Winter Activities In Germany

With its snow-covered landscapes, cozy markets, and abundance of outdoor activities, winter in Germany is a truly lovely season. Everyone may find something to explore, whether they’re seeking for a winter sports adventure or a leisurely stroll through quaint towns.

Skiing and snowboarding: There are numerous ski resorts in Germany that cater to skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Winter sports fans frequently travel to the Bavarian Alps and the Black Forest because of their well-maintained slopes and cutting-edge lift infrastructure. Another fantastic location for skiing and snowboarding is the Zugspitze, which is the highest mountain in Germany.

Credits: 9GAG

Hiking and biking: Taking a trek or a bike ride through the snow-covered terrain is one of the best ways to see the winter paradise that is the German countryside. There are many routes to explore in the mountains and the countryside, and the calm, serene environment is the ideal place to get away from the bustle of daily life.

Spas and thermal baths: On a chilly winter day, Germany’s numerous top-notch spas and thermal baths are the ideal place to warm up. There are solutions to suit every taste and budget, ranging from conventional saunas to contemporary wellness facilities. Learn more about the best spas in Germany and their prices here!

Ice skating: Ice skating is a well-liked winter activity in Germany. You can skate on the ice in many towns and cities’ outdoor rinks. It’s a terrific afternoon activity for families and a fun way to pass the time.

Christmas Markets (for the next winter): The Christmas market is among the most cherished winter customs in Germany. These markets are the ideal place to find one-of-a-kind items and regional crafts thanks to their attractive wooden stalls and joyful ambiance. There are markets all over the nation, from Frankfurt to Nuremberg, each with a unique personality.

These activities would be so much more fun if you do them with friends. If you are new in Germany and do not know many people yet, here are some tips about making new friends in Germany. Friends will definitely make winters better!

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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!

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10 Things To Keep In Mind When Starting A New Job In Germany

Starting a new job in Germany can be exciting and rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming and stressful, especially if you are unfamiliar with the local culture, customs and sometimes language. Here are 10 things to keep in mind when starting a new job in Germany:

Punctuality is important

Germans value punctuality and expect employees to arrive on time for work and meetings. It is a good idea to plan ahead and allow for extra time to get to work, especially if you are not familiar with the local transportation system.

Credits: 9gag

Dress appropriately

Business attire in Germany tends to be more formal than in some other countries. It is a good idea to dress conservatively and professionally, especially on your first few days on the job. Remember what they say, first impression is the last impression!

Learn about local customs and traditions

Familiarizing yourself with local customs and traditions can help you feel more comfortable and integrated in your new job. For example, you should know the protocol for greeting coworkers, such as shaking hands or kissing on the cheek. Here are few things you should know about the German working culture!

Be prepared to work hard

Germans are known for their work ethic, and it is expected that employees will work efficiently and effectively. It is a good idea to be proactive and take initiative in your new job, and to be willing to put in extra effort when necessary.

Respect hierarchy

German companies often have a hierarchical structure, and it is important to show respect to your superiors and follow the chain of command. You should also be mindful of your coworkers’ titles and use them when addressing or referring to them.

Communicate clearly and concisely

Germans value clear and concise communication, and it is important to be direct and to the point in your interactions with coworkers and superiors. Avoid using slang or colloquial language, and be sure to use proper grammar and vocabulary.

Take breaks

Germans are entitled to a minimum of 30 minutes of break time for every six hours of work, and it is common to take longer breaks for lunch or coffee. It is important to take breaks and rest, as this can help you stay energized and productive. And the break time which is compulsory everywhere is not paid. So better take it instead of working for free.

Get to know your coworkers

Building relationships with your coworkers can help you feel more connected and integrated in your new job. It is a good idea to make an effort to get to know your coworkers and to participate in team-building activities or social events.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you are struggling with a task or have questions about your job, it is important to ask for help. Your coworkers and superiors will likely be happy to assist you and provide guidance.

Stay organized

Staying organized can help you stay on top of your work and avoid feeling overwhelmed. It is a good idea to create a system for keeping track of your tasks and deadlines, and to stay on top of your emails and other communication.

Overall, starting a new job in Germany can be a rewarding and enriching experience, and by keeping these tips in mind, you can set yourself up for success and feel more confident and comfortable in your new role.

If you’re a new international employee in Germany and do not speak German yet, you can book a local to assist you with language-support tasks like in-person appointments, phone calls and paperwork.

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10 Activities You Can Do In Germany On New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve, or Silvester in Germany, is a time for celebration and reflection, and there are do in Germany on many activities that you can enjoy to ring in the new year. Many people, locals and internationals, might make plan to visit other countries in Europe during these festive periods. But for those who plan to spend New Year in Germany, here are 10 ideas for things to New Year’s Eve:

Go to a party or event

There are many cities in Germany where you can go to big New Year’s Eve celebrations, including music festivals, fireworks displays, or balls. These can be a great way to celebrate with others and enjoy music, food, and drinks. Check out your local clubs as most probably all of them have special events with special DJs on this day. You might want to book your tickets in advance just to be safe.

Watch the fireworks

Fireworks are a popular way to celebrate the new year in Germany, and many cities and towns set off spectacular displays at midnight. You can find a good spot to watch the fireworks and count down to the new year with a crowd. Plan your night accordingly if you do not want to miss such a spectacular moment.

Go to a restaurant or bar

One of the activities to do on New Year’s eve in Germany is a simple dinner with your friends or loved ones. Many restaurants and bars in Germany offer special New Year’s Eve menus and events, such as live music, champagne toasts, or DJs.

Take a walk or go for a hike

If you prefer a more low-key celebration, you might consider going for a walk or a hike to take in the sights and sounds of the new year. You can either stay at home and watch the fireworks from afar, or just go out for some fresh air and peace.

Have fun with friends or family

New Year’s Eve is an excellent opportunity to spend quality time with them, and you may want to host a get together at your place or at a friend’s. You can play games, watch movies, or simply spend time together chatting and catching up.

Go to a concert or show

Many cities in Germany host concerts or shows on New Year’s Eve, and you can find a wide range of entertainment options, from classical music to rock concerts to theater performances.

Take a trip

If you’re looking for an alternative way to celebrate New Year’s Eve, why not take a trip somewhere else? You can find a comfortable place to stay and relax for the night or explore the city.

Go skiing or snowboard­ing

If you’re in a region with snow during winter, you may want to hit the slopes on New Year’s Eve. You can take advantage of special deals at German winter sports resorts during the holidays.

Go to a spa or wellness center

If you want to relax and unwind on New Year’s Eve, you might consider going to a spa or wellness center. Many facilities offer special packages or deals for the holiday, and you can enjoy a massage, sauna, or other treatments to help you start the new year feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Have a movie night

If you prefer to stay home on New Year’s Eve, you might consider having a movie night. You can curl up with a blanket, some popcorn, and your favorite films and spend the evening relaxing and enjoying some quality time with your loved ones.

Have an appointment in January that requires German and you’re not fluent yet? Don`t ruin your holidays with stress! Book a local to attend the appointment for you and celebrate New Year with no worries!

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How To Spend Christmas Alone In Germany As An Expat

Being away from family and friends during the holidays can be difficult for anyone who lives abroad, especially in Germany with the cold and grey winters. However, there are things you can do to make the most of the holidays and enjoy them even if you’re alone. We gathered few ideas for you about how you can spend Christmas if you’re an expat in Germany.


You could volunteer your time or offer your services to people who need them. Many organizations, such as charities and churches, are looking for volunteers to assist with Christmas events and activities, and this can be a great way to connect with others and give back to the community. You can also offer your help to a neighbor, a friend, or someone else who might be alone or in need during the holiday season.

Join Traditional German Festivities

If you want to celebrate Christmas alone in Germany, you could embrace German culture by joining in traditional festivities. Germany is famous for its festive Christmas markets. These are a great way to enjoy the holidays and immerse yourself in German culture. You can also try traditional German Christmas dishes, such as roast goose or roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut, or bake your own German Christmas cookies, such as Lebkuchen or Spritzgebäck.

Connect With Your Own Traditions

You can also find ways to connect with your own cultural traditions and create your own Christmas rituals. You might want to decorate your house, cook your favorite meals, watch your favorite holidays movies or TV series. If you’re not able to find any local events celebrating Christmas, you could try contacting other expats or foreigners living in your area, or joining online communities or groups that promote Christmas celebrations in your own language or country.

Invite New People to Your Christmas Dinner

You might want to invite some new people to join you. It’s not fun to spend Christmas alone, so why not invite some friends over to share the holiday cheer? Ask your friends to send out invitations to other expats that they personally know. You could even post an invitation on a community board for your city or town so that interested locals can contact you. You might even make some new friends for your kindness. If you want to save time and money, you could organize a potluck, where each person brings a different type of food. Here are some Christmas dinner ideas you might want to check!

Ultimately, the key thing to doing well at Christmas alone in Germany as an expat is to focus on what makes you happy and meaningful, and to be open minded and willing to try new things and connect with people. Whether you choose to volunteer, embrace local traditions, or celebrate your own cultural practices, there are many ways to make this holiday special and memorable even when you are on your own.

If you’re more of an adventurous type of person, you can check our latest blog on the best places to visit for Christmas in Germany.

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How To Get SCHUFA In Germany?

You’ve probably heard about the SCHUFA while browsing for apartments in Germany. It has a huge impact on our daily life, German, and expat alike. Learn more about what is it, why it is needed and how to get it in this  blog post!

What is SCHUFA?

SCHUFA stands for Schutzgemeinschaft für allgemeine Kreditsicherung, in other words, the German credit score. It shows your creditworthiness, which is calculated from your past financial behavior. A company called Schufa Holding AG collects information from various sources, including bank accounts, debit cards, mobile phones, and others, and creates reports about your financial reliability.

When you register your apartment, open a savings account, get internet access for your flat, or get a mobile telephone contract, you automatically begin your SCHUFA records. Each provider asks SCHUFA for permission before accepting you as a new client and thus leaves a record.

Your credit score doesn’t depend on your employment situation or income; rather, it depends solely on whether you pay your debts on time.

How to get a paid SCHUFA report (BonitätsAuskunft)?

The paid SCHUFA report is called “BonitätsAuskunft”.

Note that most landlords require a recent SCHUFA report. It would be best if you buy one when you first begin searching for an apartment. You can easily get a Bonitas Auskunft by ordering it online here! To buy the paid version of the SCHUFA report, click “Jetzt bestellen.” It costs €29.95. You should receive your BonitätsAuskunft in a few days by post.

How to get the SCHUFA for free?

You can get it free once per year. However, the free version is for your own record only as it contains your personal data. For official use, the paid SCHUFA record must be used. You place an online request for the free report and it will be delivered to you by post. Remember that it may take up to four months before the document arrives.

Here’s how you get your free Schufa: Click here, and you’ll be taken to a page where there are two columns; one column is for free, and it’s labeled “Datenkopie”. Click on “Jetzt bestellen” and you’ll get taken to a page where you need to enter some details.

What is a good SCHUFA score?

A very high SCHUFA is at least 97%, and a good one has a minimum of 95%

You begin with a baseline score of 100% when you first get started.

What determines your credit score?

It is determined by whether you’ve paid all your bills on time and in full. Your previous U.S. (or Canadian) scores don’t affect your German SCHUFA, and you cannot use your American scores to apply for loans. With Germany, you get the benefit of having most, if not all of your bills paid automatically every month by bank transfer, so you don’t need to worry about forgetting to pay them. You should avoid opening too many bank accounts and too many credit cards at once, and switching banks too frequently.

You shouldn’t make frequent uses of your overdraft. Sometimes you may need to overdraw your account. To stay financially sound, it’s best not make it a regular habit.

Who actually wants to know your SCHUFA score?

Unless you opt for an account without the Schu­fa minimum requirements, banks usually check your credit rating before approving you for an account. When applying for a loan, your bank also checks your credit worthiness, and your SCHUFA to find out how much interest you might be charged for that loan. Higher risks for the banks mean higher interest rates.

When applying for a new phone or internet plan, or renting a place to live, you need to be aware that they may check when you applied. These companies will be capable of checking your SCHUFA and determining whether you have any unpaid debt, and if you can trust them as a customer or tenant.

Having problems in communicating with your landlord because of language barriers? We can help with that. Simple book a helper here to do the talkings for you!

Dual German Citizenship | Translation Services | Booka-Local

Is Dual Citizenship allowed in Germany?

Dual citizenship is not permitted in Germany, yet. However, recently The Local reported exclusively that the Bundestag would discuss a new draft bill that would allow dual German citizenships. Migrant workers who don’t have EU nationality could be naturalized as German citizens without sacrificing their other nationalities.

How to get German citizenship?

You can become a German citizen if you gain your German citizenship in one of the following ways:

By birthright (born by non-German parents in Germany).

If your ancestor was born in Germany.

By naturalization (after living in Germany for eight years).

How can I become naturalized in Germany?

You need to live in Germany for at least eight consecutive years with a valid residence permit before applying for citizenship. You need to be able to speak German fluently (at least B1) and have sufficient financial resources to support yourself and/or your dependents.

If the new law is passed, you could apply for German citizenship after only five years of living in Germany.

Do I get German citizenship if I marry a German citizen?

If you marry a German citizen, you aren’t automatically granted German citizenship. However, spouses of Germans may apply for citizenship by naturalization much earlier than others: usually after just two years of marriage. Learn more about marriage in Germany for non-EU citizens here!

Getting German dual citizenship when living in another country

If you want to obtain a second nationality besides your German one, you need to ask for permission from the German government first. You need to fill forms and hand in certain documents. You also need to give concrete reasons for why you are living in another country and how it benefits you. You can find the steps to follow here!

Benefits of German Dual Citizenship

Benefits of Dual German Citizenship | Booka-Local
  • Having dual German Citizenship, you could enjoy the following:
  • Having access to over 180 visa-free countries.
  • Being able to live in any EU country.
  • Being able to live and study anywhere in Europe.
  • Being protected by two different countries’ embassies.
  • Being able to start businesses in both countries.
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Marriage In Germany as a Non-EU Citizen

If you want to get married in Germany, your application for marriage may become more complicated if you or your partner is not from within the EU, or if you have been previously married. As everything else, getting married in Germany can require lots of paperwork. Learn more about the requirements of marriage in Germany as a non-EU citizen in this blog post!

Requirements for marriage in Germany

Before applying for anything, you must first make sure that:

  • You’re not already married.
  • You’re at least 18 years old (16 with parental consent)
  • You don’t want to marry someone who is related by blood.
  • You’ve been living in Germany for at least three weeks.

Application to registry office (Standesamt)

Your marriage application should be submitted to the registry office in your area where either you or your partner is registered. You need to make an appointment with the registry office and attend the meeting there. Here, they will explain the process, and you’ll get the documentation you need to submit for approval. It would be best if you arranged for this meeting several months before you plan to get married, so that you have plenty of time to gather and submit the required documents. Once the registry office approves the application, you should get married within 6 months or might have to go through the application process all over again.

You may also be required to have your documents translated into German by a certified translator if you are a non-EU citizen. The total cost, depending on the complexity of your case ranges from 60 to 600 euros. The required documents might include:

  • Valid ID (passport/identity card)
  • Official Statement of Residency (Meldebescheinigung)
  • Original birth certificate with parents’ names.
  • Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) (Befreiung vom Ehefähigkeitszeugnis), which can be obtained from embassy.
  • Income certificate (Einkommensbescheinigung)
  • Registration certificate proving you have been resident in Germany longer than three weeks.
  • If you are not a German or EU citizen, a valid residence permit/visa
  • Birth certificates of any children you have had together
  • Affidavit confirming both parties are single (Ledigkeitsbescheinigung)
  • Marriage questionnaire (from the registry office)
  • Certificate of finality of divorce (if applicable)
  • Marriage certificates from any previous marriages
  • Death certificate of the previous spouse (if applicable)
  • Confirmation of name change (if applicable)

Gay marriage in Germany

Same-sex marriage was made legal in Germany in October of 2017. Since then, more that 10,000 same-gender couples have gotten married. The same documents as mentioned above might be required. Find more about the details of the paperwork here!

Wedding ceremony

The wedding ceremony takes place at the registry office. If you want to go ahead with a religious ceremony or wedding reception, you can do so, but this will not have any legal effect. German law considers marriage to be a legally binding contract. Therefore, there is a high degree of importance placed on both parties understanding the legal implications of the event. If either one of you doesn’t speak fluent German, you’ll need to have a certified interpreter there for the wedding.

You can book a certified German translator with us using this link!

German citizenship after marriage

If you marry a German citizen, you aren’t automatically granted German citizenship. However, spouses of Germans may apply for citizenship by naturalization much earlier than others: usually after just two years of marriage. Find more about how to apply for the German citizenship here!


International Money Transfers – Germany

Living abroad in Germany, you must have had the need to send money to your home country or receive money from there. International money transfers here can sometimes be a little bit tricky if you don’t gather information about them beforehand. These are some information that you will need to know when considering international money transfers:

Top international money transfer services

These companies are the top money transfer services in Germany and they all offer competitive rates for online money transfers.

How to transfer money to or from Germany?

Online transfers are increasingly becoming the most popular way to send money overseas. Online money transfers are fast, low-cost, safe and easy, helping you avoid the sometimes excessive fees you might be charged by traditional banks. Here’s how the process of sending money online works:

Create an account

Once you’ve decided which online transfer service you’d like to use, you need to register for an account on their website, providing some basic personal information. Depending on which service you’ve chosen, you may have to verify your identity before using it.

Select an amount and delivery option

After that, you need to provide some details about the transaction that you want to make. For example, the amount of money to be transferred, the currency conversion and how fast do you want the transfer to be completed.

Enter recipient’s details

You’ll need to add additional details about your recipient such as their name and banking information.


After you’ve completed all the required information, pay the money to the company that handles transfers. This can be done with a credit or debit card or regular bank transfers.

As soon as the transfer services receive the money from you, they’ll begin the transfer process. It may take a few days. Once the transfer is completed, you will get an email notification.

How long can the transfer take?

Depending on which international transfer service you use, the time it takes to transfer funds internationally varies. Usually, bank to ­bank transfers take 1-2 business days, but it can be longer if you’re transferring outside the EU. So make sure you plan accordingly depending on the urgency of the transfer.

Cost of international money transfers

The total costs will be in terms of these:

  • The transfer fee charged by the transfer service
  • The amount of money being transferred
  • The speed of the transfer 
  • The currencies and exchange rate

When choosing a service, be sure to look at the total cost, which includes all of these. Some services may seem cheap, but often this means their exchange rate is high and so you end up having to pay more. Therefore, it is always better to compare exchange rates of the different transfer services before opting for one.

How to save money with international money transfers?

There are several other ways to save money if you want to transfer money to or from Germany, including the following:

Transfer large amounts

Sending a large amount at one time usually ends up costing less than sending small amounts several times.

Unless urgent, don’t pay for speed

If you don’t need your money to be sent immediately, you can save money if you choose a longer period of time for your transfer.

Beware minimum transfer amounts

Not all transfer services allow the transfer of small amounts. Some might have a minimum transfer amount. So make sure you have the right information before making a decision.

Consider transfer options

Some companies allow you to send your money at a later period with a particular exchange rate. You can set up your transfers so that they only happen when the best exchange rate is reached.

International transfers for businesses

If you have your own business, you may need to transfer money to or from Germany. You could use a specialist foreign exchange provider instead of your business bank account to make payments abroad as they might have better deals for businesses.

Other ways for international money transfers

Apart from the online options, you can send money through bank transfers and cash remittance services.

Need to call your bank but don’t speak fluent German? We’ve got your back! Simply book a helper to make the phone call for you!


Germany’s 9-euro ticket: Things you need to know

GOOD NEWS! After long negotiations, Germany finally agreed to allow the 9-euro ticket to go into effect on June 1, 2022. Summer, a ticket to explore the whole of Germany at only 9 euro per month, what else do we need? Here’s some things expats in Germany need know about the 9-euro ticket!


What is the 9-euro ticket all about?

To help consumers cope with the rising cost of energy in Germany, the federal government announced last month that it would be offering discounts on monthly public transport passes for three months. During the period between the beginning of June and end of August, it is possible to purchase the special passes, valid until one calendar month each, at just 9 euros per pass.

Wanna know where the locals like to visit? Check out our free ebook here!

How exactly is the 9-euro ticket valid?

The ticket will be valid on all forms of public transport across Germany, including buses, U-Bahns, S-Bahns, trams, and local and regional trains. With the 9-euro ticket you can use these forms of transport nationwide except the long-distance transport services, such as ICE, IC and EC trains run by Deutsche Bahn, and FlixTrains and FlixBuses which are are not covered.

You can’t issue a ticket for a specific date. It will always be issued for that month. For example, if you buy a ticket at the beginning of June, it will only be good until the end of June. You will then need to buy a new ticket for July. To make the most out of the offer, it’s best to book your tickets as soon as possible.

Are there refunds for monthly passes?

Individual transport operators will automatically reduce their monthly subscriptions by 9 euros, or they’ll pay back the difference in subsequent months.

Transport operators are also looking into different ways to reimburse their passengers for their monthly passes and other tickets. Students might also get their semester tickets refunded.

When will the 9-euro ticket be available?

To ensure everyone has enough tickets, transport associations in some German cities plan to start a pre-sale as soon as May. The federal government is working on an online ticketing system for people to purchase their tickets. They will also most likely be sold through traditional sales channels, including from ticket machines and mobile phone applications.

Can dogs travel for free?

Unfortunately, the 9-Euro-ticket cannot be used as a ticket for dogs, but you can buy a regular ticket for dogs. You can bring a dog with you in line with transport associations’ regulations. For example, some bus companies charge an extra fee if you bring your dog on board. Similar to guide dogs and assistance dogs, pets are covered by transport associations’ regulations. Learn more about places you can take your dog to in Germany here!