be assertive and self-assured. When dating in Germany, it’s crucial to be self-assured and clear about your objectives. Germans are drawn to people who are outspoken and confident.
Credits: Slapwank

Navigating Relationships and Dating Etiquette

Once you have found a possible partner in Germany, it is critical to behave respectfully and considerately throughout the relationship. Here are some pointers for handling German dating customs and relationships:

  • Be on time: As was already noted, Germans place a high emphasis on punctuality and expect guests to arrive on time for dates and meetings. Being on time is crucial, as is not changing plans at the last minute.
  • Be honest and up front: Due to the straightforward and direct communication style of Germans, it is crucial to be upfront about your intentions and feelings in a relationship.
  • Respect personal space: Respect your partner’s boundaries and offer them space when they need it. As was already noted, Germans have a tendency to appreciate independence and privacy.
  • Be open to compromise: In order to strike a balance that benefits both partners, it is crucial to be open to negotiation and compromise. Relationships call for compromise.
  • Communication is essential. Any relationship that wants to succeed needs to have open lines of communication. You should also be honest and courteous when speaking with your partner.

Dating in Germany may be a wonderful and enriching experience, but in order to successfully navigate the dating environment, it is essential to grasp the local culture and customs. You can discover love and establish a solid, satisfying relationship in Germany by heeding the advice in this article and being open to new experiences. So, these are some considerations you should make when dating in Germany.

Translation Booka Local

Gift ideas for my German friends

Finding the ideal gift for your German friends may be a fun and meaningful way to express your gratitude and affection. Gift-giving is a significant aspect of German culture. Here are ten gifts you could give your German friends:

Traditional German foods

Germans are renowned for their love of food, so giving them some classic German treats is always a good idea. A variety of German cheeses, a box of German chocolates, or a jar of artisanal honey are a few possibilities.

A gift basket

You can put together a customized gift basket with a variety of German sweets and confectioneries. Items like marzipan, pretzels, or a bottle of German wine or beer are things you might think about including.

A German cookbook

Consider giving your friend a cookbook with authentic German recipes if they enjoy cooking or are foodies. They could be exposed to new foods and flavors in a wonderful way by doing this.

Check out our free “Ask The Locals” ebook where Germans shared their favorite dishes!

A piece of German-made jewelry

You can think about buying your friend a piece of jewelry that was created in Germany since the country is home to several high-quality jewelry manufacturers. A necklace, bracelet, or set of earrings are possible choices.

German-themed décor

You might think about giving your friend something with a German vibe for their home since Germans are known for their love of home décor. A set of beer steins, a cuckoo clock, or a collection of holiday decorations are possible choices.

A gift card for a restaurant

You might think about sending your friend a gift card to a restaurant if they enjoy dining out. You can find their favorite restaurant or cuisine and get a gift card from there.

Credits: Memegine

A gift card for a spa or wellness center

Germans place a lot of value on wellbeing and self-care, so you can think about getting your friend a gift card to a spa or wellness facility. Options may be a yoga session, a facial, or a massage.

A gift card for a German store

Germans are known for their love of shopping, and you might consider giving your friend a gift card for a German store.


Germans love bakeries, well who doesn’t?! You can get their favorite bakeries as gifts or even better bake some yourself if you really want to gift them something more special. You can find some of the most authentic German bakery recipes here!